I stayed in this supposed 5-forkthing Club Med and I must start by reminding you this is the highest rating a Club Med can get.
The Riad is actuially a part of another 4-forkthing Club Med, surrounded by walls to exclude the 4-forkthing people. The general concept seems nasty the way I put it, but it's actually quite nice.
We had a garden room on the ground floor, staying with my wife and young child (which is why we chose Club Med to start with). Starting with the good sides: the 4-forkthing Baby and Kids' Club is really satisfying. We felt very secure leaving our child there and she loved it. The babysitter suggested by the Club (who is an independant baby-sitter who comes to the Club to do her stuff) was great. Really great in fact. She was by far the best thing that happened to us during our stay.
Problem 1: hygiene, cleaning, room amenities: The room was not cleaned on the third day after our arrival. The complementary coffee bar stayed uncleaned and dirty from day 1 to our departure. The coffee was never replenished so I hope you're not a coffee fan. The kettle did not work and took 3 days to get replaced. They gave us a complementary cocktail upon arrival, The tray with all the trash, including leftovers from our first room-service breakfast was left in the room for an extra day, then spent 1 day IN FRONT of our door once someone had taken it out. 2.5 days to get rid of a food tray with everything nasty that goes with meal trash. The welcome cocktail itself spent 3 days in the room and was literally growing mold when they took it out.
Problem 2: Service: The staff lost some of our child's baby bottles and we were told in response that, "we should have picked them up faster." During one of our meals, the waiter spilled some grease on me. We therefore paid for dry-cleaning and the clothes came back dirty. There was, however, no explanation as to why we had to pay for this non-service. We were so fed up by then that we were simply happy to pay to leave.
Problem 3: infrastructure: impossible to use the bath. The hot water was a trickle and is therefore cold by the time you fill your bath (takes about an hour to do so). Took 3 days with "technicians" in and out of our room to replace a fixture (this was clearly not the cause) so we just gave up and boiled water in the kettle (once we had a working one) to fill the bath. Quite an uncanny thing in a supposed luxury hotel. The room itself needs some work: burnt-out lightbulbs, loose power switches, broken lighting fixtures, joinery and general millwork in relative bad shape, some closets do not close, all are shifty, broken window frame, etc...
The Riad's pool is not heated, so if you're not staying over the Summer and are a bit frisky, do not expect to dive in. Wifi only in entrance and around the pool, none in rooms.
Now, all of these things would not necessarily be a problem... if we had not paid €6'000.- (that's euros, not dollars) for a week's stay. We were told this was the top of the top. This is simply not so. As an architect, I actually build 5-star hotels, work on their amenities, look for the quality needed for the 5-star rating. The Riad is not a 5-star hotel. The director actually admits to it, hiding behind the 5-star / 5-forkthing excuse. My wife and I asked him what quality he was aiming for: 3, 4 or 5-star. We told him the question was a trap and he should not say 5-star as that would just be ridiculous. He answered "a good 4-star". Unfortunately the Riad is worth 3-star at the moment. Again, this is not a problem... if we are told so when we book and when we pay. Needless to say, nobody in their right mind would pay €6'000.-/week for a 3-star.
That's pretty much the bottom line: the hotel isn't bad, the Director is actually a nice guy who's trying his best, but the staff is simply poor, the head housekeeper (gouvernante) is a joke and the Club Med sales office are a bunch of liars. They will say anything to sell you the package, even lie to your face with a smile on theirs. We were told that someone could shop small things for our baby when needed but we had to take a taxi into town and shop on our own. Not a problem for us, but another lie from sales.
So, the Riad is a 5-forkthing Club Med with a 3-star hotel, a fibbing sales technique, an under-qualified (and probably under-paid) staff but with a whopping international luxury 5-star pricetag. Club Med totally unwilling to make the slightest commercial gesture, even if that means forever losing their target clientele (that's us).
Oh yeah, I forgot, the bartender and the chef are extremely pleasant guys to be with. Thought it would be nice to end on a good note but let's face it: never ever going back there and suggest you don't either unless you pay less than half what we paid.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Le Riad, which is surrounded by private gardens, has sixty Suites which combine a Moroccan setting with every comfort imaginable. With its swimming pool and its rooms each with a fireplace, Le Riad is an intimate and princely place. You can sample a privileged lifestyle relaxing in the Bar-lounge, enjoying the cozy atmosphere in the piano bar or unwinding in the library. The more curious amongst you can treat yourselves to the exotic flavours and spicy dishes on offer at the restaurant. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Club Med Marrakech Le Riad Hotel Marrakech
- Marrakech Club Med