We had never stayed at a Club Med nor are we French - so there was a moderate degree of apprehension booking this. But Le Riad is not your ordinary Club Med, exactly as we had been told.
Le Riad is actually an enclave at the far end of the larger Le Palmeraie Club, about 15 mins by car from Central Marrakech.
The grounds are really very nice and extremely safe (we let our children go anywhere, incl in the evening) - plenty of pretty corners, lots of green and sports activities everywhere. Le Riad is much smaller and more exclusive with its own pool and bar and MUCH nicer rooms. It has its own entrance and you need to flash your green wristband (a Club Med requirement, we have learnt) to enter. Most activities were outside Le Riad in the larger complex (indeed only breakfast - good - and a limited room service is available).
There are two restaurants in the complex - a larger multi-taste one and the smaller El Kebir (moroccan-ish: must reserve this one). The food was actually quite good and we were most impressed by the organisation and friendly attitude (fantastic garden party) although you could never really arrive too late as the yummier dishes would disappear.
The nationality mix just before Easter was around 75% french (50% at Le Riad), the rest a mixture of Brits (very few football shirts and tatoos - in itself a major plus), German, Italian and the odd Dutch and American. This, of course, explains the emphasis on food. Wine and beer are of course freely available but we never saw excessive drinking but rather a fun, convivial atmosphere with a 'cultured' party atmosphere throughout. That said, a basic knowledge of French will help you a lot.
Carlo (Le Riad's Italian manager) and his team were superb although reception needs to improve their English skills if they want to attract a more international clientele. Indeed, the only issue we had was with the shower (too hot or too cold). The rooms (garden or terrace) were first class and very comfortable indeed.
Overall, perhaps not quite 5* but definitely 4* with luxury touches in places. Certainly good value for money.
I thought Le Riad was certainly worth the extra cost vs Le Palmeraie especially if you want some peace and quiet.
The free shuttle service to the third Club Med (Medina - 100 mts from Jemaa el Fna) was a great bonus and allowed for easy exploration. Access to this Club Med also makes exploring easier.
We thought this was an excellent family holiday with something for eveybody.
- 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