11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Good value Marrakech base.
"Went down to Marrakech for the first time in December 2006 spurred on by Ryanair opening up from London Luton and being able to obtain a round trip for Â£37 including taxes - Since Gordon Brown introduced revised APD from the 1st February this tax has jumped to Â£40 from the UK alone as Morroco is outside the EU and long-haul so it is taxed at the rate as a ticket to Australia - how fair is that?
Booked Ibis because you know what you get and the price of 440 Dirhams per room meant that 3 nights / 4 days equated to Â£80 travel, board and transfers per person - a bargain compared to advertised packages particularly as I saw the same Marrakech they charge Â£300 / Â£450 for!
The taxi rank at Al Menara is an exercise in chaos and here, as everywhere else. prices are negotiable. The petit taxis are Peugeot 205 type cars and don't impress and the Grands Taxis are Mercedes 200's and more practical. They'll ask 100 dirhams for the 2.5 mile trip to the hotel but expect to pay 70 in and 50 Dirham (the official fare) back.
The route from the airport is through a scruffy Quartier Industriele but the hotel is a pleasant relief. Whilst 2 star, it is an attractive hotel with secluded gardens and a good pool. The railway staion doesn't intrude as it has about 8 services a day and means there are taxis and shops beside the hotel.
The public areas are decorated in traditional Morrocan style and the rooms are good sized and clean. The only real negative was the bar - both times we used it we had "problems" with either short change or being kept waiting over an hour for change. We stopped using it as we didn't feel comfortable - friends who have been there since reported exactly the same experience so there appears to be a little operation there requiring management attention.
Breakfast was good in the pleasant restaurant but when we used it in the evening it was good value and competent but the food was dull (an achievement with a Morrocan brochette!) - still it was a safe bet and well priced.
Information at the hotel was in short supply with no leaflet stand. We arranged excellent tours to the Atlas Mountains and of the Medina and while the receptionist was very helpful and gave good advice but there was no price list or receipt and you got the impression this was a direct transaction between the receptionist and the company. We had a minibus for two of us with a driver and guide and this would be the same price (and really good value) if shared between a few guests.
The Hotel was a gentle 15 minute stroll through the Ville Nouvelle to the Medina and the Gueliz had a very continental athmosphere with good cafes and hassle free shopping in the "Prix Fixe" shops - a lot easier than the hustle and hype of shopping in the souks.
Despite any niggles this is a really good value and comfortable base for a Marrakech trip. There is a newer Ibis now open in the Palmeriae but this one has the advantage of being in walking distance of the Medina and the facilities of the New Town and closer to the airport."
- Travel date: Mon 23rd of July 2007
Do you like someone's hair on a sheet?!
"I stayed for one night in this Ibis and was quite dissappointed. The main point that the room was NOT clean, including the bed. I'm 100% sure that the bed linen was not changed, a lot of hair on the sheets, pillows looked dirty. The toilette was not too clean as well.
Certainly, it was stupid of us not to ask to change the room, but it was already around midnight and we were not sure if other rooms are better. We ended up sleeping in the clothes.
Nice points: very tasty breakfast (e.g. pancakes were excellent), garden with a pool. Can not say much about the place as we stayed there on the way to mountains and left early. On the way back we stayed 4 nights in 100 times nicer place, though twice more expensive. Anyway, I would not say that Ibis price is a good value. I definetely do not recommend staying here (though it might be that only we who were not lucky).
Otherwise, service was OK.
Note concerning the previous review: Petit taxi should not cost more 15 drh inside the city (usually less, 10 Drh was enough, I think locals pay even less). 80 -100 Drh is fine to go from the city to the airport. Not sure about appropriate price to go from the airport to the city. I paid 150 Drh, but strongly suspect that it was too much."
- Travel date: Mon 16th of April 2007
Better Than we Expected
"This Ibis hotel is situated right next to the railway station, a good twenty five minutes walk from Djamma El Fna in the heart of the medina. We requested a room overlooking the garden and pool and not the often busy Av Mohammed V that passes the other side of the building.
Our room was, as expected, quite small and basic but the shower was good - nice strong flow of hot water. Breakfasts were served in the hotel restaurant from very early in the morning to midday though the main service operates from 6.30am to 11.00am. There was a very nice breakfast spread each morning with fresh pain aux raisins and croissants, boiled eggs, pancakes, mint tea, french sticks, coffee, fruit etc..
You can catch a bus to Djamma El Fna from right outside the hotel - but on the other side of the road which can be like "The Wacky Races" to cross. In April 2007 the bus fare to the medina was a mere 3.5 dirhams! A petit taxi from the railway station forecourt to the medina should cost you no more than 50 dirhams. Don't allow taxi drivers to rip you off as this only boosts the drivers' monetary expectations of succeeding tourists. They can be very pushy.
The hotel is of course well-placed for both rail travel and the adjacent Supratours bus station which operates to Agadir, Essaouira and other fairly distant places. One or two day trips to the Atlas mountains can be arranged through hotel reception but watch out as it seemed to us that many Moroccans were on the look out for extra bucks and that included certain hotel workers we met.
Our four day stay at The Ibis was amazingly cheap and for value the hotel could not be faulted. Its proximity to the railway station was not a problem as Marrakech is the end of the line and there isn't really such a thing as Crosby Stills & Nash's "Marrakech Express"!"
- Travel date: Fri 13th of April 2007
Tiny, no air con
"Not a great hotel, but it was fairly cheap and in high season so cant complain too much. About a 15 minute walk to the Djemaa and right next to the station and supratours bus station, so not a bad location. The hotel itself is nice and feels secure, just the rooms were small and a little groggy and the air con didnt work in our room (not nice when it was 40 degrees plus during the day). It had a lovely pool area, and the breakfast room was pleasant. We only stayed for one night so it was fine but I wouldnt recommend it for a longer stay. Basically, if you want a cheap place to stay while visiting Marrakech for a night or two this is just fine."
- Travel date: Tue 3rd of April 2007
Good and clean value for Marrakech
"This is the hotel for someone who is doing Marrakech on the cheap but doesn't want to stay in a truly cheap hotel. It is relatively new, hasn't been opened all that long. It's not really close to downtown so that is one reason the room prices are less. You pay about 45 euros for a room with breakfast. They have junior suites for 70 euros and senior suites for 90 euros. The room I had was immaculate, the large bed was comfortable and the flat LCD TV was nice and doesn't take up too much space. Not much of a view (mine was of the swimming pool). Very limited menu at the restaurant but food was nicely prepared and tasty. I ordered a sandwich and fruit after 2300 from the reception and it was delivered promptly and was well prepared and presented and very reasonable price. I like the Ibis hotel chain in Morocco. I have reported on several of them and will have stayed in all of them before I leave the country. Stay here if you are looking for clean and inexpensive and you don't mind not being too close to the center of town."
- Travel date: Sat 17th of February 2007
Placed right next to the station in not...
"Placed right next to the station in not the nicest area of town.
Had an absolutely awful experience - room was tiny, window wouldn't close, so could hear traffic from busy road below and room smelt of damp.
The bathroom was absolutely minute, and the bathroom door wouldn't shut, let alone lock.
Was pleased I had only booked in for one night.
Pool area looked nice but didn't use it - and can't comment on food either.
You can get much nicer hotels or Riad for similar money, so would advise against this hotel."
- Travel date: Fri 16th of February 2007
Not bad, but not good either
"This Ibis hotel was slightly cleaner than the Ibis in Rabat that I stayed in the previous night. It had less mould and grot in the bathroom and in the Marrakesh Ibis, I actually felt it was safe to walk on the carpet barefoot.
I had a nice view of the snow-covered Rif Mountains in the background and a street scene in the foreground. It is located on a really busy road so there was a bit of noise but it was bearable because I was so tired.
The food was totally acceptable, we had a really yummy fish curry cooked in a tagine which was great. The food here was better than a 4 star hotel I stayed at in Fes. It was safe to eat, didn't give me the squirty bum of ramadam, what a relief! It also had a definite Moroccan flavour.
I can't remember what the staff were like. This probably means they were average, probably not overly friendly but not nasty either. For an english-speaking guest like me, they seemed to speak enough to get by.
The easiest way I found to access my funds were to exchange euro notes at the front desk for Dirhams. I had problems with some of the ATMs accepting my card, so this exchange of euros thing worked really well and all of the hotels in Morocco that I stayed in were able to do it for me.
I didn't actually go find it, but there is apparently an internet cafe just up the road. The hotel doesn't have any access, though you might like to check if you're travelling with your own laptop, you might be able to somehow hook up from your room.
Better than the Ibis Rabat, but still not great."
- Travel date: Mon 12th of February 2007
Basic but good
"We've stayed here a couple of times and the experience is the same the world over when staying in an IBIS - functional but good. Nothing was a problem for the staff when asking them for advice and help
This year (Dec 2006) there is a bit of building working going on as they move the train station 100 meters closer to town, but away from the entrance of the IBIS. Note this hotel is about 5km from the Jemaa El Fna
Outside there is a taxi rank of grand and petit taxis. As it was winter we found we could walk most places - including the Jemaa El Fna as the temperatures were around 15 Celsius. When we were in Marrakech there was a film festival going on so , we walked to the Palais des Congres (where the festival was being held) and watched the world go by and the celebs being photographed. We even saw Roman Polanski - but missed out on seeing Lawrence Fishbourne :o(
Top tip - ask for a room over looking the pool on any floor save for the ground. The road outside is quite busy.
There is a restaurant in the hotel, which is a good place as a rainy day option, but when there so many interesting and quirky places 20 minutes walk away in the Gueliz - I'd go there.
All in all though - for the equivalent of 25GBP a night for a room this place is an excellent place to rest your head."
- Travel date: Wed 27th of December 2006
stay away if you like animals
"A mother cat and her kitten were 'disposed' of while we sat around the pool area. The noise was absolutely awful, did not realise what was happening until a French guest told us. We complained to the management but everything was denied. We were absolutely disgusted and booked out straight away. Hotel review: extremely basic, more 1 star than 3. You can get a much better hotel in Marrakech for the same price, but i advise anyone to pay a little extra and get a really nice hotel. The DIWANE HOTEL was lovely, which is where we spent the remainder of our holiday. All in all the experience ruined our holiday and the treatment by the hotel management was appauling. Needless to say, we DO NOT advise anyone to stay at this hotel."
- Travel date: Thu 19th of October 2006
Good budget option
"We stayed here before getting our flight back to London early the next morning. The hotel is conveniently situated near the train station and not far from the airport. It is characterless and the rooms were not great but then it is a chain hotel and represented good value (54 Euros per night).
The room was small and the airconditioning didnt work but the shower was suprisingly good. I didnt find the staff particularly helpful. Our room looked out onto the pool, which was large with lots of sun loungers round it. A small breakfast is set out from 4am so we managed to get something to eat before leaving.
Overall, I would recommend it as a convenient budget option"
- Travel date: Mon 25th of September 2006
"Really dissappointed with this hotel.
Stayed one night before getting plane home - in comparison to the 2 other hotels we stayed in Morrocco it was awful despite the fact that it cost more per night.
Room was small, and smelt musty. Window didn't shut properly so could hear noise of very busy street outside. Bathroom door also didn't shut, let alone lock.
Towels were small - bathroom was also small and hot water bit sporadic. There was a TV but no english channel and air con didn't work.
Outside area looked very nice - although didn't get chance to use pool in daytime. Didn't stay for breakfast so can't comment on that although prices of food and drinks seemed reasonable.
Extremely convenient for train station but that's about it's only real plus point."
- Travel date: Thu 21st of September 2006