More about Sofitel Marrakech Hotel
Check the bill when you get home!
The Sofitel Marrakech is on the whole a great hotel, with the excellent value for money and great service that you would expect from a country which is rapidly developing its tourist industry.
Our big disappointment was when we got back home and checked our credit card statement...we had been overcharged by exactly 50%!. I phoned to complain and I was told not to worry...after at least 10 phone calls, some where they simply hung up on me. I eventually received confirmation of their error and now await repayment. One further annoying fact about this hotel (especially as we travelled with a person with limited mobility) is its size and layout. Its like a maze and it could easily take 20 minutes to get to reception....beware!
We spent 7 nights at the Sofitel Marrakech in october 2005. When the taxi dropped us on the little square in front of the hotel we quickly understood that we were going to be treated like king & queen. The Sofitel service started here, with a porter welcoming us on the pavement and taking care of our luggages. Then we entered the main hall, which has the size of a tennis court and looks like a ballroom in a fairy tale. A waitress immediately came to us, bringing some hot & orange blossom perfumed towels. She invited us to sit down in a sofa, she picked our credit card and passports and she came back with some tea and a plate of Moroccan pastries, so that we could relax while the receptionnist did his job. Now that's what we call a check-in !
We have booked a double standard room, which means that we had no view on the pool, but on the surroundings of the hotel. However, being accommodated on a corner (room 351) we also got a pretty nice view of the Menara. The room itself was of very good size (+ 30sqm), with a great & spotless bathroom and separated toilets. The bed was absolutely stunning (as it is the case in most of the Sofitel hotels, at least the ones we have tried so far). The big plus was that all the rooms have a balcony - and A REAL balcony, not a place where you don't know what to do with your legs - which allowed us a few romantic dinners.
Talking about food, we would like to mention that we had never experienced such a continental buffet & moroccan cooked breakfast before. It was a true delight to take place on the terrace every morning and having our coffee with the Menara in front of us.
The bar was excellent too and the waiters/waitresses were always very nice.
We have tried the restaurant once for dinner and we thought it was okay, but nothing special, and it was indeed a bit pricy for what we had. The assortment of 15 Moroccan cheeses was truly superb though, and a nice surprise (we're French...). The restaurant was the only point that would need to be improved in our opinion.
No need to say that we would go there again (and again, and again...).
Oasis Pleasure....the Sofitel Marrakech
Having been to Marrakech before and having stayed at the Mammounia (which is now closed for refurb) we were apprehensive about compromising on another hotel. But, the charms of Marrakech and Morrocco were too alluring to miss just because one hotel was out of action..so, we booked a weekend break (last of summer sun) via Expedia at the Sofitel. Having read the reviews, we arrived expecting a good location and nice swimming pool - but, poor service, run down big-hotel type rooms and a cheap but cheerful experience. HOW WRONG WE WERE!
First of all, the hotel is beautiful. It isn't as steeped in the history like Mammounia...but, it has immaculately kept grounds with flowers, palm trees, fountains and bougainvilla climbers on the walls. The hotel is just a few minutes walk outside the walls and is an oasis of quiet and calm. Only the birds nesting at night drew our attention while enjoying a sun down cocktail.
The facilities are excellent. Not run down or too big-hotel like at all... it is a big hotel, so if you are looking for a boutique experience, find a Riad in the city proper. But, if you want the security and safety of the familiar in a gorgeous and accomodating setting...this is the hotel for you. The small touches show this is run by a french hospitality company and not a brit or american one...the food was excellent. And, the staff were very pleasant and eager to assist. Only one was surly and rude - but, it was almost understandable given the rudeness of many of the guests treating the staff with disrespect and demands.
Breakfast can be chaotic, it is buffet system - so, a bit of a scramble before 9am when the 'tours' start. But, come before 8 or after 9 and it is very relaxing on the verandah overlooking the herb garden. The pool is amazing...a bit cold, but in the heat very welcome. The pool attendant was very good at making sure guests respected the space and 'reserved' towel system....beware, leave a magazine at 9am and fail to lie down in 3 hours and you will lose your space. And too right! Either sun or tour, but don't expect to do both! The only down side to the pool... flies. But, you cant escape that in Morrocco.
The spa was great...and, I highly recommend the massage/hammam. Brilliant. Very professional, clean and atmospheric..and good value for money!
The business centre is 8 internet stations and a photocopier...so, not a brilliant place to get any work done..but, then dont come to Marrakech for that! The concierge (youssef) was a star...arranging restaurants, advising on tips and sights and perfectly fluent in what I heard to be at least 3 languages. Courteous and sharp...even during Ramadan fasting he was 'on the ball' about bookings and arrangements!
The room was great...too bad the large balconies don't have chaisse lounges...but, the marble bathrooms, extra large beds and morroccan interiors made it feel less like a Sofitel. The whole effect of the experience is to make you feel you have experienced a bit of local culture while at the same time feeling pampered or enclosed in a holiday bubble.... and, we came away after 4 days totally refreshed. Marrakech is an amazing place...and the people are warm, friendly and very hospitable. The only weakness of the Sofitel was at check out... the queue to check out was long, the staff seemed to be working at cross-purposes and slow to process each client. However, this was only a minor problem and it happened at the end rather than the start of the holiday.
I am sure if the hotel has large conference groups which it seems to be set up for, it is a different tale to tell...however, pick an off-peak time to travel and stay and it will be worth the time and effort.
There were lots of families there too with kids who all seemed to be enjoying the pool and were well looked after by staff. For a good value break...the Sofitel is now our 'other' hotel in Marrakech.
Excellent Quality 5* Hotel
One of the best choices in Marrakech! It is truly a 5* resort, however if you are looking for something typically Moroccan, then this may not be the hotel for you.
Check in for individuals is conducted in the lounge, where you sit in comfortable surroundings - are given a cold towel, mint tea (very nice) and a selection of Moroccan pastries whilst all off the formalities are completed. Porters will then take the luggage to the rooms. I was lucky to be upgraded to an Ambassadors Suite (they have around 30 of them) which was very nice, a huge living pool, double balcony with views to the pool, biggest bathroom ever with two rooms - pluss seperate shower room and toilet, and a bed big enough for five. The VIP extra touches included rose petals everywhere, even down the toilet and a very good fruit, nut and pastry platter. They have an evening turndown service.
The resort inclues a very good pool area with service and a variety of restaurants - although the food is very expensive compared to the rest of Marrakech. Drinks are not much better. Previous reviewers have mentioned language problems, Sofitel is part of Accor - a French group adn therefore 70%+ of guests are french speaking. Most staff do speak some English, however you will struggle in Morocco if you have no knowledge of French as taxi drivers, waiters and people on the street often do not speak a word of English. In general, the staff were very friendly, concierge good (including the guy Sherrif I think he was called with the Brummie accent) and nothing is too much trouble.
Located in L'Hivernage, a tranquil area of other hotels and apartments although only 5 mins by taxi from Medina and La Place.
I stayed for three nights (two nights then another night) - I was pleased to get back to the Sofiutel after staying in some not so good propertis in Agadir and Casablanca.
good for morocco
I took this hotel on the advice of this site and i can tell you it is a safe bet to get a quality room, i got it for 100 euro and got more than i expected, service in morroco is generally terrible. i am a french speaker so it isnt a language thing, but the service at the sofitel was very comforting after the scamming untrusworthiness of the medinas. everything in the hotel is expensive, but if u get the room do all the free stuff and then spend all ur other money out of the hotel u can do a good job saving. like i say its the safe bet, but later in fez we went to a ibis which is a discount joint. totally acceptable place, if u are worried about general comforts and dont want to pay the price, go ibis. if on the otherhand u want to impress ur girlfriend go sofitel. very honeymoney place. in general i liked it for the price i payed.
3* for 5* prices
This hotel looked really impressive when we got there....But the service was really bad....The first day the waiter at the restaurant where we were having lunch forgot half the things and it took about an hour just to get a sandwhich and a few chips....also everything ie. food and drinks were so over priced.....
My advice would be for the hotel to get extra staff....they were just so unorganised .....i mean they had one waiter by the pool area
to come round by the sun beds(which he hardly ever did) so that we could order the drinks.
The choice of food for Vegetarians was better in room service so we had to have lunch in our rooms rather than by the pool (like most people do when they are on holiday)
I would never go back to this hotel....Although the concierge was really helpful....oh and yes as please do check your bill!!!
I would not rate this hotel as 5* more like 2* with that kind of service!
I have never experienced anything like the Sofitel in Marrkech - it was super luxury from start to finish. It was great for our first few days in Morocco because we truly relaxed - and it was good to be outside the medina, as we were away from the hustle and bustle of the souks and tourist traps. The pool area is perfect - and they even provide you with a towel. Drinks at the bar are pricy but its worth it for the location. The rooms were not very Moroccan in style - in fact, they had a chain-hotel feel about them - but they were clean and, again, utter luxury. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to be broken in gently for their holiday! Stay a few days in luxury, be pampered, and then head into central Marrakech or down to Essaouria on the coast for a more authentic Moroccan experience.
Shame about the service...
The hotel is set in great surroundings in a quiet area and only 5 mins taxi from the hustle and bustle of the town centre, a good balance. Typical large chain hotel with a twist of Morocco. We stayed for 7 nights after getting fed up with the overtouristy resorts of Essaouria and Agadir. Got a great deal via their website (half price) as we booked the day before. Room was nice and clean, foyer impressive, pool was clean and the main highlight for us (although the French tourists are keen on the towel on the sunbed at 6am trick) quite frustrating when you get up reasonably early at 7am and there are none left and only a few people actually out and about.
The most disappointing part is the service in the restaurants. It was a complete farce verging on completely incompetent. At breakfast EVERY morning we had to wait for plates, glasses, cups, let alone tables to be washed as they had run out (this is at 9am and it closes at 10:30am). If you asked someone to clean a table they did so begrudgingly and took literally 15 minutes. I think I set our table most mornings from the various cutlery trays. Asking for a cup of coffee or tea - no chance as it would only materialise after half an hour. Food was ok but have seen better.
Then for lunch- again we had to wait over 20 minutes to be even given a menu after asking three times. To then be given a tiny club sandwich with cold fries, whick took over half an hour to arrive.
Even the pool waiter took 20 mins to bring a bottle of mineral water.
Overall not very impressive for a supposed 5 star chain hotel...
marjorelle gardens(yves saint laurent)
going to marrakesh in 2005 staying at the sofitel marrakesh. How close are we to these gardens.
Also is it best to take sterling travellers cheques as i am getting conflicting information.
Any other tips of plaes to visit on our three day trip would be greatly appreciated.
thanks in advance for any advice given.