Le Palmeraie, Marrakech, Morocco – June 2017
We stayed in adjoining upstairs rooms in the Kasbah area of the resort. We were disappointed upon arrival, the kids room was extremely smelly, and a light was faulty and constantly blinking. The rooms were tired, with poor repairs to tiling in the bathroom and a couple of incidents with door handles coming off. The air con didn’t really work – and so every night we had to open our balcony window to let air circulate – glad we had an upstairs room so we could do this and still relax – but it did mean early awakening to sound of calls to prayer and noisy birds!
Compared to previous Club Med experiences, the food was average. Breakfast was ok, it had the usual selection of fruit and breads, and cooked eggs, pancakes etc. Lunch and Dinner were decidedly average, particularly on the meat front.
All the activities we tried were good – the GOs running the tennis courts, archery, golf and basketball were great. The swimming pool was fine, although there is a terrible trend by guests to put towels on all the beds quite early in the day, and then not to use until much later. We also discovered quite a few people putting towels on beds around them that they didn’t use all day at all – I guess to keep some space for themselves.
One of the reasons we love Club Med is their Kids Club. Our kids typically spend the morning – 9-12 in the club and then we pick up for lunch and spend the rest of the day together. When we booked them in on the first day of Le Palmeraie, we booked them into the 8-10 group, but later discovered they had spent the whole morning in a massive group with all the 4-7 kids as well. I assumed this would change on the second day when more guests arrived, but it happened again on the second morning, meaning my kids were struggling to play tennis or do archery in huge groups with very small children. I also was quite upset to see the kids at Circus school, where they had 20 kids sat around the trampoline, in burning sunshine for an hour, and my son told me afterwards that he didn’t even have a go as they ran out of time! They weren’t having a good time, and so I spoke to the kids club manager. At first he was defensive saying that they hadn’t expected so many kids that week as it wasn’t French school holidays and so they were putting all the groups together, but once I suggested I speak to Jonathan, the deputy manager about getting another GO assigned to take only the 8-10 group off he quickly told me he would sort it. Fortunately he did, and so the next few days were better.
End to end Club Med experience:
Pick up from the airport was ok – although rather than Club Med staff helping with bags, a local was enlisted, which resulted in an awkward demand for money at the bus, which we were not prepared for, and had no local currency so had to give him pounds.
During our stay there was a very defensive attitude to feedback – as seen when we asked about the kids club groups. GOs first response to any comment was “its not our fault”. Unfortunately the Chef du Village was away during our week, so his deputy was managing things. Jonathan, a young guy, who clearly loved taking part in all the shows, and seemed pretty ineffectual in managing the wider aspects of the resort.
Also, I would say that being a English person in the resort wasn’t great. In previous experiences at Club Med, I’ve found that the bias is always towards French/French speaking, but an effort was made to also say things in English (in shows for example) and for the staff to speak in English, particularly the management team. During our stay it seemed as if Jonathan wasn’t interested in how we were enjoying our stay and barely spoke to us, although he made great efforts to speak to all the French guests around us at length.
Our departure from the resort was less than satisfactory too. Previously when we’ve left Club Med resorts, we’ve been told the day before when our transport from the hotel would leave and upon departure we were given a small charm and all the GOs lined up to wave us off. In Turkey this was seen at all guest departures. For Le Palmeraie, we had to ask when our transport would leave, and no-one saw us off, even though remarkably the deputy manager was in reception when we were boarding the bus!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Marrakech is the Southern pearl, full of charm, mystery and bustle, at the crossroads of the Sahara and the High Atlas. The Club Med Village, set in Morocco's oldest palm grove, reflects the intimate aspect of the medina, fostering its way of life with its gardens, refined cuisine and warm welcome. The Marrakech architecture combines baked bricks, tadelakt, red ochre and colourful zellige, to create a relaxing haven to which you can enjoy returning after a stroll through Djemaa el-Fna square. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Club Med La Palmeraie Hotel Marrakech
- Club Med Marrakech
- Marrakech Club Med
- Club Med Morocco