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ClubHotel Riu Tikida Palmeraie Marrakech, Morocco
Dates 1 Jan to 12 Jan 2016
First enormous thanks to all the staff at our local Thomson Swindon Orbital Park shop. They were brilliant at arranging all aspects for this holiday. Dariusdave and good wife Cathy have one good knee between us, now retired and travel with a wheelchair. The Thomson staff arranged so that we were greeted at Gatwick by a friendly porter circa 05.15 New Yearâs Day. We were taken all the way to the aircraft for take-off at 07.15. The staff had also selected suitable seats for us and had done our A.P.I.
The flight was far from full and we were delighted to have elbow room, hot drinks, snacks and a peaceful flight we may even have slept. We arrived at Marrakech 10.45 and awaited our help. We were amazed to be guided to a âprivateâ exit on the wrong side of the aircraft where a lift awaited passengers with restricted mobility and our wheelchair and anotherâs mobility scooter were waiting on the tarmac.
Again we were escorted by a cheerful porter through Customs, to baggage collection. We were greeted by the Thomson representative who arranged for us and our luggage to board the correct coach. The journey through Marrakech was fascinating and created a desire to return and explore.
We arrived at ClubHotel Riu Tikida Palmeraie, the sun was shining and Christmas Grottos with Trees, Deer and Father Christmas prominent. The Riu management wisely told us to ignore formal check in just go and enjoy lunch. Well it gave them an extra hour to prepare rooms after the departure of Christmas & New Year guests. Given our early departure sustenance was most welcome.
Formal Check-in was pleasant, no long queues and staff had a positive friendly can do attitude. Again we thank the Manager and staff at our local Thomson Shop. Immediately after booking they had (as former guests themselves) emailed Riu Management to request a ground floor wheelchair friendly room. Room 1001 was perfect. Reception staff kindly arranged for us and our luggage to be transported to room 1001.
Wow where to start to describe this room that had so many facilities. There was a wet room with walk in shower and built in seat. Plus a conventional bath with shower, fine basin and large marble surround. Typically French there are both a bidet and traditional flushing water closet. We had our own private patio with table and chairs. The room was furnished with various Sahara sized sofas and a large flat screen T.V. Wardrobes were large with plenty of good hangers. But what is the most important item of furniture in any bedroom? The bed this was Atlas Mountain size, yes a genuine giant bed wider than its length and perfect for a good nightâs sleep. Air-conditioning was cool in day and warm at night.
We were frequently greeted by cheerful cleaners who kept room spotless and outside area litter free. The grounds, pool and bar areas were kept clean.
Food Glorious Food
Breakfasts and evening dinners were a treat. My generation well remember Captain Peacock from Are You Being Served. Well the main buffet restaurant had staff in a variety of uniforms depicting their rank. At the entrance were worthy successors to Captain Peacock resplendent in smart waistcoats, who joyfully competed for the honour of pushing Cathyâs chariot to our table. Superb customer care was shown by these gentlemen who thoughtfully reserved a table close to the buffet so Dariusdave with wonky knee could minimise yardage to review and collect meals. Breakfast and dinner were always good with plenty of choices, and we enjoyed fresh cooked omelettes.
Lunches varied, weekdays were fine. But the second weekend with wedding and conference taking place, it was extremely difficult to manoeuvre around the food stations.
A La Carte restaurants had limited service during our stay. Frankly we felt the main buffet was far better than The Moroccan a la carte. Regret we were not able to book Italian during our stay.
Entertainment & Drinks
Daytimes we tried to locate ourselves in the sunshine between giant pool and main building. As the holiday proceeded several waiters would kindly bring a variety of drinks. Evenings the main bar tended to be very well patronised. Waiters would often bring drinks to us which was much appreciated, queuing with a wonky knee can be painful.
If there is an area at ClubHotel Riu Tikida Palmeraie ripe for refurbishment and reorganising it would be the main bar opposite the reception area.
We were frequently greeted by members of the animation team who enthusiastically invited us to their evening shows. We are very grateful that so many members of the animation team went out of their way to make us feel welcome.
When we arrived there were many Christmas trees, reindeer, grottos etc. well displayed. There were many pre-school children enjoying Festive holidays and from arrival Dariusdave was greeted as Father Christmas / Santa on holiday by many of these happy children. Dariusdave has frequently appeared as Father Christmas at various Swindon Nursery schools and it was a wonderful treat to enjoy talking with these children.
We visited The Spa, booked a massage which was much enjoyed and splendid for my knee.
The two resident Thomson reps went out of their way to help us, including booking an a la carte meal at the Moroccan. We enjoyed a 4x4 trip to the Atlas Mountains with many miles off road. Perhaps the highlight was lunch at a riverside restaurant with Lamb Tagine. The night carriage trip around Marrakech and wander around the market stalls we felt was great value. Both trips coped well with Cathyâs chariot and would be repeated. We tried the Saturday Riad dinner in old Marrakech fascinating but would not repeat.
We wanted warm dry sunshine in January with a short flight time. Expectations were exceeded. ClubHotel Riu Tikida Palmeraie Marrakech is the best Riu hotel we have visited; access was first class, staff positive and friendly. An abiding memory from this holiday was the number of times staff offered to push Cathyâs wheelchair to or from our room or around the main building. Yes we would happily visit again off peak.
Return trip to Marrakech airport passed well. Again we were helped from coach to plane. Flight home had plenty of elbow room with pleasant friendly crew. Regret after landing and reaching top of exit tube from plane it seemed Gatwick accessibility team had failed to provide sufficient transport for disabled passengers, waiting thirty minutes on our own bad for blood pressure. Gatwick Access team could learn from Marrakech!More
Another fantasic week at the Tikida Palmeraie
This is the second time we have stayed at the Tikida Palmeraie and once again we were not disappointed. We requested a room overlooking the tennis courts where we had stayed last year and one had been reserved for us. Excellent food and selection with different themes each night, service, cleanliness could not be faulted. The staff are so pleasant, nothing is too much trouble. Great if you just fancy a chilled out week with guaranteed sun. There are activities run by the Animation Team who work so very very hard if you wish to join in, I did the stretch class in the morning which was excellent and the agua gym in the afternoon, but apart from that a very relaxing holiday. The only recommendation I would have for the hotel is to invest in some new towels in the bathrooms and new pool towels, a little bit worn but did not spoil our holiday. Also last year we had an amenity room to shower and get changed as a lot of the flights are night flights and this year we had to use the showers in the gym block which was not ideal, but again only a minor thing and would not stop us from going back againMore
Allison F, 580406
I visited Riu Tikida Palmeraie with my girlfriend for 11 nights (6th - 17th June), and we both had a fantastic time.
ARRIVAL TO MARRAKECH:-
A heads up, on arrival into Marrakech airport you have to fill in an entrance form - I believe some guests were given these on the aeroplane, but our flight wasn't - which lead to chaos and long queues on arrival. (So pack a pen!!) Once through security, we collected our bags, changed our English money to Moroccan dirhams (Change as you need!) and headed to the transfer. We were first to the transfer bus and had quite a long wait as unfortunately some baggage had gone for a wander, it did turn up after about an hour though, but when you've been travelling all day this felt like forever! Transfer bus was air conditioned and pleasant, and air con was needed even though we arrived about 11pm!! Quick transfer time, around 30 minutes, and nice to look out the window and enjoy the CRAZY Moroccan driving style.
ARRIVAL TO RIU
On arrival to the hotel the bus is searched which does make you feel safer, and guests go through an x-ray scanner and bags are checked. We left our bags and went into the restaurant (which had been kept open!) and enjoyed our welcome drink and some food. After this, we checked in and headed to our room, to wait for our bags. It was quite difficult to find our room in the dark, but there was security around who were more than happy to point you in the right direction. We waited around 15 minutes for our bags, and tipped the guy for bringing these for us.
Our room (4143) was gorgeous!! Two single beds pushed together to be made into a double - bit annoying - but does the job. Free safe in the room (just read the instructions and be careful not to lock yourself out, like I did!!), air conditioning, (didn't work initially, but quickly fixed), bath with shower overhead, lots of space and plenty storage space, sofa/bed area in the corner which was nice to relax on, fridge with water stocked up daily, and balcony through sliding doors, with table and 2 chairs. Cleaners keep the room in impeccable condition throughout your stay and the towel art was a lovely addition!
The pool is massive and just like the pictures in the brochures. Lots of sunbeds but there is definitely a sunbed issue at this hotel. We weren't too bothered about where we got a bed, so never got up early to reserve a bed and always managed to find somewhere. We generally went out somewhere in the morning, and by the time we came back in the afternoon there was a space. If you do want to be by the pool all day, my advice would be to get up at 6am to reserve a bed, or tip the pool boys! Due to an unfortunate incident involving a little girl drowning, the hotel have stepped up their pool safety, by introducing lifeguards to the pool sides - which was reassuring to see. Really enjoyed the aqua aerobics at the pool at 4.30 each day, and lots of other games such as water volleyball etc going on also.
FOOD and DRINK
Food was of a good standard, although repetitive, but to be expected when staying for 11 nights. We were never hungry, and always managed to find something to eat - always a safety net of pizza and chips. The Moroccan restaurant is lovely and well worth a visit, but I wasn't too keen on the Italian as didn't feel any different to the normal restaurant. It's a shame that both of these restaurants are still buffet style, as I feel an a la carte restaurant would really be a great addition. The normal restaurant offered themed nights a few nights a week which were a nice touch, although if I'm honest not much different to non-themed nights. Drinks were lovely, waiters brilliant, and filling your drink up before you even realised you'd finished. I think I drank my way through a fair few bottles of rose wine during my stay, but it really was lovely! Cocktails weren't of my liking, as they come out of pre-made containers and taste purely of sugar. I'm not a beer drinker, but from others I spoke to they said the beer was very refreshing. Spirit measures HUGEE so be careful.
ENTERTAINMENT AND BARS
Lobby bar: The lobby bar is the bar closest to reception when you enter the hotel. The lobby bar serves the nicest drinks (and actually hand make the cocktails - which were lovely!) and has a nice adult feel. There are some TV's in the lobby bar which shows the football, and in here you will generally find people playing cards and relaxing.
Theatre bar: This is where the welcome meeting is held on the first day, (worth attending, if you would like to book excursions and get out of the hotel - not much point if not), and where the evening entertainment is held. During the Euro's this bar has also been showing the football matches, and I must say, the England V Wales game was amazing in there and the atmosphere was incredible! (Tip: Tip the waiters and they will bring you your drinks, so no need to miss a second of the game!)
Pool bar: A lovely area to sit on an evening just by the pool, and offering live music and a relaxing environment. On the Saturday of our stay, the evening entertainment was at the pool bar and had an outdoor disco. This was by far my favourite night!
Entertainment: As previously mentioned, the daytime activities include aqua aerobics, water volleyball, football etc. They have themed days, (which you will find out on the daily journal at breakfast each morning) in which they add extra activities, such as learning Arabic, belly dancing and live show tagine cooking. Evening entertainment was okay, hats off to the entertainment team as they work their socks off - it just wasn't really to my taste. Congratulations to the couple that got engaged on stage though, that brought a tear to my eye! The couple shows and audience interaction were the most enjoyable, but I understand the shows are limited due to the multiple languages etc. My main issue with the entertainment was that everything was generally finished by 10:30pm and the hotel is so far out that it's not easy to go anywhere after - even some music by the pool bar until a bit later might have been nice, as everyone just seemed at a bit of loss once this finished.
We are the kind of people that go on holiday to SEE the place, so excursions are important to us, although we met lots of people who hadn't left the resort and were still entertained. We got the free shuttle from the hotel into Marrakech medina a few times and loved it (you must book your seats at reception)! We'd read lots of reviews and had lots of people tell us that going as two girls would be dangerous or unsafe, however, this was not the case at all. We never once felt unsafe, and enjoyed haggling and seeing all the sights and experiencing the crazy world that Marrakech has to offer. We visited the souks ourselves and found some great bargains, just remember to be firm and say 'La Shukran' - No thank you in Arabic, and they will leave you alone. We did all the tourist sights in the centre, including the Saadian tombs and the palaces, which we enjoyed. We also visited the majorelle gardens which were stunning and had a wander around the new town - which had a Mac shop, H&M and designer shops galore. With Thomson, we did the 4x4 Berber trail and the cascades! The cascade was by far the best thing I have ever done in my life, and the Berber trail was brilliant too - definitely both a must do! We also went into Marrakech on our last night, and ate in a restaurant overlooking the square, which was incredible. My tip would be to go in after 8.30 as this is when the last prayer finishes, and when all the Moroccan locals come into the square to eat etc. It was amazing to see the whole city come to life in the darkness, and had a real feel of a Christmas market!
The hotel resort is a little world within itself, with everything you need if you don't wish to venture out. There is a shop on site, (but it is expensive!), a spa, indoor pool & gym and kids club. There is a big supermarket just down the road (like a Costco) where things are much cheaper. The reps are based just by the lobby bar and are happy to help with any questions, and will sort out any problems such as broken air con or needing extra pillows - Charlotte in particular was brilliant!)
This hotel was the perfect break for us both, and we have both come back relaxed, TANNED and happy - although, not quite ready to face reality. The staff are what makes this hotel so special, and they will do anything they can to make sure everyone has an amazing stay. Thank you Riu Tikida Palmeraie for a fabulous holiday, and we will definitely be returning at some point in the future!More
Don't be put off by the distance
The hotel is beautiful and although not in the centre of Marrakesh, it has a free shuttle with convenient times to and from the hotel.
In the centre of Marrakesh there are several travel agents offering trips for a fraction of the Thomson price. We went on three of them (one of them a 3 night stay that included a night in the desert, Mezourga, Â£50 per person and the hotels were amazing. One of the hotels looked like a Disney hotel). They pick you up for these trips for free, so it doesn't really matter that the hotel is far from the centre.
The pool is as big as the picture shows (sometimes the photographer is really good and you get there and the pool is quite small, not the case) and the indoor pool is warm and beautiful.
The food is amazing, everything is cheap, amazing holiday. The wi-fi does not work in the rooms but you can buy a SIM card in Marrakesh for Â£10 with 2GB data. It lasted us the fortnight.
I wasn't sure between the two Rius before I booked but I was pleased we ended up booking this one. The other one is not in a nice area of Marrakesh and it is also not within walking distance from the centre.
The food was amazing. We were there in January and the temperature was around 24 degrees. Sunny every day!More
Loved every second
Fantastic hotel with staff who are willing to go above and beyond.
Beautiful surroundings, good food, amazing pool and something for everyone. I was even tempted to try the group activities
Went for a week but this wasn't long enough - will be returning asapMore