The hotel is in an unbeatable location in the heart of Marrakech, and it’s not long had a big refurbishment.
This hotel has one of the best addresses in Marrakech, It’s on the doorstep of Jemaa el-Fna square, which means you’re only 5 minutes’ walk from the souks, restaurants and food stalls.
The hotel has recently undergone a big refurbishment. A lot of the original Arabic features have stayed put, including a 200-year-old tower, but the whole place has been given an injection of contemporary style. From May 2016, this hotel will become part of the Thomson Sensimar collection.
These light and airy contemporary junior suites with pool view sleep two. They come with premium furnishings and toiletries, Bluetooth sound system, espresso machine, fruit and wine on arrival, two à la carte meals per week included and one breakfast in bed per stay.
I overheard: 'If you cant relax here then you've no chance anywhere'. So true during the day. Set in the heart of the Medina, a steady hum of traffic, a horn here, a shout there, to remind you, but not intrude into this magical hidden garden.
But then came the evening entertainment. so so loud and often so so embarrassing: a local karaoke singer screaming at jet engine decibels anyone?, Or a girl plopped into the pool in full mermaid costume wriggling about for an hour accompanied by 'mystical' music from a bursting speaker (it didn't burst, I wish it had). And you cant escape, all rooms face the speaker. I hated that speaker. I did complain. (i'm a festival goer so I can do loud.. but not here please).
We were looking for a Riad initially, but saw the all inclusive offer and after costing it out was so much better value.. if the food was scrummy, and the drink quaff-able? The food was imaginative (except breakfast), every meal an eye feast, a cornucopia of excellence, so (too?) much to choose (6 tanjine dishes every night, pasta station, vegetable area, fish, meats (Roasts, grills doners, briskets cooked as you wait) great starters (sushi one night) and masses of amazing deserts , the chef's justifiably proud. Well done. Scrummy. All washed down with very passable local wine and beer..(for those reviewers who moaned about the quality of the spirits I challenge - it's a 'Value' all inclusive in a Muslim country). Anyway, after a few wines even the whisky was quaff-able. (note to Thompson: bar staff brilliant but not enough of them)
The Jemma El Fna square is just 5 minutes away, a cacophony, a hubbub of cultures and colours, a whirl of scents. Alley ways and bustling roads lead off everywhere into the old city where the people smile and welcome and make things still with their hands (single person businesses are exempt from tax so traditional crafts thrive). Do explore..
The cafe de France is good to chill and watch the action, for a meal try Le Marrakchi next door (A/C and alcohol). Or take a stroll the otherway into the new part of the city.
We went on a horse and carriage trip, from just outside the hotel - I got it for 200 + an extra 50 if it was good - nearly 2 hours through this city of contrasts - the ultra modern and the historic - swish new hotels and riads - modern avenues of trees and ancient passages in the Medina. It was very good (great to get our bearings) - I gave our man 100 extra!
The 4x4 trip to the Atlas mountains and 3 valleys was truly awesome (not the American 'awesome' .. but truly awesome). Although you can arrange it privately, I recommend the trip through Thompson - they've got it right.
So: the Medina Gardens, a good value for money place to chill. (until the 'entertainment' destroys your ear drums) - . a magical city.. lovely people .. a true blend of ancient and modern .. Thompson met expectations .. Morocco exceeded. Magic.More
Chris-Greville, Barnsley, United Kingdom
Oasis of calm in a hectic city!
Have just returned from a week's all inclusive stay with my husband and we had a lovely relaxing break.
Having read (many!) reviews before we went, we weren't really sure what to expect but were pleasantly surprised. The hotel grounds are peaceful and relaxing and somehow magically block out any noise of the hectic city beyond the garden walls. When sitting either by the pool or in a quite spot on the grass it was very easy to forget you were in the middle of a city.
The hotel was clean and well looked after and the restaurant staff were very friendly and the service was good. The bathroom in our room was a little tatty in some small places but I really don't see why anyone would put any effort in to grumbling about that on here!
Food was good and there was more than enough choice at each mealtime - we weren't hungry at any point during the week and ate more than enough food :) Rose wine was tasty and the bottled beer was very refreshing on the very warm days.
All in all, we had a lovely time and would go back - for what we paid, our holiday exceeded our expectations. Please don't be put off by any negative or moany reviews.More
BEB2011, Horsham, United Kingdom
Please read all the way through....
My partner and I have just returned from a one week all inclusive holiday to Medina Gardens.
I'm going to split my review into two parts, the hotel and it's surroundings and gardens. Then the excursions that Thomson offer when you get there as before I went I had little information.
Arrival: Immigration was a nightmare so we got to the hotel later than anticipated. However on arrival at the hotel we were all sat down near the pool and given a cold flannel, a lime cocktail and two entry cards to fill out that we needed to give to the hotel. It was gone midnight and I think this could have waited until morning but it's hotel policy. The hotel kept the restaurant open for us, but we didn't partake and went straight to the room. We were told to stick stickers on our luggage and it would be brought up to our room. However we grabbed it ourselves because we didn't want to wait.
The Room: our room looked over the hotel entrance and we had a full balcony not a juliette one. The room was fairly sized, bathroom and double door wardrobe. The bed was huge and so comfortable! Fell straight to sleep every night. As others have said the wardrobe doors are very hard to push and make a racket! You also only get two draws. The bathroom was spacious, but peeling paint and mould surrounded the bath unfortunately. There's no extractor fan either. You're asked to watch the water you use, and only request new towels when you need them. I understood this and we didn't have them changed during our stay.
The tv only has three English channels and they're all news stations. But you're on holiday, do you need TV? Our room was made up everyday. On Tuesday there was a storm and this is when we realised our balcony doors did not lock. We immediately alerted front desk and they sent an engineer up straight away to fix the issue. There is a safe in the room which you have to pay 25dh per day to use. However if you request a late checkout the safe will lock itself at 12pm the normal check out time.
Food: We ate every meal in the hotel except two lunches we had out on excursions. Unless the food is cooked fresh or has just been brought out it was usually luke warm at best. Breakfast wasn't great, I stuck to the freshly cooked omelette and pancakes pretty much every day. Lunch usually covers similar dishes every day, there is always pizza and chips though! There is a themed night every night, but freshly cooked pasta is a feature on every night. There wasn't a night where I couldn't find something to eat. My partner and I loved the beef bourginon on the French night and the chef did beautiful braised beef and flame grilled steak on Chef's Dinner. However the highlight for me was the puddings they were superb every night. The pastry was unbelievable!
The staff: the staff make this place, you can tell they're dealing with what they've got most of the time and Thomson should help them out a bit more. Nothing was ever too much, we encountered one waiter who seemed to prefer the company of French diners than english, we moved out of his section and were served by the lovely Omar every night. We stuck to Diet Coke and water on our trip so can't comment on any of the alcohol.
The pool: we stuck around the quiet pool, which isn't heated. We never had trouble getting a sun lounger however the hotels policy about not reserving beds is very clearly ignored. The main pool is where the games happen and music is played most of the day.
Entertainment: cannot comment as we're not those type of people to watch or take part in that sort of stuff.
In general the hotel and Thomson need to be careful this hotel doesn't become a new benidorm. The hotel needs a bit more culture in it to stand out. Also, on monday of our trip there was heavy rain storm something Morocco is not accustom to. The restaurant area flooded around the window areas and the outside was just an extended swimming pool. Thomson need to help the hotel out with some measures.
Excursions: now these are all extra and are not connected to the hotel but are connected to Thomson. We booked 5 trips, 2 full day and 3 half day for Â£400 for two people. We were mislead on two occasions by the Thomson rep as to what the excursions included. Cascades is around 7 hours in a coach and you have to pay extra for a boat trip under the waterfall which our rep told us was included. 4x4 atlas is definitely a must, it is such a beautiful day out. The traditional life you see is unbelievable. Quads were also incredibly fun! I wouldn't recommend doing anything else because there's a lot you can do yourself for free.
However I would recommend that you're careful. I have been to a lot of places in the world and the people in the souk in the main square and occasionally on the streets put me off the country as a whole. Booking trips to see the medina, or local sites with Thomson does give you the security of a local guide and set prices. But there are some well rated tour groups based in Morocco on trip advisor which I wish we'd have checked out.
I wouldn't return to medina gardens, one because Marrakech for me is a been there and done that trip and the hotel is not as described and definitely not 4 star.
lumutqueen, York, United Kingdom
One main redeeming feature of this hotel
I am going to buck the trend here and not gush about every aspect of this hotel - because it doesn't deserve it!
The one main redeeming feature of this hotel is its location, smack bang in the middle of the city, ideal base for exploring.
Main bad points:
* Consistent cold food. The verity of the food is fine if it was only served and kept hot. There is a microwave in the restaurant but it is seldom on and when you do ask for it to be turned on it invariably trips out. I don't understand how guests can rave about the food, not sure what they are used to.
* The hotel has supposed to have been re-furbished. I think not - cheap amateur paint job in the rooms, especially the bathroom. The rooms are not the biggest but serve their purpose. The cleanness of the room is just OK . If you spill something and wipe it up the evidence is on the cloth - its filthy. Think they just give them a general sweep and make the bed. The furniture in the reception is very uncomfortable, not good to relax on and escape the joke that is entertainment.
* Evening entertainment is a joke. Thank goodness the resident duo went home after a few days of us being there - there where terrible, as was the rest of the entertainment, but the majority of the guests seemed to enjoy it??
* Drinks. Theses are the worst I have ever tasted. The wine is just passable, but the gin! Its never seen a Juniper Berry. It was basically just a generic tasteless clear alcohol. The "cocktails" where also terrible. The bar staff in what they call the lounge bar are some of the most miserable people I have ever seen working in the service industry. They need a personality injection. If you dare ask for a glass instead of the plastic they seem intent on serving drinks in (even if you are not drinking around the pool) you would think you would have asked for the moon on a stick!
* The main pool is loud and raucous, so thank god for the quiet pool.
* Pool hut. This guy also needs a personality injection - miserable and rude beyond belief. Never stayed in a hotel where the towel exchange does not open all day.
* Room safe. I have never had to pay for the use of a room safe in what is supposed to be a 4* hotel - they are certainly on the make.
Main Good points:
* Lovely gardens and very well tended with plenty of shad under the trees.
* There is an abundance of sun loungers no matter what time of day but you still get your sad ones that go out at the crack of dawn and reserve them - get a life!!!
* we tried the Indian restaurant and it was very nice. Well served and presented food. The young female waitress that works here is a credit to the hotel and should be used as a shining example of how to give good customer service.
* The rep Tracy is always on hand and seems a cheerful type.
Would we go back - NO, not as it is at the moment. It certainly does not deserve Thomson's 4T's - no where near. If Thomson truly did re-furbish the hotel, improve the facilities and re-trained some of the staff and offer exceptional customer service which would reflect in the price I would then go back.More
billy1830, Manchester, United Kingdom
great to totally chill and relax
Medina Gardens is lovely. We wanted to completly relax and chill.and that is what we did. The hotel is very clean.food was good.staff were friendly and very polite. No loud.rowdy drunken guests. If you wanted to join in you could.if not no one would force you. We wanted to celebrate our birthdays away from tne hotel and Iram (sorry if I've spelt it wrong) the Customer Service Manager sorted it out.including the taxi and the fare. Would really recommend Medina Gardens if you want to totally relax.More