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Just returned from a great holiday at the RIU Tikida Palmeraie in Marrakech. Mixed weather with rain on two days but lovley hotel with friendly, helpfull staff. Large room, exceptionally clean, as were the restaurants with very good food, always a choice, very good for vegetarians as well. The car hire wasn't an option for us as the bikes and cars very driven by crazy drivers so took the excursions provided which were very good. Especially the 4 x 4 tours of the Atlas mountains, great scenery and very knowledgeable local guides in small groups. On the last day the enormous pool was cordened off on one side and work was beginning to repalce the tiles and address an area that had dropped. Quite noisey and sure to continue for some time!!
Our Thomson rep in Marrakech was a very nice chap named Hamza. He was very friendly and helpful. His English was better than that of most people I meet in the UK.We booked a couple of trips through him and thought they were great. He went out of his way to try and ensure that we booked our trips for the time of day when the area would be most enjoyable (sunset at the Palmeries) and made his thorough local knowledge available to us. He helped us to understand the ways of Marrakech a little better and explained a lot of things that helped us such as how to manage the taxis and the soukh, where to eat and what to see. He even gave us some valuable tips on bartering. He was extremely willing to answer our questions about culture and etiquette. When we wanted to contact him he texted us and made contact quickly and efficiently, arranging to visit at our convenience despite his busy role. Thanks Hamza for making it easy.
The city is generally poor and the people very proud and resourceful, skilled.
The number of places to go and see were limited for a middle-aged couple, although there may be more for the younger and more adventurous. The best sites for us were the Majorelle gardens and the Koranic school.
I would be wary of taxi drivers and locals who tell you the sites are closed. They want you to visit the souks where they know they can get commission.
The hotel we stayed in( Riad Catalina) was fantastic, rustic and full of character. The food was generally good there especially the mezze style starter. The staff were very useful and spoke good English.
The rep there (Paul King) was very useful and gave us lots of useful survival skills.
We stayed at the Rui Tikida Palmeraie which was a lovely hotel with fantastic staff. The room was well equiped and after a move to a garden facing location was both quiet and private. Please note that net curtains should be added to sliding doors for added privacy! Flight was good but the healthy option meal on flight out was not very good. The reps in resort were helpful and knowledgeable. Only complaint about hotel would be lack of entertainment in evening and bearing in mind that the hotel is away from the centre this is essential. Loved Marrakech at night when it really changes the dynamics of this typical and traditional place. We were advised not to use the local taxis, however as we are well travelled we decided to ignore this advice and as a result had the most amazing holiday, using the same driver for all our excursions both day and night.We had previously visited Agadir on a cruise and so opted for a visit to Essaquira, which was well worth the 3 hour journey. We had lunch at a fabulous fish restaurant on the way out of the resort.The Atlas mountains were well worth visiting as were the waterfalls. This is the first holiday we have booked with Thomson and having got exactly what was described by yourselves, would definately book another holiday in the future opting for a Thomson Gold hotel which does not cater for children. Overall we were very happy with our holiday.
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