“ Address: Avenue President Kennedy Hivernage / Marrakech 40000 / Morocco / Tel: 00212 24 44 82 26 „
This summer, I had been working full time, trying to earn the money in the gap from university but decided that once I'd had a taste of sun on our one week heat wave that I needed to get away myself. I had logged onto lastminute.com to see what kind of deals and destinations were coming up as I was literally looking at anywhere but a great deal came up for Marrakech, however I didn't have the money to pay upfront and new it would be gone by the time I got paid. Since I passed by this I logged onto ebookers.com and had a look at their hotels as a lot of the other holiday deal websites were giving hotels which didn't look as great. They have Ryad's over there which are almost like a bed and breakfast idea they are not the same service as a hotel.
I decided to book through ebookers.com for the Hotel El Andalous as my researching after narrowing it down to three hotels, this seemed to be in the best area and it also was nearest all of the attractions I wanted to visit as well as being a good price and having everything I needed. I booked my room and got my confirmation and the date came it was off to the airport. I got a taxi to my hotel and instantly I was happy with the hotel, it is very big and the blue lit up text says El Andalous and in Arabic too so that you can see the hotel. It is in a part of the town outside of the city walls making it the new French area where a lot of the French have decided to locate into as it is up and coming, modern and a bit more well off, called Hivernage. Around here are a lot of the expensive spas and hotels which made me happy I was in a good safe area. Don't stay in a cheap area here as at night you don't want to be walking around as a lot of the men harass women here as I know myself.
The hotel staff took my bags off my instantly and then I was checked in and then bags were brought up to my room, a tip is necessary here otherwise it is seen as rude. My room was very nice I was happy, it has a lot of floors in this hotel, I was on the 5th floor which wasn't too bad and my room was very clean with a taste of Moroccan culture in the decor. It is very rich looking inside with clean white sheets, golden bed covers, carved wood mirrors, a nice ensuite bathroom with toiletries and clean towels. There is a wardrobe, air conditioning is not charged at an extra cost and the TV has a selection of channels even though MTV is one of the few I understood. There is also a balcony which gives beautiful views across the city which I sat outside on a lot.
The hotel, has a small shop downstairs selling souvenirs but this is quite expensive, also I needed to make a phone call home and this again is a bit of a drama as you have to give money while they take you over to the phones and these are not the cheapest. They have wireless in the hotel though. They also have three restaurants here, one is the snack bar by the pool which I didn't really eat at, they then have a bar downstairs which I never used but this is expensive too. They then have Cordoba and Granada I ate at Cordoba which offers traditional Moroccan cuisine on my first night as I did not want to venture out to eat the first night. This was expensive and wasn't the best meal it was a big plate of cous cous with chunky vegetables through it while a man played music. It overlooks the pool and is nice but the waiters were too busy talking to each other rather than serving which I found slightly rude.
I never ate in the hotel again apart from at breakfast which again I wasn't too impressed by. On the booking they said there was bacon and eggs when we got there was a lot of pastries which flies kept flying about as they should have been covered. The best thing was the sliced melon and they then did cheese and cucumbers and tomatoes but I don't eat these in the morning. They then had cereal and milk and some kind of natural yoghurt. The fresh orange was nice and the tea they then had hard boiled eggs, some cold kind of pancakes and soup which didn't look too nice but there was not a lot of choice even though the decor in here is nice. If you want dinner in Granada you can bay 210 Dirham's per person which is £18 roughly for a buffet of everything but I didn't go for this as it was too expensive in case I didn't like it.
In the room there is a menu if you want room service they offer sandwiches and things like this. They also have a spa here which has the usual kind of treatments for reasonable prices but I didn't come here to use the spa so never booked in for anything, even though it could have been nice and relaxing. Here, a lot of the hotels have spas as it seems to be something they do in their culture.
The swimming pool is somewhere I spent a lot of my time as it is beautiful. There is the bigger pool and then the smaller pool for children. The sun beds are great all around the pool but there are always spaces and there are little tables to lay your things on. There were a lot of the hotel staff's kids running around which annoyed me but the pool was nice and cool and always kept clean.
My room was always cleaned and everything updated on time which I found good at least but the hotel wasn't always air conditioned in certain area's making it very hot at times that I nearly fainted.
The staff in this hotel, are not the friendliest, they do speak English...well some of them but in terms of asking for things like maps where the nearest cash machine is, they don't seem to be very useful. I eventually got a map but they don't have a lot of time for customers and seem to be away from reception most of the time so it's a case of find it yourself. Where I was the cash machine was always down so I had to keep going to the hotel up the road to find a cash point.
The hotel itself is in a great location, I walked into town one day as it was near but for a cheap fare of 15 Dirham's £1.30 roughly there is no need to walk in the baking sun, unless for photo opportunities. At night it is cooler so this is fine but it's not the safest place to be walking at night. There are shops nearby if you walk for 15 minutes you get to the new square which has a few shops like La Senza and Zara; it was nice to see familiar things.
I paid £256 for bed and breakfast at this hotel but there is the option for £60 more to do half board but while here I wanted to experience lots of different places to eat as that it why I travel. It is a lovely hotel and even though the staff don't make the experience, I still recommend it as it is a safe hotel with 24 hour security, it is in a great location where you can easily get a taxi instantly and it has a lovely pool and nice rooms to relax in.
If you want to find out more about the hotel, go to http://www.elandalous-marrakech.com/html/en-index.php the official website but don't book through this as you will pay a lot more! Go to ebookers.com or other websites as you will find cheaper rates. This hotel doesn't appear on all the agents websites but just look around if not here just keep your hotel in the Hivernage area and you will be fine.