CLUB HOTEL RIU TIKIDA PALMERAIE | MARRAKECH

REVIEWED ON 19 JULY 2014

“Great first hour - then the fighting began”

*****

It was mid-morning on our first day, the sun was blazing hot, there was a happy hum around the large pool, yet so far only a few had dipped their toes. Sheer bliss at a heavenly resort... Then bang ! It all kicked off. Sunbeds! I discovered later a rather tall, paunchy 40s something Frenchman and a much smaller and younger English chap had been discussing sunbed/sun shade territory for some time. Talks turned into violence as the angry Frenchman launched blows at his rival. I witnessed children crying, woman screaming and saw people gobsmacked as the fight continued.

One battler crashed downwards, luckily on to a sunbed, and then got up to resume hostilities. Finally there must have been upto 20 people involved before it was halted. The Frenchman's three young kids would have been ashamed of him had they been old enough to understand this Anglo-French spat. He behaved like a thug and even afterwards strutted around as if he was the world boxing champion. The English bloke was at fault too-he and his group had commandeered more sun spots than they needed and refused to give them up. The disputed territory remained unused all day.

The issue simmered for a few hours leaving a subdued bunch of holidaymakers who, like me, witnessed the disgraceful scenes. You cannot blame the hotel for an outbreak of violence but the response was poor and security were as much use as a chocolate teapot. Clearly both parties should have been removed from the complex but the hotel took a 'watching brief'.

Sunbeds were a problem here, people bag them around 6am or earlier... And go out for the day and return at 4pm. Stricter rules re the beds and more action from the hotel might avoid this. Happily that was the end of the conflict but it's not what you want on holiday, having to get the wife off her sunbed because two hooligans were brawling and in danger of falling on her.

That aside it is a fabulous place to stay, set in the middle of nowhere - location would be nil if you wanted bars, restaurants and shops nearby. The staff were fantastic, by far the best I have encountered. Simply lovely, kindly hard working people for whom nothing was too much trouble. We landed a second floor room over looking the pool, first class. Air conditioning wasn't too good, and nothing we could do could improve it sop hot nights.Food in the restaurant was ample and varied and the two specialist diners hit the spot superbly. Other things - wifi was hit and miss because so many people were always on it.

On our check out day - we were unable to keep our room by the way and no private place to shower was available - we got our packing in good shape and prior to heading for breakfast coppered up and put to one side, on clear view, around 60 dirhams intended as a tip for the maid. When we returned after eating, the money had gone ...a number of people have room access so we didn't make a fuss. But it is a cautionary tale. Someone nicked it.

We used the free hotel shuttle bus to Marrakesh and on the square near the souks took a 55 minute horse and carriage ride around the city. Prices are regulated and we paid only £9 each- a bargain. We also went on a private tour to the Atlas Mountains with 4x4 Camel - Private Day Tours. Adil was the perfect host and took us to places you wouldn't believe. He also ensured that when we were out and about no one hassled us. It was an incredible never to be forgotten experience. I recommend this hugely.

Two final things, passport control at the airport was incredibly slow on way in- took over one hour to clear and they were in no hurry. On the way back airport STAFF were making out you had to pay to use the free toilets.The sign was covered by his pal. I coughed up but saw the sign when I came out and went after him and got my money back. Security just let it go..but STAFF, I ask you. Happy to answer any questions - not bothering to repeat much of what has been said.

See the review on Tripadvisor.


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©NICHOLAS EDWARD GILL 2019