Marrakech has been on my bucket list for years, but Steve has never been keen. However, in the spirit of ‘just do it’ he agreed, in a weak moment, to spend a week at the Medina Gardens which is located within the Medina and close to all the action. We chose this hotel for a few reasons. Firstly, it is all inclusive and great value for money. We don’t mind paying for all inclusive then eating out too – it doesn’t work out that expensive, plus you are limited for places to drink alcohol outside of the hotel, which is fair enough. Secondly, this is a way to do ‘Marrakech light’ if you like, a namby pamby way to see all the sights without full immersion in the culture. Thirdly, the location really appealed to us as we like to walk everywhere if we can when on holiday and everything is literally on your doorstep. The gardens are fabulous! The air is heavily scented with neroli from the orange trees which were in blossom during our March visit. All the herbs for the kitchen are grown in the gardens which is great to see. They have pet tortoises which are partial to a banana smuggled out of breakfast. The food was fabulous – if you like tagines and veggie dishes with lots of pulses, this is for you. It suited me perfectly. The wine is a bit on the rough and ready side – it was called Kasbah (of course it was!) and we found the rose to be the most palatable. Steve couldn’t get on with the beer at all. Our room was a garden room, so no view, but it was adequate. I have to say there were maintenance issues – the wall light fell off, the wardrobe doors stuck, coming perilously close to preventing a change of clothes, and the sink had a tendency to block. We fondly dubbed it Fawlty Towers, but it was OK really. The service was on the whole, poor. Hard to get a drink in the bar. Another downside was that although our holiday started in thirty degree heat, later in the week the temperature plunged to eight degrees at night and there was limited space to sit and chat indoors.The Thomson rep service was good and nothing was too much trouble. We very rarely go to a welcome meeting because we like to make our own mistakes (ha ha) but this time, we took planned trips to make sure we didn’t miss anything.
At dusk, sitting around the pool and hearing the call to prayer from the Koutoubia Mosque I have to say it was quite magical.
If you are looking for an easy way to see Marrakech then you could do worse than give this a try.