For many years I have wanted to go to Morocco. My desire mostly presented itself in Winter, as it’s a close and affordable option for sunshine at the end of the year. Although that is the case I tended to go further afield with trips to Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and Hong Kong. This year, we made a last minute leap of faith to book a visit to Marrakech.
I did little research before we went to Marrakech because the departure date was looming fast. I guess it also felt good to know that I was going into unknown territory, surprises are sometimes good. The first surprise was the heat! The end of October and we were looking at an average of 29 degrees every day. Now how can your holiday go wrong! I guess it depends on your perception of everything that happens while you are there.
We landed at an airport which is going through a major refurbishment so it was a slow experience getting into the Country. That partnered with NO air-conditioning and the fact that we were tired having had a 6 am flight deflated us a little. We powered through, after all, we were in a hot country on holiday – come on, cheer up! So when we exited the airport with big smiles on our faces in preparation for our epic experience, we jumped in a cab – onto the SAVOY merci we shouted joyously.
The hotel name Savoy conjures up an image of luxury and professionalism after all that is what our good ole London one stands for. Luxury gets a hesitant ticked box and professionalism, well, let’s say that box remained empty. Firstly, the check in process. It was long. They took our passports and check-in paperwork, then asked us to sit down. They forgot about us. When we reminded them we were there, we were told our room was not ready. We also mentioned the extra bed which we had requested at the time of booking weeks prior. To cut a long story really short, Prestige the booking agent, royally fucked up. They did not make it clear in their paperwork that there were extra charges to pay for the bed. Furthermore, when they were called to discuss the matter, they were rude, unhelpful and clearly an organisation whose days are numbered if they continue to treat their customers so. My advice, book direct with the hotel. I know agents can cut down on the time it takes to book a holiday, but you will be surprised by the savings and also the transparency during booking when you just book direct. Prestige can sling it. The hotel did not deal with the issue any better to be honest, but it would be boring to go on. Just know that in terms of service, every area, aside the lobby bar, left a lot to be desired.
When we finally got in our room after 2pm, there was no bed. We asked for it, 4 times. When we were getting closer to going out for dinner, the bed had still not arrived – so we called again. I mean, seriously 5 times to get an extra bed delivered over a span of 4 hours. Finally, my fear of sleeping on a sofa was dashed when the bed was rolled in sheepishly by a room attendant. Just to keep everything concerning the hotel in one place, I will mention a couple of other things at this stage – the housekeeping who ignore ‘do not disturb’ signs and crash into the room. The ordering of an iron which again was a mission. The very impressive looking nepresso machine which worked the first night, then promptly died for the rest of our stay. The booking of restaurants via Concierge which when checking back for our booking we were alerted that there was no booking. Great job concierge, your very existence is for this stuff and you can’t even get that right.
The breakfast buffet was quite good. You had to be very careful with the freshly cooked omlette though, as they fried it in the shortest time possible, so it was raw inside. Asking for tea was just fun, as it didn’t arrive. Basically, expect very little service and your wish comes true.
Moving swiftly on, props goes to our fantastic bartender in the Lobby Bar. Staff around the pool were great delivering us “expensive” but great drinks. Yep, that’s it, two plus points service wise. In terms of the look and feel of the hotel, it is gorgeous. Two pool areas, one for the posers and one for relaxation. The ground floor suite was big, clean and quiet, but our terrace opened up right on to their events space which was a little annoying if you wanted to sit down as all you had was a flimsy curtain separating you from attendees. The lobby and food/drink areas were all very grandiose.
If you are a low maintenance holidaymaker and want a nice luxury resort where you can feel safe, Savoy Le Grand works.