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Customer reviews for
Palais Riad Calipau Marrakech: Great disappointment…

Posted on Sunday 8th March 2015

Room: ★★★★★ Average
Cleanliness: ★★★★★ Average
Service: ★★★★★ Poor
Value: ★★★★ Extremely poor
Overall scoring: ★★★★★ Poor

Palais Riad Calipau Marrakech: Great disappointment and a real let down!

We booked this ryad (or riad) with Expedia as a hotel & flight deal at the beginning of October 2014. When we looked at the photos on the ryad’s website and saw plenty of good reviews about this ryad, we simply couldn’t believe how lucky we were to find this ryad at such a good price (4 nights + easyJet flights, £356.00 for 2).

Anyway we already asked the ryad for a room on a higher floor when we booked the room. Then two weeks (in mid February 2015) before we travelled to Marrakech, we sent a courtesy email to the ryad to check if our request was accepted. We received a reply saying we were now given a room on the ground floor. We then demanded to change room because we found out from other visitors that all ground floor rooms get lots of noise and have no privacy. Anyway, we did not get any reply from the ryad for our second email. We started to concern about our stay.

Cut the long story short, once we arrived at the ryad we were greeted by a female staff who we believed was either the owner or the manager of the ryad. She welcomed us by offering us some biscuits and mint tea, we thought that was really nice. She also gave us a local map and showed us some popular attractions in Marrakech. Then, the long waiting moment had come, we were guided to our room. It was on the ground floor right next to the swimming pool. We were totally speechless. We couldn’t believe we now ended up in a room which we had tried very hard to avoid. The manager told us all other rooms were booked well before, but we asked for a room on a higher floor 4 months ago, it sounds like a weak excuse to us!

After we unpacked our suitcases, we went out for a spa treatment and an evening meal. We returned back to the ryad at about 10:30pm. When we got back, we saw some guests sitting by the pool chatting, laughing and coughing. We immediately knew it was going to be a nightmare. We were hoping those guests would go back to their rooms very soon, but they did not. We heard their conversation clearly in our room even we shut the window and the door (our door had lots of wide gaps between the wooden panels), and in the end I was so fed up I had to send an email to the ryad’s manager at 11:30pm saying some people were still chatting, laughing and coughing by the pool. I made a suggestion on my email that we either change our room or ask for a full refund then move to a different ryad or hotel to stay in Marrakech.

Eventually, those guests had gone to bed but god know what time it was. While we were just about to fall asleep, we heard some strange noise from the ceiling, we then realised there were some mice/rats running around inside the ceiling pillars. We reckoned the ceiling pillars were hollow and made of wood. The mice/rats got inside the pillars and were running around like a race throughout the night. When the morning came, we were both very tired and very sleepy, it is not quite what we have planned to be in our holiday.

Apart from the noise, we also had a major issue with our shower. There was no shower curtain for the shower, so every time when we were having a shower, the whole bathroom would be flooded with water. And the worst bit was, we needed to dry the floor ourselves with 4 towels. All the sudden, our holiday did not quite seem to be a holiday to us.

After complaining to the manager about the noise, the rats and the shower, we were told we could move to a different room for the last two nights, but when we spoke to the manager again about the move on day 3 morning, she told us all other rooms were now booked, therefore we were not changing room anymore. That was very upsetting and annoying. Anyway, instead of ruining the rest of our holiday completely by making more complaints, we just thought we better left it until we got back home, then we will write a review about this ryad on tripadvisor, which we did.

On the final day, we asked the ryad to book us a taxi to the airport. When we were told the taxi had arrived, it was a 4×4 vehicle. We had no complaint about being taken to the airport by a 4×4 vehicle, but when we found out it costed 200 dirhams to go to the airport by this 4×4 vehicle, that was an issue. When we first arrived in Marrakech, we bought two sim cards from a local mobile network shop (INWI) at the airport. While we were chatting with the staff about the sim cards we asked him how much it would cost us to get a taxi from the airport to the ryad. The staff said 150 dirhams was the maximum. So now, we paid someone 200 dirhams to take us from the ryad back to the airport, we think it was a rip off! (And yes, I know the extra 50 dirhams is only worth £3.40, but the principle is not right. To be honest, if we knew it was more expensive than a standard taxi, we would have just caught one on the main road ourselves instead.)

So overall, we are extremely disappointed with this ryad. We did not have a single night of good sleep at this ryad. The facility (shower) was dreadful – wiping and drying the floor every time after a shower was a big joke. We had a high expectation on this ryad after reading many good reviews, but after we have physically stayed at this ryad, we can only recommend this ryad to the people who we hate very much. During our 5-day stay at the ryad, there were some renovation works happening inside the building. We do feel being deceived by the ryad that it has never mentioned such works to us prior to our arrival. Just like many other travellers say, there are plenty of hotels and ryads in Marrakech. We will definitely give Palais Calipau a miss. If you have already booked your room with this ryad, we can only hope your room is not on the ground floor next to the pool and good luck to your stay!

Travel advice: Avoid any rooms on the ground floor next to the pool. The ryad has a total of 12 guest rooms, 4 on the ground floor and 8 on the first floor. If you cannot get a room on the first floor, then you better go to another ryad or hotel instead. Don’t waste your money and ruin your holiday!