The hotel is one of a few RIU hotels dotted along the Agadir beach front (along with an Iberostar and a couple of Sofitels and some off-brand offerings) and is a popular with Brits, the French and Germans mainly. It is a large complex with three joined outdoor pool and an indoor one. It also has a couple of large dining rooms, spa, a couple of themed restaurants and a little theatre bar.
Arriving at night, we were ‘generously’ (despite the restaurant not closing anyway but not staying a minute open longer than usual) given dinner. The hotel seemed to forget we are PAYING guests and this was not some sort of freebie nosh. And many that arrived had to scoff their dinner in a five minutes flat.
After we ate far too quickly, we checked-in. We were given a room that had no wifi, broken air-con and a ‘sea view’ in the distance (again we had PAID for this) which was about 5 miles away. And then they seemed surprised that we were not happy! The second room was much better (as it had a decent view) but the wifi still only worked on the balcony and the bathroom door did not close properly. Both rooms need a bit of a refurb but we accepted the room as it was getting late and we were tired. There are also no lifts so we had to take a disabled person up several flights of stairs to get to our room. Not good. However our room was spacious with a decent TV (no much in English despite it being visited by some many Brits) and the bed was comfortable and quite hard. Two large bottles of water were brought every day by the maids and there is a fridge. No kettle or drinks making equipment is in the room but brought a travel kettle. There is a small shop down the road which sells milk if you need it. There is also a shop in the hotel (when it is open) to buy chocolate bars and overpriced souvenirs if you need that too. There is no room service either in case you are wondering.
Next day we woke to a nice view and great weather. Then breakfast in one of the dining rooms which were a bit hectic and stressful. Kids let loose by their liberal parents weaved among the diners while plates smashed as guests from various countries glared at each other over some strange offerings. The milk tasted like it from a dromedary and the paninis were like Dunlop tyres in taste and texture. Simply the worst I have ever had in my whole life as I’ve had a lot of paninis. And as for the cheese omelette (that seemed to have no cheese in it) nicknamed the ‘Vomlette’, I wouldn’t bother if I were you. Still you can look forward to breakfast where the porridge that has the taste and consistency of bull semen. There was horrible attempt at a fry-up with their own grim version of baked beans. It’s not hard surely to import a can of Heinz, RIU?
About 9.30am we headed outside where towels had already reserved sunbeds but we found a couple free ones after a bit of hunting although these were all splatted with bird dropping (as they all were). Very hygienic. Has the staff heard of cleaning?
On end of the pool had already been annexed by rowdy Russians who competed with the Essex families to be the most loud and annoying whilst passers by whisper ‘Crimea’ as they flopped past in their sandals to the mediocre restaurant for the free food and drinks for lunch and throughout the day.
The pools were quite large (and nice from a distance) but so cold that you risked a heart attack if you dived in so immersion had to be slow. Many people were not brave enough to plunge into the icy water. A variety of objects such as plastic bits and plants along with dirt decorated the bottom of the pools. Not sure when it was last cleaned but I think it was not in this decade. A few hazards and missing tiles too made it a bit hazardous to put your feet down on the bottom.
We tried to avoid it being a kidfest so had travelled outside the school holidays but found that while the kids back home in the UK were still at school, it was now holiday time for the French. So hordes of froglettes ran amok around the pools and the whole hotel sliding around the floors and generally getting on everyone’s nerves.
Outside the ‘Animation Team’ (which sounds like a gang of Tex Avery) kept the kids entertained whilst cajoling loud cockney males and bored French teenagers into games of water polo. It was also the Animation Team’s job to walk around talking to guests, lying to them about the water temperature and annoying poolside readers by playing Europop (and a knock-off version of Smack My Bitch Up) at loud volumes.
Those wanting to read needed to get their towels on the sunbed just after the rise of the sun or risk having to go to the beach (with the locals – yak). Once on a sunbed, it needed to be far away enough from the pool so as not to experience the exploits of the Essex charvers and spoilt froglets; their screaming, splashing and throwing of beach balls whilst climbing onto an inflatable unicorn and showing their arse-cracks.
By the pool you can breath in the smoke of the German men that all look like Boycie and fiddle with themselves whilst reading spy novels or listen to sweaty fleet salesmen from West Yorkshire blowing off whilst getting stuck into a Lee Child novel. Other men sat with hairy pipe cleaner legs on misshapen gnarled and taloned feet stare surreptitiously through their sunglasses at nubile bikinied French girls that have only just left school while there wives do Sudokus or read chick-shit novels.
You can then relax (probably without a parasol shade as there are not enough to go around) under the fig trees (where you will be mobbed by flies and ants) on a sunbed splattered with seagull droppings. Your (often ripped) towel (if you order it by lunchtime, otherwise tough luck) will be dragged off the bed by playful cute kittens suffering from cat flu which the hotel owners seem happy to ignore. If you like cats, you are in luck they will sit on your lap, dig in their claws and help you eat all of your meals in the restaurants.
So back in the room you can get changed for dinner or at least sometimes you can’t. You can wait for the water to be cut off some you have to wait hours for a shower or wash your hands. Oh and your balcony will be splattered by bird-muck every day (as there is no roof) and you can trip over the step (there is no light outside) as no though has been put into health and safety.
We went ‘All Inclusive’ so naturally the food was hit and miss. You can get snacks (fried and burgers and cakes etc) throughout the day from one of the restaurants and order drinks from the bar and use the drinks machines for coke and sprite etc. Often the mint tea was fine but if you ordered it in the ‘Founty Bar’ it could often take like a glass of Formaldehyde. Drinking coffee was like supping from a very small dirty bath that had just been used by a filthy tramp (with the same smell and taste too). As the water is not drinkable, it felt safer just to drink Coke or Fanta. This bar was also the venue for the nightly ‘entertainment’ (hit and mainly miss). The best one was a show showcasing local culture (with an act like the Moroccan version of The Prodigy) and on another night there was a comedy sketch show (sans comédie) which was laughable for all the wrong reasons.
At dinner which started at 6.30pm (in a different restaurant from the breakfast and lunch one) frowns and looks were exchanged by the bored and the tired from France, Germany and the UK. A few steroid chewing, Putin loving Ruskies were frowned at over the tagine that may or may not contain a camel’s naughty bits.
Diners were seated before being offered wine that tasted like white spirit before gathering of hot questionable meat and greasy veg. Then the cutlery game; hunt the spoon, then the knife then the fork then the edible items. If you want clean one then you can play for twice as long and twice the fun!
Don’t ask for gluten free (‘Non’ and ‘Quoi?’ were the responses) or trust the labelling (if they bother to label it) of each dish in the buffet. Vegetarian items can have fish or meat in it and if you have an allergy it’s best to just sew your mouth up just in case. It’s not something RIU or Morocco seems know about yet.
The ice-cream was good but the flavours were the same everyday. The puddings varied in appearance but all tasted similar with biscuits so hard you needed to bring a drill-bit down to dinner with you.
The waiters seemed friendly but a couple of them had personal hygiene problems, French kids in PSG shirts ran around your feet while cats hassle you to give them a bit of your semi-edible fish dish. Brits glared at the French and Germans and they glared back because of Brexit. An African woman sat in a short skirt showing her badger to the whole restaurant.
Russians under dressed looking like they were still living in the 1970s or just out of bed and some snooty women from Britain overdressed but flying home with Easyjet. Young British couples where the girl has got dressed up and looked stunning sat opposite a guy attired like he is auditioning for a grunge-metal band displaying a strange pair of voodoo-mask tattoos on his triceps.
Replete after dinner filled with fried everything and cheap puddings you can kill time in the evening with free cheap cocktails that taste like they should be stocked in Halford’s. In particular the peppermint liqueur taked like Listerine so we stuck to Creme de Cassis (the French alcoholic’s Ribena).
In the lounge and bar areas, card games were played by bored Euro-families and those that resisting the spectacle de merde and further gasoline-tasting free drinks. The alternative is to walk along the sea front at night (safe enough) which is accessed from a gate at the back of the hotel. Is is more secure than some hotels in the area but one bored guard will not prevent a Tunisia (God forbid). The more immediate danger is tripping over a broken tile (sober or otherwise) as lighting at the back of the hotel is woeful in places. The front of the hotel requires a cab into the (not very) exciting town or Marina though in the day you can risk your life on the tourist train as it weaves through cars on busy dusty roads.
The toilet blocks were cleaned regularly but could be very dirty and smelly. There was often a smell of sewage in the resort and we had that when using the bathroom on a few occasions. Not it wasn’t me!
Checking out was easy though beware you will be charged heavily if you want to extend your room. It cost us about £100 to extend until 6pm as we had a late night flight home. But they don’t provide an area for guests to shower/change like some other hotels do. They tell you to use the shower (no hooks or space) in one of the toilets which is terrible.
So this hotel has issues but I suspect many others along this coast do too. And we did have a good time. You just need to know what to expect. Simply come when it is quiet, don’t get ripped off, don’t trip over, don’t drink the milk and don’t expect to use the wifi!