A solid 4 out of 5.
Reviewed 20 September, 2021
I’m a bit out of practice leaving reviews, but as ever, I will try to be fair and balanced. And helpful;
The Hotel: is beautiful.
Newly refurbished, it has a very luxe and high end finish. There are some niggles, where I am guessing elements of the refurb were done under a tight timeline: in our room the lintel over the bathroom door had a gap, and the wiring of the bedside lights was a bit kooky (I couldn’t use the small reading light in isolation) but there were nice touches like USB points in the bedside plug sockets. And all the public areas were immaculate. The hotel is very clean, and Riu are clearly taking their very comprehensive cleaning regime seriously (they have a 17 point Covid action plan).
This includes use of masks in ALL public areas, and staff challenging guests not wearing masks when/where they should be. I was very happy to see this, as use of masks is arguably much more important than cleaning outside chairs.
There are 4 pools, with the Jardin de Jasmine pool, by reception, very popular; it is eminently insta-worthy, so very popular with younger guests. The main pool and relaxation pool are a bit further up the property, with a further H shaped pool offering swim up rooms at the side of the property. I’m not convinced swim up rooms are worth it: they are the furthest rooms from any of the facilities (bar, restaurants etc), your rooms and pool are not that private, and every time we came back to our room (overlooking this courtyard) it seemed like quite a ‘busy’ pool. But on the plus side, you’ll never have to fight for sun loungers, and these rooms seem to get sun all day! So like most things in life, it’s horses for courses…
The Guest Experience: is really good. The staff are very helpful, and very friendly, and I have to say everything points to this hotel being very well run and managed.
Now, currently, at time of writing (Sept 21) Morocco is still under curfew at 9pm, and there are still quite strict limitations in place. The bar shuts at 9pm, though waiters will bring you drinks until 10pm-ish. The restaurant is open till 10 for dinner (and currently the dinner restaurant is closed, so all meals are in the same restaurant, La Majorelle, which would normally be just for breakfast and lunch). The food is really very good, and actually, having been on the kitchen tour, I was amazed at what the team put together each day. We certainly never went hungry!
Limitations include hotel occupancy, and the upper limit for hotel occupancy is currently 75% full, and staff told us the hotel is currently around 65% full. There were plenty of day beds and loungers to go around, but I can imagine that when full, this would not be the case, and also the grounds would feel quite crowded.
There is a free shuttlebus that runs into the new city several times a day. To be honest, the Medina is walkable in about 25 minutes (to the northern most gate, Bab el-Khemis). Then, once there, just get lost in the Medina!. The new city is a bit ‘bla’, but the bus will drop you about a 20 minute walk from the Jemaa el-Fnaa (main square).
And now for the thorny issue of ‘locals’! Yes at weekends, Moroccans do come to stay. They are a mix of younger and middle aged guests, and on occasion, the younger guests do play music poolside, and do let loose a bit at night. We did have some noise issues in the corridors on day 1 and 2, but this was dealt with. However, I genuinely don’t recognise the claims of rowdiness, violence etc., or the idea that locals got better service. To be honest, Moroccans are just staycationing, the same as millions of Brits have done this summer. Tui customers in particular seem a bit miffed by this, so for Tui customers, read on.
The Tui Experience: Tikida Gardens is offered by Tui as a ‘Tui Blue For Two’ holiday. This means ‘adults only’ but is interpreted here as no one under 16. This is a re-brand, and this new concept has only been in place 6 weeks, we were told. It’s worth saying that there was a real Tui presence in the hotel, and the company was working very hard to support the hotel with this new concept, and to allay guest issues. It is worth noting that most of Tui’s major markets, other than UK, are NOT selling holidays to Morocco, and so at time of writing (Sept 21) The Riu Tikida Gardens guests are mainly Brits, or staycationing Moroccans. The hotel is, after all, a business, and needs to sell rooms. And if staycationing is OK for millions of Brits, I am not sure why people are so offended that Moroccans do it to!.
Staff wise, the Tui reps were A.mazing. Azz runs a tight ship and is hugely customer focussed. We also took a lot of Isabel’s classes, and she was really fabulous.
Make sure you download the Tui Blue app, so you can see what is on offer each day. And make sure to take the Tagine class, the Kitchen tour, and some of the exercise classes. We didn’t do Darren’s Salsa class, but he certainly has the hips for Latin dance, and I don’t imagine you’ll be disappointed.
Top Tips: the full day Marrakesh experience is worth it, to get a guided tour of the city and some sights, and help ease you in to the Medina experience. But once you’ve done that, feel free to go under your own steam: this is our second trip and honestly have never felt hassled or threatened. Just remember the golden rule that NO ONE is going to help you for free, so if you accept help or direction, expect to pay!
Well worth visiting: the Secret Garden, and Maison Photographie (for the roof terrace), and once it reopens, the YSL Museum and Majorelle gardens.
In Conclusion: I would not hesitate to recommend Tikida Gardens.
As a Tui customer, the Tui Blue brand is early days, and there are certainly teething issues, but these are being well handled.
We loved being adults only, and once Tui markets open up across Europe, I think that will eliminate the main issues for some people re: noisy / younger (?less considerate) guests.
My only hesitation would be more crowded pool areas when the hotel is 100% full, but as long as people aren’t selfish with day beds and loungers, then it should be OK.
Amazing holiday at the Tikida Gardens
Reviewed 18 September, 2021
Thanks to TUI for an Amazing holiday at the Tikida Gardens.
The hotel feels fresh & new following the refurbishment. This was our second trip to Morocco.
Due to all the uncertanties with travel statuses the booking was only made the week before with very little research. The whole experience couldn't of gone any better.
Our holiday, as per most people we chatted too was a rebooking due to our previously booked holiday being cancelled because of travel restrictions.
The hotel has a really chilled feeling to it, especially benefiting from being adult only.
With access to multiple pools, sunbeds and cabanas with mattresses.
We opted for a swim up room that was worth every penny and completed the "drop & flop" we so much hankered for. If you get the chance do it. There are approx ten available, each with a private patio with space for two sunbeds, table and chairs and a big umbrella.
The rooms are of a moderate size and perfectly laid out with everything required, TV (Behind a mirror), fridge, USB charging and coffee & tea making. Bathroom with large walk in shower.
Az runs a really good onsite team and any issues we had were solved quickly and easily #Ten-Out-Of-Ten.
BIG mention has to go to Chef Rachid and his team in the restaurant. Food is of a top standard and fresh every meal, available throughout the day. Other reviewers have mentioned repetitive, I personally think this is unfair. The hotplate is set out in different cuisines, every day the selections of local & European foods were different. If you have any special dietary requirements just tell the chefs and they can cook to suit you. My wife had a fresh cheese selection for dessert when requested. I unfortunately wasn't very well during our second week and didn't go to evening meal one night. My wife attended on her own, when the staff found out, Chef Rachid arranged for a personal pizza be made for me to order and one of our waiters personally made me a cure all local fresh tea which worked, all wrapped and ready to go when my wife had finished her meal. The following night every single waiter that had previously served us all came to check that I was feeling better, going completely above and beyond. Following a satisfying evening meal it was time to retreat to the bar. Muliple seating areas available made up from an eclectic selection of sofas and chairs. During our stay (first two weeks of Sept 21) Morocco was still under a 9pm curfu that also applies to the hotels. Tikida Gardens offered waiter service outside up until 10pm. The staff in the bar are always chatty and engaging.
All in all the holiday couldn't of been any better it just went by too quick.
A shout out to our honeymoon couple Lee & Kim - Congratulations and Dave & Tracey that scarily live about 10 minutes from where we live - Stalkers.