"Palais Soleiman" Top 5 Page for this destination Places/ Buildings to avoid Tip by toonsarah
Places/ Buildings to avoid, Marrakesh: 6 reviews and 5 photos
This was the restaurant in which I had my fall but that is not the reason I am suggesting that it is a tourist trap. Even if I had not been in pain during our meal here I would still have regarded it as a rip-off. We had booked on the recommendation of Katy, the owner of our hotel, and it’s our own fault that we didn’t ask her for more details before going along with her suggestion, but we hadn’t realised that a meal in Marrakech could possibly cost this much. Of course you are paying also for the setting, which is admittedly wonderful – a beautiful old palace which you approach along a red carpet lined with flickering lanterns. The tables are set out in the central courtyard, and it was here that I had my fall, not spotting the sunken basin at its centre (probably because I was marvelling at the building all around me).
When we were finally settled at our table and saw the menu with its set price of 550 dirhams, we realised that we were committed to spending more than we would normally do at home on a meal, never mind abroad, but we at least expected something pretty wonderful for our money. Instead, apart from the salads that started the meal, it was very disappointing. After the salads came a rather dry pigeon pastille, and then chicken tagine with lemon, which tasted okay but had too little sauce so again was a bit dry (and served without any accompaniment, not even some boiled rice or plain couscous). Dessert was a somewhat leathery apple pancake, and finally we were given mint tea and some quite good little pastries – but by then my foot was throbbing and I wanted only to leave.
You are paying also for the entertainment, and having read about such “meal + show” venues in Marrakech I was expecting this to be good, but again it was disappointing and not worth paying for – just two pairs of musicians who alternated every half hour or so and seemed to have very limited repertoires. One pair were colourful and strolled between the tables twirling the tassels in their hats, but their music was dull and repetitive. The others were more tuneful but simply sat and played quietly in the background – not unpleasant but not worth paying over the odds for.
Fun Alternatives: Don’t make the same mistake as we did – if anyone recommends a special local restaurant ask what it costs and what you get for your money. The hotel proprietors presumably all get commission for sending their guests along to this place, so they will continue to do unless we all vote with our feet. Get down to the Night Market instead and have a not much worse meal for a fraction of the cost and with all the entertainment you could want!
Next 2009 tip: healthcare
If you must go it’s at the northern tip of the Medina – but do yourself a favour and avoid it!
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