Especially due to colorful fascinating short videos on TikTok and Instagram, Marrakech has gained increasing popularity in recent years. The unique smells in the souks and rooftop restaurants of the medina, as well as the magnificent historic palaces and oriental gardens, rightly give Morocco’s fourth-largest city the nickname “Pearl of the South.”
One big advantage Marrakech offers is definitely the mild daytime temperatures in winter with 21-27 degrees in December, January and February – perfect for a sun worshipper like me: not too hot to explore the city but warm enough to get a tan by the pool in the afternoon. Inspired by all the content on social media, I traveled to Marrakech and compared two hotels for you.
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First Marrakech hotel in our comparison: TUI BLUE Riu Tikida Garden
Already the arrival at the TUI BLUE Riu Tikida Garden is magical. The long driveway to the hotel surrounded by palm trees makes you feel like a queen arriving at her palace. As soon as you check in and step out of the lobby into the outdoor grounds, all you can think is just wow! The long main pool with free daybeds directly invites you to relax.
TUI BLUE Riu Tikida Garden: Swim-up rooms
But first, I check into my room: a swim-up room! This room makes my stay simply unique, direct access to the relaxation pool from my own terrace, in the morning, noon, evening, whenever I want. This is how I imagine a perfect vacation!
What I particularly like about the resort is the spaciousness, the tranquility and the modern architecture. At no point do I feel like I’m in the chaotic, bustling city of Marrakech, but rather in a hotel complex in the Turkish Riviera or on the Greek islands. The fact that Marrakech is inland, and has no sea access, I honestly don’t miss at all. The four outdoor pools as well as the beautiful gardens at the Tikida Garden give me a feeling of summer vacation – and that in January! In the garden annex I also meet Raya, a super dear BLUE Guide, who gives us a Pilates class with heart and soul.
TUI BLUE Riu Tikida Garden: Quiet location
The tranquility and spaciousness of the complex is of course accompanied by the fact that the hotel is not located directly in the center of Marrakech. The distance to the medina is about 3 km. A free shuttle takes you to the center five times a day. If you prefer to walk, it takes about 40 min – I definitely recommend to anyone who feels slain after the delicious hotel buffet. A little walk is always good! On the way back you can use the shuttle. If you want a private tour of the medina by a local, the staff at the reception will be happy to help you.
TUI BLUE Riu Tikida Garden: The restaurants
Speaking of the hotel buffet. The hotel offers a breakfast buffet and lunch buffet in “La Majorelle” restaurant. In the evening, you can choose between the buffet restaurant “The Restaurant” and the à la carte restaurant “Culinarium” (included once in a 7-day stay, reservation required, multiple visits chargeable). The buffets are internationally oriented, but offer local Moroccan dishes like tajines daily – you must try them. I had the best vegetarian tajine of my life at Culinarium. A pure taste explosion.
Second Marrakech hotel in our comparison: TUI BLUE Medina Gardens
If you want to stay right in the heart of Marrakech, I highly recommend the TUI BLUE Medina Gardens. The buildings and grounds are a bit older than those of the TUI BLUE Riu Tikida Garden, but with its traditional ocher-colored buildings it lives up to the nickname of Marrakech: “Red City”.
TUI BLUE Medina Gardens: Directly in the Medina
One of the biggest advantages of the hotel is definitely the location! The hotel is located directly in the medina. Sights such as the souks, the famous Djemaa el Fna square, the Secret Garden or the largest mosque in Marrakech, the Koutoubia Mosque, can be reached on foot in less than 10 minutes. Even the famous Majorelle Gardens are only 20 minutes walking distance. A detailed blog post about the top 12 things to do in Marrakech can be found here.
The hotel complex itself is somewhat smaller than the TUI BLUE Riu Tikida Garden. Nevertheless, the TUI BLUE Medina Gardens offers secret little treasures. One of my highlights is definitely the beautiful shisha bar and the rooftop above it. Sunset cocktail evenings are held regularly up here. The view from here of the medina and the mountains behind it is really breathtakingly beautiful.
Another highlight for me are the fruit trees in the garden. Here you can help yourself at any time of day – my secret tip: the mandarins, such a taste you find only in the south (Attention: addictive potential!).
TUI BLUE Medina Gardens: Swim-up rooms
For more privacy and exclusivity, there is again the room category Swim-Up Room. Compared to the Tikida Garden, this pool is not directly connected to a larger one, and is not directly visible through bushes. Alternatively, you can stay in rooms with a private Jacuzzi on the terrace. Here you can simply relax under the Moroccan sun and read a book in your own Jacuzzi.
Restaurants at the TUI BLUE Medina Gardens
In terms of food, TUI BLUE Medina Gardens is on par with TUI BLUE Riu Tikida Garden, despite having one restaurant less. The varying breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffets with international and local dishes offer high-quality food for everyone. What I particularly like here are definitely the signposted, daily changing vegetarian and vegan dishes, as I try to eat meat only once a week. If you prefer finer dining, you’ll also find the à la carte restaurant “Culinarium” here. After the outstanding tajine in the TUI BLUE Riu Tikida Garden, I try the beef fillet here and am totally thrilled. At the end of dinner, all the plates look like fresh out of the dishwasher – I think I don’t need to say more!
TUI BLUE Riu Tikida Garden or TUI BLUE Medina Gardens: which TUI BLUE hotel in Marrakech wins the comparison?
In summary, the TUI BLUE Riu Tikida Garden is perfect for those looking for a modern hotel complex where they can relax in peace and occasionally explore the sights of Marrakech. The feeling of a summer vacation is guaranteed here due to the spacious grounds. On the other hand, those who like to explore a lot and are looking for an authentic Moroccan ambience are better off at the TUI BLUE Medina Gardens right in the heart of Marrakech with all the sights within walking distance.