What was supposed to be a relaxing end to a mini break in Marrakesh wasn’t so. Instead of the allotted 3 hours I usually give myself to check a lounge out thoroughly and relax, I had roughly 40 minutes. To cut a long story short, If you thought the queues for getting into the country were long, you should see them when you try to leave. Anyway, here’s a review of The Pearl Lounge at Morocco’s Marrakech airport. It isn’t the only one there but given the Royal Air Maroc one gave me food poisoning, I’m not even going to waste my time reviewing that one.
|Access||Priority Pass, Lounge Key, Dragon Pass or paid access starting from £34|
|Opening Times||Monday-Sunday 07:00-17:00|
|Location||As soon as you clear duty-free and head up the stairs towards the gate, don’t follow the signs for “VIP lounge”, instead turn left making a u-turn and you’ll see the lounge ahead of you.|
There’s plenty of seating available regardless of whether you’re a solo traveller, a couple or travelling in a group.
- For the solo traveller: I’d recommend the window seats. they’re more private than they look, the light that comes through the windows is mesmerising and each booth has its own table and socket so you could be hyper-productive if that’s your thing. Do note though, the seats are leather so soon warm up. Probably best not to wear shorts.
- Travelling as a couple: You’ll want one of the 8 booths, yes they’re really for 4 but I don’t think you’d be out of order taking one as a couple. The bench seats are fairly well padded and as for the padding on the back, well it seems to hug you. Very comfortable.
- A group: It has to be one of the 2 domes which sit up to 8 people comfortably and has enough power sockets for all involved. Do note though, the table is pretty tiny so you’ll have enough space for 1 drink and phone each.
Think less office, more hot desk on the count that there are no actual offices just an island running down the centre of the lounge with a few computers on one side and a plethora of power & ethernet ports on the other. It’s not ideal should you be trying to focus on some critical typing, etc. but If you’re used to hot desking or you’re a creative, it’s perfectly manageable. Anyway, if the background noise gets too much, you could just throw on some noise-canceling headphones.
One thing I was a fan of was the height at which the desks are. I love a standing desk, not sure why but it makes me more productive. If that ain’t your jam, the stools are sufficiently comfortable but offer very little in the way of economic support and I can guarantee a few hours on a laptop and you’re posture will be none existent.
Should you have some whipper snappers with you, there’s a small concealed (Read slightly better for keeping in sound) kids’ play area with 2 TV’s. There didn’t look to be much in there but I guess that’s the good thing about kids, they could have fun with something as simple as foam.
WiFi, Dining, Shower & Sleep
That is usually what comes next in my lounge reviews. However, I can report that all of the above are lacking either partially or wholly. The WiFi isn’t dedicated to the lounge and drops out more than an unreliable friend. There’s a dining court but there was no food served whatsoever (Reading online this seems to be common and not just for the time I was there). I did go for a shower after queueing for close to 3 hours to get through security, needless to say, they weren’t working (Again reading online this has been a problem for months). Finally, there’s pretty much nowhere to even get some ghetto sleep never mind some dedicated fully reclined seats or anything.
My thoughts on the whole RAK airport situation are as follows, you’ll want to rock up MANY hours before your flight to leave the country due to how horrendous the security is. If you do find yourself getting through it with plenty of time to spare, the Pearl Lounge is a decent enough place to kill the rest of your wait for your flight home. Just expect to be leaving the lounge every now and again to go buy some food to eat.