We spent two weeks this August around Puerto Marina Smir, renting a condo nearby the Barcelo Smir Hotel. This post is intended to warn visitors about the general conditions that can be expected during a beach vacation there.
Puerto Marina is a small marina with only 4 restaurants and has very poor light in the evening. One side of the marina development has never been built and the boat exhibition center has part of its roof missing. The beach area around the adjacent Barcelo hotel is particularly dirty, full of garbage and the abandoned pier (restaurant?) is used as a dump for any kind of rubbish. This is where local people get rid of their litter.
Smir park is a small water and amusement park. It is also badly soiled, with litter and broken glass on its grounds, I did not even want to try the toilets there. Be warned that at night, it becomes the biggest open air disco of the region and its sound level prevents anyone within a mile radius from sleeping!
The development of buildings in the area has been poorly planned and many lots are still vacant, each of them gradually becoming a waste dump, this is a common phenomenon in Morocco where the 'Not In My Backyard' mentality is a reality.
The magnificent beach could be a paradise, but then again we saw garbage everywhere, on the sand and in the water, and it is all from Morocco, by reading the labels. The worst is that open sewers reject dirty water directly on the beach and then in the sea. Ironically, some beach front developments have an open ditch around them, thus creating the perfect place to dispose of litter and creating a safe heaven for mosquitoes.
The Ritz Carlton is still only an Algeco unit with a large sign, no active building yet and it is supposed to open in 2013.
Tamuda bay could be heaven for a beach vacation, but it has turned into a nightmare with mismanaged developments and no planning for collection and treatment of used water and rubbish collection.
Anyone considering a buy to let investment in Marocco should forget the idea, since property and rental prices can only go down in these areas, too many developments being started at all times. Also the lack of laws in construction planning means that anything can be build right nextdoor to a nice development: a disco, a giant supermarket, a dairy plant, a factory...
We cut our stay short and, out of the two weeks rental, only spent 7 nights there, returning ealy to our Rabat home where we enjoy resfull nights and an almost garbage free environment.Edited: 26 August 2011, 11:05