My partner and I visited Morocco in early February hoping to find some winter sun somewhere a little different and Agadir did not disappoint. In February, the temperature hovers somewhere between 22 and 25 degrees. We stayed in the Sofitel Agadir Thalassa Sea and Spa for 4 nights followed by three nights in a more traditional riad.
Perhaps the first thing to note is the need to be very clear to the taxi driver which Sofitel hotel you are staying at. There is a second Sofitel right next door to the Sofitel Agadir Thalassa Sea and Spa, (Sofitel Royal Bay Resort), and we ended up in the wrong hotel upon arrival. Also, it's worth noting that Agadir airport is around a 30 minute drive from the hotel. A fair price for the trip seems to be around 200 MAD, (something like £17 stirling), although we'd heard that people were charged anywhere between 150 MAD and 500 MAD. Personally, I thought the white knuckle taxi ride between the airport and hotel was good value for money - the concept of 'road sense' didn't seem to apply while we were there. My partner, however, did go a little pale during the journey so it might be worth trying to avoid any evening rush hour trips, (between 5pm and 7pm), if you're of a nervous disposition!
We thought the hotel itself was excellent, although it certainly isn't the place to go if you're looking for somewhere typically Moroccan. There are nods and references to traditional culture in the design and decor of the rooms and communal areas but, overall, the feel is very contemporary.
Our room, (140), was fantastic. A large shower, (with it's own choice of mood lighting!), has a one way mirror allowing views over the balcony without any prying eyes seeing in. The open plan design of the room leads you from the shower area to the bedroom space. The bed was extremely comfortable and we both slept soundly for the four nights we stayed. There is a free minibar, (stocked with soft drinks), in each room. Our balcony provided the perfect vista to see both the sunrise and sunset, with views over the beach. There is some "waste ground" outside the hotel but it's not an eyesore - just a little unkempt.
We ate in each of the hotel's restaurants. The Palais du Jardin seems to be the premium restaurant and the food was great. I had a cinammon-lamb vermicelli and my partner had a beef hotpot, (Moroccan style rather than Lancashire's finest!). We found it quite a formal restaurant and felt the need to "dress up" to eat there although that may be more of a reflection on us than the location. Also, unusually, I believe it's staffed entirely by females. The main dining room provides good food and is also where residents have breakfast. The breakfast choice was excellent and set us up perfectly for the day's exploring. There is also a restaurant offering healthy choices, (L'Atlantique), which is predominantly a fish restaurant. The food was excellent here too, although maybe a little expensive.
The outside pool space is very relaxing - warm water, plenty of sunbeds and cabanas and very attentive, but not overbearing, staff. My partner did try out the hammam and enjoyed it very much but said that she preferred the more traditional experience she had in Marrakech.
The hotel is at the end of a 7km, (approx) strip which runs the length of Agadir's seafront. It's a lovely, flat walk and there's a developing marina area at the end of it with some good restaurants and tea/coffee shops providing much needed refreshments. Along the walk, there are plenty of restaurants, small shops and beachfront, (none of whom were pushy as long as you gave them a polite "no thanks).
Overall, this is a really relaxing place to stay. The staff cannot do too much for you, (although English isn't widely spoken, it wasn't hard to make ourselves understood), and the surroundings were clean and contemporary. An excellent place to stay for a comfortable break in the not-too-searing sunshine but maybe not somewhere for those looking for a "true" Moroccan experience.
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