Let me be clear - this is a stunning hotel and one of the most fabulously designed I have ever stayed in. It makes the Sofitel in Marrakech look like a garden shed.
From the moment you walk in, you realise that Sofitel went the extra mile with this one. It does something very difficult, because it mixes European contemporary chic with local Moroccan colours and styles - and they have pulled it off spectacularly. Everything is eye-catching, from the 'living wallpaper' of greens in the foyer to the designs of the seats, lighting and rooms.
The setting was superb. A few km away from the town, the Sofitel is in splendid isolation perched up the hillside giving the rooms superb views of the golf course and grounds, leading all the way down to the Atlantic ocean.
The rooms are fabulous - mine was probably the most economical, but was large, had a great balcony with funky, comfy outdoor furniture, a huge shower and massive bath in beautiful Moroccan blue.
Food was good at both breakfast and dinner, I went to the main restaurant which was breezy uncomplicated and stylish.
The pool staff appeared to have been handpicked and I think I spied the chap who had been head of casting. He should get an Oscar.
There were a few service issues - after a bonkers drive from Marrakech, I was looking forward to a beer and watching the sun set while allowing my pulse to return to normal. I had a setting sun (free of charge) and a beer - but no bottle opener. It took four phone calls and 45 minutes for one to appear, by which time the sun had well and truly set with only my pulse still in need of attention. Each time I called, I was asked if it was OK for me to wait 10 minutes. It isn't and someone needs to tell room service that they're not working down the medina now and that the Moroccan attitude of why do something now when it can be done next week, won't cut it at the amount of euros paid for a Sofitel.
Coffee machine was broken - front desk were hugely defensive and told me it was because I did not know how to use it. Again, a very local attitude. Just say thanks for the tip off and get it fixed - don't answer back! Especially when I have almost the same machine at home..
A more serious service issue was the free wifi, the signal of which was appalling - this made it very hard to concentrate on business work and nearly impossible to use sites such as Tripadvisor for restaurant recommendations. Poor wifi with dropped signals every few minutes is very frustrating - it's like the IT version of having toothache. It's also something that should be an easy fix. I suspect that because it is 'free', it won't be top of the agenda of the local management. Just get it done!
I thoroughly enjoyed my stay here and to think this was built during the global recession says something very positive about Accor's focus and commitment to quality. There are a million things they could have cut to make this hotel cheaper to make - but what they have produced is utterly magnificent. It actually has class. How many new hotels, with their crass appeal to the middle eastern nouveau riche, can boast that? So, without a gold tap in sight, I say 'vive la France' and well done on producing a little marvel in a beautiful uncomplicated part of the world. Don't wait just come!
Top tip if you are driving: four police stops en route - including speed cameras at Chichaoue. Also, be careful of dogs and sheep on the motorway.. just keep your eye out all the time, but it's an easy drive.
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- Also Known As:
- Sofitel Essaouira Mogador Golf And Spa
- Sofitel Essaouira Mogador Golf Hotel Essaouira