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Sofitel Essaouira Mogador Golf & Spa
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Reviews (1,683)
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Reviewed 9 August 2014

Overall, if you are picking a location based on the golf course, it’s going to depend on the style of course you want. If you want a serious course and a tough challenge, Essaouria / Sofitel is the clear choice. It’s also prettier, with ocean views, and much better maintained. If you want an easy round on a pretty course, Golf du Soleil in Agadir is a great choice. Either is going to run US$160-200. If you are used to 5-6 hour rounds back at home, you’ll LOVE the fast play times here! Read on for more details.

Please hit "helpful" if appropriate"


Essaouria / Sofitel
The course is at the luxury Sofitel Hotel. It’s a 15 minute cab ride south from the Medina, or 100 dirham (about US$12). When you are done, the hotel runs a free shuttle back to the Medina pretty frequently.

This is a Gary Player signature course. You can play from 4050 to 6610 meters – something for everyone (100 meters = 110 yards). There was essentially no one here when I played. I was on and off in around three hours each of the three times I played it.

As you might expect for a course in a really dry country, the only water hazard is on the 18th hole, and it doesn’t pose much of a threat. There are a reasonable number of sand traps, but not excessive. The fairways are generally pretty wide and forgiving. The rough, at least when I played in early August, was not all that long, which made recovery from errant shots not too punishing. For August, the weather was spectacular – 80 degree, sunny, nice breeze. About perfect.

The grass on the tee boxes and fairways was in good to very good condition. There is a reasonable amount of undulation and shaping to the fairways and many moderate to severe doglegs to add to the challenge. There are several blind or nearly-blind approach shots to the greens.

The real challenge on this course is the greens. When I was warming up, the practice green area was in sad shape, but all of the greens on the course were in very good to excellent condition. The greens play reasonably fast and generally roll very true. There are some turtle-backs, plenty of double breaks, little hills, and some very steep slopes on many of the greens. I have a 30 handicap and most of the punishment came from the greens (I shot 103, 109 and 112).

While the course is very close to the ocean – and you can see the ocean from several holes – it’s NOT Pebble Beach. As long as your expectations are calibrated accordingly, you’ll be happy with the course. The wind from the ocean does factor in on many holes. Overall, I spent about US$200 per round for green fees, a cart (which was really nice… no GPS though), breakfast (which was included in my plan) and a dozen balls that were embossed with the course logo and some old rental clubs (Callaway woods and irons and an Odyssey putter). It is cheaper if you are staying at the Sofitel. I enjoyed it a lot. They had caddies (affordable, too); I didn’t get one as none of them seemed to speak English well. If you speak French, however, that might be an option to explore.


Please hit "helpful" if appropriate"


IN COMPARISON: Agadir – Golf Du Soleil
This course is pretty close to the center of the city and many of the tourist hotels. The pro shop supposedly opens at 8:30, but no one showed up until 8:45. As with Essaouria, it seemed as though it was my private course. I was on and off in 2.5 hours. The weather, on an August morning, was just about perfect. There is a blue “championship” course (the one I played), a nine hole red course ,and a nine hole yellow course. The blue course has options for 4500 to 5500 meters.

Landscaping is attractive. There are multiple water and sand hazards throughout the course. They added some hills and undulation on some holes to add to the challenge. The course isn’t nearly as well maintained as Essoria. The fairways are a little more narrow than most courses in the US, but the greens are about the same size. They have a practice range and putting warmup area.

It had been raining a little before I played, and the grounds crew was watering some of the greens as I played. As a result the greens were a little damp. I think these greens would have played slow even on a dry day. They generally roll true. The greens are generally flat or have very simple slopes. As a result, this course is much easier than Essaouria. I shot 96 here.

I spent about US$170 to play here, with club rental, cart, green fees and a few balls. That didn’t include tees (which I had to pay extra for), practice balls (extra fee), or breakfast (extra fee) that were included in the price as they were in Essaouria. My rental clubs were a very well set of Callaway’s with an Odyssey putter. They could use new grips. Caddies are available for 100 dirhams (about US$12) + tip. None spoke English well. I had lunch afterwards, and the food was good and the prices were reasonable.


Please hit "helpful" if appropriate"

Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
6  Thank lwelshCO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edoardo G, General Manager at Sofitel Essaouira Mogador Golf & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 11 August 2014

Dear Sir,

Thank you for taking the time to write a detailed review about your experience at the Sofitel Essaouira Mogador Golf & Spa.

We hope that you will spend stay with us during your next visit in Essaouira.

Warm regards,

Edoardo Giuntoli

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2014

we stayed here in July 2014 and on the last night of our holiday we had money stolen from both of our rooms a bitter end to a pleasant week.
the management were not really interested and when I suggested that we should call the police it was suggested that I do it myself?
as we were leaving very early next day the management advised that they would be in touch the next day, I am still waiting!!!!!

Room Tip: use the room safe for all valuables including cash float
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank liamwboyd58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edoardo G, General Manager at Sofitel Essaouira Mogador Golf & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 8 August 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review on Tripadvisor regarding your stay at the Sofitel Essaouira Mogador Golf & Spa.

The duty manager brought to my attention the loss you reported to the front desk.

As you rightly mentioned, every room is equipped with a personal safe in order to secure the guests items at any time during the stay.

To my knowledge, our security officer offered you the necessary assistance and the Front Office Manager wrote you 2 after your check out in order to give you an update on your feedback (I will be delighted to send you a copy of the email if needed).

On a separate note, I was glad to read that you had a pleasant stay with us and look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Best regards,

Edoardo Giuntoli

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Reviewed 6 August 2014

We booked Sofitel through an agent which had a reasonable half board package including flight. Although I did not mind the travelling from Marrakech Airport to Essaouira - 2 1/2 hours (with a break half way), I found out it surprising that we have had to wait for over 2 hours for a room. We reached the hotel around 12.30pm but had to wait until 3pm for the room.

I found out later that this doesn't happen only on our day. I'm surprise that neither the hotel nor the agent could agree that on early arrivals, they should allow check in earlier rather than waiting the usual standard time of 2pm.

The restaurants at the hotel are ok. Menu for dinner are the same every night - I was expecting a bit more variations. You need patience when ordering drinks - this can take minimum 10 minutes for 1 bottle of still water. Few times, I had to leave the table and asked staff at the entrance.

As I said Patience was key...for such a big brand I'm surprise they don't provide an iron+board in each room. We were fed up with waiting that we bought one at the market.

I'm not sure if this is a Moroccan tradition but every time we ordered tea (either English or Earl Grey) the staff served us without milk - then we had to wait more for milk. Once is ok but every time becomes annoying. Food for breakfast is kind the same at each hotel i.e cereals, eggs, crepe and fruit. Watch out for the flies.

I respect that the staff were observing Ramadan whilst we were there but I was puzzled as a business they should have catered more for the customers - i.e. it's fine that the So Lounge was closed but I didn't understand why they did not have anyone to provide a light entertainment at Le Tiki Bar.

On positive, I am very grateful to M'hamed (senior guest relations officer) who organised our anniversary dinner at Les Ateliers D'Arome (I recommend for dinner) and upgraded us with a nice room looking at the Golf course. Thumps up on his service.

Golf course - it's a must whilst you are out there.

Essaouira - lovely town. Hotel provides a shuttle bus but if you get the chance try to do the scenic route via the golf course on the beach to town (hope the hotel can put a sign near the beach to help those walking back from town to the entrance).

things to do in Essaouira - visit the Port/Medina/Tyros bar (i think that's how to write it)/Quad biking. Regarding the latter, there are few in the town centre, you can haggle on price too. We found it cheaper than those listed in the hotel.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Ashwin027
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edoardo G, General Manager at Sofitel Essaouira Mogador Golf & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 8 August 2014

Dear Sir,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review on Tripadvisor regarding your stay at the Sofitel Essaouira Mogador Golf & Spa.

We always do our best to give access to the rooms as soon as the guests arrive to the hotel.

Unfortunately, when the hotel is fully booked (as it certainly was during your stay with us) it happens that we need to wait for the previous guests to vacate the rooms in order to clean and allocate them again.

Thank you for your constructive feedback regarding the service and facilities of the hotel, and for recognizing the special attention provided by M’hamed.

We all look forward to welcoming you to Mogador in a near future.

Warm regards,

Edoardo Giuntoli

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Reviewed 3 August 2014 via mobile

The Sofitel has got it all there for the taking. Wow factor when you arrive, beautiful grounds, modern well decorated rooms.
There are some stand out staff in the restaurant and by the pool but I have to agree that reception staff and the general organisation at the hotel is poor.
We were also sat down and left at reception for about 20 mins after the initial wow factor not great. We were finally sent to our room. It looked good. That night at 7pm the sprinklers started. Our room backed onto the golf course. The sprinklers came on for half an hour and completely drenched our terrace and outdoor sofa and it's woollen cushions, this obviously rendered it totally unusable and we were robbed of a chance to sit and chill on our terrace after dinner. We asked to be moved and this wish was granted, however there was no apology or help packing up our room something I have experienced on another 5 * hotel. The new room appeared to be ok and we were reassured that it would be given the once over by housekeeping. We returned later to find no towels and a dirty floor with a dead spider in the loo. It became apparent that the patio door did not lock properly and the shower had a leak from above . I went to reception and was quite distressed. No one seemed to give a hoot. I asked to speak to a general manager but was told none were available. I was sat down and ignored. No apology again. Someone finally fixed the door past 7pm. This was extra stress that was just unnecessary and the lack of apology really did not help.
Re: housekeeping the average time they came was 4:30-5pm which was unacceptable. The turn down service and bottles of water happened 3 times out of 7 even after reminders. We had to phone to reception at least 5 times re: housekeeping. Should not have been necessary.
The morning buffet is good. The staff are lovely in Cafe Kasbah
But it all feels a bit manic and all over the place. The evening buffet was ok but I would expect more in a 5* I have had better Tagines in South London. The rotisserie chicken was a highlight. The hotel should take more advantage of all the excellent local seafood.
The shuttle bus service is a bonus and Essaouira was fantastic and vibrant.
The natural pool at the hotel was our natural home as it was more chilled out than the main pool. The beach was far, not signed posted and when we got there, there was nothing, no bar etc. The spa the hotel is not free for guests which I found a bit shocking especially having stayed at another Sofitel where as a guest you could just walk in. The lady on reception there was quite rude to me. I love a good spa experience and I feel I missed out here.
In conclusion, this hotel looks good, you can relax but don't expect gourmet food or the attention to detail and customer service you'd expect in a 5* hotel.

  • Stayed: July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Scorpiolily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edoardo G, General Manager at Sofitel Essaouira Mogador Golf & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 4 August 2014

Dear Sir, Madame,

Thank you for sharing your experience of your recent stay at the Sofitel Essaouira Mogador Golf & Spa.

I would also like to personally thank you for your constructive feedback, which help us to monitor and improve our standards.

On behalf of all of us, I look forward to welcoming you back to the Sofitel Essaouira Mogador Golf & Spa.

Best regards,

Edoardo Giuntoli

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Reviewed 2 August 2014

The service at the hotel is pretty dire - things just don't get done especially housekeeping: the water is not drinkable so it is important to have a bottle for each bed delivered with the turndown service - most nights we had to call several times and wait for at least an hour for anyone from housekeeping to arrive - not ideal with kids wanting to go to bed.

The rooms are generally comfortable (we had a villa with a private pool). The buffet supper is just about ok (but not really 5 star), breakfast is good, but the restaurant gets busy most of the time and the seating arrangements are not ideal. The food from the pool bar is terrible and should be avoided.

The main pool area is good but gets very busy (with people putting towels down before breakfast).

Essaouira is a great place to visit, the Sofitel is fine but pretty over-priced for what is offers in terms of service and food.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank 25_London_66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edoardo G, General Manager at Sofitel Essaouira Mogador Golf & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 4 August 2014

Dear Madame, Sir,

We very much appreciate your positive feedback regarding your stay at the Sofitel Essaouira Mogador Golf & Spa.

Please allow us to apologize for not having met your expectations during your stay, which is obviously not the image I wish you to retain of your recent experience in our hotel.

Please rest assured that we are taking the appropriate measures to address the problem and prevent future occurrence.

it is our hope that you will give us the opportunity to better serve you in the near future.

Sincerely,

Edoardo Giuntoli

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