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“Is it worth the journey?”

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L'Heure Bleue Palais
Ranked #11 of 75 Hotels in Essaouira
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 July 2010

L'Heure Bleue is a pleasure to arrive at after 3 hours driving from somewhere like Marrakech, but is yet another one of those over-priced hotels that promise so much yet deliver so little.

The hotel itself is delightful to look at and is the best place to stay in Essaouira - and the most expensive. It's debatable as to whether you think Essaouira is worth going to. The shopping is certainly lacking - and it's the most windy place I've ever been to, especially in July. Apparently it's always so - a fact that's kept quiet.

We took a suite which cost 530 Euros a night. The suite was nicely decorated, but probably the smallest suite I've ever been in. No point changing suites, they're all the same size. But it was very comfortable, pleasant seating area, good internet connection - and we had a DVD installed due to a total lack of English speaking language channels.

Upon our arrival, after 3 hours on the road, we went up onto the roof terrace for some lunch. We decided a club sandwich would be quick, but actually took 50 minutes to arrive. A little later we ordered some tea down in the courtyard - that took 40 minutes. Heaven knows what takes so long - there were no more than 6 other guests in the whole hotel. How do they cope when it's busy? And more than once we had to return tea or coffee that arrived luke warm. Irritants like this are simply not acceptable in 5* establishments.

We took dinner in the hotel, and it was certainly a nice experience. The food was good, but we did experience better elsewhere. Plus you are paying European prices despite being in North Africa - but that's par for the course at any decent place.

We stayed for 3 nights and it was a pleasant time, but vastly overpriced. I really don't mind paying 530 Euros a night if somewhere is fantastic and memorable, but L'Heure Bleue is simply 'nice' and doesn't leave one with any lasting good impressions.

What I did feel was a damn cheek was that the swimming pool was out of service for the whole of our stay. Considering it was July and we were in Morocco I doubt we were the only guests who wanted to swim. Plus, this is the swimming pool the hotel obviously prides itself on as they feature it prominently in every bit of advertising they do. I did have a word with the rather ridiculously limp-wristed fey French manager, Max, who floats about the place acting like a pathetic Yves Saint Laurent veering towards the edge of a nervous breakdown - but all he could muster up as an explanation was "technical problem - technical problem". Fine, you have a problem - but don't also charge your guests full price if you cannot offer all the facilities!
The same manager (I had originally presumed he was the maitre d' - so was surprised he held the elevated position of manager) flaps about of an evening when you're having dinner and tries to make small talk - but you're inclined to take your napkin and swat him away like a pesky fly.

So, in hindsight we wish we simply had not bothered going to L'Heure Bleue - there was nothing to be gained from the over-priced experience - and we were more than happy to start our 3 hour drive back to Marrakech to the fabulous boutique hotels/riads that will give you a far superior lasting experience. Marrakech has some fantastic places with a real vibe, with fabulous interiors and food - in comparison L'Heure Bleue offers very little, and has the most ridiculous manager you'll probably come across. We quite possibly would have checked out after 2 nights, but I suspect there would have been a fuss at reception - and I simply couldn't be bothered speaking to manager Max again. As it is, at the time of booking (in our case 3 months in advance) they take a 50% deposit. I wont be making that mistake again!

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Serial_Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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305 - 311 of 689 reviews

Reviewed 26 May 2010

I stayed at L'Heaure Bleue last week for two nights with a friend and was, frankly, very disappointed in the quality of service and room relative to the cost. At 300 Euro per night, I expect to be treated much better.

The worst was when we were told that, despite the fact that our room was very warm lacking any ventilation that turning on the AC would not be possible since "people on higher floors are comfortable and we cannot turn on the air until June." Basically, we were told too bad despite the fact that it led to uncomfortable nights with little sound rest.

That said, the courtyard in the middle is beautiful and the hamman is nice but I would not stay here again.

Jesse

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled with friends
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2  Thank jcozart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2010

A beautiful Riad style hotel, full of charm. Lovely large rooms, well furnished. Some of the best food we had in Morroco, with a delightful and accommodating Maitre d' in the Restaurant

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with family
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Thank Bigcactus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2010

This is a very nice hotel. We found it to be a cross between a small family owned riad and a larger hotel. There is an open courtyard with plants and balconies that open onto it. Breakfast buffett is served in the courtyard. The rooms are nice although a bit small. The only complaint is the front desk is not well staffed and not all that helpful. But you cannot beat this hotel for location, and the food in the restaurant is very good. Well worth the stay.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank 2dogsAtlanta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2010

Peaceful, relaxing, a beautifuly renovated riad with friendly attentive staff an excellent place to escape in Essaouira. The bedrooms are very comfortable with a little more space than normally associated with this type of accomodation.
The public areas have been tastefully furnished and provide both a cool shaded environment or great sunbathing facilities .

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank BOBK888London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2009

We went for a week in Essaouira to relax. Our travel agent had recommended us this Relais et Chateaux and we were not disappointed.

First of all, some of the comments on Tripadvisor are related to the high price that you encounter in this hotel. For sure, if you compare with what you can get in some restaurants in town, you can be very surprised, but I would say that you don’t come to such a place to start counting your pennies…and the service that is displayed is worth what you are paying.

Then, the hotel in itself is wonderful. We had chosen a suite and we recommend choosing either the Portuguese or English style suite. They are 3 storeys and we were in the 3rd storey room 39, that we recommend for its location. There is a swimming pool on the roof, though it can be a bit windy (Essaouira is a spot for windsurf and kite surf…). The restaurant is gastronomy type and very tasty.

Finally, a big thank you to François and Max, and the entire hotel staff, which have made our stay, unforgettable…

We highly recommend this hotel in Essaouira and we will definitely be back.

Below are the restaurants that we have found to be the best in Essaouira:
- le patio;
- d’orient et d’ailleurs;
- les alizés;
- la découverte;
- and Taros, more for lunch on the terrace.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank nanard37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 September 2009

L'Heure Bleue was supposed to be the highlight of our Moroccan holiday. It was by far the most expensive hotel of the four we stayed in, and we were looking forward to the luxury.
However, we felt disappointed - although the building is beautiful and clean, the room was so tiny as to be comic. The service, while attentive, was nothing like as good as we had received elsewhere, for much lower prices.
The bar and restaurant prices were simply astronomical. Completely out of proportion. We didn't eat anything in the hotel and restricted ourselves to a cocktail once or twice while there - they were London hotel prices!
In our view, this hotel was not a patch on Riad Dharia in Marrakech, which was cheaper and better.

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled as a couple
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Thank Alex M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about L'Heure Bleue Palais

Address: 2 Rue Ibn Batouta | Bab Marrakech, Essaouira 44000, Morocco
Region: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Essaouira
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Essaouira
#3 Luxury Hotel in Essaouira
#11 Family Hotel in Essaouira
#23 Romantic Hotel in Essaouira
Price Range: £125 - £339 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — L'Heure Bleue Palais 4*
Number of rooms: 33
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A masterpiece of the Essaouira medina...this palace of marvels lies in the heart of this town loved by artists and aventurers alike. The panoramic outdoor pool on the terrasse overlopks the medina and the ocean. the cuisine offers a subtle blend of french and Moroccan influences ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
l`Heure Bleue Palais Hotel Essaouira
l`Heure Bleue Palais And Spa
l Heure Bleue Palais Essaouira

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