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“Meet Me in the Casbah is for Real in Desert Hot Springs, CA”

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El Morocco Inn & Day Spa
Certificate of Excellence
San Diego, CA
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Meet Me in the Casbah is for Real in Desert Hot Springs, CA”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 February 2014

When you drive up to the front entrance of the El Morocco Inn & Spa with its stone fortress-like walls guarded by tall palm trees and approach the heavy wooden & iron-studded door, you almost want to say "Open Sesame!: But your Arabian nights momentary fantasy fades and you ring the doorbell! But when you are admitted into the darkened hallway with its potted palms and gauzy curtains illuminated by brass pierced lanterns, your desert dreams sweep you away like a soothing sandstorm of Saharan sensuality. The concierge leads you to your room along the poolside walk covered with oriental rugs, surrounded by high walls with ramparts, arabesque arches,and "littered" with lounges and canopied daybeds upholstered in exotic Middle Eastern fabrics as well as plump tasselled pillows. Soft middle eastern music plays all day long here. All the 18 or so rooms/suites have Moroccan-inspired names - ours was the "Marrakesh Express." All the rooms have impressive wooden and iron studded doors painted in an alluring sky blue hue with a placard proudly displaying its individuality. We understand that the owners imported all these doors from Morocco and even painted them!?
Without saying open sesame to that blue door, we were led into an exotic tent-like room with a large four-poster bed canopied with billowing transparent curtains, festooned with tassels and cluttered with puffy pillows. There was a beautifully snuggable window seat settee and the room was subtly lit with those pierced brass lanterns. I believe the Trip Advisor photo for the Inn is the room in which we stayed!? Even the bathroom was delightfully decorated in Moroccan motifs, including wooden and brass boxes and ceramics to hold soaps, shampoos and even Q-tips! The towel racks were of mid-eastern wrought iron, like the kabob skewers we bought in Tangier years ago. A large Moroccan armoire housed the plasma TV and the fridge. The shower, though ,needed a little work on the fixtures and some spackling in the porcelain.
That evening, guests gathered around the circular bar lit by torches and those lanterns and enjoyed complimentery Moroccan martinis made with sake and citrus juices with a sugar rim. You could even munch on dried apricots and dates. No details were missed here.Then you could either walk or drive out for dinner or have nearby retaurants deliver it to you. A glass or two of port wine was waiting for you upon your return in the elegant salon replete with fireplace, comfortable couches and chairs and the movie "Casablanca" was playing in an endless loop on a large TV!
In the morning, wonderful coffee and tea were served from Moroccan urns and pots. The tasty breakfast consisted of fresh fruits and juices, yogurts, cereals, eggs and breads. Then, off to the huge tented hot tub, the Olympic thermally heated pool or the two person sauna. There was even a gigantic tent for yoga meditation. The massive garden area here is undergoing landscaping and should be a knockout soon!
But, there's more! Expert masseuses are available to soothe you with a myriad variety of massages and/our beauty treatments. We had the Moroccan Rain and the Pashas Pleasure! Now, they are fit for a sultan or two! The mud is said to come from the rivers at the base of the Atlas Mountains
And when you are able to tear yourself away from this sensuous salon of sights, sounds and smells, the check out process is simple and just what you asked for is on the bill. There was no Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves awaiting you with resort fees and scimitars!
We cannot wait to return here and have already let our circle of friends in on this oasis in the desert.
What really stands out here, after having visited Morocco and it's Six Royal Cities as well as Agadir, the Sahara and Tetuan on 4 or 5 trips, is the absolute attention, perhaps even obsession, with the details of Moroccan culture, history, architecture, decorative arts and cuisine that the owners have lavished on this wonderful hideaway. They have, literally and in actuality, created a mini-Morocco in the Western USA, which, coincidentally (?) resembles the geography of North Africa alot. If you squint your eyes a little in the Desert Hot Springs sun, you might even mistake the heights of Palm Springs for the Atlas Mountains of Morocco!

Room Tip: All the rooms surround the exotic and opulent pool and lounging areas but four or five are on a seco...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Ostrick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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305 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (52)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Big Bear Lake, California
Level Contributor
70 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 February 2014

We stayed at the El. Morocco over the past weekend and were pleasantly surprised. The hotel is set up as if you were actually in Morocco. Authentic items adorned the entire hotel. Great care was made to give the patrons a feel that they in fact were special. From a Sultan's tent (doubling as a yoga exercise forum) to incredible hot springs feeding both the spa and pool. The staff were excellent and were always available. The rooms again carried out the feeling that you were in fact in Morocco. This is now our favorite desert getaway.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank paul s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 January 2014

Great fun, wonderful time. My sister, a world traveller and decorating book author took me and our cousins here. What a fantastic time we had. Owner and staff very friendly and welcoming. Definately would love to go back there.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank 84reidave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Malibu, California
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 January 2014

Absolutely awesome! A dream-come-true! I'm a writer/photographer of interior design books of eco-retreats as well as running my own BnB. This is one of the dreamiest and best values of anywhere I've stayed all around the world. The decor and ambience are so superbly done that you are transported to sensual, spiritual world of the Kasbah the minute you pass through the blue door. The natural hot spring water of the pool and hot tub are so healing and relaxing, and all the little extra's - the sakitini Happy Hour, the evening fire pits, the delicious breakfast and much more - make your stay a never-ending series of delights. I'm already booking my next stay -- this time with spa treatments which I missed last time. Although I've always gone to one of the most posh resorts in the desert, this is my new favorite... and, at a much better price!

Room Tip: Each room is unique!
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Bibi J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 January 2014

We just returned home from a wonderful stay at El Morocco! Sadly, we only had one free day off together, so we drove up in the evening and stayed one night and the following day. My partner had a deep tissue massage by Gloria-he swears it is the best he has ever experienced, and he has had many, many massages. Our room was cozy and well appointed. We enjoyed the ample breakfast spread and movie selection. We highly recommend take out from Thai Palms-lots of yummy fresh veggies!
Everyone at El Morocco seemed gracious and ready to make our short stay perfect, until the end. Ten minutes after the massage ended, we were told they "needed us to leave", as they were going to begin happy hour (odd, as it was 2:30pm and it was a peaceful, low-occupancy day at the spa with no other guests in sight). Previously, we had been told we could stay until 4pm, and we were planning to savor every minute. We were bummed to not enjoy one last soak before our long drive home, and felt unwelcome and rushed.
Overall, it was a great little trip, but for a busy couple like us, every minute counts. We plan to return, and hopefully can stay for more than one night.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Berber's Boudoir, which was cozy and romantic.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Dani H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
38 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 December 2013

Stayed at this resort over a long holiday weekend. Greeted with peacock feathers and spa scents as you enter the property. The location is kind of funky in a residential area, but the hotel was very private once you were inside. Rooms are very themed and personalized decor, the continental breakfast was great and we completely enjoyed our stay. No children are allowed, so reading and relaxing in the mineral spring pool and jacuzzi are the highlight of the stay.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank staceylevasseur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
25 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 December 2013

Hint: Stay the Night! Avoid Day Use at all cost:

1st Impressions: Day Use was our first experience and it was discouraging, we were offered a tiny bathroom, their "public facility," barely enough room to move and change, not to mention tiny lockers that barely fit anything but a towel. We made the mistake of doing this on a weekend --apparently they're completely booked on the weekends, and though the inn never felt crowded, people were constantly in and out of the "public facility". We had no privacy, there were several times we couldn't get our things in the lockers --which are located in the bathroom, and the bathroom was all wet from the other guest. On top of which, it ran out of important necessities quickly --I don't think I have to elaborate what I mean by that.

2nd Chances: Friends highly recommend we STAY at El Morocco --we value their judgement, and we desperately needed a mini holiday out of LA. So we gave El Morocco a second chance, this time we stayed... The difference was like comparing day to night! No curfew for guest staying at the inn, which means a late dip in the hot mineral jacuzzi pool! Not to mention the water, wow! Comp breakfast, which is quite the feast and Happy Hour for Morocco Tinis --Florence is especially helpful if in need of recommendations for dining... The property is intimate and cozy, friendly staff who are attentive but not overbearing, bath amenities could use a bit more consideration given the price of the rooms --but hey, Morocco Tinis! The location isn't the most desirable, but we enjoy the seclusion of Desert Hot Springs. We came to relax and recoup, and Palm Springs was just 20mins away. Spa service was amazing (from our first and second trip); Gloria and Rudy are fantastic! And we've had our fair share of spa services from our travels. A trip here is definitely one I'd recommend, an overnight stay though, don't bother with Day Use...

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank AgenTTomato
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about El Morocco Inn & Day Spa

Property: El Morocco Inn & Day Spa
Address: 66810 4th St, Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240-3269
Region: United States > California > California Desert > Desert Hot Springs
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Desert Hot Springs
#4 Romantic Hotel in Desert Hot Springs
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Want to get away and feel like you've really done it without the high cost??? Silky warm and natural spring-fed mineral swimming pool & jacuzzi spa open for you around the clock! This Moroccan inspired getaway features 12 guestrooms, each with a Cal King "Dream Deeply" bed, microwave & minifridge, exotic textiles, bistro tables and chairs, beautiful lamps,Moroccan furnishings & artwork. A Lavish complimentary continental breakfast is set out daily in the Kasbah Lounge and we offer our complimentary nightly signature cocktail,the "Morocco-tini"! Besides having 2 pools filled with those healing geothermal spring mineral waters, you can also choose from a wide range of deeply relaxing Spa treatments including Massages, Body Scrubs, Clay Wraps and Facials! We also offer Discount Spa Packages year 'round! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Morocco Hotel Desert Hot Springs
El Morocco Inn And Spa
Hotel El Morocco

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