A while ago, I went on a trip to Morocco. It's a country I've been wanting to visit for many reasons and I finally got the chance to go. I went with my sister, who is an artist and photographer. I write, she captures. We were the perfect team to go on an impromptu trip to Morocco.
I've heard mixed reviews about Marrakesh in particular, and I wanted to visit to form my own opinion. I can see why it splits opinion, as it's a very intense place, but for some people, like me, intense is a very good thing. Why? Because the intensity you experience in Morocco is also interesting, surprising and utterly fascinating. I've never been to a place like it.
Being completely honest, I think the hotels we stayed in really made our trip. Did we enjoy ourselves exploring Morocco? Sure, but after all the adventures and craziness, it was so nice to return to our hotels for some relaxation and downtime.
We stayed in three hotels during our trip, which gave me a good mixture of places to test out and get to know. We stayed three nights in Marrakesh at the Hotel Opera Plaza, two at the Kenzi Europa Hotel Agadir and one night at Hotel Anezi Towers Agadir.
If you are planning on booking a holiday to Marrakesh or Agadir, read my review of each hotel below to see which one might be best for you.
A fabulous place to stay in Marrakesh...
Hotel Opera Plaza
This hotel was an oasis outside of the city. We found it totally perplexing how hectic Marrakesh was, and then we'd return to our hotel and it was so peaceful and serene. I think it felt so soothing because of the decor around the hotel, from the absolutely stunning artwork elegantly placed throughout to the furniture and relaxation areas.
Being a writer, I was just a tad excited to discover there was a library room. Oh and there's a spa, which provides the perfect respite from the heat, business and sounds of the city. This hotel also has a gym, and there's even a bowling alley attached in case you want to put your bowling skills to the test.
We had a hammam treatment, and it was pure bliss. I'm so glad I got the chance to experience this local ritual. It involves been rubbed with massage oil all over your body, then an intensive body scrub, which feels like you are washing all the stresses of the day away. Then you finish off with some time in the steam room and a massage. I'd definitely recommend getting this treatment!
The rooms here were of a high standard, with some lovely artwork and very comfy beds. We slept very soundly! I also enjoyed our balcony view over the pool. We loved sitting on the balcony and watching the live Moroccan music being played by the poolside in the evening.
I also liked the small Moroccan touches here, like the security guard dressed in traditional Moroccan attire, and the guy wearing a fez hat serving tea and playing what looked like a mini guitar. It's all in the details. The stay were friendly and happy to answer our questions about local traditions.
The chef here was great, he came and introduced himself and was thrilled to serve up some proper Moroccan food. We had a lamb and chicken tagine, and tucked into all the delicious buffet food.
The breakfast here was excellent. It literally includes everything you could want, and the pasties and pancakes were laid out beautifully. Eggs cooked however you like? Check. Fresh fruit and cereals? Check. An all round excellent breakfast.
We also tried some traditional Moroccan biscuits and pastries, which we were told are made from honey and almonds. They are traditionally made for breaking the fast for Ramadan and served with mint tea, we spotted a lot of people tucking into these tasty treats. Chebakia was my favourite pastry that we tried.
This hotel wasn't right in the city, but we actually quite liked that. It was nice to leave the madness of the city and come back to our peaceful hotel. Plus, it is a walkable distance from town (it took us around 45 mins to stroll into Marrakesh). It only costs 20 dirhams (providing you haggle the price down) to get a taxi into town.
Best hotels in Agadir
Hotel Kenzi Europa
As soon as we set foot in this hotel we got a very friendly, warm welcome. The staff here were very personable and down to earth, as well as very helpful. It feels like quite a high end place but it's also definitely very family friendly. Although it's not on the beach, it takes two minutes to get there and if you have a sea view room you can see the sandy shores.
I was particularly impressed by the show that this hotel put on. When I first got told about it I thought it might be a cheesy complex hotel type entertainment, but I was blown away with the reality. They put on a really authentic Moroccan show complete with belly dancers, traditional Moroccan dancers, acrobats and even snake charmers! We loved getting involved and trying some of the local dance moves.
The Kenzi Europa Hotel feels very spacious, it's got some excellent inside spaces including a rather grand main entrance room, a bar and a chill out area. It has a big pool which is ideal for kids (and adults who still think they're kids) because it has got slides and an in-pool play area for the little ones.
Our balcony offered sweeping views of the beach and nearby mountain, which was beautiful at night, because the writing on the mountain lights up. The rooms were fairly standard, but very comfortable and nicely decorated. The room has a TV with a few decent channels, we ended up watching Clueless one night!
They made a real effort with the food here. The first night we arrived they served around four different Moroccan tagines, all steaming with freshly brewed spices. There's a good selection of salad and puddings, as well as simple food options for the kids. Breakfast was excellent, I enjoyed watching them make traditional pancakes and there was also the choice to have an omelette and a few other hot breakfast goodies. All in all a first class culinary experience.
This hotel is right near the beach, and a minute's walk from all the restaurants and bars along the seafront.
Hotel Anezi Towers
I would say this was probably the most luxurious hotel we stayed in. It's well suited to couples ,although there were families too. The decor inside was stylish and sophisticated, with a few Moroccan touches.
There is a spa here but we weren't able to use it as it's got limited opening hours. There's a large pool and an outdoor jacuzzi, it's cold, but so refreshing when it's so hot outside. There's also a bar area where you can have drinks and cocktails and relax in the evening if you don't fancy leaving the hotel.
The rooms were of a high standard with traditional Moroccan influences in the decor, such as carvings etched into the walls and our room had a blue and black theme to it. We had a room with a sea and pool view, and far reaching views of the beach and ocean. Anezi Towers is perched on top of a hill, so the views are rather breathtaking.
We didn't eat the hotel buffet in the evening, but we did however order room service, and we were very pleased with our meals, and the service. Breakfast was good with a selection of pastries, cakes, pancakes, cereals and fruits, however, in our opinion it wasn't quite as good as the other hotel breakfasts.
Anezi Towers is slightly further away from the beach than Kenzi Europa, but it's still only a five minute walk. There's a bit of a climb on the way back up to get up the steps to the hotel but other than that it's easy to get to, and there's a bus stop not far from the hotel entrance.
I'd like to thank The Holiday Place for making this trip possible and enabling us to stay in such fantastic hotels. If you've got any questions about the above hotels, get in touch today for more information.
Ready to book your holiday in Morocco?
If any of these hotels sound like a perfect match for you, make sure you get in touch with The Holiday Place online today and book your dream trip to Morocco. There are three different hotels to choose from here, but you'll find more luxury hotels on the website.