10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
The best of Essaouira
"We have returned from Essouira today - we had a wonderful time. We stayed in the Atlas Hotel which was in the new town - it had a pool which was great. It was very windy so we would recommend a fleece or jacket for the evening as although the temperature is in the low 20s, the breeze makes it very cool. The old town has a great deal of charm and lots of great shops to buy traditional crafts. There is plenty of opportunity to mix with the local people too and gain an insight into their lives and culture. There are several lovely restaurants - The Patio and After Five were two of our favourites. Taros is a great place for an evening drink while watching the sun set. We also went to the cookery school attached to the After Five restaurant - this was excellent - a really enjoyable morning. We went horse riding in the Diabat horse riding ranch - we rode along the beach which was spectacular. We took the Supra Tours coach from Marrakech which was very efficient and excellent value. In Marrakech we stayed at the Hivernage Hotel which we can highly recommend - it was an ideal position for this time of year as it was boiling and this hotel had a pool."
- Travel date: Mon 10th of August 2009
Lovely Hotel, on the beach, great food, good service and clean!
"Me and my partner had a lovely ten days in Essaouira.When we arried we were told we had a free upgrade to a room with a sea view (beautiful views). The room was huge and modern. The hotel is lovely to just relax at and spend days around the pool. Would reccomend the spa treatments too, you get treated well and there is a free, small heated pool to bath/swim in. The food was great, (both at breakfast and in restaurant) brilliant selections and the waiters would do all they could for you. Very clean throughout hotel, fresh towels and sheets all the time in room and beach towels and pool towels were provided so no need to take your own!! The hotel has its own section on the beach (free beds, shade and towels provided) and another restaurant which is also very good. Camel rides and watersports on the beach as it quite windy. Not a noisy hotel. Jazz bar which has live music or moroccan dancers to entertain. Only a short walk into the town, 10 mins along the beach. Lovely restaurants in the town and shops/markets. Highly reccomend a trip to Esaouira and a stay at the Atlas Spa as is provids that luxury and relaxation away from the town. Overall a great stay!"
- Travel date: Sat 1st of August 2009
OK but absolutely not 5 star on service
"We arrived in Essaouira in the evening without having booked a hotel so didn't have much time to investigate fully. We chose the Atlas Essaouira & Spa as it looked clean and tidy with good facilities. We spent 3 nights in Essaouira to escape the constant hustle of Marrakech.
The Atlas is designated a 5 star hotel. It could be with a few tweaks (mainly attitude) however it certainly isn't at present. On checking in we overheard a discussion between an American lady and the receptionist regarding posting a letter. The receptionist was telling the lady that she would have to go to the Medina to buy a stamp for her letter and post the letter at the main post office. However we later found out that the hotel literature clearly states that stamps and postage could be organised at reception. We found the receptionist quite abrupt and not overly helpful.
We would normally expect some courtesy water, tea/coffee making equipment and ample storage in a 5 star hotel room. The only water was in the room fridge and priced at 40MAD (approx Â£4) for a small 300ml bottle. No other refreshment facilities in the room despite their marketing photo's showing bowls of fruit and nibbles. The room had one relatively small wardrobe with no drawers/dressing table storage so we were glad we weren't staying for a week or two as we had to live largely out of our suitcase. Breakfast (included) was far from perfect ... more service issues rather than quality of food although that wasn't the best either ... correct cutlery wasn't available, we had to search for cups for coffee. May sound picky but you expect perfection when staying in and paying for a 5 star hotel!
Other glitches included the hotel appearing empty of residents despite us being told on arrival "we have a couple of rooms left" and the pool bar wasn't open during our whole stay. The most annoying part for us was on the final night where we had a drink in the bar and noticed each table had a beautiful tea light holder. I enquired of the bar staff and reception if I could buy one of these to take home with us to be informed that they were available in the Medina and I couldn't buy one. I explained that we were leaving first thing the next morning and again asked if I could buy one to be again told no. I understand this position but NOT from a 5 star hotel.
On checking in the reception noted that it was my partner's birthday that day. Any other 5 star hotel we've stayed in would have, at the minimum, perhaps organised a few flowers in the hotel room or some acknowledgement of that fact. Nothing from the Atlas.
Overall the hotel is clean and tidy. The lower staff members (doormen, bell boys etc) are courteous and friendly. However to achieve a true 5 star rating (other than just printing it in a brochure) the Atlas in Essaouira has quite some way to go."
- Travel date: Mon 22nd of June 2009
Essaouira is lovely but think before you stay at this hotel
"The hotel looks great - very clean and modern. On first impressions, it was much further than 10 minutes walk from the Medina (where all the restaurants/bars/souks etc are) however - we estimate it was between 20 and 25 minutes walk - although this is along the beach so a lovely walk. The Sofitel is along the same round but about 10 minutes walk. Secondly, our room did not have a terrace which was a disappointment in a beach facing hotel - actually only a few of the rooms we could see did have a terrace which I think is a shame.
Why I would not recommend the hotel, apart from the less than perfect location, is the service. It is not at all friendly, and sometimes almost rude. An example (one of many) is that we wanted lunch around the pool. Even though a beach bar and restaurant is there and advertised, it was never open. We ordered lunch from the restaurant (using the beach bar menu) - they were then prepared to serve us by the pool. My husband wanted a salad, but to have the salad along with a bowl of chips. We were told that chips only came with steak/entrecote and that they couldn't be ordered separately. Although we contested this, they were adament that there could be no deviation from the menu. This is not the service you expect from a 5 star restaurant.
Finally, the issue came with the bill. We had breakfast included in our room rate, but, after going to the breakfast buffet one morning and being the only people there, we decided we would rather have breakfast in our room each morning. We did not realise, and I stress were not told, that if we did this, we would be charged extra. To have breakfast in our room, when breakfast in the buffet was included, costed an additional c.Â£200 - something we only realised and were confronted with when checking out. This was dealt with quite aggressively by the reception staff.
The hotel Atlas looks great but is in a less than ideal location and is not service friendly. I would recommend, if you want a big hotel with pool and Wifi near the medina, that you go and try the Sofitel rather than here."
- Travel date: Mon 22nd of June 2009
Definitely not a 5 star hotel
"The hotel is nice and big with several restaurants. We stayed there for 4 nights. It was definitely not a 5 star hotel. More a 3 and a half. The cooked food at the breakfast buffet was pretty bad. The staff behind reception were not that friendly or helpful. It was good for the price but not if you're looking for 5 stars."
- Travel date: Sun 14th of June 2009
Chill out at the Atlas Essaouira
"We stayed here for four days, the room was beautiful and clean (we booked a sea view room) with a wonderful view of the ocean. I was a bit worried about the wind but there was no problem with lying on the beach deck chairs. It was a bit windy and some sand blew up at times but the gorgeous view of the sea more than made up for it. My BF preferred to sit by the pool but neither of us swam in the pool as it was a bit cold and it was windy by the pool too. Perfect for sunbathing though. The food was good although there was no service by the pool. There was a marvellous selection of mini pastries and cookies for breakfast among other things (hot food, fruit, cereal, bread etc). I do not think the orange juice was fresh squeezed though which was a bit disappointing. The spa was a real rip off and I thought it was annoying that you even had to pay to use the jacuzzi and the sauna. I never got a chance to use the gym but I did book a clay body mask in the hammam which was a good experience and one of the cheaper options at 200 dirhams (I think the cheapest massage was 650 dirhams for 25 minutes). The staff were all very friendly and the receptionists were particularly helpful.
I would definitely stay in this hotel again. Recommended."
- Travel date: Tue 9th of June 2009
"The hotel is on the coastal road outside of the "old medina" of Essaouira, but not very far away, you can walk down there. The location is quite. We had a sea view room and the view of sunset over the ocean was amazing. The room was new with modern furniture and beautiful color and very clean. We had a problem with the internet connection in the room and the reception sent us immedialty an engineer to fix it. Food at the breakfast buffet was of very good quality.
On drawback was that we wanted to have dinner around 23:00, but the two restaurants did not accept anymore guests. Instead we had to go to the beach snack bar to grab a quick hamburger. (But, afterall I guess this is the system in Morocco- early dinner)"
- Travel date: Thu 21st of May 2009
"Booked this hotel as we wanted a modern hotel with a pool in Essaouira with good location and facilities - yet not too expensive. Was impressed on first sight, huge lobby and security staff/porters on door. Reception staff welcoming and showed us to our room which was a good size, clean, comfortable bed, decent sized bathroom with complimentary toiletries and pool view. The hotel is large but there didnt seem to be that many people staying. We ordered room service on our first night as we arrived so late and the food came promptly and was nice, and not overly expensive. They have a 24 hour limited room service menu. Breakfast was included in our room rate and I thought it was lovely, selection of hot items, tons of pastries, fruit, yoghurt, cereals and tea and coffee. We were also able to eat on the terrace outside by the pool when it was warm. First day was cloudy but weather nice after that so there was a few people lying out by pool, towels complimentary but pool wasnt heated so it was too cold to swim! We also paid a visit to the spa, I had a hammam which was good and reasonably priced for a 5* hotel, much cheaper if you got it done locally. my boyfriend had a massage which he thought was just OK but we did enjoy the indoor plunge pool which you got to use afterward. We had a couple of drinks in the hotel bar, pricey compared to the few other places in Essaouira which sold alcohol."
- Travel date: Mon 20th of April 2009
"Brand new hotel not yet discovered by the tour companies. It was almost deserted when we were there in October 08. Rooms are of every high quality- we had a pool view room which was excellent. Good service. Excellent breakfast [although they need to make sure that the hot water is actually boiling not tepid!]
Pool area is not sheltered from the Essaouira wind so often not as comfortable as it looks. No poolside service when we were there.
The hotel is a bit of a walk from town but a pleasant stroll along the prom and quite safe even after dark.
Very good value for money."
- Travel date: Tue 30th of December 2008
"My husband and I had a wonderful stay at the Atlas hotel. The service was absolutely wonderful - nothing was too much trouble and all the staff that we met were charming and eager to assist.
Our room was great - spacious and clean, and we were thoroughly comfortable.
There is a large pool area which again was well serviced during our stay.
I would return again without doubt."
- Travel date: Wed 19th of November 2008