Agadir and Essaouira Morocco
Agadir… Tourists flock here for their beach vacation in Morocco.
They come for a few weeks and from here, they make day trips to Zagora in the Sahara desert, to Marrakech, to the Atlas mountains, or they go and explore the bird sanctuary in the area.
Agadir is centrally located and it has a long stretch of lovely sandy beaches.
After a long trip around Morocco, roaming from mountains to desert to shores,
I have fallen into the lap of luxury…. And I do not wish to get up….
The Sofitel hotel in Agadir is the ultimate in comfort and luxury, with huge Pompeian canopy beds situated on the grass, by the pool and on the soft sandy beach.
There are cushions to lounge and long soft towels……design and beauty everywhere.
The rooms are great and so are the beautiful grounds….
Without asking, they upgraded our room to a pool and ocean view, but since our room was not ready yet, we were offered complimentary drinks by the pool, until our room would be ready.
We chose a sun bed with shading curtains that can comfortably fit six, and stretched on it and drank our cappuccinos.
In fact, it is so wonderful here, with the birds singing and the cry of the seagulls….. the sound of the ocean waves crashing…… that I do not much care to explore more of Agadir beyond the huge boardwalk that runs a few kilometers, and is lined with hotels, restaurants and cafes.
On one end of this long promenade, there is a beautiful new marina with many nice small stores selling things I do not need, and a few cafes and restaurants.
We found a fabulous restaurant on the promenade by ocean, named Le Flore, which serves the best fresh seafood we have had in a very long time.
Le Flore offers us welcome drinks, plates of fresh fish, grilled calamari or huge king prawns, free cappuccino and even a dessert and a brandy, all included in the modest price.
Like everywhere else people come to vacation and spend money in Morocco, there are plenty of touts and beggars along the boardwalk in Agadir.
I have to admit that they do not look hungry or homeless…. It is their occupation.
The kids who beg ride new bicycles, so they can move from restaurant to restaurant, faster and at more ease.
Sometime they do not get off their bikes, they simply come to a halt by some tourists, extend their hands, and put on a pouting sad look, and ask for money.
If they do not get any, they move quickly to the next place.
Agadir is filled with French people who have bought beach front apartments here, and chose to live an oceanfront life on the cheap, which they would never be able to do on the French Riviera with the extremely high prices of real-estate there.
The sun sets into the Atlantic here, and the colors are striking.
It feels as if we have left Morocco and could be anywhere else in the world where women wear bikinis or sundresses on the boardwalk, and men walk without their shirts on, displaying their chests…… everything feels so comfortable and wonderful to me here….
I can see why tourists love it here, although I can also see how some might not like Agadir if they were to come here in the busy summer season, when tens of thousands of tourists decend on these beaches and flood the best hotels and restaurants.
On the northern shores just outside of Agadir, there are less luxury accommodations, that cater to the many who come to surf in Agadir.
There are store after store of places renting surfboards, wet suits and offering cheap surfing lessons.
There were plenty of tourists both browsing in those stores AND catching waves in the chilly Atlantic Ocean below.
The road from Agadir north to Essaouira, is lined with Aragan trees.
There are also stands selling Aragan oil and honey, poured into plastic water bottles.
The buildings of Essaouira stretched before us, but our hotel the Sofitel, is not in Essaouira, but is located inside a golf course development on the outskirts of town.
I have not stayed often in the Sofitel chain of hotels.
The ones I stayed at, did not leave me in awe, so I was not very familiar with this French brand of luxury hotels.
The Sofitel Mogador Golf and Spa in Essaouira, is ten minutes drive from the Medina in Essaouira, and so I mumbled to Jules that maybe we should cancel…. And stay closer to town?….
Boy, I am GLAD that he did not listen to me….
From the moment we entered the lobby I was at awe…
The hotel is beautifully designed from floor to the high ceiling.
Every detail in this design was beautifully chosen to create the ultimate in hotel luxury.
There are modern sculptures and a “live wall” which is sculpted from plants, designer furniture from twisted wood and soft fabric, and soothing or energizing colors everywhere.
Our room is one of the most luxurious we have ever seen, and it is also beautifully designed with an extra large and extra long bed, for tall people, the best mattress and sheets, designer furniture, blue tile infinity bath, rainforest shower, backlit paneled walls decorated with black and white photographs printed on metal, oversized mirrors and exotic woods.
Our large outdoor patio is equipped with an outdoor sofa with colorful cushions, and panoramic views over the golf-course, and the ocean.
Bellow us there are two pools.
One is a lovely huge pool with beds and places to luxuriate, and the other pool is a “piscine biologique,” which is without chlorine, but instead uses organic matter and organisms to keep clean.
Both pools are heated and are wonderful.
We headed to the Spa, to check it out.
It is stunningly designed with glass, whole natural log wood, stone and tile.
We booked massages and went to luxuriate in the Hammam.
It had a blue tile swimming pool size Jacuzzi in three levels of temperature, from cold to warm to hot.
The Hammam itself was a large steam room…. hot and wonderful.
Each of us got our own little locker room inside the changing rooms, fitted with fluffy robes, slippers, towels, water bottles, paper underwear, toiletries and towels.
We changed and spent two hours luxuriating.
They had wide sofa beds to relax on, in between rotating between the Hamman, the Jacuzzi and the showers.
We spread full length towels on these sofas and slept there between soakings, waiting for our massages.
It was one of the first times we got to spend time hugging and luxuriating together.
Even in the West, in the best Spas, men and women use delegated facilities.
We got a couples massage, which is done in a room with two massage beds, lined with white comforters and soft towels.
After this pleasure, it was too late to drive to eat in Essaouira, so we ate in the hotel.
They have a gourmet restaurant, and a restaurant that offered a buffet, with many Moroccan specialities, salads, decadent desserts and yummy food.
We had a lavish tasty meal and went to sleep in our unbelievably comfortable bed…. Covered with our soft robes.
It is our last days here in Morocco, and we are getting a glimpse into why people associate a vacation in Morocco with so much luxury….
Our extremely luxurious hotel room costs less than $250 a night.
In New York City, this amount will not even buy you a small three star hotel room, unless you get it in a deal from one of the discount resellers.
And NOBODY expects to spend this amount in Paris or London and get anything similar to really serious luxury for it.
Tomorrow we go to see and enjoy the medina in Essaouira.
It looks like the weather has turned, and for the first time on this six weeks trip, it is raining hard here.