I've stayed at the Hotel Balima several times -- 1984, 1990 and in Nov. 2011. I love the classic old-timey French colonial atmosphere. You really can't beat it for historic importance in Rabat. Due to its central location directly across from the parliament building, it's been at the center of all important historical events in the city. I've swapped stories with a friend's grandfather who stayed there in the early 1950's and we had similar experiences. When I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco in the mid-80's, the Balima terrace was where we'd hang out to have a coffee and watch the world go by, in uninterrupted tranquility. I was delighted to find on my 2011 visit that my fond memories of the hotel were still accurate. The public rooms are grand but of a simple elegance, none of this over-the-top Disneyified concept of Morocco that you get in new hotels. The Balima is simply the real thing. Our 2 rooms were simple and clean, nothing luxurious. That said, I wasn't fond of the floral decor, and the bathrooms could stand an update. The location is also amazing, walkable to the medina and all the major tourist sights, convenient for cafes and restaurants, and only a block to the train station. Considering the low cost -- approx. $100 US for 2 adjoining bedrooms with 4 twin beds and a shared bathroom -- the place is still a bargain. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone staying in Rabat. People who want to feel as if they're in an American hotel may not find it modern enough, but even they will appreciate the location, historic ambiance, and good value.
I love the rooms that overlook the front, with a view of Avenue Mohamed V and the Parliament buildin...
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