I went to Agadir for two weeks from 25 January to 8 February 2008, travelling on my own with relaxation in mind although the trip was to include a stay in Essaouira sometime in between.
After one week in Agadir I headed to Essaouira by Supratours coach, not as luxurious as some reports lead one to believe though.
In Essaouira I stayed at one of Jacks Apartments, Apt 8; this was an impromptu decision and was not arranged by web or e-mail booking which tend to be unreliable. I was fairly disappointed with what I got for €65 per night; I intended to stay three nights but whilst completing the registration papers, which one is obliged to do when moving around Morocco, I was told the one remaining apartment would only be available for two nights but this did not worry me.
After two nights I moved out of Jacks and just for the record, some of the website information was misleading where it is claimed that “stunning views to the sea” could be seen, a description which I am still trying to decipher as I could see the medina wall a few feet away and only about one inch of sea beyond the castellations.
Before vacating Jacks I asked in various hotels for their rates; the Hotel des Iles quoted 900Dh and the Mogador Sofitel €194 (2000Dh). I went into Hotel Sahara which looked an acceptable sort of place and checked out some of the rooms, deciding this would be a good stop for the last night of my stay in Essaouira. I was advised the rate would be 200Dh for the remaining night.
The Sahara is listed as a two star hotel and comprises 60 rooms set on four floors but no lift so this would be unsuitable for disabled people. Attached to the Sahara is Les Filles, a small restaurant and next to this is Le Mechouar, a plush and modern restaurant.
A rather imposing building, it is situated in the medina on Avenue Okba Ibn Nafiaa facing the entrance to Place Chefchaouni and is in walking distance to the Supratours coach station and only a few minutes to the beach.
Rooms have wardrobe space with additional blankets; the living room has a TV, table and chairs and corner seating; the bedroom had two single beds with bedside tables. There was a separate spacious bathroom with all facilities, including surface pipework for novelty value, as though it had just recently been introduced.
The website is in six languages but you must make allowance for the poor translation in parts. Information states the nightly rate is 340Dh for a double room, about €30, probably for peak season. The website also states breakfast is included although none was provided but for 200Dh (less than the website rate) I was not concerned as there are several cafes nearby providing a standard breakfast of French bread, jam, freshly squeezed (or so it appeared) orange juice and mint tea or coffee. I found this to be sufficient to get through the morning although having come from Agadir where the hotels have buffet breakfast, this somehow seemed inadequate. The cost for breakfast was between 13 and 20Dh depending on the cafe.
Internally the hotel has a Moroccan style living room on the ground floor just opposite the reception desk with TV. The decor is unmistakably Moroccan with the usual magnificent tiling and ornate plasterwork throughout. Rooms have bare plaster which has been stippled in a sandy colour and has a mottled effect with Moroccan lampshades on walls and ceiling. Floors are tiled throughout the building although rooms do have rugs. Tiled floors do present the perrenial problem of echoes and noise from rooms above.
As with Jacks, there was no hot water on tap or heating in the external rooms although the shower facility was adequate. The Sahara had the plumbing to cater for hot water but perhaps it had just been turned off as there were very few people staying here. I noticed that some rooms did have wall mounted radiators, these being the rooms which had no external windows and faced into the hotel “courtyard”. The hotel also felt warmer than Jacks as it did not get the cold sea breeze.
I felt safer here than I did in Jacks apartments but there was some heightened noise from the restaurant Le Mechouar next door which had live entertainment later in the evening although this did not go on too late, an ear plug sorted that problem admirably (I only need one as I suddenly went deaf in one ear last year).
Checkout time is noon but luggage can be kept at reception until you are ready to leave.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.