We were initially very excited about staying in Jack's appartments having read good reviews and the look of the website was encouraging.
Having paid for our stay in an office in the main part of town we were then taken by a very nice lady to the appartment itself. Im afriad to say there were several issues with the place, some of which we only realised after spending some time there. I dont like complaining in a 'holiday's from hell' style but this place merits complaining about. The appartment was filthy. Despite a cleaning lady arriving every day to make the bed (which she did very nicely and folded my clothes on one day which I felt quite guilty about!), no other cleaning seemed to be done, the walls were really damp and hadnt been repainted in some time, the wall lamps and bed lamps were thick with muck, the 2 mats on the floor looked like they had never been cleaned...ever and this was just the bedroom. Moving into the kitchen (supposedly furnished) there was one frying pan and a metal teapot to be used on a camping gas stove. The teapot was full of black sticky grime and the gas cooker backfired occasionally when turned off. There were ants all over the kitchen side although I can see how this isnt necessarily the owners fault, however, the sticky goodies in the teapot probably went some way to attracting them. Finally and perhaps the worst thing was the bathroom. Im sorry to say it was mouldy on most walls and it really looked like someone had just thrown it together. The shower was a pit with a broken mount for the shower head which meant the water spray would only point to the wall so showering involved holding the shower itself in your hand (if that makes sense). The sink was the final icing on the cake I'm afraid with antique taps which were just disgustingly filthy and complemented the sink itself which didnt drain and seemed to have been blocked for sometime, leaving a pool of slightly brown water stewing in the sink for ten minutes after you washed your hands or cleaned your teeth. There was an antique plug system attatched to the sink itself which didnt work either. Finally, the 'Terrace'. There have been some clever photos taken on the website of a nice clean looking terrace with washed cushions sitting on sun loungers overlooking the sea. This is not an accurate picture. The terrace looked like it had been left in situe for several years. I am no clean freak but even I refused to sit on the sunloungers which used to be white but were instead also caked in muck and what seemed like a thick layer of stone dust. Also on the terrace was a disgarded toilet and a plant pot full of cigarette ends, broken tiles and a carrier bag that had been neatly tucked into the soil. There seemed to be a large plank holding down some corrigated iron on the roof next door. The corridor and stair well (we were 3 floors up) was exactly the same, grimy, dusty, badly lit and if the lights went out while you were half way up then there was almost no way to find the switch again (unless you could remember where it was from the night before.) There was a window halfway up the stairs which lead directly to a sheer drop out of the building onto the road outside and was set low down and personally I think would be impressively dangerous if you were bringing small children into the building (all it needed was some sort of guard up to the half way level to stop people falling out etc.)
After 3 days stay (yes we did stay this long) but having paid up front, the prospect of trying to ask for our money back and then having to find somewhere else to stay (we asked in two other places only to find they were fully booked) was not a particularly attractive one.
When we returned the keys to the booking office the lady asked if we had enjoyed our stay, we told her all of the problems we had found. She was surprised and said that the building didnt belong to 'Jack's Appartments' strictly and that they just let it out for a 3rd party (giving the impression that she didnt know what the appartment's appearence was like). She quite rightly said that we should have come and complained earlier and they could have rehoused us in another appartment and I am sure there is some truth in this. However, we didnt and she didnt exactly offer us a reduction or anything, which under the circumstances would have been nice. After all, these appartments are not cheap, if they had been then we could have almost understood the condition they were in. The website gives the impression that a jolly french family are running a collection of stylish, clean, family friendly rentals, our experience was about as far from that as you can imagine.
However, this appartment does have the potential to be nice. With a few licks of paint, a thourough clean and the odd replacement of broken items, this could be a nice place to stay. It is in a good location and the building is interesting and surrounded by historically interesting buildings. As it is, it felt like a student flat, neglected, damp, full of someones old furniture that they didnt want anymore and dirty (P.S I dont think that this is the cleaners fault as she seemed to be employed mainly to make the bed, maybe sweep the floor occasionaly and change towels top up toilet rolls etc). I hope that the owner's of this flat are able to sort out the necessary trimmings to make this place more hospitable. As it was, it did spoil our experience of Essouira.