The L'Heure Bleue Palais is like an oasis of calm as you step off the bustling streets of the medina. We stayed as a couple for 4 nights at the end of June / start of July 2013.
Everything from the beautiful welcome food and drinks (freshly squeezed OJ, ice cold water - much needed after our long journey, the juiciest dates known to man, and a plate of moroccan patisserie), to the unexpected upgrade to a suite, made for a perfect first wedding anniversary getaway. Incidentally, they didn't know it was our anniversary at that point so the upgrade must have been simply down to it being low season and the hotel not being fully booked.
The whole place has a colonial feel to it, luxurious without being overly slick and modern (which I loved), and the staff incredibly friendly and helpful. Mamadou should be noted in particular, and his big smile every day made us smile too. Also the guys working the rooftop terrace were ultra friendly, and the lady who organised our trip to the Val D'Argan winery (sadly didn't get her name) was very knowledgeable and efficient.
The room was just perfect too. As I mentioned, we were upgraded from a classic room to a suite so it was always going to surpass expectations, but it was a gorgeous room. Big entrance space with complimentary chilled water in the fridge and a daily delivery of dates and fresh fruit. Then a cosy window seat and sitting area in front of the fireplace (which we didn't need at end Jun / early July), and on the other side of the central fireplace a great big bed. Plenty of hanging and cupboard space for clothes. And then a gorgeous marble bathroom. I LOVED the bathroom, complete with full size toiletries which were refilled daily. There were his and hers sinks, big bath, separate walk in waterfall style shower and the toilet was behind its own closed doors for privacy.
If I were going to make suggestions for improvement (and these really are just tiny little gripes) then: 1) There weren't enough hooks to hang things like your hand towel. There were only two hooks and with bath towels, hand towels and complimentary dressing gowns, I felt there needed to be more. 2) The light switches were a nightmare! About 6 different lots of lights controlled by 6 different switches in different places in (and out of) the bathroom.... made for some comedy moments every time you went in or out!
The room was serviced twice a day bringing fresh water and changing the pillows from day to night, as well as scented candles being lit for when you return from dinner.
The pool area was very nice and the food served at the rooftop terrace was great. Yes it is windy up there, as many people have mentioned, but Essaouira is known as the windy city. Quite frankly the wind made for the perfect sunbathing conditions, as you never got too hot despite the glorious sunshine. I can imagine that in colder weather you might not want to hang out up there for long, but at this time of year it made for a very nice place to spend a couple of hours after a busy day out and about.
Everybody else has mentioned breakfasts, and for a good reason... they are great! As soon as you sit down you are brought a freshly squeezed OJ and two plates of assorted moroccan pancakes. I recommend trying them with the honey and almond oil mix. In addition you can order eggs however you want them... we tried poached and omelettes and both were cooked and presented beautifully. There is the obligatory buffet with a great selection of fresh and dried fruits, compotes, homemade yoghurts and cheese / meat. There is also an array of breads and muffins, but I personally didn't try them. The best bit is that their coffee is really good (always a welcome surprise).
So overall, just a beautiful place to stay.
My one complaint was that we chose to have our anniversary dinner at the hotel restaurant and sadly didn't have a very good experience. I will review the restaurant separately as I genuinely believe the hotel overall is very deserving of a 5* review, but we were disappointed with what should have been a special meal. We felt rather like second class citizens as the staff fussed over another couple (one of whom was celebrating her birthday), and made no mention of our anniversary. Not that you expect anything at all, but even just a "Happy Anniversary" and a smile would have been nice. (By this time they did know it was our anniversary as they asked us if we would be eating in the restaurant at all and we said yes, we'll book in for Sunday to celebrate our wedding anniversary). A shame as it was the one big let down, on an otherwise perfect stay.
We did the hammam experience at the hotel spa and this was brilliant, and very professional. My husband was a bit dubious about the paper thong but he survived!
Definitely recommend staying here if you fancy a little piece of luxury whilst visiting this beautiful city.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A masterpiece of the Essaouira medina...this palace of marvels lies in the heart of this town loved by artists and aventurers alike. The panoramic outdoor pool on the terrasse overlopks the medina and the ocean. the cuisine offers a subtle blend of french and Moroccan influences ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- l`Heure Bleue Palais Hotel Essaouira
- l`Heure Bleue Palais And Spa
- l Heure Bleue Palais Essaouira