We arrived about midday where we were checked in by a couple of friendly reception staff. We filled in some forms with our details & were told we had to wait about 5 mins for our room to be ready, & told to take a seat in the comfy, spacious reception area. Although we had only been sat down about 30 seconds before we were called back up to the desk to be told our room was ready! We were given directions to the lift & told our room was on the 4th floor. The lifts were a bit bumpy & went down instead of up when we first got in it, & although it was small, it was clean. We had to follow the signs to find our room number but it didn't take long & the signs were easy to follow.
We were staying in room 5118. It smelt a bit old, faintly musty at first I thought, although it wasn't a very strong smell & my boyfriend didn't notice it at all. It was a good size for a twin room, with plenty of storage space, big wardrobes with a few hangers in, & also a safe although you had pay extra for it. Not sure how much it is as we didn't use it.
There was a fridge, although it wasn't plugged in, but once we plugged it in & left it to cool it kept our water & juice nice & cold. It was quite small, but clean, & big enough for a couple of bottles of water/juice. There was also a TV in the room which also wasn't plugged in. When we plugged it in the picture was rubbish, even after my boyfriend fiddled with the aerial. We then discovered there was no remote control in the room & had to ask at reception for it, don't know why! As it turns out it was pointless anyway as we couldn't get any English channels at all, even though we did eventually pick up quite a few channels. This didn't really bother me as I don't watch much TV anyway, especially not on holiday, but my boyfriend likes to keep up with what's going on & likes to be able to receive Sky News or similar. BBC World News was always shown on a large screen in the bar area though if you really wanted to watch it.
The air con was included, didn't need to pay extra for it, although we didn't actually use it during our stay! As our room was on the top floor we used to leave the balcony door open to let air in during the day which was fine for us. We did however use the heating setting on the air con in the evenings to warm the room up a bit as it gets quite chilly in the evenings at this time of year! Using the heating for a couple of hours soon warmed the room up though.
There weren't many electric sockets in the room, 1 was broken, 1 had the fridge plugged in, 1 had the TV plugged in & there was 1 in the wardrobe which we used a lot & just unplugged the TV if we wanted to charge more than one item, which was OK as the TV was rubbish anyway!
There was also a large dressing table in the room with a couple of chairs. The mirrors in both the bedroom & bathroom were a little dusty & grubby but nothing major. The lighting is not great in the bedroom in the evenings when I was trying to do my make-up, so I chose to do it in the bathroom where the mirror had better lighting. Both mirrors in the bedroom & bathroom were quite far away & I had to lean quite far over the dressing table/sink to see close up what I was doing. There was a full length mirror by the front door which was nice, but it wasn't well lit in the evening/at night.
The balcony was large, very spacious, 2 chairs & a table (all plastic patio furniture, but comfortable), & it was big enough for 2 people to lay on the floor & sunbathe too! Ours was a real heat trap & caught the sun from about 10am till 5pm which was lovely. We were on the 4th floor (top floor) & had a pool/garden view but we could also see the beach & sea too, the view was great. Definitely one of the best features of a room on the top floor! We could also pick up free WiFi out there which was a nice bonus.
The beds were comfy, clean & well made, although there was only 1 smallish pillow per bed (could ask reception if you wanted more) but I found it a little hard & not all that comfortable at times. My boyfriend didn't seem to have a problem with his pillow though but I am a very sensitive sleeper! The beds were made everyday, although the sheets weren't changed everyday, but this didn't bother me. Think they were only actually changed a couple of times during the week but it was only us sleeping in the beds. Overall the cleaning standards for the room were good, the floors, bedding & towels were all clean, although the skirting boards & cupboard doors were quite dusty & a little grubby.
The bathroom was also a decent size for 2. It had a bath, shower, toilet, bidet & sink all of which were very clean. There were plenty of towels but the only toiletries provided were 2 tablets of soap, there weren't even any cups for toothbrushes. We received a further 2 tablets of soap during the week even though we hadn't finished using 1 bar & didn't use the others at all.
There was plenty of room for all our toiletries around the sink & at the end of the bath. The shower was powerful although it was hard to get the temperature just right, sometimes it ran too hot or too cold so you had to keep adjusting it & the taps were a little low down for this. But if your turned the cold water off the water was always hot, morning & night. The shower curtain was flimsy but clean & it did the job. The tap over the sink dripped a bit, no matter how hard you turned it off. The sink was also set quite far into the surrounding unit & I found I had to lean over quite far when brushing my teeth, or as previously mentioned, to see in the mirror when doing my make-up.
Also sometimes the toilet didn't flush first time, but if you flushed it again it was fine. There was a shaver point & hairdryer in the bathroom, didn't use the shaver point but the hairdryer was fine, although a little annoying that you had to keep the button held down for it to work. Made my fingers cramp up a little after holding it down for more than a few minutes at a time!
You can choose how often you want your towels changed by hanging them back on the rails to reuse them, or put them in the bath to have them changed, so we got ours changed every other day which was fine. You can have them changed more or less often if you wish though, totally up to you.
Breakfast was served from 530am-10am although we never ate before 8am. There was lots of sweet foods; pancakes, doughnuts, pastries & fruit, typically Moroccan! There was a chef most days cooking fried eggs & omelettes to order which was nice. On the couple of days where the chef wasn't cooking there was scrambled egg already prepared but this wasn't so nice. Fresh bread was also supplied, you can cut slices yourself then toast it. I personally preferred this to sweet things every morning & I have very sweet tooth!
The pancakes with some honey/syrup on were lovely though, as were the doughnuts. There was tea & coffee available which was pretty good, & freshly squeezed orange juice which was lovely.
Meat lovers will be disappointed by breakfast, as will anyone who likes a full English breakfast. There is no bacon, sausages, mushrooms, tomatoes or baked beans but this is Morocco!! There was cereal available (mostly cornflakes) & a buffet of olives, cheese, ham, butter, fruit & yogurts. There are fresh bread rolls which were very good, crispy on the outside & soft in the middle.
As we were half board we had dinner at the hotel every night too. Dinner was served from 630pm-930pm. Again it was buffet style, a different theme each night like French, Italian, Moroccan (Moroccan nights were VERY busy!). Every evening was nice but not a huge amount of choice though. Again they always have fresh bread rolls at dinner, you will need to ask for butter though which the waiters will happily bring to you. There was a mixture of beef, chicken, fish & vegetable dishes, although usually only 1 of each but all were hot. My boyfriend found the fish could sometimes contain quite a few bones though. The beef dishes always tended to be nice & tasty, along with the potato options. On Moroccan night there were lots of different Moroccan dishes to try. There was a salad bar every night, & a choice of desserts. I'm a dessert lover & although I found the desserts sweet, sometimes they didn't actually taste of a lot except sugar!
My favourite thing at dinner was always the soup. It was lovely every night (& was vegetarian) so I used to have this with a bread roll & butter. Our other favourite foods were the omelettes, fresh bread, pancakes & doughnuts at breakfast, & a swiss roll with real strawberries in for dessert one evening. The freshly squeezed orange juice & fresh oranges were also amazing, lovely & juicy & sweet.
Drinks at dinner aren't included though so you need to pay for them. The prices aren't too bad, 20DH for a large bottle of water between 2, or coke was 16DH per bottle & beer 23DH.
The restaurant staff are lovely though, very friendly & helpful to all the guests. Their English is quite basic as it's not their first language, but they are still very polite, always greeting you & making good conversation. They are very good at understanding what you ask for or any questions you have like asking for butter or about the food. They are always ready to help & can't do enough for you.
The gardens & pool are of this hotel are lovely, lots of trees & grassy areas with pretty flowers. The gardens are well kept, neat, clean & tidy & very well looked after. This seemed to be the same all over Agadir.
The pool was large & never mega busy even when all the sunbeds were taken & the pool area was busy. The pool area was kept very clean, washed down every few mornings & the pool was tested a few times a day to make sure it was fine. The pool guy was always on hand to help with sunbeds or pool issues.
There is a small kids paddling pool as well as the large pool which has a shallow end & a deeper end, although we could still touch the floor on tip toes in the deep end. The pool caught the sun almost all day which was nice. It was quite cold when you first got in, but it was refreshing & good for cooling off. It was actually fine & felt quite warm once you were actually in it.
The sunbeds can get busy & this was only March! If your towel isn't on a bed by 10am you don't have much chance of getting one! I imagine the summer might get too busy & crowded but it was just right during our stay.
There is music played all day in the pool area which can be a bit annoying if you're trying to read. Just make sure you get sunbeds away from the CD player/speakers if this bothers you. I read fine with the music & we had sunbeds close to the speakers. Most of the time they played music I have on my iPod anyway (English Pop/Chart songs) so I quite enjoyed the music. I can understand how it may annoy older guests though or anyone that wants peace & quiet. We also picked up free WiFi around the pool.
The pool/snack bar is nice for lunch. We ate here a few times on days we were just sunbathing around the pool. There's lots of choice of salads, sandwiches, omelettes, burgers, pizzas etc all at pretty reasonable prices for hotel food & drinks. You can also get ice creams there & more fresh oranges! Food can also be ordered here & eaten at your sunbeds. The staff were also nice & understood basic English requests about food ie. my boyfriend asked for a plain cheeseburger with no salad in, just cheese & they understood that fine.
The public areas were kept clean & tidy, including the public toilets by the restaurant which we used while at the pool. There is also a gym, sauna, spa & hammam by the pool although we didn't use any of these.
There was a good amount/variety of entertainment throughout the day & night from darts tournaments & Aqua Aerobics in the day, to theme nights in the evenings with a kids disco every night at 9pm before the main shows at 930pm. These consisted of Moroccan dancing, Moroccan acrobats, variety shows, more dancing etc. This was either held in the bar area or in the entertainment tent they have on a terrace outside the bar.
Announcements about the days entertainment were made everyday around the pool & given in English as well as French & German. The hotel entertainment guy was very good, very friendly, spoke good English & always tried to get everyone into activities or up & dancing in the evenings.
There is a hotel photographer who takes photos all day around the pool, whilst having dinner, & in the evenings. He takes some decent photos though, we bought a couple, 1 pool shot of us both which was 25DH & 1 night scene which was 50DH so not expensive. There is no pressure to buy any of the photos though.
The bar by the reception area was very nice. We used to get beer & cocktails here after dinner & before the evenings shows. There's lots of seating, the cocktails are nice (they don't look as pretty as some other places but still tasted really good). Prices weren't cheap but not mega expensive either, cocktails were about 65DH, beer 23DH, coke 16DH. We often got bar snacks of popcorn & peanuts with our drinks which were also lovely. The bar staff/waiters were really nice here too, very polite & helpful.
NOT SO GOOD POINTS!
- Our room was quite noisy at night. The noise didn't come from outside but from the reception area. The reception/lobby/atrium area is beautiful with high ceilings that span all 4 floors of the hotel. But this meant that noise from reception & the bar echoed all around & traveled up all 4 floors! It was noisy until about 1130pm & from about 6am. Luckily I have ear plugs which I take everywhere with me & I needed them here!! I would not have slept at all well without them. I could still hear the noise a little with them in but not so much. I still got woken up a couple of times in the night if there was a really loud noise or people talking loudly. I am a really light/sensitive sleeper though!! My boyfriend slept fine & the noise didn't bother him.
- There's no kettle or tea & coffee in the room - didn't really bother us but if you like a cup of tea/coffee it might be a bit annoying as it's only free at breakfast time. Other than that you have to pay for it at the pool bar during the day.
- There are guests of lots of different nationalities at this hotel, but not so many English. If you prefer hotels that cater mainly for British guests you probably won't like it here. We were quite happy though & the staff were just as friendly to us as to the French speaking guests.
The Argana Hotel's best features are definitely its pool & garden areas, & its staff. All the staff from the reception staff, bar staff, entertainment staff & waiters are all excellent. Very helpful & friendly with a decent knowledge of English.
The hotel is about 10-15 mins walk to the beach but it is down quite a few steps & you do get hassled quite a lot on the way there. The beach itself is lovely though. The hotel is close to some shops but again you get hassled a lot as soon as you leave the hotel which may be annoying at first but this is no fault of the hotel. You don't get hassled in the hotel as there is a doorman to stop just anyone entering the hotel.
If you want a clean, comfortable hotel at very reasonable rates, with lovely staff & aren't bothered by the walk to the beach then it's definitely worth booking here. Don't expect a 4 Star luxury hotel by European standards though. I've never stayed in another hotel in Morocco as it was my first visit there, but we were very happy here.
We had a lovely stay here for our first time in Agadir, but if we go back we have decided we would prefer to stay in a beach front hotel. For a cheap winter sun holiday though, this hotel was perfect, we had great weather for the end of February/beginning of March. Just make sure you don't get a room directly around the reception area if you're a light sleeper, get one off one of the corridors instead!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Designed in a typical Moroccan style and situated in sumptuous tropical gardens, Hotel Argana strives to offer you an unforgettable stay in one of the most beautiful bays in the world where rest, relaxation and well-being will be waiting for you. Recently renovated and conveniently located 300 meters from the beach and 500 meters from the city centre, the Argana is there to delight all tastes. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Argana Hotel Agadir