After a fabulous train ride from Fes, we were excited to spend the last 3 nights of our vacation in Casa. We had one full day, which turned out to be plenty of time for this large, dirty city. If you're still contemplating whether to visit Casa on your trip to Morocco, trust me, you can skip it.
We arrived at this hotel in the evening after being completely hosed by a taxi driver who refused to use his meter. The front desk gal seemed to be completely clueless as to what hotel she was even working in! She gave us a room key in a card that was sticky and disgusting, so I had to wrap a pamphlet around it. We went to the room and saw that it had 2 tiny beds, so we went back down to the front desk to let the girl know what we had reserved a room with 1 bed. She insisted that it was the only room available in the hotel. I told her that we were on our honeymoon and had reserved a room with one bed. Thankfully, a manager came over and, what do you know, a room with a king bed was available! So we went back upstairs to see what awaited us after staying in beautiful riads (and a freezing cold trekkers' lodge in a gorge) for the last 10 days.
The room looked like it was from a bad 70s sitcom. It was clean, but that's about all I can say for it. It had putrid green curtains and an awful bedspread that was also the blanket. The bed was comfortable, but I was weirded out at using the nasty bedspread as a blanket. In the room was one towel. Now, if you've read any of my other reviews then you know how anal I am about having an adequate amount of towels. But one??? Come on. So we had to ask for more towels, which, not unlike the other places we stayed throughout Morocco, we had to ask for every night we were there. And since the night girl who checked us in was completely clueless, each time we asked for towels on the phone she sent a service person to the door to figure out what we wanted.
Speaking of towels, allow me to describe the bathroom/shower. Yes, I put those words together because they were actually together. In fact, I haven't seen such a strange bathroom since I was in Tokyo. It was a small room with a sliding glass door, and in that room was a toilet, a sink, and a small square with a drain that had a hand-held shower head above it. And of course by shower, I mean the broken device that had a light drip of water coming out of it when you turned it fully on. That's about all I have to say about that.
The daytime gal was a bit more with it, and even recognized my name when I asked her if the package that I was expecting had arrived (it had). She was also very nice in giving me a map of the city (which the night gal claimed the hotel didn't have) and explaining where we were on it.
They did have a computer, but it took exactly 18 minutes just to get a window to load, so don't expect to check email at the hotel.
As with other places we stayed, the housekeeping staff likes to decide where your stuff should go, so be sure to check all drawers and closets before you check out since they will put your things in places other than where you left them.
The hotel does have its own hammam, which was nice since I didn't feel like taking a taxi to the one that was recommended to me by a friend. Having nothing to compare it to, the hammam was very interesting and nice. The massage wasn't great, though.
I should also mention that if you're hungry and don't feel like walking far, the upstairs restaurant at the Restaurant des Fleurs across the street is a great, if slightly expensive, option, so long as you don't mind eating in a smoke-filled haze. Best Cous-Cous Royale we had!
Overall, I think that I would rather have stayed in an American chain hotel than the Oum Palace, which is saying a lot for this traveler who avoids chains like the plague.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Oum Palace hotel remains devoted to your satisfaction, at your arrival you will appreciate the warmth and natural conviviality of our services, rooms, restaurants gastronomy and buffets, sauna, hammam, massage, fitness centre, etc……. ... more less
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