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“Not as bad as people make it out to be.....”
Review of Hotel Balima

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Hotel Balima
Ranked #34 of 45 Hotels in Rabat
Kent
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 168 helpful votes
“Not as bad as people make it out to be.....”
Reviewed June 10, 2007

We have just returned from touring Morocco and we spent one night here. Having booked all our accomodation for everywhere else I left Rabat until last as I didn't seem to be able to find a reasonable hotel with decent reviews that didn't cost the earth! As we were arriving by train and were only staying one night, the Balima seemed an okay option and was fairly cheap (£35 a night). We arrived at about 10.30 in the morning and having read that the earliest check in was 13.00 we were prepared to not be able to check in. Ready to simply drop our bags off we made our way straight to the hotel (a 1 min walk from Rabat Ville train station - come out the station and turn left and walk 200m and the hotel is on the opposite side of the road). Although being a french speaker the guy at reception was quick to realise that we were English so he quickly switched to English and made us feel quite welcome straight away. We were then shown straight to our room at the end of the corridor on the 2nd floor by the porter. Having read some of the views I was imagining a dirty flea pit but we were quite pleasantly surprised. The room that we were in had obviously been recently renovated and although the paint work looked to have been done in a somewhat speedy fashion, the rooms looked a lot brighter and more modern than they did on the internet! The only issue that I had was that, as mentioned in another review, the maid seemed to have a bit of an aversion to sweeping the floor and being white tiled throughout it was quite difficult not to miss the clumps of hair that were gathering in the corners!!! Beware that they are still renovating the hotel. Work seems to start around 9am ish and finish at 6.30/7pm. This didn't really affect us though as we were out all day sightseeing. Having only stayed one night we didn't really explore all the bars/clubs/restaurants that the hotel has to offer but they are popluar with both tourists and locals. The hotel has a bit of a weird set up in so much as that it is designed like a big H. As you face the hotel, the reception is in the right hand side and the snack bar/restaurant is in the left hand column of the building. To get to the breakfast room you need to go into the left side and wander into the snack bar. There is a set of stairs hidden almost behind you and breakast is served up there either inside or on the terrace (nice for watching the world go by). I wouldn't agree with the last comments re breakfast. The breakfast is standard accross Morocco - orange juice (although not freshly squeezed on this occasion), choice of hot drink, a croissant with jams, a bread roll (contrary to what the last review said it was actually the freshest bread roll we'd had in 3 weeks!!) and laughing cow cheeses. It suited us just fine.

All in all we had a decent stay here. I wouldn't like to say what the rooms were like that hadn't been renovated but for what you pay and the amazingly central location, you can't really complain. If you are only here a couple of days then I would suggest staying here as we spoke to other people that paid an awful lot more to stay in other hotels and they were extremely unimpressed.

Rabat made a welcome break from all the hussle and bustle of Marrakech and Fez. It's also really easy to find your way around here. Definitely visit the Chellah. The guide book I had said it was a 40 min walk to train station. We took a taxi there (7DH) but unfortunately we couldn't find any coming back so had to walk it although it actually only took us 20mins at a slow walk too! One point to note is that taxis are all metered here which was a welcome change! Just behind the hotel is McDonalds if the tagines all get too much for you. We were tempted but chose to go to the Italian that is behind called La Mamma as we'd read good reviews. It didn't disappoint either and for those that like ice cream they had about 30 different types all based on traditional Italian recipes too!

You could do an awful lot worse than to give this place a try!

  • Liked — It's location
  • Disliked — The maid's aversion to sweeping the floor!
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
12 Thank intrepidtraveller39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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130 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
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English first
London
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed May 31, 2007

Hello,
I was in Morocco last week and decided to stay at Balima Hotel for 2 days as I was travelling. The minute I got there I realised its not the best of hotels. Yes the location is bang in the centre on the main avenue and very easy access to the central attractions and also nearby beach... but thats it.

The man at the recption was not very helpful and quite uninviting. The room was on the fourth floor and not very elegant. Just a word of warnibng the 2nd and 3rd floors of this hotel have been recently renovated but in my opinion the workers did a very fast and bad job. I think there are better places to stay in rabat but if you dont mind the shabby rooms then do stay here.

Breakfast is nothing more than a glass of orange juice with some stale rolls and coissants probably laid out at 6am.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — rude staff
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank LondonTboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Rabat hotels

Australia
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2007

We stayed at the Balima as part of a tour and it was truly horrible! We wouldn't even walk into the bathroom without thongs on, the shower recess was pretty awful (pubic hairs included!), the soap holder, strangely outside the shower, had never been cleaned. The bed covers had massive burn holes in them, as did the towels and we had to beg for the heating to be turned on. All the people on our tour had similar stories with one guy refusing to even get into his bath area and had to resort to a spongebath! I suggest you look around for something better.

Stayed April 2007
Helpful?
7 Thank chez700
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whidbey Island, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
291 reviews
153 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 544 helpful votes
Reviewed April 19, 2007

I would agree with the reviewer from Sydney somewhat but it wasn't all that bad.

As we arrived in Rabat by train from Tanger and left also by train for Meknes, it was nice to be handy to the gare. The breakfast was not outstanding and the rooms were shabby. But for two nights we managed to put up with the place.

The cafe is a meeting place for local folks and there are some decent restaurants within walking distance. The reception staff and maids were helpful and I was able to have some laundry done at a reasonable cost..

My wife and I and the other couple with whom we were traveling voted the Balima as the poorest selection of the hotels during our three weeks traveling around Morocco.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Run down condition of hotel in general
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank FromBrazil71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2007

Hotel in good location to visit Medina and local restaurants.
Rooms are OK with good facilities ... good value for money
Breakfast is reasonable buffet ... Service is good
Parking is on street right by hotel ... costs 10dhs a day for the guy to keep watch . parking is charged everywhere in Morocco by the way
Hotel is opposite the Parliament building and 2 minutes from train station . also opposite
Good value .... good location ... good service ... easy access to the main areas of Rabat

  • Liked — good value good location
  • Disliked — bathrooms a bit dated
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Neil T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed December 22, 2006

I booked this hotel in Rabat on the back of the two Tripadvisor reviews below. While the location of the hotel is excellent (right near the main train station and a short walk down the main boulevard to the markets), and the staff are generally nice, the rest is just awful.

Before I get into the (very) gritty detail, I should say that the hotel appears to be undergoing renovation. And boy does it need renovation!

Anyway, we arrived and were given a room with 2 single beds for my wife and I (despite booking and asking for a double room). The room itself was disgusting - dirty old carpets, dirty bed covers, and a smelly filthy bathroom. A quick call to reception and we managed to get transferred to a room with a double bed. But that was the only improvement. Again, the room was absolutely terrible!

I've stayed in backpacker hostels all over the world, but never before I have stayed in somewhere which has made my skin crawl. The two nights we had couldn't go fast enough (although Rabat itself is lovely, a quiet retreat from the rest of Morocco). Like I said, disgusting carpets, a disgusting bathroom (the shower head wasn't mounted, which makes showering quite difficult). If you could manage to have a shower, you'd flood the bathroom because there was no shower curtain.

And the bed itself was beyond words. Hair of all kind inside the bed, and no pillows provided.

The included breakfast was also pretty bad. Think of a stale croissant and some orange juice and you get the picture.

This place has so much potential. The cafe downstairs is always full and the location is great.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Everything else
  • Tips/Secrets — Stay away!!
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank mandh_sydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
383 reviews
269 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 389 helpful votes
Reviewed June 3, 2006

An old fashioned central city hotel. Nothing special but inexpensive if booked on the net, and very convenient. Easy parking at the side of the hotel. A spectacular restaurant with some of the best Moroccan food i've had round the corner - Le Petit Beur. Rabat is underrated - the Chellah itself is worth a trip alone to Rabat to see

Helpful?
11 Thank NLR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Balima

Property: Hotel Balima
Address: 283 Boulevard Mohamed V, Rabat 10000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Rabat-Sale-Zemmour-Zaer Region > Rabat
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #34 of 45 Hotels in Rabat
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Balima 3*
Number of rooms: 71
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Also Known As:
Balima Hotel Rabat

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