As I had stayed in Essaouira on three previous occasions, I was quite happy this time not to choose a hotel located within the resort’s atmospheric medina where standards can be quite variable. I plumped instead for the safer option of a chain hotel where you have a pretty good idea of what you’re going to get.
I’ve always been impressed with the Ibis brand which offers clean, modern, well-equipped rooms at an affordable price. And I have no complaints about my room in Essaouira which included a very comfortable queen-size bed with crisp linen; plus a self-contained shower unit and satellite television.
It was in the public areas that the hotel let itself down. Despite being up and running for three years, the place felt dead; as if it had only opened its doors the previous week. With the notable exception of Hussein who worked on reception and was always smiley and friendly and seemed passionate about welcoming and helping guests, most of the other staff came across as surly and unmotivated. It’s amazing what impact an individual member of staff can have in influencing your perception of a hotel and whether you enjoy your stay or not. Hussein was excellent and some of his colleagues would do well to take a leaf out of his book. A typical example would be the young man overseeing breakfast on one of the mornings I was there. I was the only guest in the dining room and yet he offered no greeting and ignored me the whole time I was there except when I got up to leave. He then came rushing after me to ask for my room number as if that was so much more important than making a guest feel welcome. Breakfast was available for a supplement of 59 dirhams (roughly UK£5) which doesn’t sound a lot but is quite expensive compared with what is available at cafes in the medina. At dinner, the hotel faces the same problem: its menu is overpriced compared with external restaurants which are also generally livelier. The hotel dining room looked empty most of the time I was there.
The biggest disadvantage of the Ibis for many potential guests will be its location at the far end of town, alongside a not fully made-up road (although that looked as if it was about to change.) One also needs to be somewhat sceptical of the claim on the hotel’s website that it’s located a 20-minute walk from the tourist heart of Essaouira – focused on its bustling harbour and medina. One imagines the hotel’s management hasn’t physically walked the route themselves. I did, on eight occasions, and would argue you need to allow half-an-hour. Or it’s a 5-7 minute taxi ride with an official fare of just seven dirhams (less than 60 pence in UK money). However, taxis into town can be quite difficult to hail on the street – particularly at night.
The hotel is very nice and clean, not expensive, the staff is fantastic and friendly. the breakfast is a buffet (good quality and price).
We had booked two room for 2 adults plus one child in each in july 2012. But upon arrival, we were told that no beds were avialable, and therefore the two children aged 8 and 10 were to sleep in the beds with the parents. First of all, this was not what we had been promised when prebooking and paying for two nigths stay at the Ibis internet site. Further, the beds are quite small, and it was difficult to see how we could sleep three persons in a small double bed. We complained and asked for the manager who insisted that nowhere in the papers did it say that we had a right to have a BED for the child, it was just stated that a child up to the aged of 12 I believe could STAY in the room with the parents. Having argued for a while, and returning to the reception again to insist that we wanted additional beds, they eventuelly gave in at a clerk came up with to madresses that he left for us that put linen on, and after some further discussion they also found two blankets. As we had paid in advance, we chose to stay at the hotel for two nights, but we were treated consistently cold by the managr and the lady at the reception desk who looked at us as if we had committed a major crime. Upon return, we complaind to the Ibis chain through the standard questionaire that we received after the summer, but even though we clearly spelled out our compliant, we have heard nothing from Ibis.
We had one night in Essaaouira before travelling back to the UK-Nov 20th.We payed £31 double room-internet from Agadir- no breakfast.It was a well sized,clean room overlooking the pool area.We had an excellent breakfast for 30dirham each in the cafe the other side of the roundabout.This included omelettes,freshly made orange juice,lovely rolls,confitures etc.Also there's a large cafe at the garage next to the Ibis.Our hire car was safe with a security guard covering the car park.
We had no experience of the restaurant BUT why bother when there's such a huge variety in the town a reasonable walk away?The Ibis is a fine no frills place for a couple of nights stay.
John AND Julia
This is a great hotel very convienent to visit the town close by. There is a great golf course at the near by sofitel, the staff were great vthey arranged transport to and froim the hotel to the course. The hotel is fairly new so its exactly what you would expect from a IBIS.