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Le Medina Essaouira Hotel Thalassa Sea & Spa - MGallery by Sofitel-
Ranked #17 of 74 Hotels in Essaouira
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 26, 2012

We were slightly concerned by some of the negative reviews but need not have worried. The hotel is perfectly situated five minutes from the medina and across the road from the largest beach we have ever seen.

The rooms are large, comfortable and quiet and although the tiling in the bathroom left something to be desired, were spotlessly clean. We had chosen a pool view room but these all face in on each other so next time we would chose a sea view room to take advantage of added privacy and the view across the bay, along with the spectacular sunsets.

There was a good selection at breakfast and, although the pool area was busy, there was usually space there or on the sun terrace above the spa. The hotel also had a private beach area where, when the tide was out, you could watch the windsurfers, kite surfers and camels!

What really made this hotel special was its staff who were, without exception, friendly and helpful, even though English was their third language.

Essaouira is a charming, picturesque town with several excellent restaurants, the best of which were La Table and D'Orient et d'Alleurs. We could not find alcohol on retail sale in Essaouira so you have to rely on the mini bar or room service (at about the same price as you would pay in a local bar) for a drink in your room. Essaouira made for a pleasant introduction to Morocco before the frenetic chaos that was Marrakech!

Room Tip: We had a pool view room but next time would chose a sea view.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank FiveStarSoni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RACHID B, Directeur général at Le Medina Essaouira Hotel Thalassa Sea & Spa - MGallery by Sofitel-, responded to this reviewResponded October 27, 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you so much for your comment, I appreciate that you take time to give us your feed back!

I will not hesitate to share it with the entire team.

I hope to receive you another time in Le Medina Essaouira Hotel Thalassa sea & spa -MGallery Collection-

Sincerely

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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429 - 435 of 1,553 reviews

Reviewed October 17, 2012

we have actually been there twice and going back in December
it is right in front of the sea and the personnel is so friendly and nice it is like home
the hotel is not too big and the massages excellent !
Loved it

Room Tip: in front of the ocean sans faute !
  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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Thank Paulyne17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RACHID B, Directeur général at Le Medina Essaouira Hotel Thalassa Sea & Spa - MGallery by Sofitel-, responded to this reviewResponded October 20, 2012

Dear PassPaulyne,

Thank you very much for your message!!

Happy that you enjoy your stay, all the staff hope to welcome you soon in this Hotel!!

Thank you for your visit, I wish to see you again.

Best Regards

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Reviewed October 17, 2012

My wife and I both mid to late 60,s spent four days at this Hotel 7/10 to 11/10/2012.Parts of the Hotel are a little tired( Some carpets are not far from needing renewing and our bathroom sink had a crack) but more than compensated for by very friendly helpful staff. The food was excellent. Pool area could do with some more sun loungers but space is a little limited. Very convenient for the Beach/Harbour(mainly fishing boats) and the Medina.We found the resort safe and friendly although visitors should be ready for the sometimes less than hygienic Medina. The sea seemed to be popular (But we didn,t venture in) and the beach good for walking especially to see the starting points for Camel,Horse rides,Quad Biking and Kite Surfing.

Room Tip: We had a great room (205),second floor) over-looking the Pool opposite side to the Main Bar Area whi...
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Retired77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RACHID B, Directeur général at Le Medina Essaouira Hotel Thalassa Sea & Spa - MGallery by Sofitel-, responded to this reviewResponded October 20, 2012

Dear Retired77,

Thank you very much for your message.

I am happy that you enjoyed your stay in the hotel.

I will transfer your message to my staff; we will have the pleasure of welcoming you in the very near future!

Sincerely,

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Reviewed October 16, 2012

This is a lovely place, spotlessly clean and beautifully decorated. It's a five minute walk along the seaside to the Medina, so better located than some of the more "package holiday" places further along the beach.

The staff were friendly and helpful, the room was perfect and the common areas (lobby, pool, hammam) were all lovely.

Very comfortable bed, great bathroom. It was cleaned twice a day, but we were never interrupted by staff.

Also, the place smells incredible - I think there is some kind of essential oil they have put into the indoor fountains and flower bowls. Jasmine?

Only two complaints:
1) there is only wifi in the lobby, and the signal is terrible. Time for free wifi in the rooms!
2) We were lazy and ordered breakfast one morning, which was overpriced and not amazing - stale pastries and sour milk!

We got a cheap deal online, so definitely worth doing a bit of research if you want to stay in a 5 star for 3 star prices.

Room Tip: Get a room facing the pool - the road on the "sea view" side isn't super nice.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank kixonroute66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RACHID B, Directeur général at Le Medina Essaouira Hotel Thalassa Sea & Spa - MGallery by Sofitel-, responded to this reviewResponded October 18, 2012

Dear kixonroute66,

Thank you very much for your message. I appreciate that you take time to give us your feed back!

The internet is available through a secure cable connection in your room.

I noted your comment about breakfast; I will not hesitate to share with the responsible of the room service. I will take the necessary actions, all my sincere apologies for this experience.

Thank you again for taking the time to write your comment.

Sincerely

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2012

So, after our bags were delayed by 24 hours (thanks BA) the holiday got off to a ropey start, but the hotel really made up for this. We had a lovely welcome with cold towels and mint tea, along with concern about our bags.

The room was a standard and was very large and very clean - we also had a great sea view as well. Beds exceptionally comfy too.

The hotel and staff really did show their 5 star crowns when I tripped (over my own clumsy feet!) and broke my arm. I passed out and two room ladies who spoke little English did everything they could to help. One of the Managers, Amin (apologies if this is spelt incorrectly) called an ambulance and accompanied us to hospital, translating everything. He stayed until we were finished and then got the hotel car to pick us up. The next day he also got the Dr to come to the hotel and explain how it had broken (not a simple break unfortunately)

Every member of staff asked after my comfort and showed great sympathy, even sending flowers to my room. The more cynical of you may say they are scared of being sued - I made it clear it was my fault!

All I can say is a whole hearted massive thank you to everyone for being so calm and amazing.

The other great things? Private beach opposite hotel, lots of sunbeds, covered day beds and on the patio over the indoor pool, hammocks. Free wifi in the reception with plenty of comfy sofas too. Yes breakfast is more expensive, but show me a hotel anywhere in the world where it isn't? We tried lots of cafes and restaurants in the Medina that were very cheap with great food.

Don't be out off by comments that the staff here don't care! They absolutely do.

Room Tip: The standard rooms on the left side of the hotel still have great sea views - 242 was the first room...
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank BlueWoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RACHID B, Directeur général at Le Medina Essaouira Hotel Thalassa Sea & Spa - MGallery by Sofitel-, responded to this reviewResponded October 18, 2012

Dear Blue Woman,

First I would like to thank you for choosing Le Medina Essaouira Hotel Thalassa sea & spa.

I hope you are feeling better. All team thank you for your positive message.

I hope we will have the pleasure of welcoming you in the very near future!

Sincerely,

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Reviewed October 9, 2012

We approached the Reception Desk at Le Medina and were greeted by a young Lady while we were still some yards away from her, by name and with the comment, 'We have been waiting for you'.

With hindsight, we think the Receptionist had been required to stay on duty, beyond the end of her shift just to check us in and wanted to 'process' us as quickly as possible.

We were not offered any refreshing hot towels or welcoming drink. This is an extra service we accept, but in line with Arab welcomes we usually receive and we saw it given to other arrivals on subsequent days.

We went straight into form filling. The form was detailed and in several languages and was in small print. The light was dim - as is my eyesight and hearing as I get older (!) - and the young Lady only wanted certain information. Whilst we were writing on the form we were being battered with unrelated verbal information - little of which I understood at the time - and still am none the wiser.

Still talking, the Receptionist was tapping areas of the form which needed completing ( many areas didn't) She obviously knew the forms well, but it was the first time we had seen them and so did need to read what was required. Having being handed back the forms, the young Lady said our bags would be taken up and that she would tell us the full details of our introduction to the premises, 'tomorrow' (which never came).

I was then asked for my credit card. Just having been the victim of a fraudulent withdrawal of several thousand pounds from my credit card account, I am particularly careful about using it. Occasionally I have had it 'swiped' even at relatively good hotels and I am not too worried about that. I have never had money taken up front, however, and that is what happened at Le Medina. They requested I put my PIN in to authorise 4,000 dirhams - just short of £400.00 before we could proceed.

I challenged it and they said in answer, 'We don't actually take any money". We 'discussed' it for a short while and in the end, with language difficulties not helping, I withdrew my arguments. We were tired anyway.

I have never been asked for money up front in a higher grade hotel and I expect to do business in any case, with a mutual level of trust. They obviously didn't trust me.

We said we would really like to have a meal and were told the the Restaurants had closed at 10.00. We were left to our own devices.

Very bad start to our stay.

We ordered and had a room service meal. We did not get what we ordered. It was an 'uninspiring' meal and not worth the £65 price tag.


The next morning we had a look round the hotel and prepared for our customary day's 'switch off' by the pool.

We were soon very aware of suited managerial types prowling round the pool area and the hotel in general. They often carried clip boards, were unsmiling and uncommunicative with the guests throughout our stay. They were plainly looking for fault and this carried on all the time we were there. It was quite uncomfortable and indiscreet. Skilfully done the guests should be unaware of this checking.

Often when fault appeared to have been found, one of the 'workers' was spoken to and often scuttled off to put right, we assume, what they had, had pointed out. Assumption I know but it was very oppressive, whatever they were doing. This sort of thing again, should not happen in front of guests.

The staff appeared to be on tenter hooks and always seemed to have one eye on the Prowling Managers' , half an eye on what they were doing and only half an eye on the guests and their requirements.

A frequent 'victim' was the Pool Boy who was I presume at the bottom of the pile. Many criticisms seemed to filter down to him from the whole tiers above. I felt quite sorry for him as he had always been polite, cheerful and helpful to us.

I saw him physically gripped on the upper arm and marched to a preparation table by one of the managers. I saw him apparently instructed to clean the stainless steel fountain and shower fittings at the pool whilst the guests were taking breakfast alongside the pool.

He did the task and went to the manager asking him, I presume, to inspect his work. The manager went over to the shower and after looking, kicked a stainless screen floor mounting, obviously not satisfied. The Pool Attendant dropped to his knees and polished.

Having done that the Pool Attendant was roped in to wait at, lay out and move tables for the guests. He seemed to have an awful lot of responsibilities.

He often struggled with heavy, awkward loads watched by scowling managers too proud to give a hand.

All this led to what appeared to be an unhappy staff and a 'heavy atmosphere' at the hotel. It had no soul.


Our room was on one occasion, not supplied water as promised in the Guests Manual of services and rules.

Another evening the advertised turn down service did not happen and we were left with wet towels for the following morning.


We only had one meal at the hotel after the room service meal (excepting breakfasts), and that was the Sunday evening, to indulge our passion for seafood. The meal in their Seafood Restaurant was expensive, lacked any sort of inspiration and was very mediocre - not something an 'Award Winning Chef 'would be proud of by any means.

Breakfast on our last day was a poor show. They had a conference there and guests were obviously placed second in line of priority. ' No there is not a table outside by the pool - they are all full' I was told. We ate breakfast inside for the first time .

Breakfast was a farce.

At various stages there were as many as four managerial types watching the breakfast display at once. Standing back from it, some sheltered by drapes so they were 'not in play' as far as the guests were concerned.
Two were watching and another suit appeared. He walked along the display looking critically, located and enlisted the help of a Sous Chef to adjust the direction of the fan (only a small table top fan - I could have done it with one hand and poured a cup of tea at the same time), which stood over the fruit (to keep the flies at bay?). Thus adjusted, they stood back, admired their work and then walked off.
None of the other supervisors spoke to each other or any one else. They just stood there looking very superior and aware of their rank.
Another suit came along a few minutes later and re-adjusted the direction of the air flow from the fan for the third time.

A guest took a cake and the plate it was taken from was snatched by a Sous Chef who disappeared with it and a few minuted later returned with the same plate with the missing cake replaced (the same as the remaining four). He had obviously been instructed to keep the displays topped up - but how daft was that?

Someone else came along and adjusted the direction of the fan again. The fourth time in about 15 minutes.

All this within a 3 yard distance from the food display and Chris and I sitting at our table which was about 12 feet from the display, with empty tea pot needing refills. They weren't worried about or observing the guests. There were around 5 or 6 other tables occupied in the room. For the fourth time that week, I left the table, carrying my empty Moroccan teapot so search for one of the waiters to fill it. I 'cheekily' gave it to a manager one morning and he went and found a waiter and gave it to him to fill! Not his job!

There was often only one waiter serving breakfasts, watched by one or two static non assisting managers. That was when the Pool Boy was often roped in to help serve - taken off cleaning the bottom of the pool with the suction hose.


Saturday at 11 30 hrs, we went to settle our account.

We were presented with a bill which was very brief, because I had resolved not to spend any money at the hotel in view of our reception and treatment. The bill however itemised a meal and cigarettes, neither of which we had bought. We had as I said, refused to eat at, or drink at the hotel, in view of their opening gambit of taking money from me up front in case we ran off, so we knew full well that the meal was not ours and as fanatical non- smokers the cigarettes were certainly not ours. We demanded the signed receipts. They couldn't produce them. It was interesting that all the other receipts for the items on our bill were there, so I suspect that they were 'Trying it on".

There was an interlude, when they presented the guest next to us also checking out, with the wrong bill and when he did get his bill, having seen our experiences, carefully checked his bill and queried a number of entries. I don't know what the resolution of that was.

However, back to our bill. The slips could not be produced, but the manager of the bar / restaurant was. He said we had, had the meal and cigarettes and that we were sitting with other people (named Pickering) at the time. I challenged him quite aggressively and demanded that he proved it. He was plainly lying. The receptionist intervened and he skulked away when she assured us we would not be charged. I was asked to sign to the effect that I had not had the items, but had to ask for a fresh, corrected invoice before it was settled out of the money they had originally secured from me.

Amazingly, I was asked if I had enjoyed my stay at the hotel and she appeared quite put out when I replied that I had not.

I asked for my suitcases to remain in my view while we waited for our transfer, but they disappeared several minutes later and I had to enlist the help of the receptionist to recover them. ( I was concerned that they may be tampered with as some sort of revenge for the complaints I had, had to make).

The culmination was that as we sat guarding our cases, reading and waiting for our transfer, we were served two colourful glasses of fruit cocktail - the sort of thing a new arrival would have been given. 'Thank You', I said, thinking that perhaps they were trying to console us. But no, after about 5 minutes the same waiter came over and without a word removed the two untouched drinks, put them on his tray and went off to serve them to some other lucky people (New arrivals, perhaps?).

We have looked at their website again and have to say that their images of their private beach, bear little resemblance to what we saw.

That hotel is an absolute shambles. They seem to be in some trouble. They were going round switching things off - i.e. the pool fountains, periodically - it can only to have been to save money.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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2  Thank GUSBanbury
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RACHID B, Directeur général at Le Medina Essaouira Hotel Thalassa Sea & Spa - MGallery by Sofitel-, responded to this reviewResponded October 11, 2012

Dear GUSBanbury,

Thank you for taking time to share your observations with us following your stay at the Medina Essaouira hotel Thalassa sea & Spa.

We have taken note of your comments regarding all the issues you have mentioned and would like to express our sincerest apologies.

We sincerely hope to have you back with us in the near future in order to help us monitoring our progresses.

All responsible departments have been advised of your comments. They have taken all measures necessary to ensure that undesirable incidents of this kind will not recur.

We hope that this incident will not leave you with a bad impression of the Medina Essaouira and we hope that we will have the pleasure of welcoming you again very soon.

In this effect, we have the pleasure, to offer you a free upgrade to our most beautiful suite sea view with VIP treatment during your stay.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact us and please accept our sincerest apologies.

Kindest regards

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Reviewed October 9, 2012

We spent a week here after three days in Marrakech so were ready for some relaxation! We were greeted with hot towels and mint tea which was really appreciated after a three hour bus journey. We had a standard room which was very spacious, the bed was huge and as comfortable as everyone says. The room was very clean and the staff kept it that way throughout our stay. We didn't opt for breakfast as it is extremely expensive in comparison to elsewhere in Essaouira, however our stay would been improved if it was more reasonable as you don't always want to get up and go out first thing. We spent several afternoons at the hotel pool and never had any trouble finding a sunbed or large four poster bed to lounge on... the pool staff are very attentive and provided towels and drinks quickly. The pool area was always quiet even when lots of guests were there which made for very relaxing afternoons.... definitely not a hotel for children! The service was generally very good, doorman cheerfully greeted us several times a day, the cleaning staff are extremely eager so remember to put your 'do not disturb' sign on in the evening if you don't want to come in and turn down the bed while you're there! Staff at the front desk are helpful but it did seem like a bit of a chore for them on occasion. Our only down side was a very dodgy burger ordered from room service one night that was barely cooked.... a bout of illness did occur the next day but this could have been anything in Morocco really (even the strongest of stomachs don't seem to escape a little illness here!) Over all we had a great stay and would definitely recommend :)

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Christine753
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RACHID B, Directeur général at Le Medina Essaouira Hotel Thalassa Sea & Spa - MGallery by Sofitel-, responded to this reviewResponded October 11, 2012

Dear Christine,

Thank you so much for giving us your positive feedback concerning your last stay at the Medina Essaouira Hotel Thalassa sea & spa.

I will transfer your compliments to my staff; it is the biggest reward for their daily effort and I hope we will have the pleasure of welcoming you in the very near future!

Sincerely,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Le Medina Essaouira Hotel Thalassa Sea & Spa - MGallery by Sofitel-

Address: Avenue Mohamed V, Essaouira 44000, Morocco
Phone Number:
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Essaouira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Spa Hotel in Essaouira
#7 Luxury Hotel in Essaouira
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Essaouira
#17 Family Hotel in Essaouira
#19 Romantic Hotel in Essaouira
Price Range: $90 - $154 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Le Medina Essaouira Hotel Thalassa Sea & Spa - MGallery by Sofitel- 5*
Number of rooms: 117
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Reminiscent of a sumptuous Moroccan riad, the facade of the Sofitel Thalassa Essaouira is painted the traditional red of Mogador. Set on the coast, close to the medina, this charming luxury hotel furnished with thuja and lemon wood cabinets, provides direct access to a luxury thalassotherapy centre. Enjoy an unforgettable leisure and fitness break. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Le Medina Essaouira Hotel Thalassa Sea And Spa - Mgallery Collection
Accor Thalassa Essaouira
Sofitel Essaouira
Essaouira Sofitel

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