Whatever you do....don't stay here. It was damp in mid summer. It was NOT clean at all and the bathrooms gave your gag reflex a good work out. I arrived and pulled back the covers to inspect the bed only to find bits of wall in my bed. Yes, bits of wall - the plaster was falling off into the beds. But i thought 'hey it's budget, ill brush it off n it'll be fine'. Then my friend spotted the first of the bed bugs! Now I don't mind one or two, it's to be expected in a cheapy hotel. However I awoke at 2:30pm along with my 2 travel companions only to find another one on my pillow and my friend to find 2 and my sister to find 3/4 as well. We swiftly killed them and turned the pillows over to return to our somewhat disturbed sleep. WOAH! A further 8 crawled on the other side and a further 4 scurried across the bedding. It was at this point we decided we wouldn't sleep in our room and made the move to the damp internal room (courtyard) - There was no one on reception to complain to or ask to be moved rooms so our only option was to set up camp in the courtyard, a deck of cards and ipod in hand.
After 3 hours sleep across the whole night, we were not impressed that noone came onto reception until almost 8am! By this time we were dressed and ready to leave. The only matter now was the pay! The man was outrageously rude! We had merely stated that we had not actually slept in our rooms due to the number of bed bugs and that we didn't really want to pay the full amount - hoping for a 10% discount or similar. The man went on to call us liars and that there was nothing wrong with the beds. We offered to show him the evidence but he told us we would have to wait for his manager who would be there in 20 mins. He then proceeded to call up to the cleaners - i can only assume he was telling them to clean our room to remove the evidence. He told us we should have said something to him, so we pointed out that noone was there to talk to at 2:30am! In the end we just wanted to get out and find a nice hotel so we paid our money and left! (it was only just over £15 for the 3 of us for the night, but it was the principle of it really)
We did manage to find a nice hotel for our second night, the Bleue Rivage, just off the main square. This was also listed in the lonely planet guide and was really lovely. It was 150dhr each, so roughy £10 a night. The rooms were clean and tidy and the bathroom was clean and didn't smell. The huge bonus was the balcony!!! overlooking the square and harbour. Just lovely, I would recommend this hotel for sure!
Essouira is the most peaceful and beautiful town. The residents are very chilled out and it was a welcome retreat from the manic nature of Marrakech (which was equally awesome in it's own way).
I will definitely be returning to Morocco. But not the Hotel Smara!!!
- Also Known As:
- Smara Hotel Essaouira