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“Absolute nightmare - horrible rooms (bed bugs), dirty bathrooms and horrible staff!”
1 of 5 bubbles Review of Hotel Smara

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Hotel Smara
Ranked #65 of 74 Hotels in Essaouira
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Absolute nightmare - horrible rooms (bed bugs), dirty bathrooms and horrible staff!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 4, 2011

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!!!

Room Tip: dirty, bits of wall in the bed, bed bugs galore!
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank rjwl1989
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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43 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    2 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
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English first
Madrid, Spain
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 25, 2011

My two girlfriends and I recently stayed just one night at Hotel Smara, while it is in a good area, close to the ramparts and the sea, this hardly makes up for the severe bed bug infestation!!! After just one night my friends and I have literally hundreds of itchy bites between us! We quickly checked out and ran around the corner to an affordable hotel and were happy to spend a few dirham more to escape the bugs. Please do yourself a favour and DO NOT even think about staying here.

Ps I do not understand how this place is listed with 3 stars!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank odessa1981
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Essaouira hotels

Krakow, Poland
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 14, 2011

Located in the heart of medina just behind Essaouira ramparts it is very good choice to stay. You can listen to the sounds of seagulls and ocean waves. Walking distance to the center square, port and beach. Friendly staff.
One hint - it could be great to see little ordinary rug on the concrete floor.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank kasia_TA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 21, 2010

We stayed there only 1 night and found the mattress covered with black little stains. Since we never dealt with bed bugs before we didn't know this was a sign of bed bug infestation. We saw some bed bugs just before going to bed kind of late so we put some essential oil
(lavender and clover) in the bed linen to protect us from bites, knowing we were only staying one night. We didn't get any bites but unfortunately we brought back some home with us, probably from leaving our baggage on the bed before we noticed anything.
We were staying in room No 12... beware!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank alphonser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 12, 2010

I was recommended the room with sea view by travellers I met in Mirleft a few days earlier. Knowing it was also recommended in Lonely Planet had me feel confident to book in advance. What a big mistake!!

The place was very dirty and shabby for even the budget traveller not to comment. OK, I'm used to budget hostels, so as long as the bed is clean and I can have a shower then I'm not going to be too fussed about it.

Well, after checking in, I was told there were no clean towels available until I would come back later. This I did, at 11pm, itching for a shower before bed. To my shock, dismay and frustration, they told me no clean towel was available, and then to make things worse the front desk worker looked for a towel and came back with an old and clearly dirty, unlaundered towel and said it was clean! Unbelievable!

I told him I would go to another hotel at this late hour because I needed a shower so I wanted my money back. I was told to come back at 10am next day to claim refund. I checked into a quite beautiful hotel (Maison du Sud) and returned next day to claim my refund.

I was greeted with a distinctly bad attitude. I was told that I could not have my money back that this hotel does not provide any clean towels for their residents and that I have no claim. On suggesting that I write a review on TripAdvisor, the worker told me - "that's OK, your review will not count for much as there are loads of good reviews"! It was a terrible attitude, not even considering my bad experience as a customer.

If you want a dirty, shabby experience, even for budget standards, then consider this hotel!!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank jomobi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 4, 2010

I know it is a long time since i stayed there and they have actually done the rooms up by the look of the photos and they still look horrible.

The shower room was covered in flies, toilets (no paper) smelt awful, not often cleaned if someone peed on the floor, and a lot of people share them.

Rooms like dungeons.

The owners must be new as they were the most miserablist people i have encountered in Morocco.

Why the Lonely Planet still have it in their book i have no idea.

Luckily because it was so awful it meant we met some really good friends in Chez Bana a ceramics shop opposite the post off in La Llouj who got us decent cheap accommodation elsewhere, have been back every year since but will never stay at Smelly Smara again.

  • Stayed April 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Fishtopher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 9, 2009

We stayed here for 2 nights after blowing our budget round the corner at Maison Du Sud (also fab but for different reasons!) Smara was the cheapest place we found in Ess. We had a double room with Sea View on third floor. Room was very basic and there was a dodgy looking lightbulb hanging precariously from the wall. Dust galore and questionable bedsheets. However the shutters open out to the most beautiful view you could hope for and thus everything else nolonger matters! Will be back there in January for another slice of budget paradise.

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank travellinjodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Smara

Property: Hotel Smara
Address: 26 Rue De Skala, Essaouira 44000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Essaouira
Hotel Style:
Ranked #65 of 74 Hotels in Essaouira
Number of rooms: 29
Also Known As:
Smara Hotel Essaouira

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