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El Morocco Inn & Day Spa
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Reviews (327)
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Reviewed February 15, 2014

We weren't sure what to expect from Desert Hot Springs. The town itself was a bit underwhelming, but the El Morocco exceeded expectations. For the price, it was an amazing getaway and something really different. Located in an unassuming residential area, the hotel is a hidden gem that surprises from the moment you open the door. From the nice amenities - free snacks, DVDs, a lounge stocked with magazines and Casablanca on a loop - to the fully modernized rooms, there was something fun around every corner. Lots of little private areas, from the fire pit to adobe fire places to the whole side garden with bocce ball, chess, hammocks and even a yoga tent, make this one of the most romantic escapes in the desert. Our room was large and one room had a circular bed draped in sheer curtains..super cool! The Morocco-tinis at happy hour were plentiful and the hot spring pool and hot tub were large enough that they felt private. Overall, it exceeded our expectations and for the price was an amazing getaway. I suggest that the very attentive front desk staff learn a little more about local hikes and activities as well as restaurant options. But beyond that, no complaints...only a terrific experience and one we will hopefully enjoy again and again!

Room Tip: Ask for details on the rooms...we recommend the Sultans room with the circular bed!
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank IslandGirlCa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2014

When you drive up to the front entrance of the El Morocco Inn & Spa with its stone fortress-like walls guarded by tall palm trees and approach the heavy wooden & iron-studded door, you almost want to say "Open Sesame!: But your Arabian nights momentary fantasy fades and you ring the doorbell! But when you are admitted into the darkened hallway with its potted palms and gauzy curtains illuminated by brass pierced lanterns, your desert dreams sweep you away like a soothing sandstorm of Saharan sensuality. The concierge leads you to your room along the poolside walk covered with oriental rugs, surrounded by high walls with ramparts, arabesque arches,and "littered" with lounges and canopied daybeds upholstered in exotic Middle Eastern fabrics as well as plump tasselled pillows. Soft middle eastern music plays all day long here. All the 18 or so rooms/suites have Moroccan-inspired names - ours was the "Marrakesh Express." All the rooms have impressive wooden and iron studded doors painted in an alluring sky blue hue with a placard proudly displaying its individuality. We understand that the owners imported all these doors from Morocco and even painted them!?
Without saying open sesame to that blue door, we were led into an exotic tent-like room with a large four-poster bed canopied with billowing transparent curtains, festooned with tassels and cluttered with puffy pillows. There was a beautifully snuggable window seat settee and the room was subtly lit with those pierced brass lanterns. I believe the Trip Advisor photo for the Inn is the room in which we stayed!? Even the bathroom was delightfully decorated in Moroccan motifs, including wooden and brass boxes and ceramics to hold soaps, shampoos and even Q-tips! The towel racks were of mid-eastern wrought iron, like the kabob skewers we bought in Tangier years ago. A large Moroccan armoire housed the plasma TV and the fridge. The shower, though ,needed a little work on the fixtures and some spackling in the porcelain.
That evening, guests gathered around the circular bar lit by torches and those lanterns and enjoyed complimentery Moroccan martinis made with sake and citrus juices with a sugar rim. You could even munch on dried apricots and dates. No details were missed here.Then you could either walk or drive out for dinner or have nearby retaurants deliver it to you. A glass or two of port wine was waiting for you upon your return in the elegant salon replete with fireplace, comfortable couches and chairs and the movie "Casablanca" was playing in an endless loop on a large TV!
In the morning, wonderful coffee and tea were served from Moroccan urns and pots. The tasty breakfast consisted of fresh fruits and juices, yogurts, cereals, eggs and breads. Then, off to the huge tented hot tub, the Olympic thermally heated pool or the two person sauna. There was even a gigantic tent for yoga meditation. The massive garden area here is undergoing landscaping and should be a knockout soon!
But, there's more! Expert masseuses are available to soothe you with a myriad variety of massages and/our beauty treatments. We had the Moroccan Rain and the Pashas Pleasure! Now, they are fit for a sultan or two! The mud is said to come from the rivers at the base of the Atlas Mountains
And when you are able to tear yourself away from this sensuous salon of sights, sounds and smells, the check out process is simple and just what you asked for is on the bill. There was no Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves awaiting you with resort fees and scimitars!
We cannot wait to return here and have already let our circle of friends in on this oasis in the desert.
What really stands out here, after having visited Morocco and it's Six Royal Cities as well as Agadir, the Sahara and Tetuan on 4 or 5 trips, is the absolute attention, perhaps even obsession, with the details of Moroccan culture, history, architecture, decorative arts and cuisine that the owners have lavished on this wonderful hideaway. They have, literally and in actuality, created a mini-Morocco in the Western USA, which, coincidentally (?) resembles the geography of North Africa alot. If you squint your eyes a little in the Desert Hot Springs sun, you might even mistake the heights of Palm Springs for the Atlas Mountains of Morocco!

Room Tip: All the rooms surround the exotic and opulent pool and lounging areas but four or five are on a second level accessed by a carpeted stairway. Some are suites with kitchen facilities and slightly more expensive.
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Ostrick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2014

We stayed at the El. Morocco over the past weekend and were pleasantly surprised. The hotel is set up as if you were actually in Morocco. Authentic items adorned the entire hotel. Great care was made to give the patrons a feel that they in fact were special. From a Sultan's tent (doubling as a yoga exercise forum) to incredible hot springs feeding both the spa and pool. The staff were excellent and were always available. The rooms again carried out the feeling that you were in fact in Morocco. This is now our favorite desert getaway.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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Thank paul s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2014

Great fun, wonderful time. My sister, a world traveller and decorating book author took me and our cousins here. What a fantastic time we had. Owner and staff very friendly and welcoming. Definately would love to go back there.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank 84reidave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2014

Absolutely awesome! A dream-come-true! I'm a writer/photographer of interior design books of eco-retreats as well as running my own BnB. This is one of the dreamiest and best values of anywhere I've stayed all around the world. The decor and ambience are so superbly done that you are transported to sensual, spiritual world of the Kasbah the minute you pass through the blue door. The natural hot spring water of the pool and hot tub are so healing and relaxing, and all the little extra's - the sakitini Happy Hour, the evening fire pits, the delicious breakfast and much more - make your stay a never-ending series of delights. I'm already booking my next stay -- this time with spa treatments which I missed last time. Although I've always gone to one of the most posh resorts in the desert, this is my new favorite... and, at a much better price!

Room Tip: Each room is unique!
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Bibi J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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