An excellent holiday!
We returned from a week at the Sofitel Agadir last week really wishing we'd booked for two weeks! We had an extremely relaxing family holiday in beautiful, friendly surroundings. Despite previous rave reviews about the first impression of the hotel we were still surprised by the scale of both the buildings and especially the swimming pool; consequently we spent a great deal of time in the hotel complex. Our children were able to swim and play in safety and enjoyed the table tennis, tennis and pool table at various times. The hammocks, four posters and sofas add a real touch of style and the whole feel of the place is simply one of luxurious relaxation. The beach is fantastic and although guidebooks warn of dangerous undertow we saw no sign of this and all enjoyed swimming etc before retiring to more sofas, double beds etc right on the beach! The nightly beach parties were good but the Las Vegas night was fantastic; the attention to detail was remarkable! The So Lounge is also a bizarrely enjoyable feature, especially when the hotel manager himself gives more than passable rendition of Tom Jones!! We booked B&B and found the breakfasts so varied and plentiful we ate next to no lunch. We were delighted to discover that children eat for free in the main restaurant so although we loved the La Nasse Oriental / Moroccan restaurant we ate in La Caravanne regularly and were never disappointed. The staff were exceptionally helpful and attentive and loved to interact with our two children! We had two interconnecting rooms which gave us plenty of space for four and we found them very comfortable; we also had an excellent view over the pool, beach and towards the kasbah in Agadir itself. We took a taxi trip (3hrs for £12) around the main highlights of the town; fish market and harbour, kasbah, souk, argan oil workshop etc which I was initially sceptical about but it turned out to be an excellent way to see the town in chatty, informative hands - highly recommended! We returned chilled, delighted with our choice of holiday and would go back again like a shot!
I thoroughly enjoyed everything about this hotel. The first impressions were overwhelming. We were greeted by Moroccan tea, music and hospitality. The room was very clean, and had everything we needed plus rose petals. The service in the hotel was outstanding, we felt spoilt. One thing I would say, is that remember that this hotel is classed as a 5 star hotel, and with that comes 5 star prices. Although cheaper than most major cities, but still worth keeping in mind. I would not hesitate in going back.
My girlfriend and I stayed here for 1 week in July and found the hotel to be fantastic. The lobby is excellent, and you are greeted on arrival for check-in my mint teas and cold towels to freshen up, while the reception handles your check-in.
The hotel only covers 3-4 floors, so it is not a high-rise and therefore does not feel overwhelming.
The rooms were comfortable and spacious, but not the most stunningly luxurious I have ever seen.
The pool area is fantastic, with a large cold water pool, and a smaller heated pool. There is ample area to sunbathe by the pool, but the popular 4-poster bed loungers seem to get the attention of the "beach towel brigade" from early in the morning (i.e. people reserving a lounger by throwing a towel on it at 6am and then not coming back to it unitl 11am!).
There is a regular flow of waiters to serves food/drink by the pool if it is needed.
The restaurants are excellent. Admittedly, the buffet selection, while varied, isn't top notch cooking, but is plentiful. The main restaurant we used was the Japanese/Morrocan one adjacent to the pool area. The food was excellent.
The management won us over in particular. We had an unfortunate incident with some fairly offensive, unprovoked comments being directed at my girlfriend by a group of young British muslim men late one night in the lobby. When we spoke to the manager about this he said he had received a couple of other complaints about the behaviour of the same individuals (swearing unnecessarily around the pool area when children were around, and other antisocial behaviour), and in order to make sure that we all enjoyed the rest of our stay he said he would speak to their tour operator to have them moved. True to his word, they were out of the hotel a day and a half later, moved to another one somewhere else in Agadir.
5* service there!
Agadir itself is not a startling town by any stretch of the imagination. We didn't spend much time there as we found the hotel much more relaxing and comfortable. We decided that we would definitely go back to Agadir, not for the town, but to stay at this fantastic hotel again.
We had a fantastic stay at the SOFITEL. The room was spacious and bright. The food was delicious, we ate mostly from the Caravan Restaurant which was self-service style. The pool was beautiful. Lunchtime we ate by the pool in the small dining area. The beach is great. Just loved it and would highly recommend a visit.
Excellent beach hotel
I stayed at the Sofitel for a week with my girlfriend and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay.
The hotel decor was a lovely blend of traditional Morocco style with modern European standards. I thought they got the mix just right! The staff were always friendly, attentive and happy to chat.
The restaurants are of a high standard. If you are thinking of going half board, the buffet style restaurant is excellent and does not loose any of its Moroccan charm.
The pool is large and very clean (almost every morning we saw it being cleaned). The bed style sun loungers add a really nice touch to the pool side atmosphere.
The hotel is most suited to couples/ friends (of all ages) looking for a relaxing retreat.
Agadir itself, as stated else were on this website, is fast becoming a typical beach site resort. Which is why we appreciated the quieter 'south beach' location of this hotel.
Agadir is however a good base to explore the more traditional Morocco. We hired a car and drove to Taroudannt/Tioute which was a really good day out and added some nice variety to the holiday.
To sum up, I would highly recommend this resort hotel.
great hotel but not a 5 star
My husband and I stayed at the Sofitel for a week, which we thoroughly enjoyed our stay,
The outside area is great and pool very clean, The beach is only a few 100 yards away and even though the sea isn't that clear, it's still great to swim in.
The staff varied, some very friendly and attentive, others down right rude. Most spoke little English, which could be difficult at times.
Rooms are very basic, we booked a duluxe, which meant we had a balcony, which in most other 5 star hotels a balcony would come as standard.
Agadir itself, is a dirty run down resort and the couple of restaurants that are there, are over priced and standards very poor.
Agadir is however a good base to explore the more traditional Morocco and the Sofitel was definatley the best hotel in the resort.
Great Hotel Pure Relaxtion
Me and my husband stayed at this hotel in Sept for 1 week, the hotel itself is of very high standard. As soon as you arrive you are seated with mint tea, you don't even have to go to reception.
We booked a pool view room as the standard rooms are facing the front of the hotel, the rooms are basic not really what you would expect for a 5 star. There was no balcony with this room. Rooms were cleaned everyday.
We went B&B which was good as we found the restuarants in the hotel to be very expensive so we eat out each day. You can get a orange cab into the resort but make sure you confirm the price before as the drivers seem to charge you any rate. Just don't pay more than 20 dhirams. Breakfast was good with a variety of food, the only thing that put me of was the flys, there everywhere you go.
Pool area was excellent, lots of beds and loungers. Staff were friendly although they hardly speak English. The 4 poster beds were amazing you just end up sleeping on them all day.
Agadir itself is quite poor as a resort. When shopping just make sure you haggle because some of the prices they charge for gifts etc are ridiculous.
Overall a very relaxing holiday.
Stayed at this hotel in Sept 06, for one week, beuatiful hotel especailly reception area/lounge and pool area. Staff were always friendly and polite, though had didfficulty underatanding English at times.
Stayed B&B, Breakfast was good, as expected in a 5 star hotel, (lots of flies - a problem genmearlly every where we went to eat, even outside the hotel). I suffered D&V first two days of the stay and my husband had similar symptoms last 2 days of the stay.
Food and drink expensive in the hotel, compared to Morocco prices. Easy to get samll taxi into town.
A Great Place to Relax
My partner and I plus two teenage children have just returned and all agreed we had a great holiday. The intention was to have a chill-out holiday with some sight-seeing and we were not disappointed.
The hotel itself scores highly for -
The lobby area which is stunning - a great place to sit in for a pre- or post -dinner cocktail
The pool area with its abundant four poster beds and great loungers;
The breakfasts and self-service dinner restaurant
Less satisfactory was the high cost of everything and the fact that we all had a day of gastro-intestinal problems, despite only eating in the hotel. An example of the cost issues was the price of a litre of water. In the hotel it was 40 dirhams (£2.50) whereas in the local supermarket it was 2 dirhams. One chap told me it was cheaper to catch a taxi to the supermarket to buy icecreams than purchase them from the hotel.
Fortunately there is a fridge in your room and you can stock up on water, beer, wine from the supermarket and even lunch time snacks.
Still, the hotel is very well maintained and there are lots of staff so l suppose they have to be paid from somewhere.
I saw the hotel on Lastminute at £2000 for 4, B&B, including flights. However, after searching on the net l came across Medhotels, a sister company of Lastminute, and they had the hotel at a bargain rate. By booking direct flights from Gatwick with BA l got the deal down to less than £1600. Medhotels also gave the opportunity to book HALF-BOARD for just over £200 which was much cheaper than paying nightly at the hotel. So in total it came to £1760 which was great value. A taxi from the airport takes 20 mins and costs 200 dirhams (£12.50)
The money exchange at the airport only accepts notes, not travellers cheques, but the hotel will take them. Eveywhere offers you the same government-set exchange rate. There is a cash machine in the hotel.
We went on two trips. We booked the first, a tour of Agadir, through the Medhotels rep, Mohamed, who suggested as there were 4 of us we use a large taxi rather than join a coach party. This was a great idea. We struck up a great rapport with our driver, Mahfoud, who told us we could go wherever we wanted, at a time to suit us, stop anywhere, take our time etc. We asked to see the real Morocco and he did us proud. The fish market is very interesting if a little pungent, go see the women on the quay who prepare some of the fish, squid etc. We wanted to see the souk but Mahfoud suggested the one in the Berber district just outside Agadir. It was fantastic - the highlight was the chamber of horrors that was the meat market. The first stall sold only tripe, the second only goats heads, the third had a Damien Hurst type exhibit featuring a camel. As Mahfoud said "The Berber, we eat everything." He then took us shopping among the narrow little streets with cobblers, tailors etc all working on the pavements outside the shops, fascinating.
However the main event was when we went down the street full of jewellers. We found several things we were interested in but then Mafoud asked if we were interested in antiquities. He took us to a tiny jewellers specialising in antique Berber jewellery which has been in the same family for 3 generations. It was fabulous and my partner and daughter were in heaven. There was so much they wanted to buy. We were interested in several pieces at which point we were offered a price for the lot. Mahfoud did a lot of the bartering for us and assured us that we were being offered a very good price. A bit of kidology got a little bit more knocked off and we bought the lot. The women were thrilled. Later we discovered what a great bargain we got when we saw a necklace similar to one of those we bought , for sale at £3000 in an amazing jewellers in Taroudant. Even allowing for the fact the price was open to negotiation, we still paid less than a tenth of that. A necklace ,not half as good, in the hotel jewellers, was still priced at three times what we paid even after a lot of bartering.
This little adventure was typical of our later trip on Thursday to Taroudant, again with Mahfoud. He took us off the beaten track on the way there, stopping at a weekly livestock market. It was like a scene out of National Geographic, unchanged for hundreds of years. The women were spooked because they were the only women among thousands of Berber tribesmen/traders. There were tents where people sat cross-legged on the ground drinking tea and eating bread that a man was baking in a low, stone, charcoal-fuelled oven. I found it fascinating.
Later that day we went to see the goats who climb to the top of trees, amazing and bizarre.
Whenever we saw something we wanted to buy Mahfoud did the initial bartering then left us to finish, always saying "Say what price you wish to pay and if they do not accept then we just leave, it is no problem."
We saved lots of money and time, and because of the introduction we were given by Mahfoud, we had very courteous and pleasant exchanges with all the traders. I know there is the danger of drivers being in cahoots with shopkeepers, but we never felt that we were being taken advantage of. From the outset we paid Mahfoud what he was worth to us, not what we could get away with and that made a big difference. He constantly went out of his way for us. When he took my partner to an Argan oil center for a two hour massage (her verdict was that it was her best ever and the cheapest at £20), when she said she wished she could get hold of the hypnotic Berber music they played, he turned up the next day with the CD.
Mahfoud really helped make the holiday for us and l thoroughly recommend his services. He isn't a qualified guide but his English is more than adequate and he could answer most of our many questions.Using him meant we could go on any trip when it suited us, not as per a timetable.Contact him via Mohamed in the hotel, he is there most mornings.
If, like me, you are interested in wine, the Moroccan wine is a positive revelation. Pay around £5 plus in the supermarket and you will get some great stuff. The main standby is Medaillon. The white is excellent as is the rose. The red is also very good if you like your wine full bodied. Pay around £20 a bottle in the hotel restaurant. The absolute star wine is Coteaux de L'Atlas. This is more expensive. We paid £30 for the white on our last night at a local restaurant ant it was stunningly good. I could only wish l'd found it earlier and bought it at the supermarket. They also make a red.
There is a night-lounge in the hotel where most of the evening entertainment was held. It had a great sound system and in many respects it looked great. However, there was no defined dance area, just a small space in front of the stage.
Overall we really enjoyed our trip to Morocco. Agadir itself may not have quite the charisma of Marrakesh, but it has good value hotels, a magnificent beach, and plenty of interesting places to travel out to. There are some water sports from the beach but sadly the sea is not appropriate for snorkeling. The Agadir souk is very large and is interesting to visit at night, but haggle hard!