I arrived at Hotel Beau Rivage, "freewheeling" from the Gare Routiere, after a six hour trip on the CTM bus from Casablanca. I had no reservation, but in the week preceding Easter I estimated this would be no problem obtaining accomodation at off-season prices.
The hotel is centrally located in Moulay Hassan Square, and close to the port, above the Cafe de France. I climbed the stairs to the first floor reception, and greeted the desk clerk with my request for a room for one night, and if the hotel was to my satisfaction, I would stay and pay upfront for a further ten nights. The prospect of a wad of cash galvanised him into action, and the negotiations commenced......... The room would be Dh250, but this was quickly revised down to Dh220 when I gave him my well-practised pained expression, to exclude breakfast which could be added at the cost of Dh30, and paid in the rooftop restaurant.
The first night passed without incident to deter me from staying the full tenure, although the desk clerk proffered apologies for some young noisy English guests who had now departed.
The room No.2, close to the reception area was spotlessly clean, with ensuite bathroom and endless hot water, this proximity to the reception was occasionally noisy with the maids talking loudly "wok wok bezaaf" ( too much chatting ) but most Moroccan hotels are the same, so I've learned to adjust to the routine of nocturnal disturbances. I used a Pacsafe, anchored to the bedstead to secure my valuables, but nothing went missing or was disturbed by the maids cleaning the room and making up the bed, on a daily basis, after I went out to my daily activities.
I ate breakfast on the roof restaurant, and paid the manager's wife, who also did the cooking, in cash each morning Dh30, the food was good, cheese omelette, salad, bread, butter and honey and one cup of coffee. She also washed my clothes for a tip of Dh50.
Now for the downside........................ The dinner menu at a fixed price of Dh90, was of "variable quality". To their credit, when I asked for fish, they explained that they would not serve fish dishes unless fresh seafood could be obtained from the fish market, for a few days the weather had been too rough at sea for the fishing boats to venture out safely, so I could order Brochettes instead, or Tagine, the latter was a mistake, the lamb Tagine consisted of barely-recognisable pieces of gristle desperately clinging to bones, and heavily disguised by sliced vegetables, swimming in liquid grease, the following evening I ordered the chicken Tagine which, after lots of prodding with my fork, revealed the same camouflage attempt with the "naked" chicken bones.
After these gastronomic disasters, I elected to eat in Bar Hafra, where hot bean and fish tapas were served in convivial surroundings.
On balance, the Beau Rivage was worth the money, and there are plenty of other eateries nearby, but avoid old stale fish, on days when the fishing boats are confined to harbour, by the weather !
Unique Quality: The view from the roof terrace is an excellent covert photographic opportunity of the street below, and the port beyond.
Directions: Place Moulay Hassan is easy to find, it's adjacent to the port and citadel, just ask any of the friendly Medina shopkeepers for directions, if lost.