One of just a select few hotels in Agadir that could justify its five stars (Moroccan stars that is), the Palais des Roses is a quality beachfront property suitable for couples, friends or families looking for a touch of luxury. Although it does not offer an animation programme, it is a full service hotel in every other sense with perhaps the biggest pull being its excellent thalassotherapy centre. It also boasts, however, beautiful public spaces and grounds, good eating options and spacious, well appointed rooms. With several unique features there are probably only a couple of better places to stay in Agadir.
Right at the southern extremity of Agadir's bay, the Palais des Roses shares some top class quality with the two Sofitel properties as its neighbours. Far away from the hubbub of the main tourist centre the surroundings are very quiet with no restaurants, bars or shops in the immediate vicinity. If you did want a change of scenery then civilisation is a short taxi ride away although you could quite easily spend all day within the hotel. The airport is about half an hour away by taxi and the ride should work out at 200MAD.
The hotel is owned by the Saudi royal family and in fact one of the princes is building a private villa on the grounds of the hotel just in front of the beach. Given the extravagance of the owners it may not surprise you to hear that there are two Jaguars available for transporting guests to and from the airport: a classic model which costs 500MAD per trip and a new model which costs 700MAD.
The scale of the lobby at the Palais des Roses is suggestive of that of the hotel at large, that is to say, immense. The space is full of character with typical décor everywhere you look in the form of rugs, lamps, wooden furniture, contemporary artwork and a water feature covered in beautiful mosaic tiling. It is very much the type of lobby you would want to relax in and observe the comings and goings of guests and staff. The reception desk, straight away on the right-hand side as you enter the hotel, is manned by chirpy members of staff with a sense of humour (not always comprehensible, mind) and they were nothing but helpful to us. There are several services to be found in the lobby including a couple of boutique (one for supplies and another for clothes), an ATM and a photography service for you to take home a physical reminder of your break.
Outside from the lobby are some very pleasant public spaces. First is what is known as the lagoon, a small area with a pond, reeds and over lush greenery which attracts several kinds of birds. Further on is the swimming pool which is perhaps the biggest of any hotel and which is surrounded by palms as well as heaps of space in which to bask in the uninterrupted sun. From the pool on has superb views of the beach just in front and of the sunset which takes place directly before the hotel. Just before the beach stands the Prince's soon-to-be-finished private villa as well as, over on the other side of the pool, a large tent where guests can smoke shisha. Between them is the pool's restaurant (see 'Food and Drink'). Lastly, off to one side from the pool area is a small kids club where those between the ages of three and nine can spend the day under the supervision of qualified animators playing games, painting and generally keeping out of mischief!
The rest of the hotel is in excellent condition and everywhere you go you will find it to be clean and tidy. Because of its size, it can take a while to get from one part to another and at the start of your stay you may get a little lost, but practice makes perfect! The hotel has five rooms for those guests in a wheelchair whose bathrooms each have a roll in shower. For those with a laptop there is complimentary wifi in the lobby area.
The Palais des Roses is blessed with one of the finest wellness centres in Agadir. Spread over an incredible 12,000m² and boasting over 100 treatment rooms, this veritable maze specialises in thalassotherapy, treatments using sea water. The facilities at the spa are impressive to say the least: three jet showers, seven hydromassage baths, four Vichy showers, ten rooms for algae treatments, three underwater treatment rooms, two hammams, a couple of pools (one indoor and another cold outdoor one) which are used for aquagym sessions and have integrated massage jets and several other types of specialised treatments. There is also a relaxation garden outside with loungers as well as a music therapy room equipped with water beds and headphones. The décor may not be as aesthetically pleasing as some other facilities, however the range of treatments and sheer scale of the place is almost without comparison. Male and female locker rooms complete with robes and slippers are also put at the disposal of guests.
405 guestrooms are divided into several different categories whose views and sizes differ greatly. The standard rooms are generous in their surface area and have either a double bed or two singles surrounded on three sides by traditional Moroccan rugs. There is both an armchair and sofa in the room along with other furniture including two bedsides tables with telephone, a small coffee table, a coiffeuse and two large wardrobes in which you will find a safe. Above the bed are calligraphic paintings in Arabic and Berber script while other amenities include a flatscreen television, refrigerator and air conditioning. The bathrooms, whose bottom halves are in marble, are in decent condition and relatively spacious and feature a bathtub/shower combination, robes, slippers, a make-up mirror, hairdryer and a collection of pink toiletries made for the hotel. The balconies are equipped with good quality furniture and are completely private from the neighbours. If you require more space or are a party of three or more then you might want to opt for one of the hotel's suites which offer separate living and/or dining spaces and in some cases second bedrooms, a jacuzzi and even a second floor.
The third eating option is the charmingly situated Oasis restaurant, located at the end of the giant swimming pool. An open air eatery covered only by a canvas canopy, the place affords lovely views of the ocean in the afternoon and the evening. Depending upon the hotel's occupancy, lunch takes the form of ether a buffet or an à la carte menu while dinner is always à la carte. Here one can try both snacks (salads, pizzas, sandwiches) and heftier fare such as grilled fish and meat with a perfect view of the sunset right ahead. If you only fancy a drink then aside from all the above you can also grab something at the lobby bar, but know that it does not serve alcohol.
The Palais des Roses offers a good choice of restaurants within its complex. The main restaurant, L'International, is a buffet-style affair which serves breakfast and dinner in a smart room looking onto the lagoon just outside. The mix of square and round tables are immaculately laid with peach and white tablecloths and the high backed chairs are also covered with a lightly motifed cream fabric. The choice of food is wide and the quality of a high standard. If you wanted a change from the buffet format during your evening meal then another option would be to visit the Saffron restaurant which serves Moroccan specialities. Similarly smart, this room features traditional Berber décor (tiling, lamps, rugs) as well as interior arches and several niches for more intimate dining. The menu takes an à la carte form and incurs an additional cost for all guests. Reservations are necessary between 7pm and 10pm.
No need to trek for hours to get to the beach from the Palais des Roses - the property is located on the shore and has direct access to the sand with no roads or paths to cross. A special area is set aside uniquely for guests of the hotel with sun loungers and parasols as well as complimentary towels. The beach itself is very safe with calm and clear waters, low wind and fine sand. For those wishing to have a go at some watersports you'll find a number of companies offering such services - just ask the concierge who will sort everything out for you.
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