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Hotel Sofitel Agadir Royal Bay Resort Hotel 5 star
Easyexperts
BP 226 Cité Founty P4 Baie des Palmiers Commune de Bensergao Agadir, Morocco -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

The older of the two Sofitels in Agadir, the Royalbay is, together with its sister hotel, head and shoulders above all other hotels in the resort in pretty well every aspect. With the exception of the newer of the pair of French properties, the Royalbay's architecture and design is unparalleled as is the standard of the service, food and facilities. The guestrooms are spacious and extremely well appointed, the public spaces are impeccably maintained and you will not find a smarter kids club anywhere. As well as enjoying a beachfront location the hotel also boasts a quiet spot along the bay, away from the chaos of the tourist centre. The one thing we were surprised about is the lack of privacy on the terraces and balconies of the rooms, especially the most expensive.

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    • Hotel Sofitel Agadir Royal Bay Resort

      Sofitel Agadir Royal Bay Resort   -   © Julien Ferret / EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel Sofitel Agadir Royal Bay Resort

      Sofitel Agadir Royal Bay Resort   -   © Fred Gibrat / Sofitel Agadir Royal Bay Resort

       
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    Location 7.25 /10

    At the southern extremity of the bay in Agadir, the Royalbay is some distance away from the heart of the tourist hub. Some would find this troublesome, however, given the quality and choice of services available at this property, there is little justification for the trip to the main drag as what you will find there is of an infinitely inferior quality. The airport is a half an hour journey from the hotel and the ride should cost around 200MAD.

    Accommodation 8.20 /10

    A mix of guestrooms, suites and villas make up the inventory of 273 rooms at the Royalbay. All the regular rooms, despite different category names, are identical in their appearance, the only differences being the view and the presence or not of a terrace/balcony. The deep red themed rooms feature either a double bed or two singles dressed in fine linens, plaid, and, most importantly, Sofitel's ultra comfortable 'MyBed' mattress top. Traditionally carved furniture, in the form of bedside tables, desk and drawer unit, give the room charm, while the window seating covered in scatter cushions is a nice design feature. On the walls hang contemporary prints of Moroccan scenes while the opaque glass window which separates the room from the bathroom is another unique element of the room. Amenities include a flatscreen television, cordless telephones, safe, fully stocked minibar and air conditioning. The shining bathrooms have long double vanities, l'Occitane toiletries, a half separate loo and bidet and a bathtub/shower combination. They are not only spacious and spotless but the glass diving window allows natural light to flow in. Balconies, if present, feature comfortable outdoor furniture and pleasant views of the pool or the ocean, however the level of privacy is very low as other guests can see in from almost everywhere.

    The prestige suite, which is the most requested room type at the hotel, is double the size of a regular guestroom, with the second half given over to a separate living space with a seating area and coffee table, second television and second bathroom with Hermès toiletries.

    For the ultimate in comfort and luxury, go for one of the villas. Each one decorated in a different colour scheme, these duplex properties have several bedrooms, separate living and dining spaces with a fully equipped kitchenette, a home entertainment system, two bathrooms with both tub and walk-in shower, a private (although not at all intimate) terrace with pool and, best of all, an appointed butler who is the sole point of contact at the hotel for your every need. The decoration too is of a superior quality to that of the guestrooms with fine fabrics, lamps and objets d'art.

    You should know that as well as the terraces not being at all shaded from the gaze of passers-by, some of the most expensive rooms are built in a dip in the ground, meaning you don't even have an ocean view, which seems a big disadvantage to have to pay for.

    Overview 8.30 /10

    The entrance to the Royalbay is both impressive and imposing. Partly camouflaging the façade is a small island of grass with a foursome of palm trees and a circular seating area with orange cushions (although why you would want to sit in front of the hotel is a mystery). Flanking the much more modest door through which guests actually penetrate the hotel are two giant wooden doors each one measuring five metres in height and weighing a tonne. Once inside, guests come across a contemporary take on the traditional riad with a central seating area composed of four L-shaped cushioned banquettes surrounded by palms and then an arched arcade, all of which is covered by a retractable glass roof. Although there is a small, smart reception area, once you have presented yourself here, you will be whisked away to a seating area just outside where mint tea will be offered before the check-in process begins. Your luggage will be taken care of and you will be shown to your room by one of the reception team which is both professional and welcoming. At night, this central area is where guests come to smoke shisha, drink tea and listen to traditional music just as one might in a riad in an old kasbah. The very present orange theme in the space, as well as throughout the rest of the hotel, is a nod to Agadir's fame as a producer of quality citrus fruits.

    The hotel's pool area is both classy and reposing. The swimming pool itself measures a whopping 2,600m² and is surrounded by a collection of smart, quality sun loungers and parasols as well as mattresses, family cabanas and outdoor sofas. The whole space is spotless and meticulously kept, as are the various areas of grass and greenery amongst which are yet more pieces of furniture on which to sprawl in the sun (and there are hammocks!). A calm atmosphere reigns over the pool with no loud animation goings on during the day. In the middle of the partly heated pool are two towers in which guests are able to dine privately or even have enjoy a massage, although partaking in either of these activities in front of an audience may not be everyone's idea of fun!

    The kid's club at the Royalbay is arguably the finest in Agadir. Looking like a boardroom for children, the facility has everything parents could wish for such as art workshops, fun make-up, a library of books, a flatscreen television for showing films, a play area with mini sun loungers and hammocks and the possibility of excursions to the beach. There are of course a number of fully trained, English-speaking animators to look after the children who also have their own mini disco party in the evenings.

    The hotel is home to a fine wellness centre featuring a sauna, hammam, solarium, several massage rooms and a beauty centre. As you would expect from Sofitel, the service and products used are of the highest quality. During our stay we were told that the centre was to be rebranded ? as soon as we have news of the new spa we will let you know.

    Other features of the hotel include an art gallery on the lower ground floor which showcases excellent works from Moroccan artists, a pro golf shop for those that need supplies for a round on the nearby golf course and cooking classes in the kitchens of the hotel's fine restaurants (see 'Food and Drink'). There is an ATM on site as well as several boutiques selling every day supplies, souvenirs and clothing and other fun activities such as mini golf, tennis and beach volleyball.

    Food and drink 8.70 /10

    As with every other aspect of the hotel, the food and drink options at the Royalbay are a cut above the rest. In terms of restaurants, there are four options. The main restaurant, La Caravane, serves breakfast and dinner in a civilised dining room at the centre of which is a round serving station behind which are some lovely members staff. Everything is spotless and the tables are nicely set with a rose on each one. At both meal times there is a large range of dishes and the quality is very high. On many occasions there will be a food theme at dinner time with Moroccan, French, Italian or Chinese specialities amongst the types on offer.

    La Nasse is the hotel's Asian restaurant, serving fish, sushi, sashimi and rice and noodle dishes every evening throughout the week. Although there is a supplement applicable for eating here, many guests choose to do so thanks to the high standards set by the Moroccan-Vietnamese chef. One can choose to eat either inside or out by the pool and there is a bar attached to the restaurant too.

    The other dining options are the swimming pool snack bar, L'Arganier (meaning the argan tree), which serves a selection of salads and grilled fish and meat in the beautiful surrounds of the hotel's gardens, and SO GOOD, the hotel's night club which offers a gastronomic French menu before things get turned up a notch at 11pm.

    Beach 8.30 /10

    The Royalbay has a prime beachfront position and there is direct access to the beach from the hotel's pool area. In fact, the beach seems like more of an extension of the hotel than anything else. Guests of course have their own private section with fine quality loungers and parasols as well as a drink and towel service. The beach itself is very safe, with no strong winds or waves and nothing dangerous lurking in the ocean. And if you fancy dong some watersports then you will find many centres offering these type of services close by.

    To know

    The hotel has been under the Sofitel brand since 2004 and was the first of their two hotels to see the day. Despite having an impressive set of facilities including a wellness centre, kids club and entertainment programme, this was nothing at the time, for teenagers. That, however, is due to change soon with a dedicated programme for adolescents in the works for sometime in 2013. The hotel has several guestrooms adapted for guests in wheelchairs.

    Equipment

    • Shuttle bus
    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      massage, beauty salon, sauna, hammam, keep fit, spa, Turkish bath, wellness

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      tennis, water skiing, gym, football, beach volley, golf, mountain bike, jet ski, kayak, water-polo, surfing, fitness, sports

    • Animals allowed

      (under 5kg)

    • Hairdresser
    • Whirlpool bath
    • Safe
    • Non-smoking rooms
    • Solarium
    • Private beach
    • Meeting room

    advantage

    • The high quality of service
    • Architecture/décor, especially the lobby
    • Wellness centre
    • Availability of butlers
    • Beachfront location

    disadvantages

    • Lack of intimacy in pricey rooms
    • No full animation programme

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10
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