We leave the tidy hubbub of Rabat behind and plunge into a mandarin grove. From the window of every room at this singular hotel, which is no doubt one of the favourites in town, we look onto the trees. The hotel is managed by the Claudy Imbert, a French family who are rooted to the place. The hotel has a restaurant which is a reference, amongst the best in Morocco. The building is one storey high except over the Arabic patio where the rooms are located which is two storeys high. The rooms are distributed around the patio and each of them has a south facing balcony or private terrace overlooking the garden. This patio is full of plants and has a burbling fountain. One begins ones day with good spirit opening the door onto this interior garden full of palm trees, banana trees, fan palms and sparrows brightening up the morning. The hotel also has a bar with African decoration and a grand drawing room come library with a fire place and views over the garden.
The hotel has no mentionable architectural boundaries and most of it is at ground level. The corridor to the rooms has an automatic door. There is a room adapted for people with low vision or the blind which has signage in Braille and relief made of transparent vinyl. Despite the fact that the size of the rooms is 36 m2, the hotel will not have a handicapped bathroom available for clients in wheel chairs until sometime in 2013.
At the hotel, walks around the garden which has an outdoor swimming pool, a heated pool and a tennis court. Ping pong table, “petanque” pitch. Hammam and massages. American billiard room, Surfing on city beaches. Horse riding and three golf courses ten minutes away from the hotel. Visits to Rabat, as well as to Casablanca and Meknes both of which are an hour away by car or train and to Fez which is an hour and a half away.
In Rabat the Hassan Tower and Mohamed V Mausoleum, the Ouddayas Kasbah, the medina. Excursions to Casablanca, Fez and Meknes (by car or train). When in the Kasbah be sure not to miss the mint tea with pastries at the Café Moro, while gazing at the river cliff separating Rabat from Sale.
- La Kasbah des Oudayas de Rabat. A large book with photographs by Helene Decuyper and text in prose by Belgian author Patrick LOWIE.15€
- Rabat Comment je suis devenue capitale. By architect Xavier Couplet, proposing 14 illustrated routes around the city. 16€
- Les Villes Impériales du Maroc. By Mohamed Metalsi, with photographs by Cecile Treal and Jean-Michel Ruiz.25€
We also recommend the books published by French doctor Robert Chastel, well versed in the history of Rabat.
Creative international cuisine, by Chef Sylvain Brucato, who adds couscous to the menu every Friday. It is considered one of the best restaurants in Morocco. The restaurant opens onto the terrace and the garden, where breakfast is also served, a privilege with a possible visit from the peacocks. Average price without drinks, 240 Dh for lunch and 350 Dh for diner.
At the medina or the Sale Artesan Center, carpets, metal goods, ceramics from Fez, beautiful cotton table linens. Typical traditional Moroccan pastries. Rabat has better prices than other cities as it has fewer tourist groups.