Recently I stayed at 5-star Sofitel Agadir Thalassa Sea & Spa, just named continental winner of “Luxury Wedding Destination in Africa” by the 2015 Luxury Hotel Awards. My time there was perfection. Though I endorse travel for all, I especially encourage single women waiting for a prince to live happily-after-after to find your bliss now at places that will make your dreams come true. At the premier hotel on beautiful Agadir Bay you don’t have to be on a honeymoon to be pampered like a new bride. In fact, any lady here will be given princess treatment.
When I moved to Marrakech to write, teach English, and travel, I began asking students where their families stay when vacationing. The answer was always the same.
In Paris? Sofitel. London? Sofitel. Rome? Sofitel. Morocco? Sofitel.
Such big brand loyalty (120 hotels on five continents in 40 countries) in the age of hip default to indie companies got my attention. But then again, I’ve always appreciated timeless, classic quality.
The French company committed to total well-being first opened its doors in Strasbourg in 1964. Dedicated to superior service infused with the celebration of art de vivre, each hotel provides cultural experiences from not only France but also each host country in which it is located. Showcasing the best artwork, literature, music, fashion, architecture, gardens, fitness, wines and foods, the hotel beckons guests to experience the sweet life layer by delicious layer. Like bees burrowing gently into the rose— velvet petal by velvet petal—drinking nectar that will become honey in the hive, guests enter space after space of palpable beauty in interactions that feed the soul. Sofitel Agadir Thalassa Sea & Spa stimulates every sense—from plush decor to soothing sounds of fountains and sea to a signature scent, Jatamansi, found only in the Himalayas. Jatamansi, also known as “nard” smells of citrus, ylang ylang and mountains and has so many medicinal powers it is considered sacred in some countries. I left filled, relaxed, energized, healed.
But beyond all these offerings, what makes the Sofitel the Sofitel is the people who work here. From the moment I walked through the doors everyone–from doorman to gardener to manager — greeted me by name. I arrived feeling ill–a situation that could have been a nightmare when traveling alone–but I quickly learned I couldn’t have been in better hands. The staff offered to get me medicine and kindly brought me treats to feel better–Chamomile tea, sweets and fruit, two dozen roses. I am forever grateful for their professional, superior service. Rightfully called, the So Staff is the best in the business.
Photo by Sofitel
I was welcomed at the door of La Maison Arabe, the reception area in a traditional riad with contemporary black and white design, and served mint tea and Moroccan cookies while the staff checked me in.
In the gallery on display were thirty works by Younes Fizazi in a collection called “Moroccans Landscapes, Richness and Diversity.” Shots of the Atlas Mountains and Merzouga desert allowed me to relive great trips taken last fall and spring, but having just arrived from the surf town of Taghazout , I especially loved this photograph.
I was excited to see the pool and beach areas next. So Gorgeous.
The spacious suite was sumptuous, and I was especially thrilled with my three favorite elements — the terrace, bed, and bathtub (something I miss most in my Marrakech apartment). This one offered the best of both worlds–a soak with a view–so first on my agenda was a bubble bath followed by a massage.
My only complaint was the Sofitel MyBed which abducted me –a custom made mattress, featherbed, down duvet, and sleek, soft sheets. After my massage, I took a nap and slept for hours. 🙂
After breakfast I went to play in the next door neighbor’s backyard–Sofitel Agadir Royal Bay, recipient of “Luxury Beach Resort in Morocco” by the 2015 Luxury Hotel Awards. Of its many distinctions, Sofitel Morocco was selected to host the first Kids’ Villa offering educational programs, pastry classes, belly dance, gardening workshops, swimming, aerobics, and a library for children. The honor was bestowed because The Little Prince was born in the imagination of Antoine de Saint Exupery in Morocco.
A winter holiday destination that offers sun- by- day and fire- by- night, Sofitel invites reflecting on the past year and dreaming of the one to come. Photo by Sofitel
Agadir, “Pearl of the South,” is a three-hour flight from major European cities. It’s where Europe migrates in winter to enjoy 300 days of sunshine each year and the Sofitel experience– timeless as Coco Chanel, delicious as Crème brûlée, and exotic as only Morocco.
Special thanks to Sofitel and Soukaina Ghallab for an unforgettable experience. As always, the opinions are my own.