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... girls got 'ambushed' by henna tattooists. As dusk fell the square became like 1001 Arabian Nights, with snake charmers, musicians, dancers, traditional water sellers and dervishes. Food stalls were set up, and we ate well, cheaply. Whilst watching the transformation from a roof terrace bar we spotted Alyson. She had got here pages and her I visa. Then back to camp.
Back to the centre of Marrakech and the medina ...
... have looked pretty naive. It was also amusing how they would tell you want they thought you wanted to hear. When we were looking at scarves 'they are hand-made, very good quality' - even though you could see they have been finished with a sewing machine. We would play along with them and let them think they had us fooled.
We wandered round the seaside and enjoyed a drink ...
... if our seats were taken, we'd take the robbers on and show them who was boss, basically a show down like the movies where the goodies win and get all their stuff back - there was no way that was going to happen. It wasn't too surprising when there was no show down and we boarded no trouble enjoying a carefree journey to Essaouira.
We were staying in a 5 star hotel, it was very quiet due to ...
... swim. One of the most popular things to do at the beach was to kite surf or para sail. We didn't try any of these sports as we were warned of the dangerous currents while we were there.
Walking on the pier and watching the fishermen returning from the sea was an interesting sight. In fact, it was incredibly noisy because of all the seagulls loitering around in huge numbers. Locals women were cleaning the fish and leftovers ...
... get up and get out for the day. I had been the first one up so that I could write my blog entry for the previous day, and thirty minutes to an hour passed before other people started shuffling into the common area for breakfast.
By the time we finally made it out of the hostel toward the beach, it was already coming up on noon. We walked through the medina, past the cafes that were already starting to fill up for lunch, past the hustlers in ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Madada Mogador Essaouira
This is an outstanding riad with style and class. My partner and I stayed here for 3 nights and were overwhelmed by the beauty of the place, the stunning views from the balcony but most of all how welcoming the staff were. If you're staying in Essaouria, you'll miss out if you don't stay here!
possibly the best hotel i'ver ever stayed in! the staff were simply charming and always keen to help out and give advice on the local area. if you get the chance stay in one of the larger rooms downstairs as then you get a private roof terrace and are able to sunbathe in privacy (not really possible on the beach). fantastic breakfasts on the terrace really set you up for the day! 5% surcharge on credit card payments is my only critism.
Just more agreement from me with what all the other reviewers have said, it's a lovely place to stay.
Quite simply the best place to stay
This has to be the best place to stay in Essaouria, if not Morocco! Stylish, chic, and modern with a Moroccan theme.
Christina, the owner and the rest of the staff are extremely helpful and pleasant. Watching the sunset from the roof terrace with a bottle of wine is a must.
The inclusive breakfast is fantastic and also served on the roof terrace.
If you would like a balcony with some privacy ask for one of the 2 downstairs rooms with a balcony as the top floor are shared.
Lee and Amanda, September 2005
Don't let the entrance hall put you off this Riad! it is very tatty. The room we had was very comfortable and clean with a hugh bath in the bathroom. It has a very nice roof terrace but has no protection against the sun so unfortunatley you can't sit and relax for too long without roasting. The breakfast was one of the best that we had during our two weeks traveling in morocco. The staff were all very friendly and ready too please.
A stylish and chic hideaway
We have just returned from spending 10 days in Morocco, 4 of which were at the Madada Mogador.
The Madada was a real find. The staff were very friendly and helpful and the rooms and 'public' areas designed to a very high standard - very chic and stylish. We had the room on the main floor (the one opposite reception) which was probably the biggest room in the riad (having had a peak in most of the others!). The bathroom had a central bath, which had to be the largest one I had ever experienced! The room also had a terrace which we did not use, preferring to use the one on the top floor. Breakfast is served on the upper terrace with views of the beach and port. There is a restaurant (Cinq) next door to the Madada which we would highly recommend. We had other friends staying in Essaouira at the same time (some at the Sofitel) and they all thought that the Madada was fab in comparison to other places.
Although the Madada is close to one of the main squares it was very quiet both at night and in the morning which is a bonus if peace and quite is what you are looking for.
We would not recommend it highly enough.
One thing to be aware of is if you want to pay by credit card you will be charged an extra 5% on your bill.
Very nice retreat in Essaouria....enjoyed our stay there....
We stayed here for three nights after Marrakech. This small hotel is quite charming and while very different from the riads was equally enjoyable and comfortable. There are basically about 4-5 rooms surrounding the central area which includes a small office, boutique (nice selection) and a few more on the next level up. We booked the Mogador Suite on first level because it has a "private terrace". A word of advice here. The terrace is right next to the next room's terrace and totally open to view and worse there is a big barrier so that you cannot see the outside without standing up on a chair...the one next door (much less expensive was with a nice view)...that said the room is probably the largest and everything in it was nice. I would opt for the second level which has "shared terraces" which are really more private as far as I could tell as everyone sort of does their own thing and although the hotel was full we were the only ones up there. The view is superb up there. Staff were very helpful but I would not take them up on the recommendation of "Chez Sam"...worst fresh seafood I have ever had and as mentioned in other reviews no Moroccan atmosphere...very touristic. La Licorne..too expensive for most Moroccans but pretty reasonable for other tourists was very good but again only tourists. It seemed to me there were many smaller places with nice atmosphere and just walking around to see what looks good is the way to go. The weather here is quite cool after Marrakech , in fact, sort of cold even in June. Location of Madada Mogador is excellent and independent exploring right from the hotel is very rewarding. We were very happy with our choice of hotels.
Perfect hotel for post-trek R&R
We stayed at Madada Mogador for two nights, immediately after completing a trek in the High Atlas mountains as part of our honeymoon. We arrived at the hotel after a long, sweaty and dusty day involving a challenging walk and a hair-raising drive from the mountains to Marrakech and then from Marrakech to Essaouira in a grand taxi.
Even if we hadn't just spent several nights sharing Berber gites (with primitive or non-existent plumbing) with our hosts' livestock, Madada Mogador would have seemed like a heavenly oasis. It beautifully combined traditional Moroccan decor elements with modern, streamlined design. Our kind host encouraged us to get settled in our room and have a refreshing drink on the terrace before dealing with check-in formalities. (It was probably in everyone's best interests to let us bathe first, since we hadn't had showers that morning and likely smelled like donkey or worse ...) Our beautiful room had a large bathroom with a private terrace. We dived into the giant tub (large enough for both of us to lie down in side-by-side, full length) and then had showers (and then had another bath when we got back from dinner).
I can't say enough good things about the accommodation and our hosts. They were charming, efficient (one morning an electrical problem affected lighting in our bathroom; 15 minutes later they had electricians in to fix the problem) and helpful in a low key way.
Our only "quibble", if you could call it that, was with our hosts' restaurant recommendations. Initially, they recommended "Sam's Place", a well-known seafood restaurant on the pier. The other two couples who had arrived on the same day headed there for dinner. We had lunch there on our last day and it was ok, but we could have been anywhere in the world. It was characterless.
Luckily, on our first night we probed a little further and asked for a recommendation for traditional Moroccan food. They recommended La Licorne (French for unicorn), which we tried. It was an excellent restaurant serving traditional Moroccan cuisine, but it seemed to be frequented only by Westerners. Their lunch restaurant recommendation similarly seemed to focus on places that only served Westerners. We would have preferred to try something that was a little more "local" and adventurous. That being said, we highly recommend La Licorne - gorgeous decor (I'd characterize it as a fashion magazine's idealized version of Moroccan decor), excellent food, very good service and reasonably priced - but be careful, it's closed on Mondays.
Madada Mogador was a peaceful and comfortable retreat from the busy markets (although Essaouira is much more laid back than Marrakech). It was great value for the money. I wish we had stayed longer. We certainly will return to Essaouira and to Madada Mogador.
Happy and Lucky Escape!
I booked the hotel online for New Year (not on their own website unfortunately) but via a french one that I found on a web search. Having been to Marrakesh previously Essaouira seemed a small but atmospheric place and the hotel looked exactly what we were looking for - so the flights (to Agadir)were booked around staying here for a few days. We arrived the day before New Year after a 3 hour winding drive from Agadir to find that they didn't have a record of our booking! Lots of heartache ensued where Christine (the owner) tried to liaise with the online booking agent (based in Paris) - apparently the hotel had been booked out for months before Christmas. The upshot was that Christine (thank God - and many thanks) let us use her room and went off to Marrakesh early for New Year. The alternatives don't bear thinking of! This is THE only place to stay in Essaouira if you want laid back moroccan chic. The terrace is amazing - it overlooks the port, the fort and the beach and Christine's staff are helpful and quick to respond to any requests. Essaouria is small but that makes it much more personal than the more developed Marrakesh - and there are enough bars and restaurants (some incredibly cheap) - all of which are good quality. You definitely notice a difference if you have to fly into Agadir which deals with much more lower grade tourist packages and karaoke in the restaurants! The Madada Mogador made our holiday - we spent New Year in the restaurant below the hotel and had a fantastic gourmet 6 course meal with Champagne for about half the price of a London equivalent. We also had a fantastic meal in Sams Place which is famous for fish. Thanks again to Christine though for coming to our rescue - I'd advise booking on i-escapes or direct with the hotel to ensure your reservation!
Fantastic small hideway
The best hotel I have stayed in in Marocco. Worthwhile a few extra nights. Fabulous interior design and stunning terrass. It only has a few suites, so the place feels more like a private appartment rather than a hotel. More a place for trendy couples or friends rather than families. The suites are huge and the bathrooms fantastic. I have never seen a bathtube that big. It is directly at the beach and only a few meters from the city centre. For those that come with a rental car, there is a public parking close by. The best about Madada Mogador however is the extremely friendly staff. The hotel also has a trendy restaurant on the ground floor. Recommended!