To start our trip to Morocco, and celebrate my birthday after a day’s worth of travel, we thought of spending a night at a high-end hotel in Morocco. As we made Casablanca our first stop, we decided to stay at Four Seasons in Casablanca’s Corniche district, facing the Mediterranean Sea. This is our first stay at Four Seasons Casablanca.
Getting to the hotel took us longer than usual. By skipping the taxi and settling for the tram to get a glimpse of local people, our supposed terminal station closest to the hotel was, in fact, more than a kilometer away. Thankfully, it’s December and the weather isn’t so bad to take a walk. But when we arrived at the hotel, we were exhausted.
The hotel isn’t so prominent from the outside but an unmistakable sight of flags of Morocco and a few other countries (United States, Spain, etc) was a hint we reached our hotel. We were then led to an entry with a basic security check and got in. The check-in procedure was fair to good, as at the time, there were few guests making transactions, and handing out our keys was fairly straightforward. We had the bellhop delivered our luggage to our room and I handed him MAD20 tip.
One thing to note is that the concierge and restaurants were on the top floor (5th) while rooms and spa facilities are downstairs. This might explain why the hotel’s physical features aren’t so prominent outdoors.
The room we took was the cheapest among those available. It featured standard facilities you can find in a hotel room — flat-screen TV, hot and cold shower, mini bar, cozy bed — but with expansive bathroom and has terrace — it was a chilly night so we didn’t bother to hang out there.
We had dinner at the hotel’s Bleu Restaurant which features Moroccan and Mediterranean dishes. The food was a mixed bag (steak was great but the lobster bisque though tasty was too salty) and service impeccable, though staff was overwhelmed by requests and orders took a while to arrive. When the bill came it wasn’t so bad, though later we realized it’s much more expensive than we would have paid had we ordered the same dishes outside. But then again, we were tired for the day and were not aware of a similar menu is being served nearby.
Before checking out the next day, we had buffet breakfast with several specialties from the region. What’s distinguishable is the attentiveness of the service crew, asking us what we like to drink, how was the food and all that. These folks are trained to please the guests.
Nearby are seafood restaurants by the beach, as well as Anfaplace Shopping Centre which has shops (Marks & Spencer, The Body Shop, H&M, etc), banks, and dining (Dominos Pizza, McDonald’s, KFC, etc).
We took the taxi to Casa Voyageurs station to catch our train to Marrakesh. Although we were told taxi fare should be about MAD70 plus MAD15 for reasons I wasn’t able to comprehend, the driver appeared to take us for a ride and made the journey longer. We ended up paying MAD100. Though this is not entirely the hotel’s responsibility, it helped us become more wary of taking taxis in Morocco without prior knowledge of how much is the acceptable fare.
Overall, our stay at Four Seasons Casablanca fell short of our lofty expectations, and value for money. While the service and facilities were good — cleaning ladies stop their work and greet us as we pass through the hall — there are certain brand elements I thought was missing. For example, other Four Seasons Hotels might occupy the most sought after addresses but I thought this one is a little out of the way, though it’s close to one of Casablanca’s main attractions, the Hassan II Mosque.
With the price range on offer, it will be difficult to try another Four Seasons Hotel in the future, if the same level of service can be experienced elsewhere at less cost.
Value for Money: 7/10