Walking into the Es Saadi Palace, I got a sudden rush of that ‘little fish in a big pond’ feeling. The grandeur and scale of the epic entrance hall is quite spectacular and I couldn’t help but stand and stare at my surroundings. Despite its size Es Saadi Palace is an independent family run hotel, and guests are often welcomed personally to the hotel by the owners. It is a unique place, the attention to detail and design is quite staggering. After a lengthy tour round the Palace, private villas and grounds, I can promise that no two rooms are the same, each has its own character and charm.
In the main entrance hall a musician strums gently soothing the guests after their journey. We sipped fresh mint tea and gobbled the light Moroccan pastries they offered us. Our suite was on the first floor only moments up from the reception area and was lavish and luxurious with plush velvety sofas, an ample sized desk, huge TV and romantic four poster King sized bed. Along our corridor we had a separate dressing room (!) and a deluxe bathroom with a Jacuzzi bath, two marble sinks, toilet room and a drenching power shower. The Es Saadi toiletries were light and refreshing, and seem to be replaced daily as we used it up. At the front of the room our private balcony overlooked the flourishing green gardens which must be regularly watered as the dry heat saps all the energy. When observed closer, every detail in the room had carefully been chosen for its authentic Moroccan feel and beauty…. our door was intricately hand-painted and the walls were covered in traditional artworks.
We were amazed by the assortment of villas in the grounds each with an entirely different theme. They come in all different sizes, suitable for any number of guests, a romantic getaway or a big party abroad. You name it and Es Saadi will make it possible. Each villa showcases local artisan Moroccan furniture and décor, some taking enormous time and energy to complete and perfect. When we looked round on our tour, it was obvious how proud the extended Es Saadi family of staff are about this magical, culturally inspiring establishment… they work hard to ensure their guests fall in love with the place too.
Glowing and glistening outside is the 2400sqm pool – the largest in the city. Picturesque and cooling, the hotel guests languidly hang out here during the day, a little bar is situated in the centre for those in need of a thirst-quenching cocktail! We spent a lovely few hours here, sleepy in the breezy air and sipping mojitos while relishing the rare opportunity to read our books. The flowery gardens are an oasis, a sanctuary and the perfect place to enjoy an afternoon stroll or early morning run. After a stifling visit to the souks, the gardens feel calming and clean.
I was very impressed with the huge collection of local art and craft which is found all over the hotel. The current exhibition has intrigued visitors so much, they have extended its finishing date by months. We had a brief look round at the vibrant, passionate work – very enthusiastic, lively and expressive art that suits the hotel’s character.
Es Saadi Palace has numerous bars, restaurants and clubs to suit every palate and preference, and there is even a snazzy casino as part of the resort. The Spa at the Palace was one of the main attractions for me, a refuge for relaxation and revitalisation. The facilities are endless. There are plenty of treatment rooms to indulge in massages, facials and other treatments. And this spa even has a Dior Institute where bespoke skin and body treatments are available for guests or outside visitors. Built around a handsome 100 year old eucalyptus tree, it is certainly not a conventional shape… but this only adds to its charm. Here we spent a few hours nourishing our bodies with the detox programme… which consisted of visiting different hot and cold, steamy and icy rooms to stimulate and refresh our bodies. The hydrotherapy pool ensures visitors maximum release and relaxation, special results driven technology which actually works. On the top level a shaded terrace is available for hotel guests to enjoy, an enchanting area where all your worries will drift away. Downstairs there is an organic restaurant serving delicious vegetarian produce from the hotel’s own farm and gluten-free bread to accompany.
Breakfast at Es Saadi consists of a colourful buffet: an array of fruit, cakes, pastries, meat and cheese, and a hot counter offers cooked breakfast for those who desire it. Everything tasted divine and we indulged trying a bit of everything… freshly squeezed orange juice, strong brewed filter coffee, and an assortment of cakes. I loved the unique bright pink raspberry almond cakes that tasted a little like madeleines, I definitely ate a few too many!
I can imagine many guests at Es Saadi don’t leave the gates of the hotel for the whole holiday, and I can see why… this Palace has everything you need to live and feel like a princess. But if you do venture out, the luxurious accommodation and facilities feel even better when you get home to your room.
Visit the Es Saadi Palace website here for more information and to book.