WHERE IS IT? Only 20 minutes from the airport and across from Hilton Park and the royal palace, this hotel is one of the city’s most celebrated. It is a short drive from the medina’s major touristic sights and close to a popular city park. Its own Andalusian-style gardens are dotted with palm trees, splashing fountains and flower beds holding nearly 3,000 roses, creating a quiet respite in the middle of the bustling city.
WHAT’S IT LIKE? Hosting the city’s visiting diplomats and business travelers, Sofitel Rabat Jardins Les Roses is highly respected. Guards patrol the entrance, which leads to a modern foyer with contemporary Murano glass light fixtures, plush conversation seating, a coffee and Moroccan tea café, and chic boutiques. Moucharabieh and mosaic patterns, typical of the region, feature heavily in the building’s architecture and interior design.
Reception formalities are handled at a desk to the right of the lobby where friendly staff offer a heartfelt welcome. Adil, one of the property’s Clefs d’Or concierges, is an expert when it comes to sightseeing as well as making guests feel at home. He, as well as everyone I met from the room service operator to the bellmen, was incredibly gracious demonstrating quintessential Moroccan hospitality.
ROOM FACILITIES Modern rooms show off Sofitel’s contemporary, yet luxury-focused, design pattern with photographs of Moroccan scenery on the wall. Most notable here, however, are the sliding, floor-to-ceiling windows that open to furnished balconies overlooking the city (and distant Atlantic Ocean) or the hotel’s swimming pool and gardens. Work desks double as dining tables with a chaise longue for relaxing. A refrigerator stocks bottled water while closets keep robes and slippers tucked away. Sliding doors open to bathrooms with rainfall showers, soaking tubs, water closets, heated towel racks and bright marble vanities with Lanvin toiletry products.
Room categories vary from oversized king beds to paired queen beds with thick duvets and pillows. Suites host many of the visiting dignitaries. The club level is popular with business travelers and comes with a private lounge for breakfast, all-day refreshments and evening cocktails and snacks.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS Overlooking the swimming pool is Golden Fish, an elegant, international restaurant with excellent service and starched white linens. Moroccan cuisine is available at Al Warda while Amber Bar serves cocktails, coffee and light meals with views of the gardens. All of the food and beverage outlets are popular with expats, locals and guests thanks to high levels of service and the quiet garden surroundings. A lobby coffee and tea shop hosts afternoon visitors aplenty. Live music in the lounge is one of several places to order a cocktail and enjoy the evening.
LEISURE FACILITIES Surrounded by palm trees in the quiet and lush gardens, the main swimming pool is an all-day delight thanks to the ample sunshine it receives. A children’s splash pool as well as third, more peaceful pool, are also available. Lounge chairs, umbrellas for shade, bar service and tennis courts round out the al fresco amenities. The fitness center counts some of the latest equipment among its inventory, and guests can work out at all hours. In addition to an impressive spa menu, an indoor pool opens throughout the year.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES Wireless Internet is free for guests and visitors. The hotel hosts many of the top meetings and delegations in the administrative capital, and there are a variety of meeting room setups available including ballrooms and boardrooms.
VERDICT Complete with signature French touches, this business hotel offers resort-style amenities in the heart of Rabat.
PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS The city’s most respected hotel with impeccable service and surrounded by beautiful gardens
HOW MANY ROOMS? 229 guestrooms and suites
CONTACT Sofitel Rabat Jardins Les Roses, Avenue Imam Malek, Impasse Souissi, Souissi District 10000 Rabat, Morocco, Phone +212 537 675 656, all.accor.com