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Mirleft – surfers paradise and Jimi Hendrix’s secret hideaway

Not many tourists know about this hidden gem. Located on the west coast of Morocco, Mirleft is not as flashy as Agadir, doesn’t have the nightlife of Casablanca or the city pulse of Marrakech. But a few people in the circle of trust know that Mirleft is the right place to be for its pristine beaches, fancy villas and a laissez-faire attitude. Most of the crowd is French well-to-do retirees but the place is now also being discovered by a hipper and younger crowd (mostly surfers) who are finding Mirleft just as cool as Jimi Hendrix did when he came here to chill out in 1969.

In Mirleft you can either rent a villa for a couple of weeks, stay in a hotel or in a bed & breakfast (several are available). The beaches are humongous with very few people, so you can easily find a private spot to enjoy the sunshine and the refreshing Atlantic water. However, don’t expect any beach restaurants (when we talk pristine we really mean it).

If you are renting a villa and prepare your own food, it’s good to know there is an excellent butcher in the village who will happily make your barbeque a tasty one (try his pork ribs, they are really yummy). There are also a few restaurants in the vicinity to enjoy some excellent lamb, different types of Tagines and mint tea.

Mirleft is located only 130 km south of Agadir, so you can easily get here by renting a car or taking a taxi.

Mirleft beach

Bamboo Thai – cozy atmosphere but no sea view

Bamboo Thai in Agadir, Morocco, is a Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese and Japanese restaurant all rolled into one. Tempura, sushi, dim sum and chicken satay with peanut sauce are offered at reasonable prices in a very pleasant setting (even though we missed the sea view). It’s located some serious meters away from the main boardwalk. The starters are quite big and the main courses are not small either. Wash it down with some wine or beer and leave space for dessert. OK, it’s not the best Asian restaurant we have been to, but it is good enough to spend an evening indulging oneself in some spicy stuff. It will not cost you a fortune and it is a nice place to chill out before you hit the Agadir night scene.

Towering over Casablanca with a view to a kill

“-Moneypenny, I told you I would take you to a nice place for dinner”

The Kenzi Tower Hotel in Casablanca, located in one of the city’s tallest buildings, offers the discreet traveller everything they can hope for: excellent service in several languages, well-groomed rooms and a number of bars and restaurants that are considered some of the best in Casablanca.

For a five star hotel, it is not exuberantly expensive and what you get is definitely worth the money you pay. Check out the Sens restaurant on the 27th floor where one can feast on some fantastic dishes (salmon teriyaki with chili mayonnaise is a samandthedunes favorite) while enjoying the impressive view over the city and the ocean.

The bar on the 28th floor Sky28 is under Jacques and Laurent Pourcel, the famous French chefs who have a few Michelin stars under their belts. Gourmet-wise, you will not be suffering here. Nor will you be suffering in the room after a fun night (or early morning) dancing to the DJ in the same bar.

You will be welcomed by a spacious bed, a flat-screen TV with numerous channels and in the morning choose between an avant-garde bathtub or an even funnier looking shower. And after checking out, have one for the road in the lobby bar, where you will be pampered and offered a fine selection of cigars, before catching a taxi to the airport.

As you know, we do have a soft spot for 007, so one thing for sure, good ol’ Bond would feel here right at home.

Rating: 4/5

Rick’s Café in Casablanca: for old times’ sake

Those who have been looking for Rick’s Café from the movie “Casablanca,” look no more! To the delight of many tourists who have been annoying local taxi drivers for years asking to be taken to Rick’s Café, the gin joint opened in 2004. Ok, Humphrey Bogart is not meeting you at the door and dicey types are no longer lurking in the shadows – the usual suspects have been replaced with local businessmen and movie enthusiasts. The food is typical Mediterranean with some American and Moroccan overtones. Try the fish dishes (we can recommend all of them) and wash it down with some nice Bordeaux or, why not a bottle of Veuve Clicquot. Top it off with Rick’s Cheesecake. There is a piano player who enlivens the evening with some jazz, and if you feel really nerdy you can ask him to play it again, Sam.

An oasis of luxury on the Atlantic

We have stayed in many fabulous hotels all over the world but even as seasoned luxury travellers we were flabbergasted by Sofitel***** in Agadir, Morocco. A true oasis of tranquility (just take a look at the lobby), fantastic service and amenities that make you go wobbly in the legs.

The rooms are decorated with great style, rose petals on the bed and in the bathroom, classy furniture and one comfortable bed makes you want to order room service throughout the day. Don’t be tempted, though, the rest of the hotel is just as fun.

You can be pampered around the pool with waiters tending to your every need, or enjoy a drink in the lobby where chicha smoke and cool people interact.

The restaurants offer some of the best fare in Agadir, from a mouth-watering buffet in the evening with the menu changing every day (don’t miss the Asian theme), to nice snacks and salads by the pool. The service is attentive and friendly.

Pets are just as welcome as any other patron, Sam loved the place.

Now, to be fair, one can find faults here, but let’s be honest, to quote P.J. O’Rourke, that’s like complaining about Sharon Stone’s toenails. The Sofitel is pure luxury perfection, a place we plan to visit again in the future, inshallah. And we highly recommend you do the same.

More reviews from Agadir: Restaurant So Good, La Madrague and Bamboo Thai.

Rating: 4/5

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