Review Sofitel Rabat Jardin des Roses

Old Jan 25, 20, 5:33 am
  #1  
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Review Sofitel Rabat Jardin des Roses

Sofitel Rabat Jardin des Roses

Map| 1 Review | 100% Recommended

Sofitel Rabat Jardin des Roses

Po Box 450 Souissi Rabat, MA 10000

Review Sofitel Rabat Jardin des Roses (56 Photos)

Sofitel Rabat Jardin des Roses

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First time there and it was a 3 night stay. Overall good but not 100% perfect. This is a very nice property and I was also very impressed by the city of Rabat : very nice, clean and very green. And the weather was superb.

This hotel is an ex-Hilton but is a Sofitel for about 10 years and the brand name is written in big letters at the top of the building, but it’s funny to note that the park neighboring the hotel is still called Hilton park and that some taxi drivers still know this hotel as the Hilton. This is a big building that you can see from far and is located in the Souissi area of the town. To go downtown (medina area), a quick and very cheap taxi ride is the best but there is also a tramway station located about 15 min walking from the hotel. RBA airport is located in Salé, 15-20 min from the hotel at non-peak hours.

This was also my 1st stay as a Diamond member, so I was curious to see what would be the treatment received. I booked during a 30% crazy price offer and so BF was included. Very shortly after booking, I received a “you are expected” email from the hotel asking me about any need for transportation, special event celebration, etc. As I had both late arrival (landing at 11 pm) and very early departure (flight at 7 am), I booked transportation with the hotel. I got no response for several days and even though this was something like 3 months before stay (so not really urgent), I sent a reminder to make sure my request was not lost somewhere and then they confirmed quickly. The day before check-in, I confirmed again with the hotel. The driver was waiting for me at the airport with a nice limo.

Check In

I was very nicely welcomed by the front desk staff. I had booked a Luxury room. They said that I had been upgraded (will come back on this later). Drink voucher was given and was told that BF could be taken either in the lounge (8th floor) or at the main restaurant.

Pictures of the lobby :

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Room

See pictures of the room. It was on the 7th floor. Still in very good conditions but I would say that a renovation will be needed medium-term. The carpet was not so nice IMO, but there are worst problems than that. Nice welcome amenities were in the room : fruit plate, dattes, Moroccan pastries, macarons. Plenty of water, replenished every day

Of course, Nespressso machine, bathrobe, slippers were part of the  room amenities.

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Cosmetics were the Lanvin products but in quite large containers which I found surprising but you can still bring back home the opened ones. The bathroom was not very large.

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Premium wifi was offered. I don’t know if this was a real Plat/Diam benefit (as it is normally) or it was offered to every guest.

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Turndown service every evening.

Around 6:30 am, I was woken up by some noise (furniture moving) and music that lasted for a little while. Nothing really very bad, but still. I discovered after that my room was in fact just below the lounge and so I think that it was coming from there. 

The view from the room on the hotel garden/pool and the city was very nice. Pictures at different times of the day taken from the room balcony.

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To come back on the upgrade situation, seeing the room on arrival, I had doubts about the upgrade. I looked online the room descriptions and found that my room seems to be the category I booked (Luxury). The upper room category, which was Junior Suite was available. But it was midnight and thought I would deal with that the following day. So I asked the front desk the following morning and they confirmed that I was upgraded to Luxury/Club access. Here we go again…I told them that Club access was another Plat/Diamond benefit, so not part of the room upgrade. They acknowledge that but they said that the category I booked was from floor 4 to 6 and that the Luxury/Club rooms were on floors 7 & 8 and this is a upper category with a better (higher) view. A real joke really, but I am so tired to argue for those…I want to precise that all those exchanges were done in a very polite and professional way, but it’s just the hotel policy for upgrades that is ridiculous.

Dining

The lounge is located on the 8th floor and offers the same nice view as my room located just one floor below. The lounge is a nice place, but not enough sofa/armchairs compared to table space IMO.

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But the main problem is the offer that is very disappointing. I had BF the 1st day and you have basically just bread, french pastries and a bit of smoked salmon and cheese that are in a fridge and you need to help yourself. Of course you can order some eggs but I would expect a much more elaborated buffet. There was no other guest in the lounge and the staff looked bored but I have to say that they were very nice. Obviously better to have the BF at the main restaurant, which I did the following day and there, the buffet was great.

Poor lounge offer is not limited to the morning. The evening happy hour time (6 to 8 pm) is also disappointing : nothing is displayed for self-service which gives an impression of emptiness. Again, great staff there who is happy to serve you and discuss with you. For wine, they just have some not-very-good to very bad Moroccan wine (no offense here to our Moroccan friends : may be you do good wines, but the ones they serve are just horrible, especially the rosé - I had to turn back a glass of rosé as it was really one of the worst wine I ever drank ;-)

There is no finger food available on self-service but they bring you a plate of canapés (good quality), but sometimes it is slow to come. The 2nd evening, they bring also a typical Moroccan soup  (with meat) and I have to say it was delicious. You can order (paid) food in the lounge if you wish for lunch or dinner.

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So, good to have a lounge, it has a great potential with its view, but they could do much better on the offering IMO. 

I don’t think you can check-in/out from the lounge (didn’t try because of my late arrival/early departure)

 

This is the BF restaurant. Nice place with outdoor terrace. Open also for lunch.

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For dinner, there are several restaurants available : a Moroccan one (see below) which I tried and it was very good. They had also live music in. And there is a fish restaurant in the hotel garden. Looked quite fancy with a good menu but I didn’t try it. There is also another restaurant near the pool but it looked closed (may be open only during summer ?).

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The bar has indoor and outdoor seating.

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Garden & Pool

Very nice gardens with 2 pools. Should be very pleasant to spend a few relaxing days in this hotel at spring/fall times when it is a bit warmer. In january, the temperatures were very pleasant during the day (19°) but were quite cold in early morning/at night (4-7°). But I tried the pool - mandatory :-)

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Check-out

For my transportation back to RBA, the hotel booked it at 4:45 am (ouch…). The day before leaving I asked to move it to 5 am as only 15 min is needed at that time to reach the airport so that was OK for a flight at 7. 

Following morning, I paid the bill and the driver was not there. Staff seems to be clueless saying he should arrive soon. After 5 min I asked if they called him but they said they don’t have the number (they likely didn’t know who was coming and if they use an external company, it was likely not open at that time - just my 2c). At 5:15 am, no driver in sight, so I could not wait any longer. Hopefully there was a taxi that was here at that time (a miracle !) so I jumped in. I was quite furious about that and especially knowing that I reconfirmed the day before.

Overall

Overall, this is a very nice hotel where I would return without hesitation and also because I truly enjoyed Rabat city. Nice rooms, lobby, garden, pools, restaurants and very kind staff. But on the cons side : ridiculous so-called upgrade, zero Diamond “effect” (no extra compared to Platinum), Poor lounge offering and transportation fiasco. I never received the satisfaction survey.

Review Sofitel Rabat Jardin des Roses

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Goldorak is offline  
Old Jan 25, 20, 5:47 am
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Thanks for the review Goldorak. Broadly looks fine but one would have thought that they make more out of the lounge. Also who ever thought white/beige carpeting in hotels is a good idea? The less said the better on the "upgrade" policy.
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Old Jan 25, 20, 6:15 am
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Yes, thank you for the great review and especially for the beautiful pictures! They are a pleasure to look at!
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Old Jan 25, 20, 6:30 am
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Thanks for the thorough review. It's one of those hotels that there is probably very little competition from hotel chains in town that if I went to Rabat I would possibly book there even if there are some negatives, simply because we need to be tolerant given the limited alternatives. They get some leeway at least from me and the hardware looks quite nice so I would book there despite the warts that you transparently highlighted.

However if poor upgrades, subpar lounge, and communication fiasco on transportation was happening in a city with significant hotel competition, that property would be off my list in a heartbeat.
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Old Jan 25, 20, 7:37 am
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Originally Posted by escape4 View Post
Thanks for the thorough review. It's one of those hotels that there is probably very little competition from hotel chains in town that if I went to Rabat I would possibly book there even if there are some negatives, simply because we need to be tolerant given the limited alternatives. They get some leeway at least from me and the hardware looks quite nice so I would book there despite the warts that you transparently highlighted.

However if poor upgrades, subpar lounge, and communication fiasco on transportation was happening in a city with significant hotel competition, that property would be off my list in a heartbeat.
Thanks. I agree with you. As I said, this is a very good hotel overall and I will not hesitate to return. I have also seen a MGallery in the heart of downtown which looks nice from outside. But of course it doesn’t have the nice park and pool of the Sofitel.
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Old Jan 25, 20, 7:43 am
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And, as a bonus, 2 pictures of beautiful Rabat to make you want to go there


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Old Jan 25, 20, 7:46 am
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Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post
And, as a bonus, 2 pictures of beautiful Rabat to make you want to go there
Fantastic! Need to go there!
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Old Jan 25, 20, 11:53 am
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Great review. I wonder if poor room upgrades are the norm in the Arab African region? Was also very disappointed with Rixos in Egypt where first I was given a standard room (less than the one I booked). I said I had booked a higher-category and inquired about the upgrade. They gave me a higher category room almost reluctantly (the room that I had paid for) and said it was a wonderful upgrade. When I showed them I had booked this room (had to show via email apparently), they then realized that it was the same room...and finally even more reluctantly gave the higher category one (though I really have a feeling they chose a bad location). The interesting thing was that the hotel was almost empty, and I was likely one of the only high-status members there as the people who were there had booked through travel agencies and the remainder were Egyptians attending a conference... I found it very strange that such a 'premium' brand as Rixos is so cheap/stingy with upgrades - pretty much zero additional 'benefits' too (I should do more reviews).

As for your transportation fiasco, in such a case I really think the hotel should pay for the taxi on their behalf. We had a much smaller fiasco last week in Rome (Sofitel Villa Borghese) where the pickup service from the hotel (Mercedes) had gotten the timing wrong and was not present at arrivals. The hotel simply said for us to choose a taxi and they would cover the cost. Now that is service. Mind you I had quite an expensive stay considering the short duration but still, a very nice gesture.
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Old Jan 25, 20, 11:58 am
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I don't thinks this is region specific. I got a decent upgrade at the Sofitel Marrakesh. Rixos hotels in general have no clue about Accor status perks, I experienced that in Turkey last year.
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