La Sultana Oualidia

Oualidia, Essaouira & Atlantic Coast, Morocco Book from

A romantic and luxurious spa hideaway at the secluded edge of Oualidia’s mesmerising lagoon
The small fishing village of Oualidia and its beautiful lagoon has become a popular destination for wealthy Moroccans. Few visitors come outside of the mad summer months yet this is a perfect place to kick back at any time of year, to fish or sail on the placid lagoon, to walk and birdwatch in the salt-water marshes, and to feast on the best seafood of the Atlantic coast.

A good distance from the village, with outer walls almost lapped by the tidal waters, this spa hotel offers an exclusive and pampering beachside experience. La Sultana’s most remarkable features are its decked infinity pool - ringed with Jacuzzis, loungers and daybeds - whose waters seem to merge with those of the lagoon, and an exotic, terraced garden which leads up to 12 drop-dead gorgeous rooms, including a treehouse. The thatched roof of the beachside restaurant and spa give it a distinct South-Sea-island look; the dressed stone walling of the suites, spa and restaurant are simply spectacular, and a high staff-to-guest ratio means you get treated like a pacha throughout your stay.


  • The isolated position and romantic Arabian Nights atmosphere, heightened by the subtle lighting of the palms at night
  • An unusual sunken restaurant and bar, with windows giving on to the lagoon
  • A stunning stone-carved spa with excellent treatments, traditional Moroccan hammam and glittering indoor pool
  • Beautifully styled rooms and suites, all with private terraces and seawater Jacuzzis!
  • A beautiful garden: cactii, tall palms, euphorbias, colourful daisies, geraniums, oleander, bougainvillea and datura


  • La Sultana is by no means cheap, but you get a whole lot of comfort for your dirhams
  • ...And rates are accommodation only, so extras can add up
  • It's a bit of an ivory tower - a walled luxury complex next to a local fishing village
  • You’re a good 20-minute walk from the village and nearest restaurants

Best time to go

Spring (March-May) is popular as these months are pleasantly warm and sunny, and the landscape is lush and green. Book well ahead if you want to come over Easter or in the summer months. Autumn (mid Sep-mid Nov) is also lovely, but the countryside tends to look parched. Summer is pretty hot, and winter can be chilly at night.

The area is renowned for its excellent birdwatching, particularly in March/April and October/November when migrants pass by. Expect to see avocets, warblers and godwits

Our top tips

Stay for 2-3 nights if you just want to see the area, do a bit of walking and birdwatching, and enjoy a couple of relaxing days. But if you want to totally chill out and be pampered at the spa too, book in for 5 nights.

Great for...

Great Outdoors
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Spa Hotel
  • 12
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pools
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Jacuzzi
  • Cooking classes


The rooms' decorative cues follow that of the rest of the hotel: ceilings of dressed sandstone, beautiful zellig floors and walls of honey-coloured tadelakt. Plus you get a full range of creature comforts including a plasma TV, sound-proofing and a minibar with free soft drinks. The meticulous craftsmanship is also in evidence in the woodwork of doors, windows and bedside tables: intricate geometric carving is lightened by a fresh, light blue wash, which dovetails beautifully with the nautical paintings above the kingsize beds.

Each room has a private terrace with a corner Jacuzzi - our stunning Junior Suite also had an aromatic garden. If you want those lagoon views, you'll have to book a Suite Deluxe, the Exclusive Suite or the most recent addition: the Treehouse Suite. Just a short stroll from the main building, this chic wooden structure is built around an existing tree, grabbing panoramic lagoon views and tempting honeymooners no end. Bathrooms are every bit as swanky as you might expect, with marble-topped vanity units twin basins, luxurious power showers, loads of shelf space and heated towel rails.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Fireplace
  • Hairdryer
  • Jacuzzi
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • Tv
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet


Breakfast, lunch and dinner are moveable feasts at La Sultana: you can eat on your private terrace, in the sunken Lagoon Dining Room which has the same amazing stonework as the rest of La Sultana, in the more ornate Mast Restaurant further up the hill or, best of all we reckon, on the decked terrace next to the lagoon and the hotel’s private pier.

Being so close to the sea, fresh fish is the mainstay. You are literally yards away from Morocco’s best oyster beds and the lagoon provides an abundant supply of lobster, crayfish, spider crabs and sea urchins. Their signature dish, sea perch cooked in a salt crust, is a guest favourite. If you prefer meat, a range of classical Moroccan dishes is also on the menu - kefta, tagines and pastilla. Masses of TLC goes into the presentation of the food, overseen by a top Marrakchi chef, and there’s an extensive wine list as well as an impressive range of cocktails.

Breakfasts are rather less elaborate: freshly baked bread, Moroccan and french crêpes, fresh fruit juice, cheeses, cold meats and yoghurts. Ask if you’d like eggs, too. It would be tempting to have your breakfast delivered early to your private terrace: the lagoon is uniquely beautiful in the early morning light.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service


  • Part of La Sultana Oualidia’s charm is that it encourages you to do very little. While away a day with a book, watch the colourful fishing boats and flamingos at the water's edge, or take a dip in the outdoor infinity pool, the warm indoor pool or the beautiful turquoise lagoon
  • Indulge at the spa: steam a few pounds away in the hammam, leave your skin silky-soft with a full savon noir treatment, have a manicure or massage, then head back to your terrace Jacuzzi
  • A boat trip along the lagoon is an absolute must. Head north through a series of narrow channels to an isolated marabout’s tomb at the edge of the ocean then head to the salt flats
  • Walk along the beach to Oualidia, past the extraordinary remains of a palace that was built for the previous king, visited just once, then abandoned
  • Make the most of the natural environment, there’s fantastic birdwatching and watersports to be had here
  • Head down the coast to Safi (just an hour's drive to the south) and visit the colline des Poitiers (spectacular hills) then haggle for Morocco’s most attractive ceramics
  • Find out more about our favourite activities on the Atlantic Coast

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Kayaking
  • Shopping / markets
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Well being
  • Windsurfing


La Sultana Oualidia is an excellent choice for families with young kids as it has safe swimming in the lagoon from its sandy beach - a very gradual drop-off and few waves. You’d feel a real sense of security within the walled gardens of La Sultana where there are always plenty of staff about to keep an eye on your little ones. And, of course, any kid would enjoy a boat trip on the lagoon.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Excluding the Prestige Deluxe rooms and the Treehouse Suite, all rooms can take at least one extra bed and a baby cot (which are free for children under 2 years old).


Babysitting available by arrangement.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots available on request.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kid Friendly:

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