“A restored Portuguese church and former consulate in a fascinating Unesco-listed town, with retro rooms, an excellent restaurant and beaches nearby”
While the common areas in the church and consulate have a soaring, airy quality, the 13 individually designed rooms and suites feel cosier. Two-toned walls with half-height wainscoting stack muted greys and tans under rich Moroccan greens, pomegranates and deep maroons, and hand-woven rugs cover planked or tiled floors. The double or twin wrought-iron beds (some four-poster) have crisp white sheets topped with embroidered covers, and Moroccan arches and shuttered windows make you feel as if you've stepped into another age. Appropriately, there are no TVs, radios or DVD players, although you do get free WiFi, air-conditioning and hairdryers.
The 4 rooms and 1 suite in the consulate have an Art Deco feel, with dark-wood dressers and carved armoires; the church's 6 rooms and 2 suites are furnished with sleek mid-century desks and armchairs. Most are spacious (Superior Luxes are a little bigger than Superiors), and the Suite has a large sitting area. Top of the range are the Suite Luxes, one of which comes with 2 single sofabeds that are ideal for children. If you want the best views, opt for a Superior Luxe or Suite Luxe, which have nicer outlooks than the Superiors and Suite. My room, on the top floor of the consulate, had a wonderful vista of the fortress and harbour from the bedroom and bathroom.
Bathrooms in all rooms are large, with tiled walls and floors, pedestal sinks and glass shower cubicles with rain heads. One of the Suite Luxes has a freestanding claw-foot tub, too.
A light yet tasty breakfast of yoghurt, crêpes, toast, jams, juice and coffee is served from 7:30 to 10am. You can eat in the consulate's restaurant, La Terrasse de L'Iglesia, on the patio outside, or in the cloister of the church.
The restaurant is then open for lunch (until 3pm) and dinner (until 9.30pm). It has 2 rooms, one with a black-and-white tiled floor, pomegranate walls and tulip chairs tucked under wrought-iron tables, the other a cosier space set behind a stone arch. Menus change daily, so check the chalkboard for Moroccan and French dishes such as aubergine tapenade, seafood, spicy vegetable stew and meaty tagines served in distinctive cone-shaped pots, along with a well-chosen list of wines. The salmon was excellent and I liked the Caesar salad (made with roasted tomatoes, shredded Parmesan and sardines) so much that I ordered it twice. For dessert, I splurged on crêpes wrapped around a decadent chocolate filling and topped with slivered almonds, before lingering over a silver pot of Moroccan mint tea.
Daytime snacks are available at Jean Dominque’s tea room, Café Do Mar, which is set between the church and consulate. Its roof terrace has sweeping views, and there’s a range of teas, coffees, smoothies, fresh juices, crêpes and ice creams to choose from. Guests can also order cocktails and aperitifs on the consulate’s roof terrace or in the church cloister, where music is played each evening from 7pm.
The stone steps and peaceful atmosphere at the hotel mean it isn’t ideal for young children. That said, all ages are welcome. All rooms can accommodate a baby cot, and one Suite Luxe has 2 single sofabeds which can be made up on request (all free of charge). The restaurant also offers a kids’ menu, and there are kids’ clubs and activities at the Mazagan Beach and Golf Resort (a 5-minute taxi ride away).
Children (4-12 years)
Cots Available, Family Rooms
Can be arranged on request.