Every now and then, I treat myself from Couchsurfing and hostel-hopping and yield to my inclination for luxury—a hotel with steady WiFi so I can write. This time, it was an urban Moroccan oasis, where I was soothed by Café Galerie mint tea on a sun-swathed balcony, enveloped in the smell of 3,000 roses in over 17 acres of Andalusian gardens that garnished the earth beneath me.
I found myself at a 5-star French hotel, Sofitel Rabat Jardin des Roses, beside the Royal Palace in the imperial city of Rabat, Morocco. There, beside the garden, the pool is painted an azure blue, shaded by plentiful palm trees and encircled by damask-printed armchairs.
I bathed not in a bucket, like the weeks prior, but rather in an incandescent glass room with the ambiance of a rainforest, looking out to eucalyptus and citrus trees as two showerheads rained on me in a marble tub. Then, I emptied my mind as I sank into a heap of emerald-tinged padded pillows on a large double bed, resting beside the mashrabiya latticework and meticulous mosaics that embellish the violet bedside wall, vibrantly lit by an elegant chandelier and the sun that reflected off murano glass décor.
The 344-square-feet Superior Room, designed by Didler Gomez, includes high-speed Wi-Fi, so I could write this, and a stocked minibar with an array of beers. It’s the kind of place I could, and did, spend the entire day utterly, peacefully alone.
At midday, I sipped a daiquiri infused with Moroccan rose essence at the Amber Bar, and for dinner I sampled couscous t’faya aux legumes with refined culinary flavors of Morocco, blended with French savoir-faire in the restaurant, Al Warda.
But I’d experienced only a bit of the luxury this place has to offer. Sofitel Rabat Jardin des Roses boasts 229 rooms, including 37 sumptuous suites offering exclusive butler service. The Superior and Luxury Rooms have large double beds or two twin beds on floors one through six of the hotel, with balcony views over Rabat or the gardens, a marble shower or bathtub and access to the fitness center.
For club members, however, the Luxury Room Club Sofitel offers exclusive services including LCD TV and access to Club Millésime with breakfast and snacks, as well as personal concierge assistance and private lounges. Junior, Opera, Imperial and Royal suites have separate bedrooms and lounging areas, and feature kitchens and steam baths.
Of course, if the steam bath is not enough, one can revitalize the mind and body at the hotel’s 14,000-square-foot So SPA with a rose petal manicure or hot stone massage in the Hammam.