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Mazagan Resort review: Why I picked Casablanca over Marrakesh this summer

The 5-star hotel in El Jadida, Morocco is just a 3-hour flight from the UK


Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort day time© Alexandre Chaplier
Sharnaz Shahid
Deputy Online Editor
Updated: August 3, 2023
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Whenever my friends rave about Morocco, Marrakesh seems to be the popular choice. However, I opted for the equally historical and culturally significant Casablanca. 

I jumped on a three-hour flight from London's Gatwick to the north-western region of Morocco, and was immediately taken with the buzzy atmosphere created by locals and the balmy climes. I was staying at Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort, the luxurious and expansive beachfront resort located approximately 90 kilometres south of Casablanca in El Jadida. 

The resort is resplendent with striking architecture, combining traditional geometric Moroccan design elements with modern amenities. When I first walked into the lobby, I was taken in by the vastness and opulence – and much of it was down to impeccable craftsmanship. Though you might think the grandeur would feel intimidating, I actually felt at ease – thanks to the intimate and cosy welcome I received from the hugely hospitable staff. 

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There are several outdoor seating options at the hotel
There are several outdoor seating options at the hotel

Walking through a beautiful courtyard towards the reception area, you are surrounded by exotic palm trees, mosaic walls, polished marble floors and low-hanging traditional lanterns as well as swathes of black velvet curtains. My senses were stimulated by the aroma of the sweetly scented gardens with wafts of orange blossom and rosebuds at every turn.

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What are the rooms like?

Whether you take the lift or one of the winding marble staircases, the hotel is divided into sections, each with its own palatial courtyards. The rooms themselves were both simultaneously luxurious and inviting. My room, an ocean-view suite, featured an intricately carved wooden closet, taupe leather seating and a matching bedframe as well as a king-sized snuggly bed and artisanal Moroccan lighting. I was lucky enough to have a decent-sized balcony with spectacular sweeping views of the vast blue ocean and vistas across the golf course and lush forest. 

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room
One of the bedrooms at the 5-star resort

Most of the suites have balconies and terraces and come complete with a deep integrated bath, a separate rain shower, luxe orange blossom-scented bathroom products, soft slippers and comfy robes. The room was also well-equipped, air-conditioned and regularly serviced by housekeeping, ensuring things always felt fresh and well-stocked. 

As you would expect in a hotel that has hosted royalty, the service here is exemplary and comes with an extra dose of that wonderful Moroccan hospitality. Staff members, all the best in the business, tended to my every need with warmth and dedicated professionalism.

What are the food options like?

The resort offers a wide range of dining options, from international favourites to the most delectable Moroccan cuisine. I was spoilt for choice. From fine dining restaurants to a more casual setting, I enjoyed a variety of fresh, local produce to suit my mood. 

Inside Bushra by Buddha-Bar
Inside Bushra by Buddha-Bar

There are the more traditional options such as Bushra by Buddha-Bar, Market Place and Olive. Here, there are generous menu options with modern Middle Eastern influences and other flavours from across the world. I was lucky enough to indulge in Mediterranean specialities such as antipasti, salads, pasta, authentic lasagnas, pizzas and of course, hearty tangines. 

The hotel's Mazi Garden
The hotel's Mazi Garden

Although for a lavish dining experience, I headed to Sel de Mer. This one is for seafood lovers. The delightful gastronomy boasted a multitude of fish and seafood from the region: oysters from Oualidia, catch of the day a la plancha, or Saint Pierre and its argan oil mousseline.  A real treat for those who love to be wined at dined.

Mazi Garden is the newest dining hotspot at the resort
Mazi Garden is the newest dining hotspot at the resort


This year, the resort welcomes Mazi Garden to their collection - and what an incredible addition! The term "mazi" means "together" in Greek, so it's no surprise the restaurant incorporates the country’s sharing culinary tradition. Mazi was created in London's Notting Hill area and has been a spectacular success, quickly becoming the go-to address for Hollywood and fashion celebrities. This gastronomic masterpiece of modern Greek cuisine certainly packed a punch with it's classic Greek salads, carpaccio, seabass tartare and feta tempura as well as fresh calamari, grilled prawns and black truffle chicken.

What can you do and see?

There's plenty on offer at Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort, whatever the mood. From horse riding along the 7km stretch of golden sandy beach to spending the day at the resort's exclusive hammam or kicking back by the immense swimming pool surrounded by palm trees, each guest will always have something to occupy their mind. 

For some R&R, the Mazagan Spa is the perfect option. It has 19 cabins, including two double rooms and a luxury two-person suite with mesmerizing ocean views. The suite is ideal for couples' treatments and is equipped with private facilities such as a steam room and outdoor patio, perfect for post-treatment relaxation.

The Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca© getty
The Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca

But for those looking to escape the resort for a day trip, I would suggest heading into Casablanca, an hour's drive from the resort.  Casablanca, also known as "Casa," is the largest city in Morocco, and is considered to be one of the most financially important cities in the heart of the country. While many people visit for business, Casablanca has a lot more to offer than first meets the eye. 

My favourite place to visit was the Hassan II Mosque, set against a beautiful backdrop of the deep blue ocean. The opulent mosque, designed by French architect Michel Pinseau, is the largest mosque in North Africa, and the third largest in the world. The place of worship showcases the finest of Moroccan artisanship with its hand-carved stone, intricate marble flooring and mosaic tilework and grand ceilings. After a guided tour of the mosque, I headed to the Old Medina which was great to shop for souvenirs, leatherwork, spices and the finest handmade Moroccan plates. 

A stay at Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort is the perfect escape - a mix of the old with the new. A treat for the senses and tonic for the mind, this hotel does not disappoint and there's simply no arguing that you're in the best place to be when visiting Casablanca.

For more info, pricing and to book, check out the Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort on Booking.com, Expedia.com or the resort's official site.

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