Mohammedia Morocco

While we were in Morocco, we stayed in Mohammedia, which is a small port city about half an hour outside Casablanca. While Mohammedia is a popular seaside resort for many Moroccans, it isn't as popular with foreigners. This was both part of its charm and what made it slightly difficult!

We stayed at the Hotel Avanti which is right on "La Corniche," or the the beach.

The facilities at the hotel were really nice. It was beautiful and comfortable inside. There was a well equipped, modern gym and a beautiful swimming pool. The was even free wifi (most of the time!).

Our one complaint was that the staff (the front desk staff that is) was not particularly welcoming or helpful. When we first arrived, tired and starving, they would not let us check in and didn't offer directions to any of the onsite restaurants. In fact, we never found the restaurants, and so we never ate at the hotel! Granted we were in a foreign country and shouldn't just expect that everyone should speak English, but even when we tried speaking French they weren't that helpful!

We ate most of our meals at the cafes along the corniche. Again, I thought it was pretty funny that we couldn't find "Moroccan" food in Morocco, but the French and Italian food we had was good. Breakfast was my favorite meal of the day. For $2 you could get a petit dejeuner of freshly squeezed fruit juice (strawberry was my favorite), a cappuccino, and either eggs or a croissant, and their grilled bread. 

Even though we tried to wait as late as possible to eat dinner, we were still usually the only people eating dinner at 7 or 8 pm. The Moroccans were all enjoying a leisurely coffee, juice or ice cream, as a snack before their 10 pm dinner. All of the menus were in French and Arabic, but we were usually able to more or less figure out what the dishes were. None of the waitstaff spoke any English, but they were friendly and we were able to communicate well enough to place our orders and pay. 

Both the boardwalk area and the beach were crowded all 4 days we were there (Friday-Monday). In the morning a lot of people come to get their exercise by walking or jogging along the boardwalk. Later in the day, the atmosphere reminded me a bit of the Jersey Shore. There was techno music playing, a perpetual beach volleyball tournament, boys offering pony rides, and vendors selling cotton candy and ice cream.

We did also venture off the beach and into the city. We found a small Medina, which was a good warm-up for the larger ones in Casablanca and Rabat. Because it is less touristy, the vendors were not as pushy and offered us samples of juicy strawberries and cherries. We also found a ceramics shop with beautiful things that were way less expensive than in the big cities. So it paid to get off the beaten tourist track!

If you are looking for a slightly more authentic experience, but still want to be able to see Rabat and Casablanca, I'd recommend Mohammedia as a home base while in Morocco.