Casablanca

Local Gems: Our Guide to Casablanca

Casablanca is an alluring seaside city that’s rich in history, traditional and modern architecture and world-class dining – and we want you to experience it like a local. Who better to draw up a guide than our Hotel’s in-the-know staff? Tailor your itinerary with their picks; then explore, retreat and repeat.

OUR CHEF’S FAVOURITE PLACE TO EAT

– Christophe Laplaza, Executive Chef

“North of the city centre, about a 6.5-kilometre (4-mile) drive from the Hotel, is La Sqala, an 18th-century fortified bastion that's a tranquil escape from the city. The café has a rustic interior and a delightful garden surrounded by flower-draped trellises. Tajines are a specialty, and the menu features plenty of fish, as well as a selection of meat brochettes. My favourite dish is the chicken tagine with preserved lemons and red olives. It’s simple but classic.”

Rick's Cafe sign over window on white building, palm trees

OUR RESTAURANT MANAGER’S GO-TO COCKTAIL SPOT

– Marouane Benfakir, Restaurant Manager

“My favourite spot to have a drink is undoubtedly the bar at Rick’s Café, where you can relive the romance of the iconic movie “Casablanca” and order a signature cocktail inspired by Humphrey Bogart’s character. The best day to go for drinks is on Jazz Sunday when local musicians play. I recommend the Sour Jdid – a delicious mixture of whiskey sour, red vermouth, mashed lemons and a splash of sparkling water – named after the Boulevard Sour Jdid where Rick’s Café is located.”

A Cultural Find from our Assistant Guest Relations Manager

– Mehdi Haider, Assistant Guest Relations Manager

“Mahkama du Pach, also known as the Pacha’s courthouse, is an administrative building in the Habous area, famous for its turquoise carved wooden doorways, breathtaking stucco and patios that display Moorish influences. The Mahkama du Pacha rivals some of the finest architectural landmarks in the country. Reminiscent of the Alhambra in Granada, the fully operational parliamentary building provides abundant backdrops for incredible photos. It’s surrounded by tall buildings, and the entrance is easy to miss, so make sure you ask our Concierge to set up a guided visit.”

A LOCAL ART SCENE from Our PR and Communications Director

– Jihane Ayed, Director of Public Relations and Communications

“The Villa des Arts is housed in an art deco villa built in 1934. The gallery hosts regular exhibits of contemporary Moroccan and international art. My favourites are the local artists’ galleries – photography, sculptures, paintings. Discover the Villa des Arts through an architectural tour of the city’s art deco heritage, organized by our Concierge.”

Where to Surf According to our Fitness Trainer

– Mohamed Bahyaoui, Spa Fitness Trainer

“Casablanca is one of the region’s top surfing destinations, and locals love to catch waves early in the morning before heading to work. Our Hotel is actually in front of one of the most popular surf spots where the Quicksilver Pro competition takes place every year. For surf lessons, I recommend Casablanca Surf School, the oldest in the area and only a five-minute drive from our Hotel.”

OUR PASTRY CHEF’S FAVOURITE SWEET SHOP

– Brian Gartner, Pastry Chef

“My favourite place to satisfy my sweet cravings is Pâtisserie Bennis. This family-run shop has been around for three generations and is tucked away in one of the small alleyways of the Habous Medina. I love to try their different almond pastries, especially their signature cornes de gazelle – a crescent-shaped cookie filled with almond paste. You’ll always catch the father (or son) welcoming guests and sharing stories about his grandmothers’ original recipes. I recommend going in the morning when the first fresh batch is out.”

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