Review: Hyatt Regency Casablanca

Introduction: An Insane Week In The Sky
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We had about 30 hours in Casablanca, as our flight from Doha arrived at around 7AM, and our flight back to Doha left the following day at around 1PM.

While Casablanca doesn’t have that many chain hotels, my preferred brands are well represented, as a Hyatt and Starwood loyalist. There’s both a Hyatt Regency and Sheraton, and both didn’t look especially good online.

I didn’t care which we stayed at, though Matthew is a Hyatt loyalist and needed the stay credits, so we ended up staying there. I paid a rate of ~$150 for the one night stay. The Sheraton, as a point of comparison, was ~$100.

I had arranged a transfer from the airport in advance (as I usually do nowadays), which cost ~$65. The airport is about 45 minutes from the city without traffic, and the driver who picked us up was punctual and courteous.

From the outside the Hyatt Regency looked pretty run down, so between that and the pictures I saw on the hotel’s website, I had pretty low expectations.

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Hyatt Regency Casablanca exterior

However, upon arriving I was very pleasantly surprised. The hotel has two sets of gates in order to enter the driveway to the hotel. The driveway has beautiful columns, and then a red carpet leading up to the entrance of the hotel.

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Hyatt Regency Casablanca driveway

Inside the hotel was a security checkpoint with a metal detector. I apologize in advance for the quality of the pictures of some of the public spaces, as I didn’t feel especially comfortable taking pictures, given the amount of security they had.

Inside the lobby the reception desk was located to the left, while there was a large seating area to the right.

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Hyatt Regency Casablanca reception

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Hyatt Regency Casablanca lobby

The guy who checked us in was extremely friendly. He couldn’t have come across as more genuinely hospitable, rather than reading through the usual “welcome script.”

He thanked me for being a Diamond member, explained that I had been upgraded to a junior suite, and provided me with the hours that the club lounge was open. Within a couple of minutes I had a key for my sixth floor room.

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Hyatt Regency Casablanca hallway

I was assigned room 618, which was the first room on the left after turning left out of the elevator.

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Hyatt Regency Casablanca room entrance

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Hyatt Regency Casablanca floorplan

The junior suite was quite large and mostly well designed.

There was an entryway with a closet to the left and a toilet to the right.

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Hyatt Casablanca junior suite entryway

I say “mostly well designed” because the toilet wasn’t connected to the rest of the bathroom, but rather was in a separate room right by the entrance of the room.

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Hyatt Casablanca junior suite toilet

Past the entryway was a huge room with both a living area and sleeping area, which was separated by a TV.

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Hyatt Casablanca junior suite

The living area featured a couch and then two chairs pushed against one another across from it, with a coffee table between them.

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Hyatt Casablanca junior suite living area

Next to the living area and closer to the window was a rather large desk. Unfortunately there weren’t any conveniently located outlets, which seemed like a bit of an oversight.

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Hyatt Casablanca junior suite desk

The TV faced the bed rather than the living area, though I suspect it could be turned as well.

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Hyatt Casablanca junior suite

The bed was a bit firmer than I usually prefer, though at least the four pillows were rather plush, which made up for the firmness of the mattress a bit.

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Hyatt Casablanca junior suite king bed

Next to the bed was a circular table with two chairs.

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Hyatt Casablanca junior suite dining area

On the opposite side of the bed was a counter with a Nespresso machine.

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Hyatt Casablanca Nespresso machine

The entrance to the bathroom was off the living area. One odd thing about this is that the sliding glass door to the bathroom was simply frosted, so there wasn’t much privacy while in it (I was staying alone, so of course that wasn’t an issue).

There was a sink, a bathtub, and a walk-in shower.

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Hyatt Casablanca junior suite bathroom

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Hyatt Casablanca junior suite bathroom

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Hyatt Casablanca junior suite bathtub

The shower had great water pressure and temperature control, and I appreciated the functional place that the controls were located, near the entrance of the shower rather than by the shower head, meaning you could adjust the water to the right temperature before getting in the shower.

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Hyatt Casablanca junior suite shower

Toiletries were provided by Pharmacopia — they weren’t memorable, other than the fact that I prefer them to the June Jacobs stuff most Hyatts have (which isn’t saying a whole lot).

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Hyatt Casablanca toiletries

The room had a pretty mesmerizing view of the city, with the mosque in the distance.

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Hyatt Casablanca junior suite view

Overall I thought the room was fantastic, and I was grateful for the proactive upgrade. The bathroom setup was a bit weird, but the size of the room more than made up for it.

I’d also note that internet at the hotel was also legitimately high speed — I had no problem streaming YouTube videos, etc.

As a Gold Passport Diamond member I also had access to the club lounge, located on the eighth floor.

It was a beautiful space, consisting of one large room. On one end of the room waas a TV, while on the other end of the room was the self serve food & drink area.

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Hyatt Casablanca Regency Club

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Hyatt Casablanca Regency Club

There was also a meeting room at the far end of the club.

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Hyatt Casablanca Regency Club meeting room

The club had a cool view of the surrounding area. The Hyatt Regency has a great location, as it’s in one of the nicer areas of town (as you can probably tell based on the below picture).

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Hyatt Regency Casablanca lounge view

Collectively we spent many hours up there, and only ever saw one other guest. I almost felt bad, given how they had breakfast and evening snacks, and I imagine almost everything went to waste.

The club lounge served breakfast daily from 6:30AM until 11AM.

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Hyatt Casablanca Regency Club breakfast spread

The selection included muffins, pastries, croissants, rolls, bread, hard-boiled eggs, cold cuts, cheese, salmon, yogurt, muesli, smoothies, fresh fruit, and cereal.

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Hyatt Casablanca Regency Club breakfast spread

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Hyatt Casablanca Regency Club breakfast spread

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Hyatt Casablanca Regency Club breakfast spread

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Hyatt Casablanca Regency Club breakfast spread

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Hyatt Casablanca Regency Club breakfast spread

On top of that, omelets could be ordered as well. I believe they were prepared in the restaurant and then brought upstairs.

The guy working both mornings was an absolute delight. He was so friendly and attentive, and made a mean cappuccino.

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Hyatt Casablanca Regency Club espresso machine

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Hyatt Casablanca Regency Club cappuccino

The evening spread was available from 6PM until 8PM, and was a bit more limited.

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Hyatt Casablanca Regency Club evening spread

There was cheese, prosciutto, nuts, olives, along with individual canapés on skewers and in glasses.

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Hyatt Casablanca Regency Club evening spread

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Hyatt Casablanca Regency Club evening spread

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Hyatt Casablanca Regency Club evening spread

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Hyatt Casablanca Regency Club evening spread

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Hyatt Casablanca Regency Club evening spread

For dessert there were a variety of Moroccan sweets, as well as cakes and fresh fruit.

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Hyatt Casablanca Regency Club evening drinks

There was also a liquor selection, with some decent enough brands.

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Hyatt Casablanca Regency Club evening happy hour

Lastly, there was freshly squeezed juice and wine.

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Hyatt Casablanca Regency Club evening drinks

Overall the club lounge was a great space from which to get work done, and the service was great.

Since we did some sightseeing during the day we decided to have dinner in the hotel’s Moroccan restaurant.

Once in the lobby we turned left and walked past the lobby bar.

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Hyatt Regency Casablanca lobby bar

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Hyatt Regency Casablanca lobby bar

That’s where Dar Beida, the Moroccan restaurant, was located. It was gorgeous and had traditional decor, and I sort of couldn’t believe it was inside a Hyatt.

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Dar Beida Restaurant

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Dar Beida Restaurant

We ordered with the set meal, which was spectacular. The food and service were both incredible, so I’ll let the pictures of the food speak for themselves.

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Dar Beida Restaurant Moroccan dinner

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Dar Beida Restaurant Moroccan dinner

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Dar Beida Restaurant Moroccan dinner

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Dar Beida Restaurant Moroccan dinner

The only other thing is that we were the only diners in the restaurant. Oh, and the entertainment was pretty amusing as well.

As far as the hotel’s other amenities go, there was a gym located on the second floor. The equipment itself was reasonably modern, though the room itself clearly hadn’t been renovated like the rest of the hotel.

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Hyatt Regency Casablanca gym

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Hyatt Regency Casablanca gym

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Hyatt Regency Casablanca gym

The hotel also had a nice pool, which we didn’t have a chance to use.

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Hyatt Regency Casablanca pool

We felt safe walking around Casablanca, though it was a bit of a culture shock in some areas. I didn’t really feel comfortable taking pictures in many areas, simply because we were the only tourists, so we stood out enough as is. The mosque was about a 15 minute walk from the hotel, and was gorgeous.

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Casablanca mosque

After a good night of sleep we took a taxi to the airport at around 10AM, which was an experience in and of itself.

Hyatt Casablanca bottom line

I was very pleasantly surprised by this property. While the outside of the hotel was dated, the inside was very nicely renovated. The hotel had a great location, exceptional service, and top notch Diamond recognition. Matthew and I both got upgrades to junior suites, and thought the club lounge was a great place from which to work, even if the evening food spread wasn’t amazing.

I’d highly recommend the Hyatt Regency if visiting Casablanca.

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Comments

  1. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Casablanca after taking the train back from Marrakech before our return flight to the U.S. and were also pleasantly surprised. Since we had been staying in small pensions / B&Bs / Riads throughout Morocco, it felt like the most luxurious property in the entire world, and was certainly a nice reentry back.

  2. You are wasting your youth not experiencing these places.

    When you’re older, that’s when you can stay in cookie cutter hotels and take airport transfers (?!).

    Live a little. You get this unique opportunity of having time and money while you’re young and you’re wasting it away doing immensely banal things like noticing bathroom layouts and if you turned left or right , instead of engaging with the local markets, doing crazy advenrure things only 20-30 year olds would do etc

    I wish I worked more, or I wish I stayed in more chain hotels with chain experiences , is not something anyone says when older.

  3. You couldn’t be bothered to google the name of the mosque (Hassan II Mosque)? It’s only one of the largest in the world and has the tallest minaret in the world.

  4. And I believe its the only Mosque in Morocco that allows non-Muslims to visit.

    Next time, PLEASE go to Marrakesh or Chefchaun (no loyalty points to be earned there but an amazing little city)

  5. @Ken, if you have been reading OMAAT, you will understand why Ben does as it is. I suggest reading a few posts back.

  6. @Ken,

    This is work travel for Ben. It’s not vacation. I’m highly skeptical of strangers telling others how to spend their time, but your advice to Ben is especially misplaced because you completely misunderstand the purpose of this trip he’s on.

  7. You get this unique opportunity of having time and money while you’re young

    He has this opportunity due to his job of reviewing airlines, chain hotels and their related rewards programs.

  8. I think this looks like a nice Hyatt property. I have not visited Casablanca, and it is not on my top 50 places to go, but some extent I do agree,
    In the lesser known parts of the world, some great properties show up.
    I experienced this with the IC in Aqaba, Jordan.

  9. Not understanding the objections to having the toilet in a separate room.

    It would be a downgraded design (and not as hygenic) to have the toilet mixed in with bathing and brushing your teeth. I know it is common in America, and there can be plenty of non-hygenic designs in budget places all over the world. But, most well designed Middle Eastern high-end hotels take the bathroom design seriously and (luxuriously so) provide a separate, completely enclosed potty room.

    Most carry this design over into the lobby bathrooms, providing each toilet with a private, luxuriously appointed fully enclosed room with its own ventilation fan and ducting. Even if it means building 6 or 7 separate extra rooms inside the main hammam room.

    Perhaps the one in your room wasn’t well maintained? Or located too far away from the main bathroom? Too close to the fridge?

    In any case, most fellow Americans that I know take about 5 years to gradually appreciate the joys (both hygenic and comfortwise) of a well-designed and maintained Old World high-end loo.

    You might be surprised how many expat retirees incorporate various Old World elements into their retirement home designs. Things like private potty rooms, bidets, and shatoffs are commonly added luxuries.

  10. How is the outside of the hotel rundown? The building doesn’t have the greatest architecture but it looks pretty fine, at least as far as big hotel chain hotel architecture goes.

  11. Lucky- I love reading what you write and your information is excellent. Just a comment on what you said, I don’t think you should feel bad for anyone other than the corporation for what you said below. I have a feeling that the food for the elite members isn’t being thrown out when they don’t take advantage of it, rather it’s feeding a lot of staff families when they take the ‘waste’ home with them at the end of the shift, which is great in and of itself. Far better than wasting it. Long time listener, first time caller. Thank you for this blog, very much appreciated.

    Dan

    I almost felt bad, given how they had breakfast and evening snacks, and I imagine almost everything went to waste.

  12. @hrrmph – “Old World high-end loo” – ha! Have you been to Morocco? The country is full of squat toilets flushed with plastic buckets filled from a spigot. High end luxury is a hose attached to the spigot. You’re thinking of “old world European” perhaps.

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