I took a trip to Morocco with the kids and some extended family members in August, where we spent two fun days on a budget in bustling and scorching-hot Marrakesh.
We then parted ways with my parents to spend the next 4 nights with friends at the luxuriousÂ Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort in El Jadida (narrator: ironically, also on a budget), which is about a 2-hour drive from Marrakech. My local friends hired a driver, and all eight of us piled in and headed to El Jadida.
Iâ€™ve previously read many fantastic reviews about this 492-room Moroccan mega-resort, and many of my travel friends also highly-recommended that we check it out during our trip.
Well, it turns out that the recommendations were spot on- everything about the stay was wonderful. Rather than a standard review of my own, in this post youâ€™ll find a condensed trip report with some tips I think youâ€™ll find useful if youâ€™re planning a visit to the Mazagan Beach Resort soon.
Mazagan Beach & Golf ResortÂ is nestled on a expansive beach, which stretches over 4 miles along the Atlantic Coast. The resort exceeds in providing fun for the whole family. Just some of the amenities include: an awesome kids club for all ages (free! more on this below), plenty of restaurants and bars, a world-class spa, casino and night club, and many other unique leisure activities (horseback riding on the beach, camels, go karts, trampolines, and more).
Itâ€™s also worth emphasizing, especially to the miles and points audience, that there areÂ no resort fees (only a 99Â Morrocan Dirham tourism tax, approximately $10.30), no parking fees, and a massive breakfast spread is included daily with all bookings. The breakfast spread was extremely impressive,Â and comparable, if not better, than some of the nicest properties Iâ€™ve stayed at throughout the years.
Great Points Redemption
Just like my recent Emirates A380 business class example and continuing on the trend of booking travel via “paying with points”, the Mazagan Beach resort is an excellent points redemption in that regards.
Though the Mazagan is not part of any major chain (it’sÂ part of the Leading Hotels of the World umbrella, and you can “join” the Leaders Club for an annual membership fee of $175… nah), it’s still a great points redemption when booking directly using Chase Ultimate Rewards.
If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card,Â Ultimate Rewards points are worth 50% more when redeemed for travel. That alone is one of the many reasons why theÂ Chase Sapphire Reserve is arguably one of my favorite travel credit cards. The generous “pay with points” feature opens the door for unique redemption possibilities like this.
We decided to book our semi-last minute 4-night stay during peak summer season when room rates were well over $300 a night, bringing the cost in points to roughly 20,000 points per night (no transfers into hotel programs or elite status needed). It was still a great redemption considering how many “extras” are included in the stay.
Just for example purposes, rates were much lower when I plugged in random dates in April 2020. You can see that the same deluxe room we had (we got upgraded to an ocean view room at check in) is just 11,725 points per night. Free breakfast for all guests, included kids club, and complimentary airport transfers sweeten the deal even more.
Getting There (Casablanca / Rabat) – FreeÂ Airport Transfers
The Mazagan Beach resort offers free scheduled shuttle service in a luxury van between the resort to both Casablanca and Rabat. Since we arrived with friends from Marrakech, we did not need outside transportation to resort; however, we most certainly did use the free shuttle service to drive us 3 hours to Rabat (all thanks to a better departure time and much cheaper RyanAir fares) to catch a short flight to Madrid at the conclusion of our stay.
It turns out that we were the only family that signed up for the Rabat airport transfer for that day. I couldn’t believe that we truly had a free personal driver for the 3-hour ride!
The luxury shuttle van featured comfortable recliner seats, was well air conditioned and stocked with water bottles, and even had charging ports to to keep our devices fully charged. We had a smooth, relaxing, scenic, drive and friendly driver – couldn’t have asked for better!
Luxury and Family-Friendly Done Right
First and foremost, this might sound like an oxymoron, but the Mazagan Beach & Golf resort truly did deliver on identifying as a luxurious family-friendly resort. At the time of our visit, around 80% of the guests hadÂ one or twoÂ children under the age of 8.
There were plenty of activities for everyone to enjoy, including a large main pool and a tucked away “family area” where you’d find the kids club, a playground, and a nice family pool with a waterslide (stocked with plenty of life jackets for kids, too).
The Kids Club program was amazing to say the least, and there are daily age-appropriate activities with a fantastic multi-lingual staff. The kids club opens at 9am and remains open until 10pm every day (narrator: !!!).
While my kid only did one daily activity each day, having access to the free kids club program in the evenings and night (the evening activities for kids included themed dance parties, outdoor movies, etc.) allows parents to decompress and enjoy a romantic dinner of their own on some nights, so that was nice. I must say that Mazagan Kids Club is by far the most generous “free” kids club programs I’ve ever encountered in all of my family travels.
Beach, Pools, & Casino
The resort grounds at the Mazagan were phenomenal and so vast. The main pool is large and lively, and the beach is absolutely massive and refreshingly-cool (and sometimes foggy due to the colder waters of the Atlantic Ocean). Due to the remote location of the resort, the only people on the beach were resort guests, and there are no vendors that bother you at the beach.
As I mentioned above, there are so many activities to do on the resort, including a decent-sized casino that featured slots and an array of table games. The casino is independent of any major casino loyalty program and did not seem to offer any type of player’s card tier matching at the time of my stay.
Free Breakfast For All + Dining
The free daily breakfast for all guests was definitely an extremely valuable perk. The breakfast featured traditional Moroccan fare as well as western and international options, and it’s safe to say that we never left hungry.
One tip I’d pass along though is to try to fill up on as much of the breakfast as you can if you’re looking to stick to a dining budget. There are a number of greatÂ restaurants on the resort, but they were pricey for both Moroccan and global standards (think Miami beach club prices).
We typically enjoyed the ambiance and scenic ocean views of the new Buddha-Bar beach club and the Beach Barbecue restaurant, both pictured below, but be prepared Â to splurge.
Sure it’s nice when we can transfer our points into our favorite hotel programs, but there are other gems around the world where more can be had by “paying with points” vs transferring points and relying on elite status for benefits like free breakfast and no resort fees.
Iâ€™ve rambled a lot in this post, but I hope I was able to provide some helpful information to those who are inspired to check out the Mazagan Beach Resort on their next Moroccan adventure. I truly enjoyed my stay, and itâ€™s a great luxury family destination that I’d love to visit again soon.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to comment below, and Iâ€™ll do my best to answer them.
For those who have visited the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar already, what were your impressions?