Looking for a luxury Morocco surfing and adventure holiday? Then read this review of La Sultana Oualidia. This five star resort is located in a lagoon on the Atlantic coast, offering stunning accommodation, delicious food, great surf and plenty of other adventures.
Oualidia is a small town around two hours south of Casablanca and four hours north of Agadir. If you are in Marrakech it takes around three hours to drive to Oualidia.
We flew with RyanAir from Stansted to Marrakech. It was a very early flight to we booked I Love Meet and Greet to meet us at the airport and park our car. The service was efficient, friendly and a blessing – we were running late after a huge diversion due to the M25 being closed.
We spent a couple of days in the excellent, but exhausting, city of Marrakech. The city is well worth a visit and you could stay in the La Sultana Marrakech hotel.
The Souks, Jemaa El Fna square, the Royal Palaces and the Bahia Palace all incredible. But Marrakesh is not exactly a relaxing break, hence we headed to the coast for a luxury Morocco surfing and adventure holiday.
Unfortunately, there is no straight forward public transport from Marrakech to Oualidia. The cheapest option is to hire a car, but the Moroccan driving and signposting is rather suspect. A taxi costs,
depending on the type of vehicle, between €100 and €200 each way.
Our first glimpse of the La Sultana resort was from the access road above. First we saw a beautiful estuary with sand dunes and crashing waves of the Atlantic beyond. Then we noticed a little oasis of green and a stunning building on the edge of the lagoon.
We were met at the gate on arrival and our bags were taken care of. I guess this is pretty standard of five star resorts but it was new to us. We were well looked after in reception, being given towels to refresh ourselves after the journey.
As our room was not quite ready we were given a guided tour of the resort. From the stunning indoor heated pool and spa to the outdoor infinity pool and personal hot tubs, it’s safe to say we were instantly impressed.
We stopped on the terrace bar/restaurant for mint tea and a selection of tasty Moroccan snacks. Overlooking the lagoon there is a stunning view. It’s safe to say out review of La Sultana Oualidia had got off to a very good start!
We were taken to our room as soon as it was ready. Although to be fair it is a small resort with only twelve rooms, so we could have found it ourselves!
Our bedroom was dominated by a huge domed ceiling in which dangles a stunning chandelier over the huge bed. Seriously you almost needed a taxi to get from one side of the bed to the other. It was very comfortable, although I personally prefer a slightly firmer mattress.
The room was very spacious with a couple of comfortable arm chairs and a small table. The bathroom was also large with a very powerful walk in shower that was big enough to include a seat.
Outside on our private terrace was our own hot tub. You fill it yourself choosing how hot or cold you would like it to be, kind of like a giant bath! It filled quickly and we jumped in with a bottle of sparkly and a romantic start to our stay…
A lovely five star hotel is a good start, but for a luxury Morocco surfing and adventure holiday, but you also need great food. And La Sultana Oualidia does not disappoint.
Being on the coast seafood is a big thing at La Sultana. There are tanks full of spider crabs, lobsters and langoustines, plus many shellfish including oysters.
They have a great relationship with the local oyster farm and fishermen. So you are getting very fresh, and very delicious seafood.
Within the grounds there is also a small organic farm that grows much of the fruit, vegetables and salad used in the kitchen. Many of the dishes have a seasonal nature to them, ensuring that you get the freshest food possible.
Alongside the seafood, La Sultana also has a traditional Moroccan menu with tagines, couscous and plenty of lamb dishes. Grilled meats and fish are a big part of the menu with everything from ribeye steak to turbot on offer.
But it is not just good quality ingredients. Dishes are cooked with an inventive flair that elevates them from good to exceptional. However, this stunning cuisine does not come cheap. Prices are similar to good restaurants in the UK.
The lunch time menu is similar, with the addition of pizza if you want something less fancy. There are also some inventive bar snacks available.
With a drink in late afternoon they provide delicious seafood tapas. The goose barnacles where completely new to us and very tasty. They also included octopus, whitebait, calamari and more.
Our room included breakfast which kept up the high standards. There is a good mix of cooked and continental options, fruit and cereal. Eggs are cooked on demand, I recommend the Berber omelette and eggs benedict.
During this review of La Sultana Oualidia we made good use of the lovely spa. The indoor pool is incredibly warm, almost bath temperature. The lovely big jacuzzi is very relaxing plus there is a traditional hammam.
In order to get a pass to go surfing I booked my wife a massage. She was very impressed, and she knows what she is talking about as she is a massage therapist in Newhaven.
The outdoor pool was also amazing. The loungers are very comfortable, plus there are large beds dotted around. With plenty of options you can lay in the sun or shade.
The infinity pool is beautiful and a decent depth. Plus there are three saltwater hot tubs that you fill yourself to your desired temperature.
However a review of La Sultana Oualidia wouldn’t be complete without talking about the surfing. Inside the estuary there are perfect conditions for beginners to learn and intermediates to improve. Outside there is the full force of the Atlantic with some world class breaks nearby.
I joined a beginners lesson out in the estuary. The surf school picked me up from the hotel and then kitted me out with all the gear.
I had last surfed 18 years ago, so I wasn’t sure how well I would do. Well it turns out surfing is just like riding a bike – you never forget!
The waves were small and the board I was given was huge. But I stood up at my first attempt, albeit having caught the wave with the assistance of the instructor.
After that I started catching the waves myself and stood most times. I had plenty of long rides all the way in to the shore. To be honest, after a few goes I would have liked to have had a bigger swell to play in. But unfortunately conditions were quite calm during my two hour session.
I was told that there is bigger surf in the estuary mouth and on the Atlantic coast – although waves here can be a bit messy. Looking at Magicseaweed there is typically an 8 to 10 foot swell in winter with 84 to 93% consistency. In the summer it is typically 5 to 7 feet with a 51 to 76% consistency.
There are also a couple of famous waves nearby. Les Tomates is only 15 km away and will appeal to experienced surfers. At around 50 km away you’ll find Safi, where in the right conditions you can surf world class barrels.
The day before my lesson there has been a relatively large swell reaching well within the estuary. It is a pity the conditions were calm during my session, but I still had a lot of fun. Overall I was chuffed to spend so much time stood on a board considering I hadn’t surfed for nearly two decades.
While I enjoyed a Luxury Morocco surfing holiday there are also plenty of other adventures and activities to enjoy:
Stand up paddleboarding is one of the fastest growing watersports. The Lagoon right in front of the hotel is perfect for paddle boarding. The water is calm and you can explore down the lagoon for a calm paddle or head to the estuary for fun in the waves.
With long empty beaches and countryside inland to explore there is riding to appeal to everyone from beginner to expert. Riding along the wild Atlantic beaches is hard to beat!
With an inhouse fitness instructor you can go home from your luxury Morocco surfing and adventure holiday in better shape than when you arrived. We joined a pilates session which was a great warm up for my surfing. There are classes to join each morning.
Fat bikes are mountain bikes with large wheels that are suitable for riding on sand. The hotel has a couple of bikes for hire and you can either explore the dunes, nature reserve and salt marshes alone or take a guide.
The Oualidia lagoon is a protected wetland of international importance with excellent birdwatching. During this review of La Sultana Oualidia I saw spoonbills and curlews, storks and egrets, herons and cormorants – all without leaving the hotel! At the right time of year there are huge flocks of flamingos.
Fishing both inside the lagoon and on the Atlantic is possible. You can take out a small boat, try surf fishing and even cliff fishing. Bream, bass, triggerfish, mullet, conger eel, moray eel, brogue and much more can be caught.
If you are looking for a luxury Morocco surfing and adventure holiday then the five star La Sultana is a great option. It is one of the nicest places I have ever stayed in an absolutely stunning location. The food is delicious and the staff very friendly.
With everything from surfing to biking and horse riding to paddle boarding there is plenty to do. If you want to get cultural there are local souks to visit and there is plenty of wildlife to watch.
La Sultana Oualidia would be an awesome destination for an adventure honeymoon. And couples wanting to combine romance and relaxation with excitement and activities will love it.
The hotel is not cheap but five star luxury never is! So if you are going to splash the cash La Sultana Oualidia is a very good place to do so, and it offers very good value compared to five star options in Europe.
For more information head to the La Sultana website: www.lasultanahotels.com