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Fairmont Taghazout Bay

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Why book?

The first luxury resort to debut in the windswept former fishing village of Taghazout, this soignée beachfront property—studded with gnarled olive trees and backed by the Atlas Mountains’ moss-green foothills—deftly melds the storied brand’s stalwart service and amenities galore with a distinctly laid-back vibe and Morocco’s ineffable exoticism.

Set the scene

Presiding (as Fairmonts tend to do) over 45 artfully landscaped acres along the country’s sun-baked Atlantic coastline ten miles north of Agadir, the sprawling resort cuts a striking figure in this unassuming enclave, for decades recognized as Morocco’s surfing capital. Locally sourced fabric, metalwork, and glassware—along with bold accents of inky Moroccan blue, a recurring aesthetic theme—elegantly underscore the country’s renowned knack for craft, while floor-to-ceiling windows and abundant al fresco common areas blur the lines between inside and out. Don’t be surprised to see an occasional camel sauntering along the sienna-sanded beach, where surfers sidestep spirited soccer games as they emerge from the crashing waves and don djellabas (hooded woolen cloaks) to cut the blustery breeze’s chill. Inside the hotel gates, four signature villas and a long list of kid-focused amenities attract families, while inspired F&B offerings and a destination spa lure discerning couples seeking a subtly romantic escape.

The backstory

Taghazout’s reputation as a wave-rider’s Valhalla dates back to the 1960s, when a band of adventurous Australians happened upon its sleepy shores while following Morocco’s “hippie trail” from Marrakech southwest along the coast to Sidi Ifni. Wowed by surf spots now named Killers, Anchor Point, and Draculas (for its treacherous, fang-shaped rocks), they spread the word, and other intrepid swell-seekers (and hippies) trickled in over the ensuing decades. These days, the country’s tourism authority is rumored to be very keen on Taghazout’s evolution into Morocco’s first true eco-resort, a world away from Agadir’s urban sprawl and package-tour vibe. Other brands are following Fairmont’s lead: Royal Mansour is planning its debut here in 2025, and Marriott and Hilton are circling.

The rooms

All 146 modern, sun-drenched rooms face the sparkling sea. Natural-hued, organic furnishings—light wood and leather, nubby wool rugs bedecked with graphic Berber patterns—nod to the local landscape, fostering an airy and inviting (if somewhat cookie-cutter) feel. Splurge on a stay in the buildings closest to the beach; they’re worth it.

Food and drink

Kaleidoscopic sushi platters and dishes like beef tataki with lemon-soy vinaigrette and lobster sushi-rice risotto win raves at Morimoto Taghazout Bay, Masaharu Morimoto’s first outpost in Africa. Grab one of two al fresco, supersized booths (inventively wrapped by a water feature) to best soak in the restaurant’s enticing ambience. For heartier fare, beeline to Beef and Reef, the refined surf-and-turf eatery beside the palm-lined infinity pool, where the lobster-topped burger with squid-ink bun rivals a religious experience, especially when paired with a crisp Moroccan rosé from the robust wine list. Night owls will want to swing by Nola—an amber-lit riff on the spirited speakeasies where Louisiana’s jazz tradition was born—for the world-class whiskey collection and fine Cuban cigars. Ask the eager-to-please bartenders to whip you up a surprise tipple—you won’t be disappointed.

The spa

Hand-glazed zellige tile and glossy tadelakt plaster showcase age-old Moroccan artisanal traditions at the 15,000-square-foot spa—billed as the continent’s largest—where gobsmacking ocean vistas and transportive treatments rejuvenate guests. Opt for a traditional Berber hammam with house-made beldi soap (made from olives) and an aromatherapy massage, followed by an energizing dip in the magnesium pool, for the full effect. The yoga studio regularly holds classes in the surrounding gardens.

The neighborhood/area

In Taghazout’s town center—a pleasant 30-minute stroll away along the beachfront promenade—pastel-painted murals rise high above narrow lanes lined with modest surf shops, and chatty vendors hawking handwoven textiles and jewel-toned ceramics at big discounts to Marrakech prices. In the fading light of late afternoon, grab a table on the buzzing veranda at World of Waves, a favorite local restaurant/inn-cum-surf school, for a glass of wine or a tasty tagine, or pull up a pouf on the rooftop terrace for a mint tea and unbeatable views of the beach below.

The service

A Fairmont hallmark, service is pin-sharp but unfailingly friendly and casual. The dashing concierge team can arrange anything from sandboarding down the otherworldly dunes of the Moroccan Sahara to a tasting in the emerging wine scene of the Domaine du Val d’Argan, near Essaouira. For an enlightening cultural immersion (and great souvenirs), arrange a visit to Toudarte, a pioneering agricultural cooperative a scenic hour’s drive away. At its modest coral-hued campus tucked high in the hills, 100 women from six rural villages earn an income by producing premium quality argan oil for customers like L’Oréal.

For families

At Le Hangout, teens can play pool, basketball, and soccer, or catch a movie in the mini-theater, while the Fun4Kidz Club and an impressive playground keeps younger guests entertained.

Eco effort

Sustainability efforts include software that turns the lights off as soon as guests leave their rooms, a solar-powered pool-heating system, and greywater recycling for property irrigation. The hotel is also developing a plan to use the discarded husks from argan fruit to fuel the ovens at its Beef and Reef restaurant.

Accessibility

There are four mobility accessible rooms.

Anything left to mention?

Book a surfing lesson at the resort’s surf club so you can live like a local.

Specialities
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Bar