Agadir, Morocco- Agadir has acquired international acclaim for its apparently magnificent touristic infrastructure as it is displayed in advertising campaigns to the world, highly ranked hotels with beautiful locations and views on the beach and the mountains, beautiful swimming pools and advertisements of special delicious dishes. When Morocco presented its candidature to the world cup 2026, the Moroccan delegation advertised Agadir as a premium national touristic resort that may host thousands of world-cup supporters next to Marrakech. All this reads well on brochures, flyers, advertisements, websites and booking.com. Does this marketing representation say the truth about the real services Agadir hotels offer, especially four and five-star hotels?
Ethnography sometimes may start from dumpsters. When I went to New York, Manhattan area, I saw how the left-overs of food was wrapped in plastic bags and put in dumpsters on pavement. And the vegans came to serve themselves for free. I understood that restaurants did not cheat their clients and never served them recycled food residues. In Agadir, it is the opposite, when I interviewed some ex-workers; I was amazed that edible food was rarely thrown. Of course, the staff may eat from the restaurant hotel menu, but the residue is recycled and served again in another daily meal. I observed in Almoggar how they stored fried fish surplus from dinner buffet to be warmed up again and served for lunch the following day!
Let us see Agadir touristic infrastructure through the lens of an insider away from the lures of advertising. What do we have in Almoggar Garden Beach as an example?
After being booked for an all-inclusive formula for five days, meaning that I was fully taken in charge, lodging, food, drinks and entertainment, what have I discovered there?
– The rooms are in very poor conditions, and have nothing to do with the pictures advertised on the hotel’s website. The beds are ragged and neglected.
– Cleanness is amateurish because the homemakers there use bare water without any perfume or detergents to clean. You do not smell anything in the room after cleaning, sometimes it is kept wet.
– Towels are damaged by long use, and never given on time.
– The swimming pool is well designed but very dirty.
– The food is served in a buffet that may attract your eyes with its colours and the soft movement of the servers as if everything is in order. You see the salads, the meat, the fish, the dessert, but no guest seem to stop to inquire whether the food is clean and safe to eat. Appearances are commonly deceptive. There is no waiting staff to strictly supervise the self service buffet. They trust customers’ moral behaviour though some Moroccan guests are observed to use their hands to touch food pieces while selecting what to put on their plates. They reproduce the schema of bread buying at a shop counter. Also, as it is mentioned before, the buffet at lunch includes left-overs of the previous night buffet. So, clients are paying all-inclusive formula only to eat recycled food from the previous nights. For instance, when they fry fish in front of clients during the night, giving them the impression that they cook fresh food, they serve the rest in a container the following day at lunch.
– there is a big question mark here on whether the hotel restaurant staff does serve immediately cooked fresh meals for hundreds of clients everyday –breakfast, lunch and dinner –, or do they simply cook meals in advance and store them cooked in chamber freezers to be warmed up and served on demand? Of course the second solution is the most practical for big hotels as some ex-workers assert, and Almogggar appears to make no exception. It is very strange, when families cook fresh dishes at home, and queerly pay a fortune to eat recycled food residues and frozen cooked meat and chicken unaware. Is this an all-inclusive package or a “left-overs” package?
– All-inclusive formula provides drinks for clients for free. For Moroccans and foreigners who drink alcohol, they can enjoy the booze. What are these selected beverages that Almoggar provides for its clients? Non-alcoholic beverages are all served in glasses; no bottles are served to clients. So, if you ask for coke, it is one glass after one glass, it is one big bottle opened and closed ten times or more. No one knows how long it may be stored till to be consumed. For alcoholic beverages, they serve the cheapest quality of wine and beer, “mughrabi” and “stork,” named respectively, seizing foreigners’ ignorance of Moroccan high quality brands, needless to say here that they are fooling the locals as well.
– Entertainment is a fiasco in Almoggar; instead of advertising local pop culture in musical performances and theatre, a band of some young novices is hired to act western stock-roles and perform apish stereotypical imitations.
Was it due to the machinery of fate or to the lack of hygiene in Almoggar hotel that I got intoxicated on the third day of my stay? Here is my story to enhance my observations. It was probably the warmed up frozen cooked meat that was contaminated. I do not know how many people could have been intoxicated too. I observed that most guests fortunately preferred fish that night. The following day when my health condition worsened (diarrhea, fever, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue), they called an acquaintance doctor on my demand, who diagnosed my food intoxication, prescribed medicine, and then charged me 500 MAD that I paid from my own pocket and also bought the medicine from my own pocket. So, I paid 700 MAD for being sick at Almoggar hotel.
When I asked the doctor for a medical report, he wrote it with an ambiguous medical jargon, using the term “gastroenteritis”, as a substitute for “food intoxication” to protect the hotel in case I press charges against it in court. It seems Almoggar, does not only poison its clients but also hire lawyers and doctors who can clean the mess in cases of food intoxication. Suffice it to say that I paid a fortune to come back to El jadida on antibiotics treatment while Almoggar is still unliable for harming clients’ lives thanks to a doctor who seems to serve the managers “under oath”–not to mention the invisible corrupted players in power who may act behind the scenes. Agadir touristic sites like the one motioned above needs to be revisited by those whom this report may concern.