Here’s looking at you, Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca.
Why Go: When in North Africa, Casablanca—Morocco’s largest city—is a convenient point of transfer. In addition to being Morocco’s chief port and one of the largest financial centers on the continent, its Mohammed V International Airport accommodates far more direct international flights than Marrakech—a 2.5-hour drive south. Marrakech remains the mecca for vacationers, however, with sprawling luxury resorts and a splendid medina, and the busy business-minded city of Casablanca cannot compare. But with the November opening of Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca, a stopover there can be quite comfortable.
What to Expect: For a big-city hotel, the seaside Four Seasons delivers as much of a resort-like atmosphere as it can. Balconies among the 186 rooms (from about $350) open wide to let in Atlantic Ocean air, and the 10-treatment-room Le Spa beckons with ice fountains, whirlpools, steam rooms, and a substantial gym. The outdoor pool stays open year-round and its adjacent bar and lounge Latitude 33 will be open by springtime. Mint, the hotel’s lobby lounge, is known for afternoon tea, and Bleu serves contemporary Mediterranean cuisine with a French flair in a waterfront, brasserie-type setting. Although hard to imagine, guests wanting to explore beyond these five-star confines can book tours to the city’s main attraction: the King Hassan II Mosque, which is open to non-Muslims and features the tallest minaret in the world.
How to Get There: Guests can arrange car service through the hotel to make the 45-minute drive from Mohammed V International. (fourseasons.com)