Convenience, frustration at the Relax

By Albert Podell
This item appears on page 24 of the January 2019 issue.

In the suburb of Nouaceur, adjacent to Casablanca, Morocco, the Relax Airport Hotel (phone, in the US, 888/205-7322, www.relaxhotelairportcasablanca.com) is ideally situated for stopover travelers. Away from any noisy flight paths, it's just a 10-minute hotel-shuttle ride from the airport.

Also, the hotel offers an unusual feature that makes it perfect for long layovers. You can stay from 9 a.m. the day you arrive until 2 p.m. the following day — up to 29 hours — all for the cost of a single day!

Staying there, you can avoid typical hotel policies that make you wait until noon to check in or that require you to check out by 10 a.m. or so the next day, with a charge for two days by some hotels if you miss your morning checkout time.

It was just what I needed for a 30-hour stopover in Casablanca on my journey with Royal Air Maroc from Cape Verde to LaĆ¢youne in the Western Sahara territory. For the night of April 13, 2018, I booked my stay at the Relax Airport Hotel through Hotels.com and paid $87.46, which did not include breakfast.

Unfortunately, during my stay, on one occasion I asked a desk clerk for the location of the nearest ATM, and all he did was point me out the door to the left. When I couldn't find the ATM and returned to the hotel, the clerk again only pointed. He refused to accompany me even to the hotel door to show me clearly where to go.

It took me 40 minutes to find out from locals that the ATM was a hundred meters to the left, then left again to the next corner, then several hundred more meters to the right.

I encountered a similar situation when I asked a different desk clerk at the hotel how to find the nearest grocery store.

I asked yet another clerk at the hotel to leave a wake-up call for me. He said "OK" but didn't write down my room number or the time, which worried me. I repeated my request and told him it was important, but he still didn't write it down. Sure enough, the requested wake-up call never came.

This lack of service was upsetting, especially as I had stayed at the Relax about five years earlier and the staff back then was very accurate and helpful.

ALBERT PODELL
New York, NY

ITN twice mailed a copy of Mr. Podell's letter to the Relax Airport Hotel (Aeroport International Mohamed V Nouasseur, B-P 101, 20 000 Nouaseur, Morocco) and also emailed the parent group of Hotels.com, the Expedia Group, but received no response.