Although hostels are known to fall short in luxuries, I can honestly say our experiences thus far triumphed poor reputation, and Equity Point was far from exception. Arriving to our hostel was like arriving to a palace, so enormous and grande and, at least aesthetically, a significant upgrade to our recent traveling stays.
Despite being hidden at the other end of a long and winding path, the location is safe and central to the city. Our room was charming, with two sets of wooden bunk beds and our own bathroom—a rare find in most hostels. Brilliantly decorated corridors seemed endless, and I often found myself lost in its grandeur.
My calling was clear at first sight; the pool, a modest square filled to the brim, spilling over at the touch, and sublimely lit at night. The staircase seemed to forever rise, eventually leading to the spacious rooftop which proved another luxury entirely; complete with a small restaurant and a panoramic view partial to sunset.
After settling in, we went for lunch at a place suggested by our guide. I’d hardly entered the restaurant, and I was already fascinated. Lit by sunlight beyond the arches, several tables were tightly arranged in a courtyard, surrounded by lofty, romantic gardens and metal lanterns and a beautifully tiled fountain placed across our way. Though the towering umbrellas hardly saved us from sweltering, after a long winter, who could complain?
Soon servers flocked to our sides, and given “ice water with lemon” wasn’t so freely accessible (1. Water isn’t free 2. You’re advised not to drink unbottled water, as it contains bacteria that our bodies aren’t used to), I said “fuck it” and ordered a bottle of Fanta with no love lost—I swear you cross the sea and soda morphs into a delicacy unmatched by any American version. I listened as our guide elaborated on the menu and, finally, I discovered my destiny…
Described as “sweet and savory” and boundlessly terrible for you, chicken pastilla is a traditional Moroccan dish wrapped in a flaky pastry, with shredded chicken marinated in an array of Moroccan spices reminiscent of a cinnamon bun, all the while drizzled with a cinnamon-sugar glaze and topped with sliced almonds—an unlikely combination so unexpectedly mouthwatering, I ordered it twice (not in the same sitting, of course…but it was a close call). Meanwhile, chicken and vegetable tajine and likewise traditional dishes were served throughout the restaurant, all of which looked equally delicious.