Direct London flights now year-round
Set within a stunning botanical garden overlooking the Ksob River, the independently owned Le Jardin des Douars is Essaouira’s leading hotel. The ‘boutique’ hotel offers luxurious yet affordable accommodation nestled in the heart of the Essaouira hills only 12 minutes by shuttle to the medina. There are 19 bedrooms and 6 suites in total and 6 luxury villas with their own heated swimming pools.
Guests and visitors can explore the lush gardens for hours. There are many varieties of tropical trees and plants. Maybe they will spot the various phoenix canariensis or the butia capitata, callistermon linearis or the sabal pamettos. If these are hard to find just ask one of the many gardeners. The resident tortoises and peacocks are sure to also highlight hidden parts of the gardens as they roam freely around Jardin des Douars adding to the unique charm of this property with views of argan-studded hills.
The hotel's facilities include two outdoor heated pools, three dining areas including a large open plan restaurant, a ‘couples’ dining room and alfresco dining on the terrace. Other facilities include a hammam and spa where treatments are offered using Argan oils.
This free-spirited destination is like nowhere else in Morocco. Visitors will encounter both bikinis and boards on the beach but also an exciting, UNESCO World Heritage Site, cosmopolitan medina. Le Jardin des Douars offer a shuttle service to guests and visitors to connect the hotel with the medina and beach. The walled medina is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here visitors will discover the most laid-back medina in Morocco, compared to larger towns and cities. Fans of both ‘Game of Thrones’ the television drama and ‘Othello’ the film, may recognise the labyrinth of streets. Combined with traditional craftsmen and women creating authentic Moroccan pieces on sale in many stalls and shops, guests will also experience many contemporary new restaurants, shops and galleries. Essaouira's medina is smaller than those in other Moroccan cities meaning guests can explore and shop without getting lost.
Close to the medina is the famous port. Essaouira's outdoor fish grill stands are a lively option for lunch. Located here at the port, the laid-back stands sit side-by-side and offer a truly unique dining experience. Visitors simply select from a selection of freshly caught fish, this is then cooked on the grill and served with salad and bread.
Essaouira has always attracted the creatives and is the artistic capital of Morocco. Most of the artists are local and self-taught inspired over the years by the light and beauty of this small coastal city. The Galerie Damgaard, located at the gates of the medina, showcases Arab and Berbere cultures with a creative power of gesture, wide variety of themes and plenty of jubilant colour. Some art galleries to visit in Essaouira include:
· Le Bastion Ouest d’Essaouira – small galleries of local artists all on one street
· Galarie Caravane Essaouira – a gallery dedicated to this small city
· L'atelier des Arts Empreinte - see collections by resident artists inspired by Morocco
· Elizir Gallery - spread across several levels and a follow up to the art filled restaurant
· Galerie l'Arbre Bleu - local & international artists exhibit inc. paintings & photographs
After all that exploring, guests can head back to Jardin des Douars and enjoy ultimate relaxation to the sound of birdsong.
B&B priced from around £115 per room, per night or £500 per villa, per night.