Nestled in the hills on the borders of Essaouira– a buzzy port town in western Morocco– sits high-end shop hotel Le Jardin des Douars. The hotel is around 15 minutes’ drive away from Essaouira town centre (roughly 100-150 dirham, or ₤22-33, by taxi each method) and there’s a pleasure in having the ability to avoid the thrum of the port town and lean into the quiet of the countryside.
The drive to the hotel, and particularly the last technique, is rather simple. A sharp ended the freeway brings you to a rustic (by which I imply pot-holey) course. A number of higgledy-piggledy hundred metres later on, you bring up at the entryway of Le Jardin des Douars and are immediately rewarded for that rather uneasy higgle and piggle.
The hotel is a genuine sanctuary, all curved sandstone structures, tropical palms, winding paths and not one however 2 swimming pools for absorbing the delicious North African sun.
My partner and I remained in a basic suite, however the space was far from requirement. Each specific aspect had beauty and character– believe classy pottery, wicker chandeliers, luxurious carpets and a frustrating aura of well-thought-through serenity.
On one side of the space, a big glass door let the sun gather each early morning (when our drapes were drawn apart), making it that bit much easier to carry ourselves out of bed. The bed itself was a welcoming affair; stretching, soft and company in all properlies, and best for a peaceful night’s sleep.
The restroom should have a reference, too. It was a generous area, boasting adequate integrated cabinet area, his-and-hers sinks, a large bath tub, a walk-in shower and still some space left over to swing a Moroccan feline (more on them later on).
Things to do
The hotel has plenty to keep you inhabited and captivated. For those eager to stay poolside and horizontal with the friendship of an excellent book, Le Jardin des Douars has actually helpfully constructed 2 different swimming pool locations. One invites kids and one is solely for grownups– you can presume which is the more cooled affair.
Towels and sun beds are readily available at both, along with some custom wicker hats which use both sartorial style and welcome shade as you toast in the sunlight. The swimming pool water is cool, clear and welcoming– a fast dip being the best method to make the most of Morocco’s generous environment.
There’s a table tennis table on-site where kids can even more expend their energies, however if you are more thinking about the zen side of things, there’s a health club location providing a variety of treatments, consisting of massages and the standard Moroccan hammam. I delighted in the latter, investing a wonderful 45 minutes being strongly scrubbed, steamed and sploshed into a state of happiness.
Eating and drinking
You’re well catered for when it concerns food at Le Jardin des Douars. My partner and I had breakfast at the hotel every day and consumed at the dining establishment for 2 out of 3 nights. Standard Moroccan fare is well represented, with sizzling meat and veggie tagines the most tantalising alternatives available. I attempted the lamb and chicken tagines, and both meals ran the complete range of flavours, with maintained lemons, dates, regional olives and nuts.
For breakfast each early morning there is an extensive buffet choice, varying from fresh fruits and yoghurt, to Moroccan breads and cheeses. There’s likewise an à la carte alternative that includes eggs as you like them, and naturally, I would be remiss not to explain the endless supply of tasty Moroccan mint tea.
Out and about
For anybody able to withstand the temptation of relaxing all hours by the swimming pool, there’s plenty to check out in the city. Essaouira itself provides beautiful sandy beaches, a historical Jewish centre and a vast souk with as tantalising a range of shopping alternatives as Marrakech, however with much less of the mercantile pushiness.
The primary medina is an amazing warren of strange looking alleys, roof coffee shops and raggedy-but-cute roaming felines as far as the eye can see. At one end of the medina is the port, where you can while away many hours enjoying residents bargain over newly captured fish, eels, rays and even shark.
If you’re feeling daring, you can purchase a fish and have it prepared for you right then and there at one of the regional barbecue stalls. One word of alerting however– the regional seagulls swoop around in overwhelming numbers, so it’s worth using a large-brimmed hat to prevent roaming mid-flight droppings.
For those into hiking, I suggest an outing to check out Essaouira’s argan forests which have actually ended up being a crucial part of the regional export economy. A guide marched us around, discussing the significance of the argan tree and the numerous usages for its seeds and oil.
We likewise got to check out an old sugar mill, rattle on throughout the premises of a 17 th century watering system and appear for mint tea and honey at a regional Berber household’s house.
Overall my remain at Le Jardin des Douars, and Essaouira more broadly, was a pleasure. Glamorous however not extravagant, the hotel offers a marvelous hit of calm, calmness and class.
Kate Samuelson was a visitor of Le Jardin des Douars. Space rates begin with around ₤150 a night; jardindesdouars.com
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