Brief keep: Le Jardin des Douars, Essaouira, Morocco

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Le Jardin des Douars is the standard Moroccan kasbah stylishly reimagined, sitting excessive above Essaouira on Morocco’s Atlantic coast. Function constructed, lower than 20 years in the past, to offer twenty first century indulgent luxurious, Le Jardin des Douars, recollects the structure of a sun-baked-mud kasbah.

And the identify? In Arabic a douar is a small village, generally of only one or two homes. On this hill-top, douarais, terracotta homes, are dotted by means of the verdant gardens. Externally, Le Jardin des Douars pays tribute to the light-terracotta structure of Morocco’s inland fortifications, while the interiors run by means of Morocco’s trendy design guide.

This lodge of 19 rooms, 6 suites and 6 villas gives a tranquil retreat. Tall palms and needle-thin cypresses give shelter from the Atlantic’s commerce winds.

In summer season, these winds spare Essaouira from Morocco’s boiling temperatures. “We have now two seasons,” confides Abdul our information. “Windy and non-windy.” From September by means of to April, it’s non-windy making Essaouira a 320-days-of-sunshine-a-year vacation spot.

The welcome

A driver is ready for us, after we’ve rapidly cleared formalities at Essaouira’s tiny airport. Quiet, nearly empty rural roads take us to Le Jardin’s lantern-lit drive inside quarter-hour. After check-in the receptionist leads us by means of the gardens to our room.

The room

Named after honoured leaders in Ottoman instances, our Pasha room is one in all 4 set in a secluded home within the gardens. Within the morning, solar graces the rear backyard of sun-loungers, desk and chairs. By mid-afternoon the solar warms the entrance alcove’s sheltered out of doors sofas. Discrete air-conditioning / heating is on the market if required.

A hearth with bellows, brush and logs is extra decorative than crucial, taking its place amongst the desert-sand-coloured partitions. On two sides tall fortress skinny home windows, one framed with bougainvillea, infuse gentle. On a 3rd wall a glass door opens out onto the patio. Sultan-size, the mattress is past giant. Obscured by the mattress a desk runs behind, simply in case you must work. No tv or radio however will-fi is robust over a lot of the location’s two acres. Furnishings is darkish and distressed, concurrently archaic but sumptuously match for a Sultan. A big cupboard homes the coffeemaker, kettle, fridge and minibar. For bigger teams, Le Jardin has six villas with personal swimming pools, some internet hosting as much as 14 folks. Housekeepers present day by day companies together with preparation of meals.

The toilet

Bigger than some lodge bedrooms, the toilet encompasses a separate bathe, his and hers basins, plus an indulgent sunken tub. With wardrobe and drawers positioned within the toilet, it additionally serves as a dressing room.

Eco-friendly toiletries in glass phials are topped up day by day by housekeeping. Berber-style hooded tub robes await, excellent for drying off after a swimming pool dip.


Getting into the restaurant is like strolling by means of the courtyards, pillars and swimming pools of Granada’s Alhambra.

Visitors graze from the breakfast buffet while searching over the argan tree dotted valley of the Oued Ksob. Waiters rapidly be taught company’ preferences for espresso and tea. Eggs, crepes and French toast are cooked to order.

Lunch will be taken on the restaurant or from the finger-food menu by the swimming pool. Mild and citron-tangy, the catch-of-the-day fish ceviche is a spotlight. Come night, menus are impressed by each Moroccan and French delicacies.

A 3-course menu of the day makes probably the most of native seasonal produce, maybe a zucchini soup, adopted by a lamb and fruit tagine, with a fruit crumble to complete.

In addition to offering a variety of enjoyable massages, the spa encompasses a darkish cave of a hamman recalling the Ottoman’s love of deep cleaning rituals.

A black-soap wash precedes a pores and skin exfoliating scrub.


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South of Casablanca, north of Agadir and west of Marrakech, many company drop into Le Jardin for a couple of days of restorative relaxation and pampering on their grand Moroccan tour. Visitors can guide shuttles to Essaouira: quarter-hour to the seashore, 18 minutes to the harbour and medina.

Designed by a French architect, the ethereal alleys are Champs-Elysse straight fairly than Marrakech-labyrinthine. To flee into the hills, the lodge presents strolling eco-tours and quad biking. Neither is it far to one in all Morocco’s most interesting golf programs, 18 holes designed by Gary Participant, hugging a spectacular shoreline.

On the fringes of the Medina, L’Atelier, a former almond warehouse, presents a cookery course the place company cook dinner their very own lunch – maybe a tajine or pastilla.

While lunch simmers, the culinary pupils go to spice service provider Mohammed to find out how Moroccans supply and use spices.

Essaouira’s extensive, wind-swept seashore is a spot for camel or horse rides, kitesurfing and browsing.

Different good touches

Late afternoon, by the pool, waiters deliver spherical complimentary mint tea and cake.

By the poolside bar, company can assist themselves to straw solar hats. On Friday evenings there may be dwell leisure across the restaurant and its terrace. Kids had been thrilled by the go to of Youssef the magician.

Unfold over two acres, Le Jardin caters for each households and adults. Down a few terraces, a household pool is out of earshot of adults enjoyable by their very own jade zellige-tiled pool.

Al fresco tables on the expansive restaurant terrace go well with households for lunch and dinner. Whereas there’s a small and intimate adults-only restaurant for {couples}.

The fee

Mattress and breakfast is priced from round £140 per room. Villas start from £530 per villa per evening.

The ultimate verdict

“No information, no blues, no formal sneakers” runs the lodge’s credo. Surrounded by vibrant gardens of bougainvillea, cypresses, daisies, ferns, palms and plumbago there’s a relaxed oasis really feel to Le Jardin des Douars.

But, it’s a misleading calm, for some company Le Jardin is the peaceable base for adrenaline fuelled actions as they horse-ride, quadbike or kitesurf.

Disclosure: Our keep was sponsored by Le Jardin des Douars.


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