Re-done by retro-design pros in smart 60s fashion, this stylish medina house may be the coolest place to stay in Essaouira (sleeps 2-8)
Imagine a cross between Barbarella’s boudoir and a swinging
60s love pad and you’ve got a picture of Dar Beida - one of
the funkiest spaces we’ve come across in Morocco. The
4-bedroom house is like a curvy white spaceship with a
mix of mod plastic furniture and animal skins and skulls… a
pre-historic pop-art cave. An incredibly clean and bright cave,
mind you. Owners Emma and Graham deliberately avoided dusty, moody
Moorish overtones but hung onto their expertise in retro interior
design - the house is filled with groovy 60s finds like mushroom
lamps and a Mulberry beanbag chair.
Essaouira is an established set for the swords-and-sandals epics that are so popular post-Gladiator, so the house is often booked by film folks. Ridley Scott’s DP stayed here when filming Kingdom of Heaven, with the town filling in for 12th century Jerusalem. But Dar Beida’s idiosyncratic style is not stiff and formal - it's fine for families and groups of friends. Think the Jetsons á la Maroc and you've got a sense of the fab fusion this house exudes.
Reviewed by Glenda Richards
- The ultra-cool feel of the house with its genuine furniture and pieces from 60s and 70s designer legends
- Set in the heart of Essaouira's medina, just 10 minutes walk from the long sandy beach and 2 from the harbour
- Complimentary babouches - the comfy Moroccan slippers, perfect for padding about
- Dar means house and Beida is just that - not a trad riad, but a mod house with a daily maid, house guard and meals on request
- This is a house rental, so you get the whole place to yourself - and there are reduced rates for a smaller group
- A 7-night minimum stay, and during Peak Season a minimum of 6 guests must stay
- The very white interior and just-so arrangements of retro relics might be daunting for those who like things a bit slapdash
- All 4 beds are doubles
- Usual no-car problem for a house in Essaouira’s medina, but there is a parking area 1 minute away
- Heating is fireplace and plug-in radiators only so it can be chilly in winter, though temperatures in Essaouira are rarely low. You'll want to kee the windows closed anyway though, to stop all the stray cats wandering in!
You'll either love it or hate it...Lonely Planet