“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)”
Dar Beida means 'The White House' and it certainly lives up to its name. Even the floors are whitewashed. Despite its ice-cream cool shape, Dar Beida is solidly built. It has been plastered from floor to ceiling - the support arches and columns actually had their plaster removed, revealing intricate symbols from the Portuguese colonial period of the 1800s and adding a nice sandstone trim to the all-white interior. There are 4 double bedrooms: one on the first floor with a private walk-in shower room and 2 on the second floor, which share a large shower bathroom. These upper rooms also have access to a pueblo-style terrace, complete with hammock, cactus and a rather ingenious awning made of bamboo sticks. The fourth bedroom at the very top has sliding glass doors and its own roof terrace with a handy sink. The dining room opens off the all-mod-cons kitchen and afterwards, the cosy living area complete with stereo, is perfect for lounging. Along with the 2 terraces on the upper floors, the ground floor has a quiet courtyard with meditative tinkling fountain so there's plenty of space to chill. All rooms have fireplaces (the top bedroom has a plug-in radiator) ensuring the house is still cosy when it does get really chilly on winter nights.
Dar Beida's kitchen is sleek and long, with a creamy tadelakt (polished plaster) worktop and open shelving, displaying beautiful dishware made in the nearby town of Safi. Step through a white archway into the dining room with its iconic ‘tulip’ table for supper and then chill with postprandial tunes in the living room’s music area… in summer, it’s warm enough to have a mint tea on the roof terrace, or in the hanging cane chair beside the patio fountain. The well-equipped kitchen is crying out for would-be gourmets to try their hand at creating a fancy couscous and you will find supplies like a bowl of fruit, bottles of water, tea, coffee, milk, oils, salt and pepper on hand when you arrive. The house is close to some good bakeries and fish and vegetable markets that are not too touristy. However, when you tire of cooking, Emma's excellent cook/cleaner can prepare a scrumptious Moroccan meal in her home and bring it round whatever time you feel like supping - now that’s service! Dining out will present only a problem with choice: Essaouria is replete with restaurants and its proximity to the Atlantic means that seafood lovers are especially indulged. There's a restaurant guide in the house.
Children are made very welcome, and this house works well for an extended family party or two families holidaying together. There's a baby cot, which is free of charge. Essaouira is a great destination for families with a fascinating souk, colourful port and long beaches. At Dar Beida you're centrally placed for easy access to all sights and only 10 minutes from the beach.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
All four bedrooms have double beds. The mezzanine room is best suited for children as its double bed is a little smaller than the others
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The house has everything you need for self-catering. The housekeeper, Amina, often cooks for guests on the first night (children eat for free). There are plenty of child-friendly restaurants, Emma can advise where to dine out
Be aware that Dar Beida has an all-white interior and some valuable design pieces so it may not be the best abode for smaller, messy ones. There are also quite a few stairs