“A laid-back countryside escape for couples, families and friends; outstanding food and 2 pools”
Local Maghreb style permeates throughout, with desert hues and chunky antique wooden furniture. Unique African art and black and white Moroccan scenes adorn smooth, polished walls, while Zellige-tiled floors and open ceilings add authenticity.
There's a bewildering array of different room categories - see Rates for full details. The bulk are spread over 2 floors in the main ksar building (bag a room up top for the views and added breeze in the summer months), whilst others are set in separate domed buildings amongst the gardens.
We stayed in a Relax room (the cheapest), which was a good size for couples with a suntrap terrace to listen to the birds and bees. There are other, grander, options for romance (Luxe rooms have big baths and fireplaces), and a range of choices for families and friends, from triples (Beldi) to large Suites in which living areas double-up as bedrooms. There are also 3 standalone Villa Suites sleeping up to 10, with private swimming pools and cooks; perfect for a big group or extended family.
Don’t expect mod cons; there’s a deliberate absence of TVs and iPod docks to ensure you enjoy the communal spaces and peace.
Dinner on the terrace, under starry skies and silhouetted palms, feels wonderfully Mediterranean. Whether you go à la carte or set menu (3 daily changing courses), expect traditional Moroccan flavours with a French twist. It’s hard to pick a winner between the chorizo-stuffed squid and the succulent beef, date and almond tagine we tried; both were outstanding. On cooler nights, the indoor dining area/lounge has a sociable feel, while a candlelit snug is adults only.
Breakfast is buffet style and French in flavour. Think baguettes, cheeses and hams, eggs to order, indulgent French toast with honey, and delicious poached pears with cinnamon. Filter coffee was on the weak side, but caffeine junkies can get a Nespresso hit at an extra charge. Simple salads and light snacks (don't miss the ceviche) are served at lunchtime; a buzzy Sunday BBQ offers a mind-boggling selection of meats, fish and salads (avocado and crab was a hit) to set you up for an afternoon nap by the pool.
For a change of scene you'll need to head into Essaouira; staff can recommend restaurants.
This is an excellent place for families. There's a family pool for kids to let rip at the foot of the hill, with changing rooms, gently sloping water and a segregated paddling pool for toddlers. Both pools are heated to 28C year round. There are various family accommodation options and fun activities.
Douaria Suites are small self-contained houses in the garden, with 1 double bedroom, 1 twin bedroom and a lounge with space for another 2 single beds. Family rooms have a double bedroom and a lounge area with space for 2 single beds or 1 single bed and a baby cot on request; some have an outdoor terrace so you can enjoy an evening drink whilst the kids sleep. Beldi rooms have a kingsize bed and a single bed plus space for a baby cot. The split-level Mogador Suite sleeps up to 6; the Royal Suite has 2 bedrooms (a double and a twin) plus a lounge with a single bed. The Villa Suites each sleep up to 10 (in 2 double bedrooms and 2 triple bedrooms), have space for 2 baby cots and have a private pool (heated to 28C year round) and cook.
No baby monitors so bring your own; some rooms in the main ksar will be in range from the restaurant - enquire when booking
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
A kids' menu and high chairs
The pool is unfenced and unsupervised; the gardens and house are set over many levels with steps everywhere; the ponds are open and unfenced