The Riad Dar Maya offers excellent value for money and is situated in the heart of Essaouira's old medina, just a short walk from the souqs, ramparts and beach.
Heure Bleue Palais
The Heure Bleue Palais oozes character and charm. Its rustic exterior hides the beauty of its interior, which lies waiting behind the heavy cedar wood doors.
Rooms are centred around an impressive inner courtyard filled with luscious palm trees and banana plants, where guests can enjoy breakfast and dinner away from the heat experienced during the summer months. During dinner, the intricately tiled courtyard is lit up by candlelight, making it look particularly magical.
The Heure Bleue Palais also has a fantastic roof terrace with panoramic views over the port and the historic market town. This, along with the lounges, restaurants and large rooftop pool, makes for a unique and memorable stay in beautiful Essaouira.
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All rooms at the Heure Bleue Palais have dark wood shutters and look out into the central courtyard. Rooms are decorated in either African, Portuguese, colonial English or Oriental styles. The rooms on the ground floor are often favoured as they're brighter, but upper floor rooms have windows that look over the old city. Classic rooms can feel a bit small so we suggest the Deluxe rooms if you don't wish to upgrade to a Suite. All rooms come with a number of facilities including flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi access, safes, hairdryers and air conditioning/heating units. The three suite categories - Suites, Premium Suites and Family Suites - are particularly spacious with their lounge areas and the option to have an additional bed. Premium Suites boast an open fireplace, while Family Suites have a living area that converts into a second bedroom at night, as well as two bathrooms to ensure complete privacy.
The Heure Bleue Palais is in an ideal location for exploring the old medina. It's only a couple of minutes’ walk to the colourful souqs, art galleries and Essaouira’s main square, which is filled with a variety of restaurants and entertainment in the evenings. You can even walk to the beach in five minutes and to the old port in around three minutes.
Food and drink
The Heure Bleue Palais offers a variety of culinary experiences for its guests. The breakfast buffet in the central courtyard is filled with fresh fruit, local oils and jams and scrumptious Moroccan breads and pastries. There are two bars offering a selection of cocktails and fine Moroccan wines, one of which offers tapas in the evening. We recommend lunch at the Terrace Grill and dinner in the Oriental Restaurant for traditional Moroccan cuisine with a modern twist.
The Heure Bleue Palais is great for families and offers dedicated Family Suites consisting of two adjoining rooms. There's a small cinema screening movies every night at 6pm, not forgetting the large refreshing pool on the roof terrace.
Facilities and activities
Apart from the fantastic rooftop pool, the Heure Bleue Palais also offers other fantastic facilities and activities for its guests, including a lovely hammam and spa, a billiards room and a home cinema, as well as a variety of lovely communal areas to sit and relax. The hotel also hosts a Moroccan cookery school, which is run by the resident chef, Ahmed Handour.
The Heure Bleue Palais is a two minute walk from where your driver can take you. It is located on a wide, cobbled street in the old city. Although not particularly wheelchair friendly, this traditional property does have an elevator which means less mobile guests can make the most of its beautiful roof terrace.
Environmental and social responsibility
The Heure Bleue Palais works hard to promote an environmentally friendly attitude amongst its staff and partners and has received a Green Key ecolabel for its conscious effort to support responsible tourism.
With a romantic courtyard, beautiful hammam and exquisite furnishings, the Heure Bleue Palais is an excellent option for these seeking a little luxury in a traditional setting.
Places & hotels on the map
Alternative places to stay nearby
Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.
Located just outside the picturesque walls of Essaouira medina, and a matter of yards from the long, sandy beach, Le Medina Essaouira Hotel is arguably the best of the modern hotels in town.
The Madada Mogador is a small, chic riad with just 6 rooms. It is hidden away up a small alley in the medina and only a ten minute walk from the beach.
Just a five minute walk to the old fishing port and the golden beach of Essaouira, Ryad Watier is a quirky yet traditional property with exceptionally friendly staff.