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Riad Mimouna

Essaouira, Morocco

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Authentically Moroccan boutique riad

Riad Mimouna is an historic property that rises from the framework of an 1896 windmill and is built  into the ramparts of Essaouira on the north side of the medina.  Its northern wall is the sea wall and waves crash against this ancient building.  If sea scapes are what you are after Riad Mimouna is the perfect hotel.  Until recently this riad was known mostly to the French market but we think it is well worth considering if you are not in the price bracket of the Heure Bleu.

Perhaps no where else in the town has lavished so much skill and artistry in the renovation of an old building.  Carved cedar wood, the scent of which pervades the whole lower floor, is painstakingly painted, opulent Moroccan style sitting areas, some of the most beautiful mosaic tiling to be found anywhere and ornate brass lanterns make this riad a totally Moroccan experience.  Here there is no feeling of colonial Africa.  

There are 33 rooms and suites with truly panoramic views of the Atlantic.  This is a hotel where it is always worth paying the small supplement for a sea view room. The rooms are not overly large but they can fit in extra beds for children.  Rooms have arched windows, handcrafted Thuya wooden beams and carvings and brightly colored fabrics. Walls are painted in rich earth toned hues. Bathrooms are decorated with ornate Moroccan tiles and feature stainless steel sinks. The master suite has ceiling to floor sliding glass doors overlooking the ocean with a clever waist high glass screen to prevent one actually tumbling into the waves below! 

There are two restaurants serving Moroccan cuisine and seafood.  There is a hammam and massage room.  The hotel is very happy to accept children and can provide babysitting services.

Accommodation:

Luxury boutique riad

Experience:

Authentically Moroccan boutique riad

Inclusions / Exclusions:

About Essaouira and Morocco

See all areas & places to stay in Morocco
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Essaouira

Essaouira is located on the Atlantic coast, 176km west of Marrakech and 360km south of Casablanca. This beautiful and mystic town is of great historical importance. Formerly Amogdul (meaning well protected in Berber) but better known as Mogador in French, Essaouira is the embodiment of Moroccan history. Its medina is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Essaouira has attracted numerous artists from around the globe. Orson Welles filmed Othello here and Jimmy Hendrix stayed while the city was hippy central. Today, Essaouira hosts annual music festivals. Essaouira is built on a peninsula that is swept by the Trade Winds, which gives it a temperate climate through the year. Locals profess to wear the same clothes throughout the year as the sea breeze keeps the summer heat at bay, yet 3km inland it’s a different story. Strong winds characterise January and February, but kite surfers and wind surfers are here year round, revelling in the broad, shallow sandy bay. The city draws its character from two things: the cannon-topped ramparts and the tightly packed streets within. The former are a sign of the city’s rich trading history when goods from Europe travelled south to be exchanged with the riches from Africa coming north. Essaouira has always been cosmopolitan, but the traders of the past have been replaced by visitors of all nationalities, most of whom are very happy to accept the town’s laid back atmosphere and shop in the cloistered markets or just sit in the squares and watch the world go by. One of the best times of the day is the morning when the fishermen bring in their catch and take it to the fish stalls just outside the harbour by Place Moulay Hassan (the seafront square). The fish is obviously fabulously fresh, but if you want a wider choice there are two excellent sea food restaurants in the harbour, La Cocquillage and Sam’s. There are restaurants and bars throughout the medina to suit all budgets from the excellent Taros and El Mar, to reassuringly clean and well run local cafes. There are numerous excursions possible from Essaouira, including vists to the pottery capital of Safi, the Argan valley where the impossibly enriching oil derives from, quad biking, camel riding, sailing, windsurfing and walking – all of which can be arranged before you arrive or while you are there. Golfers are well catered for at the Mogador Golf Club.  Designed by Gary Player, it opened in Autumn 2009.  The course juts out into the Bay of Mogador and features wide beautifully groomed fairways and seriously challenging bunkers. Read more?

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Morocco

Morocco is a country of immense and diverse physical beauty, with some of the most inspiring areas of pristine wilderness in Africa. It's also superb value and just a few short hours flight from the UK.  From the snow-capped peaks of the High Atlas to its wave-strafed Atlantic coastline and on south to the billowing, seemingly endless sand dunes that run away into the Sahara Desert. Read more?

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Who to talk to

Vanessa Janion

Vanessa's 16 years in travel has seen her knowledge develop from sub-Saharan Africa into North Africa, Central and Southern America and the Galapagos. Consequently, she’s a veritable encyclopaedia of travel information and exceptionally cool, calm and collected in the face of the greatest planning demands.

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