An 18th century mansion, loving restored in 2010, now serves as a stunning and tranquil palatial Riad. Entering from the main square of the Medina down a quiet lane brings you to the atmospheric entrance leading into the central patio; here you will be instantly charmed by the small fountain and surrounding palm trees, accompanied by little birds fluttering around. Take a minute to enjoy the tranquility before heading up to real talking point of the Palais, the huge terrace encompassing the entire roof beneath which the whole of Essaouira unfolds.
We left Sidi Kaouki and Rebali Riads at around 11AM for the 20 minute drive north into Essaouira, a historic port town on the west coast of Morocco, with beautiful, ancient city walls and a thriving fishing port. One of Essaouria’s more recent claims to fame is the shoot location of freeing the great slave army in the well known series, the Game of Thrones. The city indeed has a lot to offer. We had a lovely dinner and comfortable bed at the Palais Des Remparts, Essaouira. The sense of freedom standing on top of the huge roof terrace was immense, looking out at the waves crashing down on the rocks below while the strong wind whipped around our heads!
Don’t just take our word for it though, check out their reviews on TripAdvisor
The room, with sounds of the sea all around us, meant that our entire stay was a completely immersive experience of Essaouira and all the elements of the Moroccan coast. The hug, comfortable bed was only surpassed by the enormous and deep seven foot polished concrete bath with overhead shower which was much appreciated at this time of the year! Other features like armchairs also added to the warm ambiance. The centre of the Riad is an open courtyard from the first floor to the terrace allowing shelter from the wind above while still being open and light.
Palais des Remparts could not get more central to the sights of Essaouira and from the sheltered rooftop dining area guests have panoramic views all around to plan their adventures. The first thing we noticed on entering the streets were the many cats resting in the sun and the beautiful paintings for sale that line the alleys!
Sculpted spice pyramids found among many interesting crafts and local products while wandering between the soaring walls of Essaouira. If you start to get claustrophobic, head out to the harbor and try to count the hundreds of blue boats lining the sea edge while greedy seagulls circle above. The lovely colours and gentle sea breeze here was the perfect backdrop for our goodbye lunch with my mum.
The hotel itself can organize excursions, visiting nearby saffron farm and cooperative producing Argan Oil.
Sensitive sleepers may not appreciate the sound of the heavy wind at night as this can cause single-glazed windows and doors to rattle. If so, we suggest rooms on the second or third floor, which also has a fireplace.
The lift at the Palais is invaluable to guests with mobility problems or for anyone wishing to avoid climbing 90 steps up to the 5th floor roof terrace, hard to come by in Morocco! We particularly appreciated the fresh towels provided every day plus bathrobes and slippers in their incredible bathrooms. We were also pleasantly surprised with the speed of the WiFi here, which even allowed us to do a short live-stream video from the rooftop and also catch up on a little work. Being tucked away down in a little side-street, the entrance can be difficult to find with many other hotel porters keen to attract guests to their hotels. To avoid this confusion, it’s well worth organizing the airport pick-up service which is a really reasonable price for the 3 hour journey.
- Spa & Hot Tub
- Room types: Suites Non-Smoking Rooms
- Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
- Room Service
- Airport Transportation
- Dry Cleaning & Laundry Service
We have been presented with so many luxurious breakfasts in incredible locations during this trip through South Morocco and the one at Palais des Remparts competes very well on the list! After the morning wake-up by the call to prayer, we headed out onto the stunning terrace to find plenty of fresh fruit, yoghurt, bread, eggs and pancakes plus cereal, juice and coffee.
The evening meal menu offers a delicious selection too at very reasonable prices, with the option of taking shelter in the rooftop dining room, but still having a view of the town lights below.
The team here are as pleasant as the view, always going out of their way to help with a constant smile! They are so knowledgeable and friendly with a good level of English to help with any questions or problems.
Note: This is a sponsored hotel stay with Palais des Remparts, Essaouira, Morocco (all opinions and text are all mine) Thank you to everyone we’ve met, those who’ve helped us and made our stay a special experience.