For our holiday in Essaouira, Morocco, the girls and I were kindly invited to stay at the Dar Lazuli riad, a 200-year-old house situated within the Medina surrounded by friendly and welcoming neighbours – as well as an array of adorable local cats. Known as more of a fisherman’s quarter, staying at the Dar Lazuli helped us become accustomed to the Souiri lifestyle as well as being able to truly relax in a ‘place of our own’.
The riad is formed of four apartments across three-storeys, paired with a beautiful rooftop terrace, kitchens and living area. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves, but us five girls had the time of our lives and we absolutely fell in love with our home away from home, not to mention everything is ‘so Pinterest’!
At the Dar Lazuli, you can expect four beautifully decorated apartments, each with quirky accents, tasteful and authentic decor (at least from our comparison to a local man’s house that Sarah ended up getting us into!!) as well as separate kitchens and bathrooms within each apartment. There’s a living space or communal area on each floor, extending to a stunning rooftop, two-floor terrace and there’s Wi-Fi as well 😉 Our housekeepers – Rachid and Latifa – were absolutely amazing. So friendly and helpful, and they cooked us one amazing meal for our first night!
The communal areas, balconies and terraces are beautiful designed with a base palette of aqua, bright blue and white. I honestly don’t think my words nor photographs do the area justice – it’s absolutely stunning and feels homely and comforting whilst luxe at the same time.
Tanya and I shared the Alizee apartment, a first floor offering split across two levels. There’s a huge emperor-size bed that we shared comfortably, with another bed up in the mezzanine area, but we deemed the steep staircase too difficult to navigate when teamed with clumsy, tired bloggers! I’d imagine it’d be amazing for families though!
The decor and attention to detail throughout the riad was en pointe to say the least. All five of us took delight in discovering new nooks and details every day!
Latifa showed us how to prepare and cook a traditional couscous for lunch on our second day, and we hungrily lapped it up whilst sitting out on our sun-soaked terrace. Those gingham seat coverings are just the perfect setting and extra touch!
Sarah stayed in the Ghibli apartment on the roof terrace and took me on a tour of her terrace crib 😉 But really, her apartment was absolutely beautiful with a huge memory foam mattress and curtained bed area.
The other Sarah stayed in Calima, the other first floor apartment with the brightest natural daylight and a gorgeous sitting area with its’ own fireplace.
Where We Stayed
Dar Lazuli Boutique Riad Apartments, 7 rue Moussa ben Noussaire, Essaouira Medina, Morocco.
- Essaouira is surprisingly affordable! Just for budgeting plans, etc.
- Bear the local culture and dressing culture in mind – keep your shoulders and ankles covered as the country is reserved and keeps to the Muslim faith.
- Being a fishing town located on the seafront, you’ll need to layer up in the evenings or spend the evenings complaining with each other and ordering hot chocolates at cocktail bars…
- Haggle, haggle, haggle! Haggling is fun and can certainly help you save dirhams at the souks.
- Taros is an amazing bar and restaurant with a beautiful terrace view of the sea and Medina.
- Head to Lalla Mira (14 Rue d’Algerie) for an amazing, affordable Hammam. It’s around 100 dirham for a classic Hammam with Argan Oil massage which equates to under £10!
- Don’t pet the stray cats. They’re cute but y’know have some common sense about you.
- Pop to the port for fresh fish and to learn more about the fishing culture.
- Outside of the ancient Medina lies plenty of artisan workshops and stalls – it’s a town teeming with talent and creativity.
Disclaimer: Our stay at Dar Lazuli, airport transfers and some guided tours were complimentary, but flights, food and everything else were paid for us. Of course this doesn’t affect the opinions written on the ol’ blog!