Highly recommend this stylish but comfortable home. Dar Beida is inside the Medina close to all the action in a wonderful part of Morocco. Emma had all the inside knowledge and had some wonderful suggestions for excursions, food, hamman's and shopping. Our favorite excursion was with Mohammed and his family, such a special day. This spot is not to be missed. I'm pretty sure we will return one day!! Thank you Emma.
It was an absolute pleasure to stay in Dar Beida during our week long stay in Essouaira.
Beautifully presented, clean and quiet house in a great area of the medina. Crisp sheets, fresh towels, amazing showers and the outside areas and views were perfect for us.
We had the whole house to ourselves.
Emma had made sure we knew all of the great places to go during our trip had reccommended a large range of amazing tours (we went for a few of them!) They’re listed on Emma’s website castlesinthesand.com and had arranged us to meet Mohamed, who had arranged wine for our stay, showed us around the medina told us about the history, the best places to eat, buy good meat, fish (i recommend the fish market where you choose your fish and they fillet/cook it for you to eat), mint and spices and where to get great Hammam (we went and it was amazing) and where we could go for an evening of top end live music.
Amina, the house cleaner was so lovely, Emma had also arranged her to cook us an authentic meal for our first night at the house, we had a chicken tagine to die for! Amina brought it around cooked and ready to eat and set up the table and dishes out for us.
If you want luxury and an all round amazing stay from start to finish Dar Beida is the place to go.
Thank you Emma, you helped make our trip a perfect one! We will be back!
Dar Beida was the perfect homebase for a stay in Essaouira. The interior is so thoughtfully and imaginatively appointed we felt like we were in a set from the coolest magazine on earth. The rooms were comfortable and clean, the round fireplaces built into the walls, like glowing pregnant bellies, warmed and cheered us during our stay, the kitchen was well appointed and so fun to cook in, the terrace was so relaxing and private amid the bustle of the winding medina streets below. The decor is thoughtfully original; you could spend hours moving from object to object or book to book.
We loved the location as well. It's amazing to walk down these streets, where life seems to continue as it has for ages, duck into an alleyway and turn the key in the ancient door, then step inside to Dar Beida and its homey comfort.
The stay is accompanied by the wisdom of the incomparable Emma and all of her recommendations and suggestions from decades in Essaouira. DO ask Amina to cook you a tagine (unbelievably tasty) and DO have Mohammad take you for a visit to the Wednesday Souk... Emma's suggestions were absolutely perfect.
Hot tip: If you plan to cook in the house Emma can arrange a delivery of a basket of the most beautiful and tasty organic vegetables from Khalid's farm close by. We visited the farm and he is a remarkable man doing wonderful work. He's really a pioneer in this region for clean growing, and it was inspiring to meet him and eat his food.
I have been slow in writing this review because we were so completely overwhelmed by our stay at Dar Beida and I was at a loss for words to adequately describe how utterly wonderful and amazing it was!! The house is fantastic: sensitively restored maintaining it's history but still quirky, full of interesting surprises, nooks and crannies to explore, comfortable, perfect location, fabulous roof terrace, audio books for the kids... I could go on and on. But what really stood out was the unfaltering service and support we got from Emma, who is - and this in no word of a lie - the best host ever. From organising with the house keeper Amina to deliver a delicious home cooked Moroccan meal on our arrival, to tips on where to go in the souk for the best deals and where to buy your fresh fish in the market, she went well above and beyond to make our stay memorable. Her input included introducing us to an amazing cooking school where the whole family learnt how to make a proper moroccan tagine, to organising an amazing day trip to a waterfall complete with camel rides and berber picnic. Essaouira is a wonderfully laid back fishing port, well worth a visit...and if you are going there, Dar Beida is the place to stay and Emma is the host to have. We loved every minute!! I'm dreaming up excuses to book my next trip there...
Discovering the delights of Dar Beida and Essaouira was the perfect start to 2018. Essaouira was a joy and staying in Dar Beida was the icing on the cake. Loved its quirkiness, its tranquility and its terrace for January siestas. Thank you Emma - your recommendations were spot on. The cookery course was a triumph - A must do. Nights in lighting fires, listening to a great music selection and playing backgammon became rituals that we shall miss. I wouldn’t hesitate recommending Dar Beida. We’ll be back!
Apart from Dar Beida being a total delight to stay in with its mix or stunning authentic Moroccan architecture and the owner's flawless eclectic taste for 60's furniture and generally lovely things. Amina who is the best cook in all of Morocco who exclusively brings dinner to the house made it difficult to step outside for food. All of Emma's suggested activities were fantastic giving a mix of luxury and real insight to the Moroccan way of life. I could not recommend a trip here highly enough - I've already booked my return.
Dar Beida is a beautifully designed and decorated home, with recognition and press well-deserved. We enjoyed a lot of time on the terrace during the day and by the fireplace at night, super cozy. Internet was also fast and reliable, which was important for us as we were working during our stay.
The home is conveniently tucked away down a side street off of the main market road. Just outside the door are a couple of small shops for water, snacks, and other essentials too. It's a nice area filled with locals, and great way to get to know the town.
Graham and Emma were excellent hosts, incredibly responsive and full of great recommendations. Highly recommend staying here! Oh, and have dinner prepared by Amina, it's excellent.