Dar Qawi is traditional and beautiful furnished riad. We were made to feel at home and Zaras cooking both on our first night and for every breakfast was delicious. Communications with both Kia and Sandra were excellent both before during and after our trip and the riad itself is very conveniently placed for exploring the town.
Perfect location, pretty central amongst winding alleys. Health spa across the way, provisions store literally next door, roof terrace, easy walk into town, harbour and the beach - perfect! And the lovely Zara who brings breakfast, cleans and will cook an evening meal if required.
We ended up in Dar Qawi completely by accident as we had been double booked elsewhere for our stay in Essaouira. The person that we had been double booked with found Dar Qawi for us to stay in instead.
The riad would have been a little difficult to find had we not been "hijacked" by a porter in the car park who insisted on taking our bags in a hand cart to the riad and for pennies really. We had been given a contact number but our phones refused to let us phone Morocco from Morocco for some reason. The porter, however, found the Riad, told us it was very good and then even lent us his phone to contact the owners representative, who turned up within a couple of minutes!
The riad is very clean, comfortable, pretty well equiped for short and long stays, and cleaned daily by the lovely Zara, who also provided an ample and tasty breakfast each day.
There are a couple of outside eating/lounging areas and plenty of seating and sun loungers for catching some sun.
Essaouira Medina is very easily navigate once you have walked around it for a couple of hours and the Souks are much easier to look around than those in Marrakech, our next stop.
Essaouira has a reputation as "the windy city" but this was not the case whilst we were there fortunately. It is a proper working town with a large fishing fleet and a busy fish market. There is plenty of choice for food by way of many restaurants, cafes, fish shacks and hole in the wall takeaways.
If you need/want alcohol, it can be purchased from the large Carrefour supermarket just as you come into town on the Marrakech Road. You cannot buy alcohol in the Aswak Essalam supermarket which is slightly closer in to the Medina.
We had hired a car and went out to the beach at Sidi Kaouki each day. We almost had the 2 mile long beach to ourselves so this is highly recommended too. Siudi Kaouki is better for surfing and paddleboarding than Essaouira beach, with at least 3 places to hire kit and take lessons if necessary.
Would we come back to Essaouira and the Riad Dar Qawi again?
Perfect location in the heart of the car-free medina close to restaurants, shops and stunning harbour. Beautifilly decorated and furnished in the local style and only a few minutes walk to the beach and surfers paradise. We'll be back!
The riad was nice, but unfortunately not good timing for us, especially when you have 6 month old baby and 4 year child. There were construction just in front of the riad, very noisy, so we couldn't enjoy the terrace. Then it was very humid inside the house, I think because it rained a little bit. Then there were cockroaches and we were again unlucky because the flies were reproducting themselves and you could see their larves everywhere... All that combined, I thought I would leave after the first night of stay!
Positive thing were delicious dinners prepared by Zahra.
We had seven days in this lovely Riad and enjoyed every minute. We were welcomed by Redoin, who I must say, was one of the people that made our stay quite magical. Along with Zara who looked after us so very well. Breakfasts were a treat, evening meals most enjoyable.
We were so sad to leave and could quite easily have stayed there for ever.
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