A "little hippy house" is how Dar Emma is described on its website. Indeed, the decor of this two-bedroom riad is a clear nod to the 1960s - a time when the area was a notorious bohemian hangout and provided the inspiration for Jimi Hendrix's Castles Made of Sand. Tucked away on a side street in the heart of Essaouira's medina, it's brimming with character and just 10 minutes' walk from the beach. Inside, the traditionally tiled staircase leads to a courtyard that is ideal for open-air dining and, if you don't feel like cooking, the off-premises chef will bring a traditional Moroccan meal straight to your door.
£100 per night self-catering; sleeps
up to four. Its swisher sister property, Dar Beida, sleeps eight and costs
from £300pp per week. Meals from £10pp. Fly to Marrakech with easyJet or
Ryanair, then a two-hour drive.
Compiled by Vicky Baker, Gemma Bowes, Abigail Flanagan
and Rhiannon Batten
For something a bit special, consider Dar Beida ('the white house'). Deep in a corner of the Medina, a twist or two off the tourist trail, this wonderful 200-year-old house owned by English couple Emma Wilson and Graham Carter. They've renovated and furnished with a playful good taste, mixing Morrocan materials and flea-market finds with imported antiques and a retro vibe. The result manages to be both idiosyncratically stylish and unpretentiously comfortable.Time Out Marrakech Guide
The 60's vibe at Dar Beida, with its retro furniture and animal skins, is a fitting base for a surf holiday:
The Guardian Travel
Top 5 Surf Shacks
30 September 2006
The whiteness inside Dar Beida offers a dramatic backdrop to Emma and Graham's wonderful, eclectic collection of traditional furniture, carpets and artworks which they mix together with European 20th-century classic pieces:
The Mail on Sunday
A unique mix of bright white with cave-dweller style, and pop-art plastics with weather-worn beachcomber finds. And it works:
A stylish, all-white haven, with courtyards, sun terraces and four bedrooms. An artistic mix of tadelakt walls, ultra-modern fireplaces, retro fabrics and furniture. Best features: Petals floating in the water fountains; tea lights around the bathtub; the pair of babouches provided for your stay; a cook to whip up tasty tagines. What you'll mostly be doing: Scouring the medina for local treasures; watching the surfers down on Essaouira's wild and windswept beach; relaxing with a good book in Dar Beida's retro hanging basket chair: