The White City. For that to be a name for Essaouira is obvious looking down on it from a hillside viewpoint: dozens of white buildings, including a seaside line-up of modern hotels – all except our Le Medina Essaouira/Thalassa, [Boulevard Mohamed V. (212) 0525 07 2526. Its windows and entrance are outlned in red. It’s a serviceable elevator hotel with a pleasant pool and lunch area and the hotel makes an effort to welcome guests in a personal way, sitting down on a sofa to fill out forms. We had a nice little balcony overlooking the harbor and broad beach. But the service at the pool was both surly and nonexistent. It took three tries over an hour to get a drink. Overall it made us, well, homesick for La Maison Arabe in Marrakech.