We stayed at Dar Ness for four nights and negotiated a reasonable off-season rate for a room on the second floor, which has its own small terrace area. It's a beautiful quiet place, simply and elegantly furnished - the open fire in the small lounge in the evenings was a lovely cosy touch at this time of year. We found the staff very friendly and efficient and they took the extra trouble to arrange a 6.30am breakfast for our early departure on the last day.
The riad is excellently located up a small alley off a square near the harbour and there are some excellent small shops and boutiques tucked away in the side streets further up this alley (not immediately the direction you might venture in) for a more hassle free shopping experience than the main tourist market.
Really good food seemed a little hard to find in Essaouira, particularly in the tourist orientated restaurants on the aforementioned square - avoid them at all costs. The best we found were the local eateries/cafes off the main market street for fried fish and wonderful meat & veg stews - all for about 15-20 dh. The best restaurant we found for a more leisurely authentic Moroccan dining experience was Restaurant Ferdaous (mentioned in Lonely Planet), which was excellent - strongly recommended.
Dar Ness made our stay in Essaouira a very pleasant and comfortable one.
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