We spent almost three weeks in Morocco in Winter '09. We were trying to find the sweet-spot between "backpacker-ish" and "unnecessarily-overpriced". Morocco is still short on accommodations that fall into that sweet-spot, but Dar Adul was by far our favorite of everywhere we stayed. Regarding the previous reviews from 2007, I can only conclude that this place must have been heavily renovated and the management changed since then.
Imagine bright white walls, and bursts of color everywhere, from the art that covers the walls. The rooms, the hallways, the common areas: all are covered with paintings in styles very appropriate to Morocco and to Essaouira's location on the beach. The rooms themselves are decorated warmly and fully. Our own home is much more sedate and modern, but these were done very, very nicely. To some people it would be cluttered, but we found it harmonious, creative, and welcoming. (One thing to note: Essaouira is known for a style of art sometimes called "primitivist". This isn't everyone's cup of tea, but try to enjoy and respect it for what it is, and get past writing it off as childish.) The owners are apparently artists, as is the lovely young man who manages the place day-to-day. He was wonderful to us.
Breakfast was complete and served with warmth, and yet typical of Moroccan breakfasts we had: I never quite learned to love them, as much as I appreciated the coffee and excellent fresh juice. This was as good as any we had.
The house is lovely, with a sun-drenched roof-top that overlooks the western ramparts and the pounding surf. Even in winter, we were plenty warm, which was a problem other places we stayed. The rooms we looked at were all wonderful: each more interesting and creatively decorated than the last, with spacious tiled bathrooms.
I think we paid maybe 80 Euro a night, and thought it was a bargain. I'd strongly recommend it unless you're planning on spending lots more. We extended by a night just to enjoy it longer.
The location is just slightly off the beaten path, but is convenient from the parking at the port. Once you find it, you'll be happy and find it easy to get around. But give yourself 15 minutes or so to deal with the unmarked streets of the Medina the first time, and get a good local map. :-)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- In the old Medina, close to shops, 10 minutes from the port and the beach, two minutes from the walls, you will be received as friends in this old notary house. The charm of Dar Adul will seduce you. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Dar Adul Hotel Essaouira