27 Apr Le Jardin des Douars
Close to Essaouira, in the middle of nowhere, hides the address that all parents have been passing on for years: Le Jardin des Douars. And we now know why ! The location is beautiful, the staff are super friendly and there is no shortage of activities. In short, we confirm what you have probably already heard, this hotel is amazing!
(Psst… In a hurry? We have summarized it all up using a rating system, right there)
As soon as you put your bags down, we want to get lost in the flowery alleys. We radiate around the reception and discover the restaurant and its large terrace, the family pool (young and old are welcome, there are two different depths and you can make noise), the spa and the adult pool (entitled which ensures tranquillity, which is also good). It is high season and yet everything is quiet. Slowly, the restaurant’s terrace is getting restless. The Sunday barbecu settles in. We wait patiently while watching the frogs jump into their pond. At 1pm, we sit at our table and discover the delicious cuisine of Le Jardin before choosing our rooms.
Where do we sleep?
We can choose our rooms because we have opted for a villa. We are a large family and we want to be together. There are 11 of us (6 adults and 5 children between 2 and 12 years old), so we rented the Bethany which can accommodate up to 15 people, the first one on the right after the entrance and its guard.
After crossing a small bridge and climbing a few steps, we discover the immense interior space. The bedrooms are in the four corners of the villa, each with its own bathroom. In the middle, there are two sitting areas, a bar and a dining room table (but the weather is so nice that week that we will only eat there once, we prefer to eat outside on the terrace). A nice space to play, read, draw, …
A fifth bedroom is located further out in the garden, the perfect place to be away from the hustle and bustle of the house.
What do we eat?
A housekeeper cooks and maintains the house. She prepares and serves breakfast and, on request, lunches and dinners. We often had dinner at the villa to put the children to bed little by little (between almost 2 and 12 years old, the schedules are not quite the same…). But we also called on a babysitter from Le Jardin one evening to look after Simone at the villa and allow us to go and eat at the hotel restaurant.
The menu differs slightly between the restaurant and the kitchen in the villas. But the breakfast is the same. There is a little bit of everything: ham, cheese, jams, honey, cereals, toasted baguette, Moroccan bread, eggs, yoghurts, fruit salad, … For the other meals, you will find a selection of Moroccan dishes (tajine, couscous, kefta) and European dishes (spaghet bolo, pizza foccacia, …)
The little touch we love about the restaurant: the menu includes a vegetable purée and a compote for the little ones.
At around 4.30 p.m.-5 p.m., it’s time for tea and a bit of cake. If you like to eat, you will be fine there.
What do we do?
We take advantage of the swimming pool (and the bar right next door for a refreshment or an ice cream), of all the treatments that the spa has to offer, of the petanque field, of the ping-pong table, of the frog pond (a great activity for children up to 4 years old, tested and approved by Colette), we go in search of the turtles that wander around, …
And if you want to see other horizons, we advise you to rent a car at the airport to be flexible, especially with young children. Otherwise, the hotel offers a shuttle service. And then, the medina of Essaouira and its nice little shops, cafés and restaurants are all yours. On the way back (or on the way out, after all… you do what you like), you can take a break at theOcéan Vagabond (or after your surfing session, because if that’s your thing, it’s a good spot it seems) to eat or ride camels or go to the Villa Beldi (it is a hotel but the setting is ideal for a lunch in their garden). (There are things to say, the brackets save me).
We also went to Sidi Kaouki to explore. We discovered a small Café – Resto (with capitals because it is also the name of the place) with a very nice owner. But apart from telling you that it’s next to the future fish market (waiting for the port), I can’t tell you where it is. The hotel-restaurant La Mouette and Les Dromadaires (not far away if you go by the beach, that’s a clue!) is great too and there are a few other places to try a little further along the coast.
For those whose activities are not only organised around gourmet breaks (it seems that not everyone is like us…), it is also possible to go quad biking, surfing, kitesurfing, horse riding, … In short, all types of holidays are possible. Whatever your habits, you’ve come to the right place for a relaxing holiday!
Le Jardin des Douars
Douar Sidi Yassine
BP209 44000 Essaouira
Essaouira airport (13 minutes) / Marrakech airport (2h40)
Made for Families
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