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Heure Bleue, in rock-star-luring seaside town Essaouira (Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison both spent some time by the coast), has a laid-back ambience that suits our to-do list of siestas, sunbathing and meandering through the Medina. With new direct-flight routes launching on 1 May, we’re poised to pop over ASAP
Hotel of the week | Heure Bleue, Essaouira


Now it’s easy-peasy to jet over to this up-and-coming exotic destination; with EasyJet’s direct flights from London twice-weekly, it’s the ideal time to explore southern Morocco. At this time of year, balmy days come as standard; Essaouira’s breezy serenity offers a much-needed pre-Easter palate cleanser; and we’re offering an exclusive 15 per cent off room rates.

The hotel’s Casablanca-recalling post-colonial decor – dark-wood and wicker furnishings, a grand piano in the lounge and a palm-scattered inner courtyard – adds an upmarket touch to its hippie haven surroundings. Heure Bleue’s Atlantic coast setting is a surfer’s dream, and quad-biking or kitesurfing will top-up thrill-seekers adrenalin levels. There’s also genteel Moroccan-tea-taking and a sultry tadelakt hammam for less adventurous types to retreat to.

‘Dropping our bags and falling back onto the sheepskin-clad king-size, we found ourselves in a junior African suite that suited us only too well after a three-hour drive from Marrakech. Dripping with heavy carvings and fabrics, decked with lamps and wooden-shuttered windows, the room was cavernous, sumptuous and luxurious. We tried to imagine who had owned this 200-year-old riad in the days when Essaouira had only just changed its name from Mogador.’ Read the full Heure Bleue review

‘We had a Portuguese suite on the 2nd floor, which was really spacious with lovely traditional furnishings, a huge comfy bed and enormous bathroom. It was very peaceful, and with the windows shut there was no outside noise. Loved the rooftop pool, it was much larger than expected; the hotel wasn’t full so there was plenty of space for lounging and lots of shade. There’s lots of variety at breakfast: fruit, eggs, pastries, Moroccan pancakes and lots more – you could easily go without lunch! All the staff were genuinely charming, helpful and friendly.’ Ann, BlackSmith, stayed on 29 September 2014.

Take a look at hotels in Essaouira, or combine a few nights here with a stay in a Marrakech riad.

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