A magical place The Villa Garance was a former rabbinical residence, built at the end of the 19th century. Restored in the respect of the traditions of yesteryear, its old tiles, tadelakt walls, high ceilings in thuja and juniper give it a unique charm. Its original architecture elegantly blends Judeo-Arabic and Berber influences. On its beautiful Italian-style façade, large windows let in plenty of light. From the top of its terraces, you can enjoy a 360° panoramic view of the ocean and the city. Still on the terrace, multiple spaces invite you to sunbathe and rest. In the morning, you can enjoy a delicious traditional homemade breakfast. And in the evening, the sunset is magical! Your taste buds will be delighted when you take your traditional Moroccan dinner in the riad, in the intimacy of the candle-lit lounges. The welcome reigns supreme! Its hosts, Marie and Pierre, who love to spend time with you and share their good addresses for your activities and outings.
Passers of dreams
As frequent travellers, we dreamed of an inspiring place and a new life tinged with exoticism on a daily basis! And the magic of Essaouira bewitched us during a trip to Morocco in 2011. We were seduced by its bright lights, its unique atmosphere, as one falls in love… Until we were inspired to acquire a guest house with a unique charm, the Villa Garance. By becoming guests, we have become dream givers. Marie’s Portuguese origins are moved by the heritage of the ancient Mogador. At the fishing port the varieties of fish have no secrets for her, to be savoured at the table of the riad. Pierre, originally from Paris and then from Nantes, is an avid reader and writer and has no equal in telling the story of Essaouira. This friendly and warm spirit is the cement of the whole team of the Villa Garance, attentive and available to share special moments with our guests.
The history of the house In this house, more than a century old, once lived 3 Jewish families. Built in 1902 by Rabbi Ben Shabbat, at the gates of the old Mellah of Essaouira, the Villa Garance was a place of prayer open to the Jewish community of Essaouira, and a place of work in perpetual sharing. The Rabbi was a glassmaker and lived with 2 other families on the 3 levels of the house, some of the fittings of which have been preserved. The sewing workshop was on the ground floor and the well of the house still exists, closed by the fountain of the current patio, the glass workshop having been replaced by the current kitchen of the riad. Real house of memory nestled in the medina of Essaouira, this beautiful and vast residence became “Villa Garance”. An authentic riad of charm with tadelakt walls in fruity tones, where the smell of old wood blends with that of roses.
MORROCAN GUEST HOUSES Our guest house is an active member of the Morrocan Guest Houses Association, ( MGH, formerly AMHMS) the only professional organization recognized by the Moroccan Ministry of Tourism. This means a commitment to quality for a safe stay in Morocco, in compliance with hygiene standards and legislation in force. As opposed to the informal sector which exploits unskilled personnel and develops unfair competition harmful to the development of the local economy and respect for the rights of Moroccan employees.
Sustainable tourism At Villa Garance, we take steps to protect the environment, natural resources and your health on a daily basis.
- We buy local, organic fruits and vegetables, fish at the port of Essaouira.
- We employ local people and train them on the spot.
- We prepare vegetarian, gluten-free meals on request.
- We save water by changing towels on request, by only offering showers in our bathrooms.
- We avoid waste by offering to order your meals in advance.
- We recycle plastic bottles
- We use ecological products labelled for cleaning and maintenance of the house
- We use energy-saving light bulbs.