A beautiful Moroccan palace, L’Heure Bleue has been authentically restored to preserve its character whilst subtly incorporating modern technologies The result is a feast for the senses in an extremely happy synthesis of old and new
L’Heure Bleue is part of the Essaouira Medina Environment and is listed in the UNESCO heritage directory – areas of precious architectural merit. Its style is that of a riad with courtyards and salons decorated in colonial African style. There are open and closed areas, typical of riad design, allowing one to perfectly enjoy both sunlight and shade and from the central patio of the house one can move into the English and Eastern lounges, the Turkish baths, the library, the billiard room and home cinema rooms.
The bedrooms and suites are all different, some Portuguese in bright colours and some English with engravings of colonial scenes whilst others are firmly African, adorned in skins and braids – there is even an Eastern room decorated in gold and burgundy cloth. The Italian marble bathrooms are divine, overflowing with bathrobes, slippers and exotic natural products – guests in the Suites are tended by a major-domo who will look after your fire, polish your shoes and even sew the buttons back on your shirt for you! The ceiling of the English lounge is carved in cedar and hunting trophies, an old radio and the wainscoted walls surrounding the fireplaces all add to the colonial atmosphere of L’Heure Bleue.
The French gastronomic cuisine fused with Moroccan flavours is irresistible and the restaurant atmosphere is authentic, warmed by the open fireplace and cultivated amongst the deep sofas and the subdued lights of candles and Syrian lamps. Mouth watering terrine de foie gras, followed by red mullet ravioli or a spicy beef tagine or delicate and deliciously light lunches – enjoyed after a dip in the inviting pool – can be enjoyed on the roof terrace with its 360 degrees view to the city, the Medina and the old port.
There is plenty to do here. Essaouira is an enchanting city combining English, Portugese and Eastern influences; there is excellent kite and wind surfing from the sandy beaches, markets to visit and small streets to explore. L’Heure Bleue is wonderfully relaxing and understated – staff are attentive yet discreet, rooms are beautiful and naturally luxurious without being extravagant and the Turkish baths and fabulous massage services provide all one could need in order to feel rejuvenated after just a few days. L’Heure Bleue is exceptional.