Essaouira for a weekend break? Yes, thanks to a new direct flight

May 3, 2015

The Moroccan town of Essaouira is well-known to watersports fans, but new direct flights from the UK bring more of the rugged coastal province within reach for a romantic break

A donkey brayed outside our window and I woke, fumbling for a light switch before I remembered where we were. There are no light switches at Résidence Le Kaouki – in the village of Sidi Kaouki, 25km from Essaouira on Morocco’s Atlantic coast – because there’s no electricity: just candles and lighters by each bed. It also has no en suite facilities – just three shower rooms downstairs and a loo on the ground and first floors. So I used my smartphone torch to light my trip down the hall, to where a last inch of candle was guttering over the washbasin.

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I couldn’t remember when I’d last stayed somewhere without an en suite – and I couldn’t believe how little this, or the lack of electricity, bothered me. It had felt gloriously romantic the night before to blow out our candles after kissing goodnight. (Paloma Picasso is a regular visitor from her home in Marrakech, and she chooses the room on the roof – further from the loo but nearer the stars, she says.) I might have felt moved to tweet a picture of the beautiful shadows cast by a lantern in the first-floor sitting area – but of course there’s no Wi-Fi either.

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