he hotel is located just above Sidi Kaouki, a small surf village on the Atlantic coast of Morocco. 30 minutes by car south of Essaouira and 2,5 hours west of Marrakech. The Essaouira-Mogador Airport is a mere 20 minutes away, with flights arriving from Europe all year round. Sidi Kaouki Beach stretches for 2,5 km and is an invigorating place to go for a walk, run or swim, if you don’t mind the cool Atlantic water. A short trip down the coast, vast deserted beaches are waiting to be explored on foot or horseback. A trip inland reveals scenic hiking trails, weaving through villages with majestic views over valleys of Argan forest.

ClimateEssaouira is known as ‘’the windy city of Africa’’ with its powerful North Atlantic trade winds blowing all year round. The winds are at their most intense during the summer months, the preferred season for kite, foil and windsurfing - and calmer during autumn and winter, with optimal conditions for board surfers. While the spring sees a gradual build up of wind, the year round average temperature remains a steady 21 degrees celsius and the sun shines brightly for 320 days, enabling tanning by the pool in all seasons. The temperature drops significantly in the evenings, especially in winter, making a warm fire in the living room a welcome sight. Confused? Its understandable, just be sure to pack a sweater and jacket with your swimwear!

The DouarThe hotel is part of a Berber hamlet, or douar, called Ichaouine, situated 2km up the hill from Sidi Kaouki. A dirt road leads into a dusty lane that gradually winds its way to Villa Laba’s gate. The property is surrounded by the sights and sounds of families and their domestic animals. This close proximity to local life, with donkeys and dromedaries braying, roosters crowing, children playing and shepherds moving flocks down sandy lanes, offers an authentic insight into rural Berber culture, in all its simplicity. Berber people are dignified, friendly and incredibly hospitable and we are proud to be part of their community.

Sidi KaoukiGreat board and kite-surf conditions have made Sidi Kaouki a popular surf spot. The village itself has a chaotic charm with surfboards, quads and animals mingling with locals and tourists on dusty paths. The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed and there’s something about the energy that makes time seem to slow down and the stress of the western world gradually fade. Among small eateries, serving piping hot tagines and grilled sardines, there are surf shops renting out boards and wet suits and instructors ready to teach beginners the basics of the sport.

EssaouiraEssaouira is a colourful, artistic and historical town. It became the main trading port of Morocco during the 19th century, shipping goods from Marrakech and the Sahara to Europe. Today it presents itself as a cultural town with several festivals throughout the year, most notably the Gnaoua Festival of World Music, also known as the ‘Moroccan Woodstock’. The medina attracts artists and artisans and has retained its mellow atmosphere since its hippie trail days and the souk is a relaxed place to shop local crafts without being hassled. The port is a vibrant fishing hub, full of bright blue vessels bringing in crates of fish daily that are grilled and served in small stands by the quayside. As the town has developed, so too have the number of restaurants and bars and there is plenty of choice for eating out and listening to live music.