Need to know
26, including seven suites and three villas.
12 noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from $121.37 (MAD1,182), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of MAD30.00 per room per night on check-out.
Rates include a Continental breakfast of flaky Moroccan pancakes, breads, home-made jams, cooked eggs, fruit salad and fresh orange juice, as well as tea, coffee and hot chocolate.
The hotel closes for two or three weeks between January and February.
At the hotel
Spa, botanical gardens with access to surrounding countryside and riverbed, boutique, terrace, lounge with fireplace, library, pétanque pitch, free WiFi in common areas. In rooms: Les Sens de Marrakech toiletries. Villas have a TV too.
Our favourite rooms
The hotel is a celebration of Maghrebin colour and craft, with zelige tiling, smooth tadelakt plasterwork, pierced metalwork and tactile Berber rugs. Rooms have a shabby-chic feel with original wooden doors, and objets trouvés and African masks on the walls; in the bathrooms, you’ll find a mini hammam kit and luxurious Balzatex linens. At the back of the main house, Relax Room 6 is cosy and cute, with lots of sun in the morning and a shower room; Relax Room 8 has stunning valley views. Set in two-storey houses in the lush grounds, Luxe Rooms have a private feel, with king-size beds, private outside terraces, seductive sunken baths and a corner fireplace. If you’re travelling en famille, the Mogador Suite is a two-level extravaganza with a double bedroom, another bedroom with three single beds, a living area and two rooftop terraces from which to admire the grove-dotted hills and riverbed below.
The adults-only infinity pool is a chic rectangular affair, tiled in blood-red and peacock-green zelige, surrounded by wrought iron day-bed and straw parasols. It’s heated from October to May and the perfect setting for some quiet sun-worshipping or purposeful laps. On the other side of the main house, the family-friendly pool is protected by a grove of olive and argan trees, with a shallow circular area perfect for babies, and some changing rooms nearby.
The region is famed for its precious argan oil, harvested by local women’s co-operatives and used in the marble-lined spa. Argan-tree bark is used to heat the eucalyptus-scented hammam, the pulp for scrubs; perfumed black-soap exfoliation, hot-stone massages and algae wraps leave skin prepped for the North African sun.
Staying at Jardin des Douars is very much about getting off the grid: there’s no internet, TV or phones in the room. In the common areas, WiFi can be slow and patchy – load a tablet with must-see boxsets before you go. You can leave bulky headgear at home – you’ll find baskets of attractive straw hats on the sunny terraces for guests to use.
In the bathrooms, you'll find a mini hamman kit stocked with local argan-oil products.
Pets are welcome, and stay free, but you’ll need to bring their bedding and food with you. See more pet-friendly hotels in Essaouira.
Welcome. Extra beds for under-12s (MAD110 a night) and free cots can be added to all but Relax, Romantic and Luxe Rooms; a children’s lunch menu is available. Babysitting is available with one day’s notice.
Family Rooms have a double bedroom and another room with two single bunk beds. Douaria Rooms are small self-contained houses perfect for large families. The spacious Royal Suite has two bedrooms, two terraces, and two bathrooms.
Jardin des Douars can organise quad biking, horse and camel riding, surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing and cooking lessons for children. You’re unlikely to experience a rainy day in Essaouira, and the beach at Sidi Kaouki is just a 20-minute ride away; for a spot of at-home relaxing, the hotel’s atmospheric hammam offers 30-minute massages, manicures and pedicures for little ones too (MAD300).
The circular family-friendly pool is heated all year round, with a very shallow end within the main pool perfect for small children. It’s not supervised, but there are plenty of sunloungers from which to keep an eye on little ones.
Highchairs are available in the restaurant, as is a lunch menu for under-12s of classic child-friendly fare such as mini burgers, home-made bolognese or chicken skewers. Staff are used to dealing with families, so just ask if you need to heat up baby milk.
Babysitting is available with one day’s notice. The hotel charges a flat fee of MAD75 for up to four hours during the day, and MAD150 for up to eight hours during the night.
There are no baby monitors in the hotel, so you’ll need to bring your own; pick a room in the main building if you want to enjoy some alone time at the restaurant while your little Smiths are sleeping.