The Fort of Mogador is a jewel in the heart of a Berber village. A residence of outstanding beauty situated a few kilometers away from the historic fishing port of Essaouira. A calm, secluded place where time seems to have stopped. French designer, Catherine M, discovered an abandoned walled fort, belonging to the local governor, in the little village of Ghazoua. She fell in love with it.
Over the ensuing forty years she used her artistic expertise and love of Moroccan culture to bring the property back to life. This charming residence has retained its traditional Moroccan style while offering the space and comfort of a more contemporary dwelling.
It is both roomy and welcoming.
The rooms overlook the leafy courtyard in the heart of the Ryad. The traditional architecture, with its stone columns, provides a distinctive light and a place of tranquility - a perfect setting for relaxing, reading and contemplation.
At the top of the fort there is a large, panoramic terrace bathed in light - ideal for doing yoga or sunbathing.
The salon, with its high Berber ceilings in woven wood, its chimney, comfortable seating and Moroccan carpets, is an invitation to celebrate. You can gather here for drinks, listen to music, dine Moroccan style, or simply improvise…
There are two well-lit, large, beautifully decorated suites. One has an office corner, the other a small salon and its own chimney. There are also two, simply decorated, confortable bedrooms. Each bedroom has double beds and its own personality. The house has three pretty bathrooms with all commodities. It is possible to add extra beds in some of the rooms.
A long wooden table, laden with fresh produce from the market and breads from the wood-fired oven is a welcome sight. Our cook will provide delicious traditional Moroccan or European meals.
All meals can be served wherever you desire: in the ryad, the dining room, in the gardens, by the pool…
Get together around a mint tea with delicious Moroccan patisseries, have a siesta in a hammock in the shade of palm trees and the magnificent Bouganvillea that is more than a hundred years old.
Walk in the garden at dusk to absorb the magical peacefulness of the fort, only broken by the occasional tinkling bells of the grazing goats wandering through the village of Ghazoua.
The swimming pool is to be found in one of the gardens. This is the perfect sunny place to laze around under the palm trees on the wooden sunbeds with confortable mattresses.
Opposite the pool there is a spacious pool house where a massage table can be set up, it can be used for exercise or you may enjoy lunch there when it’s very hot.
The traditional Moroccan hamman, heated with wood, is a luxurious experience.
“This ryad near Essaouira is one of my best memories of holiday locations. We rented this very particular place with friends and family. What a haven of peace! A place where time doesn’t exist despite it being within reach of the medina of Essaouira; it is calm, peaceful and serene. I particularly enjoyed the mornings with the sun shining in the courtyard with cushions scattered about and the extraordinary light in the patio, where the aroma of breakfast wafts from the kitchen, brought to us by a comely woman whom my son, 4 years old at the time called Madame Brichete. When we left he had tears in his eyes. I also loved the evenings when the heat slowly dispersed. In this extremely cosy environment, protected from the wind and always cool, we all laughed a lot. During our stay, my husband wrote his first novel, that has since been published! I often think about this place and hope to return there one day…”
“At the end of a rough track the ryad, that once belonged to an ancient caïd, appears. In all the details we can feel the careful attention that this French woman and her daughter have paid to this dwelling, with profound respect for the culture and refinement of Morocco. They added some European comfort with taste whilst retaining its original atmosphere. We enjoyed a few magical days, out of time and space, interrupted only by the delicate attentions of Houssein and Rabia. Comfortable rooms you enjoy relaxing in, as well as perfect meals around the heated pool or by the cosy log fire, or in the shade of the palm trees on the patio. We had Moroccan stars in our eyes…”
“Halfway between the charming Essaouira medina and the deserted beaches along the ocean you may enjoy an unique experience. Time stands still here. Behind the ancient walls, I tasted the delights of Moroccan hospitality in the comfort of a home filled with history as well as one of the best cuisines in Mogador. The welcome and service will make you regret not having stayed for longer.”
“I have stayed twice in this magnificent ryad that is well-situated outside Essaouira in the direction of the beaches. It has a heated pool as well as numerous secluded spaces for someone who wants to be alone even if other people are around. I warmly recommend this magnificent, very romantic place that has soul and charm. As a bonus you can enjoy the excellent traditional Moroccan cuisine.”