Accommodation, Venue

Villa Garance Essaouira: conviviality through the ages

Per: Alice JOUNDI  

LIFESTYLE Visit the cozy rooms of the Villa Garance and discover the history of a true home nestled in the Medina of Essaouira. Built to accommodate the family of Rabbi Ben Shabbat in 1902, the house has now become a guesthouse. The current owners have taken care to preserve the architecture and family spirit with gusto.

In this old house more than a century has passed with three Jewish families having once lived here. Villa Garance is in colourful tones and an oriental feel. Christine, Marylene and Pierre have been the new owners since 2006, carefully preserving its original charm and its primary function; a place of life. 

Childhood memories

Built in 1902 by Rabbi Ben Shabbat, it was a place of worship open to the Essaouira Jewish Community, coupled with a workspace. The Rabbi himself cohabited the space with two other families on the three levels of the house, some of these arrangements have been preserved. The workshop of the seamstress was on the ground floor, the well of the house also still exists, the fountain of the current patio and glassworks have been replaced by the current kitchen in the riad. Throughout our visit, the past and present are clearly visible, gradually revealing the sould of the house. A story we know today thanks to the testimony of descendants who returned their childood home , each one with their own memories. 

Well-being on all floors 

"The house still has the original appearance which was already beautiful" said Pierre in our interview. The guest table is laid with organic produce for every evening meal, cleaning products are 100% ecological and massages are with pure Argan oil. These are all the development of a range of services combining quality and respect for the environment, which is one of the peculiarities of this riad. The top bfloor offers views of the sea and the medina, through a sunny terrace. 

A beautiful guest house, Villa Garance is a perfect stay in Essaouira, honoring the friendliness that characterizes the house and has done since the early days. 

Text Alice Joundi

Translation Karen Athwal

Photo Villa Garance