Essaouira's selection of maisons d'hôte -- all located with the walled medina -- is among the best in the country. If you're on a budget or have preferred to stay out in the ville nouvelle of other cities for various reasons, I highly recommend considering a few "splurge" nights here in Essaouira's old town. Its easily navigable, pedestrian-only, and largely hassle-free streets are still only a short walk from the town's other main attraction (the beach), most of the town's restaurants are within its walls, and the standard of accommodations offered is pretty good and reasonably priced. Other than the medina, Essaouira's other accommodations area is at the entrance into town, where a group of hotels are bunched together in what is called the Quartier des Dunes, or "Dunes Quarter." Families might prefer staying here, as some hotels have pools, and the beach is only minutes away by foot. The downside is that you're about a 15-minute walk (though it's a pleasant one along the beach promenade) from the medina.

Tip: Waiting at each entrance to the medina, especially Bab Marrakech and Bab Sbâa, are Essaouira's "trolley boys." For 20dh to 50dh, depending on the load, they will transport your luggage to your accommodations within the medina. Don't be shy to use them; it doesn't cost much and will let you take in the atmosphere. It's especially worthwhile if you're going to look at a few establishments before deciding.

Essaouira's peak tourist season is during the summer holiday months of July and August, though June is also busy largely due to the Gnaoua & World Music Festival, along with the Christmas/New Year period. During these months, it's best to prebook. The winter months from November to February can be exceptionally cold, and most residences within Essaouira's medina, maisons d'hôte included, suffer badly from dampness. During this time, inquire about the availability of heating before deciding on where to stay.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.