After being inhabited for 200 years by fishing families, Dar Lazuli was transformed into the boutique riad accommodation it is today. This is the story of the people behind its transformation and day-to-day running.
About the owners and designers
Dar Lazuli was renovated and opened for business in 2007. For about 200 years previously, the property was inhabited by generations of fishing families and our neighbours are still at the heart of this important local industry. We, Rachel and Nicola, are both passionate about responsible and independent travel and wanted to create a cosy base from which guests could freely explore the labyrinthine medina and vast open beaches of Essaouira, safe in the knowledge that they could return to a quiet haven with comfort and relaxation at its core. Nicola is an interior designer and art teacher whilst Rachel is a keen linguist and online marketing director.
“Big thumbs up to owners Nicola and Rachel for making D.L such a delightful holiday get-away, with homely touches.” – Vinotrails on TripAdvisor.
About our housekeepers
The day-to-day running of the house is managed by French and Arabic speaking Rachid and Latifa Zini, who live with their two daughters in the medina. They are a delightful family and the success of the house is due to their cheerful willingness to help, no matter what! Latifa is an incredible cook and meticulous cleaner whilst Rachid is our fix-it man and chief host. Abdelkader who lives in the neighbouring village of Ghazoua works in the evenings as our Guardian, just to make sure you get home safely and that the house is secure and quiet.
Supporting the local community
Dar Lazuli takes its social responsibility seriously and we have designed the house in partnership with local artisans, craftsmen and women who have helped build and decorate the property. We’ve commissioned lamps, bed throws, upholstery and more from Souiri locals. We deliberately did not install baths due to the demand on the ancient plumbing system in the medina and the annual droughts in the country. We also subscribe to the Every Drop Counts Campaign and therefore urge guests to use water carefully. Furthermore, a percentage of our profit helps a family of seven in the neighbouring village of Ghazoua, so far focused on supporting the children’s education with six months French tuition and school & sports equipment. We will endeavour to continue and extend this support on behalf of Dar Lazuli’s guests.
“Rashid and Latifa who where the house keepers were great, they were so friendly and looked after us so well.” – herbie007 on TripAdvisor.
If you’d like to book a stay at Dar Lazuli, please contact us and Rachel will be happy to sort out all the details for you!