5 Columns

  • Location: Beach / Coast
    Closest beach: In walking distance
    Medina and Souk: In walking distance
    Great restaurants: In walking distance
  • Marrakech Airport (RAK): 180 km (2h 40 mins by car)
    Airport transfer available on request
    Car recommended
    Paid parking
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Welcome pack with fresh fruit, tea, coffee, milk, water and one load of firewood

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An introduction to 5 Columns

How would you describe 5 Columns in a nutshell?

A beautifully restored 18th century home in the heart of Essaouira's ancient Medina, owned by an interior designer and her family. A magical, light filled, airy space full of quirky, vintage furniture and artwork.

What is your background and what was your inspiration to open 5 Columns?

I live and work in East London as an interior designer, I love to travel and I had always been fascinated by Morocco and its architecture. I went on holiday with a group of friends in 2004 and fell in love with the magic of Essaouira, the culture, its wonderful people and the beautiful architecture. We returned 6 months later to view houses and bought 5 Columns 2 months later!

How would you describe the atmosphere and the interior design?

The house is so full of light which is unusual for a traditional riad. All the original details like the sandstone columns, the Thuya wood ceilings and the tiled floor were restored and re-purposed back into the building. The space is very calm as it has been designed with lots of open plan spaces to make the most of the light. Our Moroccan friends have said that it is a magical special place full of happiness and sunshine!

To you personally, what is so special about 5 Columns?

From the moment I walked into 5 Columns I knew this would be our home. It's just magical, the columns in the main ground floor area, the beautiful old wooden ceilings and the carpet of black and white tiles. We love being part of the local community of wonderful friendly shopkeepers and we are just a short stroll from the main souks and just 5 minutes to the wonderful wide beach. I love that I can leave London and land in Morocco and live a totally different pace, life is much more chilled and simple and everything is just a short stroll away. I can spend hours chatting to my local Moroccan friends, drinking mint tea and watching the world go by.

Please tell us about the food in Essaouira.

Essaouira is fast becoming Morocco’s foodie destination. For a small seaside town, Essaouira has a thriving, diverse and high quality restaurant and cafe scene. Many restaurants serve the seafood just landed from the fishing port and are now adding locally produced organic fruit and vegetables as there is a growing trend in local organic farming.

The souks are filled with fresh produce every day and the busy working harbour has a daily fish market. Shopping is easy, produce is delivered daily into the souks from the countryside and the choice is huge. There is a great cookery school in the Medina and our good friend has a beautiful organic farm where you can spend the day and have lunch prepared. Our housekeeper can prepare home-cooked food and deliver to the house or you can cook yourself in the fully equipped kitchen.

Is 5 Columns suited for families with children?

The house is a great place for children as it has large open spaces and rooms for hanging out away from the adults when they want to chill. With its proximity to the beach and the souks there is always so much to do. Moroccan people love children and will often stop for a chat when you are walking through the souks. Young children would need to be careful on the stairs as in most houses.

Terrace bar
Dining area
Dining area
Dining area
Bedroom 1
Bedroom 1
Bedroom 2
Bedroom 2
Bedroom 3
Bedroom 4
First floor
First floor salon
First floor salon
Terrace bar

5 Columns rooms & rates

You enter into a large open plan courtyard which we use as a dining area, above is a glass roof light which allows full sunshine into the house throughout the day. We have an open plan fully fitted kitchen with traditional tadlakt finishes on the formed and moulded kitchen shelves and surfaces. There is a cosy snug lounge area leading from the kitchen and dining area with a large open plan fireplace and two beautiful vintage 1960's armchairs.

Up the stairs to the first floor you will find another cosy snug with L-shaped seating and another open fireplace, a lovely space to hang out if the evenings are chilly in winter. There are two double bedrooms on this level, both spacious and with wet-room-style en-suite bathrooms.

Up another flight of stairs will take you to the 2nd floor terrace / roof garden with sun loungers and a dining table. Bedroom number three is here, another large double bedroom with wet-room en-suite. At the back of the roof terrace you will find an open plan al fresco kitchen / bar area with seating, great to hang out for sunset cocktails! Up one more flight to the third floor roof garden you will find 2 lounge chairs leading to bedroom number 4, again with a double bed and wet-room en-suite.

  • 5 Columns for 3-8 people / 200 m²
    129 / night
    • 4 Double bedrooms
    • 4 Shower rooms (ensuite)
    • 2 Living rooms
    • 1 Dining room
    • 1 Kitchen
    • Terrace
    • Fireplace
Included in the rates
Rates are on a self-catering basis and include a personal welcome by the house manager including a short tour of the medina, bath towels, daily cleaning and complimentary firewood in both lounges on arrival, a welcome pack including a fruit basket, tea, coffee, milk and bottled water and WiFi.
Optional extras
If you prefer to eat at home, our housekeeper can cook amazing Moroccan food for you. Just give her a day’s notice and she will deliver food at an arranged time. Payable directly to Fatima. She can also prepare breakfast. Ask us for more details.
Children & Extra beds
Children are welcome. There is an inflatable mattress available on request.
Minimum stay
7 nights
Check in time
after 16:00
Check out time
before 11:00

Facilities & services

  • Terrace
  • Maid service
  • Children welcome
  • WiFi
  • Fireplace
  • Courtyard
  • Hair dryer

The house is staffed by our wonderful housekeeper Fatima. She looks after the house when we are not there and cleans the house when we have guests. Fatima is an amazing cook and is available to prepare home cooked delicious Moroccan food using local produce. You will be met on arrival by our house manager, Rachid who will show you how the house works and he will also take you on a tour of the Medina. We have a fantastic information book which has all our recommendations for great places to eat, beautiful boutiques and places of interest to visit. We can also arrange excursions at many of our secret places that we only share with guests.

Things to do in Essaouira

  • Art / Culture
  • Shopping / Markets
  • Cooking classes
  • Massages / Treatments
  • Yoga classes
  • Boat trips

You can ride a horse or a camel, zoom down the beach on a quad bike, fly high in the sky on a kite surf, ride a bicycle through the countryside, make tagine at a cooking school, do yoga on my roof terrace, enjoy a hammam, go shopping in the souk or simply sit, drink mint tea and watch the world go by.

My three highlights in Essaouira are: Shopping in the souks. There are so many beautiful things to see and buy. Walking along the massive beach in bare feet in the sunshine. Wandering through the nearby countryside, finding stunning deserted beaches and lovely villages.

5 Columns reviews

4 of 5 stars
Verfied Welcome Beyond stay
Nice place in essaouira.
Very spacious and nicely decorated.
Just a bit noisy at night in the medina ( but that’s normal i guess)
We gad a hood time there.
Specially enjoyed the fireplaces!
romain G.
stayed at 5 Columns in October 2023

The location of 5 Columns

5 Columns is perfectly located in the ancient walled Medina, close to the souks and the beach, both are within a 5 minute walk from the house. Essaouira is a seaside fishing village on the Atlantic coast of Morocco.

I love that after only a 3 hour flight from London I can experience a totally different culture and way of life. I love that everything is within walking distance, I love the amazing food in the markets and in the restaurants. I love the local community of people that are kind, welcoming and very friendly. I love the year round sunshine, the pace of life and the wonderful beach and surrounding countryside all within a short distance. There are many wonderful boutiques and an amazing souk full of beautiful things to take home.

When is the best time to visit Essaouira?

April and October are my favourite times but I generally go all year round.