Essaouira’s L’heure Bleue Palais appoints Weill for PR
Weill has been appointed U.S. public relations counsel to Relais & Châteaux’s L’Heure Bleue Palais in the Moroccan port-town of Essaouira. Known as Mogador well into the 1950s, Essaouira lies two hours west of Marrakech.
Once the palace-riad of Caïd Mbark Saïdi, Pasha of Mogador, the five-story L’Heure Bleue Palais was built with a separate floor for each of the pasha’s four wives. Long abandoned, the riad was transformed a decade ago by a family with long roots in Essaouira into an elegant, lavish, antique- and art-filled boutique hotel. Its 33 tasteful guest rooms and suites are in four different styles: African, Moorish, Portuguese and British.
“Essaouira is Morocco’s most distinctive and charming city,” says Geoffrey Weill, “although perhaps I’m biased, because it’s where my great-grandfather grew up; but there’s no doubt that L’Heure Bleue Palais is the jewel in Essaouira’s crown.”
The Relais & Châteaux property sits at the edge of the medina of Essaouira whose white-and-blue houses are protected by 16th-century battlements built by the Portuguese. Long a crossroads of trade connecting the Sahara, the Arab world and Europe, the town’s romantic souks, alleys and houses are reminiscent of the charming and intimate Marrakech of decades ago.
Like all traditional riads, L’Heure Bleue Palais surrounds a palm filled courtyard adorned with a fountain. The Salon Anglais is the place for fireside drinks, tapas and afternoon tea. The elegant Salon Oriental restaurant serves Moroccan cuisine. There is a marble hammam and spa, and the rooftop sundeck and pool are ideal for a day’s sunning, lunch and lazing. www.heure-bleue.com