Over the years, many people have asked my advice about owning property in Essaouira. Perhaps, like me, they dreamed of buying an old medina townhouse and converting it into a guest house, now widely known as a “riad.” (Although, in Essaouira, houses are typically too small to be genuine riads, which traditionally had gardens and fountains in the central courtyard). Or perhaps they dream of retiring to the sun, to a rural idyll with a pool on the doorstep, surrounded by olive and and argan trees. Either way, my advice is “try before you buy.” It’s easy to be led by your heart and not your head. When I arrived to live in Essaouira in 2012, I did some serious market research and developed a number of business plans before deciding that running a boutique B&B just wouldn’t be viable for me.
Read more of my story and of people who have made it work, in this article by Doreen Caraval for the New York Times: A Powerful Lure: Owning a Guesthouse in Morocco.