Holiday home of the week: a hotelier’s secluded hideaway in Essaouira, Morocco

Filled with contemporary art and midcentury design pieces

Peace and quiet reign at this secluded Moroccan hideaway, designed for a hotelier and interior designer.

Villa Lotus near Essaouira is the passion project of Willem Smit, who moved to Morocco to take up the role of general manager at Vanessa Branson’s multi-award-winning hotel, El Fenn in Marrakech, where he chooses each room’s decor.

Smit’s holiday home in Morocco is a stone and concrete villa that perches on a hilltop, overlooking the Atlantic Sea.

‘I wanted to keep it all very simple, using primarily stone, concrete, and wood beams,’ says Smit. ‘It was important to me that nothing was covered up so you could really see the beauty of the place.’

Holiday home for rent in Essaouira, Morocco
Photography: via Le Collectionist

Villa Lotus – available to rent via Le Collectionist from €1,000 per night – unfurls around a central courtyard that protects an L-shaped infinity pool and is shaded by a slatted wooden roof.

Interior spaces comprise an open-plan kitchen and living room, a hammam and three bedrooms (a fourth can be found in the guest cottage, a little off the main house).

Holiday home for rent in Essaouira, Morocco
Photography: via Le Collectionist

Smit’s interior stylings are modern, but eclectic: stone walls are hung with contemporary photography while furniture is a mix of old and new. His grandfather’s army trunk takes pride of place alongside a cast-concrete couch fitted with cushions by Maison de Vacances, Hay and Soufiane Zarib. Midcentury additions include Greta Magnusson-Grossman’s ‘Grasshopper’ lamp and Eames’ DCW chair.

Read next: This pare-back riad is up for rent in Essaouira

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