Holiday reviews

I joined others on a week's photography course with Darren Lewey - Images in the Sun -and enjoyed one of the best week's in a long while. Essaouira itself is very relaxed, charming, interesting, colourful, and the people are incredibly kind and welcoming. We were made to feel at home. The photography course was great, and Darren a very calm, friendly and thoughtful teacher. I learnt lots and wished I could have stayed longer to learn more; I visited places I wouldn't have ventured to alone; and I felt encouraged, supported and challenged in terms of getting the most out of my photography. I also made some wonderful friends with whom I shall return to the shores of Morocco for yet more photography adventures I'm sure! The hotel was great - situated in the centre of the medina, the rooms were full of character and the staff were very friendly and helpful and clearly take great care and pride in their work. The course, the hotel and the town are all highly recommended. A fabulous way to get away. Rebecca August 2011 Tripadvisor

I signed up for a photography holiday with Darren Lewey and the accomodation was in this gorgeous Riad. Located in the heart of the medina and close to the port, it is in an ideal location and the staff are attentive and kind. I had a lovely rooftop terrace room which was spacious and cleaned every day. The photography course was one of the best things I have ever done. Darren is a great teacher and somehow managed to get me taking the photographs that I had always dreamed of taking but never thought I could! The town is beautiful, so relaxed and the people generous and open. I would recommend the Riad for a holiday, the photography course for anyone wishing to progress with digital photography and Essaouira itself for a relaxing break away from the rush of Marrakesh! Susanne August 2011 Tripadvisor

Essaouira is a truly magical place to visit and photograph and this was one of the best holidays I've had. The itinerary was perfectly paced, combining experience in a variety of photographic techniques with ample time to relax, explore and soak in the lively, exotic culture. Darren was an excellent teacher with endless patience, who managed to totally transform my technique over the course of the holiday. Maison du Sud itself a very restful, charming riad and wonderfully located. It was such a pleasure to be able to step straight out of my room onto the large, sunny roof terrace. The staff could not have been friendlier or more helpful and I felt like one of the family by the time I left. I'll definitely be returning!  Abby June 2011

I have had a good camera for years, but while I understood how to use it, my pictures were unremittingly dull.  Darren has managed to combine the fun and relaxation of a holiday with a complete course in all the elements of the photography.  We have toured the Moroccan countryside, visited souks, stood atop waterfalls, and walked the ramparts of fortified towns.  Often we were the only Europeans in sight.  From the technical to the artistic, we have covered everything, and have done so at my pace (thanks Darren).  I left the holiday feeling that, at last, I could compose an image which would not embarrass my camera.  While the accommodation was superb, the food great, and the town lovely the real highlight was that this course did what it said on the tin – I left a much better photographer than I was when I arrived. Craig May 2011 Tripadvisor

Booked through Darren Lewey of Essaouira Images photographic holidays so didn't know what to expect. Stayed for 11 nights in a room on the beautiful roof terrace. The riad turned out to be a delightful place, full of charm and character with very friendly and helpful staff. Felt more like home than a hotel. Took breakfast in the sun on the terrace amongst the gulls which was lovely. Found the ground floor dining area on the cool side although this would be a benefit later in the year. Martin March 2011 Tripadvisor

I have just returned from a fantastic week staying at this wonderful riad, whilst on a photography course run by Darren Lewey, of Essaouria Images. Maison du Sud is situated in the heart of the medina, close to everything. It oozes character and has an abundance of Moroccan charm! Lovely courtyards, seating areas and sunny roof terrace. Don't come expecting all mod/cons (a/c, tv etc) but this is all part of the experience, as is the morning prayer call. The rooms are cosy and the beds extremely comfortable. The staff are outstanding - friendly, attentive and helpful. The photographic opportunities in Essaouria are outstanding. Darren is a great teacher who organises workshops on different styles and takes you round and shows you the real Morocco off the tourist track. I came back with photographs far exceeding my expectations - especially as the whole week had been so much fun I hardly felt like I was learning!! I would highly recommend both the hotel and the course. Niki Feb 2011

Accommodation in Maison du Sud was included in the photographic holiday I booked with Darren Lewey of Essaouira Images (, so was not my own choice. However, I could not have chosen a lovelier place to stay. My first impressions of the place took my breath away - what a beautiful hotel. Throughout my one week stay, my impressions were proved to be justified. Sa'id, Brahim and all the staff were courteous and accommodating, doing all they could to make me feel at home and I was genuinely sad to say goodbye at the end of my stay. I have stayed in many hotels and guest houses all over the world and Maison du Sud is the latest entry to my top 10. Dan Feb 2011

A hidden gem of a hotel, beautiful & great location and the staff were just wonderful - Said and Brahim especially. Was part of a group on a photography course for 7 days - would highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to learn how to take great photos & really get to see the whole of the Essaouira area beyond what tourists would normally see..... Okay so I haven't attached any photos - only just got back! Essaouira Images - course run by Darren Lewey.
Actually preferred Essaouira to Marrakech - more intimate and less hassle.  Tracey November 2010

I spent a week at this hotel, on a photography course with Darren Lewey of Essouira Images. It exceeded my expectations on every count. The hotel, located centrally in the Medina, was completely delightful in it's Moorish style, with many beautiful sitting areas, both in the shady central courtyards and on the sunny roof terrace. My room was large and comfortable, and nothing was too much trouble for the friendly hotel staff.
The photography course was extremely well organised, each day focussing on a different photographic style. Essouira is a photographer's paradise - classic Moroccan architecture, streets teeming with colourful people, markets, seashore, Berber countryside, and an amazing North African light. Darren gave us his total attention for the whole week, making sure that we learned and enjoyed ourselves too, and he and Brahim (hotel director) went out of their way to help us with other activities, such as horse riding, drumming, cookery and hammam visits.  By the end of the week, I felt I knew Morocco so much better than I would have if I'd simply come on a package tour. And I'd taken some photos I was proud of! I'd love to do it all over again.
Amanda October 2010