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Home Away from Home: Castles in the Sand

Two hours from Marrakech in a town called Essaouira, where Orson Welles based his Othello and Jimi Hendrix found inspiration for "Castles in the Sand," English couple Emma Wilson and Graham Carter bought a pair of magical 200-year-old Moroccan houses and named them Castles in the Sand. The pair transformed "Dar Beida" and "Dar Emma" into exquisitely designed, playful, boutique guest houses full of flea market finds, Moroccan artifacts, antiques, and, most of all, charm. The houses, called riads, are available to rent throughout the year and make for a fantastic getaway, just a few minutes from the beach.

Dar Beida (the white house), shown here, is a four-bedroom villa and can be rented for about $488 per person for week, which includes lots of complimentary goodies like Moroccan slippers, use of beach towels, wireless Internet, etc. With white walls and floors throughout, ancient sandstone columns, and wood ceilings, it has gorgeous organic modern bones that create a calm base for the house's mix of eclectic lighting, art, and furnishings. It's built around a central courtyard (with a fountain!) with four stories, including a library, a lounge with a fireplace, an open plan fully-equipped kitchen, a large terrace, sun beds, and a hammock. All in all it looks, and sounds, like a dream. See more photos when you read more.

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