Kasbah Bab Ourika
Bab Ourika sits like an eagle's eyrie at the apex of the Ourika Valley, with spectacular views of the mountains, river valley and nearby Berber villages.
There are 26 tastefully decorated bedrooms and suites, all with en-suite bathrooms and their own terraces. Guests can relax by the secluded swimming pool and meals are served in the gardens or in the colonnaded restaurant. The restaurant serves food that is freshly supplied daily from the surrounding villages. The chef specialises in traditional Berber recipes as well as international cuisine.
The Kasbah is one of the most eco-friendly hotels in Morocco; constructed principally from rammed earth, the traditional Berber building technique, so it blends in perfectly with the surroundings. The thick walls provide such good insulation that air-conditioning is unnecessary, and solar panels provide hot water for the hotel and also underfloor heating.
Why We Love It
In the name of all things green, a biodigester is planned to provide electricity and compost for the hotel and the village below.
Kasbah du Toubkal
Perched on a rocky outcrop at the foot of Jebel Toubkal, North Africa's highest peak, the former fortress of Kasbah du Toubkal is the most atmospheric place to stay in the High Atlas Mountains.
Located inside the Toubkal National Park, the kasbah overlooks the Berber village of Imlil and has panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. In fact, Imlil and the kasbah served as one of the locations for Kundun, Martin Scorsese's film about the Dalai Lama.The kasbah is reached via an hour and a half's drive from Marrakech, followed by a short walk up through a walnut grove while a mule carries your luggage.
The rooms have the rustic comfort of a mountain refuge and come in various types to suit different budgets. Kasbah Toubkal makes an ideal base for exploring the beautiful mountain landscapes and nearby villages, where the way of life has changed little in centuries. Walks range from gentle rambles to extended treks supported by local guides, or even an ascent of Jebel Toubkal (13,167 feet).
Alternatively, the kasbah is a destination in its own right - the perfect place to just relax and enjoy the hammam, authentic Berber food, clean air and wonderful views.
Why We Love It
Toubkal doesn't serve alcohol, but guests are welcome to bring their own, if they'd like to enjoy the stunning terrace with a glass of wine in hand.
Kasbah Tamadot was bought by Sir Richard Branson during preparations for one of his famous ballooning expeditions in the late 1990's, and opened as a luxury boutique hotel in 2005.
The kasbah is situated in stunning surroundings in the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains, 45 minutes' drive south of Marrakech.
With only 28 rooms and suites, set around two internal courtyards, the atmosphere is relaxed and intimate. Surrounding the kasbah are beautiful terraced gardens full of fruit trees, cacti and roses.
Guests can enjoy an extensive range of facilities, including indoor and outdoor swimming pools, sundecks, two floodlit tennis courts, a gym, sauna, hammam and a spa offering a range of treatments. The property has been immaculately restored using traditional Moroccan materials and decor, alongside contemporary interiors.
The restaurant serves Moroccan and international cuisine and is overseen by a chef who trained at Raymond Blanc's Manoir aux Quat' Saisons. There is also a rooftop bar with al fresco dining and fantastic views. Additional activities include horse-riding and a variety of day trips or longer excursions in the mountains and beyond.
Why We Love It
The kasbah's mountain location means that it gets very chilly in the evenings, but the staff will gladly provide blankets to enable you to stay snug while sitting outside.
Located in the foothills of the Atlas Mountain range, the Capaldi is a friendly and comfortable hotel located in nine acres of olive groves just outside Marrakech.
Accommodation is comprised of 23 en-suite rooms and suites, each individually designed in a modern style, yet with a strong Moroccan atmosphere throughout. The restaurant serves delicious food, primarily inspired by local cuisine and the hotel encourage guests to try a variety of local traditional Moroccan restaurants in the nearby mountains. There is also a roof terrace bar with remarkable views of the Atlas Mountains.
The main hotel building contains a bar and lounge area, library, private cinema and spa (complete with traditional hammam),and fitness rooms. There are also two swimming pools hidden in the gardens, both heated in the winter, where guests can enjoy a poolside cocktail.
An array of activities are on offer at the Capaldi ranging from camel rides, quad and dune buggy rides, to hot air ballooning and paragliding, and shopping and cultural visits to Marrakech.
Why We Love It
We recommend jet skiing on the nearby Lake Takerkoust in the morning, before heading to a traditional Moroccan mountain restaurant for lunch.
Azzaden Trekking Lodge
Kasbah Toubkal is one of our favourite places to stay in the Atlas Mountains, but the beautiful mountain landscape surrounding the Kasbah demands closer exploration on a trek, and this is where Kasbah Toubkal's Azzaden Trekking Lodge comes in to its own.
Guests can walk (or mountain bike or ride, by special prior arrangement) from the main lodge in Imlil along beautiful mountain paths with a guide and mule to carry bags before arriving in a comfortable lodge with the same fine facilities as at Kasbah Toubkal itself. Azzaden Trekking Lodge has four double en suite bedrooms with solar-powered underfloor heating and predictably beautiful views of the Azzaden Valley and the snowy peaks of the Toubkal Massif. There is also a lovely panoramic terrace and a small hammam steam room for resting weary limbs after a day's trekking and before a hot dinner of traditional Moroccan cuisine and time to put your feet up in front of the wood burning stove.
Most guests stay one night at the lodge before returning on one of the circular routes back to Kasbah Toubkal, but it is possible to stay for more than one night, enjoying shorter day treks. Guests can also take the lodge on an exclusive basis for friends of family or for the ultimate in remote romantic retreats.
Why We Love It
After a day or half day walking, it's the little things like underfloor heating and a roaring fire that make all the difference.