The Big Six: Chic Moroccan retreats
Friday 06 April 2012
Palais Namaskar, Marrakech
The newest pretender to the title of Marrakech's most luxurious hotel opened yesterday. Expect tranquil water features, imposing Moorish arches, views of the Atlas mountains and Balinese gardens. Interiors have an airy, opulent feel, with the 41 guest rooms ranging from spacious suites to villas with private pools and four-bedroom palaces. The hotel also features a spa with treatments using the cult beauty brand ILA. There's even a liveried private jet.
Palais Namaskar, Route de Bab Atlas 88/69, Marrakech (00 212 5 24 29 98 00; palaisnamaskar.com). Doubles start at €390, B&B.
Madada Mogador, Essaouira
The Madada Mogador is tucked just behind the historic, wave-bashed ramparts that encircle Essaouira. From the roof terrace, it offers panoramic views of the Unesco-listed medina and the city's long, sandy beach. Inside, the seven bedrooms, some with ocean views, are done in a spare, contemporary style. There's also a cookery school set within a former almond warehouse, where guests can learn the secrets of Moroccan cuisine with lessons that venture out to the local souks and fish market.
Madada Mogador, 5 rue Youssef El Fassi, Essaouira (00 212 5 24 47 55 12; madada.com). Doubles start at €120, including breakfast.
This exotic hotel perfectly reflects the bohemian allure of Tangier – once a favoured destination for Henri Matisse and Tennessee Williams. Set in a restored pasha's palace, with views across the Straits of Gibraltar, it has just six rooms, each decorated in an effortless blend of the traditional and the modern. The restaurant turns fresh fish from the local market and vegetables from the Rif mountains into tagines, soups and salads. The roof terrace is the place to soak up the sounds of live Moroccan music at night.
Nord-Pinus, Riad Sultan 11, Tangier (00 212 6 61 22 81 40; nord-pinustanger.com). Doubles start at €190, including breakfast.
Kasbah Bab, Ourika Valley
This rural retreat sits above the majestic Ourika Valley. Built from mud and clay using the traditional Berber method of pisé, it has 15 tasteful rooms, all with views of the Atlas peaks around. Guests can lounge by the pool, spend days hiking or visit local Berber villages with the hotel's guide.
Kasbah Bab, Tnine Ourika, Ourika (00 212 6 68 74 95 47; kasbahbabourika.com). Doubles from €150, B&B.
La Gazelle d'Or, Taroudant
Opened in the 1960s, La Gazelle d'Or is one of the country's timeless boltholes. The collection of 30 suites and cottages is scattered amid dreamy, verdant gardens awash with fragrant roses and citrus groves. There's also an organic farm that supplies the restaurant.
La Gazelle d'Or, Rte d'Amezgrou, Taroudant (00 212 5 28 85 20 39; gazelledor.com). Doubles, £490, half board.
The Selman, Marrakech
The designer behind La Mamounia strikes a stylish note once again at this new address, which opens on 1 May. Here, Jacques Garcia has envisaged lofty public spaces, with velvet fabrics, mosaics and ornate wood carvings. There will also be stables with Arab thoroughbreds for equine enthusiasts.
The Selman, Rte d'Amizmiz, Marrakech (00 212 5 24 45 96 00; selman-marrakech.com). Doubles from £341.
Threat of 'catastrophic cascade of collisions' must be averted, warn scientists
- 1 Oxford is the least affordable city in the UK, where houses cost 11 times local salaries
- 2 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 North Korea elections: Kim Jong-un wins 100% of the vote
- 4 David Cameron resorts to paying for Facebook fans because not enough people like him
- 5 Steve Irwin’s final words: Cameraman present at death opens up about deadly stingray attack for the first time
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
£16000 - £27000 per annum + Benefits: Flight Centre Limited: We're looking for...
£18000 - £34000 per annum + Award-Winning Benefits: Flight Centre Group: Becom...
£18000 - £27000 per annum + Commission + Award-Winning Benefits): Flight Centr...
£18000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Flight Centre First and Business: This i...