Kasbah Du Toubkal

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A pair of hand-made Berber slippers to take home.

DRAMATICALLY SET AMONG the highest mountain peaks in North Africa, Kasbah du Toubkal is a place like no other. Jaw-dropping views are matched by rustic-chic accommodation and genuine Berber hospitality.

Perched high in the hills amid snow-capped mountain peaks just 40 miles from Marrakech, Kasbah du Toubkal is spectacularly set above a valley strewn with Berber villages. It’s an ideal base for walking in the mountains – in fact, you’ll be going on foot for the last ten minutes to get there.

You can practically touch the clouds (not to mention the snow in winter) at this eco-friendly Berber auberge where the air is fresh, the greenery lush, the valleys fertile and the peaks spectacular.

Needless to say, Kasbah du Toubkal is not for everyone. If you can’t live without the trappings of a smart hotel and a high-grade pamper factor (the owners are at pains to point out that it’s not a hotel, but a Berber eco-lodge), this place isn’t for you.

Arrive with a sense of adventure, an awe for your extraordinary surroundings and a desire to learn about local culture, and you’ll be in for an utterly memorable stay.

Kasbah du Toubkal’s British owners have done an impressive job in restoring this once-abandoned fortress to accommodate guests, adding all essential 21st century comforts. The lodge boasts impeccable eco-credentials, and has won awards for its sustainable tourism practice. A five percent surcharge on your bill goes towards helping the local community.

Rustic Berber

Inside, expect stylishly rustic decor with a Berber slant: colourful rugs, traditional wood carved doors, beamed ceilings and tadelakt bathrooms and showers. The Kasbah’s candlelit dining room serves delicious and traditional home cooking, while the rugged terrace makes the perfect place to relax with a mint tea, taking in those amazing views.

This High Atlas retreat oozes authenticity and character, with toasty fires glowing in winter and even traditional Berber hot water bottles popped into your bed. Welcoming in-room touches include Moroccan slippers and djellabas (long robes), complimentary soft drinks and dates to nibble on.

Bedrooms range from back-to-basics standard rooms to plush Garden house suites with a private sun terrace and wood burning stove. All are comfortable and rustically styled, with beamed ceilings and hand-carved walnut wood furniture. Don’t expect any TVs, though you’ll find a CD player and (in the suites) even an iPod dock. Deluxe rooms and above come with a balcony or private terrace.

Most guests at Kasbah du Toubkal can’t wait to lace up their walking boots and explore their Atlas mountain surrounds. There’s a wide choice of daily guided treks available – on foot or mule – depending on how active you’d like to be.

If the thought of a long day’s hike is just too arduous, don’t worry. You can soak and steam in one of the two traditional hammams, read a book on the terrace or challenge your partner to a match on the giant chess sets.

Kasbah du Toubkal may not be a hotel in the usual sense, but it’s a unique place for a very special stay. Warm and helpful Berber staff will ensure you are well looked after – adding to the sense, as more than one guest has noted, that this place is the real deal.

© Room for Romance

Kasbah Du Toubkal was reviewed by Room for Romance

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