Morocco draws in travellers who want to explore Marrakech’s vast souks and immerse themselves in Berber culture. The warm Arabic welcome is a key reason so many return time and again to this North African country. Expect personalised service, tranquil infinity pools, cool marble hammams and the country’s finest cuisine at these top hotels.
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It might be as you sip a morning coffee on your private terrace shaded by giant eucalyptus trees or during your dip in the turquoise pool when you vow to never to tell a soul about this hotel. Perched on a hilltop, about 20 minutes south of Essaouira by car, Tangaro blends luxury barefoot charm with pared-back pampering. Rooms are housed in white-washed cottages, ranging from spacious superior doubles to duplex suites. Most guests come for romantic getaways or a peaceful retreat, but it is family-friendly.
Salut Maroc is a truly flamboyant boutique hotel, set inside an 18th-century house in the old medina of Essaouira. A swirling technicolour of hand-cut Moroccan tiles touches the central courtyard, and the cushion-dotted roof terrace is where you’ll find a restaurant serving delicious grilled seafood. Bedrooms are individually designed, featuring funky local art and en-suite bathrooms with copper bathtubs. Expect sensational ocean views. The hotel has a cosy library with an open fire and a private hammam for guests. In-room beauty treatments are also available.
The sublime hillside setting of Sahrai (meaning “magic”) offers captivating views of Fes’s labyrinth-like medina while still being a blissful place to relax. Inside and out, you’ll find traditional Moroccan features alongside modern designer touches. The L-shaped infinity pool is a lovely place to bob around enjoying the scenery. The real star of the show here, though, is the Givenchy Spa. Unwind in the jacuzzi and hammam, then browse the luxury boutique. The hotel also organises guided tours exploring the alleyways of the medina.
This historic old palace in Fes dates back to the 17th century. It has been skilfully restored to show off the original dazzling architecture with all the luxury modern comforts you need. The 18 rooms, spread across three courtyards, are individually decorated and have en-suites (only the suites have bathtubs). With its lounge and roaring fireplace, the pool courtyard is a peaceful spot where tasty Moroccan dinners are served in summer. The hammam is truly authentic, while the nearest medina entry point is a 10-minute walk away.
To sleep in a remote overnight camp in the Sahara Desert is an experience not to be missed. Here, levels of luxury and comfort reach new heights. Large white tents have rustic-chic furnishings, and a personal butler service is provided for each. Dinner is a simple four-course menu blending Moroccan and French cuisine that might include a vegetable soup, Moroccan savoury pastries, a beef tagine and chocolate soufflé for dessert, cooked in the camp kitchen and served by candlelight. Alcohol is not served, but you can bring your own.
To reach this rustic guesthouse in a remote Berber village in the High Atlas Mountains, you’ll need the help of Douar Samra’s donkey to transport your luggage. The eight bedrooms are immensely cosy and colourful. Some don’t have electricity, but are kitted out with candles and oil lanterns, and the treehouse room sits on stilts in the garden. Wholesome Moroccan dishes are served, and breakfast typically includes a basket of fruit from the garden alongside home-baked breads. Qualified mountain guides can be arranged for various local treks.
Located in the rural Ouirgane Valley, just 45 minutes from Marrakech, L’Amandier has stunning views of the surrounding Atlas Mountains from its infinity pool. Its rooms also benefit from breathtaking views of smaller peaks and the red soil that covers the valley. Enjoy farm-to-table seasonal food at the restaurant, a clay tennis court and private yoga classes on site, as well as guided Berber village tours and full-day hiking expeditions.
Meaning “house of dreams”, Dar Ahlam is a luxury lodge in the desert oasis city of Skoura. It’s made up of 14 rooms alongside a palm-shaded swimming pool, hammam and candle-lit massage room. As part of the nightly rates, you are invited to explore the region – a picnic in the palm groves, lunch under a tent lakeside or even a night spent in the Sahara Desert. Enjoy French fine dining at the on-site restaurant with ingredients sourced locally – make sure you try the amlou, a delicious spread made from crushed almonds and argan oil.
Head on up to the rooftop terrace at Dar Nour, where 360-degree views of the Strait of Gibraltar, the old city of Tangier and the 11th-century ramparts are visible. Meals are served under the stunningly blue skies as the wind blows off the sea. Don’t miss sunset cocktails starting from 6:30 p.m. The cosy salon spaces throughout respect the Moroccan tradition of hospitality – a place to relax and meet others in true Moroccan decor. This place isn’t just for couples or romantic getaways; single rooms are available, too.
Mandy Sinclair contributed additional reporting to this article.
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