- Mandy Sinclair
Heading out to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, just minutes from Marrakech, provides a glimpse in to Berber life. It’s an idyllic location, whether you’re looking for endless trekking opportunities or just a romantic break with days spent lounging poolside. Use it as a base after reaching the summit of Mount Toubkal or Jebel M’Gouna, or opt for shorter hikes with picnics along the way. However you choose to spend your holiday, we’ve rounded up our favorite properties in the vast High Atlas Mountain region, only a short drive from the vibrant city of Marrakesh.
Newly opened in the Ouirgane Valley, just 45 minutes from Marrakesh, the L’Amandier in the stunning Atlas Mountain has views of the nearby barrage from its infinity pool, while the rooms benefit from breathtaking views of smaller peaks and red soil that covers the valley. With nothing but nature for miles, this is an ideal spot for those looking for a break from it all. Half-day treks through the valley are a wonderful way to get out in to nature and explore the region, while a longer trek down to the barrage makes for a perfect day out with a picnic en route. A collection of privately owned two-bedroom and three-bedroom villas on site are also available for nightly or weekly rental and include a small plunge pool and private terrace with valley views.
Prices from £350.00 per night in a two-bedroom villa.
L’Amandier Hotel, L’Amandier Plateau, Ouirgane Valley, Marigha, Marrakech, Morocco, +44 20 7754 5563
Perched in Toubkal National Park overlooking the Atlas Mountains, Douar Samra is a cozy little retreat in winter with its in-room fireplaces, and a cool getaway in the summer given the building’s respect of local architectural styles. A stay at Douar Samra provides the ideal base for day treks, a mule ride up in to the mountains or just a relaxing break soaking up the atmosphere. There’s nothing better than enjoying a mint tea with 360-degree views of the High Atlas Mountains. And like the architectural style, the cuisine prepared on site by local women from the village is authentic and ever so mouthwatering. Stay in the tree-house for a truly romantic break! Those addicted to technology will want to be sure to book a room with electricity, as not all rooms are equipped with modern conveniences and technologies.
Prices from £40 per night on a half-board basis.
Doua Samra, Tamatert Village, Toubkal National Park, Morocco, +212 524 48 40 34
Part of the Virgin Limited group, the exclusive Kasbah Tamadot houses a small collection of rooms, suites and Berber tents with stunning views of the Atlas Mountains and the valley below. Luxury meets nature at this boutique hotel featuring only 28 rooms and suites, each carefully decorated with the finest Moroccan touches. Wander through the hotel grounds and you may just be surprised by the surrounding beauty. After all, it was during a ballooning trip over the region that owner Sir Richard Branson purchased the kasbah. Gain a deeper understanding of the local culture during a unique excursion – hike with a local guide, take a mule trek through the Atlas Mountains, or head off to visit the Tin Mal Mosque, one of two mosques open for non-Muslims to visit in Morocco. With each room carefully decorated, many suites with private pools, and the unique excursions of top quality, this is an ideal getaway for families or a romantic break!
Romantic packages from £2000 based on three-night stay; dinners, hammam treatment and champagne, and a free upgrade based on availability.
Kasbah Tamadot, P2005, BP 67, Asni, Marrakech, Morocco, +44 208 600 0430
This little gem is one of the finest places to stay in the Ait Bougmez Valley, its location high in the Atlas Mountains with stunning views over the lush valley and small plots of land below. While the rooms at Touda EcoLodge are simple, they provide all the creature comforts for the discerning traveler and hiker. Walks through the valley – where mud huts house local Berber families, where children run freely through the gravel roads, and farmers work peacefully on their small plots of land – make for a lovely wander. Or opt for a longer trek to the lake, following a part of a route crossed each spring and fall by the nomadic families from the region. Touda EcoLodge is also a perfect ending point after reaching the summit of the nearby Kalaa M’Goun massive. Just be aware, the home cooked food is quite simply amazing!
Prices from £27 per person per night based on half board.
Touda EcoLodge, Zaywat Oulmzi Village, Tabant, Ait Bougmez Valley, 250 kilometers east of Marakkech, Morocco, +212 662 144285
Kasbah du Toubkal
With 360-degree views of the Atlas Mountains in the heart of Toubkal National Park, Kasbah du Toubkal is the perfect starting point for day treks or when returning from the summit of North Africa’s highest peak, Mount Toubkal. Sipping mint tea as the river runs by from one of the terraces is quite simply delightful. With only 15 rooms, each with a view of the mountains, the hotel is well equipped with double or twin rooms. For larger groups, book the garden room for your own private house, including kitchenette (though the Berber cooking is irresistible) and your own private terrace with absolutely gorgeous views. It is possible to do a day excursion to the Kasbah du Toubkal and have lunch on the terrace. Mules can be arranged for the way up, as there are quite a few steps and some steep areas. If you do decide to walk, it only takes about 20 minutes.
Prices from €160 per night in a standard double room.
Kasbah Du Toubkal, Toubkal National Park, 40000 Imlil, Morocco, +212 524 48 56 11