Atlas Mountains, Morocco
Branson's lavish Moroccan hideaway delivers haute luxe, haute cuisine and haute montagne in equal measure
It was in 1998 that Richard Branson's mother Eve first came across
this crenellated kasbah, perched dramatically on a hilltop and
surrounded by the peaks of the High Atlas. At that time it belonged
to an Italian antiques dealer who had opened it up to his friends.
But she saw the potential of a luxury north African retreat to
complement Virgin's existing Necker Island and Ulusaba Game
Reserve, and the Tamadot project was born.
After 7 years of labyrinthine negotiations and top-to-toe refurbs, it finally opened its carved and inlaid gates to guests seeking the ultimate luxury in the heart of Morocco's most spectacular mountains. The extensive gardens are now carefully landscaped with rose, fruit and cactus plants, the indoor pool and courtyards remodelled to find space for a 5-star spa, and the suites redecorated to combine contemporary design with colourful Moroccan antiques. There was also the small addition of a stunning infinity pool, plentiful sundecks, a separate mini-kasbah for families and, most recently, some astonishing tented accommodations for that north African luxe safari vibe. It was worth the wait.
Reviewed by Michael Cullen
- One of the finest mountain vistas in north Africa
- A heavenly retreat from the bustle of Marrakech - yet within striking distance (45-minute drive)
- Amazing facilities: spa, tennis courts, 2 pools (one out, one in) making this a year-round retreat
- The most luxurious hotel in the Atlas Mountains, with levels of service that are rare in Morocco
- Superb cuisine and wines, overseen by an acclaimed chef
- The tents are particularly pricey, but then they are staggeringly opulent - probably the comfiest tents in the world!
- Children are only welcome during the UK school holidays (but their Kasbah Kids programme provides heaps of fun activities, including Moroccan cookery and treasure hunts)
- The Atlas can be surprisingly cold in winter - but rooms have heating, ponchos and heated blankets
Richard Branson's magical Moroccan retreat in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains...Conde Nast Traveller (UK)