“A kasbah-hotel oasis near the famous Ait Benhaddou and Ouarzazate city - an area of biblical beauty - with great food, a refreshing pool and a warm welcome”
Most bedrooms open off the wide, open-air corridor overlooking the main courtyard. You get pretty rugs on sand-coloured floors, terracotta walls, and stone-based beds with colourful blankets for the cool evenings and air-conditioning for hotter nights. Local colour is everywhere: a brightly-hued painting or wall hanging, a straw hooked by the door or a lantern suspended from the rainbow-painted, bamboo-thatched roof. After our long drive through the mountains, the bottled water and ornate tea glasses were a very welcome touch.
Most rooms are simple doubles or twins; we particularly liked Aicha (room 1) and Brahim (room 2) for their views over the gardens, but all are homey and welcoming. Some have space for an extra bed and Doumia (room 4) and Mehdi (room 21) have bigger bathrooms. Some rooms may lack natural light, but in this heat that can actually be a blessing. Medhi (room 21) and Nabil (room 22) are in the kasbah’s poolside wing, which is slightly separate from the other bedrooms - Colette rates these as her best standard rooms. There’s also a particularly private double room tucked beneath the alfresco dining space; like a private little den, it’s popular with couples wanting a romantic hideaway.
There are also 3 large Suites: Saida, Gazelle and Hama. The former has a double bed and one single, while the other 2 have a double bed, 2 singles and an airy lounge area. We stayed in the Hama suite, and loved the far-reaching views afforded by its position in one of the kasbah towers.
Bathroom facilities are very simple but clean, with sand-coloured tadelakt walls, a shower with hot water enclosed by a low wall, a pretty blue-tiled basin area, towels and a mirror.
There are no menus, and dinner is simply what is available that day - but you’re in safe hands with Michel. A trained chef, he applies Gallic gourmetterie to classic Moorish (and moreish) cuisine with great success. Our 3-course evening meals included a fresh hummus and salad starter, a creative fig and chicken tagine (with an unusual but delicious cinnamon noodle accompaniment), and even homemade ice cream for pudding.
Dinners are usually taken out on the peaceful terrace overlooking the verdant gardens (and the occasional harrumphing camel) - we loved dining here before taking a bottle of wine up to a cushioned nook on the rooftop terrace. If, like us, there’s a freak rain storm during your stay, you might end up dining in the cosy lounge room. Music inspired, there are low octagonal wooden tables, ornate lanterns and rich red walls filled with black and white photos. For the winter months, there’s also a welcoming dining room off the courtyard.
Dinner is included in the room rate, so most guests eat in every night (drinks are extra). Lunch or picnics can be arranged, otherwise there are plenty of cafes in nearby Ait Benhaddou.
A breakfast of pancakes, fresh bread, coffee or tea, fig, strawberry and apricot jam is served on the terrace, under a canopy of palm fronds. As it is a small, traditional hotel, there’s no room service, but Colette and her team are happy to bring refreshing drinks and snacks to you by the pool.
Kasbah Ellouze would be a fun place for older more adventurous children, with camel rides, caves and ancient kasbahs nearby - Indiana Jones fans would be in heaven!
Children under 5 years of age staying in their parents' room are free. For older children, there is an additional charge for an extra bed.
Teens (over 12)
The Hama and Gazelle suites are best for families as they have double bed, two single beds and a living room, the Saida suite has a double bed and a single bed, but no living room.
Most rooms can take at least one extra bed or baby cot, although the extra bed in room 21 is only suitable for a child under 5. Rooms 21 and 22 might work well for a family with older children, as they are both poolside, and slightly separate from the other rooms.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The pool is unfenced and dining options are limited, so picky eaters may struggle. Highchairs are not available.