The Capaldi

Lalla Takerkoust, High Atlas, Morocco Book from Book from £137 per night

Extravagant country estate in the low Atlas Mountains: 2 pools, a gourmet restaurant, a spa/hammam, and hosts who pamper you like close friends
Imagine you have a best friend with a fabulous country home: spacious guest quarters with super-kingsize beds and fireplaces, fresh flowers and a stack of good books by your pillow, landscaped gardens with expansive views, and plenty of places to hide away. That’s exactly what Ed and Tara Lyle envisioned when they created The Capaldi, set in the grounds of a 4-hectare former olive farm in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, a 35-minute drive from Marrakech and its airport.

Their version comes fully loaded: 23 Moroccan-Zen rooms and suites (plus 2 private villas) in a resort-style oasis, with 2 pools, a spa, a lantern-lit roof terrace, exceptional cuisine from a chef who embraces your preferences - and of course the warm hospitality you’d expect as guests of fortunate friends. Global travellers who fell under Morocco’s spell, the Lyles are fun and attentive hosts, orchestrating activities, fetching blankets on chilly evenings, and sending you off on explorations with a pre-programmed mobile and a picnic lunch. It’s a wonderfully relaxing and romantic way to experience the Moroccan countryside, and the perfect complement to a few days at their Marrakech riad.

Highs

  • Accessible luxury, with rooms and suites to suit all budgets (most with terraces and some with private pools)
  • Charming and unpretentious hosts who bend over backwards to make your stay perfect but also respect your privacy
  • Year-round amenities - one of the pools is heated, and there’s a library, a spa, cosy salons, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, even a cinema
  • Superb international cuisine that draws residents of Marrakech out to the restaurant
  • Close to a diverse set of adventures, including watersports on Lake Lalla Takerkoust, dune-buggy excursions and camel rides in the Agafay Desert, and guided treks in the mountains

Lows

  • No children under 12 - this is very much a hotel for couples and honeymooners
  • No in-room TVs, although the cinema has a big screen for watching films and sports
  • There are 3 lakeside restaurants within a 45-minute walking distance, which may be too far for some, but an organic farm serving food is a little closer

Best time to go

The Capaldi is open all year round. Spring (March-May) and autumn (October-November) are idyllic, with daytime temperatures in the mid 20sC and cool evenings. Mild winter days (December-February) average just under 20C, plummeting to around 6C at night. Summer (June-September) brings blistering heat and temperatures can spike into the 40s.

Our top tips

While mountain views are visible almost everywhere on the property, head for the roof terrace at sunset for unforgettable panoramas.

The walk to Lake Lalla Takerkaust a great way to explore the stunning setting and neighbouring villages, reward yourself with a leisurely lunch at La Flouka, one of our favourite waterside eateries.

Great for...

Foodie
Great Outdoors
Romantic
Spa
Wedding
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 23 rooms + 2 villas
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • Over 12s only
  • Open all year
  • Heated Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Bicycles Available
Room: Deluxe Pool Suite

Rooms

Rooms and suites range from cheaper Farmhouse rooms in the original mud-brick building to Deluxe Pool Suites with their own walled yards and private 7x3m swimming pools. Two private villas can also be rented, tucked away behind walled gardens, each with their own large private pools, enjoying full use of the hotel's restaurant and other facilities.

All come with super-kingsize beds and fireplaces, and most have both a shower and a window-facing bathtub in their ensuite. Every room can have twin beds instead upon request. All but the Standard Farmhouse and Prestige Rooms have private outdoor space, ranging from small Juliet-style balconies to furnished roof terraces and courtyard patios that overlook lush lawns. Luxury amenities include Egyptian linens, fresh flowers, complimentary mineral water, robes, slippers and artisanal soaps.

Our favourite option was the mid-range Atlas Room, set on the second floor of the contemporary main building and popular for its commanding view of the grounds and the snow-capped peaks beyond. We also liked the indulgent cosiness of the Farmhouse rooms. But the 2 Deluxe Pool Suites are a worthy splurge if you can afford it, offering 70sqm of living space, a 30sqm tiered patio, a private pool and a covered loggia - great for honeymooners and those looking to hide away. The views from these rooms across the Atlas mountains are breathtaking. We thought, however, that the main pool area was such a stunning space you may prefer to while away the hours there anyway.

The minimalist style mixes grey and black accents with warm earth tones from brick, stone, tile and tadelakt finishes. This creates a sharp backdrop for shimmering red-silk pillows, sumptuous curtains, hammered brass light sconces and Moroccan lanterns that spin mesmerising shadows across the walls. Thanks to market finds such as lattice partitions, kilim rugs and low circular tables, no two rooms are alike.

See Rates for full details of the different categories available.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Fireplace
  • Fresh flowers and complimentary mineral water
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • IPod dock in the suites
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • Terrace/balcony in most
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Enjoy breakfast on the shaded patio or by the pool. There's a selection of tasty hot and cold options - scrambled eggs and salmon, homemade breads and jams, perfectly cooked omelettes - all served with tea, coffee and juice.

Lunch and dinner are served on the patio or in the restaurant, which has sophisticated black and white décor, Moroccan arches and lanterns, a double-sided fireplace and a retractable glass skylight. You can also dine on the roof terrace with its panoramic views. The internationally inspired cuisine emphasises local produce - some from The Capaldi’s own herb and salad gardens.

We ate lots of lovely bright salads on our last visit. Dishes change with the seasons, but options might include beef carpaccio with rocket and parmesan; a prawn and shrimp salad with avocado and mango; almond sorbet; and chocolate croccant with homemade ice cream. There are also western meals like burgers and club sandwiches if you prefer. Just ask and the French chef will whip up delicious vegetarian alternatives or accommodate other dietary requirements. Our last visit saw us enjoy a Mediterranean inspired 3-course set menu for dinner, served in the courtyard under olive trees. There’s a short list of hand-picked wines, too, and half-board supplements are available if you plan to eat in every night.

An abbreviated menu of tapas-style dishes is available poolside or via room service, and there’s also a bar. The loggia and fireplace by the smaller of the 2 swimming pools make wonderful places to relax on cushioned couches with a cocktail.

The restaurant has a private dining room for special occasions, and staff can arrange picnic lunches in the countryside. Ed and Tara can also give you directions to a charming lakeside restaurant and pick you up afterwards.

Jnane Tihihit is a small organic farm with rooms serving lunch and dinner - it's a 20-minute walk from the hotel through Berber villages.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Organic produce
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating: Restaurant Olive Terrace
Activity:

Activities

  • Sunbathe on a poolside daybed with a book borrowed from the library, watch a movie in the cinema, snooze on a shaded circular lounger hidden among the roses, or enjoy a sunset cocktail on the roof terrace
  • Head to the spa for a traditional Moroccan hammam, an argan-oil massage or a bath treatment using scented oils and rose petals
  • Hike to nearby Lake Lalla Takerkoust. A 40-minute walk or bike ride through local villages (with a pre-programmed mobile phone in case you get lost) will bring you to a charming restaurant on the banks, where you can enjoy a beer, some lunch and maybe a bit of jet-skiing or fishing
  • Take on the dunes with a quad-bike or dune-buggy ride over the sands of the Agafay Desert
  • Trek or cycle in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. Ed and Tara can recommend local English-speaking guides to show you the best trails on bike or foot
  • Go hot-air ballooning or hop on a camel - the hotel can book a range of local activities
  • Experience the chaos of Marrakech medina (a 35-minute taxi ride away), with its souks and ancient palaces. Staff can arrange a day trip, or you can combine a stay at The Capaldi with a few days at its sister property in the city

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Canyoning
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse riding
  • Hot air ballooning
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain biking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Rafting
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Well being

Kids

The hotel is aimed squarely at couples and those seeking a peaceful retreat. That said, children over 12 are accepted and will enjoy dune-buggy rides, quad-biking and watersports on the lake. Twin beds are available in all rooms upon request.

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Kid Friendly:

Location

The Capaldi is located near the Agafay Desert in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. It’s a 35-minute drive south of Marrakech.

By Air:
Fly to Marrakech Menara (37km / 35 minutes' drive), which is served by a range of international flights. From the Airport you can take a taxi or arrange a transfer through The Capaldi (recommended as the hotel can be tricky to find).

By Car:
We don't advise hiring a car, as staff can easily arrange transport during your stay. If you do want to rent a vehicle to explore the region, see our car rental recommendations.

Detailed directions will be provided when you confirm a booking through i-escape.

More on getting to Morocco and getting around

Airports:

  • Marrakech Menara 37.0 km RAK

Other:

  • Beach 200.0 km
  • Shops 4.0 km
  • Restaurant 4.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 18 independent reviews from i-escape guests

9/10
Room
9/10
Food
9/10
Service
9/10
Value
9/10
Overall

If you want a relaxing holiday you couldn't get much better - lots of space, beautifully designed and the staff are lovely. The room we had was fine, nothing particularly special but we hardly used it as there are so many gorgeous spaces to spent time in. The food is delicious but more like formal dining in a relaxed setting so if you were there for lots of nights it may get a bit much - having a simple menu e.g a couple of salads or tagines as well would have made it perfect

8/10,

The hotel is idyllic. And the hosts are charming. The staff are that perfect combination - attentive when needed and unseen when unrequired. The chef is excellent and very accommodating. He went out of his way to prepare fabulous meat-free meals for me. The Capaldi is great for chilling and being spoiled, whilst only being a 40 minute drive from the hurly burly of Marrakech. Make sure you take lunch by the reservoir one day, if you get the chance.

10/10,

The hotel has been built with a great deal of thought. It is truly a place where relaxation is a given and mostly all requirements are met. Edward and Tara are good hosts and we were offered an upgrade on our arrival. We were invited by our hosts to visit their villa one evening for a drink and found to our dismay that no one was in! Imagine our surprise. Otherwise a good week and to be recommended.

7/10,

A fantastic four days with the perfect hosts in Ed and Tara and their ever willing staff. Would definitely recommend to anyone.

10/10,

We had an incredibly relaxing experience, and absolutely loved The Capaldi. The grounds are absolutely stunning and there are numerous beautiful spots to rest and really enjoy the calm. We would go to eat and come back to a beautifully turned down room, all without hearing a peep - it's clear the staff all work very hard to help their guests enjoy their stay, but they do an incredible job at staying in the background. The owners are very hands-on, which isn't something I'd ever expect but was very welcome. We shared some wonderful conversations with them, but again, they would never intrude and we felt very well cared for. The only slight issue we had was with the menu - I'm vegetarian, and there wasn't always a suitable option on the menu as it came. However, when we asked, the chef would come and propose a vegetarian option he could make for me - I really appreciated that, but it did mean a few very similar meals. Everything else was stellar though and we hope to return someday. The dune buggy experience was really fun, we definitely recommend that. Wifi is also pretty spotty and limited to a couple of areas - not a problem for us as it encouraged us to switch off, but something that's worth noting.

10/10,

The Capaldi Hotel was a welcome respite after a few days of hustle and bustle in the streets of Marrakech. The hotel is delightful and very picturesque. Staff are very friendly and on hand to help in any which way. The private cinema is an excellent touch and we really enjoyed the experience. Our room was beautiful and had all the amenities we needed. The nearby restaurant recommended by the staff at the hotel was delightful. We also took a trip to Essaouira & I would highly recommend this.

10/10,

The hotel was beautiful. We felt in touch with nature there. The views were some of the most breathtaking ones we have seen. The staff and owners were very friendly, accommodating and helpful. We felt really looked after. Thank you

10/10,

Beautiful landscape gardens and so peaceful after Marrakech. A warm welcome from the owners Ed & Tara. We very much look forward to returning to explore the region in the not too distant future. 2 nights was far too short a stay. The standard of food is exceptional and decor and attention to detail really lovely, we would highly recommend a stay here, have already recommended to friends!

10/10,

We had a wonderful two night stay at the Capaldi and only wished we had stayed for longer. The service, accommodation and food were all exceptional - we will definitely be returning and have been recommending to all our friends and family as a must visit hotel.

10/10,

Fantastic experience and great service! Many thanks to Ed,Tara and the whole Capaldi team for making our stay so memorable.

10/10,

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