There is a great story behind Kasbah du Toubkal, which sits high above the village of Imlil in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco about sixty kilometres from Marrakech. With Jbel Toubkal, the highest mountain in North Africa forming the backdrop to the hotel it offers not only consummate comfort and the best Moroccan food, but also the kinds of views and fresh air that you simply cannot find elsewhere.
The Story of Kasbah du Toubkal
The reception area is 100m below the hotel, and it is a 15-minute walk with mules carrying the guest’s luggage to the hotel doors. This is part of the journey and adds to the adventure of being somewhere truly unique.
Then, when a guest finds out that every aspect of the hotel, from the construction materials, furniture, decoration and even the food available in the kitchens had to be carried up the same track, it offers a brief glimpse of what work was put into this one-of-a-kind hotel. Not to mention the magnificent and daily efforts by the staff to ensure the guest’s utmost comfort.
The Rooms and Staff
Imlil, and its surrounding valleys, is very secluded, peaceful and utterly separate from city life. At the award-winning hotel there are fourteen comfortable en-suite rooms, three of which can be used as a private self-contained house. In addition, there are three family rooms and the garden and large terraces offer unparalleled views of the surrounding mountains.
Exploring trekking packages are available and these can include the ascent of Mount Toubkal and a stay at the recently opened Berber Trekking Lodge. This has been built in a traditional style and features solar powered underfloor heating and arguably even better views.
The Berber Culture
A stay at the Kasbah is a unique chance to learn about the Berber culture and simple lifestyles of these proud mountain people who have changed little over the centuries. The village of Imlil comprises some five separate settlement areas with a population of just 1,500. Its location is at the end of the main road system, beyond which narrow footpaths and precipitous mule tracks are the only channels of communications with the outside world.
To ensure the Kasbah retains its close links with the local community, Discover Ltd. was instrumental in setting up the Imlil Village Association that is funded by the hotel. Thanks to them they were able to build a hammam which is the region’s first community steam bath and recently assisted in the construction of a school for 80 children in an outlying valley. Over above this it has also been able to instigate a much-needed rubbish disposal system and provide the region’s very first ambulance and driver.
Due to its unique approach to tourism, Kasbah du Toubkal has won numerous travel awards. While it is certainly a stand-alone example of providing the best location and comfort, it was also restored very sympathetically to its original design so that guests often believe it to be a hundred years old. It is mentioned on their site that this is an approach that has been followed in Morocco since His Majesty, King of Morocco set it as a regional standard, ensuring other developments follow but do not sever the connection to the past.
PRICE: Between €175 and €960 depending on room.
CONTACT: 00 212 (0)524 485611