Morocco : Ouarzazate
The town of Ouarzazate was built up by the French in the 1920's, the town itself has very little to offer although there are some small bizarres and good restaurants. It is a very popular base for film crews, utilising the surrounding stunning scenery and the accommodating Moroccan lifestyle. The location of Ouarzazate is its attraction, it acts as a crossroads between the High Atlas Mountains and the desert and has quick accessibility to valleys, canyons, mountain passes and desert areas with scattered palmeries.
The Berbere Palace is the only five star hotel in Ouarzazate itself and many say the only one in southern Morocco, priding themselves on many repeat clients and indeed many film stars. Although it is built in the style of a Kasbah and has retained many Moroccan features it is a large hotel in the centre of town. There are 240 rooms and a number of suites all have en-suite bathrooms, air conditioning and safe boxes. The hotel has a large swimming pool in a large courtyard with a poolside bar for snacks. The food here is excellent both in presentation and quality, the breakfasts are large and serving everything imaginable, altogether there are two bars and three restaurants (one Moroccan, one International and one Italian), food can be served at any time of day.
The hotel offers a number of facilities including on site volleyball, tennis, Health club, jacuzzi, sauna and hammam. They will also organise rounds of golf at the nearby course.
Kasbah El Moro was renovated eight years ago by a Spanish man, who more recently has changed it into a hotel. The Kasbah is built with reinforced mud and has a unique and authentic desert feel to it. Kasbah El Moro is on the outskirts of Skoura, a small town to the east of Ouarzazate surrounded by desert scenery and dense palm groves, looking out towards the High Atlas Mountains you will see the remains of Kasbah Amerhidil which is featured on the 50 Dirham note.
Kasbah El Moro is the perfect choice if you want to stay in a small friendly hotel in this area yet avoid the larger hotels of Ouarzazate (only 35 kilometres away). It is ideal if you wish to spend a few days exploring the Todra Gorge, Dades and Draa Valley and the Atlas Mountains, the hotel will also organise trips to stay with the local Berber people.
There are 16 rooms, 13 of which are en-suite, each one has its own theme and stunning views of the surrounding Moroccan countryside. The staff are professional, helpful and not in the slightest bit pushy and several of them speak good English. There is a restaurant and a roof terrace with breathtaking views of the High Atlas Mountains. A swimming pool has been built recently and there is one restaurant.
Hotel Tomboctou is situated in Tinerhir (about an hour from Ouarzazate), a short distance from the Todra Gorge at the base of the High Atlas Mountains. This hotel will ensure a truly authentic stay, it is set in an old Kasbah and with only 14 rooms you can ensure a personal service. We were very impressed with the staff during our stay here and found their local knowledge and willingness to help, invaluable. All of the en-suite rooms are decorated in a traditional fashion and with ceiling fans and named after an area of Morocco as supposed to numbers.
There is a private swimming pool surrounded by a sun terrace and an excellent traditional restaurant with a local reputation for being one of the best in the area. The reception will help and organise any day trips for you; trip to the Gorges, the Saharan dunes, trekking in the Atlas Mountains, 4x4 driving in the gorges and bicycle trips.