Thursday's Child: Kasbah du Toubkal, Morocco

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Photo credit: Alan Keohane

This month, I promised to write about four hotels that are worth the challenge to get there.  Three were so remote that we had to use an alternate means of transport to deliver our luggage.

The Kasbah du Toubkal, in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, is probably my favourite hotel ever. It was rebuilt from ruins by hand, because at the time no electricity was available in the area.  Local materials and traditional building techniques were used in the restoration.  Now it’s managed and staffed by the Berber people of Northern Africa, who are known for their hospitality.  Throughout our stay, service was gracious and attentive.  We loved the rose-scented water that we washed our hands with at mealtime!

Photo credit: Alan Keohane

This isn't a luxury hotel.  Bedrooms are simple and comfortable, allowing the wonderful views to take a starring role. Meals are served in a cozy dining room, and the tagines we ate were delicious and filling.

One of the mules that accompanied us on our trek

The location is exquisite.  We spent two days hiking, and saw some of the most beautiful scenery we’ve ever been blessed to view.  Snowy peaks, green terraced farmland, streams rushing below simple footbridges -- every step along the path was a visual feast. On our first afternoon we crossed paths with a goatherd taking his flock home for the day.   And on our second day, a local villager invited our family and the guide into his home for traditional mint tea. 

Local Berber village

Oh, and our luggage?  The last ascent to the hotel is so steep that vehicles can’t make the trip.  We walked up from the village on switchback paths while a couple of mules carried our luggage for us.

This is the most lovely, unique and peaceful place I have ever visited.  If I had the chance, I’d go back in a minute.


Photo credit: Alan Keohane






19 comments:

Barbara said...

The Witch of Bloor Street sound like a super book, Beth. Congratulations!

And on to your review of Kasbah du Toubkal: how amazing is that? I loved your photos and stories. One question: how did you ever hear about it? It's a new name to me.

Jess said...

My goodness--those photos and your descriptions are amazing. I need a vacation :) *Sigh*

Beth said...

Thanks, Barbara! It's hard for me to remember how I first read about it, although it was almost certainly online. When I'm planning a trip, I read all I can about a destination, usually in places like tripadvisor, the NYT website and Travel and Leisure. As soon as I saw the photos I was sold!

katerina said...

I've been to Morocco 20 years ago. I went to Atlas mountain, I didn't stay to this hotel. I visited many cities. I enjoyed every minute of that trip. Great photos Beth!

Valerie said...

First of all, I'm so sorry that I missed your previous post when it first went up. Congrats!!

Morocco is right at the top of places I want to visit someday. How exotic and exciting! The pictures make me want to literally pack my bags right this minute.

Julie said...

This looks amazing! What a wonderful trip that must have been.

Congratulations on your book!!

jillbert said...

That looks just fabulous! Morocco has been on my list of places to go to for a while, but I haven't made it here yet.

Rambling Tart said...

Wow!!! I love this so much. :-) I've been dying to go to Morocco since my brother got back from his trip, and now I want to go more than ever. :-) Thank you so much for your kind comment on my photo at Tomatoes on the Vine. :-)

theUngourmet said...

Such a fantastic experience! What a breathtaking place. I can't imagine I'll ever see anything like this in person but I sure can dream as I admire your wonderful photos! :)

Amie said...

I was in that part of Morocco a few years ago, in this area--seeing your pictures brought it all flooding back. Time to increase the efforts to drag my husband in that direction!

Joanne said...

well, now I shall certainly know where to go WHEN I visit Morocco! The scenery looks gorgeous!

Kristen said...

Exquisite is exactly the right word for this setting. Amazing!

Congratulations on your new book, too!

Pam said...

This is a great post and the scenery is amazing. I'm new here and will enjoy looking around your great blog. Thanks for the tour!

Mimi said...

Spectacular location and photos.
Mimi

Deb said...

Fantastic photos Beth - I will definitely keep this place in mind if I ever get to Morocco!

Martha (MM) said...

Gorgeous! That's one of the places on my list that I haven't visited yet,

Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for stopping by :-)

Jencrafted said...

So wonderful that you got to visit Morocco. I've always been curious about the place; sounds so mystical and definitely exotic. Thanks for sharing the photos of Morocco, especially the review on the hotel. I'll have to check back with you for more info. if we decide to go there one day. Merci!

Grapefruit said...

Thank you so much for sharing this - now I know for sure I want to go to Morocco this December - a vacation I have been trying to force my husband into taking! you gave me all the inspiration I needed to push him into making a final decision!

Beth said...

I'm so thrilled that some of you are considering a trip to Morocco. You won't regret it! Feel free to check back with me for more information, and let me know all about it when you get back!

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