To be honest, we planned our trip to Morocco around the availability at Kasbah Tamadot. One of our Kenya Safari trip photos had won us a stay at Sir Richard Branson’s Kasbah Tamadot! How could we miss out on an invite to stay at a fabulous property which is considered one of the top resorts in Africa?! And is nestled in the foothills of Atlas Mountains! I was beyond excited as our plane landed on that late evening in December as the sun was setting and basking the red city in a golden glow.
Abdul was waiting with a sign outside the baggage claim at the Menara airport in Marrakesh. He loaded our bags in the car and we made our way out of the city and into the mountains. Tamadot translates to “Soft Breeze” in Berber he mentioned as he filled us in on little details of the property as we made our 45 minute drive leaving behind the chaos and lights of the city. We later found out that Abdul is one who drives Sir Richard Branson when he is visiting the property.
It was dark when we reached the big doors of the Kasbah. We checked in at the front desk, which was more like someone welcoming to their home rather than a hotel check-in. The staff offered to take us on a tour around the property next morning – there were many beautiful spaces, nook and corners and terrace to be discovered. We passed the twinkling lanterns in the courtyard to get to our rooms.
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Rooms at Kasbah Tamadot
We woke up next morning to the sight of snow-capped mountains, lushly landscaped grounds, a stunning sunken pool and a few clay houses hugging the hills in the distance. I didn’t know Morocco looked like this, and was struck by beautiful it was in the winter months.
The rooms were cozy with a carved ceiling and wooden beds that looked inviting after a long day of travel. We resisted the urge to snack on the fruits, cookies and dates left for us and freshened up quickly for dinner. Just like the Virgin Limited Edition Mont Rochelle property we had stayed during our trip to South Africa, all the items in the mini-bar were complimentary.
The 28 guestrooms are beautifully decorated after all the kasbah was previously the home of an international antique dealer, Luciano Tempo. Rooms were elegantly outfitted with pieces from his extensive collection. We were in rooms Tazart, which means Fig Tree owing to the big Fig tree in front of it and the kids were in the Jadid room next to us.
The bathrooms were well-appointed and spacious with a bathtub, shower along with headily scented Le Sens de Marrakech products. We brought home the Kasbah ducky 😉 I have 2 Virgin Limited Edition duckies now on the way to starting a collection!
During certain periods every year, Kasbah Tamadot becomes family-friendly, the dates vary annually though. During these times, under six’s stay free if sharing with an adult and you can request extra beds for 6 to 18 year olds at an additional cost. We opted for 2 rooms since our kids are older.
Garden and Grounds at Kasbah Tamadot
The gardens and grounds were green and lush even in December, there were bougainvilleas, pomegranate and orange trees and Tamadot even has a vegetable garden. There were many corners and courtyards to just sit and linger, it seemed so spacious and spread out. There were a few roses blooming in December, but I bet it is lovely during Spring when it is rose season.
Can you see Master Suite, a “mini Kasbah” that has two floors is where Richard Branson stays when he visits the property?
Apart from the big sunken outdoor pool and kids pool, the hotel also comes with two tennis courts, a full weight room, and a large indoor lap pool. The property has 28 rooms, each individually decorated with beautiful architecture of the building and features antiques from all over the world.
I loved finding all the antique doors featured in the design of the property.
They also have a four-room Asonfou Spa that offers treatments from wraps and facials to massages and hammam treatments. There are also Watsu pools, mudrooms and hot springs to soothe aching muscles.
Meals at the Kasbah
We did half board and ate breakfast and dinner at the Kasbah. There’s not much choice in the mountains unless you visit a Berber family, who may be more than happy to feed you. We went up to the highest restaurant in Africa in the Atlas Mountain one day, other than that we ate all our meals at the resort.
Kanoun restaurant serves sophisticated Moroccan, African and international offerings and has an impressive wine list. You can also choose to be served at the two terraces to choose from – one by the pool and one on the rooftop.
Fresh fruits and Moroccan bread for breakfast. And we had a variety of tajine choices for dinner at the restaurant. They also have a poolside bar and restaurant and a lounge that works on an honor system. The lounge had some of the best views of the mountains and the nearby Asni Valley.
What we loved most at Kasbah Tamadot
Apart from the courtyards, rose petal strew pools, what we loved most was that the majority of the people who work at Kasbah are Berbers from the surrounding villages. We learned that after Sir Richard Branson bought the kasbah and they worked on renovations and training locals to work in the resort. The retreat supports the local communities which include free English lessons, they focus on sustainable development and energy-saving efforts. The Eve Branson Foundation formed by Branson’s mother supports several local craft workshops, which sell their wares in the on-site gift shop. 30 percent of the profits go back to the community.
Just like other properties in the Virgin Limited Edition Collection, Kasbah Tamadot was one of a kind place that gives you a sense of place along with all the creature comforts!
A few more photos from Kasbah Tamadot
Ok I took more than a few photos! IT WAS ALL SO PRETTY! The Berber carpets, the flowers, the orange trees, the sweet smile of the people, the hidden courtyards, the mint tea! The saffron dessert! I miss this place already!!
Activities at the Resort
During the warmer months, they hold frequent open-air cinema nights at the resort where guests sit under the stars under tents pitched on a hillside – which we unfortunately missed. But we did get to sit in the tents for a bit to take in the views.
While they don’t have specific kids programs, the younger ones are welcome certain periods of the year. Kids can visit the hotel’s resident mules (Peppermint, Peanut and Paprika), camels (Pickle and Pumpkin) and donkeys (Pudding, Plum and Peaches) at the Kasbah Tamadot Mule Palace, they can learn to cook traditional Moroccan dishes and even go on treasure hunts.
We enjoyed walking through the gardens, went on a hike in Toubkal National Park and to eat at the highest restaurant in Africa, well we rode the mules halfway. We also to went to check out the market day at Asni. There were also DVDs to watch and board games in the lounge. The kid played table-tennis for a bit.
I loved the pool and fountain sprinkled with rose petals and looked forward to the addictive afternoon Moroccan tea every day.
You can see the Stripes on Stripes Zebra photo here that was selected for the VLETravels Award for 2018 and won us a stay at Kasbah Tamadot, one of the top resorts in Africa. We were hosted by Virgin Limited Edition but we paid for the kids’ room and all meals and activities.
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