Kasbah Du Toubkal: About Kasbah du Toukbal

Located in High Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Kasbah Du Toubkal is a cozy mountain refuge with an unforgettable backdrop.

In 1989, two British brothers were visiting a Berber mountain guide in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains, when they set their sights on a ruined Kasbah perched on a hilltop against the soaring backdrop of the tallest mountain in North Africa. Together with their Moroccan host, they pursued a vision of establishing a Berber retreat on the edge of Toubkal National Park that would make these mountains—and the culture of their inhabitants—accessible to those who wished to explore them.

The lodge they created has evolved into one of the most authentic and treasured destinations in Morocco, a tribute to Berber culture and hospitality that welcomes hikers seeking a cozy mountain refuge, groups in need of an inspiring venue to gather, and travelers who wish to have an exceptional cultural experience in a stunning place. A short drive from Marrakech, the award-winning boutique hotel offers 14 comfortable rooms and three family rooms set among delightful terraces and gardens that offer magnificent views of the Atlas peaks.

Why We Love This Lodge

It took a village to transform those crumbling ruins into the beautiful retreat it is today—indeed, villagers and artisans built the place by hand, carrying local rocks and building materials up the hills on mules’ backs and sometimes their own. Kasbah Du Toubkal was thus fashioned out of the fabric of its community: it is not a hotel in the traditional sense; it is more an extension of the hospitality that stems from the homes of the Berbers who built it and run it. Here, you are their treasured guest more than their clientele, and your experience is an effortless, enjoyable immersion into Berber culture.

From the décor of the common rooms to the welcoming rituals to the way you are seated and served your meals, all speak to the traditions of the area. And everyday life happens all around you. On the terrace, a local woman bakes the bread served for lunch and dinner. From your room or from the hiking trails, you can watch mules laden with goods and led by sure-footed men carefully picking their way up and down the switchbacks. This is a serene and inspirational example of how a simple accommodation can become a living, breathing celebration of culture.

Highlights

  • Sip traditional mint tea on the terrace, looking out at the valley and the sheer slope of Jbel Toubkal.
  • Ride a mule to the Kasbah or into the village.
  • Take a walk with a local guide to get to know the village and the environs of the lodge.
  • Get settled amid cushions and carpets in the restaurant and taste the flavors of the region.
  • Experience the relaxation rituals of a typical Moroccan hammam (steam bath).

National Geographic Exclusive

When you reserve your space through National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, you'll have the opportunity to go on a village walk with one of the Kasbah staff and visit their home for a traditional mint tea.  Your host will share insights on the local culture and discuss community projects such as Education For All, a groundbreaking initative that allows girls from remote mountain villages to continue their education while living away from home.

Lodge Features

  • 14 comfortable room options to accommodate different family arrangements
  • Terraces and balconies overlooking the valley and gardens
  • Moroccan hammam, or steam bath
  • In-house restaurant serving authentic Berber cuisine
  • Conference room for business travelers and special activities
  • Free Wi-fi available intermittently throughout the property

Spotlight on Sustainability

Kasbah Du Toubkal was built in partnership with the local community and remains an integral part of it. Not only does staff and management hail from the surrounding area, they have also established initiatives to support the nearby villages and promote sustainable tourism practices. Through the Association Bassins d’Imlil, funded in part by proceeds from the lodge, the community now has an ambulance, a hammam, and an established trash collection system. Kasbah Du Toubkal has also helped found and fund Education For All, a nonprofit that gives girls from the rural High Atlas region the opportunity to pursue higher education. Learn more here.

The lodge complements its energy source with solar power, filters water from a nearby spring so as to eliminate use of plastic water bottles, and minimizes food waste by giving leftovers to the community and scraps to the village livestock. The Kasbah has also partnered with Mountain Propre, an environmental nonprofit, to establish trash and recycling collection and organize regular cleanups.

Awards and Recognitions

  • Condé Nast Johansens, 2012
  • Mohammed VI Foundation for the Protection of the Environment Green Key, 2012
  • Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Best Accommodation for the Environment, 2004

 

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