I´ve got a new goal in life: to discover all of the National Geographics’ Unique Lodges of the World. Therefore, it came in pretty handy that one of them is just about one hour away from Marrakech: Kasbah Du Toubkal. It is insanely beautifully located on a hilltop against the backdrop of the tallest mountain in North Africa, the Jbel Toubkal. When I arrived I was warmly welcome and shown around the Kasbah until we finally arrived at the room which was reserved for me: the Garden House. Just imagine a spacious two story appartment built on the edge of a hilltop with two terraces overviewing the Jbel Toubkal, the villages of Imlil valley beneath you. It was breathtaking. The Garden House is fully equiped with a kitchen, two terraces, two bedrooms, a fireplace, bathtub and .. well, lets shorten this: everything you could want for. But not only is this a great Hotel for Hikers and Nature Lovers. I also like its history and that nowadays its a Centre which has contributed to the health, wealth and well-being of the people of the villages of the imlil Valley and beyond. I have been told that from the start it has been very important for the owners to take a responsible tourism approach involving the local community throughout the process. Villagers and artisans built the place by hand, and also today it is fully staffed by members of the local Berber population. The list of Awards for this concept is long: Eco Hotels of the World, Responsible Tourism Award, several more sustainibiity awards and the Kasbah is featured in The Sunday Times Travel magazine as one of the 100 best Hotels World Wide.
Well, as you can probably tell: I was amazed by this place. Especially if you are interested in hiking this Kasbah offers several opportunities. Two times a day there are complementary residents walks for free. Unfortunately, as I arrived right when the afternoon walk left and had to leave early the next day I couldn’t participate but I talked to other guests and they loved the experience. But they can also arrange walks with several level of difficulties suited for beginners and more advanced trekkers, including the base camp of Jbel Toubkal. I imagine that it would be great to enjoy the free Hamam of the Kasbah after a long walk.
Regarding the food: unfortunately I forgot to tell them that I would prefer vegan or vegetarian food. In the evening I realized that there is a fixed dinner which would have included lamb in the main dish this evening. Bt when I told them, they instantly arranged a vegetarian dinner. The first course has been a fantastic marrocan lentil soup and was served with freshly baked bread and olives. I honestly wouldn’t even have needed more than that. The dessert even has been vegan: a pickled apple with cinnamon. Delicious!
I stick to the old rule of saving the best for last: this place is packed with cats. They are everywhere in the surrounding gardens, enjoying the view, waiting for you to pet them. Well, some of them didn´t want to be pet by me but I chased them until they had to.