Dar Ahlam - Skoura, Morocco
About this Chic Retreat
"Dar Ahlam means 'House of Dreams' and even before entering the lantern-lit courtyard guests will swoon at the sight of this extravagantly renovated 19th-century kasbah." Condé Nast Traveller, The Hot List 2003. On the Saharan side of the Atlas Range, near Ouarzazate (about four hours from Marrakech), this super-deluxe Kasbah has been reconstructed to approximate the 19th-century original. Artefacts from Bali and India contrast with the medievalesque four-turret exterior. Architects Hervé Morand and Adam Glazewski created a maze of passages opening unexpectedly onto terraces overlooking snowcapped mountains and the surrounding 4,500-acre palmeraie. Guests can soak up the view from the heated swimming pool in the landscaped gardens.
The restored mud-brick fortress has 9 suites and 3 two-room cottages decorated by a team of Parisian designers. Each one is painted a different color; amethyst, brick-red, and marigold, for example. The interior blends contemporary and antique Moroccan, and French, Italian, and Balinese influences can be seen throughout. All the suites have air conditioning, fireplaces and wonderfully spacious bathrooms. There is no television or telephone in the rooms but there is a good mobile phone network for those who are unable to escape from modern technology! The house can be rented in its entirety, and it can comfortably accommodate 16 guests.
A Parisian landscape architect was in charge of the gardens where you'll find a heated, T-shaped stone pool surrounded by date palms and olive trees, outdoor massage tents and a mosaic Jacuzzi and hammam. Thai massages, cookery classes Moroccan gommage (a clay scrub), and excursions via horse, camel, mule, hot-air balloon are all part of the anything-can-be-arranged philosophy.
Dar Ahlam's guide, Abde Samad, knows every secret of the region's kasbah trail and offers sunrise Champagne picnics to the Valley of Roses and and air-conditioned four-wheel drive desert outings for stargazers.
The menu was devised by creative chef Fréderick Grasser-Hermé and pastry guru Pierre Hermé, whose rose macaroons are heavenly. Every meal is served in a different setting - on the terrace overlooking the mountains, alfresco in the garden, by the pool with the table positioned to catch the glimmer of a full moon.
All inclusive rates at Dar Ahlam include transfers from and to Ouarzazate Airport by 4x4 with driver, all meals, snacks and beverages (soft drinks, wines and alcohol) except French wines and champagne, hammam, traditional bath, heated swimming-pool, exclusive excursions by 4x4 with guide and driver, cCamel-back riding, cookery class and special gala dinners. Bed and breakfast rates are available for one night stays only and excluding over the Christmas and New Year's Eve holiday. Extra guests can be accommodated at EUR 350 each per night with a maximum of 2 guests. Guests can also camp for a night at EUR 1650 for a 2 person tent including 4x4 with driver (guide will cost an extra EUR 100) and all meals, snacks and beverages except French wines and champagne. Transfers from Marrakech to Ouarzazate by 4x4 with driver are EUR 250 one way. A private plane or helicopter transfer can be arranged on request.
* Rates in EUR
- Neareast Airport: Ouarzazate or Marrakech.
- Distance from Airport: 45 minutes or 5 hours.
- Credit Cards: No credit cards accepted.
Hide & Chic Retreats
Good for:an experience of a lifetime in a 19th-century kasbah
Facilites:air conditioning, gardens, hammam/steam room, swimming pool, spa treatment room, child friendly
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