Although the high-season crowds in Marrakech can be overwhelming, a drive through scenic and unspoiled countryside soon brings you to abandoned kasbahs (citadels) and crumbling mud-walled ksour (fortified villages; “ksar” is the singular) undiscovered by tourists. In the course of a week, we moved from Marrakech to the alpine grandeur of the High Atlas Mountains, continued to a palm-filled valley and concluded our trip in the sand sea of the Sahara. The journey through ever-changing landscapes had an epic, cinematic sweep to it.
From Marrakech, our driver took us south across the Kik Plateau to the Asni valley, cutting through the foothills of the mountains. Around a bend in the road, we saw the distant crenellations of a castle: Kasbah Tamadot. On arrival, we passed through a garden courtyard to reception, where we were given cool, scented towels. Instead of checking in, however, we were taken to a patio overlooking a swimming pool backed by a line of cypress trees and Atlas peaks. There we reclined in armchairs, sipping welcome flutes of Moroccan sparkling wine. I had the feeling that our stay at Kasbah Tamadot would be all too short.
This feeling was confirmed when we entered our Deluxe Suite, which had a strong sense of place. Pea-green walls, terra-cotta floors and a fuchsia velvet seating group were augmented by repurposed architectural elements, such as carved-wood arches with muqarnas (honeycomb coffers), doors inlaid with mother-of-pearl and a hand-painted geometric ceiling over the rose petal-topped king bed. The tub and separate shower were backed by red-and-white zellij tiles. The loungers on our patio afforded views of mountains, the valley and the attractive village of Tansrat.