Summer escape: 3 nights for the price of 2
Destinations in Morocco
Marrakech gives a very European impression of Morocco. Head just few hours out of the city and you'll find a completely different atmosphere.
For all it has in common with other chilled-out seaside spots around the world – clean air, ocean-view restaurants – this old hippie hang-out is out there on its own as a surfer's paradise with a kasbah.
Mosques, medina, monuments and mountains – you’d be forgiven for thinking that all Fez’s charms begin with ‘m’.
Berber, Arabic and Moorish culture, oriental spices, desert landscapes, glamorous hideaways... all with a French accent.
South of the High Atlas Mountains, this sunkissed stretch of dusty desert is broken up by sand-coloured kasbahs and palm-fringed fortified villages.
Hide away within the walls of Kasbah Tamadot: you'll spend your days wandering its peaceful courtyards and intriguing stairways, exploring its glorious grounds and taking it its heavenly High Atlas views. Our top pick of the compound's deluxe suites is the antique-packed Aman Room, with its roomy terrace and private pool…
Built into the medina walls, Heure Bleue hotel is an oasis of luxe in laid-back, countercultural Essaouira, the one-time playground of the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley. Dotted with carvings and draped with fabrics, seductive African Room has a spacious king-size bed and black marble ensuite, as well as a fabulous fireplace – ideal for heating up windswept Essaouira nights.
Escape from the bustle of the medina to your marvellous Marrakchi escape, Dar Nanka: it’s a peaceful hideaway with a swimming pool surrounded by palm trees, terracotta plant pots and cast-iron sculptures. Survey the scene from your suite’s private terrace, admire the decadent decor (the villa is awash with the owners’ myriad antiques) or just retire to your four-poster bed.
This awe-inspiring, 19th-century confection of a hotel was created by a Parisian party planner, and a chic sense of occasion carries through every hidden herb garden, secret candlelit terrace and spacious Superior Suite: each room is swathed in silks and packed with antique treasures, and the Atlas Mountain views are amazing. The most romantic touch, though, might be what isn’t there: each suite is TV- and telephone-free.
When the mercury soars in the Moroccan summer, this is the coolest place to be. Plunge into the pool in your private garden or splash in your outdoor shower… then lie back on your king-size bed surrounded by spectacular marble pillars. This feng shui-influenced edge-of-Palmeraie palace has sumptuous spa and five-star service, and the sprawling Balinese-style grounds are are almost as gorgeous as the fashionable clientele.
From gentle exertions like cycling between the vineyards around Hôtel Crillon le Brave, to brow-dampening hikes in the Atlas Mountains near Kasbah du Toubkal, we know activity-packed places to appeal to every type of adventurer. Thrill seekers might consider the Alps: bathed in summer sun, they're a playground for hikers, climbers, mountain bikers and white-water rafters. Alpaga makes for a tranquil base to rest up afterwards. Those of a more leisurely persuasion might prefer to mount a steed and see the White Isle's wilder side on horseback – rustic retreat Can Curreu in Ibiza has its own stables. And if Sweden's big-kid-thrilling Treehotel can't make you fall in love with the outdoors, nothing can.