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Kasbah Du Toubkal

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Sometimes, compromise is a good thing. In the case of 'Berbers versus Europeans' over a hilltop fortress in Morroco's Atlas Mountains, compromise turned out to be a very good thing.

Out of this great debate came the tranformation of a Feudal Caid's abode into North Africa's most impressive hotel: Kasbah du Toubkal.

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Nestled amongst the snow-capped peaks of eastern Morroco, the expansive Kasbah sits 60 kilometers from Marrakech and in the midst of the Toubkal National Park, a protected land that has been home to the Berbers for centuries. The two feuding groups ultimately decided this area should be made accessible to all who want to enjoy it. They bast way to do this?  Rennovating the uninhabited mountain retreat.

Every room has spectacular views of the valley, the surrounding walnut trees and terraced fields. From the rooftop deck, it's as though you can reach out and touch the peak of Jbel Toubkal, the tallest in the Atlas Mountains. Sculpted, coloful gardens, extended balconies and traditional Morrocan décor are all part of the experience.

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There is no motorized traffic here; the only sounds that ring through the halls are those of the Ourika River rushing over rocks and the distant call to prayer in the native Tamazight tongue from the local mosque. The hospitality of the Berbers who run it make sure the hotel remains a remote refuge, a place of meditation and conversion with nature.

The Kasbah sees many adventurous trekkers come through its doors, so its three-bedroom Toubkal Lodge has recently opened on the outskirts of Aït Aïssa, a traditional Berber village in the remote neighboring valley.

JW

Images Courtesy © Kasbah du Toubkal

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