19 independent reviews for Atlas Mountains accommodation nr Imlil, Morocco

Reviews for Atlas Mountains accommodation nr Imlil, Morocco

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review 25 Nov 2013

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The arrival at Douar Samra in the evening to discover our candle lit room was magical.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Don't leave it too late for November bookings if you want to enjoy autumn colours in the Atlas. We were just in time but probably late October/early November is best. Don't forget sun tan cream! We saw a lot of very red faces in the evenings.... Enjoy the price negotiations with taxis in Marrakesh!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Benefited local people as employment yes. Part of the amount paid to the guide in the Atlas goes to make walking in the mountains safer.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent. Both Douar Samra and Riad Samsara are wonderful places to stay. We were looked after and the food deserves a special mention. Both the Atlas and Marrakesh are great places to visit/discover.

review 25 Jul 2013

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Trekking in the atlas mountains.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Do fuel the local economy using mules , they seem very willing to take the strain, do not confuse the local peoples friendliness for hassle, they are mostly just really friendly, do stay at douar samra – it’s fab.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

It did seem to fuel the local economy in a small, gentle direct way. But due to budget flights the local area is now full of new hotels going up and a new road; the area is ripe to be spoiled. The local people seem delighted with the opportunities.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

We had the most wonderful time at douar samra, and the trekking was awesome. The hotel food is grown on site and cooked deliciously! The water is heated by burning waste, very efficient; the night time lit by candles only is peaceful. Do go; it’s amazing.

review 6 Jun 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Sitting on the rooftop listening to Berber life.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Stay a few days and walk through villages, up mountains and relax.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, the house was beautifully designed in a local Berber village. It was very sympathetic to the environment with the extra special touches for the overseas traveller.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

10/10.

review 8 Jan 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The colour of Morroco, the kindness of it's people but also their desperation.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be prepared for Marrakech.....go with an open mind if you have never traveled there before. Do not miss the High Atlas for a day trip!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Definitely benefited local people. Both the Riad and Douar employed locals and used local resources. I think they could still make use of further renewable energy as opposed to relying on gas. Guests were well informed to not over use water and block drains with toilet roll! Very positive but could be pushed further.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent. Douar Samra exceeded my expectations and I will definitely be returning. Riad Sabah had a pleasant relaxed atmosphere, with friendly employees and a lovely terrace and eating area.

review 20 Sep 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The candlelit house at night! Wonderfully mediaeval. All the lovely and peaceful places to sit and admire the view.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be prepared for no electricity! (actually I think we could have recharged stuff had we needed to). Take a jumper - it got a little chilly at night and even some afternoons. Be prepared to socialise with other guests! Being terribly English and eating dinner in your own little corner is not allowed! But we actually enjoyed this once we got over our reserve.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Definitely. All staff are local and we were encouraged to use local services. Minimum use of water was encouraged, and of course energy use vastly reduced by not having electricity in most of the house.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Fantastic. Many thanks to Rachida, Mohammed and Jacqueline for a wonderful and relaxing stay.

review 12 Jun 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The lovely welcome on arrival with a mint tea in front of the Atlas Mountains. My beautiful room and not forgetting the amazing cooking.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Make sure you take cash with you as difficult to get once you are there.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes. It gave employment to locals who were treated well and were clearly very fond of Jacqueline.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Incredible time it was the most beautiful place.

review 21 Mar 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Getting away somewhere quiet and doing lots of walking and reading. The mountains were fantastic. I went for a retreat and this was one.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Don't forget the suncream - the mountain sun can be deceptive! (And cream the back of your hands - everyone I met missed that trick). You do need a guide for at least some of the walks because the mule tracks aren't always obvious and the maps aren't detailed enough to help. They can be booked at the guesthouse though - so see how you feel when you get there. Definitely have two or three days up here. I felt sorry for the day trippers to Imlil from Marrakech who were missing out on so much because of time and tour constraints.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes....

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent. Struggling to rate this between four and five stars...I felt "reborn" yesterday. A Ryanair flight and hundreds of emails in my inbox mean I feel more like four stars this morning. Really good trip.

review 3 Jul 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Jacqueline’s house is the perfect place to stay and made our trip to the Atlas mountains a very special one. We loved being able to sit on the roof terrace and enjoy the wonderful views in the daytime and the amazing stars at night.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

If you book to come here then you can also go and stay in Marrakech, which makes a great twin break holiday. Make sure you go to Marrakech first and then come and relax in the peaceful mountains!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, the house was built by locals and now employs a number of people from the village. Delicious food is prepared using local produce, some of which is grown in the garden.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

We loved our holiday and would like to come back and visit the Atlas mountains again one day as its a beautiful place which has yet to be spoilt by too many tourists. The accommodation, food and Jacqueline's hospitality were great and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to a friend.

review 9 Apr 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The setting of the kasbah in the Atlas Mountains, and the incredibly elegant Riad in Marrakech.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

If you want a bit of variety, the two together (kasbah and riad) make a great combination. The kasbah is not for those with mobility difficulties, though, due to the location and the structure.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes! I'm really impressed with how Jacqueline has restored these properties so sympathetically, and local people were absolutely in charge. The relationship with the Berber villagers was clearly one of mutual trust and benefit.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

It was great.

review 24 Mar 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The views in the Atlas Mountains were absolutely spectacular and the kasbah fitted perfectly into the Berber village and we were privileged to be able to have an insight into their daily lives. We then travelled to Marrakech and the riad provided a beautiful quiet haven away from the hustle and bustle which is part of daily life in this city. Jacqueline and her staff made us feel at home at all times

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

If you are travelling to the Atlas Mountains be prepared to go on very long hikes up to 20 kilometres at high altitude. You don't have to hike but it is very much the expectation. In Marrakech you need a very good sense of direction or GPS as the maps do not truly represent the intricacies of the city

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Jacqueline employs local staff and the local villagers cannot speak highly enough of her. I believe both in the Atlas Mountains and in Marrakech the impact is as minimal as possible.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

The holiday was a fantastic experience. All the staff in both the Atlas Mountain kasbah and riad were so welcoming and made us feel at home. Jacqueline is very warm and treats you as family. The food was of a very high standard. Accommodation in the mountains is basic as you would expect but homely. The riad is beautiful. The other guests were all lovely and we shared some great tales and experiences over dinner.

review 3 Aug 2009

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

A great location immersed in local culture. Friendly, helpful staff who strive to provide an authentic & memorable experience. Dinner on the balcony (under the stars) with other guests was a pleasurable experience. Authentic Moroccan food - delicious.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take good walking boots

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

The accommodation tried to minimise impacts on the environment through self sufficiency, use of local products & labour. Management is trying to breakdown barriers to make the village more sustainable in terms of water use and waste minimisation as well as trying to enhance the life of villagers through a variety of projects.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Wonderful. Not the typical tourist visit. This destination enabled us to appreciate the traditions of the Berbers as well as village life. The setting was idyllic and very conducive to relaxation.

review 10 Jan 2009

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

We stayed a Riad in Marrakesh and this Kasbah in Imlil. After traveling through Africa 3 years ago, I never thought I would find something so similar such a short distance from London. Marrakesh has all the crazyness you would expect from a big city but with an amazing culture and feel that you won't find anywhere in Europe. Imlil was absolutely breathtaking, everywhere you looked was stunning, the accommodation, scenery, mountains, people were all incredible. We arrived on a very cold afternoon, by evening snow was falling and by morning there was 4 inches of snow! The accommodation and staff at both locations were fantastic, beautifully decorated and the most amazing food.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Enjoy the bartering process which is common practice in Morocco, work out the fair price you are happy to pay and work to that, there is no point in trying to get something for nothing. We are lucky to have the luxury of being able to travel to places like this.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Absolutely, in both locations the staff, food and decor was local. Any additional excursions were all provided by locals. If you can fit any old clothes in your luggage, take it for the people in the Imlil village. We managed to take 2 big bags full and they were very much appreciated. Every part of our trip felt like you were immersed and contributing to the local community.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

110%, we will definitely be trying to return in the summer, hopefully for a little longer. Overall a great experience.

review 26 Nov 2009

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

After a long walk each day, coming back home for a beer on the sunny terrace, to relax on the loungers and look at the awe-inspiring mountain scenery. I loved the family atmosphere of the accommodation and the pets (2 dogs and 3 cats) that gave the place so much character. The bedrooms and the eating areas were very beautifully decorated in traditional style, and incredibly cosy.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Don't think twice about staying here! This is the best off the beaten track B&B that we have ever stayed in. We stayed in November, and I would advise to pack warm clothes for the evening time. It's a great time of year to visit as not many other guests are staying. During the daytime the sky is blue and the sun is shining - take your suncream! The meals tend to be communal affairs so if you don't like making conversation with people you don't know, make sure that you book at a quiet time of year, like November. Feel free to ask Mohammed to light the fire in your room - they staff are very accommodating.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

It was clear that local people were hired for much of the jobs, which was lovely to see. The walking guides were obviously not trained guides - they were just local men who knew the area, with limited but functional English. I certainly saw much more with my guide than I would have done alone. The walking trails are not clearly marked so do hire a local guide if you can. The picnics provided by the Kasbah were wonderful, as were the absolutely delicious 3 course evening meals.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

We only stayed 2 nights and we wish we could have stayed longer. We met two ladies who had stayed a week and it was clear that they were also very sad to leave. It is really a home from home - this was a fantastic holiday!

review 3 Oct 2009

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Riad Samsara is delightful - the door opens on to a haven of tranquillity, in complete contrast with the noise and bustle of the city. A delicious vegetarian dinner was specially prepared for us, and served under the stars in the patio on a table strewn with rose petals. At Douar Samra, we were made very welcome by Mohammed, Rachida and the other staff, and the comfortable house with tea in the pretty garden and cosy dinner by candlelight was wonderful to come back to after walking in the mountains. Rachida is a wonderful cook - the vegetarian food she prepared for us was really special - the envy of the meat-eating guests. We loved walking in the Atlas Mountains and regretted the fact that we didn't allow time to have a go at reaching the Toubkal summit. Maybe that's something for the future, Inshallah!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

In Douar Samra, some rooms have no electricity so a torch is useful to find you way to the candles. Be careful about taking photographs. We took one of the view from our room, and people on a roof below were clearly offended as they thought we were photographing them. On another occasion, dirhams were demanded because we took a picture of a mule. Earplugs might be useful if you're a light sleeper and don't want to be woken by the call to prayer at 4.30 a.m.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

When we were out walking, many local people asked where we were staying and we soon learned that we just needed to say 'Chez Jacqueline' to find that she is very well known and enormously respected in the Imlil community. Everybody said how lucky we were to be staying in her house, and how much she cares about the Berber people. Employment is provided for local people; vegetables come from the Douar's garden; care is taken about water consumption; waste is disposed of responsibly.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

On a negative note, there was an enormous amount of rubbish in the riverbed between our hotel and Imlil. It was as bad as we've seen anywhere, and we were shocked to find a place of such beauty littered with plastic bags, bottles, broken glass, disposable nappies, etc. But overall the holiday was excellent - the Imlil area is a great place for walking, with or without a guide, if you feel energetic. If you don't, you can just watch the Berbers go about their business, harvesting apples and walnuts, doing the washing in mountain streams, driving their mules. Morocco is so close to home, but a different world.

review 14 Jul 2009

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Very good day walks with an excellent guide (Hassan) arranged by the riad. Other main highlight was the very friendly and welcoming management and staff, and amazing evening meals by candlelight.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

As there are no cash machines in the local town - ensure you bring enough with you - euros or dirhams are both accepted. Also, a small torch is a good idea (looking for matches to light candles in the middle of the night is a distinct challenge!)

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Always difficult to know - but it undoubtedly provides employment, which is good. Of much greater threat to the way of life is the current building of a car road for skiers - and the introduction of electricity in the last three years resulting in the ubiquitous satellite dishes (but who is an outsider to judge?)

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Really excellent - hope to return soon. Not life changing but certainly life enhancing.

review 15 Mar 2009

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The warm welcome and hospitality at both the kasbah in the Mountains and the riad in Marrakech was truly memorable! We absolutely LOVED both accommodations and would definitely recommend a stay in either. The kasbah was a quiet retreat and a great start to our holiday with easy to find routes for walking both in the mountains and in the valley for those who don't want a guide. The food was outstanding - Rashida, the cook dished up steaming hot tagines each night and Mohammed the house-keeper kept us warm with roaring fires. In Marrakech the accommodation is a beautiful riad within easy walking distance of most of the city's sights. The cool courtyard and sunny terrace provide cosy corners to relax in after the hustle & bustle in the streets of Marrakech.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Go to the mountains first to relax, do some walking and have some early nights as there is little to do but sit by the fire, read and play games once the sun sets.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

The mountain accommodation was restored and expanded using only traditional methods and materials, working with the villagers to recreate a typical berber house.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

FIVE STAR all the way! From the location to the food, the rooms, the service, we loved every second of this holiday! It suited us both to have the simplicity of the mountain accommodation and the luxury of the Riad in Marrakech.

review 14 Jan 2009

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The mountains and the kasbah are stunning. We did a wonderful circular walk with two other couples that we met at the accommodation, led by the excellent guide Hassan. We also walked without a guide on the toubkal route to the shrine. Food, people and atmosphere at the kasbah are superb. Its fun to share the living salon with fellow travellers, eating and chatting by candlelight - and then retreat to find the real fire in your room has been lit.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Do walk, do get a guide for at least one day. Some rooms have electricity, many don’t - so take your head torch! Arrival at the accommodation, with the last part up a river bed with your bags on a mule, may put some people off - but its well worth the effort. Think about taking pens to give to local school master.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Very definitely.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Marvellous.

review 29 Dec 2008

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Trekking up to the lodge off the road and with our bags on the mule, discovering our room was lit only by candlelight and by the fire.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Bring a good book, be prepared to walk a bit if you want to get to the local village shops.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes - the Kasbah is clearly built into the local community and with traditional methods. Power consumption is minimal, and the proprietor is a visibly important person in the local community.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

One of the most romantic places you could stay. There are lots of places to stay in the Atlas mountains, and this must be one of the best.

review 31 Oct 2008

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Arriving at Samra after the walk from Imlil. Spending the evening eating and drinking in the candlelight and then laying in bed with the log fire burning in the room. The morning spent walking in the mountains. The light was so clear and the scenery amazing.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take warm clothing in October. Our second morning we woke to snow just above us.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes in the main. The food we ate was produced locally and delicious. Not sure about the amount of firewood we used to keep us warm.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Just magic!

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