23 independent reviews for Kasbah du Toubkal in the Atlas Mountains

Reviews for Kasbah du Toubkal in the Atlas Mountains

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review 1 Sep 2013

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

The hospitality and friendliness of the staff at Kasbah du Toukbal. The stunning views from the dining room. The amazing lunches high on the mountains and relaxing on a mattress after lunch before continuing the trek. Great guide and a schedule tailored completely to our needs. We were looked after so well.

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

Use the walking sticks as the descents can be steep at times and these make it easier on the knees.

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

Yes I really liked the way the tourism contributed to the community and had provided amenities such as ambulance and refuse collection and also ran a charity to help older girls get a high school education funded

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

Absolutely brilliant

review 16 Apr 2009

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

Trekking in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco.

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

1. Make sure you're prepared and have the appropriate gear. Proper walking boots are a MUST, and walking trousers/clothing layers will help ensure you stay comfortable 2. If you're not used to trekking, or have just bought new gear, make sure you go on at least a couple of practice walks at home before you do the real trek in the Atlas Mountains 3. Don't underestimate the trek -- unless you're a seasoned trekker, you'll probably find it won't be a walk in the park! This means you'll get a real sense of achievement when you make it to the finish! 4. It can get chilly in the evenings, and occasionally can also be foggy/wet -- make sure you pack a light waterproof jacket 5. Take a camera -- there are lots of great photo opportunities! (but before photographing the local people, do respect their privacy and customs -- ask their permission first) 6. Learning just a few basic phrases in Arabic or French will take you far in terms of making a connection with the local people 7. Make sure you have a torch or flashlight -- not all areas are well lit at night 8. Be prepared for basic or non-existent toilet facilities when trekking (lack of 5-star facilities are made up by other aspects of the holiday) 9. Take your own snacks from home that you can eat in between meals while trekking (as you'll be quite remote, there isn't a shop at every corner from which you can buy your favourite snacks!) 10. Don't plan to trek every day of your holiday, you simply won't have the energy! Pace yourself with smaller walks or mini-treks before you do your major trek -- and allow a day or two of more restful/relaxing activities after your major trek to allow your body to recuperate.

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

Yes, plenty of evidence of how tourism has helped the local people in the High Atlas Mountains e.g. schools, roads, employment, etc.

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

Excellent -- would thoroughly recommend it!

review 25 Mar 2009

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

The amazing location of the Kasbah and the friendliness of the people. Also, challenging ourselves (we are in our 60s) to do a couple of really tough treks, it really is worth the effort! And we loved the food and did not miss the alcohol too much, having decided not to take any with us!

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

Go with an open mind, it IS different and there will be some niggles, but try to enjoy it for what it is - a fairly unique and unusual set up... enter into the spirit of the place, and you will take away some great memories.

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

Given that we were paying 250 euros a night for a fairly rustic/basic room, I sincerely hope that our money is going to the right places, but how do we know for sure? Also, the amount of litter on the hillsides and in the villages was a disappointing sight. The wonderful food seemed to be sourced locally and hopefully not much is brought in from outside the area.

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

Very interesting and mostly enjoyable, it felt good not to be mere spectator tourists, but to feel we were contributing to their environment albeit for a short time (3 nights). I would recommend it to certain people, but not everyone! (The students did rather act as if they owned the place and were certainly pretty visible - and noisy at mealtimes and their living quarters are in much too close proximity to the dining room!)

review 2 Nov 2008

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

Arriving at the Kasbah du Toubkal and seeing the wonderful view of the mountains from the Garden Apartment where we were staying.

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

The Kasbah staff were very helpful and we were able to book the garden apartment for 4 people as we didn’t mind having 2 beds in the living area (there is plenty of room) and sharing the en suite facilities. This helps to keep costs down as it is not a cheap option.

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

Yes in terms of the 5% levy on the bill, but it was not made clear what happens to the rubbish or what recycling takes place.

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

Excellent. Suited our needs as the Kasbah is wonderful for staying in and relaxing or going out and trekking. Great to have the Hamman to use for free at the end of the day.

Read the operator's response here:

We are really pleased you enjoyed your stay. The type of work that is carried out in the local community with the 5% levy is detailed on our website and includes the provision of the 4x4 ambulance in Imlil, the rubbish clearance in Imlil, the Hammam for the village in Imlil, we are also involved in helping to provide college education for girls from the atlas mountains. Again thank you for your visit and glad you appreciated the flexibility of our Kasbah and the various services that are included in the price.

review 5 Feb 2008

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

Peaceful setting away from the hectic life of Marrakech. Wonderful views. We did a great days walk with a guide who spoke adequate English.

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

Use all the facilities on offer at the Kasbah - particularly the Hamman.

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

The holiday was not cheap including the treck so 5% of what we spent has to be beneficial. We spent another 300 d in the village buying quality good at prices cheaper than the Marrakech souques where all we did was argue.

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

Top quality - friendly staff that you could trust.

review 19 Feb 2008

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

Wallking in the Atlas mountains with our guide

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

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

The Kasbah definitely benefitted the local community and the hotel had been built using local raw materials

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


review 12 Dec 2007

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

The most memorable moment was sitting on the terrace sipping mint tea and listening to the call to prayer echo through the valley. A close second & third were the view on reaching the mountain pass at the end of our trek and arriving back in our room after diner to find that someone had come to light our candle lamp and leave hot water bottles in our beds.

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

Getting up into the Atlas Mountains was a welcome break from the bustle, hustle & excitement of Marrakech. It's a much quieter pace of life and very beautiful - I would highly recommend a couple of days here. Bring warm clothes for chilly evenings, although they do provide something if you forget. Go trekking. A half day trek up to the mountain pass was very do-able, even though I spend most of my days sitting at a desk. As well as the great views, trekking has the added advantage of working up an appetite before lunch - the portions are very generous! A bus or shared taxi are much cheaper (if perhaps a little less comfortable) than the Kasbah-arranged private cars.

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

Yes; the evidence of their successful projects is displayed on the dining room wall and the booklet in the rooms lets you know how you can help, without being too pushy. The Berber culture is not only respected but enhances your stay. The trekking guide was a local, happy to tell us about the area and the people, and the mountain itself was surprisingly free of rubbish. The Kasbah's kitchen will happily refill bottles and they serve water in jugs (rather than plastic bottles) at diner. Low energy light bulbs are used. Trekking from Kasbah du Toubkal in the Atlas MountainsView from Kasbah du Toubkal in the Atlas MountainsTerrace at Kasbah du Toubkal in the Atlas MountainsLunch at  Kasbah du Toubkal in the Atlas Mountains


review 4 Sep 2007

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

Travelling from London to Marrakech by train and climbing Mount Toubkal

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

Use sunscreen

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

I hope so

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

9/10

review 14 Nov 2006

Du Toubkal is a great place - stunningly beautiful and really friendly, helpful local people working there. It felt more of a welcome into their world than a hotel, which was amazing. Would highly recommend this to anyone wanting to get close to the Atlas mountains.

review 18 Sep 2006

Kasbah

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

By far the most memorable part of our holiday was our time in the Atlas mountains and at the Kasbah du Toubkal - the sheer breathtaking beauty of it, the incredibly customer service and attention to detail, the humbling Berber people and the mountain villages with their simple existence that contrasted our over-complicated lives in London!

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

Tips: Be warm, smiley and respectful of the local people (particularly women and how you dress), go on a trek, take a bottle of wine to have with your meal (only one though), spend time sat on the roof with a good book. Kasbah

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

Yes definitely, although we were shocked to see our guide throwing plastic bottles on the floor up in the mountains. We meanwhile were crushing them and collecting them in our rucksack!

4. Any other comments?

The Kasbah is a very precious place, I hope that it doesn't change/modernise too much.

Read the operator's response here:

Thanks for passing on this feed back and so glad that they enjoyed their trip. I am also horrified to hear about the guide throwing plastic water bottles away when we and clients try and keep the place tidier. Please be assured I have already taken this matter up with the Kasbah and will be doing all we can to make sure we never employ any guides who throw rubbish away. As I know you know the Kasbah and the Village Association try very hard to manage the problem of rubbish in the Imlil area. We have currently done the following: Apart from like yourselves picking up rubbish as far as possible and placing it in the bins provided we have carried out the following: a) Built 2 rubbish incinerators one in Imlil and one in near Achein. b) Placed the bins that you find in Imlil and instigated the emptying of these on a daily basis to be incinerated at the above incinerators. Cleaning Imlil and surrounding area is an ongoing problem and is to a certain extent a matter of education. We express our opinion at every opportunity that the local community disposes of its rubbish appropriately. Before we had the incinerators built there was no way of disposing of it but that is now not the case. I hope you can imagine after our efforts how hugely frustrating it is that we hear that a guide in particular who should know better throws rubbish away. We will continue to persevere, we take every opportunity to bring this issue to the locals attention (it is continually on our agenda when we meet with the local authorities) and hopefully one day we will get there – Inshallah. Thank you for your feedback which we value.

review 14 Jul 2006

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

Climbing Mount Toubkal, but Marrakech was also amazing.

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

Don't underestimate how strenuous the summit/descent day acually is, and if possible find time for some good half day walks before the climb to help acclimatise. Take a guide - they do know the best routes.

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

Yes, the economy of Imlil and the livelihood of many local people is dependent on the hikers.

review 25 Mar 2006

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

Location, peace and full privacy and kindness of the staff. Location of this Berber Hospitality Centre (as they like to call themselves at this fantastic place) - you will never feel like you're in a hotel, you feel you just live there for a week, absolutely nobody disturbs you, it is a place to enjoy peace, nature and you are being treated really well. You may not see the staff but even the smallest detail is cared for. Attention to detail was to the extreme of lighting up candles on the stairs to access your room and inside the room while you were having dinner and having a hot water bottle per person in the bed every night (something most welcomed at that altitude in this time of the year). These sort of treats I have never experienced, not even in 5 star hotels.

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

- definitely go - to enjoy the place you need to be there at least 3 nights - not a place for noisy children (will disturb your own & others peace & quiet) - excellent base for hiking / walking / mule rides - you'll like to go back

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

- I am aware of the ongoing plans; have seen the Imlil Ambulance that exists from direct funding from Kasbah's contributions - environment was clean of rubbish not just inside the Kasbah but in the natural environment and surroundings too - all the care provided to guests requires several jobs which seemed to be all run by locals. - guides are keen to communicate & learn other languages as well as willing to learn more on Natural Sciences (e.g. Geology) to be able to show more to other visitors. - mules seem to be in good status (though I'm not a vet)

4. Any other comments?

- stay at the Kasbah when you feel stressed & you will get back home refreshed - English well spoken by staff & mountain guides - cats abundant (in case you're allergic) however they do not never disturb you (I've stayed in places where cats want your food, these are well-trained) - there is no 'menu' you just eat what everybody else does, so it is a surprise every time; in any case food is really good and at a good price. All clean, even the water (monthly water analysis results on display too).

review 8 Mar 2006

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

Without doubt we shall always remember the view of the snow capped Atlas mountains from the picture windows of the 'Ifri' Apartment Suite at the Kasbah. The suite is also so spacious with a kitchen area and the option of very attentive room service, there would be no need to leave. However, the treks to Mount Toubkal are unmissable and very possible to accomplish with a two year old.

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

Don't be concerned about travelling with very young children. Everyone is very attentive and they are sure to get their hair very tousled!

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

The Kasbah makes a direct contribution to the village, but locals should also benefit from the guests frequenting the souvenir shops and the local cafes and restaurants where prices are somewhat lower than at the Kasbah.

4. Any other comments?

We look forward to booking our next trip through Responsible Travel.

review 13 Nov 2005

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

The whole experience of the Kasbah was great. We were particularly pleased that we managed to trek for a full day - a great sense of achievement. Enjoyed meeting and talking to the other people staying there. The atmosphere was very special. Quite unlike any other I have had on my travels (and I have travelled extensively).

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

Go to the Kasbah - and enjoy! Do not take too much luggage - think of the poor mules!

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

Yes, I did. In return, the local people were lovely.

review 2 Oct 2005

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

The Kasbah - the room was so lovely (Amadin). The views from the terrace were simply stunning. Just being there made you feel peaceful and serene. And at night there were so many stars - sounds like a little thing but it really made you feel like you were far away from the "real world".

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

If you are visiting Marrakech go into the mountains for a night - it is such a calming place - and such a tonic to the hustle and bustle of the city!

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

The Kasbah works hard to minimize the effects on the locals and the environment. You feel like you are a guest not only at the Kasbah but in the mountains - you can't help but respect the area and the people. It is very much a "retreat" type place. Not like a normal hotel - no pool, no bar, no "organized activities" - and thank goodness!!! I just hope it stays that way.

4. Any other comments?

I loved it, and really hope to go back to the Kasbah one day. It's a very special place!

review 5 May 2005

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

Trekking and staying in the Kasbah and the riad in Marrakech.

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

Enjoy yourself and be prepared to feel totally relaxed.

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

Yes, both.

review 22 Nov 2005

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

We only had a very short trip to Morocco but had a chance to appreciate the madness of the medina and contrast this with the beauty and peacefulness of the countryside. Both places we had great accommodation which really made the holiday.

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

We arranged our own taxi to take us from Marrakesh up to the Kasbah which worked out quite a bit cheaper than asking the Kasbah to arrange it. If you get a taxi driver you like, take his mobile number. We used the same driver many times over, he was very reliable and we learnt a lot about the area and traditions from him.

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

The Kasbah makes a real effort to minimise impact and involve the community around. All the staff were really friendly and welcoming.

review 6 Jan 2005

We loved the accommodation, and the fantastic journey to it by mule. We had a HUGE lunch, but unfortunately weren't offered a steam bath, or much time to look around. We were told we had to be back to the driver by 3pm, so it was rather a short 'day trip'! We were expecting to stay at the Kasbah until 4pm. The Kasbah was lovely, so was the scenery and our guide was very friendly, although the shop he took us to (we did tell him we wanted to do shopping) was not a very good experience, we couldn't get out of there without buying something. The driver was excellent, and although I'm a nervous passenger on mountain roads, I had complete confidence in him and didn't feel worried at all. My son loved the mountains, and is keen to come back in the summer with some school friends to climb to the summit.

review 26 Dec 2004

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

I loved it from the madness of Marrakech to the stunning Atlas Mountains to the more relaxing Essaouira...it was a great holiday!

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

Travel light as there is a lot to buy...be prepared for hard bargaining.

3. Any areas for improvement?

Compared to the rest of Morocco the Kasbah was quite expensive to eat there...a little more flexibility on the price would be nice and a little more for veggies.

4. Any other comments?

Its all well worth a trip there and only 4 hours away!

Read the operator's response here:

Concerning the comments "Compared to the rest of Morocco the Kasbah was quite expensive to eat" - it is difficult to know what we are being compared to? We charge 15 Euros for lunch and 20 Euros for evening meals. It is of course possible to eat for much less in Morocco but probably not with the setting the Kasbah has. It is also possible to eat for much more. We endeavour to offer a value for money offering bearing in mind our cost base which may be different from many of the places we are being compared to, without knowing more details of the comparisons it is difficult to give more detail. Certainly we monitor guest feed back and from our questionnaires we find that the vast majority of guests rate the food at the Kasbah as either good or very good and consider we offer value for money. From your clients feed back I understand that the comments were mainly concerning the price of our food, at The Kasbah we never set out to compete on price and have consciously tried not to compete with any of the local café or budget hotels in the village. We consciously set out to set up a sustainable tourist development which means being commercially viable and costing appropriately. Concerning vegetarian meals we offer these but as you know (and we have won awards for this) we are staffed by people from the local community where vegetarianism is almost unheard of and not very well understood. In this respect through training we are continually trying to improve the quality and variety of vegetarian food on offer and this is an on going process and your feedback in this area is valued.

review 2 Sep 2004

The Kasbah was unbelievable. The most beautiful location with the friendliest staff and great food. We also did their trip up mount toubkal which the highest mountain in north Africa and they treated us like kings. Thanks very much, it is a joy to be able to book holidays with an ethical ethos. At the Kasbah we took up the option to pay an extra 10% on the bill with the promise that this money would be redirected to the local village where the people had made us so welcome, so far they have purchased an ambulance for the village and are building a hamam. Splendid stuff.

review 26 Aug 2004

We had a great time at the Kasbah, what a wonderful setting and the people who run the Kasbah could not be more accommodating. We arrived late in the dark, we were met by 'the guardian of the car park' who looked after our hire car and handed us over to a mule boy who loaded our luggage onto his mule and provided us with candle lanterns. We followed him and his mule up the mountain for approx 15 minutes to the Kasbah were our hosts provided washing facilities and had kept dinner for us even though we were over 2 hours late for it; and the setting on the roof under the stars surrounded by mountains and the sounds of a local wedding celebration eating the best food in Morocco. Our hosts were tireless in meeting our needs, the accommodation excellent and the setting awe inspiring. Well done!

review 15 Oct 2003

We visited Morocco in October 2003. It's only a 3.5 hour flight to Marrakesh, but it is a journey to a completely different world. Marrakesh itself is fascinating - a mixture of wonderful souk's, interesting squares, scruffy little back streets, luxurious hotels and wonderful smells. We got lost on several occasions in the back streets behind the main souk, but that was part of the fun. The idea being that once you were lost, you walked in a straight line until you found the Medina city walls, then followed them round until you found something you recognised. After a few days in Marrakesh, we headed off on an organised trip to the Sahara - a 6 hour drive on day 1 through the gorges and stayed over night in the Todra gorge. Quite a stunning back-drop to the hotel with the lush vegetation at the bottom of the gorge and the vertical gorge walls rising from either side of the hotel. The next day was a schlep east to get to the Sahara on time. This was a real highlight. The desert was magical. We boarded our camels - always an amusing experience - but after the initial hilarity we were all stunned into silence by the beauty of the place. Soon we were out in the middle of the dunes and could see nothing else but desert (and camels!). The dunes are enormous. We camped overnight in a Bedouin camp under the stars, ate our traditional Moroccan meal, and sang songs from our countries - the Brits picked the Beatles - and tried to sleep with the background sounds of the snoring camels. The moon was full so it was so bright out there. The journey back to Marakkesh was pretty bad - a 12 hour marathon in a minibus. We were delighted to get out of that bus! We then travelled up to Essaouira which is a very pretty seaside town. A great place to chill out for a few days, walking along the coast, watching the daily catch being brought in, and sampling some refreshingly non-Moroccan cuisine!. Next we went to the Atlas mountains and the superb Kasbah. We arrived in Imlil then took a mule up to the retreat. Our room was just right, with nice touches around and about. The food is just gorgeous - the best we had in Morocco. There are some great walks to do from the Kasbah and the views are magnificent. We climbed Toubkal itself which is a 2 day trek with overnight stay at the refuge. The second day is tough - with a very steep ascent through snow for the last 2 hours. Needless to say - our accompanying mules had a rather heavier load on the way back. Feeling very virtuous we tucked into the hearty dinner on our return to the Kasbah. A beautiful place, to be thoroughly recommended to all who visit Marakkesh - only a 45 minute taxi journey away. Morocco is a great place for a holiday - you can have several holidays within the holiday as there are so many different landscapes and experiences to savour. Worth another trip to explore the North next time.

review 9 Oct 2003

We went independently to the Kasbah in Imlil, Morocco, after finding out about it on your web-site. We'd climbed Toubkal that morning and turned up with only our walking gear, tired and probably a bit smelly! We only had a couple of Dirham left so we were relying on the Kasbah taking credit cards. We'd been there a couple of days earlier to look around and drink tea and were hoping that when we arrived they'd remember us and let us stay. It was the 8th or 9th of October so they weren't too busy. At first they said they couldn't take credit cards, only cash, and they watched as we walked away forlorn. I was nearly in tears at the thought of the taxi drive back to Marrakesh (we'd walked 9 hours - 2 1/2 climbing up and the rest slowly back down hill) and my knees had just about packed in. The only thing that had kept us going was the thought of staying in the Kasbah and using the Hamman. As we got to the gate, they shouted after us that they were only kidding - of course we could stay - money was no issue - we could pay however we liked! We were delighted. We were shown to our room in the tower - everything was cream and white natural fibres or wood. The bathroom was draped in towels and light with natural smelling soaps. The views were fantastic. Staying in the Kasbah was the highlight of our trip to Morocco. Hanging in the wardrobe were our own jalabas which we wore to dinner in the evening after a private steam bath to run away the aches and pains of the climb. Dinner was a communal affair where we got to chat with fellow guests over lamb and date tagine. The only thing I missed was a beer but we were used to that by that stage. I would certainly recommend the place to anyone but particularly those with a love of the mountains and natural living. I couldn't think of a better place to spend a weekend and hope I get the chance to go again sometime soon....

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