I am an experienced traveller and have spent the last 20 years roaming the globe and staying in hotels, many of which have been in Arabic countries, so I do not say this lightly; The Kasbah Agounsane has been the finest staffed hotel, with one of the most comfortable living quarters, I have ever stayed in. Firstly the hotel itself is a magnificent piece of architecture, in a modernist 'Kasbah' (Castle) style, which is like a palace inside. It feels like a stately home due to its modest size, rather than a large commercial enterprise as many 5 star hotels feel. The restaurant, bar and lounge area are in a large common space with roaring open fires and soft, traditional music quietly playing to give an ambiance of calm. It is tastefully decorated with local art and some indigenous ornaments, some of which I suspect to be antiques, adding to a welcoming, at home feel to the place. The rooms are similarly decorated, with comfortable beds, roaring fires and a first class bathroom area which has the best shower facility I have ever used at home or abroad. The housekeepers diligently keep the rooms and social areas spotlessly clean. The gardens are young, but even in the year or so that the hotel has been established, they are flourishing and enjoyable to walk around. There are some domestic animals; a donkey called Nana, some chickens and a rooster and some guinea fowl. There is also a lovely puppy, very well behaved, called max, and we fell in love with him. This is all in a large privately walled complex giving security and seclusion, near the top of a hill overlooking the Atlas Mountains and foothills and, in the distance, Marrakesh and the suburban towns and villages. We walked in the garden in the sunshine, and the quiet would only be punctuated by the soft sounds of the poetry and prayer from the distant mosques. The swimming pool area was beautifully presented and clean. I used the pool once, which was lovely if a bit cold due to the time of year we were staying. We did not use the spa facilities but looking around them, they were again clean and well presented in the Kasbah style. The staff were excellent, some of whom we ended our stay knowing by name. The Manager, Kamal, was a professional who managed a happy team of staff. His standards were high and his team always achieved them. They were all friendly and very much felt to us like a family, who welcomed us as members, whilst maintaining the highest standards of formality and respect. The housekeepers were excellent, they cleaned the room and changed the bedding when we wanted, laying out fresh flowers in the room each day. Although there was an easy to use safe in the room, we left personal items out without fear as they are very trustworthy and honest, at one point they sought us out to return to us some personal items we had left loafing. The two chefs were amazing at their trade. The menu was a limited a la carte, but changed week to week. The chefs however would make things if you requested them that were off the menu. We rarely did that as the standard of the food and the choice available was more than sufficient. The 2 chefs were highly motived and often came to ensure we were satisfied with their work. The restaurant and bar staff were again respectful and friendly and spoke very good English, which in Morocco is not an essential language to learn. Hassan and his colleagues were of the highest quality. We met the gardener a few times and he was respectful, friendly and informative about his work and allowed us to feed and interact with the animals, whilst ensuring our, and the animal's, safety at all times. At the gatehouse in the wall of the Kasbah was a security guard, who was friendly and we witnessed him doing his job when he politely dealt with our airport driver, who had turned up expectantly early. The feeling of safety in this rural area unfamiliar to us can be attributed to him. Then there was Abduletif, the hotel driver, who we also saw carrying out other tasks too. He drove like a chauffeur driving a Rolls Royce Corniche. In a city like Marrakesh, where the rules of the road are merely a seldom used guide by its motorist, Abduletif took us through the sometimes chaotic Marrakeshi' roads and it felt like we could have been being driven through the quiet Wiltshire countryside. He spoke a little English, but with his little knowledge of English and my even smaller knowledge of French, and some gesticulation we got to know him quite well. He took us to Marrakesh several times and was always there to meet us at the appointed time, which was sometimes quite late in the evening. He took us into the mountains too, guiding us through the countryside to the best scenery and also helped us interact with the local market stall holders, making sure we got the best price and also stopped us being pestered too much. We really liked him, and he was an excellent driver, guide and friendly face in a foreign land. Kamal, the manager, is the man who co-ordinates his staff to deliver this great service. He helped us organise our excursions, at a really reasonable price compared to the online or professional companies based in Marrakesh offering excursions, with the advantage that we were the only people in our excursion group. He, at our invitation, engaged in much conversation with us and we learnt so much about Moroccan culture, history and how thing work there. His insights and advice were always very useful. We were lucky enough that he took us to a Berber village nearby and we had some tea and bread with a Berber family. On this trip he took us personally and showed us around and we were able to see what a charitable and good man Kamal is on a personal level. He helps the local communities and individuals, putting his own money in and encouraging children to go to school, whilst helping community projects in the Berber village. One project he showed us was the extension for a Mosque which will house new technologies to educate and help women and children of the community. He is a truly moral and good person, who we felt humbled to spend time with. All this really added up to a wonderful experience, and the Kasbah Agounsane is a wonderful place to be, even over Christmas. Most people I think use it as a small stop between traveling around Morocco, where we used it as our base for 11 days. Marrakesh is only 30-40 minutes away and is no trouble to get to. We filled our time using the Kasbah Agounsane as our base and we would do the same next time on a trip to Marrakesh. One piece of advice to anyone going; do not use an airport transfer company (definitely not resort hoppa) to take you from the airport to the hotel. Resort Hoppa told me that there needed to be a 4x4 to get to the hotel, citing that the road leaning up to it was all off-road. This was incorrect, the road is unfinished yes, but it is merely a gravel track and was navigated by 50cc scooters, so a 2 wheel drive car, as used by the hotel, is sufficient to navigate the road. Phone Kamal direct at the hotel, I am sure he will be able to organise a car for you, at a reasonable price, as he was able to do so much more for us. Thank you Kamal and thanks to your staff for a wonderful stay at a wonderful hotel, we have been back 2 days now, but our hearts are still with you there in the mountains...
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome In the heart of the Berber culture, 30 minutes from Marrakech, stands the Kasbah Agounsane when myth meets the new. This charming, elegant style and the many personalized services will reveal its magic. Customers reviews Come with me to share this wonderful place and is delighted that the Kasbah Agounsane! A place that can not be ignored as it unforgettable and spellbinding. The Kasbah Agounsane provided an excellent location and contrast to the bustle of Marrakesh only 40 minutes away. ... more less
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