Chez Max is a spacious, stunningly beautiful and luxuriously appointed guesthouse in the heart of the charming Berber village of Tagadert in the foothills of the Atlas mountains about 25 km south of Marrakesh.
From the outside it could be just another traditional, red mud-walled Berber house. Inside you step into another world. Designer and owner Max Lawrence has taken the concept of a Moroccan riad and translated it into a bold modern design of light, spacious, high ceilinged rooms and rambling roof terraces clustered around a series of interior courtyards and garden. Traditional Moroccan architectural features and artefacts blend sympathetically with clean, simple modern decor and furnishings.
Each of the five large, impeccably equipped and furnished ensuite guest bedrooms looks out on its own garden or courtyard, allowing visitors space and independence even when all are occupied. There's also a very large and elegant, high ceilinged, split-level shared sitting and dining area, again with plenty of room for visitors to enjoy their own space. There are two, usefully sized, pools heated in winter, all bedrooms are air-conditioned and the free wi-fi extends throughout most of the house.
From the roof terraces we were able to enjoy the daily life of the village going on around us - women tending flocks of sheep, children making their way to school and worshippers to the mosque, games of football on dusty makeshift pitches, men loading their donkeys. Further afield are delightful views over the village's extensive olive groves and the romantic battlements of the Kasbah Oumnass beyond.
But perhaps Chez Max's greatest assets are the impeccably courteous and welcoming live-in household staff presided over by the charming and ever smiling housekeeper/cook Saida. She unfailingly anticipated our every need, was always really with mint tea and delicious little cakes when we returned from an expedition, and conjured up a wonderful range of tasty local dishes whenever we chose to take lunch or dinner at home.
Chez Max makes a splendid and luxurious base for exploring the country around Marrakesh or into the Atlas Mountains, or simply relaxing and soaking up the atmosphere of a Berber village. Thanks at least in part to Max Lawrence’s personal contribution to the life and economy of the village everyone we met on our wanderings greeted us warmly. Simply exploring the village was a delight.
We booked through Max Lawrence's specialist travel company Lawrence of Morocco, who organise tailor-made individual holiday programmes. Their impressive and ever-helpful local team of support staff, drivers and guides ensured a truly memorable and impeccably organised holiday from arrival to departure.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Charming Berber village guest house with 6 lovely bedrooms. Wonderful courtyards and walled gardens with pool and traditional hammam. Delicious Moroccan and European home cooking by Saida who has been with us for over 15 years. Staffed by locals who understand hospitality, kindness and service.This stunning earth village is like travelling back in time. Other than telegraph poles, you could be in Biblical times! Donkeys, olive groves, peaceful days, friendly locals.. Chez Max ... more less