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“Berber Village Idyll” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Chez Max

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Chez Max
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Douar Tagadert | km 24 Route d'Amizmiz, Marrakech 40.000, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #709 of 1,046 Marrakech B&B and Inns
Norwich, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Berber Village Idyll”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2013

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.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Lymington, England, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2012

After having trawled the internet for a last minute holiday for myself and my three children I was convinced that I wouldn't find what I was looking for. I wanted somewhere interesting, I didn't want noise or hassle or hoards of people but I did want to have the option of excursions that would engage me and my three teenagers. I found all of this but I am a little reluctant to tell you because I'd really rather keep it all a secret. I realise however, that this is a bit selfish so I've decided to come clean...
If you're looking for somewhere off the beaten track that appeals to your sense of adventure...and yet feels safe enough and comfortable enough for your children and your parents...I think you've found it! Chez Max is an ideal location for two families or for a group of friends to relax, eat well, keep cool in the pools and to stroll around the village. When you want to explore it's easy to arrange to get into Marrakech or to venture further out into the Atlas Mountains.
The photos show you what a beautiful place it is but you don't get a real sense of the layout. It's built on many levels which really gives it a magical feel. There are also different 'hideaways' which would allow a large, extended family or groups of friends to spread out and enjoy time together or alone.
We enjoyed our week at Chez Max so much that all of my children (aged 18, 17 and 13) and I are already planning a return visit!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2012

This was my first family holiday in Morocco. I wanted to have a very unique kind of experience, and this guest house was perfect. After spending a few days exploring Marrakech, we headed 25k south to the peaceful Berber village of Tagadert. Chez Max has been hand-made in the traditional Berber style, with a spacious contemporary feel.

The layout is fascinating, and offers a variety of seating areas nestled into nooks and crannies with small gardens and roof terraces where you can take in views of the village, surrounding olive groves, and in the evening watch the sun setting with the distant twinkling lights of Marrakech. The walled gardens are well maintained, and the swimming pool is perfect for a refreshing dip. Our favourite hang out was the cool central courtyard with a large olive tree complete with the light playful chirping of birds.

The rooms are spacious and comfortable. Saida's food was simply devine, and really gave us the feeling of being guests in a friend's home. We found the villagers to be very warm and friendly. One evening we took a stroll while inquisitive young children tagged along, watched over by smiling elders. Another day we explored the idyllic olive groves which was like stepping back into another time, and felt like a garden of eden. We bumped into a farmer, who very kindly invited our four year old to have a ride on his donkey.

Tagadert offers stunning views of the Atlas Mountains (on a clear day), where you can take breathtaking excursions or have a picnic by the nearby lake. We were all very sad to leave Chez Max and the village, and couldn't recommend this charming guest house more!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chez Max

Address: Douar Tagadert | km 24 Route d'Amizmiz, Marrakech 40.000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #709 of 1,046 B&Bs / Inns in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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 

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