My husband chose Casa Taos as with two children we wanted space to escape to and relax in after sightseeing in Marrakesh. We had no idea what to expect, but were all enchanted by Casa Taos. As others have noted, it's a c. 20 min taxi ride from The Medina, but we enjoyed the services of the same taxi driver, summoned for us by Mohammed, throughout our stay and were able to call him when in the city to arrange pick-ups and transport back to the hotel. The hotel is essentially a walled estate, consisting of several low buildings in typical Moroccan style. The guest rooms are all in the main building, with a colourful communal lounge and a quiet, shady courtyard. There are lots of discreet corners and places to sit and read or just enjoy the peace and the weather. We had two 1st Floor rooms, adjoined by an outdoor veranda with views of the snow-capped Atlas mountains. The rooms were large, colourful, comfortable and private. The focal point of Casa Taos is the pool area, adjoined by the kitchen and dining room, with additional dining facilities outside on the patio. The pool is spotless, probably one of the cleanest I've ever seen, but unfortunately a bit too cold for me in October! The temperature does drop at night so the water is quite cool, but my children enjoyed it. The area around the pool is charming; an avenue of mature palms with hammocks, lovely comfortable sunbeds and again, ample sitting areas in both shade and sun. No fighting over sunbeds here! The grounds are extensive, the hotel was designed and the land planted by the current owner's father, so it's truly a family concern. The gardens, like everything else, are beautifully and carefully kept and much of the produce used in the kitchens in grown either within the walled gardens or in the huge orchard beyond. The citrus grove includes grapefruit, oranges, satsumas, lemons, limes and a particular lemon that is preverved and its zest used in Moroccan cooking. Additionally we saw date palms, grenadines, pecan nuts, quince, aubergines, chillis, peppers and salad leaves, all growing fresh and used in the kitchen. If you love food and are interested in trying local produce and dishes, you will not be disappointed here. We ate here every night but one, it was without doubt a highlight of our trip to Marrakesh. There is no menu per se, but every night Mohammed laid before us a selection of salads, followed by a stew, tagine, cous cous and desserts all beautifully prepared, fresh, subtly flavoured with herbs, spices and orange flower, most of the produce used grown in the hotel, which supports a staff of 13 to farm the land and care for the guests. The kitchen was also able to cater for our children, with burgers, pizza, chicken etc - although by the end of the stay they were eating Lebanese food with us!
We tried Moroccan, Syrian and Lebanese dishes and were also treated to home made cakes and the best mint tea. Snacks by the pool are served at lunchtime, drinks all day and breakfast can include fresh crepes, plenty of toast (including toasted cumin bread), home made tapenade, cream cheese, honey and fresh pressed juices - different flavours every day. There is plenty to eat and all of it is excellent. Mohammed is always there, attentive and hospitable and mealtimes were a real joy, I would go back just for the food alone! It was our habit to wander round the gardens after breakfast and supper, accompanied by Ako and Dofi, the owners' two extremely soppy dogs, although they only latch onto dog-lovers so don't worry if you are not keen! At night, the paths are often dotted with frogs and apparently hedgehogs wander around too, we enjoyed the wildflife. The owners are usually around, knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. The whole experience is that of staying in the beautiful country home of a Moroccan family as a special guest, enjoying wonderful hospitality discreetly provided. We all hope to return one day and it was as fine an introduction to the country, people and food as we could have hoped for.
The two 3-star ratings need qualifying: I'm not a good sleeper and wherever you stay in Morocco...
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