We stayed at Dar Sidi Bounou for 9 nights after a 2 day drive from Marrakech. The Atlas Mountains and the desert landscapes of the Draa Valley were stunning. We arrived late afternoon as the rising wind was rising blowing sand across the road. It was as if the desert was playing to form and expectation for the visitors.
Our 9 days of enchantment began immediately with a welcome by the charming Omar, Said, and the owner, Nancy. Within about 30 minutes we felt as if we had never lived anywhere else as we settled down to a glass of mint tea and a plate of almonds. By the time we left, Idir, Jan, Rachia (1 and 2), Daoud, Foonah and Jan had also played their part in making our stay so memorable.
What to do ? Well, you can do as much or as little as you like in the day between stunning sunrise morning skies and awesome sunsets. You can walk straight from the gardens into the desert, you can read, you can make trips and expeditions, you can meet the most fascinating people who pass through this place on their expeditions around Morocco, or you can wander up the road for a swim at the local hotel.
I walked for two hours a few mornings before breakfast. The desert is the most amazing landscape at any time of day but particularly in the early morning and evening when the colours of the sky and the sand fuse together. A Yoga salute to the sun in the face of a sky richly dressed in every conceivable colour spectrum of yellow, red and orange is quite an experience. After breakfast, the day passed in a haze of warm hanging out, delicious lunch, mint tea, and a fab supper. It was tough, but someone has to face these challenges.
And then there there was the food ....... As you might expect there were lovely tagines - wonderful variations of chicken and lamb but they also produced fantastic fresh bread baked on site every morning. My favourite dish was baked cannellini beans in a tomato and cumin sauce served with mashed potatoes. 9 days of great eating.
Would I go again ? I can't wait !
- Also Known As:
- Dar Sidi Bounou Morocco/Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Dar Sidi Bounou experience Living in the Sun and Sleeping under the Moon and Stars. Our Desert accommodation in a restored traditional daub house, serving delicious authentic beldi food, including vegetarian. Come to relax and enjoy music and tranquil ambiance in a palmerie garden on the edge of the Sahara dunes at Bounou, M’hamid. Take a desert excursion by camels (or 4x4) overnight or longer. The guides set up the tents, make the fire and cook − you just ride or walk beside the camels to a quiet place. Or you can take a walking tour of the ancient Berber Kasbah of Bounou and local villages. Gracious hospitality for adventurous individual travelers, families with children and groups of creative, artistic people. Relax under the palms, on the terraces, and on the dunes in the garden, or participate in the music, dance. In the winter evenings, sit around an inviting fire on the dunes and join in the drumming. Learn the local songs and dances, rhythms and techniques, bring your own instruments or use ours. With comfortable rooms in the house with terraces and en-suite bathrooms, N’wala huts and Berber tents on the dunes prices ranging from 20 Euros to 49 Euros prices are negotiable depending on how long you stay. Nancy and Daoud and the Staff at Dar Sidi Bounou invite you to be their guest and enjoy the magic of the Moroccan Sahara. ... more less