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“Oasis in the palmerie”
Review of Sawadi

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Sawadi
Ranked #4 of 25 Skoura B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Welwyn Garden City, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Oasis in the palmerie”
Reviewed April 25, 2013

Sawadi makes an excellent place to stay in the southern Atlas. It is easy to reach the great gorges and the stoney desert - then come back for a refreshing swim in the pool and a delicious meal. The road across the palmerie is bumpy but we made it every time with no problem.
The staff at Sawadi are first class. The manager showed us round the farm which was one of the highlights of our stay. He also really helped us understand the palmerie and its people and how the buildings are constructed, taking time out of his very busy day.
Our stay was one of the most interesting and enjoyable times we have had and I highly recommend Sawadi.

Room Tip: We had a separate suite in one of the purpose built houses, jusy away from the main area making it v...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank MrsAnn3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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630 reviews from our community

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Palma de Mallorca, Spain
1 review
Reviewed April 19, 2013

Our 4 night stay at Sawadi was part of a 3 week tour around Southern Morocco with our young sons and was a highlight for all of us. Phillipe and Catherine have created an oasis within an oasis: a wonderful place to rest and recover and from which to explore the surrounding area. We quickly felt very at home here, with very comfortable and immaculate rooms set within the beautiful gardens, where flowers grow amongst the vegetables and all is peace and tranquility.

For us, this was an inspirational place: an ethical, community centred, self-sustaining farm where we felt like guests, not customers. Nothing was too much trouble: herbs gathered from the garden to make a healing tea for bad tummies; child-friendly picnics prepared for us each day & a wonderful birthday cake made for my son to celebrate his 6th birthday and given along with an impromptu bit of great live music (thank you Mansour). The team here really work hard to make it all seem effortless and their kindness and gentleness with our children were very special.

For the kids, Sawadi really is a paradise: loads of space to run wild (and safe); loads of farm animals to befriend, the only playground we found in Morocco outside Marrakesh; a Berber tent to relax in & hammocks to swing in. All set within the incredible Palmerie of Skoura, which is nothing short of a miracle of trees and birdlife and greenery after the desert beyond.

We firmly intend to return to Sawadi, and feel so glad that we were able to stay here...it's a visit that will stay with us all for a long time to come.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Libelleloo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed April 16, 2013

After many days of driving in mountains, and experiencing the desert, we were both exhausted, and had no reservations for the evening. We followed the Lonely Planet 'Top Choice', and crossed our fingers there would be space.

The drive is a bit long, yes, as some other reviews have pointed out, and the road is rocky. But you are in the middle of the palmerie! It is a beautiful drive, just take it slowly! We were lucky to run into Catherine on our way, who pointed us in the right direction.

We were happy to arrive to a friendly greeting from Catherine, as well as her lovely partner and a few other staff members. They made us a beautiful lunch as we sat by the pool, and had a moment of repose after the long drive. All the guests looked comfortable in hammocks, at tables, and there are many places to relax.

The rooms feel very private, with little pathways through the garden. Comfortable bed, big windows, nice views.

It was also a different element of our trip, which had been very cultural (meeting mostly Moroccans), a very holiday feel, and we learned a lot about the palmeries, the farm, the ethical practices implemented, and my partner was very excited about the irrigation system.

We stayed another night, in order to drink wine, read books, and otherwise have a little pause in our journey. We met several other travelers, many families, some other couples. Everyone seemed to be enjoying their experience immensely.

I loved it, would return in a heartbeat, and admire their practice.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank MeghanD4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed April 11, 2013

My husband and I booked into Sawadi as a stopover on our way from Marrakech to the Erg Chebbi dunes near Merzouga and ended up being one of the highlights of our Moroccan holiday.

Our main driver for staying at Sawadi is their contribution to the local community and that they produce their own organic food.

In the heart of the Palmeraie of Skoura, up a dirt road it is a little hard to find. However comprehensive directions are provided in the confirmation email and staying at Sawadi is well worth the effort.

We were greeted by Kadar one of the Moroccan members of staff, who made us feel instantly welcome and organised complimentary Moroccan tea and biscuits for us, a welcome treat after a long drive from Marrakech.

Being on a budget we stayed in one of their lowest priced rooms at EUR65.00 a night but we were absolutely impressed with the decor and size of the room.

We enjoyed a three course organic dinner, soup to start, fish tagine and creme brulee for dessert served by a lovely young Moroccan man.

Breakfast the next day was french style, freshly squeezed orange juice, delicious homemade yoghurt (we met one of the cows) that tastes different and delicious to UK yoghurt, breads and their own apricot and fig jams.

We had only planned one night in Skoura and though we had planned to drive from Erg Chebbi back to Marrakech in one day (8 hours) we knew we couldn't do it and fortunately for us we were able to stay again on the way back.

If our time in Morocco was not so limited we would easily have liked to have stayed for three or four days at Sawadi. The feeling when you are there is truly relaxed.

The area too is gorgeous, we visited the nearest town Ouarzazate and found a great co-operative opposite the Kasbah that has local women weavers making carpets (you can watch them at work) and several rooms with locally made crafts. The assistants aren't pushy but keen to tell you about their work a refreshing change to the usual Moroccan shop merchant.

We were on the hunt for a Moroccan carpet and picked up a gorgeous carpet up from another co-operative next to the tourist office. The two men were very helpful and it was no trouble for them that we pulled out at least 20 carpets to look at, we took probably half an hour to make up our mind, they were very patient and we did not feel pushed at all, we even did a little bartering and got 100 dirham off our carpet but didn't want to try for more as it is a co-operative after all.

Thanks Catherine and Phil for a fantastic and memorable stay.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Jamtime_26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vienna
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 9, 2013

Background: I'm a management consultant spending most of my business travels since 20 years in 5-star hotels around the world. In April 2013, I made a 9 days journey through Maroc with my (30 years old) daughter, visiting Rabat, Fes, the gorges and valleys, Zagora, Marrakesch etc. It was a lot of driving and so we wanted to spend only one night in Sawadi, coming from Dades and Todra gorges. But the really nice environment "forced us" to stay for a second night - and looking back to the trip from home in Vienna, Sawadi was a real highlight, and the essential relaxing to stand the rest of the trip!

We really could relax in Sawadi! We were swimming in the excellent pool, reading in the hammocks (Hängematten), sitting in the Hammam and having a (excellent) massage, making a bike ride through the village. The French hosts are really sympathic and care for their clients; the service is very friendly, empathic, not persistent (excellent young masseur). Very nice rooms, well prepared compared to other Maroc rooms (European 4 star level, but Maroc ambience), clean, good leasure time facilities (e.g. beach volley ball, boggia), especially for children: basket ball, sliding, tents etc., good food (the organic production was important to us) - yes, close to paradise. Unfortunately we could not stay a third night.

In darkness, it is a bit hard to find (we arrived late), but we paid 30 Dirham to somebody in Soukra, who loved to guide us with his motorbike for the 6 km. So even driving there and finding it was fun!

Concerning price/performance: I always think that people who sell their service for too less money are stupid (looking for a cheap bargain usually leads to disappointment); since the hosts are not stupid, Sawadi is worth the money, but it is no cheap youth hostel. So we were NOT disappointed, but positively surprised and, therefore, highly recommend it further.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank ManfredR233
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 18, 2013

Finding Swardi is in itself an adventure. An unpaved road from Skour town center following green dots painted on telephone poles is not entirely clear if you did not know in advance that's what you need to do. But the moment you arrive at Sawardi, you knew it was all worth the effort. This B&B is also an eco friendly self sustainable farm with animals, vegetables, and bee hives. The owner and staff are friendly and tentative. The dinner and breakfast are both scrumptious. The adobes are well insulated from summer heat and kept at a stable temperature without the need for heat in March's variable evening chill. We watched sunset atop a terrace over palm tree tops and kasbahs. There is a hammam on the premise, a bit pricy (100Dh/person) and not hot enough for our preference. The good thing was that we reserved and had it to ourselves. The evening wrapped up with a story told in French by one of the friendly staff. It was music to the ear even though I couldn't understand it. Staying at Sawardi turned out to be the expensive treat for my friend and I. It was expensive for Moroccan standard but we still had a great time. I would love to come back and stay for days before and after a multi day trek to the Atlas mountains.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Maya_Hao_Li
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worcester, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2013

Good attracts good I think; although goodness has less to do with it than hard work. Sawadi is more than just a hotel, and the ethos is holistic approach to living. So just relax, the food they prepared for you is good and wholesome for you, all produce is grown in their organic garden. The medicinal herbs from the garden will be recommended for your ailments, just open your mind and try them, you'll leave in much better condition than when you arrived. The staff are adorable, and Philip [proprietor] leads his team by example. He and his wife, who sadly wasn't there when we were there, have breathed fresh ideas into an industry they have no previous experience of. Their achievements are impressive, they nourish their guests with the best of nature provides in their nine acre garden of Eden. Everything from the linen sheets for your bed, to Calendula oil, black/green soaps are provided in the bathroom is offered because they have been tried and proven to be better than anything else. Their commitment to Sawadi is complete, as was ours when we left.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank rachelclarke6062
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sawadi

Property: Sawadi
Address: Douar Tajanate, Skoura 45502, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Souss-Massa-Draa Region > Skoura
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 25 B&Bs / Inns in Skoura
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Sawadi 3*
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sawadi is an ecolodge 4 acres in the beautiful palm grove of Skoura. Sawadi won the trophy for Sustainable Development in 2014 in Morocco and the Green Key label since 2012. Meals are prepared with products from our organic farm every day. Fruit juices and jams are also made ​​on the spot and you'll discover prune juice apples, dates ... Apricot bread cake pancakes everything is done on site. A short distance from the center you will wake up with singing idle and forget the noise of the city for complete relaxation through our Spa (massage, Hammam ....) Excursions guided tour .... We can arrange all for you. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sawadi Hotel Skoura

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