Kasbah Ellouze in Tamdaght Near Ouarazate

One of the patios at Kasbah Ellouze, Morocco

One of the patios at Kasbah Ellouze

The slight breeze is welcoming after a day of intense heat.  Sitting on the terrace, sipping mint tea and looking out over the serene vista of the Oasis I knew we had landed in a peaceful paradise.

The earthy, terracotta Kasbah is only a few miles away from the large town of Ouarazate, nestled into the heart of a small community.  Just one mosque and a couple of boutique style shops make up this little town of orange coloured, single stacked homes.  Next door is a second Kasbah renowned for its backpacking qualities with small luxuries and a further Kasbah that is currently being renovated back to its former glory by local families.

Cooling mint tea and pastries as Kasbah Ellouze, Morocco

Cooling mint tea and pastries

After 12 years of determination, Kasbah Ellouze has been loving restored by Colette and Michel, whom previously owned a Jazz Club in France.  Speaking to Colette, when they arrived they didn’t even have running water, something that is easily taken for granted and expected by her guests.  Relaxing by the sun drenched pool you would be forgiven if you struggle to imagine a time when flushing a toilet or having a shower was impossible.

Cozy seatin area, Kasbah Ellouze, Morocco

Cozy seating area

Covered Seating Area by the Pool, Kasbah Ellouze, Morocco

Covered Seating Area by the Pool

Each room is unique – the 2 smaller rooms look out over Olive and Almond groves and vast Atlas Peaks, whilst the 8 suites have varying views of the Kasbah and town.  This area provides the back drop for films like Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator and looking out across the terrace you can envisage the landscape looking exactly the same during ancient times.

Relaxing by the pool at Kasbah Ellouze, Morocco

Relaxing by the Pool

The tranquil atmosphere of Kasbah Ellouze extends further than just the terraces; it exudes from the heart of this welcoming little gem – the soothing running water from the fountain in the courtyard to the labyrinth of little rooms feeding off the corridors, this is a home away from home.

Dining Terrace, Kasbah Ellouze, Morocco

Dining Terrace

Having dinner on the side terrace each evening, mixing with other guests, enjoying a substantial homely meal you can begin to daydream, wondering what it would be like to live in a palatial, desert Kasbah just like this.  Surrounded by nature, waking up each morning to the sound of the Swallows that have also chosen to call this place home, life would certainly be at a relaxed pace.

The Almond Groves around Kasbah Ellouze

The area around Kasbah Ellouze

The almond trees that surround the Kasbah Ellouze, Morocco

The almond trees that surround the Kasbah

The staff here are truly amazing; day and night they are attentive and always smiling.  Even Omar, who has the tough job of carrying suitcases and bags from the nearby drop off point through to your rooms always has a big grin, broadly spread across his face especially when he is looking after his caravan of camels.

One of the camels at Kasbah Ellouze, Morocco

One of the camels at Kasbah Ellouze

The fantastic staff and owners at Kasbah Ellouze, Morocco

The fantastic staff and owners at Kasbah Ellouze

Tamdaght may seem, at a glance, an unusual area to visit, a bit off the beaten track, away from the main cities associated with tourism in Morocco, but with its wealth of interesting, varied landscape, not to mention its many appearances in blockbuster films, there is plenty for even the most adventurous amongst us.  Close to both Ait Benhaddou and Ouarzazate, if a day relaxing by the pool is not for you, these are a must.  Walking around the winding, steep alleyways of Ait Benhaddou you could visualise yourself as a film extra in the next big classic, just don’t go in the heat of the afternoon sun – you may regret it!  Alternatively, take a quad bike out from Ouarzazate and speed around the open countryside exploring not only the film studios but also the surrounding mountain terrain.

Views surrounding the Kasbah, Kasbah Ellouze, Morocco

Views surrounding the Kasbah

If you would like to experience a taste of Morocco outside the big cities, away from tourism regeneration – this delightful retreat is a must!

View towards Kasbah Ellouze, Morocco

Looking back towards the Kasbah

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  • andrea313 says:

    I just came across this article on Tamdaght when searching for something else and was pleasantly surprised as I have never seen anything published on this amazing little place. When I was looking to buy a plot of land to build a small B&B in Morocco a friend ( who later became my husband), took me to Tamdaght to visit his sister and her family. I was welcomed into the homes and hearts of the locals and i kind of fell in love with the place. I did manage to buy a plot of land and ended up marrying the man who took me there. Six years on my husband joined me in The Netherlands, I bought an apartment in Ouarzazate and the land is still waiting for us. Permission to do anything in Morocco is very very long and drawn out, but we hope one day to build a small B&B in Tamdaght, and for me to retire there.

    • Wow, I would love to be able to do something like that. I love the area around Tamdaght and Ouarzazate – in comparison to Marrakech and Fes it is so quiet and unexplored by many. You shall have to let us know when you build the B&B I would love to visit 🙂

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