Berber Lodge is precisely the Moroccan getaway of your dreams—even if you’ve never particularly had a strong yearning for North Africa. This tucked-away respite in the Atlas Mountains is just a short jaunt from Marrakech, and yet you’ll feel worlds away from the hustle and bustle of urban life in this calming sanctuary. Though plunked into nomad territory, the Lodge offers all the luxuries of a comfortable contemporary resort, yet with all the natural materials, rough edges and authentic touches you’d hope to see in the heart of Morocco. And despite your desert seclusion, you won’t feel as though you’re missing out on a thing.
Photography: Lisa Smith
A Desert Haven
A mere half-hour’s drive from Marrakech, Berber Lodge sheds all the chaos of the city for a decidedly more mellow, relaxed atmosphere. The traditional village-like feel of the nine clustered lodges (all free-standing for privacy) and central house are only enhanced by the communal outdoor lounge, centered upon the fireplace for those cool desert nights. Built using long-trusted Berber techniques (the Berbers are the indigenous people of North Africa—mostly settled farmers or now migrant workers), each rosy-terracotta-colored building boasts earthen bricks, wooden beams of palm and eucalyptus and the soothing palette we’ve all come to associate with those to-die-for Moroccan rugs. The grounds are shaded with century-old olive groves, outfitted with terraces, gardens and the most serene pool you’ve likely ever laid eyes on.
Photography: Liselore Chevalier | Jeroen van der Spek
Retreating in Understated Luxury
With four levels of lodging between the nine guesthouses, there’s a place for everyone here from singles to families to friends. Each room is exquisitely decorated in beautiful, traditional Moroccan-made/tribal goods like hand-woven baskets, rugs, textiles and furniture—the ultimate in understated country chic. Although simply clad, there’s nothing spare or cold about these guest rooms. With warm tones throughout, fireplaces, floor poufs and more, the restrained yet thoughtful details in each lodge will have you reconsidering some of your personal design choices at home. One of the best touches of all (in our humble opinion)? We love the earthy, uneven floor tiles and the gorgeously grilled windows in every room.
Photography: Liselore Chevalier | Jeroen van der Spek | Júlia Juste
Claim a Floor Pillow
So what to do once you reach this magical desert oasis? If it’s up to us, not much of anything. Besides visiting the requisite markets and of course scouring for treasures around Marrakech, we suggest planting it at the Lodge and soaking it in. Between your private terrace, the garden grounds, the pool, the main lodge (replete with library, fireplace, bar and dining room) and the lounge area decked with floor pillows and all, you’re going to want to shift into full kickback mode. The in-house restaurant also offers complimentary breakfast in addition to dinner—if you’re planning for a party, keep in mind there’s indoor seating for 26 and room for 300 outside amongst the shaded terraces. Thankfully, no need to shave down that guest list.
Photography: Lisa Smith | Liselore Chevalier | Signe Schmidt Jakobsen
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