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Journeys: Riad Radical: Base Camp

  • Jack Smith

From casbahs to riads, the following four hotels serve as prime jumping-off points for authentic outdoor adventures in Morocco.

Heure Bleue Palais, Essaouira
L’heure bleue refers to that moment when the sky seems to take on a nostalgic glow. The moment is especially romantic at this boutique-style Relais & Châteaux hotel in Essaouira. A magnificently restored riad, Heure Bleue Palais comprises 34 rooms and suites, some with king-size beds and oversize bathtubs. The marvelously atmospheric lobby and bar are sculpted from mahogany; the rooftop houses a solarium and heated swimming pool. +212.5.24.78.34.34, www.heure-bleue.com

Riad Kniza, Marrakech
Mohamed Bouskri’s Riad Kniza has earned a global following for its impeccable service and attention to detail. Bouskri especially enjoys orchestrating special events and dinners on the 18th-centuryriad’s rooftop, which overlooks the medina, but his property also specializes in arranging adventures outside Marrakech. +212.5.24.37.69.42, www.riadkniza.com

Kasbah du Toubkal, Imlil

For trekkers, the Kasbah du Toubkal is North Africa’s preeminent destination. The massive compound includes 14 guest rooms and two suites with floor-to-ceiling windows, carved wooden doors, exposed beams, and stunning views of Mount Toubkal, which adventurers can scale and, if they choose, ski down. +212.5.24.48.56.11, www.kasbahdutoubkal.com

Kasbah Tamadot, Asni
Sir Richard Branson’s Kasbah Tamadot is situated barely an hour’s drive from Marrakech. Behind high walls, 27 bedrooms and suites are brightly painted and furnished with antiques and exotica from around the world. The resort offers trips to Mount Toubkal, among other excursions. 212.994.3070, http://www.kasbahtamadot.virgin.com

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