Best hotels and hostels in Central Morocco

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Ourika Valley

    Kasbah Bab Ourika

    Occupying an outstanding hilltop location in the Ourika Valley, this rammed-earth kasbah provides understated luxury, including uninterrupted views of snowy Atlas peaks, top-quality meals, superbly finished interiors and massive gardens. You can relax beneath olive trees while admiring the view, float in the gorgeous pool or unwind in the hammam. There are loads of activities on offer here: 4WD trips, camel treks, mountain biking and pleasant walks you can take from the guesthouse. Turn up a dirt road to the east of the souq and follow it for 3km to the signed final stretch that climbs to the hilltop kasbah.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Merzouga

    Ali & Sara's Desert Palace

    Make friends with Romeo, George and Casanova – no they aren’t cheeky local lads, but your trusty dromedaries – as you head out from Merzouga nomad-style. Husband-and-wife team, Ali and Sara, have crafted a personalised experience that stays true to Amazigh (Berber) culture and traditions, with authentic tents and stunning sunset views over the high dunes before a feast around the campfire. Coming from a nomadic family of 11 brothers, Ali’s knowledge of the desert is second to none, while Sara’s know-how makes for a luxurious and organised camp, first-class cooking and beautifully decorated tents. To keep things small, intimate and hassle-free the camp, 8km east of Merzouga, accommodates only 18 people. Reserve in advance.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Draa Valley

    Erg Chigaga Luxury Desert Camp

    A pebble's throw from Erg Chigaga's highest dune, this luxurious tented camp has 13 sumptuous tents furnished with wall-to-wall carpets, handcrafted beds and high thread-count linens. And it's ecofriendly, with solar-powered lighting, chemical toilets and traditional showers. Expect camel rides, guided walks, chill-out zones, board games and magical evenings filled with Gnaoua ballads – the experience here is second to none. For those seeking more privacy, the camp also operates two private camps (each with only two tents) and offers the option of wild camping on treks of three days or more. It's co-owned by M'Hamid native, the charismatic Mohammed Boulfrifi (aka Bobo) and British expat Nick Garsten,

  • Top ChoiceLodging in High Atlas Mountains

    Dar Ahansal

    Atop Amezray the impressive rock-hewn dar (small house) of mountain guide Youssef Oulcadi rises organically out of the tough mountain landscape, its terraces built around Aleppo pines and landscaped with blushing roses and oleanders. Inside, rooms are beautifully finished with terracotta floors, zellige (colourful geometric mosaic tiles) bathrooms and raffia-framed beds. Campsites (per person Dh50) also available. The large, cosy dining room and vast terrace overlooks Amezray's rammed-earth granary (restored by the Atlas Cultural Foundation), as do the camping facilities, which are provided with their own shared shower unit, a small hammam and washing facilities.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Zagora

    Riad Dar Sofian

    This super-stylish desert oasis exudes understated luxury. The fabulous pisé (rammed-earth) edifice was constructed by a team from Skoura, while craftsmen from Fez executed the acres of tilework inside and the modern Moroccan decor mixes up antique furnishings, traditional details and contemporary comforts. There's a new sumptuous suite and an organic garden for farm-to-fork fare. Massages, cooking courses and excursions can all be arranged, but guests seem reluctant to leave the palm-fringed pool. If you can't spend the night, it's certainly worth booking lunch here to sample Zagora's speciality cabbage couscous and enjoy a dip in the pool.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Skoura

    L'Ma Lodge

    This gorgeous lodge has seven spacious, light-filled rooms and suites, decorated with antiques, elegant furnishings and artwork from Morocco and beyond. There's a tree-filled garden – the organic fruits feature in jams and juices, and you can swing in hammocks, swim in the heated pool, play a few rounds of pétanque or arrange a massage. There's also a kids' play area. The restaurant serves excellent, creative vegetarian-friendly dishes, and the affable hosts have a wealth of information on making the most of the area. To get there, look for the marked turn-off on the N10, just east of Skoura, and then follow the signs. Reserve well ahead.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Merzouga

    Chez Youssef

    Affable Youssef's simple pisé (rammed-earth) home offers four rooms arranged around a courtyard shaded by a single palm. The oasis-inspired decor is spare, but its spotlessly clean and the food is home-cooked. Also on offer are good-value camel treks and overnight stays in a peaceful camp far from the crowds (Dh600 per person), with a maximum of four people. You can also arrange a six-hour 4WD tour, with stops at an Amazigh (Berber) village, a mine, a nomad camp, fossil sites and an oasis (Dh900 for up to six people) and Jeep tours with a BBQ lunch in the desert (for two/three/four people, Dh1250/1350/1500).

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Merzouga

    Merzouga Luxury Desert Camp

    Surrounded by towering dunes a mere 10km from Merzouga, this luxury desert camp offers spacious safari tents, complete with carved-wood furniture, top-quality mattresses and an en suite. Sunset camel rides, Amazigh (Berber) whisky round the campfire and a bountiful meal is followed by music and stargazing using the high-tech telescope. Arrive and depart by dromedary; a 4WD transfer is Dh600. The camp is operated by Sahara Experience (www.sahara-experience.com) who can also arrange tours and transfers from Marrakesh and Morocco-wide.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Dadès Gorge

    Chez Pierre

    At this chic retreat, 11 light-filled rooms and two, two-bedroom apartments are notched right into the gorge wall, with contemporary Moroccan decor, plant-filled terraces and a poolside sun deck. A rosy gorge sunset is the prelude to a drink at the bar and spectacular six-course dinners (Dh250) where Mediterranean cuisine meets seasonal Moroccan produce beside the snug wood-burning stove. They can arrange hiking and biking excursions, including to the Todra Gorge and the Valley of the Roses, and even donkey rides for kids.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Zagora

    Azalai Desert Lodge

    On the edge of the palm grove, the eight super-stylish rooms at this modern-Moroccan lodge are all individually decorated – think Paul Bowles’ battered leather suitcases. If you can tear yourself away from the pool and the garden hammocks, borrow a bike to explore oasis life or walk to Ksar Tissergate’s excellent museum, before enjoying a gourmet Moroccan meal under the stars. You can tie it in with the Azalai Desert Lodge in M’Hamid.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Setti Fatma

    Au Bord de l'Eau

    This jaunty little guesthouse is tucked down a pebble staircase about 1km before Setti Fatma. As a result, it's wonderfully secluded away from the tourist bustle, with just the sound of the rushing river to disturb dreams of summit ascents. With Martine and Poulou's easygoing hosting and shared conversations around central fireplaces, you'll feel right at home. Rooms are kitted out with cute quilts, Berber rugs and personal knick-knacks. Bring a torch for night-time navigation.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in High Atlas Mountains

    Kasbah Timdaf

    This stone and mud-brick kasbah is built in the traditional local style with artful rooms warmed by vintage wood-burning stoves. It may seem palatial, but it is a working farm surrounded by almond and olive groves, providing inspired Mediterranean-Berber meals (Dh210) on a vine-draped terrace with expansive views. Look for it 15 minutes down the road to Azilal, Owners Andrea and Aziz can organise trips around Demnate. Transfers to Marrakesh and Ouzoud are also available.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Rissani to Zagora

    Kasbah Hôtel Aït Omar

    Rebuilt to pisé (rammed-earth) perfection, the 120 year-old kasbah's crenellated rooftop and descending terraces offer unparalleled village views. Zigzagging staircases reveal private patios, antique doors are ornately painted and 11 individually decorated rooms come with traditional touches. The separate Petite Kasbah offers simpler rooms with shared bathrooms (€30 to €40). Don't miss sampling the delicious regional dishes at the convivial restaurant.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Merzouga

    Maison Merzouga

    Guests receive a heartfelt welcome at this lovely family-run guesthouse that focuses on Amazigh (Berber) hospitality and not just desert-themed decor. Hand-woven carpets, tadelakt (waterproof plaster) walls, stone fireplaces and peaceful terraces with desert views add to the appeal. This is a fine spot to lounge poolside, arrange village trips or set off to explore the desert with an in-the-know local.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in High Atlas Mountains

    Camping Zebra

    This welcoming places mixes tent sites alongside four garden rooms with shared bathroom and a mini kasbah with four en suites. Brightly painted rooms and a communal lounge where you can order meals liven the place up, and the staff can show you the way to Tanaghmelt if you'd like to hike from the camp directly to the village. It's 1.3km south of the parking lot above the falls, in the direction of Azilal.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Tamdakhte

    Kasbah Ellouze

    This pisé (rammed-earth) guesthouse blends in with the adjacent kasbah and makes for a fantastic retreat. The best rooms have orchard views ( luz means almonds), and especially stylish doubles by the heated pool. Guests gather in the kitchen to learn to make local bread, for aperitifs and wi-fi in the jazz salon, and for watercolour-painting excursions into the Ounilla and Draa Valleys.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Draa Valley

    Kasbah Azul

    Ensconced in lush greenery, this contemporary kasbah has nine beautifully furnished bedrooms, with art-filled walls and colourful polished plaster bathrooms, as well as several stylish salons and a marble hammam. It’s eco-friendly too, with solar power, a wastewater programme and an organic garden – produce appears in the generous breakfasts and delicious dinners (Dh220) eaten poolside under the stars.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Todra Gorge

    Auberge Le Festival

    Get back to nature in romantically lit cave rooms dug right into the hillside and finished in moulded tadelakt (waterproof plaster), or rock-walled, solar-powered tower rooms surveying the Petit Gorge. After self-guided treks and climbs (Dh300 per hour) arranged by the multilingual owner, relax on the panoramic terrace or help harvest vegetables in the organic garden for dinner.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Draa Valley

    Camp Al Koutban

    Wild Morocco's secluded desert camp is just a 90-minute round-trip hike from Erg Chigaga's tallest dune. Hike – or let a camel take the strain – sandboard and stargaze. The 150km off-road return journey is all part of the experience, as you bounce over hamada (rocky desert) studded with acacia and tamarisk, stopping for panoramic vistas and tea with seminomadic desert dwellers.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Zaouiat Oulmzi

    Touda Ecolodge

    Quite literally off-the-beaten track, Touda is located up a rutted piste (dirt track) above Zaouiat Oulmzi. You'll be overwhelmed by magnanimous Amazigh (Berber) hospitality, plentiful home-cooked meals, impromptu fireside music sessions and stunning treks in the foothills of Jebel Azourki (3677m). It's half price for children aged four to 12, and free for younger guests.