Hotel

Terre des Etoiles, Agafay Desert

You need not stray too far from Marrakech’s medina to find yourself in a whole other world. Fringing the souks of the city, the arid lands of the Agafay Desert stretch out into the distance running all the way into the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. Nestled within it all, Terre des Etoiles is the Agafay’s own oasis. A splash of green and a hive of sustainability, the luxury tented eco-lodge offers a whole new slant on your Desert Nights experience. Hikes into local Berber villages, a night beneath the stars with an astronomer and infinity pools built into the valley walls; this is how to do desert camping.

Location

In just under an hour, feel transported from the hive of activity of the medina to the peaceful stillness of the desert. Terre des Etoiles is a walk in Morocco’s slow lane (though there are quad bikes too if you want to ramp it up) and the best way to arrive is without doubt on camel back at sunset. Coming over the brow of the hill as the sun hangs low in the sky, you get a first irresistible taste of the magic this place holds in store. Placing emphasis on the vitality of both you and your environment, expect yoga and meditation as well as seasonal vegetable garden to plate cuisine, all done with the careful balance of eco-luxury.

Your Room

Canvas-clad sanctuaries, the individual lodges of Terre des Etoiles take their inspiration from the traditional Berber homes of the mountains and add a touch of African safari-luxe to create extraordinary spaces. Easily at home on the pages of design magazines, a night here truly is doing the desert in style. Gorgeous furnishings in earthy desert hues with natural wood accents, linen topped beds and fully fitted ensuite bathrooms, we’d happily move in tomorrow.

Why we like it

Terre des Etoiles is so much more than a hotel, but a passionate project by owner Pierre-Yves Marais to restore the Agafay to its former vitality. Striving for a time when the Agafay was a lush expanse of field and forest, the eco-lodge is beginning to lay the foundation of change. Take a walk through the vegetable gardens and livestock farm and discover a renewed lease of life in an area that has for too long been dismissed as arid and lifeless. Now, the proud recipients of a Green Key eco-label, we have a sneaky suspicion Terre des Etoiles isn’t done yet.

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