“If you look really carefully, you’ll find goats somewhere around here”, general manager Petra of Les Deux Tours Hotel squats down and gives this intriguing ‘task’ to our daughters. In the end, finding the animals turns out to be quite hard as the hotel grounds stretch out over a huge terrain with large palm trees and all sorts of hidden nooks and crannies. Not only good hiding places for goats but also for kids on a discovery tour. There are (shallow) ponds and fountains with curious and always hungry turtles, parading peacocks as well as enormous regal sun beds scattered around the garden – not only perfect for an afternoon nap but also great to play on.
Don’t be misled by the impression that this is a children’s farm as Les Deux Tours is a stylish boutique hotel indeed. Beautifully situated in the midst of the Palmeraie and in close proximity to the city of Marrakesh. With only 37 rooms and suites, the hotel is small and exudes an intimate charm. A keen eye for traditional details is clearly visible. The hotel has a high standard of craftsmanship and, what’s more, is very eco-conscious. Many materials are of local origin and the vegetables and fruit served in the restaurant are home-grown. The children are amazed that they even discover edible flowers in the vegetable garden.
After a warm welcome, we settle ourselves in one of the suites. The suite is superbly situated on the first floor of one of the traditionally built annexes and looks out over the garden that is partly still in bloom. Birds sing at the top of their lungs and their song is accompanied by the sound of flowing water from the various fountains. There’s an instant feel of peace and calm here and the only thing on our mind is the choice between two roof terraces to recline with a book and a glass of fresh Moroccan tea.
The suite has two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The last one has a striking design that consists of a sort of ascending dome with an open rooflight in top creating a fascinating play of light and ensuring the necessary fresh airstreams. The spacious rooms will be sufficient for one-child families whereas larger families or groups can rent one of the villas that all come with a private garden, a fireplace, hand-made furniture and sometimes even a private swimming pool.
Speaking of which, the heated, nearly 30-metre long swimming pool is – both literally and figuratively – the centre of the hotel grounds. There are more than enough lounge sofas inviting guests to laze around whole day. If you get hungry, you can enjoy a relaxing lunch on the ‘Pergola’ terrace right beside the swimming pool. And so the day goes by, heavenly calm. At the end of the evening, settle down on the terrace next to ‘Le Bar’ for a cocktail and a special smoothie for the kids. Dinner is an experience in itself. A true Chef is at the helm of the kitchen. The most delicious dishes, mainly seafood, are served to the guests. Notwithstanding the high-standard culinary experience, the atmosphere isn’t formal at all. Children are sure to have a fun time in the TV or Games room or, if they are younger, can pass the time with fibre-tip pens and colouring books at the table. Although there is a special children’s menu for the kids, the Chef is more than willing to tailor a menu for them. Furthermore, breakfast is highly recommended. A wide range of bread rolls, fruit, home-made jams, local cured meats and cheese, fresh fruit juices and much much more is presented on various tables. Whoever gets inspired by all these culinary delights can register for one of the special cookery classes where traditional dishes are prepared over a charcoal fire. Or, learn how to bake your own bread in a wood-fired oven.
And when, after dinner, the children hit the hay under the watchful eye of one of the available babysitters, it’s time for parents to move from the ‘La Bar’ terrace to one of the intimate candle-lit corners inside to make plans for the next day.
Possibly it’s time for some action now. That’s no problem at all as there are countless possibilities near the hotel. First of all, it’s just a 5-minute drive to a renowned golf course where even the kids can have their first golf lesson. Also nearby is a tennis complex. Or, what about a camel ride or hit the trails on a horse through the surrounding mountains. Teens won’t say no to a few rounds on the Go-Kart track. Last but not least, Marrakesh is only 15 minutes away and offers an enormous choice of museums, souks and many other sights. Moreover, three times a day, a free shuttle drives you from the hotel to the centre of Marrakesh and back.
Don’t forget to end such a strenuous day with a visit to the private Spa that has an open-air treatment room and the hotel’s Hammam.
# The gardens are a paradise for children to run around and play in, swing on delightful swing sets and to discover new things all the time. Parents who are looking for peace and quiet can find plenty of calm spots to, for example, read a book. There is something to everyone’s liking.
# Swimming pool, restaurants, the lobby and bar: they exude quality and a relaxing atmosphere – all at the same time. High standards yet not pretentious. If it is good, it is good. Simple as that. If a child trips over one of the carpets or a glass is accidentally knocked over – no problem at all.
# No reason whatsoever to leave the hotel’s grounds, but if you are in for a bit of action and adventure, there is enough to do in the vicinity to keep you occupied for months without the possibility of getting bored.