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Caravan Agafay hotel review: This glam new desert camp is just a short drive from Marrakech

Caravan Agafay hotel review: This glam new desert camp is just a short drive from Marrakech

In a nutshell: This new camp from boutique hotel group Habitas nails the balance between hippie-rustic and effortlessly glamorous, giving Marrakech lovers a new option for a few nights outside the city centre.

The neighbourhood

Scattered in the dunes of the Agafay “rock desert” just outside of Marrakech, this collection of 20 canvas-topped suites is a remote-feeling, sunkissed nomad’s camp a 45-minute drive from Menara Airport. All around is a lunar-like landscape of rocky curves and dry scrub, with the odd silhouette of a roaming camel visible in the distance, and wild birds flitting down for a splash in the pool. It’s pin-drop quiet by day, but at night the house restaurant puts on sultry, jazzy tunes as the lanterns and flaming torches light up its paths and tented dining areas. It’s a relatively grown-up affair, too, with no children under 12 allowed to stay.

One of the chic, comfy tented suites at Caravan Agafay


The vibe

Hippie-chic, with all the delightfully earthy textures you’ll find in Marrakech’s souks – unvarnished earthenware pots, hand-woven rugs, artisan leather stools – used to furnish a stylish outdoor setting. However, beneath the immediate romantic Bedouin appearance, there are layers of luxury: high thread-count sheets on proper mattresses (hot water bottles are slipped under duvets for you on cooler nights), craft cocktails at the sunset-view bar and a tiny spa with a duo of treatment rooms.

Really, Caravan Agafay is all about the experience – you can head out on driving tours to visit Amazigh communities (previously known as Berber, a coloniser’s term derived from the same word as “barbarian”) or learn to make bread in the local style. From the moment you arrive to an atmospheric welcome “ceremony”, it’s clear the team is keen to immerse guests in Moroccan and Amazigh culture, history and flavours. Sustainability points for solar panels powering all rooms – the camp eventually intends to go fully solar – eggs, milk, vegetables and herbs from the onsite farm, no single-use plastic and locally sourced materials.

Bed and bath

You’ll stay in one of 40 tented suites, each home to a comfy double bed, faux-sheepskin rugs, low-slung midcentury seats and elegant lamps. Bathrooms have decent showers (though hot water, powered by solar panels, can be patchy), toilets and…

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