Our family had high hopes for a visit to the mountains for a weekend of rest and exploration… Hotel le Village du Toubkal exceeded our expectations in every way.
This place has the perfect blend of Berber warmth, rustic mountain decor, modern comfort and cleanness.
Our room was exceptionally clean and cozy - floors covered with Berber carpets (so nice to walk on), plush beds and simple, authentic decor.
After hiking the valley (which is just outside the door), we returned to the hotel for a warm Moroccan dinner served by friendly staff. After tea, we watched the sunset over the valley below from our room’s balcony. The next morning we sipped coffee on the same balcony… ahh, the crisp mountain air, while feeling the the warmth of handmade Berber carpets underfoot. So nice!!
The staff was also exceptionally kind and welcoming to our family of 5, Said especially. He welcomed us, carried our bags, and extended a greeting as if we were family.
It was the perfect escape from the noise and hustle of Marrakech. I highly recommend this place to others looking for a quiet, authentic and beautiful way to escape to the mountains.
Thank you Said, and the rest of the staff, for your kindness, warmth and sharing your wonderful place with us.
We look forward to another stay soon!
When we pulled up on a dusty mountain track with what looked like a half-finished building below us we were a bit shocked. Even more so when we slid down some loose gravel onto a path of bare concrete steps to the hotel. The sign on the track pointed to ‘Le Petit Village’ but was this the right place? We were reassured by staff who handled our baggage that we had indeed arrived. The steps led onto the roof terrace of the building and finally through a door into a small landing that served as the reception. Then things started to improve.....
The panoramic view from the terrace of Mount Toubkal to the left and Imlil down the valley to the right was the moment we thought ‘it’s going to be alright’. Our room was pretty basic but very spacious with a fine valley view from its small balcony. The bed was super king size with decent bedding. The en-suite bathroom with two basins and a separate toilet had a large corner bath which took an age to fill via a hand-held shower rather than a tap! But hot water was plentiful and everything was clean. Although there was an air conditioning unit, there was no controller and we were told it didn’t work anyway. But as the hotel is at altitude (1900m), nights were reasonably cool.
Wi-fi worked in the reception area and there was a weak, intermittent signal in our room. There is a primitive hammam on the roof (25 dirhams pp) but notice needs to be given so the staff can light the wood fire beneath to heat it up. The lounge has a satellite TV and we had the luxury of watching BBC World and catching up on world news. A great plus!
There is really no alternative to eating in the hotel (under the stars on its large outside terrace) as it is a long walk from Imlil and taxis have to be specially ordered. But the food is good and portions substantial. You order at breakfast what you wish to eat at dinner from a limited (verbal) menu. Breakfast consists of fruit juice, eggs, cheese and lots of local bread with honey and/or jam. Adequate and tasty without being exciting.
All said and done, we enjoyed staying at Le Petit Riad. It was certainly rustic but comfortable and relaxing nonetheless and we felt totally in keeping with the mountain experience that we desired. There are a number of good walks from the hotel which are not that taxing.
A word of warning. For those desiring a drink, there is no alcohol and none in Imlil so if you don’t want a long trek by taxi to a nearby town, bring your own as we did. The staff were quite content that drank with our meals.
One blip was settling our bill. We could not pay by credit card as the phone line was down. So we had to withdraw money from an ATM on the way to Marrakesh and give it to our taxi driver to pass to the hotel. It seems that this is not an uncommon occurrence so if you want to avoid this possible problem, it's best to come well supplied with dirhams.
LE VILLAGE DU TOUBKAL – a beautiful location in the heart of Toubkal National Park. We were met by the hotel manager Said in the village of Imlil in the office of Kasbah Toubkal as we found out the owner of Kasbah du Toubkal also owns this place. With Said, we drove to the location on a small dirt track which was harrowing and scary with sheer drops but at the same time very exciting! We had space to park the car on the hillside and walked down stone steps to the lodge which is perched on the mountainside with spectacular views of Mountain Toubkal and Imlil Valley. In the distance, we could see Kasbah du Toubkal. Personally, I think we were in a better location. We were welcomed by hot tea and nuts and small biscuits! We booked two rooms for two nights and they have quite a different décor, both bedrooms were spacious and welcoming with small private balconies overlooking the mountains and the valley. The owner could make the bathroom a little more private by putting bath curtains as there is no privacy if two people are sharing the room and it is thin on toiletries which is standard with all hotels as only one small piece of soap was provided. Said was very gracious and provided us with a shampoo bottle.
The evening meals were traditional Berber soups and tagines, they were cooked beautifully. It would have been nice if they baked bread on the premises! Dessert was basic fruit and again maybe little focus on this. The kitchen went out of their way to prepare a meal for my vegan daughter and thank you for this. There was plentiful for breakfast and what I missed was the traditional cornbread and Msemen. We never felt the urge to go down to the village and try cuisine there as we had plenty at the lodge. It gets a bit windy and chilly at night if you are on the terrace having your meal and would need a shawl or cardigan and Said prewarned us about this.
Said the manager of Village Du Toubkal has been brilliant right from the start when I contacted him via the website from the UK and asked questions regarding trekking, cycling and cooking classes. He was very professional and answered all my questions promptly and was able to give me the cost of various excursions I had in mind. Said throughout has been very respectful, honourable and approachable. This made our stay very pleasant. Said organised our guide for three days we were there. From the lodge, you can walk out onto the trails. Day one we trekked from Village Du Toubkal to Tizi n Tamatart, 7 hours walking with a guide and packed lunch which was basic. There were four of us and each of us was given a large roll, a large whole tomato, cucumber, a small full-fat cheese spread triangle, a small tin of tuna. We only managed one cucumber and tomato sliced between us to make a sandwich and rest given to the locals. You need to take a small sharp knife if you are going to slice your tomato/cucumber and hand wipes as there is nothing to wash with. We did stop at a small Berber place where they served fresh orange juice and had a small table which needed cleaning and no plates to put our food on! Day two we did a trek from Village Du Toubkal to Tizi Mzik 2488 metres again 7 hours walking with a guide and packed lunch). Day three we did the waterfall and Berber villages which were a half day trip. The hikes are about 25 Euros per person. I also did a cooking class, well I followed what the chef was doing as everything has been prepared and I just observed. Maybe it needs to be more hands-on! For biking, I thought it was expensive, for two people it was 90 Euros for bike rental and 30 Euro for Guide a total of 120 Euros!!
Said made our visit very pleasant and he went above and beyond the call of duty to meet our needs. He is an absolute gentleman, I cannot say enough good things about him and thank him enough for his hospitality and friendly approach. This was their low season in July and if you have realistic expectations of a rural lodge then you will surely enjoy the peace and quiet and the most beautiful natural scenery and birds. We took sweets, chocolates and stickers from the UK and as a result, we met a lot of small Berber children on their summer school break who loved the sweets but stickers the most!
I love this place and I was able to make contact with locals and again Said who was so welcoming and this definitely has made us want to come to this place again perhaps in November when there is snow on the mountains. Overall my daughters enjoyed the trekking in the mountains the most compared to our trip to the desert!
This is a very nice place to stay. We had a spacious room with bath, warm enough and with a small balcony from where you can view the mountain. It is a 15 minute walk up from Imlil, but worth it.
We vaguely thought we might pop down to Imlil for an evening meal but never did - didn't really fancy doing it in the dark, so we ate at the Lodge each night and were glad we did. The evening food was well-cooked and filling; breakfast was good also.
From the lodge you can walk out onto the trails and follow the contours towards Aremd/Toubkal, or in the other direction to Titzi Tamatert without needing to drop down to Imlil at all. The walk to and from TT was spectacular on a clear day. At the beginning of March we had 2 fine, sunny and warm days with great views, then a cold snap moved in and we had 1 cold day with thick fog and some drizzle, then 1 cold day with mixed views. Very changeable. The terrace is great on a warm day, with great views. We were glad we had insulated jackets after the sun went down/when it never came out.
The staff were helpful and we would be very happy to return.
Love this place. It’s perched on the mountain side with stunning views from the balcony across the Imlil Valley and Mt Toubkal. Looks over the more we’ll known Kasbah du Toubkal and having been to both the views from here are better. My room is lovely. Spacious, warm, clean, comfortable beds, huge bath to relax in after a long day trekking. The food is plentiful and delicious. There a bit of a walk to get here from the main road but as long as you visit here with realistic expectations of a simple, rural hotel to use as a centre to see the beautiful valley, I think it is spectacular