Habitas opens a luxury desert camp in Morocco
Luxury glamping in the red dunes of the Moroccan Sahara is an experience not to be missed in this country, but for those who do not have the time or the inclination to travel several hours south of Marrakech, there is another interesting experience just 45 minutes away. The Agafay Desert is often used as a calming day trip from the busy lanes and crowds of this popular town. But with the opening on October 1st of Agafay Caravan by the eco-hotel group Habitas, there is now a camp overlooking this rocky desert and the Atlas Mountains that meets high-end international standards for an overnight stay. The aim is not just to create an accommodation experience, but a creative, imaginative and playful experience by drawing inspiration from this natural environment.
“After the recent success of Caravan AlUla, we felt it was time to expand this immersive concept to a new continent,” says Oliver Ripley, co-founder and CEO of Habitas, describing the developing tourism project in Saudi Arabia. , the latest. company’s portfolio which also includes properties in Mexico and Namibia. “And we were drawn to the striking landscape of Agafay.”
Overlooking lunar landscapes, the 12-acre property features 20 total accommodations, both individual en-suite lodges and more rustic Explorer tents, all decorated with furnishings and decorative items such as rugs, carpets, and more. pottery and cushions from local artisan cooperatives based in the Atlas Mountains. as well as the souks of Marrakech. King-sized beds have hotel-suite mattresses and fine linens, bathrooms have organic toiletries, and those who need to be connected can be since the tents have free Wi-Fi. But guests should be outside, reclining in Berber furniture on their stone terraces watching the stars — or the occasional movie in the open-air desert cinema.
During the day, guests can swim in the two pools, ride a horse or camel (hopefully in good spirits; they aren’t always) from the resort’s private stables, learn survival skills in the desert, practice yoga, meditation or mindfulness, attend musical performances. or learn about Bedouin traditions. It’s also possible to visit local Berber villages supported by Habitas RISE, the company’s impact initiative to support local communities, create jobs, and give back to local environmental and social causes. Staying at Caravan Agafay also improves the RISE fund: $10 will be donated for each guest in residence.
Eating Moroccan specialties is one of the pleasures of visiting anywhere in this country and that applies here as well. Dishes prepared over open fires include fish in chermoula sauce, mashed beans, roasted peppers, lemon, greens and olive tapenade; chicken tabsa-roasted chicken with crispy onions, roasted tomatoes, grilled almonds, crispy garlic, candied leeks, lime, tahini and harissa oil; and pumpkin couscous with celeriac, spinach, chard, basil, broccoli, crispy garlic, pumpkin and orange vinaigrette. Breakfasts cover all nationalities, shakshuka, baked egg dish in spicy tomato sauce with farm-fresh vegetables, spinach and cheese omelet, pineapple/banana smoothies and toast to the lawyer.
Because the location fits perfectly with the Habitas philosophy of fostering human connections, creating shared authentic experiences, and positively impacting local communities, an approach the company is extending elsewhere in Mexico, Costa Rica and Bhutan in the coming months, Oliver Ripley is also looking at other places here. “This project marks our first in Morocco,” he explains, “but we have exciting plans to expand inland very soon.”