Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Escape the Heat in Fez - Head to the Hills

If you have been sweltering in Fez there are a growing number of places up in the foothills of the Middle Atlas where you can chill out. The View From Fez team recently visited Dar El Mandar, just 35 minutes from Fez

This beautifully designed Amazigh dwelling is nestled in the hills overlooking the Fez-Sais plain with a view of Fez.  It is an ideal place for families or groups to stay overnight or visit with a day pass that includes use of the pristine pool and a delicious lunch.

Dar El Mandar was created by Jaoued Saidi and his wife Samira who have put years of thought and planning into creating a place of beauty that combines both contemporary and traditional Amazigh (Berber) styles.

For cooler times, the main house has a roaring fire in the large open-plan lounge and dining area. There is choice of a large dining table or a less formal table on the terrace outside.

The food is traditional, beautifully prepared and ranges from simple tagines to more elaborate menus if arranged in advance.

The bread and cakes are all cooked on-site in a traditional Amazigh oven. For those interested, a traditional bread making course is available.

Traditional Amazigh bread-making with Khadija

What is remarkable about the Dar El Mandar experience is the variety of areas, each with a totally different ambiance. Sitting beside the pool sipping a cool rosé, or with a group of friends eating lunch in the outdoor dining room, or (our favourite) chilling out in one of the the traditional Amazigh tents.

Room with a view - outdoor dining

The Amazigh tents are ideal for simply relaxing, reading a book or having a siesta. Looking out over the landscape it is easy to see why Game of Thrones used the tents as a template for the Dothraki tents. Khal Drogo slumping on a banquette would not look out of place.

The perfect chill out spot

At the end of the day the bedrooms are inviting, tastefully decorated and with very comfortable beds. If you want to stay overnight it is important to book well ahead as Dar El Mandar has only three (air-conditioned) bedrooms.

Photo credits: Sandy McCutcheon, Suzanna Clarke - Click on images to enlarge


Douar Lahricha Bni Mellala, Kandar Sidi Khiar Caïdat Aït Youssi, Sefrou, Morocco.
00 212 676 141 335


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