The Capaldi is a stylish adults-only retreat half an hour’s drive southwest of Marrakech, in a secluded spot at the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. Surrounded by olive trees, the 23 suites and two four-bedroom private pool villas are enveloped in privacy – and with two swimming pools, a hammam spa, private cinema, library and haute cuisine restaurant, this tranquil resort very much caters for couples wanting the perfect romantic break.
Each room is unique, decorated in a blend of earthy and rich colours, such as taupe or aubergine with accent pieces in deep red, and antique ornaments add visual interest. The generous ceiling height and heavy curtains that drape the floor add drama to the atmosphere of understated luxury, and there are no TVs or other distractions. I enjoyed soaking in the bath overlooking a mini private courtyard and slept very well in my comfortable king-size bed, not least because of the stillness that surrounds the resort and its beautiful landscaped gardens.
Take a seat in the atmospheric dining room or sup al fresco on the panoramic roof terrace. The dinner menu changes daily – expect bold modern metropolitan cuisine such as warm sushi (sounds weird but was delicious) and a selection of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes served with herbs and salads harvested from the hotel garden. Breakfast is also excellent and includes the best Moroccan pancakes I’ve tasted anywhere, served with honey and three different types of jam.
The Capaldi’s bijou spa houses a black marble hammam where I enjoyed a traditional exfoliating scrub with savon beldi (soap made with olive and eucalyptus oil) followed by a full body massage – absolute bliss. My tip is to book this in for your arrival as it is the perfect way to relax and recharge after a flight.
Who goes there
Loved-up couples in their 20s and 30s. The Capaldi has been the setting for countless engagements and weddings as the Moroccan mountains provide the perfect backdrop for romance.
Out & about
The hotel is nestled between lake Lalla Takerkoust and the dunes of the Agafay Desert, so there is plenty to explore. Dune buggying, quad biking, mountain biking and guided hikes can be arranged by the hotel, not least to Mount Toubkal which offers some of the best hiking in North Africa, or to the nearby village of Amizamiz for a taste of rural Moroccan life. Camel trekking, para-gliding and hot air ballooning are all available close by too. Equally, it’s only 35 minutes’ drive into Marrakech, so very possible to do a day trip and visit the souks, museums or beautiful Jardin Majorelle.
The best thing
The service – owners Tara and Edward Lyle like to mingle with their guests, ensuring everyone feels at home, and their equally lovely staff make sure everything runs smoothly. The other clincher, for me at least, is the child-free policy which means you can actually relax by the pool, and enjoy your dinner in peace.
The worst thing
No wifi connection in the bedrooms. But this is probably more of a concern for solo travellers than for the aforementioned loved-up couples.
Rooms from £138 in low season to £1,370 in high season; The Capaldi, 39 km Rte D’Amizmiz, Lalla Takerkoust, Marrakech, Morocco; +212 (0) 6000 20 600; the capaldi.com
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