(This is a six-part series on rural tourism in Southern Morocco, told through members of the newly formed rural tourism association, Réseau de Développement Touristique Rural (RDTR), located in the Souss Massa Draa Region in Southern Morocco. Previous posts: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV)
After visiting Auberge Zolado, Hakim Sabri graciously drove me to our next stop to visit RDTR member Hotel des Cascades run by rural tourism veteran Jamal Atbir. The road to get there was an adventure itself, winding round the picturesque Atlas Mountains, passing through small villages, receiving warm greetings from children and men guiding donkeys along the way.At 1,160 meters, set atop the southern hills of the High Atlas Mountains overlooking the Tinkert Valley, Hotel des Cascades has welcomed guests in this family-run establishment since 1966. Originally founded as a restaurant for family and friends of the Atbir family, the hotel officially opened in 1969 with 5 rooms and now boasts 27. Over the years it has become a must-stop for tourists trekking from Agadir to Essouria for its spectacular valley views, warm hospitality, and the peace and tranquility one feels as soon as you pass through the lush green gardens.
We arrived at sunset and I was immediately invited to unpack my bags and return to the terrace, where dinner was being served. The first night’s cuisine was a tasty local specialty of poulet au miel (chicken drizzled with fresh honey and almonds). I couldn’t help but feel like I was in paradise as I enjoyed this divine meal overlooking the valley with a sky filled with rich hues of red, orange, blue, and purple. Then, the sun set and we enjoyed the rest of dinner by candlelight.
The 16-person staff from the surrounding villages has hosted a range of visitors from English lords, Saudi princes, backpackers, families, honeymooners, and everyone in between. Equipped with a gorgeous pool, lush green gardens, tennis courts and indoor and outdoor restaurants, the hotel also boasts a conference room for business parties or retreats accommodating up to 30. Each room in Hotel des Cascades is quaintly adorned with local art depicting Berber culture and a plate of fresh fruit and flowers picked from the garden.
While in the Immouzer area, you can visit the waterfalls of Ida Ouatane, trek the Atlas Mountains with a guide from the hotel, visit the gorges of Tinkert Valley, take a donkey ride through the mountains, visit a traditional Berber home, see the traditional women’s aragan cooperatives, or just rest and relax poolside with the tranquil sounds of the falls streaming through the garden. Ask a hotel staff member about any of these activities and they will gladly assist you!
To learn more about Hotel des Cascades, visit: www.cascades-hotel.net.
Hotel des Cascades
Imouzzer des Ida Outanane (60 km from Agadir, 200 km to Essouria), Morocco
Tel: +212 5 28 82 60 23, +212 5 28 21 88 08
Fax: +212 5 28 82 60 24