Our clients and many other Americans must have been impressed with Moroccan World Cup prominence; the country is a sizzling visitor scene this year! Marrakech is packed with luxury riads and lodges, as much as I love it, after a few days of the colorful chaos, most travelers seek a tranquil escape in the Atlas Mountains for a few days of serenity.
Keeping my eye on the pulse of the new important hotel properties before my fall visit, I’m very intrigued by a new hideaway in the Atlas Mountains. Olinto is a luxury Atlas Mountain retreat situated in the Berber heartland of Morocco, a mere 55-minute drive from Marrakech airport.
The nine vine covered cottages sit at the foot of the Atlas Mountains. The Retreat has been created by Prince Fabrizio Ruspoli di Poggio Suasa, a pioneer in establishing legendary Moroccan properties. In fact, on my first to Marrakech, I stayed in his glorious riad, the five-star Maison Arabe and still dine in the enchanted gardens.
A petite footprint on a massive piece of land provides the ultimate in seclusion. Each of the nine majestic pavilions has been designed with privacy and the utmost comfort at its core. Those in search of utter harmony and a much needed get away from it all, will find themselves surrounded by stunning vistas and pure mountain air.
Set on 10 acres amid groves of olive trees and perfumed gardens, above the Berber village Imlil. The retreat provides dramatic views, the cottages enjoy rooftop havens for private sunbathing, and secluded gardens, in some cases, small pools. A spa will open sometime next year, for now, guests can enjoy massages in the traditional hammam. I know of two clients who request private gardens or beach pavilions for nude sunbathing. Sunshine, a gentle breeze and privacy equals sybaritic heaven for many!
Set at the foot of Mount Toubkal, the highest northern peak, Olinto is the perfect location for hiking, adventure sports, mountain biking and climbing. Our clients who have stayed in the area, enjoy hiking with Berbers and visit women’s cooperatives and take cooking classes in local homes.
Shaded courtyards and vine covered pergolas provide places to read or just let the quiet take over. A natural grand swimming pool has majestic views of the reddish mountain peaks over a thick cluster of silver leaved olive trees.
One always needs a time out from Marrakech, and this retreat appears to be the perfect antidote.
My formal RSVP has been posted and my personal review coming in fall. Olinto has received much press since their opening.
Photo credit Ebony Siovhan.