In their halcyon days, camel caravans consisted of thousands of camels travelling from North Africa, across the desert to the savannah region in the south.
My Moroccan Camel Caravan is by luxury vehicle with my trusted driver, Mustapha. I may transport as many bags as these desert caravans, and the purpose is similar.
Camel caravans were used for travel, trade, and information exchange. They were crucial in helping establish the Silk Road, an extensive trade network linking China to Europe and northern Africa via the Middle East.
My upcoming Camel Caravan will also be used for travel and information exchange in the form of visiting new city hotels and Sahara camps, exploring riads in the Marrakech medina, staying at a new property in the Atlas Mountains. Supporting the trade industry in search of handmade baskets, woven textiles, and brass lamps.
Crisscrossing the Country from the Atlantic near Casablanca, across the Sahara in search of the ultimate luxury desert camp, to the oldest Moroccan Imperial city of Fez, days in Marrakech, the Sous Valley in southwestern Morocco, and trailing the Atlantic Coast in Southern Morocco.
Morocco is a Hot Destination this year and next year is beginning to fill up as well! We’ve contributed to the Morocco Mix with clients exploring the mesmerizing medinas, Atlas Mountains, and Sahara camps.
On my radar for fall, Tangier which is hitting its stride again as a Destination. One of the most free-spirited beach cities, Tangier has enticed boho artists, expat writers Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Paul Bowes, Tennessee Williams, and the Rolling Stones who called Tangier home for brief sojourns. Anthony Bourdain dipped his toe into Tangier life as well.
The gateway to Africa, perched on the Atlantic, Tangier is an intoxicating hotbed of culture and balmy Mediterranean weather. Located about 8 miles across the Straits of Gibraltar from Spain.
Once known for its sordid reputation, from 1923 for thirty plus years, it was classified as an International Zone, which had been jointly administered by the European colonial powers and the U.S. since 1924. People of all character flooded Tangier with a mix of brilliant writers, criminal’s, exiles, and eccentrics – a melting pot of civilization relishing a culture of no rules and permissiveness.
The Kingdom has noticed the influx of tourists as have luxury five-star hotels: the Fairmont Tazi Palace is contributing to the buzz. Tangier has lacked luxury hotels, there are a few small guest houses, La Tangeriana, where I’ve stayed – it’s a delightful riad property, with stunning views. Hotel Josephine, a bit out of town, is surrounded by beautiful gardens and is an old school traditional property.
The Fairmont Tazi Palace is a true luxury property in a magnificent location. Secluded high in the forested hills above the medina is Fairmont Tazi Palace Tangier, one of the finest 5-star hotels in Morocco. Built as the opulent residence of the king’s advisor, it has been meticulously restored to its 1920s splendor, lovingly recovering the original decorative elements, and enhancing them with the exquisite handwork of local artisans. This expanded sanctuary sits amid acres of a century-old eucalyptus forest and groves of palm, olive, citrus and fig trees, interspersed with Andalusian-style gardens.
A sea of tranquility amid a modern-day international city. The SPA extends over 27,000 square feet with 10 treatment rooms and outdoor spaces bathed in natural sunlight that leads to a vitality pool, private spa, solarium and hammam. Every treatment is personalized to your wishes, combining Moroccan-inspired techniques with products. Hammam will be on my schedule after I arrive!
The 133 rooms, suites and penthouses at Fairmont Tazi Palace are designed in homage to Moroccan high craftsmanship, with vibrant mosaics, rich fabrics and delicately handcrafted Arabic moucharabiehs showcasing the talent of skilled local artisans. Seamlessly integrated modern amenities ensure the utmost in comfort and convenience.
All the rooms offer balconies or terraces, some looking out over a hillside lushly carpeted in eucalyptus forest, while others afford uninterrupted views over the Old City to the mountains beyond.
Andalusian-style gardens and tranquil spaces are interspersed between the various parts of the hotel, turning the palace into a luxury home. I can’t wait to visit!
Also opening in June is the long-awaited hotelier Jasper Conran’s Villa Mabrouka, the ‘House of Luck. Set high above the Bay of Tangier, overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar. It was once the ornate home of iconic fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé. The former private residence, a 1940’s estate, will offer twelve rooms, originally designed by Jacques Grange, it will be a superlative draw for fashionistas and followers. Gardens designed by Madison Cox overflow with bright bougainvillea and lush citrus trees. Famed British designer, Jasper Conran, is the ideal host of this fashion legacy property.
Always was Morocco. And recently the country’s leadership seems to have embraced it in all its ill-reputed glory. The days of predatory poets in search of literary inspiration and young flesh are probably over for good. Hippies can just as easily get their bong riffs in Portland or Peoria. But the good stuff, the real good stuff, the sounds and smells and the look of Tangier — what you see and hear when you lean out the window and take it all in — that’s here to stay. Anthony Bourdain.