I recently visited Morocco for The Sunday Times. My feature was published a couple of weeks ago but here are my favourite two properties: one is incredibly expensive, the other one dirt cheap. Guess which one I prefer? Now guess which one I can afford? Life is so unfair.
The Palais Namaskar, main image, has been designed according to feng-shui principles: the Moorish architecture is restrained, and the public areas and rooms are surrounded by reflecting pools, walkways that twinkle with tea lights at night, and lush gardens scattered with day beds. Its 41 rooms are decorated in a dozen shades of contemporary greige, and even the smallest has its own garden. Some higher categories lack privacy, however, as their pools are screened from the main one only by flimsy curtains. There’s a glamorous rooftop bar, a dramatic dining room, serving excellent French food, and a resident DJ to ensure the ambience stays pleasantly chilled. The spa is tiny but so romantic. Book the couples’ treatment room, which has its own little pool and twinkles with tea candles – just gorgeous. This hotel sashays straight into my top 10 romantic bolt holes. Doubles from £315, B&B, 524 299800, palaisnamaskar.com
The kasbah’s pungent gutters will clog your nasal passages, but the edgy authenticity is part of the area’s charm. Dar White, above, is down a dark alleyway, but cross the threshold and its Colgate-white interiors will have you reaching for your sunglasses. It’s definitely a house, rather than a hotel, with a sitting room scattered with magazines and squidgy sofas, a rooftop playground with a hot tub that has views of the Koutoubia mosque, and a Martini policy towards food and drink: you can order anything, any time, any place, anywhere. The riad’s layout and the fact that there are only four rooms makes this the ideal pad for a party takeover. Doubles from £80, B&B, 661 306328, riad-dar-white.com