Azalai Desert Lodge
An oasis on the edge of the Sahara
Azalai Desert Lodge is a quiet 8 room retreat inside Zagora’s date-palm oasis. It is the perfect base for exploring the desert and Draa Valley. Decorated with period furniture, the lodge evokes the spirit of writers who have captured the romance of the desert, such as Lawrence of Arabia & Karen Blixen.
All rooms come with air-conditioning, a fan, safe and Italian Shower or vintage cast iron bathtub and open out in the delightful gardens. The 2 Discovery Rooms are slightly smaller than the 4 Travelling Rooms which come with a small lounge. They also offer the chance to have a Twin Room. The 2 Suites are larger still and have a living room.
In the gardens there is an inviting swimming pool, and there is also a spa with a hammam. The Lounge has a fireplace with chairs surrounding a lovely Art-Deco walnut table. You can also find a small library with various games on offer. The Restaurant offers diners the chance to dine inside or on the terrace beside the pool.
The Camp is about 3 hours away by 4x4. We suggest taking in some of the amazing scenery along the way either by taking a ride on a camel, or a walk
in the great Stone Desert. The 4 tents are marquee style, with fixed double beds and quality bedding and mosquito nets. They have a bedside table,
shower, chemical toilet, sink and small living room. There is also a restaurant tent, and also a lounge.
Azalai is an ideal base for seeing the desert and the Draa Valley. A blend of French-colonial and modern Moroccan styles, its period furniture and pioneer spirit are inspired by famed, early 20th century adventurers – Lawrence of Arabia, Karen Blixen, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – and their beloved evocations of African lands. But don’t worry: modern-day explorers are also expected to relax beside a sleek, palm-flanked pool, or recharge in a very capable spa.
Travelling Rooms are bigger than Discovery Rooms thanks to their lounges; they also offer the option of twin beds. Both room types feature an Italian shower or vintage cast-iron bathtub, hair-dryers and air-conditioning or fans. The two Suites are larger still, and also include a living room. Glass doors in every chamber lead directly into the lovely gardens.
Those gardens are home to the pool, lined by chaises longues and straw parasols. There is a small spa, offering massages and hammams, as well as a croquet course. Dinner – classic Moroccan fare using local ingredients - may be served on the pool terrace or inside, where two lounges with fireplaces and Art Deco tables await, as does a library and games. Alcohol isn’t currently sold, but you’re welcome to bring your own.
Azalai also runs a Desert Camp. Excursions there – partly by camel if desired – can be arranged, and so too Draa River picnics.