Secluded within the lush foliage of La Palmeraie, a thousand-year-old palm grove produced from centuries of desert caravans and camels passing through Marrakech, this is an oasis in the arid desert landscape.
The gentle bubbling and trickling of La Fontaine des Nymphéas – where goldfish swim and water lilies float amid the splashing water – will greet you at the beginning of your stay. As you pass through the high wooden doors of the villa, you will discover an exquisitely designed house that is rich with treasures and beautiful furnishings.
In keeping with the traditions of Morocco’s domestic architecture, the heart of is its interior courtyard. This large, arched and elegant space is in the centre of the house and its roof opens to the sky. The design of the central staircase was inspired by the curvy interior of the Nautilus shell. Other rooms have been oriented to overlook this area, which features a traditional and intricately carved wooden arch, named Mukaranas. This artefact perfectly frames the sweep of the staircase as it meets the cool stone floor.
The beautiful marble fountain occupies the centre of the courtyard where water softly trickles, ripples and descends to its star shaped pool. This exquisite antique was recovered from an ancient riad and has been restored to its former splendour in this traditional setting.
Look up above the curve of the courtyard’s arches to glimpse the couloir, or upper hallway, which follows the shape of the courtyard in a traditional Moorish design and beyond that to the open sky.
This villa enjoys spectacular vistas across the palm trees to the desert plains and beyond to the snow-capped rocky peaks of the Atlas mountain range in the south.
Sunset is perhaps the best time of day in La Palmeraie. As the dusk deepens, the desert darkens and the sky turns many shades of red. When the sun descends on another lazy day, there is perhaps no better place to contemplate this panorama that bursts with life and colour than this villa's roof terrace. Dar Liqama’s outside spaces are as exquisite as its interior rooms with the terrace’s low-cushioned seating, traditional Berber furniture and the overflowing pots emanating delicate aromas and creating an enticing space.
Once the evening’s light display is over, darkness arrives rapidly and so the many copper lanterns are lit. The flickering candles throw soft shadows upon the terrace and Gnawa musicians play soothing sounds. Guests can slip into evening mode with a warming glass of thé à la menthe, or their favourite cocktail, while feasting on Moroccan savouries and pastries and gazing at the stars.
For those nights of the year when the desert cold creeps in, guests can still take pleasure from the view by retreating underneath a covered salon area, which features under-floor heating, a rustic fireplace, and is sheltered by a high pergola with carved Berber columns.