The best break out rooms you could ever imagine
Is this North Africa"s highest conference facility? Kasbah du Toubkal, high in the Atlas Mountains is now promoting itself as a conference centre with a fully-equipped conference 90 sq mt room complete with overhead projection, screens, lap-top input and the best break-outs you"ve ever imagined!
It takes an hour or so to get from Marrakesh to the Atlas Mountains and the Toubkal National park, where Mount Toubkal - at 4,200mt the highest mountain in North Africa - stands serenely surrounded by other lofty peaks.
Ideal trekking territory, ideal get up and away from the grueling Moroccan summer heat territory, an ideal day trip from Marrakesh.
Ideal for a conference or team-building event - and a very sustainable one too.
Part of the Kasbah du Toubkal story is the old estate agents mantra "Location, location, location". And it is true, the Kasbah is in a sensational place with sensational views.
But the rest is sheer responsible tourism good business, combined with the owners - brother McHugo"s- and the local Berbers", wonderful sense of true style and exquisite hospitality.
From a group"s arrival in Imlil, the little village at the bottom of the mountain, to your following your baggage-carrying mule through the massive gates to the domain, to your warm welcome at reception, you get the sense that the Kasbah Du Toubkal is very different.
So, how does this unique sustainable, responsible co-operation now affect the experience? From the point of view of a team-building event it couldn"t be better - for this is team-building in action:
This Shangri la differs from most other hotel developments that are funded from abroad in that the whole establishment is run by local Berbers. Not staffed by locals and run by bosses flown in from abroad. The local community (of fiercely proud and independent Berbers, the original inhabitants of North Africa) have been utterly central to the Kasbah"s creation, reconstruction, development and ethos.
The local community is involved to the extent that, at the opening of the Kasbah in 1995, over 700 local villagers took part in the festivities. Luciano Tempo (the then owner of Kasbah Tamadot) toasted the brothers McHugo remarking that he had seen the site but it was too difficult to acquire. He said gratefully that he was pleased he had not succeeded as at Tamadot he had spent over $200,000 getting electricity or water, what he might have spent in Imlil he could only imagine!
And, as in hospitality all over the world, it"s the little things that are memorable, the little things that make the difference.
Little things like the certificate in reception guaranteeing the quality of the well water that guests have the alternative of drinking instead of water muled in in plastic bottles. Little things like the expensive, locally ground and pressed Argon oil provided with breakfast pancakes and amazing jams. Little things like the book of biographies and pictures of every single one the hotel"s staff.
Like the smell of the smoke from the wood fire made before every meal by the baker, Khadija Benjaa, to bake each meal"s bread fresh. Little things like the local shampoo, soap, and henna in each room - and for sale to swell the villages funds. Little things like the 5% extra on every payment for villagers.
There are big things too - big things like solar panels, high up in the mountains getting even more effect - big things like the Kasbah"s support for the education of local girls and its commitment and determination to eradicate poverty in the area.
But the biggest thing of all is the effect of this immense, thoughtful cocktail of sustainable practice on the quality of the group experience. Here, at the Kasbah du Toubkal, you understand just why super luxury establishments all over the world are taking sustainable practices on board. The extra quality that guests get is simply…serenity. Combine this with an extraordinary location, thoughtful, comfortable accommodation and superb food and you have more than a holiday - you deliver a real life-enhancing, life-changing experience.
Valere is editor of the Sustainable Tourism Report Suite 2011 Get your copy at a special offer price: HERE
Tuesday, November 29, 2011