Text by Eligijus / Photos by Šarūnė

When you do not know where to start – you start from the end. So, it’s Taroudant in our case. A beautiful town in Morocco. And our stay experience in DarZahia. When we were planning our Morocco trip, we decided to give ourselves a nice treat by booking a bit more upscale place than we usually do. Actually, a true reason for that was my wife’s birthday. Happy birthday, Šarūne! To contrast our typical self-catering logging places while we travel, we opted for 4 nights at DarZahia. It’s a place filled with patience and created as well as maintained by big-hearted people.

We spend our days there when the world was going on lockdown due to corona virus and our possibility to travel back home was filled with uncertainty. We felt the tension building up day by day in the streets of the town. But behind the walls of the hotel and it’s garden we felt safe and calm like in a true sanctuary.

Actually, the place is a true sanctuary of mother nature. A central part of the hotel is an open garden with trees and other greenery filling in the spaces and alleys of the whole hotel. Garden is designed, planted and carefully taken care of by the owner Marc.

For me, the key feature of the courtyard garden is the birds. There are loads of them sitting in the trees, flying around, even building their nests inside outdoor chandeliers. At sunset and sunrise time they give you a master concert. It’s loud and noisy. And therefore beautiful. During very early mornings I was grabbing a big woolen blanket from my room and would sit in the terrace. I would listen to the birds who are a hand-reach away from you. That was magical. When we were leaving one thing I was sad about was not to be able to listen to these concerns again.

Marc has also built another amazing garden just 10 min drive from the hotel. Just a bit outside the town. It features amazing plants and a very special swimming pool. It’s painted in deep blue and actually is deeper and longer than one might think.  I have had a good exercise to swim in it.

It took more than a decade to create this garden for Marc from a scratch. There were no trees before. Everything is planned by him and his gardener. It was a great pleasure to meet Marc and indirectly his wife Zahia. I like gardening myself and meet someone who is cultivating a gardening project with timescale over a decade to reach the final outcome he was intending is overwhelming. Well done, Marc!

Both gardens and hotel are filled in with amazing pieces of local artisans. Pottery, wooden furniture, carpets, and woolen blankets.  My favorites were huge green-glazed plates. They stand out more like sculptures rather than dishware. We had the opportunity to visit some of the artisans with the help of Marc. I was amazed by their creativity and working on decorative pieces not only on applied stuff like pots and plates.

I adore mastery and depth and I got loads of this experience at DarZahia. But I could never expect the level of kindness and care. Thank you Zahia for your call and caring conversation. And, Marc, thank for kindly offering for us to stay in your sanctuary as long as we need if we will fail to get tickets back home. Somewhere deep in my heard, I wished I got no tickets. But the situation was serious and I am happy we were back home just a couple of days earlier than we originally planned. But sooner rather than later we are definitely coming back to DarZahia! See you then!


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