Richard Branson’s fabulous retreat in the Atlas Mountains, Kasbah Tamadot, has 24 bedrooms and suites, including 6 luxury Berber tented suites. All are individually decorated using traditional Moroccan furnishings and antiques, as well as items from the vast collection that belonged to Luciano Tempo, Kasbah Tamadot’s former owner. As a renowned antiques dealer and interior designer, Tempo brought together artifacts from all over the world.
LIFE WITH THE BERBERS
As part of its commitment to the community, Kasbah Tamadot actively approached local leaders to offer villagers the opportunity to work on site. Most had never worked in a hotel before, let alone spoke English. They were trained in all aspects of hotel operations and were taught English, and some were also taught French. Today Kasbah employs 100 people, almost all of whom are local Berbers, including the general manager couple who both trained on Necker Island.
Eve, Richard’s mother, spearheaded several workshops that do knitting projects (an initial three ladies has grown into a staff of over forty), sewing, and carpet-making. The products are then sold at a shop the Kasbah Tamadot built especially to showcase these wares. Thanks to Eve’s perseverance, 30 cashmere goats were recently brought to Morocco (for the first time ever) and have now multiplied to 60. The women will soon be spinning cashmere and creating other precious goods.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS
“Kasbah Tamadot is committed to sustainable development of the local tourism industry and we recognize our responsibility towards the environment and the local community. We know that some changes can be made immediately and others may take some time, however we believe these are the areas where we can make our business both more sustainable and kinder to the environment.”