ARTIST RESIDENCE - FELLAH HOTEL
06 April 2015
I had left the old town city walls of Marrakech behind me - with a new destination ahead.
The creative & inspiring Artist Residence and relaxed luxury FELLAH Hotel - where Artists and Vacationers meet for a melting pot of quality time and peace. Set in a desert oasis just outside Marrakech - with thousands of details to feed the creative mind. Arriving at the FELLAH is already an experience. Walking from its gates through paths lined with Treehouses, the odd old yellow car, cactusses, Donkeys and Goats to the Main house where one enters the reception area and can walk straight through towards the swimming pool with straight view upon the snowy caps of the Atlas Mountain. Its the contradictions, variety and unexpectedness of the Location that stimulate my mind, breaks down mental barriers and opens my spirit to embrace the situation and accept its wholesomeness as unassailable.
Concept - the FELLAH hotel is not just a hotel - its also serving as an artist residence with chosen artists from around the world being invited to stay there for a period of a couple of months to work. Additionally with each guest check in - a donation gets made to an UNESCO recognized art center & library providing education to local youth. The FELLAH Hotel is more than a luxury hotel - its a luxury hotel with impeccable service albeit at the same time stays connected to its roots.
Atmosphere - easy going, casual, welcoming and relaxed. Its a total retreat of uncomplicatedness. The guests are kind and talk to one another. There are families with kids, single people, couples - a bright mix that each contributes to create a vibe of positivity. In the evening there are local musicians coming to play african songs & music under the open skies.
The Rooms - Located close to the main building and held mainly in white they are of a good size, very clean, very reduced but very comfortable. All basic hygiene products are offered, large shower and separate bathroom, huge bed and desk and lot of storage space. The space lets guests feel comfortable - invites to stay, one does not feel constrained at FELLAH - everything is spacious, conveying a sense of freedom.
The Food - Simply good food is offered in buffets three times a day, inviting to join the group of fellow Fellah dwellers to try from its plates. Large traditional Tagines are set up containing the traditional stewed lamb, beef, chicken and vegetarian roasts. A largest selection of salad is generously set up on one large main table. Morroco's famous huge variety of Salads is offered - leaving no wishes open. The Fellah shows that its proud of its moroccan heritage - and proud to share. For Breakfast one finds the local breads and pancakes, as well as classical continental foods and all the classics - fruits, granola, yoghurts etc. Warm local breakfast dishes are also offered in the tagine - roasted peppers and aubergine, and spicy sausages. What I especially appreciated was that at around 6pm Tapas where served complementary. A selection of crudites, dips, olives, chips etc. Of course one can also order à la carte - healthy dishes like salads and juices build the grand base of the menu - but of course one can also have a Fellah burger and a drink. Prices are decent - for CHF 20 one enjoys a meal & a drink :) FOOD SPECIAL: located just behind the pool, separate from the hotels main halls there is a small hut with a local guy from the village cooking REAL REAL REAL authentic morrocan food. Using simplest ingredients, in a small kitchen and basic utensils - its an authentic experience par excellence! After he is finished serving his guests for the night, he comes out to the main halls to play checkers, cards & talk about life.
Activities - the FELLAH Hotel is an amazing idylle for relaxation - but the retreat offers more than just that. With Yoga and Gym classes, Boxing and Kickbox sessions offered daily - guests are ready to be powered out. There is also a spacious Spa area offering the full range of Treatments and Hammam possibilities. There are dimly lit treatment rooms with thai massage mats on the floor for an authentic and spiritual massage experience.
Overall Impression - the Fellah hotel foregoes the commonly considered standard 'luxuries' and instead sets on authenticity and charm. The Retreat oozes a positive energy and feeling of welcome - the mind relaxes and ones creativity unfolds. The Team is very friendly, and not shy to share their personal stories with the guests, they feel more like friends than servants, yet the service level is always maintained. Its a nice spot to stay & hang out - I could imagine to go back there and spend more time with its people.