1 month ago

Sense of Escape: See Inside This Moroccan Hideaway

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Getting away from it all has never seemed so unlikely or so freighted with questions. One pristine and private spot might provide an answer …

The coronavirus has indisputably changed the way we look at holidays. Now, savvy travellers are more interested in comfort and authenticity and dare we say it, health and safety, than they are luxury resort stays. We want to know that the highest standards of cleanliness and care are a priority, that we can recharge weary minds and bodies in perfect peace in a spot where stress can melt away and where interactions are by design, not necessity.

Pristine and private, Dar Mauresque, a beautifully designed villa between Marrakesh and the Atlas Mountains, is the perfect retreat for these times. Elegant and airy, the one-level house has a spacious salon, with french windows on two sides, and four separate air-conditioned bedroom suites each opening to individually styled outdoor terraces for the prettiest of al fresco dining and drinks. While the interior is both interesting and luxurious, it’s also a lesson in how to furnish a holiday house.

Trudi Ballard, former assistant to Vogue editor Anna Wintour and now press and communications director for Colefax and Fowler, has used her interior design experience to add charm and luxury to the property that she acquired a decade ago. It’s decorated in her relaxed, English, slightly bohemian style and, unsurprisingly given her role at one of the most prestigious fabric houses in the world, centres on classic, quality textiles combined with local finds and clever buys from the high street. “When I go to stay somewhere, I don’t want a boring, formulaic interior – I love colour and pattern, soft seating outside and bedrooms that are fresh and very comfortable.” Trudi emphasises that the look, based around the earth tones of Morocco, has been achieved on a budget. “I’ve used remnants of great fabrics for chairs, and found coloured glass and pretty ceramics and handblocked tablecloths, napkins and bedcovers that can be easily replaced.” She has also invested in high-quality fabrics for sofas and curtains, inside and out. Colefax and Fowler chintzes have stood up to the strong Moroccan light and heat, and Canovas cottons have withstood many evenings of post-swim drinks. “I have learned it is smart to spend the biggest part of your budget on things that you use the most, so they will last.”

With an acre of mature olive groves, pomegranate and lemon trees and a potager, there’s no need to leave Villa Mauresque unless you want to explore Marrakesh or the Atlas Mountains. A private chef will prepare delicious Moroccan dishes, and grocery deliveries, yoga sessions and massage treatments are on tap if desired. www.cvvillas.com

The large salon is decorated in a mix of Colefax and Fowler and Manuel Canovas fabrics with Colefax honeysuckle chintz on one sofa.

The main entrance hall with ceiling light from Henry Cath.

A shaded terrace with smart cane furniture.

A cloistered walkway leads to the bedrooms.

The bedrooms open to a traditional courtyard, planted with jasmine and bougainvillea, which has a central fountain.

A table on one of the several terraces is set for lunch.

Each bedroom suite has its own fireplace, shuttered windows and individual private terrace. The ceiling lights are by Henry Cath.

A fresh green palette in one of the bedrooms.

Photographs by Alan Keohane

The large salon is decorated in a mix of Colefax and Fowler and Manuel Canovas fabrics with Colefax honeysuckle chintz on one sofa.

The main entrance hall with ceiling light from Henry Cath.

A shaded terrace with smart cane furniture.

A cloistered walkway leads to the bedrooms.

The bedrooms open to a traditional courtyard, planted with jasmine and bougainvillea, which has a central fountain.

A table on one of the several terraces is set for lunch.

Each bedroom suite has its own fireplace, shuttered windows and individual private terrace. The ceiling lights are by Henry Cath.

A fresh green palette in one of the bedrooms.

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