But in Morocco, the welcoming is part of the culture! Labri takes us aboard his four quarters. The road is winding. Suddenly, he turns right and moves away from the asphalt. I start to understand that we’re crossing the famous palm grove of Skoura located 45 minutes from the airport of Ouarzazate. Impatience. We’ve already stayed in Romaneira, the other Maison des Rêves, located in Portugal.
A stay marked with surprises. We learned at our return that the timeless house was created by hotelier Thierry Teyssier. The return to Paris, curiosity took me over and I met Thierry Teyssier. A warm gentleman, always speedy, between two planes and a new idea in mind. Just on time for the glum of France, his vitality is refreshing.
Hotel owner Thierry Teyssier? To me, this businessman puts on a suit of a magician who seeks to transform each wish into a reality. The result? Confidential locations, all except the flashiness, refined luxury, marked simplicity, of good taste and emotion too. Hidden luxury, masked of certain stars, weary by the old hotels with outdated charm comes looking in the cocoons of Thierry Teyssier.
So, in these conditions I left to discover Dar Ahlam, an open kasbah where it’s been for a dozen years now. Upon arrival, I have memories of our stay in Portugal. The same mechanism is taking place: the staff is immaculate and every detail is thought out. We arrive exhausted at an hour ahead of the night. I can see pumpkin soup with ginger and raspberry macaroons, served in front of a crackling wood fire (the Moroccan winter may be colder than in France!). The whole stay will form into the same line: next morning, the time for our breakfast will depend on when we wake up…no schedule, no reception, no keys.
Dar Ahlam will never compel you. ”I created the conditions for a great story but be careful, here, it’s each guest that brings their dream and way of their weekend or vacation.” Then you just let go. We’re in a traditional Moroccan kasbah in which Thierry Teyssier fell in love with in 2000. “I was struck by the authenticity of the houses, the heritage of the Moroccan desert and the last collective granaries.” After several months of work, during which the kasbah was completely demolished and rebuilt for passing canalization, Dar Ahlam opened in 2002 because Thierry Teyssier has two flaws, he’s obstinate and likes to get the job done perfectly. Everything’s thought out in the simple details. The decoration of lights passing through scents. For the pastries, for example, in the beginning he’ll work with Pierre Hermé. A marketing shot for some, but that gives the merit of Moroccan chefs to refine these desserts.
Gradually, the concept is sharpened, journeys see the light of day, always with the famous winning formula, which, incidentally, of all average hotel, each meal is eaten in different places: on the terrace, poolside, or…outside in Dar Ahlam.
And so, we leave for lunch in Sidi Flah. We don’t know any further. We wander through the plots of crop cultivated by the inhabitants of Skoura. Here onions, there carrots. On some between them, women with crumbled faces from years of picking olives. At the end of a little hour of walking, we arrive on an impressive groove, unexpectedly.
The clear water flows from the mountain. A Dar Ahlam waiter awaits us, a pitcher of water in one hand, rose water in the other, to refresh our hands. I cast a stealth glance behind me and glimpse a tent that was pitched for a special occasion, in the middle of this desert canyon, unique scenery, bright, strikingly calm and of pureness. We relearn to let go, to listen to the sounds of nature and silence. We enjoy in this scene maturely thought out. But what we like most of all from Thierry Teyssier’s enthusiasm is the ability of the Moroccan staff to appropriate the spirit of Maison des Rêves: the Moroccan cook, headed by French chef Thierry Alix who has created a spice, “the land of Ouarzazate”, the mixture of dried olives, cumin and toast. “Dar Ahlam has become a laboratory of ideas that from this day forward my teams are the ones who write the stories.”
Good job. The endearing Thierry Teyssier has succeeded to convey his enjoyment of challenge.
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