Should Hollywood set-makers get to work on a super-deluxe Moroccan mountain retreat, they might come up with something like this. Every inch is a decadent destination of choice: from the infinity pool (one of two) to the wow-factor spa, this haven is the darling of the jet set. Wander its ramparts, gasp at the private collection of fine art and artifacts, and wonder if you can afford to overnight in one of the ultraexpensive "Berber" tents (complete with a/c and mesmerizing
views). British entrepreneur Richard Branson has never done things by half. Restoring this former villa of a prominent Italian art collector is one of his most ambitious projects to date. Test the magic of the ambience with a glass of wine: sip the house white while drinking in the view of the river Issktan from the Kasbah's plant-filled terraces. Be warned: this establishment is something of a destination in itself, with many guests hardly venturing beyond the thick walls. Leave your cell phone in your room; the only sound of ringing welcomed here is that of Berber song. If you balk at the price tag, remember that the Kasbah does much to support the Berber community, from staff recruitment and training to projects such as funding the local ambulance service. If travelling with children, check first that your visit falls within UK school holidays, the only time that youngsters are allowed.
Rte. d'Imlil, Asni, Morocco
877-577–8777-U.S. Toll Free; 0524-36–82–00