In Morocco, the indigenous people are Berbers, and their traditional architecture uses rammed Earth and wood. Aside from in big cities, the Berber-style is plentiful across the country. While this rooted design may be popular, however, the country has never seen it done in a modern and luxurious way – until now.
At the end of March, Max Lawrence opened a brand new experiential hotel, Chez Max. Located 45 minutes outside of Marrakech, this all-inclusive catered villa is offered exclusively through Lawrence’s company, Lawrence of Morocco. The property takes principles of Berber building techniques and infuses them with dramatic effects and trendy accents. For example, while Berber rooms are customarily long, low and narrow, Chez Max features squared or curved rooms with high ceilings, giving them more space and light.
“Normal Berber properties are built around the Islamic principle that strangers and prying eyes cannot look in, but the problem is that this means you can’t look out, either,” explains Lawrence. “But Chez Max is able to flaunt that rule, and offers views for kilometers, over the local hamlets towards the hills, from inside and from its terraces.”
While this is the designer’s third Moroccan property, the style of hotel is one-of-a-kind in the country. Along with the tradition and luxury infusion, the property works to help guests feel completely at home. For example, the housekeeper, Saida, makes sure the rooms are tidy and also prepares delicious home-cooked cuisine. Additionally, there is no bill to pay on departure, as the designers do not want to intrude on the peaceful and relaxed feeling of the villa.
“There’s absolutely nothing else like this in Morocco,” says Lawrence. “Other Berber impersonations aren’t nearly as stylish or dramatic, nor are they situated in a such a quiet spot in the country, but within easy reach of Marrakech.”