Saturday, 4 June 2011

This site has moved to "Kasbah On-Line"

Trying to keep up with internet technology is always a mine-field but we are trying our best !

Rather than trying to keep all sites live is rapidly becoming a full-time job so this is what we have decided.

This site:

Is good to keep up to date with our TripAdvisor reviews. Or you can go directly to our TripAdvisor (click here).


Please follow us on Twitter(click here) for updates several time a day!


Please do add yourself as a friend on Facebook (Click here) to become a part of our community.


Is now our new Blog site. Please subscribe to Kasbah On-Line (click here) to be e-Mailed regular news wordpress articles by us.


This Guide (click here) covers the Kasbah of Marrakech and the general area and history. It is also a resource site for other accommodations and activities.


Our YouTube (click here) has reached nearly 2 Million site visits. Many are based on Marrakech and worth a smile.


Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Presenting “Adventure by Design”

As the masses are shepherded into their pre-designed package tour some are looking for a new adventure, a new experience.

The adventure can be local or further afield, UK based or global. This is the unique provision of Adventure by Design, designing treks around the world (specialising in the UK and Morocco) travelling by 4×4 or trekking on foot tailored to your requirements and aims turning them into memories; visiting places and offering the experience the package tour will not reach.

From the busy streets of Marrakech to the amazing mountain views, the gorges and desert dunes, Morocco offers so many different experiences.
To enrich your visit to Morocco we are able to provide truly bespoke treks to discover the culture and country by either 4×4 or hiking, maybe even a combination of both.

Fully insured 4x4 Vehicles
Although we do provide an English speaking leader with each trek there is a strong ethos of a sustainable and ethical provision respecting the environments and cultures we operate in.

Twisting through the Gorge

Therefore, we use locally sourced skilled and trained people, provisions, accommodation where required and vehicles whenever possible.

Adventures take many forms from day visits to overnight expedition’s dependant on your aims.

We use vehicles based in country all fully insured and checked by our drivers. Each adventure has a qualified expedition first aid trained representative. For environmental reasons we limit 4×4 treks to four vehicles, minimum numbers dependant on location. Hiking can be from one to groups of eight.

To find out more or to discuss your requirements please contact us or take a look at our web site

Saturday, 14 May 2011

The Kasbah On-Line is Launched

14-05-2011: The Kasbah On-Line Magazine has finally been launched via WordPress.

Click here to go to site

Focus: News Reviews Articles Comments

The Kasbah On-Line Magazine has been designed in a newsprint format. No doubt there will be a few early teething issues but I will endeavour to iron them out.

We aim to offer high quality images and regular overviews of Marrakech life.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Portraits of Riad Laksiba Service Providers – NEIGHBOURS

ABDELLAH – NEIGHBOUR Photo: Abdellah by Simon Hawkesley

Today comes as a sad day as I hear of the passing of an Old Friend.

Photo: The Stable and Riad Laksiba 2005 by Simon Hawkesley

Derb Kadi was historically the Royal Stables. All bar one stable has long since gone to be replaced by homes, Riad Laksiba included.

The remaining stable is directly opposite Riad Laksiba’s front door and stands testament to a bygone age.

Photo: Abdellah & Hassan's "Calech" standing opposite Riad Laksiba by Simon Hawkesley
Abdellah, the stable owner; passed away yesterday having reached a grand old age, mid-to-late 80’s, he remained active with his daily visit to the stable to ensure that his legacy was in good running order with Hassan, his son. Hassan keeps the stable in a fine condition and the horses are beautifully looked after. Abdou, Riad Laksiba’s Guardian, spends each afternoon helping in the stable and also prepares tagine meals for the Grooms when they return in the evenings.

Rather than mourn Abdellah’s death; I find myself celebrating his life and his warm neighbourly hospitality. Abdellah showed an active interest in the restoration of Riad Laksiba; he was genuinely courteous and kind toward my family and Laksiba's guests. Abdellah is a sad loss; he provided a truly rich embellishment to the street life of Derb Kadi.

My condolence goes to Hassan.

Photo: Residents of Derb Kadi, Riad Laksiba's neighbours by Simon Hawkesley

All of Riad Laksiba’s neighbours have unique characters offering a diverse mix of personalities; which bring great enjoyment to my frequent returns to Derb Kadi. I feel welcomed and accepted as a neighbour; honoured and rewarded to be allowed to share in the day-to-day interaction of this tight community.

To Abdellah: Our thoughts are with you; May you Rest in Peace 11-05-2011

Friday, 6 May 2011

Portraits of Riad Laksiba Service Providers - FABRICS

BATOUL – TEXTILES & FABRICS Photo: Batoul (Old Slave Market) by Simon Hawkesley & Abdelhamid Bousaadi

Batoul can be found, hidden away in the Old Slave Market in the Marrakech Souks.

A few times each week the Old Slave Market is taken over by Rag Trade Merchants. Unusually they are predominantly women.

Photo: Nordie & Simon (Old Slave Market) after a sucessful Tray purchase by Clare Williams

I have noticed that when I suggest that I am off to the Old Slave Market to see Batoul and the ladies; Abdou and Abdelhamid shudder, back off and argue over who’s turn is to go. The victim, usually Abdou, finally agrees; on the condition that he can sit and chat to Nordie & Zac, the Witch-Doctors, who’s Apothecary is also located in the Old Slave Market, whilst I undertake negotiations and will only assist post sale should I need assistance to carry merchandise back to Riad Laksiba.

Photo: Batoul et al by Simon Hawkesley & Abdelhamid Boussadi

It would be fair to say that negotiations can last a little while longer than anticipated; even if one has anticipated quite some time. On saying that…. I love it and feel privileged to be able to immerse myself into a centuries old culture and loose myself in the gaggle of comment, innuendo and conversation.

I don’t quite know where the politics start and finish, with the ladies chatting to a white, male, non-national, married, infidel but it seems to work; although creating the occasional stare of curiosity from other locals who ostensively end up joining the banter.

Batoul and her colleagues sell everything from single shoes, to beautiful hand woven tapestries, to new pillow covers made of Cactus Silk, to teapots and trays. All the stuff that makes a house a home. Mainly second-hand or; to my daughter Hannah’s generation “Vintage”.

The hours are not necessarily spent sifting through the bulk to find that must-have bargain…. more… sipping mint tea whilst Batoul and her clutch thrust garments in your direction, anticipating and scrutinising your reaction, whilst they sharpen their aim with what they consider “more appropiate choices”. The negotiation starts when a glimmer of interest is sensed; then, apparently, you are staring at the finest article in the arsenal.

Photo: Hannah & Kaitlin donning Tribal Tattoo's by Simon Hawkesley

For respite; Batoul makes a great “Mint Tea” and is a dab-hand at creating Tribal Henna Tattoo’s, much to Hannah & Kaitlin’s delight. Tattoo & Tea over and the negotiations commence.

Finally.... a Fabric deal is struck and Abdou will wander over with Nordie to ensure that I have not paid too much for the hospitality !

Photo: Finally... a Fabric deal by Simon Hawkesley