Stay at the resorts featured in BBC One's Life Beyond the Lobby

Everybody’s talking about Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond The Lobby, and series five kicked off with its hosts Monica Galetti and Rob Rinder heading to two of our favourite properties for a peek behind the scenes at some of the world’s most iconic hotels – fascinating stuff!

All properties picked are different and unique, but common features include awe-inspiring locations, lovely décor combined with innovative facilities and the latest tech, and fabulous food.  We share what makes the first two properties so special to us.

Stay at the resorts featured in BBC One's Life Beyond the Lobby

Week 1: Kasbah Tamadot, Marrakech

Bought by Sir Richard Branson during one of his ballooning expeditions, this award-winning property is located in a remote setting in the Atlas Mountains, south of Marrakech. It has just 29 rooms and suites, 10 of which are luxury Berber tents (some with private plunge pools) – so it’s a real escape from the world.

As Monica and Rob discover when they temporarily join the hotel staff, everyone who works here comes from one of the surrounding villages (many of which you can see from the hotel). So, it’s only fitting that those who stay here get the chance to immerse themselves in local culture, in activities including everything from bread baking and cooking lessons to trekking through the mountains. You can also visit the Eve Branson Foundation, which was spearheaded by Branson’s late mother to provide young people with artisanal skills training to preserve Moroccan and Berber crafts.

And this wouldn’t be Morocco without a spa with a hammam where your skin can be deeply cleansed, purified, and softened in the traditional way. And naturally, dining here is very special too. Exquisite Moroccan and global dishes (based largely on produce from the kitchen garden) are served alfresco on the terrace by the pool bar, on the rooftop terrace beneath the stars, in Kanoun Restaurant, and in stunning private locations.

Week 2: JOALI and JOALI BEING, Maldives 

Series five is the first in which the team visit a resort in the Maldivian archipelago – and what a resort it is! JOALI Maldives launched at the end of 2018 with a raft of sustainable initiatives and an EarthCheck certification. This was joined in 2021 by JOALI BEING, a 20-minute boat trip away – the Maldives’ first wellbeing-immersive destination, set on an eco-friendly island that has retained its wild forest. Indeed, one of the standouts of Joali is its Reef Restoration Project, allowing guests to join the in-house marine biologist in transplanting tiny coals onto the house reef to help it regenerate.

Another amazing feature is JOALI’s Joy of Caring programme, which benefits the local community via grant schemes, education around food and sustainability, women’s empowerment through education, training and work equality, and green farming on land and sea. Tying in with this, the amazing hotel team visits neighbouring islands to get a feel for the region and its communities.

Monica and Rob also look at the hotels’ dining scenes, which focus on earth-to-table, seasonal dishes from menus curated by world-renowned Michelin star chefs, and on the breathtaking accommodation. JOALI Maldives itself has 73 spacious beach villas, over-water villas and residences with private infinity pools, dedicated Jadugars – private butlers – and bicycles for whizzing your way around on. Similarly, JOALI BEING with its unique biophilic architecture has 68 villas and residences with private pools and butlers, as well as special inclusions such as customised mini bars, meditative musical instruments, and wellbeing games. The largest has four bedrooms and sleeps up to 10 people.

To book your holiday at the Kasbah Tamadot or JOALI Maldives/JOALI BEING, or for more information about spectacular places to stay around the world, call your Travel Counsellor today.

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