Opening Times
Mon-Thursday 9am-6pm
Friday 9am-5pm
Saturday 9am-2pm
Bank Holidays 10am-4pm

Wednesday, 26 February 2014 12:00 AM

Sustainable Holidays in Morocco – Lonely Planet Award to La Maison Anglaise

La Maison Anglaise, one of our accommodations in Taroudant, has been chosen in Lonely Planet’s top 10 eco stays in the world for 2014.

We at Naturally Morocco send our congratulations to Jane and her team at the guest house - they thoroughly deserve the award for all their hard work over many years. La Maison Anglaise is the focal point for our Real Morocco programme of cultural activities.

In our next article we explore the terms Eco Tourism, Sustainable Tourism and Responsible Tourism.

La Maison Anglaise

Owned by Jane Bayley, La Maison Anglaise (also known by its registered company name, Centre Culturel et Environnemental, or CECU) is a unique accommodation with exceptional staff. Jane has always been a leader in sustainable tourism initiatives, and has a trained team of very knowledgeable and friendly staff, who bring our Real Morocco programme to life.

La Maison Anglaise is neither a classic riad nor a sumptuous boutique hotel such are found in many places in Morocco, rather it is a place to understand more about Morocco – its culture, geography and climate – with the staff and other guests. It has a nine simple but comfortably furnished rooms, which offer very flexible sleeping arrangements for guests.

For me, what really sets La Maison Anglaise apart from any other accommodation are the amazing staff, but I also believe that the food is exceptional and wonderfully different. It is all too easy for accommodations to serve obvious Moroccan dishes, but Fatima and little Latifa at the guest house serve an excellent range of authentic Moroccan food and cater for almost any dietary need and have won awards for their vegan and vegetarian food.

Jane now focusses much of her attention on work to support the endangered bees of the region – working with charities Bees Abroad and Bees for Development and local beekeepers. Together they have set up the “Busy Bee Centre” to educate tourists and locals alike on the importance of bees and the issue of the declining bee population in the region, are training local bee keepers and are working on developing habitats (such as an orchard based on permaculture principles) for the bees.

The Lonely Planet Citation

“We asked Lonely Planet’s authors and travel editors to nominate outstanding eco-friendly hotels and hostels. From the incredible array of green stays around the world, our panel of experts hand-picked 10 of the best. So if you want your next trip to make a positive impact, our round-up of wilderness lodeges and solar-powered retreats is sure to inspire.

6. Maison Anglaise, Taroudant, Morocco

Occupying a tall medina house in the walled town of Taroudant, Maison Anglaise is an excellent place to learn about Berber culture. The English-speaking staff organise visits to rural villages and schemes the guesthouse supports, including soap-making and beekeeping cooperatives. Maison Anglaise was awarded the Green Key eco-label (www.green-key.org) for its sustainable practices, such as using solar panels to heat water and serving locally grown produce. Tasting the latter in a bubbling tajine with a multi-coloured platter of salads, served on the roof terrace with views of the High Atlas, is a great way to end a day in Taroudant’s souqs. What really makes the British-owned Maison Anglaise (“English House”) special are the warm welcome and local insights offered by the staff, led by husband and wife Said and Latifa.

“I stayed at Maison Anglaise with my brother on his first visit to Morocco, and it was an excellent introduction to Moroccan culture. We particularly enjoyed a day trip with Said to the High Atlas foothills, where we walked through olive groves to a swimming hole.” – James Bainbridge “

[For the full list of award winners see - Lonely Planet's top 10 eco stays in the world for 2014  ]