Amazir – Laid Back Auberge in the Dunes, Merzouga, Morocco

Written April 2, 2013

This locally owned guest house has great bones but falls way short of the rosy reviews given in Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor. Auberge Amazir consists of a Kasbah style house with large rooms and dining areas that have been left to deteriorate – in our first room the air conditioning didn’t work and in the second the door handle kept falling off.  The ideal location with views of the dunes just out the backdoor has been marred by neighboring tents and a pool construction project in back of the guesthouse, started in January 2013.

Terrace

Terrace

View from the terrace

View from the terrace

pool construction

pool construction

Just after the Easter break, we were the only guests in this 18 room guest house that feels like it was designed for tour groups – large dining spaces and outdoor tables. The upstairs terrace with views of the dunes is mostly bare with only two tables with broken down chairs. Still, it’s a lovely spot to dine on warm evenings.

Breakfast on the terrace

Breakfast on the terrace

The food is good, not great, but about right for the price of the accommodations. Wine and beer can be obtained by previous arrangement. We especially enjoyed the salad plate that included a variety of vegetables.

Wifi access is a couple of houses down at his brother’s house.

The owner is very friendly and eager to please but just a bit forgetful and disorganized. His pricing was more than reasonable -600 dirham for room and ½ board for a couple sharing a room, 400 dirham per person for the camel ride and the night in the desert including dinner and breakfast, 100 for extra lunches (served two) and 150 dirham for a bottle of red wine. If you are looking for a laid back atmosphere and aren’t too worried about things working exactly right this may be just the place for you.

Weather – Although the temperature the first week in April was near perfect, cool mornings and warm afternoons, air quality for viewing the dunes did vary quite a bit. Our first day morning we had a thin layer of high clouds. Not the best for photographing the dunes as the diminished light fades the shadows, but great for walking the dunes without the hot sun pounding down on you. The second morning was gorgeous, calm clear air with a few streaks of cloud cover for interest. The third morning was clear but hazy, the dunes washed out to a monotone beige.

monotone dunes on a hazy day

monotone dunes on a hazy day

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