I stayed at the Berbere Palace...
I stayed at the Berbere Palace while in Ouarzazate. While it's nothing like the five star hotels in Europe or the U.S., it's the best the city has to offer. I understand that when the King stays in town, he stays there.
The room I was in was small but comfortable. Very clean. The desk staff spoke some English, but it was difficult to communicate at times. For instance, I was tyring to find out if there was an internet cafe in town, but they had no idea what the internet was. (I found one, by the way.)
They have two restaurants at the hotel and serve a very nice breakfast. They had all sorts of pastries and you could even have an omelet made to order. I remember dinner being pretty good as well. Of course, the hotel is a rather expensive place to eat, but they had the best selection and best quality of the restaurants I dined at.
There are a couple of tennis courts at the hotel, but don't expect much. And make sure you bring plenty of tennis balls- they don't sell them. The tennis pro was a nice guy. Not the best player, but at least you'll have someone to knock the ball around with you.
The pool is quite nice and there are a couple of ways to enjoy it. You can either lounge in the sun or sit in a shaded open area with pillows and sofas. Lunch is available pool side, and there is a bar as well.
tres jolie architecture, au milieu d'un beau jardin...
Idealement situé dans la ville. restaurant un peu "froid", repas normaux sans plus.
Atlas Corporation Film Studios
The Atlas Studios are one of 3 film studios in Ouarzazate, Covering a site of over 150 hectares, it is the largest studio in Morocco, and one of the largest in the world.
A local entrepreneur, Mohamed Belghimi, recognised that the natural light, and stunning scenery around Ouarzazate, would be condusive to film making, and therefore established these studios in 1983.
The first big film to be shot here was the 1985 blockbuster - Jewel of the Nile, which starred Michael Douglas and Katherine Turner. The plane that featured can be seen inside the entrance.
Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, Asterix, The Nativity Story, Alexander and Babel are some of the more recent films, as well as many TV commercials.
The studios consist of constructed sets and stages, as well as workshops for making the sets.
Some of the sets such as the temple constructed for Cleopatra, may also be used in other productions.
Many of Ouarzazates residents may be employed during filming, some as extras, some as craftsmen etc.
Attached to the studios is Hotel Oscars, with a swimming pool and Restaurants. Some of the actors and crew will stay here, but apparently the 5* Berbere Palace in the town is the place where the stars stay!
Tours lasting 30 mins for 50dh give an opportunity to see the sets and learn a bit about how the sets are constructed etc.
0900 - 1800 daily.
I was lucky enough to have my own private tour of these studios - the manager of my hotel had taken me there, but we arrived just after closing. However, he had a word with some of the staff, and a guide was arranged to show me round.
Apparently he used to be the manager of Hotel Oscars, and he had lots of stories of the film stars he'd met.