Riad Madu, Merzouga

Peerless views on the edge of Sahara desert dunes. And A/C.

Only a few years back, the only type of accommodation you could get from Erfoud to Merzouga was the typical package tour 100- room hotel catering to buffet dinners and loud Spanish groups. Fortunately, things look different nowadays, but  it is still not easy to find a cosy human- size guest house where the staff remembers your name and each rooms is individual. Riad Madu is one such exception. Location, location, location. With a sumptuous view on some of the highest dunes of Erg Chebbi, it offers a dozen air- conditioned rooms and suites, grouped around the interior patio.

Even with the standard rooms you get plenty of space and comfort, but if you can, try and get one of the newly added first floor junior suites with a view on the dunes. The generous pool is a bliss from March to October and sometimes November. Tamegrout tiles, grey tadelakt and African masks are a stray away from the traditional kasbah. Staff are always on hand, yet never invading. Certainly the only place on a 50 mile radius where you can get a nespresso. What else ? Oh, plenty. Alcohol is not available on site but you can bring your own. Best visited all year round.