If you are looking for a great hotel in the town centre, read my review of the Desert Villa Merzouga below. But first, let me tell you the story of how the Desert Villa Merzouga came to be:

Youssef had a dream. At the age of 10, when he lived in the desert near Ramlia in his grandmother’s tent and tended the goats. Groups of tourists came by every week and someone had the clever idea to set up a tent and serve tea. At the time, Youssef thought how good it would be to build a hotel. While he himself went to university years later, his brother opened a hotel out there in the desert.

After university, Youssef started his very successful tour business Rough Tours. The first tours went south along the Moroccan coast, through Mauritania to Senegal. Later, the business focused on Morocco. In 2012, Youssef opened his first camp in the dunes, today it has become Camp Mirage behind the dunes.

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And then, in early 2022, Youssef finally fulfilled his dream and opened his own hotel, Desert Villa Merzouga.

All the decorations and details on the building were designed by Youssef himself and made by more or less local craftsmen. The wooden doors and balustrades, for example, are from Erfoud, the tiles from Fez and the metal grilles on the windows from Tinghir. The most spectacular feature though, are probably the hand-painted wooden ceilings in all the rooms.

I might be able to get you a better price than booking offers, so if you like, send me an email with the date, number of people and the price on booking and I will see what I can do.

More articles about Merzouga: Things to do in Merzouga, Things to know about the desert, Hotels in Merzouga, the best stops on the way to the desert.

Where is the Desert Villa Merzouga?

The hotel is one of the few that are actually in the town of Merzouga. A 5-minute walk to the main street, you can set off from here to explore Merzouga even without a rental car. The dunes start about 100 metres behind the hotel and directly behind the building is one of Merzouga’s palm gardens.

The rooms

There are 10 rooms in total, which have names from Youssef’s family members, rather than numbers. They are all individually decorated in different colours with a mix of traditional elements and modern Moroccan art. The smaller rooms have a small balcony overlooking the dunes.

Each of the 5 rooms are double or twin rooms and a total of 5 can also be booked as triple rooms.

All rooms are air-conditioned and have an electric kettle, mini fridge, safe and a small desk as well as a TV. However, you certainly don’t want to watch TV with views like these from the windows.

There are enough sockets to charge all electronic devices overnight. The open wardrobe has hangers, and clothes can be washed and dried in the sun if you need to do your laundry.

Of course, each room has its own bathroom with a shower (with uncharacteristically good water pressure for Morocco). The bathrooms are tiled in traditional style and there is soap, shampoo and shower gel in small bottles that are refillable. The water is sustainably heated via solar energy.

Shared areas

The Desert Villa has a large, bright and, of course, air-conditioned lounge. Here you can enjoy a cup of tea, browse through one of the books about Morocco, especially about the region, or simply relax. Especially for those travelling alone, this is also an opportunity to get to know other guests.

The restaurant serves a typical Moroccan breakfast and, on request, a not-so-typical Moroccan dinner.

The paintings on the walls of the entrance hall, the salon and the restaurant were all painted by a local artist. They combine traditional Amazigh (Berber) elements with modern art.

From the roof terrace you have a wonderful view over the whole of Merzouga and, in the other direction, the large sand dunes.

For the warmer months, there is a swimming pool behind the building and some lounging and seating areas.

Of course, there is Wi-Fi throughout the building, which is also very fast and reliable by Moroccan standards.


Breakfast is included in every booking and can also be served vegan and gluten-free.

Dinner can be booked additionally and is a set menu with vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free options as well.

The Desert Villa Merzouga doesn’t serve lunch, but as you are within a few minutes walk of the village, you can simply go to one of the restaurants on the main street.

Activities and services

For guests arriving or departing by Supratours bus, the Desert Villa offers a chauffeur service to and from the bus station.

In addition, the team can organise all activities in Merzouga, such as camel rides at sunset, quad biking (although I advise against this for environmental and animal welfare reasons), trips to Khamlia to see the Gnawa musicians or a ride in the dunes on lively Arabian horses.

And as a special feature, a course in Arabic calligraphy can be organised (if the artist is available, be sure to ask as early as possible).

Typical guests

The Desert Villa attracts a very mixed, international clientele. Unlike many other hotels in the region, the majority of guests are not of French or Spanish origin. One of the reasons for this might be that the entire team speaks very good English, which is actually still rather uncommon here.

Solo travellers are very welcome here. Youssef always takes some time to make sure that nobody feels lonely. I have heard from several solo travellers that they felt very comfortable here in the Desert Villa.

Families are also welcome guests. Just know that the pool area is accessible without safety barriers, in case you are travelling with small children.

Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links and, at no additional cost to you, I earn a small commission if you make a purchase. That income goes to supporting this website and keeping it free for you and everyone else!

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