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Travel + Leisure Readers’ 5 Favorite Resorts in North Africa and the Middle East of 2023

Gorgeous beaches, deserts, and hiking destinations rose to the top of reader-favorite resorts in North Africa and the Middle East in our annual “World’s Best Awards” survey for 2023.

The Middle East and North Africa is a region known for its cities, both ancient and still-in-process. But travelers may want to split up a longer itinerary between urban destinations and those off-the-grid — or at least off the beaten path. The best resort hotels in North Africa and the Middle East, as voted by Travel + Leisure readers, serve as starting points from which to enjoy pristine beaches, desert drives, mountain hiking and mule-trekking, and more.

How Voting Works

Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Nearly 165,000 T+L readers completed the 2023 survey, an increase of nearly 25 percent over pre-pandemic voting levels. A total of more than 685,000 votes were cast across over 8,500 unique properties (hotels, cities, cruise lines, etc.).

Hotels were classified as either resort hotel, city hotel, or safari lodge based on their location and amenities, and they were specifically rated on the criteria below:

  • Rooms/facilities
  • Location
  • Service
  • Food
  • Value

For each characteristic, respondents could choose a rating of excellent, above average, average, below average, or poor. The final scores are averages of these responses. 

What Readers Loved

This year, two resorts that T+L readers voted into the top five in the region are in Egypt, a must-visit destination since the birth of modern tourism. Coming in at No. 5 is the Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh, located in the popular Red Sea resort town it’s named after. And in the southern Nileside city of Aswan you’ll find what one reader described as an “excellent historic hotel at reasonable price point”: the Sofitel Legend Old Cataract (No. 4), which occupies a 19th-century Victorian palace. 

The top two resorts on this year’s list can be found in Morocco, a reader-favorite destination visited by millions of travelers annually. The runner-up property, Kasbah Tamadot, has “an amazing location with great views,” wrote one respondent, requiring a winding drive up into the Atlas Mountains. 

But the first-place resort on the 2023 list is just a taxi-ride away from an urban center that’s home to nearly a million people — which readers also picked as their favorite city in the region. 

The Winner

The Oberoi, Marrakech: Marrakesh, Morocco

Leading the list for the second year in a row is this estate just outside Marrakesh proper, which opened just before the COVID-19 pandemic. “The hotel was beyond beautiful, better than any photograph could do justice,” wrote one survey respondent. The property encompasses 28 acres of pathways and gardens and an ornate main building — a near-exact replica of a 16th-century courtyard at the UNESCO-protected Medersa Ben Youssef. (The mosaics and carved wood and marble at the Oberoi were made possible by more than 250 artisans and craftspeople.) The drive to the city center is about 25 minutes, so travelers can balance long afternoons at the hammam or pool — many of the 84 rooms and suites have their own plunge pools — with plenty of time in town. “Absolutely the best hotel or resort we have been to,” another reader remembered. “As you leave, you’ll be planning your next stay here.” 

The Full List 

1. The Oberoi, Marrakech: Marrakesh, Morocco

Reader Score: 97.33

2. Kasbah Tamadot: Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Reader Score: 97.20

3. Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Reader Score: 94.23

4. Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan:​​ Aswan, Egypt

Reader Score: 92.63

5. Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh: Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

Reader Score: 92.53

Source : Travel + Leisure