Seven years in the making, Richard Branson’s Kasbah Tamadot has been one of the most eagerly awaited hotels in Morocco. A little less than an hour’s drive south from Marrakesh, Tamadot was originally a Berber chieftain’s private palace built in the casbah style. The grounds are covered in Zen-like cactus gardens, thick rose beds, and fragrant apple and cherry trees. The hotel’s 18 guest rooms and suites mix Moroccan furnishings with Asian antiques. In addition to the accommodations in the main casbah building, a separate three-bedroom “master suite” with a private plunge pool can be rented as an individual villa. Despite its tranquil setting, Tamadot is not aimed at the kick-back-and-do-nothing crowd. Indeed, it is populated by type-A travelers who take full advantage of the resort’s two tennis courts, well-equipped weight room, and large indoor lap pool.