The 5 Best Resorts in North Africa and the Middle East

The best resorts in North Africa and the Middle East reflect the region’s vibrant cultures and give travelers access to both urban delights and striking scenery.

The Grand Canal and Main Building view at The Oberoi, Marrakech
Photo: Alan Keohane/Courtesy of The Oberoi, Marrakech

Sun, sand, sea, spa — it's all present at the best resorts in North Africa and the Middle East. In this region, cities and culture are the main draw for travelers, but you'll also find everything you'd want in a relaxing getaway. This year's list of top resorts shows us a little of what this region has to offer: vast deserts, snowcapped mountains, sugary shorelines with bright-blue vistas. And you might be surprised how easy it is to find a dose of solitude.

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. Hotels (including safari lodges) were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city hotel, resort, or safari lodge based on their locations and amenities.

Two of this year's top five are not exactly located where you might go looking for a resort: Dubai, a city of 3 million where a jagged skyscraper dominates the skyline. But many properties there offer Gulf-front beaches, expansive pools, state-of-the-art wellness centers, and plenty of time in the sun. Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort, ranked No. 4, offers the only overwater villas in the United Arab Emirates — with one survey respondent praising its "amazing staff, service, and views."

In fact, most of the resorts on the list are (perhaps surprisingly) located in urban centers. But visitors to Kasbah Tamadot, which came in at No. 3, will find it refreshingly removed from city life. Part of Richard Branson's Virgin Limited Edition group, the 28-key property in Morocco's Atlas Mountains is "one of the world's greatest hotels," said one reader. "Small and service-oriented, with luxe touches throughout. A dream experience!"

The No. 1 resort hotel in the region for 2022 is also in Morocco — and offers easy access to the souks and squares of the country's most-visited city. Read on to learn about the properties that readers voted this year's best resorts in North Africa and the Middle East.

1. The Oberoi, Marrakech, Morocco

The patio at The Oberoi, Marrakech
Alan Keohane/Courtesy of The Oberoi, Marrakech

This sprawling property from the Indian hotel brand is located just east of the center city, occupying a former agricultural estate with uninterrupted views of the Atlas Mountains. Spread across 28 acres of gardens, the property's 78 rooms and suites are inspired by both Berber and Moorish architecture. Oberoi is known for its service — perks include butlers who are on call around the clock — and this location is no different, with multiple readers praising the "amazing hospitality." One respondent described staying there as, simply, "just the best experience."

Score: 98.24

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2. Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech, Morocco

The hotel exterior of the Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech
Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

Score: 96.67

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3. Kasbah Tamadot, Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Exterior facade of Kasbah Tamadot
Jonathan Cosh of Visual Eye/Courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition

Score: 95.11

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4. Anantara the Palm Dubai Resort, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Overwater villas at sunset at Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort
Courtesy of Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas

Score: 94.79

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5. Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Aerial view of Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach
Courtesy of Four Seasons

Score: 91.47More information:

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