Dar El Sadaka is different. Extraordinary. Daring. It challenges traditional conventions and delights in its eccentricity. Home to visual artist Jean-François Fourtou, it is a celebration of the magic of nature, filtered through the lens of childhood memories. LUXlife Magazine recognised the estate in the 2019 Global Luxury Hotel & Spa programme with the Award for Excellence in Luxury Accommodation in Marrakech. Here we take a deep dive into what makes this exceptional estate tick.
Unusual defines Dar El Sadaka. From one room to the next, there’s no mistaking that this is any ordinary estate. Whether it’s the buffoonery of orangutans, or the visiting giraffe over dinner, Dar El Sadaka offers a treat around every corner. In every regard, guests should expect the unexpected, and await to be amazed as they explore the private villa’s many wonders.
Dar El Sadaka is also a journey through an extraordinary mind. French visual artist JeanFrançois Fourtou has forged a reputation for pieces that are, above all, provocative. Most telling about his work is that a common motif is ‘home’ – cabins, nooks, hiding places, lost things, interiors – filtered through the lens of Fourtou’s childhood. Perhaps most obviously this can be seen in the La Maison du Géant, the Giant’s House, as guests are invited to explore as children, dwarfed by furniture, struggling to reach surfaces, feet dangling from monstrous chairs.
In Dar El Sadaka this idea of ‘home’ takes on a whole new- more literal – meaning, as guests explore Fourtou’s home as it is now, the lens dramatically thrown aside. Here animals roam the halls and rooms, invited in, welcome. Outside by the pool, guests are greeted by a giant sheep, standing sentinel.
Fourtou’s work, though varied, is often an exploration of scale – wrenching the unreal and the fantastical from their world into the real one. That balance of whimsy and realism is very much on display at Dar El Sadaka – a delicate equilibrium that never fails to be enchanting. More than anything, Fourtou is a master at creating impossible spaces through sculpture. In that, Dar El Sadaka feels like a love letter, or perhaps an ode, to his striking style.
Despite its more atypical elements, Dar El Sadaka is also undoubtedly luxurious, with vast open spaces and tastefully decorated interiors. In this, Fourtou’s additions seem as much as a guest than the guest themselves, which makes the entire package all the more unusual, creating a stark juxtaposition between the real and the decidedly unreal.
The estate’s nine individually themed suites and bedrooms makes it ideal for seventeen guests, with the potential to comfortably accommodate up to twenty at any one time. Indeed, this luxury guest house comes as an entire package, for the exclusive use of just one party – a good thing, for the estate has some hidden treasures for those that dare to explore. Throughout it all, the house staff remains discreet, with a keen eye for detail and ability to cater to their guest’s every need.
It would be remiss to not speak for a moment on the estate’s gastronomical offerings, which are sure – again – to sate even the most discerning of palettes. Overseen by Head Chef Madame Hasna, the cuisine is traditional and authentic, yet also refined, novel and sophisticated. Utilising the property’s organic vegetable and herb garden, the staff can adapt the menu depending on dietary needs and requirements, with vegetarian, vegan, macrobiotic and detox menus available.
Here, jams are home-made, honey is harvested from the property’s hives, and olive oil comes cold pressed, produce on site. Seafood is sourced from diligently selected fisherman on the coast at Oualidia & Dakhla. Meat and poultry is provided from an independent local butcher, who raises cattle and poultry on his own farm. All in all, Dar El Sadaka is a haven for sustainable living, making it a guilt-free experience for those that appreciate ecofriendly establishments.
In everything else, Dar El Sadaka seeks to push boundaries and redefine what it means to be a ‘luxury’ property.
The estate is part art exhibition, part home, but, throughout it all, it never fails to be astounding. It is perfect for those that crave something different, and something memorable. Here, Dar El Sadaka stands apart from its contemporaries, unchallenged – this is a treasure in the heart of Morocco and needs to be experienced to be fully appreciated.
Dar El Sadaka
Address: Bab Atlas, Marrakech, Morocco