We inherited date palms. In 1999, when we bought the land in Douar Abiad where we eventually built Jnane Tamsna, we were faced with an expanse of barren land dotted with many palm trees accompanied by a few massive carob and wild pistachio trees.
I knew the palms were a legacy of an early dynasty of Marrakech, the Almoravids. From the late 11th century until their fall in the 12th century, they built an extensive system of water harvesting called khettara in Arabic.
These tunnels carried fresh water to Morocco’s northernmost oasis, the Palmeraie (palm grove) of Marrakech.
Jnane Tamsna is in the heart of the Palmeraie, and is the only hotel in Marrakech that has such a wealth of vegetation. Today the date palms on our grounds have returned to their former splendor. Benefitting from the water we use sparingly to irrigate our orchard gardens (called arsat in Arabic), they are again robust and produce fresh dates every autumn. We are pleased to be caring for these iconic plants of North Africa and the Middle East.