ABOUT: Nebulae, galaxies, cornets and constellations are the chief reasons for a stay at the SaharaSky: a unique property dedicated to stargazing, with high-quality telescopes and expert astronomers on hand to capitalise on the total absence of light pollution.  Built by German owner Fritz in classic southern-Kasbah-style and chocolate colour, the hotel is fairly simple, staffed by friendly local Berbers and located on the ancient desert caravan route linking Marrakech to Timbuktu.


ROOMS: The 20 rooms range from ground-floor Standard Rooms, which have small terraces, through Comfort Standard Rooms, with larger patios and flat-screen TVs, and up to Comfort Rooms, mini-suites with bigger beds and small salons.  All have air-conditioning, private bathrooms and views over the Tinfou Dunes.


FACILITIES: North Africa’s first private observatory, SaharaSky boasts state-of-the-art GPS amateur equipment including Schmidt-Cassegrain and Ritchey-Chretien telescopes with up to 16 inches of aperture.  Experience isn’t required: staff can assist all star treks, and point out galaxies, meteors, black holes and solar systems.  Elsewhere, the Sky Lounge has free internet and a comprehensive astronomy library, the Star Terrace offers al-fresco comfort and sunbathing, a restaurant serves authentic Berber cuisine, and a convivial bar pairs Moroccan wines, spirits and beers with billiards and darts.


EXTRA INFO:Guided observations of the starry skies are offered each evening, conditions permitting, for 100 dirhams (around £7).  The hotel can also arrange camel rides and bivouac overnights out in the desert.