After five days in the mountains of the sleepy village of Tinouainane, it was time to leave for the bustling city of Agadir. On the way to Agadir, there was a planned stop in the province of Taroudant, where the Claudio Bravo Palace resides. A native of Chile, Claudio Bravo was an internationally celebrated artist, known for his hyperrealist paintings. His home is a place of such exceptional beauty that it has marked me. I shall always remember it and I long to return there, if only for a night.
sistaWrite founder, Jaki Shelton Green had planned for us to visit this incredible home/palace now turned museum and hotel. Even though every element of Mr. Bravo’s home is museum quality, it doesn’t have the formal vibration of a museum, though it has the stunning paintings of Mr. Bravo’s work throughout.
And though you can book rooms and stay as a bespoke guest, there isn’t anything that would give you the impression that it is a hotel, except the many exquisite bedrooms. The only hint of the enterprise part of this home is the sweet and pleasant demeanor of the staff that Mr. Bravo left in continuous employment at the palace. They seemed quite at home.
Typically the word palace, conjures the idea of excess, of over the top extravagance and opulence, The Claudio Bravo home puts a spin on the term palace. His palace is opulent and yet understated.
Its beauty doesn’t yell, it whispers. It seems to say, feel me. Each room has at least one vista that opens onto nature in some way, a courtyard of gardens, or a view of the mountains.
In the home and as well as on the grounds, Mr. Bravos gift as an artist is on view no matter where your eyes traveled; there is some expression of beauty to behold. Like feng shui, the placement of each item looks like a painting itself. It could be the arrangement or how its color or texture either compliments or contrasts perfectly with what is near.
It is so refined, sublime, designed in a manner that pulls you in as the visitor, viewer, in very much the way that nature can lure you. You begin imagining that you are a part of what you’re witnessing, that it’s not separate from you.
My fingers longed to reach out and touch the many varied textures. The colors are soft like water, vibrant like plants, with a spattering of bold touches that are as brilliant as the inside of a pomegranate.
There are at least three pools. One pool is long and narrow for doing laps. Another pool is perhaps for entertaining. Then there’s the pool that is as large as a lake. Beyond this pool, it is the Atlas Mountains, and above them are the clouds. Each element flows seamlessly into the next as if it were all born that way. I know Mr. Bravo didn’t create the mountains or the clouds, the story goes that after first seeing the landscape, Claudio declared he had to live there and proceeded to build the home that is now called the Claudio Bravo Palace. His consideration for nature is apparent and palatable. There are great works of art on the grounds of the palace that are the creations of other artists. They too are exceptional.
Our visit to the Claudio Bravo Palace made my heart sing, it made my heart soar, but oddly enough it was too much beauty to try and take in all at once. We were there for about three hours, and we could have been there for three days, and it wouldn’t have been enough time to absorb all that was there to be seen, felt, and experienced.
I didn’t want to leave the Claudio Bravo palace. I could have stayed there indefinitely just gazing upon the beauty of it all. Writing this post, I thought about using professional photos from the internet of these rooms. In the end, I decided to use my photos. It was like being back in this dreamlike space. This experience in Morocco was very different from our stay in the mountains, and yet both were equally arresting in their unique way. There is one more chapter to share in my version of The Myriad Faces of Morocco. Next week it will be onto Agadir and Essoraria, two cities by the sea.
There are palaces, and then there are palaces. The Claudio Bravo Palace is the palace for me. It’s difficult to see from photos what we truly experienced, but hopefully, you saw some of what I’ve tried to share here. This story wouldn’t be complete without sharing some of the grounds with you. Click here to see some of what surrounds the palace.