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“Good but could be better” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Kasbah Bab Ourika

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Kasbah Bab Ourika
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3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Tnine Ourika, Ourika, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Ourika
Lavenham
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“Good but could be better”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

I am somewhat surprised at the universally rave standard of Tripadvisor reviews for Kasbah Bab Ourika. Yes, it has a lot of good qualities. But there are also a fair number of faults too.
The good qualities first. The grounds are gorgeous, with lovely views. Trees and shrubs planted five years ago are coming to a good size and many of the trees are flowering for the first time this year - in April the air is full of the scent of mimosa and citrus blossom. There is a lovely pool with sun loungers and numerous other places around the gardens to sit and read or otherwise pass the time of day.
Our room was comfortable and having the fire lit as the evenings began to cool was a treat.
There is a wide range of places to have meals as well as the restaurant itself, including most of the outdoor terraces. Especially at breakfast one can sit where one wants. On the whole the food was good - sometimes delicious, sometimes less so.
Admirably, the hotel employs 56 local Berber staff and encourages their families to grow produce for the hotel to buy. This has clearly transformed the local economy.
If so inclined there are lots of optional activities, from guided walks to donkey or camel rides.
BUT our bathroom was intermittently whiffy and later in the season when the weather becomes hotter I'm not sure it would have been OK.
Service was distinctly patchy. Though friendly and willing, quite a few of the waiters spoke almost no English or even French and were unable to explain an item on the menu, and had clearly not been trained to go and find out the answer if they didn't know it. At our first breakfast we had no idea what was on offer and at no time did anyone tell us. It just arrived. Eventually. At breakfast in particular service was very slow - and one evening we waited 45 minutes at our table for a pre-ordered meal, not even being brought a basket of bread.
It seemed to us that there was no effective restaurant manager. Certainly no-one was overseeing either slowness or menu explanations, and no-one had been trained to look to see if anyone was trying to attract their attention. And no matter how slow, there was never any apology. Left over wine was re-distributed to tables at the next meal almost randomly. Several times we were brought bottles with either a lot more or a lot less than we had left the meal before. And though always sorted out, in the end I found this and the slow service annoying.
In the two internal main courtyards around which the hotel is built, rather tacky (and certainly tatty) plastic sheeting is slung over as a quasi roof to keep out the rain. Some rain protection is obviously necessary but it seemed a great shame that in a stylishly designed place they should come up with such an unattractive solution.
Finally, I thought it was overpriced. With an almost entirely local staff, with wage levels extremely low, it is galling to be charged £5 for a beer - much higher than in Marrakech, and even more than one would pay in London. And the optional extras are expensive too. I wondered how much of what hotel guests were paying went to the guides, and suspected is wasn't much.
All in all, I would recommend this place but with quite serious reservations. Had there not been such rave reviews on Tripadvisor I might not have been so disappointed. As it was, it did not live up to my expectations.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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357 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (97)
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London
Top Contributor
125 reviews 125 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 68 cities Reviews in 68 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

We has a fantastic stay at KBO. The natural surroundings are beautiful and the Hotel have enhanced this by laying out such wonderful gardens - including all of the home grown vegetables used in the kitchen. We loved our Treks - doing 3 different ones each morning - with different guides. It was great to learn about the Berber culture and see their villages close up. The longer walk with a pic-nic and accompanying Donkey was the most enjoyable. All of the staff were very freindly and efficent. Food was excellent and varied. The children (9-10) really loved the place as well - having croquet and badminton as well as the pool to entertain them in the afternoon really helped. They also enjoyed having a donkey on a couple of the Treks ! We ended up spending an extra half day than originally planned (enhanced by Amanda arranging for a late check-out) - it was a wrench to leave and we would love to think we could get back one day.

Room Tip: Room 5 was fantastic for our family of 4.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

We, family of four (2 daughters aged 18 and 20), stayed two days at KBO after a few days at Marrakech. We arranged with the hotel to be picked up from the riad we stayed at. The driver was friendly and courteous. The journey was very pleasant. The last bit of the journey was no more than a dirt track! KBO is perched on a hill top surrounded by beautiful mountains. There are lovely, well tended gardens on the ground. Amanda has the ability to make you feel homely immediately you step in the hotel. All the staff were courteous and helpful. Superb breakfast, lunch and dinner with local produce.
We were in the garden suite which was a little way from the main hotel. It is a self contained two bedded apartment with a separate sitting room and a private sun terrace over looking the snow capped Atlas Mountain. The view is truly magnificent. I personally wouldn't recommend family with young children. I think they probably need more than beautiful scenery and the tranquility to keep them occupied.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, USA
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

Where do I begin? The setting is absolutely spectacular with the authentic kasbah architecture of Bab Ourika and the backdrop of the surrounding terracotta-colored hills and Atlas Mountains. It takes your breath away. Stephen, the owner, designed an amazing piece of property that is thoughtfully laid out and the scale is intimately pleasing to the eye. The decor is a simple, warm buttery, moroccan-bohemian style.

Amanda, Paula and the staff were very helpful and polite. They even helped me with ordering a pair of locally handmade Berber slippers that were shipped to my home a month after our stay.

the food was one of our highlights of our stay at Bab Ourika. They were fantastically prepared entries that were fresh and flavorful. The vegetable garden on the property accounts for 50% of their production needs and the balance comes from local farmers. Please walk around the property. You will enjoy it.

I highly recommend the day hikes we did with Mohammad, a local Berber trekking guide. The front desk can arrange the booking. We did two long hikes - one was a Berber village hike and the other was more of nature and countryside hike. Do both! Parts of the hikes can be strenuous so wear good hiking shoes and bring a hat and water. Muhammad was knowledgeable and a took us to places we would never have found if went on our own. Simply amazing experience.

Kasbah Bab Ourika is an incredible place for relaxation and peace with plenty of nooks and alcoves for reading, taking a nap or appreciating the majestic Atlas Mountains before your eyes.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

Such a stunningly beautiful, tranquil and lovely place, every bit as good as it's web site and reviews suggest! We had a room at the back of the hotel (No. 9) overlooking the most breath-taking view - of mountain tops and the hotel gardens in the foreground, with a little side terrace, perfectly placed for watching the sun go down. The place is staffed by cheerful smiley staff who give great yet unobtrusive service and the food is delicious and fresh and wonderful! It was so easy to kick back and relax in this place - the only decisions being which of the comfortable seating areas to lounge in! We had a morning out for a walk to the local markets which was great fun and spent lots of the rest of our time chilling. Would go back in a heart beat!

Room Tip: Definitely the rooms with the view of the mountain tops at the back of the hotel would be my preferr...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013

We recently started our Moroccan adventure in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. On arrival at the hotel we were greeted by Amanda who immediately made us feel special and welcome. After a mint tea and tour of the hotel we found our beautiful Moroccan suite. Everything about the hotel is great. The excellent dinner cooked by Amanda's husband, the pool, grounds and facilities were exemplary. Two nights were not enough. I will be returning.

Room Tip: A place to unwind.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013 via mobile

KBO Is well managed, skilfully architectured, with immaculate, interesting ornamental and vegetable garden.
I just wished we had stayed more than2 nights and enjoyed some more of the various treks and activities on offer!

Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kasbah Bab Ourika

Address: Tnine Ourika, Ourika, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Ourika
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Ourika
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Kasbah Bab Ourika 3.5*
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bab Ourika perches majestically on a hilltop at the apex of the Ourika Valley, guarding the gateway to the snow-capped Atlas Mountains – yet it is only 45 minutes from Marrakech’s International airport. With 360 degree panoramic views, this innovative new hotel receives warm sunlight all day, ending in spectacular sunsets. From its unique eyrie-like position it offers a birds eye view of the Atlas, of traditional Berber villages and of the lush river valley below. The Kasbah is one of the most eco-friendly hotels in Morocco; constructed principally from rammed earth, the traditional Berber building technique, it seems almost to have grown out of the rocks beneath. The thick walls provide such good insulation that air-conditioning is unnecessary. Solar panels provide hot water for the hotel and and the underfloor heating in the dining and bar area. Soon a biodigester will provide electricity and compost not only for the hotel but also for the village below. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Kasbah Bab Ourika Hotel Ourika

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