This hotel is situated in the steeply riven Ourika valley, surrounded by Berber villages from which you can hear periodic calls to prayer. The dining is traditional, uncomplicated and yet generally excellent - the couscous was the best we tasted. The Moroccan salad platter was perfectly sufficient for lunch.
We took several short walks (2-3h), guided, at the recommendation of the manager, by Omar, a young man who lives across he road. He speaks very little English and intermediate French but his warm character communicated all that was needed. We visited him at his home which was fascinating - they seemed to be having a lot of fun! Lives are simple in terms of technology but rich in community and landscape. It was interesting to see the women in their domain. Generally your dealings are with men. You'll really miss out of if you don't visit the villages.
The hotel is quite rustic - not a luxury establishment but something more fitting to its mountain environment. We decided the furnishings were "Flintstonesque". The staff were incredibly friendly and concerned for our comfort but also gave plenty of "space". The patron said on our arrival "we are family here, not commercial like Marrakech" and frankly I was sceptical. But in fact it was true! Our bill at the end was exactly correct but they had not charged us for upwards of 20 mint teas, two loads of laundry and even a packed lunch for our trip to Siti Fatma.
The garden is very pleasant as is the pool. In our trips up and down the valley we noticed nowhere nicer. You can pop over the road to buy water and snacks so you don't have to buy everything at hotel prices. We were there in Ramadan and this didn't adversely effect our stay. The hotel is a little rough round the edges but for friendliness, traditional food and mountain location I would highly recommend Ourika Garden.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled along the valley of Ourika, this intimate inn offers breath-taking views, native-styled guest suites which feature, mountain views, fireplaces, sunset setting, soothing sounds of nature. Looking for a romantic weekend or family adventure, this warm guesthouse combine a heavenly experience with modern amenities. Using vegetables grown in our own organic garden, our skilled chef will custom-make delightful meals, along with serenity and warm set up will ensure you can resource yourself. ... more less