My girlfriend and I were in Marrakech for a week and reserved one night for day trip to escape the very busy and sometimes tiring atmosphere of the city. Since our trip was a relatively short one we didn't want to travel too far, but wanted to see more rural areas, do some hiking and get some fresh air. The owner of our Riad recommended going towards Ouirgane as it was a relatively short drive but afforded lovely views of the Atlas mountains and the chance to walk through small villages and, importantly, is an area relatively unknown to tourists. He further recommended Domaine Malika (we had been leaning towards staying at Chez Momo based on guidebook recommendations). What an excellent recommendation! We rented a car at the Marrekech airport and after easily found Domaine Malika (the drive probably took us about 2.5 hours, but we were going very slowly and stopping now and then to take pictures). The hotel is near a very small, cute village, in the middle of a few medium-to-large agricultural properties. The hotel itself is on a large piece of land and produces its own olives, olive oil and much of the produce served at dinner...and what a dinner! The dinner we had at Domaine Malika was by far the best meal of our entire trip. Everything was incredibly fresh, delicious and while inspired by local flavors and spices, a refreshing break from the never-ending rotation of couscous and tagines you get in most restaurants. The place is small so there's a set menu, but they happily accommodate dietary restrictions with a little advance notice. The owner Paul was very friendly and informative and provided us with a small map of the area with a few suggested hikes marked. Our room was amazing - enormous floor-to-ceiling windows with gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside and the tips of the Atlas mountains peeping over the foothills, a fireplace, a huge bathtub and a very comfortable bed. Our only regret was that we could only stay one night - we plan to reserve more time for Domaine Malika on our next trip through Morocco. Oh, and maybe that we were there in winter - the pool area looked quite inviting for those lucky enough to visit during hotter months!
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