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Ecolodge Dar Itrane
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Reviews (33)
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7 - 12 of 33 reviews
Reviewed September 8, 2009

The High Atlas Mountains were nice. During check in we were offered mint tea, which was good. Whet on a walk, played soccer with some of the local teenagers. Cool experience.
This place can not be called a hotel, it's more like a scaled down dude ranch, without the associated services. No AC, limit in the service, dinner was late. I noticed a piece of bread drop to the floor during our meal, the attendant just picked it up and placed it in the basket with the other food. Got sick when I was there, but to be fair, it probably was not anything from Dar Itrane. While I was sick, I was in bed, looking at the ceiling, watching the bugs crawling up there. I turned out the light, then I heard something hit the pillow, turned on the light, but could not find the bug. But others were there to take it's place.
On the positive, mint tea was nice, couscous was great, dinner was fine.
Service was fine if you've been to France and know what to expect. Pleasant, slightly rude, but not mean.
The biggest thing to remember, the price of this place is far - far in excess of the quality of the hotel and service. For the same price you can get a top notch Riad in Marrakesh. Take a day trip to the mountains, and enjoy your stay at a good Riad.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank Crazy_Bill_Florida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2009

The building is nice and interesting and the staff gave us a good contact of a guide in the zone wich was a nice company for us in one of our trekkings but I think that because of the high price, they had to be much more careful with details; If rooms were not so austere and common rooms more confortable guest will enjoy it better ( The chairs are too high to prevent the tables so you eat uncomfortably and can not enjoy meal moments).
But -to me- some other things are not acceptable at all:
- The dinner is no more correct but the self-service breakfast is poor and very bad served. A detail: as a hostel called ecologic they serve margarine instead of butter!
- The service does not care enough of guests (maybe because the 3 days during our stay in the French manager was absent). Although we could read the time for dinner was between 19.30 and 20.30, at 20.00 h. a man from the staff beated on the door of our room screaming (I was sleeping with a high fever) to warn that the food was served. (When we get to the table the food was served on our plates waiting for us and be tryed for flies!)
- The staff was not tidy enough. Tables were not cleaned at night after dinner, the rets of the meals stayed till breakfast time and later, so more than 60 flies around inside the dinning room, trying all the breakfast service food that -of course- was not even covered at all. I did not see flies in the rest of our trip and we stayed in cheaper places.
The styled of service is not the one you can understand when you see their web and pictures. Also enjoyng the "hamman" was not possible because of overbooking.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank moncala
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2009

Dar Itrane is a gem of a lodge. The valley, village and mountains are the main event, so Dar Itrane just has to provide a comfortable bed and good food to make it work. Food is good; breakfast the usual crepes, yogurt, cheese, etc etc. Dinner with a salad or soup and plentiful servings of vegetables with lamb in various forms. The service was friendly and helpful. I had no problem hiring a very good guide who knew the trails and, it seemed, every other villager in the region. The management has really worked, from what I could see, to make the establishment a true partnership with the village, so many kudos to them for creating some mutually satisfying sustainable development in the high atlas mountains.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled solo
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1  Thank NHWandererNewHavenCT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2009

If you like the prospect of staying in a cold, damp, spartan, almost windowless cave with surly staff then this is for you. Overall, we felt a bit cheated. Although the valley is stunning, the one tiny window in the room looked out over a gloomy courtyard, so we couldn't enjoy the view unless outside. The room was bitterly cold and damp; it was made clear that you were not supposed to use the small heater to heat it, otherwise the lights go off, as they did. Take a torch! When the lodge is full, as it was, it is desperately noisy and overcrowded. You are allocated shared tables. There is nowhere comfortable or relaxing to sit in the entire hotel. The staff are surly, controlling the place, despite pleasant Vincent. Despite what the name 'eco-lodge' implies, much or all the food is imported (including honey from Marrakech, and milk), so the local community does not benefit. No use is made of renewable energy, like solar. The food can be good, but the goat stew was not nice. Vincent makes good recommendations for walks, though a local guide who roams round the lodge pressurises you to use his services, which you don't need. If you want to drink alcohol, take it with you, as the whole valley is dry; the lodge does not sell alcohol. They do a roaring trade in tonic! Discreet drinking in the lodge is fine. It's fine driving there in a tiny 2 wheel drive hire car as we did - it's 'tarred' until the last 100m.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Des1England
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2008

We decided to spend 5 nights at Dar Itrane as a total break from city life and really enjoyed our time there.

We arrived at lunchtime and were met by Vincent who showed us straight to our room and went off to organise lunch. After dumping our stuff and freshening up after the long drive we sat down to a lovely simple, but very tasty, meal made from local ingredients - a theme that was to be repeated every day.

Dar Itrane is in a great location, sitting in one of a string of villages that line the valley sides. Most of our time was spent just wandering between villages, either on the 'road' or through the numerous paths that cross through the orchards and crops in the valley. There's also plenty more strenuous hiking to be done and the hotel has guides to a number of routes - be warned, though, that these are currently only available in French and our school language lessons didn't cover things like 'dry stone wall', 'dry river bed' and the numerous interchangeable terms for path. Even with Vincent's help it was a lot of work the night before to translate the following day's walking route and we obviously didn't get it quite right as we ended up nowhere near our intended target! If you aren't fluent then you will struggle with these guides, though they've promised that there will be English versions some time in 2009. You also won't be able to find a decent map of the area which doesn't help.

Our room was fantastic and came with its own private balcony, but based on what we saw of the rest of the place, it's all finished to a good standard. It's obviously not luxurious but we were very happy there. The hamman was a nice bonus after a day's walking too. The dining rooms are nice enough too, though as others have noted, the communal eating arrangements can be a bit strange; there are times when, as a couple, you just want to have a quiet dinner together and that option just doesn't exist there.

On one day I hired a guide to tackle a longer, more complex hike but this turned out to be a disappointment. With no tourist industry there as such, you're really just hiring local knowledge rather than a true guide and instead of being out for the day, I was back at the lodge within three hours having done a fairly simple route. My guide explained that I walked faster than his previous clients - despite him setting the pace - and felt he'd fulfilled his job. Vincent assured me this had never happened before and was mortified, but my advice would be to be really clear in advance what you want from the day and then clarify and check the guide has understood. Again, it really helps if you have at least some French.

It's not the easiest place to get to and, with a relatively short stay in Morocco, and it being Ramadan, we opted to use the private transfer. While this was by far the most efficient option, it was also ridiculously expensive and I'd recommend that people think about going via private or grand taxi instead. If you're going to be in the country for any amount of time before heading out to Dar Itrane (unlike us who went straight from the airport) then this should be easy enough to arrange, although you might have to do it in two steps with a change in Azilal.

Overall, it's a great place with a great local team running it and is the perfect place to get away from it all.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank acr606
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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