Only 40 minutes from Marrakesh, this hotel is beautifully situated on top of a hill overlooking the Ourika Valley with extensive views across and down the valley of the area’s Berber villages. Visitors can enjoy the vistas from a series of courtyards, terraces, gardens, and swimming pools, or one of the 30 beautifully decorated rooms with their own terraces.
The hotel offers an abundance of excursions and treks to explore this stunning region a true escape from the Western world to turn your brain off and do nothing. Popular with the Americans, Spanish, and French people Kasbah Bab Ourika is an authentic heavenly place far from the chaos of Marrakech.
This Kasbah is also one of the most eco-friendly hotels in Morocco, constructed primarily of rammed earth using the traditional Berber technique. The thick walls help insulate against the heat and the cold, and solar panels provide hot water for the under-floor heating.
Ms. Ingrid Debertry, the hotel’s general manager, explained that “British owner Stephen Skinner bought the property from scratch at the beginning of 2003, and it took five years to complete after he kept expanding it with new rooms and gardens.” “ The Kasbah has 40 units, some in the main building and others by the gardens as well as a new place called “The Retreat.” Finished during the Covid lockdown, it consists of 11 bedrooms exclusively for a large group, families, or for a yoga retreats “as a separate class by itself,” she said.
The grounds have many flowering trees like orange and lemon, and an array of many different flowers to view.
Ingrid told NYJTG that the Kasbah’s clientele has evolved somewhat “as we have more and more French and a lot more Americans as well.”
It was time for lunch on a recent visit to the magnificent garden with the amazing mountain views. The cuisine was delicious and super healthy, with a wine list mainly from Morocco. The waiter explained that the menu changes daily. Food is cooked with fresh vegetables and organic ingredients from both our own garden and nearby markets. It is a mix of Berber cuisine and healthy European options,” reflecting what is in season.
With a great smile, Ms. Ingrid added, “this is a quiet place with impressive views and beautiful nature. We have a staff of 75 people working on-site coming from the villages as well as a guide that can show you around and discover new places and activities such as the National Park, horseback riding, kayaking, mountain biking, hot air ballooning, a lunch with a local family or spending a day with the Berbers.”
With its unique hospitality and retreat from fast-paced life, Kasbah Bab Ourika is one of my favorite places in Morocco to date so far with its unique hospitality experience and a genuine Moroccan atmosphere.
For more information:
To plan a trip to Morocco, contact the Moroccan National Tourist Office or log on to http://www.visitmorocco.com/en
Fly Royal Air Morocco – https://www.royalairmaroc.com/us-en/
Story & photography by Meyer Harroch – New York Jewish Travel Guide & New York Jewish Guide.com
The author took part in a press trip sponsored by the Moroccan National Tourist Office.