11 Aug2010

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After visiting the market in Ourika, we headed off to lunch at a small hotel recommended by the managers at Amanjena. The Kasbah Bab Ourika is a charming hotel that sits on a wonderful bluff or hill, with majestic views of the Atlas mountains (which I gather are covered in snow much of the year) and a view down to the verdant Ourika valley. The location is impressive, the hotel seems comfortable and charming, and the hosts welcoming… The one thing I would point out is that their beautiful website mentions that they are just 35 minutes from the Marrakech airport and that is hard to believe, unless they mean by helicopter or magic carpet… From the town of Ourika alone, just a few kilometers from the hotel, we drove at least 25 minutes over some of the most potholed and dirt carved roads we have experienced in recent memory. Getting there makes for an “adventure” for most, I suspect, but I would bet lunch that the airport is a good hour away unless there is a shortcut we didn’t use. Even in luxurious 4WD, the final few kilometers were a bit of a put off, definitely shaken and not stirred. :)

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The view from the expansive hotel terrace is magnificent. And most months of the year the Atlas mountains are capped in snow. The day we were there, the weather was extremely pleasant, and we decided to have lunch outdoors, under the shade of a trellis.

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Views on one side of the property faced the small farms in the river valley, and on the drive up I spied olive and stone fruit trees, as well as assorted rows of vegetables…

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The courtyard of the recently built property brought a wonderful amount of natural light into the hotel…

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Their fountain had a more varied selection of rose petals than others we had seen so far on the trip…

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Hallways and passageways led from area to area, and the hotel was built with traditional design (but updated with modern conveniences), materials and colors. Carpets, wood furniture and various knickknacks decorated the public spaces. We didn’t ask to see any rooms, but their website has several photos of the types of accommodations on offer.

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With less than 20-25 guests staying in the property at full capacity, it is quite understandable that the kitchen would have a limited menu, with basically 2-3 choices for an appetizer, main and dessert. A mixture of mediterranean and Moroccan cuisine were on offer.

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We had a simple salad with goat’s cheese melted onto toast.

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A turkey patty? flavored with local spices, nuts, herbs, etc. that tasted better than it looked.

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The Teen trying to get a decent photo of Mrs. MM’s fish dish.

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That was served with some root vegetables, it was rather good. I also had a passable gazpacho and we enjoyed some tea rather than dessert. When the bill arrived, we were a bit surprised by how expensive the meal was, given the middling quality of the food and clearly “in-training” level of service, the setting and views notwithstanding. If you want a truly out of the way place, perhaps somewhere to relax after you have gotten major facial plastic surgery (I jest, of course), this might be something to check out. No, on a more serious note, if you want a quiet getaway far from the hustle and bustle of a city, this would be an interesting choice…

 

COMMENTS:

  1. gabby says:

    nice pic marketman..

    Aug 12, 2010 | 6:53 am

     
  2. Betchay says:

    Nice views from the hotel. First photo–..looks like the waiter is Filipino/Asian?
    You said you are still using your G10 in your photos and you had plenty of good shots lately.I can see the Teen is using a Canon DSLR(What model?) so why not post more pics taken by the Teen? Previous posted pics taken by her were very good.

    Aug 12, 2010 | 6:54 am

     
  3. Marketman says:

    Betchay, she misplaced her charger before the trip and we didn’t realize it until on the way, so she got just a few shots before her camera died. :(

    Aug 12, 2010 | 7:12 am

     
  4. millet says:

    you bring us to the best places, MM! thank you!

    Aug 12, 2010 | 10:43 am

     
  5. Betchay says:

    I’m sorry for the Teen! :(

    Aug 12, 2010 | 10:59 am

     
  6. May Uy says:

    Was your daughter’s leg on cast? What happened to her? :(

    Aug 12, 2010 | 3:52 pm

     
  7. Marketman says:

    May, yes, she broke her foot before the trip. She is fine now.

    Aug 12, 2010 | 6:51 pm

     
  8. loubna says:

    i’m proud of my morocco , glad to see and hear stories about morocco from you guys .

    Feb 8, 2012 | 8:35 pm

     
 

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