Only 45 minutes from Marrakech, Bab Ourika receives warm sunlight all day, ending in spectacular sunsets. Guests can relax in individually decorated rooms with their own terraces or unwind by the secluded swimming pool.
This kasbah (fortress) is only 45 minutes from Marrakech. But, having swapped the frenetic, raucous souks for these gape-inducing views across the Ourika Valley and Atlas Mountains, you’ll wonder if the city even existed at all. Up on its romantic hilltop throne and bathed in sunlight all day, Bab Ourika is a exercise in serenity. The vistas are of red rocks and orange trees; of ochre-coloured hamlets and Berbers pummelling olive trees. Further off, green cedes to yellow and the Sahara begins. Eventually there’s a spectacular sunset, and then an endless blanket of stars takes over.
The 15 individually-decorated rooms have earthy textiles, local wooden furniture and famously comfy beds. Most have their own terrace, too. The four categories range from Superior Rooms up to Deluxe Suites (one with a pool) which suit larger groups.
Making full use of one of Morocco’s finest vegetable patches plus produce from nearby villages, Bab Ourika’s chef offers both Moroccan and international cuisine. The menu changes daily, and even breakfast is brilliant – particularly those spicy Berber omelettes. Meals can be served in the terraced gardens, the courtyard or the colonnaded restaurant. There’s also a secluded swimming pool and Wi-Fi.
MORE INFO: Exploring the valley is a must. As well as easy walks and scenic picnics, Bab Ourika can arrange various mule-supported treks, including to the remote Salt National Park. The Monday market at nearby Tnine Ourika is also well worth seeing.
The Lawrence of Morocco map displays the locations of the destinations and accommodation that we have selected and visited; for each item, hovering over or clicking the marker will display a short summary and photo of that place or hotel, and hotel pricing. Follow the links in the info box to the full page listing which has much more information.
Note that the online map offers both a satellite view (click satellite in the top right) and, for some locations, a street level view (Drag the person in the top left onto the map). These let you explore the country; and when you wish to explore in person, or if you have any questions about the places you see, give our staff a call, or request a quote. Our staff regularly visit the places and accommodation that we feature.
When you book a holiday with us we will provide full driving instructions for reaching your accommodation, where necessary; these can be used by yourself, or you could enjoy the luxury of a driver. Alternatively we will arrange private (car rather than coach) transfers for you; helicopter transfers are also possible for some destinations.
I am not on Facebook so I will try and give you my comments by e-mail.
I was very pleased with Denise and your other staff members, with the attention we received before we commenced on our holidays.
Even the canceling of the Royal Air Maroc Airline flight at the end, and our request to cancel one of our days in Marroco was dealt with, with such efficiency.
1. Bab Ourika - Ourika Valley was perfect. The accommodation was first class and the food was to die for.
We enjoyed the Berber lunch and, walking to the village nearly killed us but we enjoyed every minute it.
2. Our second stop to Rock Camp - Agafay was a little disappointing. The camel ride was good, and the service was good. However we were the only ones in camp that night and that we did not expect. The “camp” environment was totally lost because if this. Eating under the stars did not happen. A suggestion that they do not book just one person, , it defeats the idea of camping.
3. Our last stop to Villa des Orangers - Marrakech was all that it promised and more. The Riad was out of this world, the service was second to none and we could not ask for anything more. The fact that
Royal Air Maroc cancelled our last day was a bit disappointing. However your people arranged for the cancellation of the booking, and we will get a refund is good in our books.
We will definitely use your service again and will spread the word in our part of the world.
I will write under separate cover how to refund our account.
Once again thank you very much for one of our best holidays we have had to date.
Marcia & Lem.
Marcia Hurlston who stayed here in November 2015.
Thank you, yes, a really excellent holiday – superbly choreographed by Denise.
EasyJet was a new experience for me (as Denise knows). I did not have very high hopes, which was the right approach since the flights were delayed out and inbound.
We did not particularly take to our cynical and plump little guide to Historical Marrakesh – clearly in cahoots with the Soukees, he would sit in the background while a rather obvious attempt to fleece us was made; tiresome and not especially educational.
As for the hotels Denise chose (Deux Tours, La Pause, Kasbah Bab Ourikah), they were exceptional and a wonderful combo. You should know that the current manager of Bab Ourikah (one Damien) is a superstar who made a huge, and unwarranted, effort to make sure we enjoyed ourselves (we did).
I am very glad we organized our holiday through you – thank you.
David Hansell who stayed here in October 2015.
Hugh Griffiths who stayed here in September 2015.
Bab Ourika was simply heaven for us, in every way. Infact, we almost regretted not doing the whole week there. We have both travelled around Morocco independently over the years, but this time we were looking for something rather special, restful, peaceful and a bit luxurious! KBO ticked all these boxes, and more. I have read other reviews about the wifi, the food … we also ran into a couple who complained about the water pressure … it is the wrong hotel for those looking for developed world perfection! I think it’s amazing there was even the small amount of Wifi available at all, not to mention hot water on tap, given the location and geography, and history of the build. The food was simple, but perfectly delicious after a long day walking, breakfast was exceptional and the best we have ever had (and will be brought to you wherever you choose to nestle in the glorious garden), lunches excellent, and the local wine superb. The staff were absolutely charming, sensitive and so friendly. We walked everyday, through villages and to the market (no guide, which suited us, though we met the guide who was lovely), meeting friendly and interesting locals, and enjoying the quite stunning scenery. The hotel lends itself to those who are happy to enjoy the quiet luxury of unobtrusive staff.
Ali Pery who stayed here in April 2015.
Bab Ourika was a complete contrast to the Riad, where one was opulent the other stark, but we had been upgraded to a de luxe room, and it was really a very good peaceful location, lovely grounds and views.
We had an excellent guide the next day, with good English and a good and generous picnic was bought to us on a donkey! We made use of the Hammam and the masseuse afterwards which was a good idea for desk bound English people who hadn’t taken any exercise for some time.
I would say that the food was quite basic here but perfectly edible, and I think I would be disappointed if I had come to Bab Ourika for my main holiday for a rest. Fine as a base for walks, which others were doing, or as a stopover. I believe the owner is English – we met him briefly - but I thought he might have realised that the actual food itself could have been so much more. Again the staff were faultless.
Fiona Applegate who stayed here in February 2015.
KBO was a total contrast, and again was fantastic. The trek was great and our guide was perfect.
Ian Hellens who stayed here in February 2015.
Bab Ourika was beautiful, the trek with Hassan was great.
Alison Wood who stayed here in August 2014.
Then to Bab Ourika. We have travelled to quite a few places around the globe and stayed in some interesting hotels but everyone agreed that this is probably the best. When we turned up to this tranquil, cool haven we were hot, sweaty and covered in dust but after a day we were totally relaxed. We met Amanda and she sorted our trek as Ali and Beth decided against another walk. So Matthew and I did a shorter trek as the temperatures were increasing. The rest of the time was spent unwinding.
Graham Ayres who stayed here in July 2014.
We then went to our second location at Bab Ourika and again everyone there was very friendly and professional and the greeting with an offer of fresh lemonade or mint tea was very nice and welcoming. The location is fabulous with the lovely garden and we had an upgrade to a pool suite (Room 18 – again!) which was a bonus and a very pleasant surprise. Meals were delightful and very good quality and the New Zealand manager, Amanda, was very welcoming and helpful. We had a lovely and very knowledgeable guide, Hassan, to lead us on our walk into the immediate foothills and to a local village and were out with him for 5 hours – all very enjoyable although it was getting very hot by then so ‘mad dogs and Englishmen’ came to mind, but we survived!
The only real drawback to Bab Ourika is that we felt there were not enough loungers/sun-beds around the pool, which got a bit crowded as the temperatures were rising to high 30s, and we thought that some more beds dotted around the gardens would be a good idea to avoid the feeling that ‘everyone was on top of one another’. So what we are saying is that more use could be made of the gardens to avoid over-crowding of the pool area as a way of retaining the overall tranquility of the place. We also felt that our bedroom – although generally of a high standard – let itself down with fitments which could be updated, in particular a chest of drawers with handles that fell off and windows and door fitments that are in urgent need of repair/upgrading. On our penultimate night there was a heavy storm and rain following the heat of the day, which resulted in a strong sewer smell in our bedroom lasting until the next morning which was very unpleasant (and we forgot to mention this on the hotel’s comment card, probably because everything else was so lovely).
Douglas who stayed here in June 2014.
Bab Ourika was a great starting point - Amanda has a legendary reputation and was a lovely host, her staff were fantastic, as were the gardens and food. We were a little disappointed with the 6 hour trek we had booked which was pretty slow and covered little ground but we appreciate that these activities are probably planned around the slowest common denominator. The picnic was wonderful (Amanda’s kitchen) in a beautiful location. We did some independent walking the following day which was more satisfying as we ventured onto higher ground to appreciate the views.
Christine Cubitt who stayed here in March 2014.
Bab Ourika – lovely location, excellent staff – food 50-50. The lunches were all good – but half the evening meals were not. Other guests felt the same. As one of the other guests said – it needed tweeking a bit. We were upgraded to a bigger room – but it was very cold. We should have asked for extra blankets and a heater, but by the time we remembered (on our way to bed!) there was no one around.
Sally Wellman who stayed here in January 2014.
We were all really taken with Bab Ourika and felt it was a very special place. Our walk that we did was excellent and again the Guide was really informative and friendly. The only slight downside was we felt that the food was slightly disappointing - we would have preferred a menu with more of a Moroccan twist and less European.
Jo E who stayed here in November 2013.
Luxury and relaxation in a stunning setting...
Hugh G who stayed here in October 2013.
Bab Ourika was a lovely start to our holiday - the views, the gardens, the food, the rooms and the staff were all amazing.
Sue C-W who stayed here in September 2013.
Bab Ourika – was excellent, a special place. Couple of issues with the food are the only points of improvement – poached eggs for breakfast were inedible as they’d clearly been cooked in pure vinegar (or at lease with way to much vinegar in the water). In general the more western choices of food (Moroccan dishes were excellent) could have been a bit bolder on the flavours as they were a bit bland to our tastes. These minor points did not detract from the place though as we loved it. Used a guide, Hasan, for a guided walk – he was fantastic, a real gent.
James N who stayed here in September 2013.
Bab Ourika was was a standout. It is special (the furniture, the style, how it is situated, the views, etc.) - and the staff made us feel special. We were given a superb suite (my suspicion is this is what was available - no complaints). The food was good but not superb, but this was as expected - it was good enough. I would go back in a heartbeat - it was especially nice following the trek.
John S who stayed here in June 2013.
The welcome and service at Bab Ourika was outstanding and made everything very easy; if one was in the hotel in the afternoon, people would drift past and ask if water or tea was required. The menu was also varied.
Charles D who stayed here in April 2013.
The welcome to and stay at Bab Ourika were outstanding - Amanda did a great job ( from her we have to let you know that they are finally working on the new road)
Rooms and food were great - a really nice way to relax and wind down
Amanda had organized a 3 to 4 hour trek for us which we really enjoyed - the guide was great – good English and the walk not too onerous .
Wait staff for dining were obviously local and service was basic which was OK - the food itself was good
Keith I who stayed here in April 2013.
Bab Ourika's setting was like nothing else. Great recommendations. They had decorated the bed and room with petals having obviously got wind that we were on honeymoon.
David P who stayed here in April 2013.
We had the least expensive room here and it was very nice, plenty big enough – we were up in the turret so had a fantastic view all around us plus our own roof top terrace. Definitely recommend this room as also very quiet as well as very private up there. The bed was one of the most comfortable I have ever slept in. Again the food was good and staff generally very helpful. The Kasbah lovely inside and the gardens wonderful – fantastic location and very relaxing. We went on one guided walk via the Kasbah, unfortunately we did not have one of their normal in house guides as they were with other guests and our guide’s English wasn’t that great which was unfortunate. The hammam was excellent and very reasonable – definitely recommend anyone going to stay there to try it. Swimming pool not heated so way too cold to go in which was unfortunate.
Only possible down side for some people – could only get Wi-Fi if you sat in a certain area in the reception; no telephone in room so you needed to go on the hunt for staff if you needed anything and no TV in room (although I have to say none of these things bothered us).
Liz Silverman who stayed here in November 2012.
The setting for Bab Ourika is stunning. It’s a beautiful building with spectacular views and grounds, but somehow for us seemed a little soulless – almost a triumph of style over substance. The staff were very pleasant, but their English comprehension wasn’t the best, nor was their awareness of guests, so just getting a drink could be hard work on occasions. Breakfast and lunch were served on a lovely terrace, but the chairs were almost the most uncomfortable that I have ever encountered. Other guests grabbed cushions off nearby sofas to make sitting less of a chore. Dinner was served outside on the lower terrace – a beautiful idea, but lighting was insufficient to be able to see the food on the plates – other guests brought pocket torches to the tables. We could merely gather extra lanterns and use our imagination. Things just didn’t see to work as well as they should have done, but not though lack of effort from the staff. Again, the Kasbah would prefer not to take credit cards, and adds a supplement for their use.
Rachel S who stayed here in October 2012.
Finding Bab Ourika was very difficult in the dark. Noone had warned us about driving in the dark in Morocco and certainly not along an impossibly narrow track for 20 minutes - a double brandy was necessary upon arrival. The young Berber waiters were all smiles and said yes to every request even if they didn't understand a word that had been said. We enjoyed Bab Ourika tremendously although it was just a little like Faulty Towers at times - e.g chilled beet root soup on the lunch menu arrived hot!
Camilla C-C who stayed here in October 2012.
Bab Ourika, Ourika has been rated 22 times, with an overall rating of 4.41 out of 5.
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When travelling around Morocco it is not (contrary to common belief) necessary for women to ‘cover up’ out of respect for local modesty traditions. Morocco is a very mixed society with Moroccans who dress as westerners and more traditional families dressing in a more traditional way.
The only areas of the country where it is advisable for women to cover up their legs and shoulders would be in some parts of the High Atlas Mountains (very remote areas) where the locals are rarely visited by foreigners. It is highly unlikely that you will be visiting these areas on any holiday arranged by Lawrence of Morocco.