The village of Ouirgane is nestled in a truly beautiful valley surrounded by forested hills.
Located deep in Berber country, La Roseraie is the only Atlas Mountains hotel to offer a full on-site spa, and is also known for its horse-riding. But the key attraction for most visitors are the 60 acres of parkland: flower beds, olive trees, orchards and, as the name suggests, plenty of rose bushes. At an altitude of 1000m, this is a perfect Moroccan climate: cool in summer and mild in winter. The tranquillity is total, too: as you curl up with a book, it will be almost impossible to believe that the hubbub of Marrakech is only an hour away.
Scattered around the gardens, the 44 comfortable rooms and suites fuse traditional Moroccan stucco and tadelakt (lime plaster). All open onto private patios and terraces with stunning views, and all have a mix of modern comforts and homely touches. Style is decidedly 'old school Atlas mountain retreat'.
That unique spa boasts a heated (in colder months only) indoor pool with hydrotherapy jets, a large jacuzzi, a traditional hammam, a sauna and a gym. There are also two other pools and a tennis court, while La Roseraie’s restaurant serves classical Moroccan and international food.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE SPA IS DUE TO BE REOPENED IN LATE MAY 2015.
The family-run hotel has its own horse-riding centre (BEST TO BRING ONES OWN RIDING HAT), and can arrange daily or overnight treks (staying in village accommodation). Walking and mule excursions are also possible, and trips should especially appeal to ornithologists: nightingales, cuckoos and storks are among the area’s many local birds. Service is not the fastest in the Atlas but the local staff are friendly and kind.
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.
La Domaine Rosarie – I wanted to love this hotel, I really, really did… but our experience there was not positive I’m afraid. Firstly, the car sent to pick us up was not ideal with broken seats and seat belts and the driver had typical Moroccan approach to the road which meant I did spend the journey up to mountains somewhat anxious rather than enjoying the scenery particularly about the girls who didn’t have cross-body belts on.
Location of the hotel is amazing and the gardens were beautiful. We were offered 2 rooms, the 2nd was larger (I think it was 2 inter-connected rooms) and was in side of the hillside with a balcony, as it was sunny we thought this might be the better option to keep room cool. Both rooms were very dated – I hadn’t expected this for some reason but thought it wouldn’t matter so much as not expecting to be in them much. Apart from 2 other families we were the only guests at the hotel which does always feel a bit odd! One of the other families I believe were friends of the owner/manager. It certainly seemed to feel after a while they were getting slightly different experience/service to us! Despite being near empty we seemed to spend quite a bit of time finding someone to get drinks/food from, or the right person – one person was only in charge of food and couldn’t take a drinks order! Pool area was lovely but everything was just a little bit shabby, towels threadbare, lounger covers dirty, only one swimming pool clean and at threat of rain all the loungers got covered up! Lunch had to be eaten on terrace although we managed to get some sandwiches at the pool area finally. On returning to room after day by pool we found it was very musty and covers in rooms were slightly damp, bath water was brown. Our dining experience was not good…the first night we were the only people in the dining room. Menu was quite limited but that was ok, the girls' food (pasta) was fine. They got our order wrong (we’d waited 30 mins) and it took 45 mins for replacement to turn up which was inedible – think Gareth had charred lamb and I had meatball tagine (basically was meatballs in the tomato sauce the girls had on their pasta!). I was really disappointed. The next day breakfast was dire, some sweating bits of cheese and ham and stale toasted bread from the night before, orange juice with flies in. The other family definitely received something different – pastries and mint tea from recollection! I was on the verge of calling Souad to see if we could transfer back to Les Deux Tours but we decided to see it out for one more night and Gareth made a strong complaint. We decided to go out for a walk around nearby circuit which we absolutely loved, what an incredible place, walked for nearly 3 hours and we all enjoyed every minute. On return to hotel we had slightly better lunch and they made more of an effort with dinner, whole new menu with fresh fish and chicken tagine, service had also improved. We had a better breakfast on morning of departure out on the terrace overlooking the pool. Was also disappointed the spa wasn’t open. Had another crazy transfer back to Morocco holding on for dear life – however we were back with plenty of time to catch the plane! It was the only blip – loved Atlas mountains but we left wishing we’d chosen another venue. Such a beautiful place and hotel just really let down by service, food and very, very dated and tired surroundings and rooms. Perhaps would have been more understandable had the hotel been at capacity but it was nearly empty!
Karen Lloyd who stayed here in June 2015.
La Roseraie was lovely and the staff were extremely helpful in every way.
Helen Coen who stayed here in April 2015.
We had a wonderfully relaxing time at The Roseraie too but were disappointed that none of the spa facilities were available. It is the most extraordinary place really as it is huge and I think it must once have been a really vibrant place with lots of guests but there were only two other guests staying there for the three nights we were there and just the occasional visitor for lunch. We just couldn’t imagine how they will be able to continue with more staff than guests. The gardens are beautiful and well tended and there is so much potential but it seems as if the energy has gone from the place and that the staff seem a little worried about the lack of guests. The manager at reception was very welcoming but he didn’t really have any advice/leaflets about the local area or suggestions of where we might go walking/running etc. There is so much evidence of The Roseraie having once been very successful and we felt rather sad that it might be on its last legs. Having said all this, we really enjoyed staying there! There is just a sadness about the place. Oddly though, they seem to be doing some building work there so perhaps they have a plan! The food is also very hit and miss but the charm with which it was served in front of a blazing fire was lovely!
Louise Gearing who stayed here in March 2015.
La Roseraie – I really enjoyed the location and think out of all 3 I would like to explore more the Atlas mountains, beautiful and fascinating. The hotel was great and our rooms were perfect for us. Pools were freezing but the kids liked the challenge and it was refreshing. I chose the hotel in the hope that I could go riding with the children, I’m a good rider and all the children have ridden before and been on treks in the UK. However it seemed hard to organise and the notice board did say you had to be expert So as a result we didn’t go, not only did we miss the experience but the hotel missed the sale! Instead we went walking and thoroughly enjoyed it, to the extent that I think we should do a trekking holiday next time. Our accommodation was perfect, adjoining rooms with a seating area inside and out. Beds comfy and bathrooms lovely. Only negative was the fruit basket contained several rotten fruit! As for food; Breakfast was very comprehensive and fresh and the setting nice. Lunch we passed on after the first day as they seemed only to offer a 2/3 course meal (which I later realised was the dinner from the night before). We would have wanted a salad or sandwich type snack with maybe a fresh fruit smoothy, there was no drinks menu so had no idea what was available. The choices for dinner were good and we enjoyed the food but the service was hilarious as well as very slow! The restaurant décor was very sumptuous.
Sue Melly who stayed here in November 2014.
La Roseraie is probably the nearest I'll ever come to Caribbean paradise. We couldn't believe our eyes when we saw our apartment so close by the pool.
Although it was very cold I swam twice each day and again freshened one amazingly.
Our guide Ali for the trek was also good and he taught us berber! We went out for a second half day to the salt mines.
The Roseraie did find my vegetarianism very challenging and couldn't comprehend no chicken or fish but they did, eventually rise to the challenge! In Moucharabeih it wasn't a problem as the local food is very vegetarian friendly.
We defiantly plan on going again. We found the local people kind friendly and very generous.
Christine Hall Farthing who stayed here in October 2014.
We loved La Roseraie, it was gorgeous and perfect for sitting in their stunning gardens watching the butterflies and birds after a good day out.
The food was excellent most of the time and the service excellent. My Dad fell and cracked three ribs and Mohammed was so helpful getting a doctor and helping wherever possible.
Sharif our guide for our Berber trek gave us lots of information and was charming.
Chris Jones who stayed here in September 2014.
Summing up - totally charming , wonderful location , really excellent tour with a fabulous tagine , and staff made us feel as if we were staying at a friends home.
John Stephenson who stayed here in August 2014.
La Roseraie was a place a bit too simple for us at first but we fell in love with it after one night. The birds, plants and the layout really worked well and I loved the food and service even if it is slow but one gets used to the pace and it calms you down. Hiking in the Atlas Mountains was great.
Anna Barez-Brown who stayed here in April 2014.
La Roseraie is essentially a very nice hotel. Our only criticism is that the food is OK but not really better than that.
Johnathan Reekie who stayed here in March 2014.
I also enjoyed the riding at La Roseraie - I had also been there before - I stayed there over millennium new year and Hassan, the stable manager remembered me from back then. I had a marginally hilarious lunch in a Berber village where I was ensconced in solitary splendour in a little room, decked with slightly gaudy, faux-lux cushions and drapes. I was served a huge tagine, couscous and, bizarrely, an omelet - all of which I had to eat without knife or fork...........
mary C-C who stayed here in November 2013.
La Roseraie - really lovely - we had a fantastic suite (with probably the biggest bed in the world!). The gardens, grounds and pool were wonderful and the whole place became magical at night. Food was simple but there was plenty of choice and we really enjoyed the dinners - breakfasts tended to be a little chaotic as either nothing came for a while or everything came at once - wasn't a particular problem, but a full buffet style would probably work better and mean less waste
Sara R who stayed here in November 2013.
La Roseraie is a gem, though of a very different kind. At first we weren't too sure, it's a bit like the Faulty Towers of Morocco but I say that in the nicest possible way. It is quirky, but by the end of our stay we almost liked it more than Les Deux Tours. The visit to the market in Asni was certainly much more enjoyable than the souk in Marrakesh and I am very glad we ventured away from the city.
Laura W who stayed here in October 2013.
La Roseraie was good but the pools were too cold for swimming. I thought that they were meant to be heated but we enjoyed just sitting & looking after a very quick dip the first day. Transport all went to plan & we found everyone friendly.
Sue O who stayed here in October 2013.
La Roseraie - We loved our rooms and the hotel in general. We went horse riding. it was magical, and my son went too ( I know the owner said under 12's not allowed for health and safety reasons, but Hassan who owns the horses was excellent) The owner also drove us to Marrakech and he was really interesting and added to our understanding of the area enormously.
The food was a bit hit and miss. Either very good or inedible! They could definitely work on that.
If the pools were warmer it would have improved the holiday for the children a lot. Most importantly though, the trek we went on was not suitable for us. The language barrier meant that we could not ascertain how far or how long we were going for. Don't get me wrong, it was very interesting, but 4 hours and 15 kilometers is too far for children without mule support ( especially when they're only 5).
Virginia G who stayed here in October 2013.
We enjoyed La Roseraie and the mountains very much, but could have done with a little more sun. The staff were charming. The gardens were superb.
Victoria D who stayed here in October 2013.
Lovely setting, fab garden, good food in the evenings. We enjoyed the day horse riding but, as good riders ourselves, would say it would be pretty challenging (ie steep) for a beginner/novice rider. We did not do the full day walk as we felt it would cover much of the same ground, and I was tempted by the pool! Service was a little haphazard especially at lunchtimes, and I was rather surprised to find two full-size raw leeks, two large potatos and an iceberg lettuce in my 'assiette du crudities'! Those of us raised on Fawlty Towers could laugh it off; other nationalities might be more grumpy. To be fair, there were only four other guests in the entire place, so atmosphere/concentration were a bit lacking. On reflection, one night two days would have been enough - but, a lovely spot to be after the Marrakech madness.
Andy A who stayed here in October 2013.
• Very few guests – almost our own private hotel
• Amazing grounds, lovely bedroom, great staff
• Breakfast OK – plentiful home-made breads
• Salads at lunchtime superb and enormous
• Dinner a bit variable but good overall – the odd strange combination, e.g. chips + rice + pasta with meat
• Not always possible to change money (if person i/c not there) * but bill payable in sterling
• No information in room. There should be details of local walks, birdlife etc. The schematic diagram of the walks, available at Reception, was of little use and it was almost impossible not to get lost.
Paul B who stayed here in April 2013.
The Roseraie was a wonderful setting and the walking guide provided was lovely - we had a really good whole day's trek. Although the breakfasts there were good, we didn't feel the dinners lived up to their reputation - also, there was nothing vegetarian on the main course menu - they were happy to make something on request although it did make me feel a bit of a nuisance. (I wasn't the only vegetarian staying there at the time.)
Rosie S who stayed here in April 2013.
My wife and I are keen to return to the La Roseriae. Next time we will build an itinerary with a car and include the desert. I have processed my photos and added them to my website.
Alick S who stayed here in April 2013.
The rooms and the food were very good in la Roseriae and the staff very friendly. The gardens were spectacular and the pool great - if still a bit cold! I certainly hope to go back and will recommned Lawrence of Morroco to my friends.
Marcelle S who stayed here in April 2013.
We really had a wonderful time, everyone was so helpful, and the locations were amazing. Patsy really enjoyed riding with Hassan and the stables were beautifully looked after. Many thanks for a wonderful trip, and we will be back to book again later this year.
Peter M-A who stayed here in February 2013.
La Roseraie was peaceful and good quality. We got upgraded when we asked for a room with a fireplace, which was nice because it was a little cold in the evenings,as we expected. The manager didn't make his presence felt much which didn't bother us much, but might be important to less seasoned travellers. The evening meals were very good, plenty to eat and quite varied. The breakfast was minimal i.e. continental style with fresh breads, jams etc. but they also put out processed cheeses and meats under cellophane (a slight downer we thought). The staff were attentive and friendly and we really enjoyed our trips out in the hire car….the drive from Amizmiz back to Ouirgane was absolutely hair-raising and unforgettable!
Kim T who stayed here in December 2012.
Regarding La Roseraie, I would add all of the following remarks which are all positive:
1. The standard was excellent.
2. All of the service from the food, accommodation, service, price of food were good and faultless.
The single aspect which separates the La Roseraie from any other hotel that I have ever stayed at during my 70 years on this earth ( and one that almost every hotel could benefit learning from), was the attitude and general temperament of the staff from cook's washer through to house maid, gardener, stablehand, waiters, cook, manager and even the proprietor who welcomed us. In short, everyone who worked at La Roseraie were always happy in whatever situation one observed them in (both within and outside the presence of the guest). This of itself was the single-most-important memory that will stay with me when I recall Morocco and our stay there. If Nabil the owner could bottle that magic and sell it to every other hotel in the world, he would benefit the travelling world greatly.
William Forde who stayed here in November 2012.
La Roseraie, Ouirgane has been rated 23 times, with an overall rating of 4.26 out of 5.
The Kasbah is a welcoming environment for people seeking a comfortable mountain refuge and for those who wish for superb rooms in a stunning setting.
Blissful mountain retreat only 55km south of Marrakech. This exceptional property belongs to the family of a French doctor who treated and became a 'confidante' of Morocca's King Mohammed V.
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.