“Lord over the Atlas at this coolest of kasbahs at the head of the Ourika Valley”
Rooms are big, high-ceilinged spaces which take their cue from the clean-cut, organic lines of Berber architecture. Most have open tadelakt hearths and all have underfloor heating, whilst thick pisé walls ensure there's no need for air-con, even during the summer.
Although some Deluxe Rooms have terraces, the Suites in the main house offer guaranteed outdoor space (as do most of those in the garden), as well as big dressing rooms and huge bathrooms; some with sunken tubs and from Room 12's raised tub you have soaring views of the National Park. We also love the vast Deluxe Suite, between the kasbah's twin towers, with its enormous terrace, walk-in dressing room and a vaulted bathroom.
Newly opened (and we’re yet to see them) are the Garden Pool Suite and 2-bedroom Garden Deluxe Suite, both of which have cosy sitting rooms with fireplaces and private terraces.
Beneath petal-strewn, pom-pommed blankets, top spec' mattresses, fine linens and orthopaedic pillows await, but don’t expect much in the way of electrical gizmos - these would feel out of synch here. In the bathrooms, big tubs (some of the sunken variety) and/or walk-in rain showers complement buff-coloured marble, heated towel rails, natural soaps and gels, and humongous fluffy bathrobes.
The restaurant aims to showcase the finest traditions of Berber cuisine whilst always offering some kind of European alternative. Locally sourced produce is a cornerstone of all dishes, and much of it is grown in the hotel’s gorgeous organic gardens - including one the finest vegetable patches we’ve ever seen!
Dinner more than lived up to expectations. A starter of roasted beetroot, rocket, feta, walnuts, mint, sherry and vinaigrette was followed by a scrummy sweet and spicy beef makfoul whilst the fresh fruit salad with raspberry sorbet was a perfect foil to the rich flavours of the main course.
Bab Ourika's cosy bar offers a choice of Morocco's best wines and there's French champagne on ice if you're in celebratory mood, a fire will be burning in the colder months. If you're dining beneath the stars it will be hard to drag yourself away from the extraordinary Atlas panoramas.
The breakfasts also showcase local produce: fruits from the gardens, freshly baked bread and pancakes piping hot from the kasbah's oven and we loved the 'Berber style' omelettes with fresh tomato and onion.
Although kids are made welcome at Bab Ourika, and families often stay, the mood here is very grown-up with the accent firmly placed on intimate-escape-for-two.
Babies (0-1 years)
All rooms can hold a baby cot and most can also hold an extra bed. Deluxe Rooms 7 and 8 can interconnect, the Deluxe Suite can hold up to 6 plus a baby and the Garden Deluxe Suite has 2 bedrooms.
Babysitting is available on request.