I'm absolutely baffled at the (admittedly very rare) negative reviews here. Like most other visitors, I find Irocha a haven of peace and tranquility. I don't know how many nights I've stayed here in total, but I know it's a lot more than I originally planned. In truth, I'm finding it hard to leave! Ahmed (who grew up in this valley - the ruins of his grandfather's house can be seen across the river) is an absolute delight, knowledgable about all kinds of things and interested in absolutely everything. I've been with him (and often Catherine as well) to all kinds of places, from small Berber villages and Lac d'Ifni to short walks here in Tisselday. I've spent nine weeks in Morocco so far this year, and there's no doubt that this is the guesthouse I'd recommend first to anyone who asked. It's a home away from home.
I am not only vegan but very careful about the sourcing of food, too, and that is another reason why I love staying at Irocha. Ahmed and Catherine are both very health-conscious and interested in cooking. All fruits and vegetables (and presumably the meat, too) are sourced locally, with Ahmed himself going to the souks and farmers. He gets his dates from Agdz, more than two hours from here, because he believes they are the best quality and he can be sure they haven't been sprayed with pesticides. The food is delicious, and I'm always able to come with requests if I want something different.
The guesthouse itself is beautiful and a bit quirky. It's like a mix between a guesthouse and a boutique hotel, really. There are rocks everywhere - Ahmed is a trained geologist - including a collection of heart-shaped ones on the fireplace. There is a beautiful swimming pool, and several rooms and outdoor areas to hang out. Most of the rooms are spacious (two cheaper downstairs rooms are less so) and beautifully if simply decorated, all of them opening to the outside.
There are plenty of short walks to do directly from Irocha, on either side of the valley, and many others reachable by car. It's about three hours from Marrakech, so perfect if you want to break up your trip from there to the south, and much nicer than Ouarzazate (which is about an hour from here). There are some great local souks in the area (just ask Ahmed or Catherine), and a Berber village about an hour's drive up the mountain. Ait Ben Haddou is about 30-40min from here by car.
The easiest recommendation I could make for Morocco!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our "Maison d'hôtes` is situated in the village of Tisselday on the way from Marrakech to Ouarzazate, at 20 minutes from the Ait Ben Haddou ksar, 40 Minutes from Ouarzazate and 3 hours from Marrakech. It's a beautiful location in an authentic "pisé" village away from the crawded touristic places, a perfect base to discover the real berbere life of the south of Morocco. We have 10 rooms (all with private bathrooms with showers or bath). ... more less
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