Hotel Les Rochers Peints

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Mar, 2014

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The Rochers Peints is a quaint venue on the edge of Tafraout in the Anti-Atlas Mountains, Amazing doors, multi-coloured window glass and a large balcony cannot disguise the fact that things are pretty basic – you could not guarantee hot water every day for example, and no evening meal is provided. It is however, cheap and cheerful and the staff (who speak only Arabic and French) went out of their way to be helpful and provided a great breakfast with the best fresh orange juice I have had anywhere, great bread and superb coffee.

There is Wi-Fi and the beds (comfy) come with extra blankets (temps ranged from 38'C to freezing – there was snow on the mountains on our last day) and it is possible to keep warm or escape the sun. The town centre and souk is a five minute walk, with plenty of cafes and restaurants and the orange man. Some of the locals are friendly – others see smiling as a sign of weakness, but we bought shoes, Argan Oil and raffia baskets (and oranges). Walk the other way and you are into the granite desert within a few minutes.

A wild boar strolled round the hotel on a couple of nights (we could tell – the dogs kicked up a tremendous fuss, but stayed well away from the tusks) and a drop of rain brought out small flowers all round the place.

Would we go again – well, yes. It suited our somewhat bohemian group of mature climbers. The hotel also played host to some more sophisticated French travellers. Keep in mind that it is basic, however (and does not sell alcohol – just soft drinks, coffee, fabulous mint tea and hot chocolate) – if you want something more upmarket try les Amandiers for the authentic British Raj experience.

One final note – no credit cards (tho' there is a machine in town). Rochers Peints only accepts Dirhams to settle the bill – and I had to work hard to persuade the manager that we really meant to give him more than the stated amount – pour le personnel.


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