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Reviewed 14 May 2017 via mobile

I left this place with a full heart. The man who runs this guesthouse was cheerful and had real character, and yet looking after us was obviously only part of the hard work this family performs on their farm every day. He only spoke small pieces of English, but we were able to communicate warmly and within one evening, he felt like a grandfather. The guesthouse is basic, but clean, and a welcome sight after a long day's hike. We were told that we could have a hot shower, but it would take time for the family to go and boil enough hot water- their electricity is solar powered (we opted for a 'wet wipe' shower instead- which was perfectly fine for one night). In any event, it seemed like you might have had to take a towel if you wanted any kind of shower. There are several rooms and my husband and I had a room to ourselves. The beds were comfortable. Clean smelling sheets and blankets were provided. The evening was rather cold, but there was no shortage of blankets and we slept quite well, awoken by the sound of roosters crowing and donkies braying! The food was great. We ate breakfast watching the farm come to life and daily chores being performed. I am very glad to have had this experience.

Stayed: May 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank JTravelBug1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 November 2016

We stayed at the Gite for 2 night at the end of October 2016. We were a group of 30 hikers from Spain and just fitted in the place. The gite is very basic, but for the price you can´t ask for more.The owner Abdel was very kind and helpfull. When we arrived Abdels suns picked us up with their 4x4 (they have 2) and drove 2x to bring us all to the Gite, a one hour drive one way from the point where we ended our hike. The next day 8 of us did not want to hike so Abdel,s son took us to Chefchaouen, also about 1 hour drive on the bad and winding roads, for just 80 euro´s (so 10 euros each), both ways. A friend got the flew and was taken care of very well bij the family of Abdel, and i got diarrhea from drinking water from a well on the way, and they also took good care of me the day i couldn´t go hiking. Warm water shower, that´s very nice. The food was delicious and everything was ecological and fresh from the land or the animals: goatmilk and cheese, all kinds of fresh vegetables, chicken, cow and goatmeat, honey, jam,bread, everything prepared fresh at moroccan style. On the day we went home Abdel´s son took all of our luggage and me to another point where we were pickup up by buses, another time a 1,5 hour drive.Even though i didn´t feel well, i enjoyed my stay very much there.

Room Tip: every room i guess..
  • Stayed: October 2016, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Edith H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2016 via mobile

Three friends and I walked the 6 hour hike from Chefchaouen in search of Azilane. Once we got to the top we weren't sure whether we had taken a wrong turn since we could only see a couple of houses in the far distance, and definitely nothing you would call a village. Anyway, we decided to walk on in the hope that we would find "Gite Azilane". As we were walking past a bend in the road all of our hearts skipped a beat as we were greeted by a very loud and surprising "OLA!". Abdul was sitting under a tree waiting for us with his big smile, everlasting handshake and pigeon English. He then uttered "honey", turned and walked into the forest. A bit confused, we carried on walking until we found the beautiful Gite Azilane.

We were warmly greeted by Abdul's daughter-in-law who gave us copious amounts of tea and cake. We spent the afternoon on the balcony in tranquillity looking out over the most breathtaking views.

Later on Abdul returned with a bucket and a faint buzzing noise. He opened the lid and a few bees flew out. He had brought back a huge amount of fresh honey comb, which he let us devour a large portion of.

They provided us with a huge tagine with salad, bread and olives. It was delicious. Throughout the evening different members of the family came to chat with us about the local area and even asked us to teach them some English. Abdul also joined us for some stargazing.

The rooms and bathrooms are basic but comfortable. This guest house is extremely high on character, atmosphere, charm and beauty, but a little basic. If you need wifi, technology and luxury, this isn't the place for you. But if you want beautiful scenery, good food, a good night's sleep and to be welcomed into the family, this is definitely the place to stay.

Stayed: June 2016, travelled with friends
Thank Rebecca S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2016

This summer my girlfriend and I decided to follow the hiking route into the Rif from Chefchaouen outlined in the Lonely Planet. It's a superb hike and I'd recommend it, although the first day is strenuous. If you're visiting Azilane, the most likely reason is that you've hiked (or hitched a lift with a passing 4X4; which was easy for us) up from Chefchaouen on 'day 1' of your trek. This first stretch of the walk is fierce; most of the day is spent ascending in completely exposed sun along the side of the mountain canyon behind Chefchaouen before you finally climb over the ridge of the mountain and reach the green world of the Rif. It's tough, exposed climb with steep elevation the whole way. We took it up to about 1200m before deciding we would be scorched alive and hitchhiked with a 4X4 up to Azilane.

When deciding where to stay on your first night in the Rif, that context is crucial to bear in mind. That's because there are two places available; this Gite in Azilane, and a much newer Gite in Afeska (Afasska is another spelling) which is a pleasant and easy hour's walk away. There are tradeoffs - obviously Afeska's gite is further away, but I would absolutely recommend it over the place at Azilane.

Our ride dropped us off in Azilane at about mid-day; as with most Riffian villages the economy is based on cannabis farming. I'm not a smoker, but the heady aroma of the plants in leaf is herbal and pleasant. There is a real feeling that you have entered a different world when you crest the mountains and Chaouen falls out of sight; at 2000m+ the air cools enough for lush cedar forest to persist, and a host of wildlife results. Birdsong is everywhere, and it's a great spot to see Levaillant's Woodpecker. This wildness, it's remote location, the lack of infrastructure (it's either 4X4 or mule!) and blatant drug production make you feel you've passed into a new realm of lawless tranquillity. I've never been somewhere which felt so magically peaceful and relaxed. This feeling persists throughout Azilane and Afeska until you start dropping into the river canyon to the north, which takes you to Akchour.

Onto the Gites. A gite is basically a mountain guesthouse, and here they are used to supplement cash from the crops. We were welcomed to Gite Azilane by Abdul; a friendly old man with just a hint of crazy. I'm very fond of him, and he's a lovely man, but I did find him hard to trust entirely... All you can say is he's lived his whole life on a cannabis farm. I've read great stories about his hospitality, and he was certainly very friendly to us. We arrived at his place at mid-day, so the question on our minds was - to stay here, or to hike on further? As we mulled the question Abdul sat us down on his wonderful terrace with mint tea. The view from here is breathtaking; ask Abdul if you can borrow his binoculars if you haven't your own because you can see raptors soaring about the valley over the kif fields. Thankfully Abdul has a very detailed topographic map in his inventory, too; take a look (and photo) of this bad boy! I've uploaded some photos of it to this page. Abdul gave us some water; there was a visible scum on the surface and a dead insect; be wary. We filtered it, and although it tasted funny we were fine.

Gite Azilane itself is OK. It's a bit grimy, and facilities are very basic; although there is a proper toilet it's not somewhere you want to linger. Servicable, though. There are rooms with ~6 beds each, which don't appear especially clean or comfy. A meal was offered, although we didn't stay for food so can't comment. Price was 150dh per head.

Abdul gave very confusing and conflicting advice for the trek ahead; I believe in an attempt to keep us in Azilane for the night. We spent several hours chilling there and chatting to him; during which he rattled off distances which bore no resemblance to the map and told us there was no gite in Afeska. There is! And it's much better...

Because it was only early afternoon and we wanted to hike further with the daylight, we gave Abdul some dirham for his hospitality and set off for Afeska. The walk was leisurely and pleasant; the route is easy as you follow the wide 4X4 trail through the forest for max 90 mins before you hit Afeska. This is a magical walk

At Afeska we immediately found the Gite; charging 300dh a night it is twice the price, but twice as nice. We were greeted by a lovely young woman who spoke English. The rooms here are clean and much nicer; the toilet followed suite. This gite also features a fantastic terrace with a view. Here we were given sealed bottled water, a delicious platter of biscuits and mint tea (of course) to relax with throughout the afternoon. As night drew candles came out - there is no electricity in the Rif really; although plug sockets in the walls suggested potential here. Our lovely host brought us the greatest feast we had in all of Morocco. Tagine, couscous, bread... The works. All delicious and in seemingly endless supply. I don't think I've ever eaten so much in one sitting! Candlelight lended a romantic air to the whole thing, a wonderful experience. We were also greeted with a packed lunch for the next day's hike - a lovely touch. We chatted to the girl who served us; she comes up to work in the gite for summer whilst college isn't on. She was charming and lovely; and really looked after the place. Note that undernear the terrace is a dining room with glas windows; this will be much warmer in the snowy winter than Gite Azilane.

Azilane is closer to Chefchaouen, half the price but much dirtier and although Abdul has a huge, genuine smile his lies did knock our confidence in the place. Afeska is a little further (but an easy walk) and much cleaner, with good water offered and a spectacular meal. I say the price hike is worth it, but be free to make your own decision using this information. It's basically luxury vs budget. Both have spectacular views, but I personally preferred the atmosphere at Afeska.

If you've any questions about the hike hit me up, as we went all the way to Akchour. It's a magical place, well worth walking, but information is SPARSE! This adds to the appeal in a way, but if you need help I may be able to advise.

Note that Abdul offered us kif at Azilane, but we weren't offered any at Afeska. I'm sure you could ask, however..

Room Tip: Weigh up the advantages of staying in Afeska vs Azilane; Afeska is 300dh and MUCH nicer, Azilane is 150dh and a bit grottier.
  • Stayed: September 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
5  Thank Mahavelona A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2015

Abedelkader was the first to have a guesthouse in the rif mountains, now 25 years ago.
You feel so much at home and welcome you would like to stay longer. Very nice food and family feel, good beds. Simple but great accommodation.
Thank you so much.

  • Stayed: July 2015, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank IngeIdee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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