I chose the Hostal Guernika because it was the furthest away from the main square, so I assumed it would be quieter as well as having better views than the cluster of hotels by the square. It turned out to be a very good choice, although it wasn't always easy to find our way back there in the evening!
The hostal, as the name might suggest, is run by a Spanish lady and her Moroccan husband. It's an old house, beautifully renovated and decorated, with about 15 rooms on three floors. We had a room on the top floor with fantastic views over the rooftops to a former Spanish mosque on a hilltop, and there was a roof terrace next door which was almost like a private terrace as none of the other guests seemed to know it was there.
One unexpected feature of the hotel was the language barrier when the owner's husband wasn't there. Despite living in Morocco for a long time, she didn't seem to speak any Arabic at all and only spoke Spanish, leading to some quite interesting conversations involving lots of miming!
Unique Quality: Breakfast is available for a small extra charge, and is worth paying for...a huge spread of bread, home made cake, yoghurts, fruit, juice and excellent coffee.
The hostal was excellent overall, and I would recommend it to others. A twin room on the top floor cost us 200DH, not the cheapest in town by any means, but still good value.
However, on leaving the hostal on the final morning, we were accosted by a man who berated us for staying in a Spanish-owned hotel...he got really quite nasty and aggressive, being rude about the owner and telling us we should support Moroccans not Europeans. He followed us all the way down to the square swearing at us in English, which left me with a negative impression of Chefchaouen.
Directions: A map won't really help you much. From the square head away from the souq and keep going. Don't let any tout help, or you'll end up somewhere else, but keep asking shopkeepers and you'll find it.
Popular with backpackers
By some odd coincidence, all the backpackers on the bus from Fes to Chefchaouen ended up in this place which shows it's fairly popular.
We had a room at the front of the place on the first floor. Gernika is in very good condition and facilities have obviously been renovated not that long ago. Rooms higher up have twin beds but share showers and toilets (clean) while three of the rooms have their own very small but rather cosy bathroom with shower and toilet. Hot water was available throughout the day.
Checkout the small mural of Picasso's painting 'Guernica' in the entrance just beside the front door.
Be aware that this place can fill up quickly so get here straight from the bus if you haven't booked ahead.
Unique Quality: This place is run by a Spanish couple and so some Spanish will assist you when you're booking in. We paid 180 dh for one of the more expensive rooms. A major plus here is the roof top terrace, a nice place to hang out and observe the streets below, women putting out their washing on neaby rooftops or the surrounding mountains. Sit here and just be quiet with your thoughts or get chatting with fellow travellers.
We were also able to leave our luggage here while we killed a few hours in town before our bus to Tangier, guarded by the resident dog. The doggie here spends most of his time lying downstairs, only occasionally looking up to bark a 'hello'. Funnily he seemed to bark most at the faux guides bringing new travellers in, than the guests.
Arriving from the bus station in a Petit Taxi you'll probably end up at the eastern square, Place el-Majzen. You'll be greeted by faux guides as ever, but you really don't need them to find Gernika. Follow the main route up east and keep following the signs until you get to Gernika on the left hand side.
Directions: From Place el-Majzen head into the street in the eastern corner and keep walking for a few minutes, following the signs for Gernika which is on the left hand side on the main lane.
Basic, but pleasant. Breakfast for small fee. Shower. Terrace with nice view. Owners speak Spanish, but not English.
We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
- Hostal Guernika Hotel Chefchaouen
Address: Calle Ibn Askar, Chefchaouen, Morocco
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