I wanted to thank you for arranging such a wonderful trip for us.
Well from start to finish. I had been researching travel agencies that can set up a trip to Morocco, as I am sure you are aware there are a thousand online. I found one that I really liked. The guy that I was working with actually was based out of my home town in Seattle WA. Making an instant connection of trust, I started planning my trip with him. After a week of extensive back and forth, he got tired of my emails and said that he had many people to arrange for the holiday season and couldn’t dedicate so much time to JUST my questions. It was not rude at all actually, just honest and straight forward. He said I need to consult the internet and do some research and then we can proceed. Me being a perfectionist and having a case of OCD I immediately wrote back kindly and said that I really needed the one on one attention and didn’t want to consult my own research on the internet and that I understand that he isnt not able to provide the attention I needed. I bid him well and we kindly parted ways. So then the search continued and effortlessly I found your company name on Trip Advisor. After reading maybe just the top 5 good reviews I contacted you guys.
You respected my OCD as I needed, LOL. The million and one emails back and forth, the changes, the questions, everything! I appreciated it very much. Then Ruth rushing the travel documents to me upon my very short notice request, again a small detail but something that meant a lot to me.
Now the trip- everything was FANTASTIC. Time managed very well, firstly. Our schedules were perfect. And i can not say that enough. People may not say this strange compliment, BUT the sites visited and the tours planned in a day, the start time, the end time, the break times, in any given day were PERFECTLY plotted. The days were never exhausting, never bare. We ALWAYS had enough rest, enough down time/ free time, and enough sight- seeing time.
Driver- AWESOME. I don’t know who the Manager of the company is, but to you guys I wanted to say you guys really need to set him aside for your four to five star clients! Younes Lafhal, was PERFECT. He was hilariously entertaining, would stop for coffee breaks whenever we needed him to, kept as safe, entertained and well informed throughout our drives. I have to make a note to say that we crossed paths with other tourists through the entire trip who every chance they got complained about their driver. If it was that he wouldn’t stop because he had a timeline to abide to (for personal reasons) when they asked, OR that he kept taking them to obvious places that he was getting commission out of if they were to buy something, putting them in awkward situations…to anything…they had complaints about them. At least 4 tourists complained about their drivers. We didn’t even KNOW that they gripes were possible. Younes was very professional, definitely experienced, made suggestions when he needed to and let us have freedom when he needed to. We never felt awkward around him, he made us feel like he was not just our guide but our friend. I will actually recommend his name to my friends that are interested in doing this trip, requesting his name specifically so much so that if he is not available, to reschedule their trip. Hearing all the bad comments, a bad driver can really effect your trip.
Accommodations- Beautiful, the Riad in Fes was great. The rooms were cold in the night, the heating system wasn’t as efficient as I would have liked, BUT nonetheless it was great. Excellent location. I would be so tired after the day of touring, so when we got back I would just chill in the room. My husband would just turn right around and head out the door the check out the little alleys of stores. As far as the Xaluca accommodations, AMAZING. The hotels seemed too majestic to be real. I LOVED them. Now saving the best for last, Riad Clos Arts in Marrakech. THis was just the perfect ending to the trip. Honestly after 10 days of eating tagines and being in rural Morocco atmosphere I was getting homesick for just ‘american food’ and maybe a little less of the Moroccan atmosphere. Well as the driver pulled up to the parking lot for the Riad, we saw a man waiting for us. We soon learned that this was Massimo, the OWNER of the Riad. How gracious that he picked us up at the car, didn’t send someone for us, but picked us up out there. Then he walked with us, brought us into the Riad. As soon as we entered we smelled a sweet and FAMILIAR scent of chocolate chip cookies. His wife, Georgina was baking for us. We had these cookies with tea, and Massimo, instead of just showing us into our rooms, sat with us in one of the sitting areas where he talked to us. Got to know us, told us about himself and his wife. Then pulled out a map and told us about the area. He spent so much one on one time with us. Then from the time we entered to the minute we left, they just made us feel that we arent staying in a Riad/hotel, it felt like we came home. It was a very intimate experience. Whenever we left for an outing or came back, one of them greeted us and asked us what we did. They are very involved and hands on at the Riad and with the guests. Georgina (the wife) learned that I was vegetarian so made a special effort to prepare vegetarian options for me. Massimo recommended an amazing Hammam, but then after recommending it he learned that they were booked until after we had left. So they readily gave up their appointment so that we could go instead and have the experience. Georgina prepared the most amazing meals. They were mostly Moroccan with a swiss/italian flair. :). Exactly what I needed. Then for New Years eve Georgina had set up a beautiful romantic intimate dinner table that invited all the guests for a New Years eve formal dinner. It was GORGEOUS. We were leaving the very next day early in the morning and this was the best ending to an amazing trip. Though we were staying in a Riad it was almost as if it had a European flair which was so appreciated. These two people really treated us like family, with a warm welcome every day and night that we were there. I am so glad I stay there. I am sure all the Riads are amazing (our stay in Fes was just gorgeous and the room was HUGE and decadent), this was much smaller, but honestly I prefer this Riad to the one in FES just because of the people that worked there and the warmest welcome that we received. I would highly recommend my friends at least to go over there, to the point that if they didn’t have any rooms available, because this was such a significant part of the experience, to manipulate their travel dates so that they could experience this Riad.
Anyways, I don’t have any criticism for the arrangements, or the planning or anything actually. Everything went smoothly, everything was perfect. I would DEFINITELY without a flinch or a doubt recommend your company to any of my friends that are interested in traveling there. I wouldn’t hesitate for a second. I would definitely recommend Clos De Arts to them as the stay in Marrakech.
I thank you so much for all of your efforts.
Sana & Jalal.
(December of 2011)