“Fabulous Travel Experience!”

“I cannot say enough about your service. There were times when I thought you were too good to be true and worried that no one would be at the airport to meet us and that the tour was all a fantasy. What a nice surprise to be picked up by an elf in a Jalaba!! (Namir) Your communication from the first time I made an inquiry to our departure date was outstanding. I don’t get that many e-mails from my friends! Thanks so much for making this a fabulous travel experience. I will, and have already, recommended your travel company to my friends.

Namir, our driver, was fabulous and we felt very connected and comfortable with him right from our initial pickup at the airport. He was very flexible, suggested minor changes to the itinerary, let us request changes and always asked us to decide the start time each day. We have never had that kind of flexibility on a tour before. With three sharing accommodations it made it much easier to allow ourselves the time needed each morning to get ready for our daily outings.
The highlights for us would have to be the day spent roaming the Medina in Fes and our trek into the Sahara. Hakim, our guide for the day in the Medina, was extremely knowledgeable and patient. We probably strolled between 5 to 6 kilometers in the medina but did not feel weary at all. We learned so much that day and really felt that we were having a truly Moroccan experience, from start to finish. We also loved the evening in Fes where we were picked up by Mr. Hatim, in his family car, and taken to his family home inside the medina for dinner at his family restaurant (Restaurant Dar Hatim). Following the meal he showed us around his home, introduced us to his mother who had cooked the meal, and presented us to two of his three sons who were in bed but still not asleep. Another real experience that should continue to be a part of your Fes itinerary.

What can we say about the Sahara? There are no words to describe how we felt about that experience. No one should miss it! The peacefulness and beauty of the dunes, hearing only the shifting sand under our dromedaries’ feet, the hospitality and entertainment around the campfire, the best tagine of the trip, the starry night sky and a beautiful sunrise all made for a very spiritual experience. We got a couple of beautiful pictures of our guide Mouha that we are attaching – feel free to use them in future publications if you wish.

The accommodations were excellent for the most part. They were really above what I expected for 3-star so I was pleasantly surprised for the most part. However, I was really disappointed with our riad accommodations in Marrakech. Since we were paying more for these nights I was expecting more but really got less than we did with our other lodgings. All the other lodgings accommodated us as three people in a triple room. There were actually four beds in a large spacious room at the Kasbah Lamrani and an apartment at the Kasbah Tizimi. The Dar Fes Medina gave us a second room, which we did not ask for or expect, when they saw how cramped a double room is for three people with three beds and baggage. The Riad Yasmine had larger rooms than we received but only added a third bed (cot) to a double room for us. Walking space was minimal. We question the cleanliness of the establishment since there was a large puddle of water on the floor near the pool and just outside our door that was never mopped up the whole time we were there. We had to be careful not to step in it when leaving our room. The breakfast was poor, the poorest of our trip – we had to ask for hot coffee and tea; the coffee served was cold. By the time we got to Marrakech we had become accustomed to free tea at our lodgings any time we wanted. At Riad Yasmine we were charged a lot for afternoon tea. The Riad was a disappointment; especially since we were encouraged to spend some of our nights in a riad. The Dar Fes Medina was perhaps our favourite because of their service, their friendliness and openness to accommodate our needs. We loved our three nights there as well as Fes!

As for the itinerary, it was wonderful. We had a chance to see a lot of the country. I do have a criticism, however. I felt like I was sitting all the time, not having much time for walking around. For example, whenever we arrived in a new city, we had a short drive through the city, but I would have liked some time to walk around rather than have a flying tour in the van. We passed lovely areas in Fes, (the area with the big fountains and wide walking areas, for example) but we never had a chance to walk around. Also, I hardly remember Rabat because we drove through so quickly. I did request some time to walk along the boardwalk in Casablanca on the last day and it was great. I think there should have been some time allotted in the schedule at each place for a bit of walking and exploring by foot. Part of the experience for me is going places by foot and not seeing it through a car window. It is much more meaningful and real. I often felt like I was not allowed to walk or carry my own bag anywhere, and it was a bit suffocating. I don’t usually feel like I need exercise when I am on tour because there is usually a lot of walking, but that was not the case here. The walks in the medinas were perfect: just what I expected. That is my only criticism, though. The rest was great!”

Elizabeth and Veronica
March 2011

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