Mabrouk ! Discovery Moroccan Allure:
My objective and logical reviews with a twist of subjectivity.
Tour Director – H.A. excellent, knowledgeable intelligent, speaks 7 languages, just and fair and always available for queries
Driver -Must- very good
Helper – Jaw – always smiling , supplied us with hydration and keeps the bus clean.Bus – modern, comfortable with acceptable WIFI
Royal Air Maroc- business class with friendly personnel, food is very good especially the swordfish and lamb tagine (the BEST), the noise level is acceptable, they need to tone down their announcement dings, I could still hear it even with the special noise canceling headphones.
Airport Meet and Greet – Well done, our service to Rabat was a Mercedes van, with only the two of us, my husband and I. Extra tip for the driver!
Villa Mandarine is like a paradise with citrus trees galore. Food is a little bland. It was an orchard before becoming a hotel. Has a bidet.
Riad Salam at Fes – phenomenal, luxurious, rooms were gorgeous. Inticate designs galore, but, hot water was a little issue.
Xaluca -Awesome decors especially at night, great people. Buffet, buffet , buffet and too much bread.Merzouga /Bivouac in Sahara Desert – glamping, novel experience, with beautiful people. NO hot water, so no bathing, just washy, washy the face, armpits and in between.
Riad Ksar – Very good for just one night. Mesmerizing beauty of the mountains.
2Ciels – Just lovely, modern with great personnel, near to all . Saw the Moroccans jumping with joy, when they won. Food is phenomenal especially the pastries.. I gained 5 lbs eating them, and I bought some more at the airport.
Dar L Oussia – near the beach, small but lovely.. too much bread. Too many steps to go to our room.
Kenzi Tower- all modern, my hubby’s favorite because he can get all the booze. The bathroom is modern, yet it has a small hammam. Food is outstanding!
Events/activites -Overall very good. The Fes walk was a killer to my husband.. about 7 miles walking.. However, the local guide was phenomenal and very knowledgeable, has a Ph D and speaks better English than I do..
Sahara Desert – Almost killed my husband. He became cyanotic, catching for his breath when we climbed uphill the desert. It was like climbing up a snow mountain.. My hubby has COPD!!The camel ride was awesome, had a great time, despite the above episode.
Ourika Valley and Berber home visit.. – Only good if you are into history.. My husband skipped this event.
Cooking class – It was lovely.. I must admit, I made the tastiest chicken tagine among others (LOL) because, I added a lot of spices on it.. I love spices!
Goats on a tree – It is inspiring to learn that a man became creative to establish an income stream by putting goats up an argan tree.
Argan Oil Company – The mission is for women empowerment. All products are made by women in a cooperative style. They worked very hard to earn a living.I liked this mission so much, that, I bought $560 worth of merchandise with argan oil.
Hammam/Massage – Couple Hammam (Spa) at Riad Salam in Fes: We were treated like royalties. We were placed on a heated granite slab. Body wash from top to bottom, back and front except the genitals, with three types of scrubs: seaweed, coffee grounds and argan oil. My husby had to wear his wet underwear, because the girls , screamed when I said “remove the brief “( LOL). In the meantime, I was stark naked.Massage at 2Ciels- relaxing, but my masseuse in NYC is better.My husband is very private , but, he had 3 massages while in Morocco, because he skipped some walking tours.
Food and Drinks: Overall good, because I will eat anything as long as it does not move. My hubby is picky, he said he did not like the food and they were served cold, except for Kenzi Tower. He missed ice cubes on his drinks. He had a bit of stomach upset treated with loperamide and peptobismul. I caught it very early, so there was no catastrophe.
Water – Drank only bottled water. But, I was able to brush my teeth using the tap water, with bottled water as gargle / rinse.
In short, I am recommending this tour if you love history and have an eye for other people’s culture, and love new experiences like glamping and a camel ride at the Sahara Desert. I learned a lot in Morocco: open, progressive, very accommodating, and people speak French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic and English. Their history is very compelling thus, they have become resilient and progressive. The new rulers are trying to reduce corruption also. Morocco’s corruption index is becoming better with their poverty rate at 12%. Much better than other third world countries, like the Philippines..