Younes, our driver: he made the trip great; very good driver, took initiative, worked hard (and successfully) to find things that we wanted to see or buy; selected good restaurants for us, but politely declined our invitations to join us to eat, except in a couple of places; came up with “off-day” very interesting side trips that were not touristy – we were inside a Berber home in one; knows the country-side inside out; very attentive; we developed good rapport; humorous too! A jewel.
Hotels: Excellent: Kniza, Mandarin. We had E.’s birthday at the original Maison Bleu near Dar Batha – fabulous dinner, great place. Some of your American clients might like very much the “plush’ room above, but others, like us, of your clients may prefer the Riad/Moroccan traditional feel.
Guides: Both Mohamed and Mahomet were very knowledgeable, but had a big focus on getting us into retailers so that they could make commissions (I realize that this can’t be completely avoided). We found that the medina stores that they brought us too were overpriced, relative to far superior quality in the Villes Nouvelles. Mohamed (Marrakech) was better, made more effort to please, was higher energy, put in a long day. We tipped him well. Mahomet of Fes was less high energy, and behaved more as a “scout” to help us navigate the Medina, but showed us far too many retailers. We tipped him well, but not as much as Mahomed of Marrakech.
As a personal matter, we preferred Marrakech to Fes – we found Fes much, much bigger than we expected, more touristy, with some poor quality merchandise mixed in.
Casablanca: is not worth spending time in at all, even though the Hassan II is magnificent. If one can squeeze in the Hassan II tour in the am before leaving Casablanca for greener pastures, then that would be optimal. But to blow a day just to see Hassan II is not worth it. For us, we were very lucky to have a creative driver (see below), which made our elongated visit to Casablanca on the last day interesting.
Rabat: nice, clean city, but good for a ½-day max – the Mausoleum is very, very impressive
3 days in Marrakech and 3 days in Fes, was about right balance.
High Atlas: very exciting to see, also Berber village was a great experience (both were our driver’s suggestions for our free days)
Volubilis: a must see, the guide that our driver carefully picked was very good indeed.
Meknes: interesting for a quick look.
– D. and E.