Thanks for welcoming us back and for arranging our visit to Morocco. My son and I had a very good time and all was as you said.
I will give you my feed back on the main features:
1. Driver Mounir – Excellent driver. Never went above speed limit, never passed a car during a solid line, always attentive to traffic and to the welfare of his passengers. His English is very good and he is reserved enough to not interject himself into conversation but pleasant and conversant when he is part of the conversation. He was mindful of little details like making sure we buckled our safety belts, always had bottled water available in the car (at his expense), kept the car clean, found music CDs of Moroccan music, always told us where we would be met and always made himself available to take us wherever we wanted to while in the cities. He paid all tolls and all the “parking attendants” who seem to come out of nowhere in Morocco. Stayed with us when requested (we did not feel comfortable as to our surroundings because of language not for personal threats to us) and the couple of times we had meals together he was an enjoyable companion. We spent many hours together given the nature of our trip and never had one moment where we were not happy with him.
2. Riads – Wow! The Riad Fes and La Maison Arabe were way beyond any expectation. The suites were like out of the Arabian Nights. Each with its own unique style and attitude but each wonderful, unforgettable and a pleasure to have visited. We had two dinners plus breakfasts at both riads and had wonderful meals each time. The one time there was a slight slip up at La Maison Arabe their service recovery was so quick, so thorough, so overwhelming that it left us speechless. We strongly recommend each of these riads and give them each 5 ***** for excellence in every category for which you measure in hospitality. Their locations in the medinas are fine, close to everything but yet removed enough for quiet and privacy.
3. Sahara – oh so enchanting, oh so special. The camel (dromedary) rides were expertly handled and each of the camel attendants was very careful with us and always mindful of our safety and well being. They spoke adequate English and while on top of the sand dune to catch the sunset, they offered to take our photos and ensured we were comfortable by laying out a rug for us to sit upon. It was an unforgettable experience and the sun played its role by giving us a show for the ages.
The tent was formidable and enchanting. The deluxe tent had a section for a bar, a section for dining, and two separate bedroom suites each with its own bath facilities. The tent accommodations were comfortable, beds had plenty of blankets to keep us warm in the nighttime cold weather. Bathroom facilities were very well appointed and they kept lights on for us until almost 11pm.
We shared cocktails by a fire and after changing and refreshing ourselves, dinner was served in the dining area of the tent. The food was delicious and we ate to our hearts content. (Not sure of what we were going to find with regards to language, we asked our driver to come to the Sahara with us and he shared dinner with us at our invitation. He slept in accommodations for the staff.)
We had a triple special night time in the Sahara: Firstly, the night sky was totally clear of any clouds. You could see forever. Secondly, there was no light contamination from any city since we were so far away from any urban area. This allowed maximum visibility of stars. Lastly, it was new moon so there was no moon light in the sky to impede the viewing of the stars. My son and I spent a couple of hours viewing the sky, spotting star formations (the Big Dipper, Orion’s Belt, the North Star, etc.) as well as being mesmerized by the viewing of the Milky Way and the billions and billions of stars in the universe. We also counted six shooting stars that lit up the sky in unique ways. I get goose pimples just writing this it was just so very special.
4. The hotel Dades was excellent and delivered much more in comfort and service than one should have expected in such a remote place. Their food was very good, the rooms very comfortable and the service and attitude of the staff was friendly and efficient. I urge you to continue to use this hotel as they outdid themselves in taking care of us even when the hotel seemed to be busy with a large group.
5. The guides: Mo Mo in Fes and Mohammed in Marrakech. Both guides spoke English well and seemed to have pretty good knowledge of their history and the locations.
However, in both instances, part of their tour was to take us to stores or businesses to sell us things. Both guides always said we were not obligated to buy anything but it put us in uncomfortable situations and we felt perhaps the store visits were taking time away from something else we should be seeing.
We are very grateful for all you did. My son and I came home with a good beginner’s knowledge of Morocco and memories to last us a life time.
Alberto & Papo (USA), March 2013