“Without a doubt one of the most amazing adventures”

I just want to start by saying this trip was without a doubt one of the most amazing adventures that we have ever experienced. From start to finish it was near perfect. I want to do this justice so apologies upfront if I get a bit long winded. It is difficult to succinctly capture all the wonderful things (large and small) that made this trip so memorable. I’m sure I will forget something.

Let me start with Youssef. He is an absolute gem. I don’t think you could have matched us up with a better driver. This was our first fully bespoke tour, and so to some degree you aren’t sure exactly what to expect until you are in the middle of it. From the moment he picked us up until he dropped us at the airport he was outstanding. So kind and thoughtful. I think what impressed us most was his intuition. When you have just two people to support you have the time to get to know them, and he quickly learned about us, and the way he tailored our days and his recommendations to our tastes was really remarkable. As an example he learned quickly that we aren’t huge museum / tourist sites people. We prefer more active oriented activities, as well as just embedding ourselves in a day-to-day local life. And he made sure we got the right balance of must-sees of course, along with some more unique opportunities. I cannot say enough good things about Youssef. As you stated he was the glue, and I can tell you he was definitely the biggest part of us experiencing the amazing things that we did.

I don’t know if you or if Youssef finds and hires the tour guides but I have to say our guide in Marrakech (Laheen) was outstanding. He could not have been nicer, and his ability to read us and bring us a unique tour of the gardens and the city was nothing short of amazing. There was not a hint of ‘typical tourist narrative and lollipop sign’ attitude. He made us feel like we were the only one’s getting the real inside scoop (as it should be of course).

Outside of Youssef and Laheen, a few of the trip highlights:

  • The riad in Marrakech was amazing. I have to say I’ve stayed in a lot of small, boutique style hotels around the world in my life, and The Clos des Arts is right at the top. The riad is of course gorgeous, but what sets them apart is their service. The owners were great. We got to spend quite a bit of time with them and they were so helpful and lovely. And their staff was impeccably attentive. Literally nothing was out of the question. They were there to make our stay perfect for us and our needs. The riad in Essaouira was very nice and of course the views were unbelievable. But since it was more of a hotel style it felt less personal of course. And after the Clos des Arts quite honestly it was a hard act to follow. Had we done them in reverse I think we might have had a slightly different feeling from the Essaouira riad.
  • The meals. The riad served us two delightful meals and worked around our schedule and our likes and dislikes. As for the restaurants, each one was better than the other. We had a recommendation from friends for one restaurant in Marrakech and told Youssef the first day and he got right on it and booked it for us. Having that flexibility to go where we wanted was a big deal. The other three restaurant nights Youssef made terrific recommendations, and he would explain how he wanted us to have different experiences. So thoughtful. We trusted his every recommendation. So we got a very traditional Moroccan meal the first night at the place our friends had recommended (le Le Foundouk in case you haven’t been there yet). Then he brought us to a more continental restaurant with a fantastic history. In Essaouira we had a night of dining and local musical singing performers, and then the second night rooftop dining on the ocean. And the food was equally fantastic. I mean it could not have been a better combination of dining.
  • The locations. Your help in recommending a stellar itinerary made all the difference. Of course you knew we wanted to see Marrakech, but I would never have picked Essaouira as our second stop. And I have to say my husband preferred Essaouira to Marrakech, that’s how magical it was. Such a different experience between the two cities. Throw in our day tour with Youssef out in the desert just outside Marrakech, and even in 6 days I feel like we got a real solid feel for Morocco and some of its amazing differences, and that’s just what we wanted.
  • The ATV excursion. This is a great example of how Yousseff nailed his suggestions. We said we wanted to explore out toward the Atlas mountains and get a feel for the desert, and rather than do just a driving and Berber village tour he took us to ATV through the desert. It was amazing and something we never would have thought of on our own.

I could go on. As you can tell we are still on a bit of a high from the trip. To answer your last question I would not hesitate in the least to recommend you to friends and family. As you may recall I found you online. I had no one to recommend you other than doing some extensive look at reviews. And you made me feel so at ease from the very beginning. No pressure, just listening to what I was saying and asking for, and coming back with solid recommendations. That, in my opinion, is something that sets you apart from other companies. Full disclosure, I was in sales and marketing my entire career so I like to think I can spot authenticity and real client service when I see it. So thank you Jeff (and Bethany).

I have only one (VERY small) item that just hit me a bit funny at one specific point in the process. Everything from our first conversation to this follow-up email has been smooth as silk, and for me just the right amount of connection. Bethany was great at staying on top of things and answering my questions, AND letting me know what to expect and when. So this one item was actually upon our arrival. Not knowing how closely you (or what I’ll call HQ) communicates with Youssef during our actual stay I kind of expected a quick email or text the evening of our arrival or the next morning, just to say ‘welcome, hope you settled in and everything is working with Youssef, if you have any issues at all you have the phone number to contact us that Bethany provided ahead of the trip’, something like that). I think that would have made the handoff between those I’d been working with and the face of our tour for the week (Youssef) completely seamless. I hope that makes sense. LIke I said a very small thing. Did not in any way negatively impact our experience. Just food for thought should it be helpful.

Ross – April 2024