Overall they did a great job at introducing me to Morocco and safely and comfortably shuttling me around the country for a week. I can't help but compare their service to the service I received from two other travel companies (via Zicasso) earlier this year. In both cases the food I was provided was terrible. In the case of this trip the food was, with a few exception, spectacular. Not just tasty food but high quality throughout the trip. Whereas with last trip to China I had sub-par tour guides, the driver I received on this trip was great. My driver was courteous, punctual, kind, and always looking for ways to make me more comfortable and at home. The quality of my accommodations were also uniformly better than what I had on my last trip.
What holds them back from five stars is poor communication. While the pre-trip staff I worked with to plan everything were great, they dropped the ball when it came to providing a clear description of what conditions would be like on the ground. I was instructed during the planning that two weeks prior to the trip I'd be receiving detailed descriptions of everything. Instead, I received the same itinerary I had seen during initial planning plus the details of my driver and where to meet him at the airport. I was left to awkwardly puzzle out things like my eating arrangements in a few places. For example, at the winery I had lunch at I showed up to find I had a poolside table. It would have been nice to know the setup of the place so I could have packed a swimsuit. Similarly, one night at a hotel I was told my meal would be held there, a hotel with at least four different places serving food. I was unsure as to whether the meal provided for me would be from a fixed menu, at one restaurant or another, or available for room service. I was also not expecting to be dropped off at a hotel midway through my trip to the desert for four hours and then have my drivers switched for a day (although I totally understand the move and ultimately enjoyed the experience.) Again, the issue here was that I was not informed in advance.
Notwithstanding that, the trip was an overall success.
Eating was the most enjoyable part of the trip. The food was almost uniformly good.
1. Skip the tour of Casablanca and just arrange to hang out in a hotel until my flight for my last day. The mosque was very pretty but not particularly interesting or special (I've been inside a few mosques before, they're all kind of the same.) The tour of the city was a waste of time and very boring. Casablanca is just not a place for tourism.
2. I'd pick a better place for my final dinner. I didn't like the atmosphere of the place that was chosen for me, it was basically a beach bar full of smokers, serving American bar food. It was the exact opposite of the fantastic brunch place I went to that morning, which was a perfect experience. I ended up bailing after waiting ten minutes for a menu and ended up walking down the street to a place with a better atmosphere but with lousy food. It was an anti-climatic end to a good trip.
3. Swap hotels during stay in Dades Valley. I can understand the appeal of the place they chose for me, it had a nice friendly bed and breakfast sort of vibe. But that's just not me. I didn't like being locked into dinner and breakfast at a set time and menu (although the food was delicious I must admit.) I also didn't like the home-like feeling of the room. When I'm on vacation I like escaping into luxury, not feeling like I'm visiting my mom's house.
4. Skip the desert. I thought the Sahara would be the highlight of my trip. It was actually kind of a dud. Getting there also sucked away time from elsewhere, like Ouarzazette, which seemed like a pretty cool place. I would skip the desert and add a day in Ouarzazette.
5. Skip the Argan cooperative. If this were more substantive I might not complain, but it actually just consisted of a less than 2 minute explanation of the argan oil refining process before the lady shuttled me into her store. I felt the tour organizers could of at least been honest with me and labeled it for what it was, just a store to buy argan products.
6. Factored drinks into costs. Though they didn't amount to much, I thought it was kind of ridiculous that I had to pay out of pocket for drinks a few times. Why they couldn't have just added a few extra dollars on top of the nearly $5,000 bill to make things more convenient is beyond me.
Travel Company Comments
Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a thorough review. We really appreciate your feedback and we're glad that enjoyed your time with us in Morocco! We also wanted to say that we've taken note of your point regarding providing more detailed logistical information to you ahead of your arrival, and we've now altered our pre-arrival process accordingly to provide our guests with more details before they come to Morocco.
Thanks again for taking the time to write such a complete review, we're continually looking to improve our work and your thoughts are very helpful in getting us to offer an even better experience!
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