The staff of the travel company who managed our trip were professional and communicated well. However, we felt that they had not visited all the hotels or eaten at the restaurants recommended to us. Perhaps they didn't know that there was a Spanish holiday when we were in Chefchaoen and that the city was overrun with visiting Spanish students. We didn't anticipate that and believe that the travel companh should have. Our room was directly next to a terrace dining area with a large raucous party enjoying themselves till midnight.
Perhaps they should have asked if we went to night clubs at home, that would have prevented us going to a restaurant on our first night in Marrakech.
On the other hand we enjoyed several outstanding restaurants. Several hotels were excellent. The hotel in Tangier was very tasteful and stylish without being expensive.
I guess the conclusion I draw is that the travel company was inconsistent.
Our fondest memories which will be with us forever are of the kind, considerate and thoughtful Moroccans whom we encountered daily. The people made our trip special, from the camel driver to the souk shop keepers to the stranger on the street trying to help with directions.
A high point of our trip was our experience with our driver, Houssein, who was with us for 11 days. Not only was he an excellent driver but also communicated well in English and had good knowledge of Morocco which enabled him to discuss many aspects of our daily travels. Secondly, we had one superb guide and several good guides during our stay. Our Guide in Fes, Hicham, is an outstanding guide and we would have liked to have spent more time with him. In fact, when we asked him for his recommendation for a restaurant on our free evening, he suggested a perfect place near the hotel. We felt that it was a place that young locals and tourists in the know would frequent and wished that some of the other chosen restaurants were more like a cafe in Fes. (Small, charming and with tasteful food.)
In addition we experienced several excellent hotels. And several superb restaurants. We regretted not having dinner at a certain restaurant in Marrakech as that would have been a good choice rather than the other, especially on our first night having traveled for over 20 hours.
We also enjoyed the cooking class and the tasting tour with our excellent guide in Fes. The experiences were very different but wonderful. In both cases, experienced, sensitive personnel ensured that fond memories were had.
I would personally choose the hotels, Riads and restaurants. the travel company placed us in several Riads which were unacceptable and several restaurants which were inferior.
Specifically, a hotel in Fes was lacking in maintenance. The roof leaked and we had a large puddle of water in the middle of our room which the hotel was either unwilling to repair or unprepared to know what to do. (They moved the beds and put bath towels down on the growing puddles.) Secondly, when I took a hamman the shower had luke warm to cold water for washing, the ante rooms were cold. My wife experienced her first hamman and massage at a Riad in Marrakech which was fabulous. There was no comparison at the hotel and spa in Fes and she said if her first hamman had taken place there, she would never have taken another.
The restaurant in Chefchaouen is a very busy restaurant. We had 20 loud Spanish students 5 feet from our bedroom partying until midnight. We slept little that night. During our guided walk of the city we saw several Riads that looked tasteful, quiet and well managed. We thought that we should have been staying elsewhere.
Our first night in Marrakech, after flying from San Francisco to Munich and then Marrakech, was at the hotel in Marrakech. But before we became settled at the hotel we were taken to the restaurant for dinner. The restaurant is a night club. Scantily clad dancing girls, loud drummers, Las Vegas vocalist and poorly cooked food. We don't go to night clubs at home and certainly would not choose one in Marrakech.
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