Great experience planning and visiting Morocco
Morocco | Nov 18 - Nov 26, 2023

Caren
Caren P.
San Francisco, CA | Reviewed on Nov 30, 2023

Wow, I can't say enough how grateful I am for the services provided through KimKim and their experts in Morocco at Original Travels! This vacation was initially scheduled for March 2020 and was rescheduled due to the pandemic. I worked with Ali on the initial itinerary and was able to find a way to cram in Chefchaouen, Fes, the desert and Marrakesh into 7 full days (+ 2 half days with arrival/departure). We were then assigned to Said who was equally helpful and responsive in the days leading up to our departure and with questions I had along the way. We had a wonderful driver (Ayoub) with us the entire time so it made the trip easier and even better getting to know him and having him provide us with info along the way. Morocco was magical. Our vacation was a mix of guided drives, some guided tours, time spent with local families and visiting Nomadic camps, and exploring on our own in the cities. I hope you get the opportunity to experience it someday and if you do, I highly recommend booking through KimKim.

Hotel Reviews
Mövenpick Hotel Casablanca
Casablanca

This was our least favorite place we stayed during our entire trip. That being said, it was just for one night and we had quiet, restful sleep in the room we were in. The hotel is listed as a luxury hotel but it was pretty run-down and the food served in the main restaurant was very average. The roof deck upstairs was a nice place to hang out for drinks, though.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Staff was polite and nice
Cleanliness & Comfort
Run-down
Lina Ryad & Spa
Chefchaouen

Charming place in the heart of Chefchaouen. You will get dropped off in the main square and need to walk a few minutes to get to the hotel. There was someone there ready to meet us and help us with our bags. Great location near vendors and restaurants. My favorite part was the lovely rooftop with a view of the city.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Palais Amani
Fès

A beautiful oasis within the medina. We had a lovely room with an upstairs space that was perfect for our daughter. We only got to spend one night here and I only wish we could have stayed longer. The staff was top notch. We enjoyed drinks at the end of the day in the beautiful courtyard. My only complaint was with the amount of scent used in our room. It was not a bad smell but it was overwhelming.

Authenticity & Character
Gorgeous building, courtyard and decor
Location
You walk out and you are immediately in the medina
Staff
Very pleasant and helpful
Cleanliness & Comfort
Would be 5 Stars except the perfume/scent used in the room was a little too strong for our liking
Desert Luxury Camp Erg Chebbi
Merzouga

One of the highlights of our entire vacation in Morocco! The accommodations were extremely comfortable given we were in the desert and on the edge of the sand dunes. You are surrounded by beauty. We got to see the sunrise and sunset on the days we were there. We rode camels, sandboarded, and had the option to swim. The staff was courteous and helpful. We got to spend extra time with Ali who was a great guide around Erg Chebbi and Merzouga.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Secluded and not near other camps
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Kasbah Titrit
Ait Ben Haddou

Pros: Scenic location set away from the main touristy area of Ait Benhaddou. Nice staff. Our room had an open patio with a view. Cons: Found dinner to be a little more expensive than other places with the food only being OK compared to other places we stayed throughout Morocco. Note: this area was impacted by the recent earthquake (the hotel was fine!) so the town seemed especially quiet and you could see that some repairs were underway. Hope more people are able to come visit this beautiful area!

Authenticity & Character
Location
Not on the main area of Ait Benhaddou where there are more options (restaurants, walking around, etc.) but it's just a short drive from there
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Sheets on the twin bed did not seem clean
La Maison Arabe Hotel
Marrakech

One of the best places we stayed while we were in Morocco. It was a great way to spend our last two days in Marrakesh. Beautiful decor throughout the building, breakfast and all the options were amazing, and the staff was helpful. The location is fantastic and we walked everywhere but had the option to hail a cab when our feet were too tired. I was sad to learn on our last day that there was a roof deck which we somehow missed and would have loved to check-out.

Authenticity & Character
Authenticity & Character
Location
Easy to walk to main sites and restaurants or to get a taxi from
Location
Easy to walk to main sites and restaurants or to get a taxi from
Staff
Very courteous and helpful (they will help you get a taxi or help you with directions)
Staff
Very courteous and helpful (they will help you get a taxi or help you with directions)
Cleanliness & Comfort
Room was very clean. You could hear sounds from outside during normal business hours (we slept fine at night!) and the room was a little dark despite having windows.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Room was very clean. You could hear sounds from outside during normal business hours (we slept fine at night!) and the room was a little dark despite having windows.
Activity Reviews
A Taste of Tradition: Sharing Stories and Savory Delights at a Moroccan Home
A Taste of Tradition: Sharing Stories and Savory Delights at a Moroccan Home
Morocco

Such a treat to be invited into a Moroccan family's home! Said and his son came to pick us up at our hotel and then helped us navigate the labyrinth in the medina to make our way to their home. We arrived to a delicious home-cooked meal of numerous vegetable side dishes and a chicken pastilla! Said's son speaks excellent English so helped with communication and kept us entertained with his conversation and musical skills - along with his younger brother and sister. Shukran to Said and his family!

Quality of Experience
Such a treat to eat in a local family's home vs. at the hotel or at a restaurant
Food
Delicious vegetable side dishes and homemade chicken pastilla (a traditional Moroccan dish)
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Said and his family were most gracious
Transport
A brisk walk to/from the host's home through the labyrinth of the medina
Chefchaouen to Fes
Chefchaouen to Fes
Morocco

A beautiful drive from Chefchaouen to Fes. We passed through many little towns and saw the scenery change quite a bit. One of my favorite stops was at a vista point where there was a pomegranate juice stand - freshly squeezed on the spot! When we got to Fes, we started in the new part of the city, got to take pictures outside of the palace, and then drove to see the views from the Marinid Tombs. We made an unplanned stop at a local pottery place that ended up being more interesting than I thought it would be. We got to watch the employees make and shape the clay, paint designs and lay down mosaic tile - not an easy task! My only complaint about this day is that we did not have enough time to explore the medina and enjoy more time at our beautiful hotel. I would suggest asking future travelers what time they want to get to their hotel and spending less time in the new part of the city, on lunch and on unplanned stops.

Quality of Experience
Food
Lunch was fine - just a "fast food" stop in the new part of the city.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Harmonies of the Dunes: An Experiential Desert Odyssey in Erg Chebbi
Harmonies of the Dunes: An Experiential Desert Odyssey in Erg Chebbi
Merzouga

One of the highlights of our trip! We had time in the morning to sandboard on the dunes surrounding our camp until it was time to leave with our wonderful guide Ali. He showed us some fun driving through the desert sand where any road goes, then he took us to visit a nomadic community situated on the outskirts of Merzouga. We were served tea and snacks and got up close with their livestock (there was an especially friendly goat who photo-bombed us a few times!). From there we went to hear music and dance at the Gnawa House in Khamleya village. We stopped off at a smaller oasis and walked through the canals. After lunch, we had some time to rest back at camp before our surprisingly comfortable camel ride through the desert. We got to hike up some dunes to catch some epic views and watch the sunset. An amazing day!

Quality of Experience
Food
We ate at the local restaurant on the end of the desert that seemed to be where most of the tour groups were going. There wasn't really a menu - you were served a 3 course meal with lots of bread. Portions were big (almost too big!).
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Ali was an excellent guide. We really enjoyed his company and his insight.
Transport
Transfer to  Merzouga, Bedouin Experience & Camel Rides
Transfer to Merzouga, Bedouin Experience & Camel Rides
Morocco

The drive to Merzouga is long but incredible. You see so much change in the landscape! We drove through a town called Ifrane which is referred to as "Little Switzerland". Not only is the architecture Swiss-inspired but we were surprised to see beautiful fall foliage in November. A little bit further and we stopped to see MONKEYS (Barbary macaques) on the side of the road! As the terrain became more rocky and dry, we came upon some refreshing oases in the region of Tafilalet. We were trying to get to our camp in the desert before sunset so that we would have time to do our camel ride but we got there just a little late. Instead we took a fun 4WD drive to our desert camp and did get to watch the sunset right outside of our room.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Despite the long drive and windy roads, the car we were in was spacious and our guide Ayoub was an excellent driver
Aït Benhaddou to Marrakech via Tizi-n-Tichka Pass & Ounila Valley
Aït Benhaddou to Marrakech via Tizi-n-Tichka Pass & Ounila Valley
Morocco

We spent the morning exploring Aït Benhaddou with our wonderful driver/guide Ayoub. We jumped the rocks to start at "The Game of Thrones" entrance instead of crossing over the bridge and then made our way up to the top of the ksar where you could see some damage from the earthquake in September. Afterwards we started the drive towards Marrakesh and made our way through the Atlas Mountains and through more towns that had been impacted by the earthquake. Thankfully the roads were all clear. We made a stop at an argan co-op and then had lunch at a great grilled meat spot with outdoor courtyard seating. As we approached Marrakesh, Ayoub gave us a driving tour as we headed into the medina and then we were dropped off at our hotel.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Valleys, Kasbahs, and Roses: A Scenic Drive to Aït Benhaddou
Valleys, Kasbahs, and Roses: A Scenic Drive to Aït Benhaddou
Morocco

This was the longest part of our journey - partially because we tried to fit in some stops that were supposed to be scheduled on our route to Merzouga on top of stops that were already planned for the day. While the drive was long, the scenery did not disappoint as we started to make our way from the sand dunes into the Atlas Mountains. Some of my favorite stops with our wonderful guide Ayoub was walking at the base of the Todra Gorge and getting views/pictures of Aït Benhaddou at sunset. Along the way, we managed to fit in stops at the fossil mining town of Erfoud, an ancient water mining site, a legitimate Berber rug shop, and a rose oil co-op. My only recommendation might be to pare down on the number of touristy spots or to give the traveler a choice on which ones to really stop and see. It was A LOT for one day!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Ali Moujane
Ali
Ali Moujane
Local specialist in Atlas Mountains | Replied on Dec 05, 2023
Hi Caren, Thank you so much for sharing your incredible experience with us! It warms our hearts to hear about your fantastic journey through Morocco and the joy it brought you. We truly understand the anticipation and challenges you faced with the rescheduling due to the pandemic, and we're thrilled that despite the initial hurdles, you found our services at KimKim and Original Travels to be accommodating and supportive. It's delightful to know that your itinerary, which included... Read more

Hi Caren,

Thank you so much for sharing your incredible experience with us! It warms our hearts to hear about your fantastic journey through Morocco and the joy it brought you.

We truly understand the anticipation and challenges you faced with the rescheduling due to the pandemic, and we're thrilled that despite the initial hurdles, you found our services at KimKim and Original Travels to be accommodating and supportive.

It's delightful to know that your itinerary, which included Chefchaouen, Fes, the desert, and Marrakesh within a limited timeframe, provided you with a perfect blend of exploration, cultural immersion, and personal discovery. Morocco's enchanting allure often leaves visitors spellbound, and your description of guided drives, interactions with local families, visits to Nomadic camps, and solo city explorations truly captures the diverse and magical essence of the country.

We're incredibly grateful for your trust in us and for recommending our company to others seeking memorable travel experiences. Your kind words serve as inspiration for us to continue delivering exceptional services and creating unforgettable journeys for travelers like you.

Thank you once again for choosing KimKim and Original Travels for your Moroccan adventure. We sincerely hope that you'll cherish these memories and that they inspire future adventures filled with as much wonder and joy.

Warm regards,
Ali