Caprice

We loved exploring Morocco with Megan at our virtual side - Apr 25 - May 4, 2022

Traveler: Caprice Y. - Local specialist: Megan Lower

Honestly, I cannot imagine exploring Morocco without WanderLust Voyages which we found through KimKim. Our own private guide with a comfy van outfitted with wifi picked us up in Fez and took us everywhere on our itinerary over the next 10 days. Without a personal guide and driver, there is no way we would have seen as much. Leading up to the trip, we had to change our dates and plans over and over again due to COVID and work and Megan just rolled with it. We even ended up having an extra two... read more

Honestly, I cannot imagine exploring Morocco without WanderLust Voyages which we found through KimKim. Our own private guide with a comfy van outfitted with wifi picked us up in Fez and took us everywhere on our itinerary over the next 10 days. Without a personal guide and driver, there is no way we would have seen as much. Leading up to the trip, we had to change our dates and plans over and over again due to COVID and work and Megan just rolled with it. We even ended up having an extra two days and Megan was able to extend our trip easily without changing the budget. We stayed in gorgeous Riads, which are boutique hotels with spas and authentic Moroccan decor. Each one was special and perfectly located inside the old Medina areas with excellent service, luxurious rooms, wifi, and truly phenomenal meals. I would never have known which one to pick without Megan making the selections. On our own, we probably would have used frequent flyer miles in generic hotels in tourist areas. The activities to which we were directed weren't the tourist traps many of the tours take you to. They were genuinely memorable lifetime experiences. In several cities, Megan arranged for highly knowledgeable guides to explain the history and interesting stories about the places we visited. We could ask all our questions and veer off the scheduled route when something curious arose. The whole trip was like a treasure box with each day full of unique delightful surprises.

We didn't have time to go to Marrakech because we chose Fez, the desert, and Tangier--- I would not recommend missing either the desert or Tangier. We took an hour-long ride on a dromedary ("one hump camel") in the dunes at sunset which was silent and sacred. After the meal in our tent, the local teenagers taught us how to play Berber drums. In Tangier, we looked across the Straights of Gibralter to Spain. If you are a foodie and fan of irreverent Beatnick history, definitely watch the Anthony Bourdain special on Tangier before you go. Learning the thousands of years of history of this international zone really rocked my worldview-- crazy to compare a place that holds onto 200,000 years of history in its current context with Los Angeles which has managed to erase anything before the last 200. Actually, if you are coming from Spain, I highly recommend the ferry across the Straights as your starting point. We spent one night near Meknes in a winery/spa/boutique hotel that was phenomenal! I only wish we had booked two nights. We were thinking it was just a stopover during a long drive, but it was worth a longer stay to truly enjoy the classical herb garden, 750 hectares of vineyards, winery, spa, pools, and food--- very decadent.

Nevertheless-- everyone said, "What! You're not going to Marrakech!?" next time...

Our local guide and driver was Ibrahim-- request him!! Kamal was our expert in Fez-- request him too!

Megan is great. She planned and replanned the trip keeping everything within budget so there was no stress or surprises, and check up on us through Ibrahim all along the way.

If you want something special or different-- Megan can guide you. Stay as long as you can.

Loved it!

Hotel Review

Riad El Amine Fès

Fes

Overall Rating
Hotel Review

This place is a total shock to the uninitiated. It is located in the old Medina and, if you arrive as we did, your van pulls into this overcrowded dirt parking lot next to a public park, packs of stray dogs, and a cluster of what seem like dingy ancient 4 story plaster buildings with no windows and with graffiti proclaiming "Never Fall in Love" scrawled on a wall. Some people were playing cards and smoking in a pharmacy of one building. Our guide took us walking with our bags among winding passageways to a fancy door that we decided must be the door to the TARDIS because the inside was definitely bigger than the outside! It opened into the gorgeous courtyard and elegant rooms with intricate mosaics covering the walls. Inside, everything was immaculate and luxurious. The staff was always present and helpful. The meals were delicious-- and always more food than we could possibly eat. The swimming pool was beautiful but freezing. One night a band came in to entertain everyone with traditional music. Our room was great-- one thing, though, if you are used to a king-sized bed with your spouse that is made up for two people to be under one cover, you will be surprised. A king-sized bed here is two twins pushed together-- easily remedied, though. The Riad served as a great jumping off point to explore Fez!

Tips for future travelers

Somewhat difficult to walk to things from the hotel. Plan to drive or order a ride.

Cleanliness & Comfort

We were there during the end (I hope) of the pandemic and felt completely safe.
Staff

Very accomodating and helpful
Authenticity & Character

Gorgeous mosaics
Location

Close to the Medina
Activity Review

Tour Fes with a Private Guide

Fes

Overall Rating
Activity Review

Kamal was a great guide! Not even bread crumbs would save you in the 9,400 streets of the old Medina and having someone along who knows the history and stories makes it so meaningful. He also steered us to a delicious and beautiful spot for lunch-- we would never have known it was there without him. The local craft places were a little bit touristy-- and priced for tourists-- but, hey, we were tourists! The textiles, ceramics, silver, rugs, and leather were fun to see because they were being made the old way right in front of you. We could peek into but not enter the mosques, but what we could see was beautiful. I am so glad that UNESCO is investing in saving this piece of history.

Food

Transport

Guides, drivers and staff

Quality of Experience