Some problems with Riads - Sep 6 - Sep 11, 2019
It's unfortunate that we didn't know that riads are not accessible by car. That is to some extent because I didn't do enough research, but it really should have been pointed out somewhere along the way. I had told Hajar explicitly that we were four elderly people aged 77 to 83 who were not up to extensive walking, but both our riads required a bit of a walk from where we unloaded our luggage. To make matters worse, the Palais Amani walk was through very unpleasant, not to say trashy, surroundings. and we were told not to go outside the riad on our own. This was far from what we were expecting!!!
Once inside, however, we found the riads very comfortable and lush, except that we were given rooms in La Maison Arabe that had no elevator, requiring two flights of stairs. And in the Palais Amani, our friends the Patels were given a suite in which the bedroom was upstairs but the bathroom was downstairs. Again, after telling Hajar our ages and conditions, I was disappointed that this was not communicated to the riads. The Palais Amani offered the Patels a swap to a single level room, which they accepted, but only on the second day; La Maison Arabe did likewise, again on the second day, which we declined rather than unpack and repack
The itinerary also was not constructed with reference to our elderly status. Our guide, Hammadi, apologized and said he had not been made aware of the problem; he adjusted our itinerary extensively, which we appreciated. Overall, he did a very good job for us, except that he spent far too much time taking us to shops from which I'm sure he was getting a commission. We were taken to one such shop each day, usually without warning that it was going to try to sell us merchandise. (The shop above the tanneries put on one of the hardest of hard sells I ever experienced!). I have been on many land tours and cruise-ship shore excursions but never have I felt so used.
I was also disappointed that Hammadi left us the final night at our hotel, leaving the driver to take us to the airport. The driver was fine, but we felt a bit insecure without our English-speaking guide lest there be some problem at the airport. There wasn't, fortunately, but I still feel he was derelict in leaving us early.