Tag Archives: Morocco

Exploring Morocco

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Even with all the issues that are going on in the world and the recent travel alert issued by Department of State, we headed down to Morocco for a 10 day trip to see the country as well as a little hiking in the Atlas mountains.

We started with a nonstop flight from Gatwick on British Airlines. Josh and I splurged a little and went with business class tickets. It was nice to get to the airport and head over to the lounge to relax and enjoy a small meal before heading on to board. With the inflight meal of saffron chicken and a lovely glass of wine, we disembarked early enough to also beat the lines for the customs portion of the journey.

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We booked an 8 day tour with Luxor Tour company that included transfer. We met the driver in the lobby and that is where the issues started to occur. Apparently the company placed us on the Spanish tour. Now my Spanish is the point where I can ask, how much, where is the bathroom, do you speak english, and my all time favorite: where is the pharmacy. So I had a couple of concerns on how much I would be able to get out of this tour.

We headed over to the hotel in Marrakech at Hotel Atlas. Located outside the city, it’s not easy to get into town with out a taxi, while can be arranged by the hotel, the concern on how to get back is what caused some problems.

With dinner being included, we headed down to enjoy the meal. It didn’t really leave a lasting impression more so to get your energy for the last bit of the day. Upon returning to the room I noticed another issue that didn’t stand out when we checked in. We shared the wall with the elevator. Now I have a couple of questions on who is using the elevator at 2 am on a Thursday but they are and that prevented me from getting a restful sleep before we would be heading out the next day.

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We found out that they added us to the Spanish group since there was not a lot of English speaking tourist due to the low season. Normally I wouldn’t mind and understand however we were not given a heads up on the change of plans. Also I understand enough Spanish to know that they were getting more information than we were on the tour in English.

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After heading out of town we started the journey to Casablanca where we were driven around to see the city and dropped off in front of Hassan II Mosque. With a private guide you are able to go inside with a scheduled time, all we saw was the outside. Which don’t get me wrong was amazing and I can only imagine what was done inside and wish we had the chance to find out. But it was off to lunch in town before heading up to Rabat.

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Next was a stop at the Royal Palace to view the grounds and see the mosque, again not allowed inside just pictures on the outside. Afterwards we headed over to see the Mausoleum of Mohammed V. Which was beautiful. Don’t forget to look up when you enter to take in the view of the roof.

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Then we were to the hotel for dinner at the Helnan Chellah Hotel Rabat. Here we sat with the rest of the group to improve our Spanish and get to know them. The room was alright, nothing to truly write home about. The gym only had one working bike, everything else was in shambles. Dinner as well as breakfast was buffet.

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The next morning we started with a tour of the Rabat Fortified City with the blue paint on all the buildings. It was breathtaking. We also made some friends with the local cats that followed me around the rest of the city. Then it was back to the bus to head up to Tangier.

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At this point, the Spanish portion left for the port to go home and we were given a lift to the hotel and advised that there really wasn’t much to do in town but the night club and to not head out at night. So I decided to head out for the main road in town and walk up and down the area.

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We saw a mall and tried that out, however it was more grocery shopping than a clothes shopping area. There is also the beach to visit however I did not have room in my bag to pack the swim suit.

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We met up with the new tour guide that would be taking us up to Fez for a couple of days. This city needs more than 2 days to appreciate it. From the endless streets of Medina, to all the craftsmanship that they have with leather and mosaics, and let’s not forget the Royal Palace you really need 3-4 days here. I purchased a nice bowl for my sister and a jacket for myself. Here you can really appreciate the local cuisine and were even invited to a dinner show. With great food and entertainment from belly dancing, a mock Moroccan wedding, and music through out the evening it was an amazing couple of days spent in town.

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While in Fez we stayed at the Hotel Sofia, which was amazing with a small balcony on the room and a pool outside, to the spa and gym, and even several different restaurants and night clubs on site. This was the best hotel included in the tour.

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We had the option to take the 10 hour scenic route through the High Atlas Mountains or by highway. Since we came by highway the first go around we choose the scenic route and was not disappointed. With rest stops along the way the journey did fly by with the views of the small towns and man made lake.

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Finally it was back to Marrakech where we stayed at the same hotel as before. Here we visited the Meara Gardens, Bahia Palace and then the Medina in town. You will want to get the Moroccan oil and saffron for super cheap and good quality as well. While the tour finished, we decided to spend two days trekking through the Atlas Mountains. With a local guide and a mule we were off. However it was quickly realized that my foot was not 100% since I dropped the dresser drawer on it a week prior. So with the help of the guide we changed the plan and did one high peak and the rest of trekking through the local towns.

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All in all, the trip was an experience in learning the local customs and seeing a lot of the outside sights. I would recommend a private tour so that you can get inside than just being part of the outside looking in.

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Virgin Limited Edition Travel Specials

 Necker Island Necker Island

Celebrate on Necker Island
If you don’t fancy hiring the entire island, we’ve got availability during September, October and November 2014 for any last minute bookings.

 Kasbah Tamadot Kasbah Tamadot

Escape to Morocco

Book a stay for 5 nights or more at Kasbah Tamadot and your final night is free. Discover the Atlas Mountains before December 21, 2014!

 The Lodge The Lodge

Summer Escape to The Lodge

Make the most of the fresh Swiss air and sunshine in Verbier and book a summer escape in the Swiss Alps. When you stay for at least 4 nights you won’t pay anything for the final night!

 Mahali Mzuri Mahali Mzuri
Free night offer

When you book to stay for at least 3 nights your final night will be free of charge! This offer also applies for longer stays of 4 or even 5 nights and is available for stays until December 21, 2014.

 Ulusaba Ulusaba
Take the kids on Safari
Ulusaba Private Game Reserve in South Africa is extremely kid friendly and offers the ultimate for a family break – when sharing a room with their parents kids stay for free.

Click here to contact us for more information

or give us a call at 1-888-700-8747.

 

 

Necker Island becomes a proud member of ‘Pack for a Purpose’

Enabling travellers to make a difference to the local community

August 2014 – Virgin Limited Edition is thrilled to announce that Necker Island joins its sister properties Kasbah Tamadot and Ulusaba Private Game Reserve in supporting ‘Pack for a Purpose’, a community based project which is supported by hotels & resorts in 56 countries around the world.

‘Pack for a Purpose’ provides travellers with up to date information regarding the supplies needed in the community of their travel destination. By creating just a few kilos of space in their suitcases and bringing supplies for schools or medical clinics in need, the initiative allows tourists to create a lasting and priceless impact on the lives of children and families living in the local area.

Necker Island, Kasbah Tamadot and Ulusaba Private Game Reserve are supporting local projects close to the properties heart.

With the help of ‘Pack for a Purpose, Necker Island is supporting The Robinson O’Neal Memorial Primary School. The Robinson O’Neal Memorial Primary School, constructed in 1971, was one of the first schools in the area to be built for education purposes. Prior to 1971, schools were housed in churches until the government began providing public building dedicated to education. Thanks to generous donations over the years, the school has evolved from a one room building with just two classrooms to four classrooms, a kitchen and a computer lab. The number of students keeps growing and all contributions from ‘Pack for a Purpose’ are a big help.

Kasbah Tamadot, the first hotel in Morocco to join the initiative, is supporting three local charitable projects. The first one is a crèche in Asni, which provides a free-of-charge pre-school activity centre for young children living in remote Berber communities. The crèche helps the children to socialise and learn Arabic and French languages commonly used in Morocco but not always familiar to Berber-speaking children. Asni crèche requires a regular supply of learning materials, toys and fun activities to ensure more children can benefit in the future.

It is also supporting a girl’s boarding house in the Atlas Mountains. Built to tackle the problem of transporting young students to school, the boarding house offers girls aged 13 – 18 the opportunity to complete their studies and benefit from much wider chances of employment.

The third project is the Eve Branson Foundation Craft Houses which are set up in several of the nearby villages offer training programmes for young women including English & French lessons, embroidering, knitting and other skills to create high-quality artisan products, from which they can generate a small income.

Ulusaba Private Game Reserve in South Africa has been supporting two main projects for some time through ‘Pack for a Purpose’. These are The Dumphries Community Teacher Resource Centre which includes a toy library and resources for teachers working with young children in the wider area and the The Mawewe High School Centre. The centre provides support for students with their homework, research projects, literacy skills and also provides students with access to books and computers, something that would not be made possible without all the generous donations.

Jon Brown, Managing Director of Virgin Limited Edition commented: “As a company we are committed to finding new ways to support the communities living close to our properties. I am thrilled that we are working with ‘Pack for a Purpose’ to support their goal and help the people who live locally to Necker Island, Kasbah Tamadot, and Ulusaba.”    

For further information about ‘Pack for a Purpose’ or to see what supplies are needed please Click here.

 

 

For further information, please contact:

Claudia Moore claudia.moore@virginlimitededition.com

Tel: +44 (0)20 6000 0472

 

Notes to Editors:

Virgin Limited Edition is an award-winning collection of unique retreats, chosen for their beautiful locations and magnificent surroundings; each offers a sense of fun, style, luxury and exceptional personal service.  The group includes Necker Island in the Caribbean’s British Virgin Islands, Ulusaba Private Game Reserve in South Africa, The Roof Gardens and Babylon Restaurant in London; Kasbah Tamadot in Morocco, The Lodge in Verbier, Necker Belle, a 105 foot luxury catamaran, Mahali Mzuri, a tented safari camp in Kenya and Mont Rochelle Hotel and Mountain Vineyard in South Africa.

Virgin Limited Edition aims to make a credible contribution towards creating a sustainable economy and to meet or exceed the expectations of our customers and stakeholders.

For more information please visit www.kasbahtamadot.virgin.com/en/kasbah_tamadot/about_us/packforapurpose

www.neckerisland.virgin.com/en/necker_island/about_us/packforapurpose

2014 Specials at Four Seasons Marrakech

Four Seasons

Check out some of these great 2014 travel specials at the Four Seasons Marrakech!

Experience this exotic city as never before, in an elegant Moroccan resort with a light, contemporary touch – and the serenity and savvy of Four Seasons. Located in an imperial city full of ancient and modern sights, sounds, and tastes. Get lost in a labyrinth of souks or enjoy the quiet orchards of the Menara Gardens.

For more information, please contact Traveline

1-888-700-8747

vacation@traveline.com

Morocco Bistro Biking Tour

Morocco

Butterfield and Robinson
27 Oct 2013 – 01 Nov 2013
6 days
Marrakech, Morocco to Marrakech, Morocco
Multi-Day Tour | Group, Escorted

Morocco is one of our oldest friends—the land, in fact, where the idea of a B&R expedition was born. We saw a foreign, exotic, stunning country beautifully suited to our penchant for pedaling and knew we absolutely had to introduce B&R travellers to it. And despite its convenient proximity to Europe, we knew our travellers may very well only come once. With that in mind, we give you the best of Morocco: magical Marrakech, Berber villages, stunning oases, fabulous food, a Kasbah hotel, the High Atlas Mountains and

an absolutely unforgettable stay in the magical city of Essaouira in a riad.

What’s Included

  • All hotel accommodation
  • All breakfasts, all lunches and four dinners, including wine
  • Use of a hybrid bicycle, handlebar bag and helmet
  • Services of B&R guide(s) and drivers
  • All special events and private tours, Berber guides, guest experts and entrance fees to historic sights and museums
  • All transportation from rendezvous to drop-off, including Land Cruisers, coaches and camels
  • All baggage transportation
  • Detailed maps, route suggestions and water bottle
  • All gratuities for baggage, porters and hotel service

What’s Not included

  • international air
  • B&R guide gratuities

For more information or to book,

click here to contact Traveline

or call us at 1-888-700-TRIP.