Last Minute Morrocco Trip - NEED HELP!!

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Mar 8th, 2013, 06:36 AM
  #1
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Last Minute Morrocco Trip - NEED HELP!!

As usual I am planning some crazy last minute trip....this time to Morocco for 3 adults, me, my husband and 30 year old daughter. We would be flying out of JFK. We wanted to stay in fabulous Riads or other hotels, experience the Hamman spas, shop, eat, explore with a driver. We do not want to go too crazy running around and of course want to be safe
That being said this is my plan....please give me your thoughts and suggestions!

March 26th leave JFK 6:45 PM arrive Cassablanca Mar 27th 6:25 AM ( at this point you can spend the day and get a 10:30 PM flight to Fez or get the driver)

Return from Marrakesh:

April 3 9:15 flight to Cassablanca to connecting flight at 1PM to Jfk 5:15PM


note from Cassablanca to Fez is about 4-5 hours driving maybe we spend a nite? or just do it like they say? no idea.......

This way it would be:

Mar 27th drive to Fez spend 3 nites

the 30th drive to Atlas mtns spend 2 nites

April 1 go to Marrakesh for 2 nites
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Mar 8th, 2013, 07:12 AM
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I've been to Morocco a number of times and would suggest the following:

1. Regarding Casablanca, with so few days, no question, don't stop, meet your driver, head for Fes.

2. Regarding an overnight on the way, the obvious choices are Rabat and Meknes. However, Rabat isn't that far from Casa and by the time you get to Meknes you might as well continue to Fes. Stop once or twice for snacks and go all the way.

3. I like Fes but I like Marrakech better. I'd spend 2 nights in Fes, 3 in Marrakech.
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Mar 8th, 2013, 07:30 AM
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Another thought, instead of the driver or a flight to Fes from Casablanca, you can take the train. You'd start at the airport from the station below the terminal. That train will take you to the main station called Casa Voyaguers. Change there for the train to Fes. The train is my first choice for transport in Moroccco on the routes it serves. I'm sure it'll get you to Fes faster than by car and your driver can meet you at the station.

I thought the train website had an English version but I'm only seeing French and Arabic. But, even if you don't speak one of those, it isn't difficult to decipher: http://www.oncf.ma/Pages/Accueil.aspx

I'm sure your travel agent can send you the tickets. It would be a bit more fun, I think, and adventurous than being driven. If it appeals to you.
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Mar 8th, 2013, 12:17 PM
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Thank you for your advice. We can also take a flight for not that much more money however we arrive at 6:30 AM and the flight doesn't leave until 10:30 PM. I just have a difficult time imaging going from a long overnight flight right to the train or a car trip for that matter. Do you have any idea how long the train ride is. I will try and decipher the web site you sent me. And....I am the "travel agent" as I plan this all myself with the help of fodorites like you of course!!!
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Mar 8th, 2013, 03:15 PM
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I just had a look on the ONCF website above. The trains to Fes from Casa Voyaguers station run approximately hourly and are 3+ hours.

In my estimation, money is not the issue. I come from the west coast, change planes at Heathrow and at a possibly more advanced age than yours (son in his 40's) don't find taking the train too much of an effort. No effort whatever to find the station as it goes from the airport terminal. But the easiest, if not the most interesting, is being picked up at the airport. I would not waste a whole day of your very short visit waiting for an airplane.
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Mar 8th, 2013, 03:41 PM
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You'd better to fly into Casablanca, then travel with your driver to Fes, via Meknes and Volubilis, then from Fes don't forget to go south for the desert as it's really worth it, from there via the road of Thousand Kasbah, then via the High Atlas Mountains to Marrakech in your limited time you will see and experience all of this, as you will enjoy the local culture and Food by this you will be amazed by the diversity of Morocco.
Have fun.
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Mar 9th, 2013, 07:52 AM
  #7
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I am concerned about going to the desert due to the distance in the car. So it seems if I were to drive or take the train directly to Fes

Mar 27th arrive Fes late afternoon evening
Mar 28 Fes
Mar 29 head to Atlas mtns
Mar 30 Atlas mtns
Mar 31 head to Marrakesh
Apr 1 Marrakesh
Apr 2 Marrakesh
Apr 3 leave early in the morning for flt from Marrakesh to Cassablanca to home

We were thinking of staying in these locations if it all works out. Problem is always finding something for 3 adults in either one room or two!! We are family but just the same

Fes - Sofitel Palais Jamais for two nites two rooms

Atlas Mtns - if we can get in touch with them which seems impossible Kasbah Tamdot

Marrakesh- Taj Palace ( would like other suggestions of something fabulous!)

Thanks so much for any advice again!
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Mar 9th, 2013, 08:37 AM
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I thought you had an agent booking your hotels.

I like this itinerary. By car or train you should arrive in Fes in the early afternoon. The Palais Jamais is the nicest place there by reputation. I haven't stayed there but I've heard good things and the location is good on the edge of the medina. I could see it from the roof of my friend's apartment.

The Taj Palace looks great, just had a look, but it's in the Palmeraie which is out of town. I wouldn't consider any hotel that wasn't in the vicinity of the medina. If you want luxury, you might consider the Mamounia which has recently had a complete updating and is the most famous luxury hotel in N. Africa. And where any number of famous people have stayed for many decades. The gardens are legendary and it's right on the edge of the medina. I have been there, lunch, not in the budget to stay but it is a beautiful and perfectly located place to stay.
http://www.mamounia.com/uk/index.php

If that doesn't appeal for some reason then look on Trip Advisor for an upmarket riad for infinitely more atmosphere and better medina location that the best out of town hotel.

You're going to have a wonderful time!
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Mar 9th, 2013, 08:38 AM
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Now we are deleting one day and leaving on April 2!! Ahhh planning with family!

does anybody know the distance between all of these places like fes to the mtns the mtns to marrakech
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Mar 13th, 2013, 08:16 AM
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jgg
 
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You may have already booked stuff by now because you are leaving shortly, but we stayed at Riad Kniza (http://www.riadkniza.com/) a fabulous upscale luxury riad in Marakkech.

We did a similar trip in 8 nights we did 3 nights Marrakech, one night Ouazarzate, two nights desert, 2 nights Fez. It was an amazing trip. You can read about here if you are interested, also includes pictures:
http://www.fromhometoroam.com/catego...frica/morocco/
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Mar 18th, 2013, 03:50 PM
  #11
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I want to thank all of you in advance! Our trip will be next week! We have changed it over and over again. Now we will only be there 5 days and only staying in Marrakech at the Taj Palace hotel. This will be like going as "sex in the city" haha! We hope to do a cooking class....still deciding if we should do La Maison Arabe or Faim Epices if anyone has done this please let us know! We will be taking a day trip to the Atlas Mountains and eating lunch at the Branson hotel. One or two days the souk, camel ride in the Palmaraie district and of course the Hamman!!! so excited. Will let you all know.
One night is booked at Pepe Nero restaurant for a birthday celebration for our daughter. If you have other suggestions we would love to hear what they are!
Thank you thank you thank you!!
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Mar 21st, 2013, 03:47 PM
  #12
 
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Jumping in at the last minute. Have a great trip. I enjoyed your decision making(s)...we are planning a trip to Morocco for September and going crazy trying to figure it all out.
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Mar 21st, 2013, 05:05 PM
  #13
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I have found some interesting things in Marrakech. I will let you all know how it works out when we return. I am trying to play it a bit by ear so I am not so ultra planned. Might let the hotel give us a guide for the souk for the first trip. any thoughts on that btw? We also want to do a cooking class either at Hotel ARabe or Faim epices I think it is? We are going to the Branson resort in the Atlas mtns. just for lunch....actually made the reservation directly! Other than that we will do the hamman, relax and enjoy!
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Mar 22nd, 2013, 03:25 AM
  #14
 
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La Maison Arab is great place to do your cookery class, and Kasbah Tamadot is really worth it, but for an authentic kasbah try Kasbah Toubkal more amazing.
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Mar 22nd, 2013, 04:56 AM
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Alex251986 thank you for confirming about La Maison Arabe! Do you think we should do lunch at the Kasbah Toubkai instead? Or just go see it? Are they near each other. We were planning on doing this on Saturday as I understand there is a market on Saturday.
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Mar 22nd, 2013, 12:36 PM
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Kasbah Toubkal is Authentic, very beautiful and Lunch there is really amazing, read more recommendations about it on the TA, Kasbah Toubkal has a great staff, food and location and they include a short trekking by Lunch.
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