Psuedo- Trip Report and Guide Recommendation

Oct 13th, 2009, 09:31 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 109
Psuedo- Trip Report and Guide Recommendation

Just came back from a 12 night trip to Spain/Morocco (4 nights Spain/8 nights Morocco) and fully plan and doing a trip report but in order to get the information out there, I wanted to post my rough itinerary and thoroughly recommend the guide we used for all 8 nights in Morocco. Feel free to ask any questions and I will try to get the trip report started once I recover from 9 hours of jetlag.

Our itinerary was as follows:
9/29 LAX to BCN
2 nights in BCN at (recommended)
Took advantage of the tourist bus
Decent dinner @ Taller de Tapas
10/2 BCN to RAKFlight IB6759
Guide Mark Willenbrock ([email protected]) got us at airport (he is HIGHLY recommended)
Riad Lorysa (recommended) for 2 nights
10/4 Marrakech to Tiz n Test Pass to Tin Mal Mosque to Riad el Aissi (recommended)
10/5 Taroudannt to Tiz n Tishka pass to Telouet and Dar Glaoui Kasbah to Ait Ben Haddou to Kasbah Ben Moro (recommended)
10/6 Head out to Sahara; night in luxury tent encampment (luxury camp HIGHLY recommended but hotel was hideous)
10/7 Leave Sahara through Ziz Gorge to Middle Atlas to Cedar Forests (Hand fed Barbary Apes on the way) and then to Fes. Stayed 2 nights at (recommended)
10/9 Fes to Volubis to Meknes (Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail, Moulay Idriss Zerhoun) to Rabat (Chellah Gardens) to Marrakech (long day but doable, especially since Mark drove)
10/10 RAK to MAD
2 nights MAD @ Hotel Preciados (recommendeD)
Brunch @ Cornucopia (great food!)
10/12 MAD to LAX

Hope this helps some people. This route took us a longtime to come up with and it focuses more on cultural/historical locations and notably leaves out the coastal resort areas as well as Casa and Rabat.

Also, I want to strongly recommend our guide Mark Willenbrock whose name we found here from other reviewers. He was fantastic, a native Brit who has lived in Morocco for 15 years or so. He speaks perfect English as well as French, Arabic and some Berber. He was with the entire time we were in Morocco and we couldnt have asked for a better guide to take us through the country. He is best reached via email at [email protected] or I can dig up is local Moroccan number if anyone wants. We just communicated by email and wired him 250USD to confirm our intent and allow him to book some of our accomodations outside the major cities. It was a leap of faith but it couldnt have worked out better, Hope this information helps someone else.

jersey1977 is offline  
Oct 14th, 2009, 03:46 PM
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Posts: 109
Dude, just because I didnt recommend the Moroccan company you shill for it doesnt mean you have to be an ass. But then again, from you other postings that appears to be your SOP.

Just look at my dozens of posts over the last year across Fodors, it doesnt take a genius to realize that I am not advertising anything, just trying to pass along honest recommendations.
jersey1977 is offline  
Oct 17th, 2009, 08:27 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 13
Michael - looking forward to your trip report. We, too, travelled with Mark Willenbrock in August. It was a wonderful trip. He drove over 2000 miles in showing us Morocco. We met friendly people and children - saw amazing countryside and had such a unique and adventurous time that we cannot wait to go back. I am amazed by the bickering that goes on about tour guides on these websites. Yes, it's obvious when some self-promote, but Mark has a good reputation amongst his clients and he doesn't have to do that. And when he posts - he posts under his OWN NAME!
cquinn819 is offline  
Oct 18th, 2009, 05:37 AM
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Posts: 38
The Trip report contains many online links which ruins the content, Should it be questionable! YES!!!
tizi001 is offline  
Oct 18th, 2009, 11:53 AM
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Posts: 13
tizi001 - That's your opinion. I personally like the links to find out more information about the various places (than just one person's opinion). It would be work that I would do anyway in researching a trip. Jersey1977 stated that they would do a trip report later.
cquinn819 is offline  
Oct 18th, 2009, 10:10 PM
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I would be quite the talented/wealthy tour operator have an interest in hotels/restuarants throughout both Morocco and Spain. Hell, if I owned a part of some of these properties, I have better things to do than post in the Fodors forum.

In all seriousness, I took alot of time putting this trip together and I thought including the links would make people's live easier than having to google each and every establishment listed.

Also, if you look at any of the places listed you would notice all are in the top 5 or so in tripadvisor in their respective cities and others such as Preciadios and Seffarine get rave remarks in the guidebooks such as Frommers.

Its responses like tizi001 that makes me question whether it is worth the effort posting on boards as opposed to just being a leech and staying silent.

jersey1977 is offline  
Oct 18th, 2009, 10:17 PM
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Posts: 109
And Tizi001 - you seem to post exclusively in the Morocco section, so what are your opinions of the Riads/Dars that I stayed at?

I am presuming you are a guide or such in Morocco. Conversely, I live in Los Angeles and only spent 8 night in your country.

Given your expertise, I am sure you are familar with many of the places I stayed, especially Dar Seffarine which seems renown in Fes.

I would be most interested to read your opinions and to contrast them with my experiences.

I await your response.
jersey1977 is offline  
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