Recommend January 2013 - (Page 122)

africa ontourreview M AY 2 0 12 AUTHENTIC MOROCCO in an (argan) nutshell Left: Outside Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca; right: Poolside at Kasbah Tamadot. Travel agents have been selling Morocco for a long time, so we’ll spare you the history lesson in this ontour review and focus rather on the highlights of a perfect 10-day tour. lorri robbins Africa...on so many bucket lists and so often the call is southern, but we headed north instead to experience Morocco. The country certainly has an abundance of luxury product, as has been written about in the pages of Recommend for years. You are all familiar with and sell Marrakech’s La Mamounia, and you may have sold the brand-new Delano Marrakech, and if it’s truly luxury you are selling then you’ll want to know about the city’s newest gem, the Taj Palace Marrakech (as of press time scheduled to open Jan. 15). This desert palace has stunning views of the Atlas Mountains and boasts 161 well-appointed, spacious guestrooms, including 25 luxurious suites, spread between the main Palace and four exclusive riads. The hotel’s Jiva Grande Spa has 14 treatment rooms and two extensive traditional hammams. In Rabat, meanwhile, the recently renovated Sofitel Rabat Jardin des Roses is a great recommendation for your high-end clientele, as is the brand-new Sofitel Palais Jamai Fes in Fez. But as alluring as these properties are we went to Morocco seeking the authentic side of the country—to experience it from its interior, as opposed to its glittery exterior. We toured this north African country a la experiential-style, which is what many of your clients are seeking nowadays. 122 january 2013 To get it right, we called on Toronto-based Goway Travel to organize a private guided tour and leaned on the extensive experience of Moira Smith, Goway’s Africa product manager. We decided to customize a version of the company’s Imperial Cities tour, arriving in Casablanca, but rather than ending in Marrakech, we were curious to experience Richard Branson’s Kasbah Tamadot as an add-on (ok, so a little luxury included). “We see Morocco as a unique destination that offers influences of Africa, Arabia and Europe,” points out Smith. “Its scenery, culture, cuisine and people make it a compelling destination. For those wanting an authentic Morocco experience, a stay in a riad (traditional Moroccan home) is perfect as they’ve remained true to their roots. If your choice runs to five-star luxury, however, Morocco also offers hotels with world-class standards.” casablanca—economic capital The interesting thing about this city is the blend of modern and ancient ways. Here, BMWs share the road with donkeys carting vendors’ wares. CASABLANCA TOUR HIGHLIGHTS: Hassan II Mosque (toured on foot)—This mosque defies beauty. LORRI ROBBINS (2)

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend January 2013

Editor's Note
Hotel Desk: The Westlake Village Inn
Tour Talk: Brendan Vacations' Boutique Journeys
Four Cheers for River Crusing
A-ROSA Silva
Delta Air Lines' 2013 Caribbean, Mexico and Latin America Travel Guide
China Remains a Time-Tested Destination
What's Hot in Vegas for 2013
Back to the Gulf
Authentic Morocco in An (Argan) Nutshell
Festive Europe

Recommend January 2013