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“One night camel and desert bivouac trip”
Review of Palais des dunes

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Palais des dunes
Ranked #34 of 82 Merzouga B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 19 April 2014

Have no idea about what the rooms are like in the hotel whatsoever. Didn't go there for a room, no I went there for their camel trek in the desert with a night bivouac under the stars. I picked this place for that since there is a fixed location to find and start from. Compared to others 'meet by the café in Merzouga' and so on, I liked the idea of the hotel being a base which can be found on Google Earth. It is a long way to drive from Rabat to Merzouga without realy knowing where you are going. And some of the others saying just phone on arrival, arrival where precisely and at £3 min due to being outside Europe roaming charges, err no.

So the Palais Des Dunes have website advertising a one night trek with bivouac, meal and morning trek back all in for €40. Too good to be true?

Easily programmed into the Sat Nav and a nice drive down on a good road. Eventually the Erg Chebbi dunes loom on the horizon. The hotel is almost the last building at the end of the road but is clearly signed and it is ON the main tarmac road so no having to drive off into the dust with a cheap hire car.

Welcome is nice, you are offered a room to store luggage if required, I declined as I had the car for locking stuff up but I really don't think you are charged for the room as an extra - but confirm just in case. Yes they respond to emails which helps confirm they are a real organisation.

There was a delay from the suggested set off time due to some other people splashing around in the pool.

Walk across the road and on to the camels. Led across the dunes to the other side with a stop on the way for the sunset, not that jaw dropping on that night. On arriving at the camp check out the cliffs in the distance, that's Algeria!

A nice and simple meal which is very adequate is served a bit latter and you are pretty much free to do what ever you want. The guides with you perform what could possibly be real nomadic music, or just bashing the instruments more or less in time with each other and shouting out possible obscenities at the guests, who knows, who cares, is was a bit of laugh out there in the desert.

Stars looked great, the dimmer ones come out much better such that the ones you usually see are not as easy to pick out in their constellations.

Simply bunk beds in carpet tents, pool was lovely and the sauna awesome, yeah right - look out for them in the desert!

Ride back in the morning exposes a little soreness but the rides are just the right length. Then a free breakfast, as you wish - just wander around and relax before setting off. Jump in the pool if you like, have a shower, nobody seemed interested in asking for extra cash. Seems it really was all in for the 40 Euros

Should you bother doing the desert thing? Oh yes, yes, yes.

Should you use Palais Des Dunes? Yes, very good price, little extras like buying a head scarf was very cheap if you didn't come prepared, relaxed manner and it is a definite fixed place you can find. 9/10 (would have been 10/10 but there was no swimming pool or sauna in the dunes, its back at the hotel and the sauna, just stand in the mid-day sun).

Room Tip: Tip your camel handler 10-20 Dirhams is fair.
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled solo
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1  Thank dwhitebsc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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23 - 29 of 128 reviews

Reviewed 21 July 2013

We stayed her in July for one night as part of a package. We did not choose this lodging and would not recommend it to anyone. We used the hotel as a base for our camel trek to sleep in the tents out in the dunes-I wouldn't use this place as a base either. The room we were given for a family of four was huge, however, it must have been 90 degrees F in the room (I know this because the tent we slept in was 97.5 degrees F, from the temperature gauge on my clock). There was a ceiling fan, that must be the air con they refer to on sign as you enter. There were no towels, we had to go ask and no soap. The shower was huge as well. The toilet didn't flush, the knob to flush was gone and you couldn't use the wiring to flush the toilet. We had to use the toilet by the pool. Breakfast was stale bread and fly filled jam in a 85 degree dinning room-we ate outside in the shade, it was much cooler than the dinning room. The camel trek was 1 and half hours in groups of 6. Wear your backpack as they don't carry anything for you or leave your extra stuff in the room. There is no drinking water at the camp so you must take your own drinking water-I suggest 1 bottle per person. You can put the water on the slot on the camel saddle. Our guide was very grouchy going out and coming back. You go out about 6:30pm to the tents and dinner is served about 10pm. There are toilets and water to wash hands out there. They wake you up at 4:45am and you are on the camels at 5:00am to go back and shower and eat breakfast at the hotel. Lights are by generator and they turn off the generator at 11:30 and it is so dark you can't see your hand in front of your face-take a little flashlight. One family left in the middle of the night to go back to the hotel. I would not recommend this place for the hotel or for the camel trek package.

Room Tip: if they have a/c get one with a/c.
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank mcmurrytravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 July 2012

Nice hotel in the desert with a swimming pool in its inner courtyard. We booked two excursion with them (SUV trip and overnight camel trek) both were excellent. There were only one other 4 persons group at the desert camp, making it really calm. The decoration at the hotel could be better.

Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
1  Thank A D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2011

We did not stay here for a night but rather used the hotel to keep our belongings before we headed out the tents in the Sahara to spend the night. The hotel served that purpose well and the shower and breakfast the next morning were good but not great. The overall experience (including the night in desert) was a very good but likely comparable to numerous other ones. Key question is whether you want to spend night in Sahara, which is a unique and special experience. I'd recommend booking hotel and then asking for info on the trek into Sahara.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank Stephen d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2011

One-story hotel built around a tree-filled courtyard so there is a nice breeze. Erg Chebbi Dunes are located on other side of the highway so guests can easily walk into the dunes. There were Moroccan family groups there for the sand-burial practice.
I booked the room through www.desert-trips.com and find they can negotiate better prices for all bookings than I can on my own. I noticed some people were heading to sleep on the roof--this is an option in many hotels in Morocco.
The hotel was very busy with families and groups. Camel treks leave from this hotel.
Late dinner is served poolside and with very little light, and I found not seeing what was on the plate a little disconcerting. I went elsewhere for breakfast.
Wifi was apparently available but difficult to get signal; one of the staff members allowed me the use of his laptop.
Rooms are spartan desert decor and like many in the area. Bathroom was very clean.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled solo
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1  Thank Maggie052
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2011

I stayed at the Palais des Dunes in March 2011 with a female friend. Our trip involved one night at the Palais, and then a trek into the desert on camels, staying overnight at the hotel's bivouac, and returning the next morning.

Our guide Brahim is one of the four Bouchadour brothers who run this gem of a place, and was extremely kind, helpful, and funny!

The place itself is beautiful, with a pool, gardens, and rooftop terrace. Our room (#1) had separate bedrooms for my friend and I separated by the bathroom. It was large, clean, and very comfy. The drain for the shower in the bathroom was a bit slow (so the bathroom was a bit wet -- but this is fairly normal in Morocco -- as they don't have tubs).

The food was excellent, the staff were extremely accommodating, and we were even invited to have lunch (an amazing cous-cous) with the sisters of the owners in their personal dining room -- a real treat!

Our tour into the desert was well executed, and our camels were accommodating. :) The length of the ride was just right (just over an hour), and the scenery is incredible. The hotel's bivouac was small, and very comfortable. The food they served in the camp was about the best I'd had during my entire stay in Morocco. With a campfire and Berber music in the evening, and the stars shining bright, it made for an excellent excursion.

I highly recommend this hotel for all travellers.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Redkestrel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 October 2009

Our driver suggested this place for us and it was good value for the money. It is an establishment run by four brothers, and the lack of a femine touch is obvious. That being said the location is great, the food was great, and the owner Mohammed very kind and generous. We went out into the desert the following day with a guide from the hotel. It was a wonderful day with our wonderful guide Ahmed! The camp we stayed in in the desert was rustic, but we prefer that authenticity.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank BugforTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Palais des dunes

Address: Merzouga, Morocco
Region: Morocco > Meknes-Tafilalet Region > Merzouga
Hotel Style:
Ranked #34 of 82 B&Bs / Inns in Merzouga
Price Range: £27 - £31 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 34

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