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“Very good experience in the end but some reservations...”
Review of Chez Youssef

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Chez Youssef
Ranked #6 of 83 Merzouga B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 December 2013

Period of Stay: 8th Dec - 10th Dec 2013 (2 nights, including 1 in the desert)
Cost (for the night at Chez Youssef itself): 25 Euros (275 Dirhams)(including taxes, via Booking.com) for a single room (Room A)

+ points:
(1) Location - less than 5 minutes walk from the Supratours drop off point. NOTE: The town is extremely dark (I came from Ouarzazate and reached at 9pm) and it can be very disturbing to walk even though Chez Youssef is just a short distance away (and Google Maps is fairly accurate though I didn't see the other key points along the way but main roads and distance wise was ok). However, Hamid (Youssef's assistant) should be waiting at the drop off point to pick you up (I was a bit concerned at first as I had emailed them about meeting me at the drop off point but did not get a reply).

(2) Comfortable bed, pillows and toilet was clean.

(3) The wifi was fast and reliable.

(4) Breakfast was good and the most filling out of all the accommodation I stayed in during my 16 day trip in Morocco - has your typical Moroccan stuff like bread, jam, cheese, and also fruits, yogurt. In general the food was quite tasty - I had a Berber omelet (30 Dirhams) and a chicken tajine (45 Dirhams) - and was also cheaper that what I saw in the town of Merzouga.

(5) To clarify what was mentioned in SamBell83's review on 16 Sep 2013 (very detailed and helpful to me) regarding the desert trip they provide, it is 450 Dirhams for 1 night. Basically you leave at 3pm for the desert, reach in about 80 minutes, and then you can go climb up the huge dune (extremely tiring though it didn't look like it at first!) for the view of the sunset which is very nice. After that you can relax till dinner and after dinner you can gaze at the beautiful stars before you sleep. Next morning at about 7am, you can watch the sunrise and then head back to Chez Youssef at about 8am to have breakfast. It was a comfortable ride on the camel, not pain at all, even for a guy so nothing to worry about! I was given the room till about 645pm before Hamid drove me to the Supratours office (he will help you to purchase the ticket while you are away) to catch the night bus to Fes.

- points: There is nothing really bad but I had some reservations...
(1) I was monitoring Booking.com for the last few days and I saw that suddenly there was only 1 room left so I quickly booked the last room. So I was very surprised to find that I was the only person staying at the place. While that means it is very quiet, but it could be disturbing for other solo travelers I suppose. This is especially so when you go for the desert trip because if it had not been for an Aussie couple who happened to go that night, me and my guide would be the only person around in the camp.

(2) I thought the price of the desert trip could be more competitive as I saw other companies offered 35 Euros (about 385 Dirhams) for a similar programme but I wasn't going to quibble over this for the rare experience of going into the desert! Although Hamid did say that it also covers the use of the room before and after the trip, I think there are others that do too so you may wish to do some homework but if not, I think the overall package is quite decent and Hamid will try his best to help!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled solo
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2  Thank MrLukeLau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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46 - 52 of 167 reviews

Reviewed 26 December 2013

I stayed at Chez Youssef in April 2013 and it was the highlight of my Morocco trip. Even before we arrived in Morocco, Youssef gave me a contact for a taxi to bring us around for 2 days before we reached Merzouga. He has good contacts who offer reasonable prices so that was a plus point from the start. When my friend and I arrived at the riad, he upgraded our room without charging an extra cent. Before the trip I also told him that I was spending my birthday in Morocco... and Behold! When I arrived at this riad, he prepared a lovely dinner and a birthday cake for me! Can't beat a chocolate cake baked in a Sahara town donning your name on it.The dinner and special dessert were delicious and so were the breakfasts. Rooms are clean, cozy and brimming with character. His blue decor is definitely a stand out and his generosity and hospitality towards his guests definitely made my stay in Merzouga a truly memorable one. He also organised our 1 night desert trek and the guide was lovely too.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank dizzylife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2013

Hamid attended to us during our stay and was extremley helpful from the start. He collected us from the bus stop at 9pm and helped carry our bags to the Riad so we could avoid the touts and locals trying to get us to stay with them. This would be especially comforting if travelling alone as Hamid was more than happy to help us with anything during our stay, even if it meant walking down the street with you. Even at this hour, we were presented with food on arrival and of course with tea to wash it all down. We had nothing arranged for our stay and had just booked the one night accommodation and the next morning Hamid was able to arrange a 2 night desert stay for us at 450 dirhams pppn.
Our trip was not starting until 6pm that night but we had use of the room all day and also on our return from the desert at 11 am in the morning, we used the room until we left at 7pm that day. We were not charged for this it was all part of the "package".
You can have breakfast served when you like, which was delicious with pastries, fruit and yoghurt (more variety than some breakfasts at other Riads in Morocco) and you can come and go as you like with a key to the front door and your room.
The riad has a lot of space with a few sitting rooms and middle courtyard, or alternatively you can refuge in your room with the super cool air conditioning. The room was clean and large size, towels provided and Hamid also offered to wash our clothes after our desert trip- also for free. The riad is made of clay like all the other places in Merzouga, making it very authentic and also cool. The accommodation is no frills but I think this adds to the "desert experience" and it has all that we needed. There was a fridge there also and it was ok to place your own water etc i there to keep it cool.
Hamid organised our bus tickets to Fes while we were away in the desert and helped us to get some take away food to take on our overnight journey. A real friendly person and an asset to Chez Youssef. I would recommend this place, especially if you have not booked a desert trip or are travelling solo as they are very helpful and not at all pressuring or intimidating.

Room Tip: They are all similar, all large size with own ensuite and all based on the bottom floor.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank SamBell83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 June 2013

We stayed at Youssef's Riad as part of our Morocco tour with Moha (caminobereber). And we absolutely loved the place. Why? many things: it's a small but beautifully decorated riad, right in the heart of Merzouga village. In the rooms you really feel you are in the desert.

Youssef made our stay superb: his dedication to the guests is incredible. From the exquisite homemade breakfast in the small cozy patio, to the home-cooked dinners. He is very friendly and our 7yo son really adored him.

A 5 min walk from the riad brings you right into the desert with it's magnificent views and sand dunes. Our camel trek started just 2 streets away from the Riad, and Youssef himself walked us there to make sure we didn't get lost.

I am quite critical but Youssef's place really amazed me!

Room Tip: it's a small riad, but don't worry, all rooms are equally nice
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Rogierio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 April 2013

We stayed at Chez Youssef 2 days and we enjoyed every single moment.
The ospitality is great and Youssef is very friendly. Even if this place is economic I felt much better here than in every other hotel. I strongly suggest to visit Youssef

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank giacomofacheris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 March 2013

The best part about Chez Youssef... is Youssef. A most gracious and welcoming host, he truly goes the extra mile for his guests. Chez Youssef is a cozy and romantic little Inn that has everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable stay. The food is delicious, and Youssef adds his special touches to everything. This is a sure bet if you are in Merzouga.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Addicted_to_vacation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2013

we visited chez yussef on july of 2012.
it was really the best choice because it combines your stay with the hospitality of a native Maroccan, who is friendly, helpful and knows everything about this area.
We chose chez Yussef because we had read that he was a guide and finally we did the right choice.
He helped us book a saffari trip and a camel tour.
We also tasted his excellent typical cuisine.(he cooked for us late in the evening after our arrival and he prepared an excellent dinner).
We strongly recommend him...It's the best cost-benefit choice for a tour in this area with reasonable prices and far the best quality...

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank al k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Chez Youssef

Address: Merzouga centre, Merzouga 52202, Morocco
Region: Morocco > Meknes-Tafilalet Region > Merzouga
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 83 B&Bs / Inns in Merzouga
Price Range: £29 - £46 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Chez Youssef 3*
Number of rooms: 4
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