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“Conveniently upscale Bicouak but Bad Service and quite some Attitude”
Review of Auberge Derkaoua

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Auberge Derkaoua
Ranked #18 of 22 Hotels in Merzouga
Montreal, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
184 reviews
97 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 267 helpful votes
“Conveniently upscale Bicouak but Bad Service and quite some Attitude”
Reviewed 27 March 2010

If you're concerned about sleeping in the desert without toilet and amenities and don't feel like roughing it up this is the place. It sounds very western but that was the main reason I went with this. And believe me, you still get plenty of authentic experience. Unless you're a diehard backpacker, you will enjoy it.

Where this place delivers is in the whole amenities. Nice tents (although not at all impressive as some mentioned), nice food, toilets (yes, 3 REAL toilets, in the desert, just enjoy don’t try to figure it out), and I think even a shower. Running water in the common bathroom. Very comfortable.

Also, I get the feeling that it's somewhat isolated, so we didn't see other groups nearby. Not sure if it's the best location or not (read a lot about that on forums) but we sincerely enjoyed it.

Where the place falls completely short is on the Service. Especially for the reservations. First, you have to wire the money, which is a serious annoyance in the Credit Card era. But worst, you get to deal with the very bossy, sarcastic and borderline rude person at the reception (Bouchra). To the point that I was ready to switch to another hotel if not (ok, don't laught) for the fact that these guys had the actual toilets :). I also witnessed a scene when we were leaving and she was raising the voice and treating some customers with total lack of respect, for not serious reason. And when I was checking out she asked more money than what I was supposed to pay. I showed her the email confirmation that she sent me where it was clearly mentioned how much I had to pay on check out (in DHs) but she just didn't want to hear anything . I didn't even argue for her extra $10 or so and just left it at that.

They let us use the pool of the hotel as we arrived earlier, which was a nice gesture. The pool is nice. The grounds of the hotel not bad but a bit tired.

Be careful, it does get VERY cold in the desert in the evening and morning. Strangely enough, my friend asked if he should be bringing a sweater and was told by the manager that there was no need! He spent the night and morning wrapped in blankets. Clearly they just didn't want to bother with explanations or anything (we spoke French by the way, so no miscommunication) and were just looking to load us in the Jeep the fastest possible to drop us at the Bivouak so we could get out of their hair. Or at least this is the feeling they left us.

Another glitch: in the morning, after the sunrise, we all gather in the dining tents and had to wait for about 45 min to get hot tea. We were freezing! And guests repeatedly went to the kitchen to ask for something warm and got the usual ``soon, soon``. Clearly a lack of experience. Not a major thing but very reflective that they employ inexperienced people. Which is not the type of service you would expect for the premium price you pay here.

If you decide to turn a blind eye to the service (or lack of) and attitude, go there. The comfort is a decent compromise and doesn't offset the true desert experience.

By the way, I really think one night is enough and not need to spend an extra one. Also, be aware that this will likely not be your best night of sleep (wind makes it very noisy and side of tent keeps clapping against the fabric). We were all very tired in the morning especially that we did wake up very early for Sunrise (I found Sunset way more impressive BTW). So don't plan a long drive the following day. We drove to Tinerghir, which is not a long way, and it still felt almost too far away.

  • Stayed May 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank spartac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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69 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Zurich, Switzerland
Level 6 Contributor
98 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 January 2010

follow the pols from erfoud, and yes we did it in a compact rental car driving
in the sand.
this place was gorgeous, the french owner where a little snoby when we first arrived
but that was maybe because we dressed like backpackers.
The food is fantastic, the rooms are nice very clean and they organized us camel
tours early am for a very descent price. Overall I wish we would have spent more
time and i am sure going back

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank swissworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles
Level 5 Contributor
73 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 October 2009

First, the Bivouak is amazing. Great service, ambience, location etc. Food kinda sucked but it didnt take away from the experience of staying the the middle of the Sahara. It was great and highly recommended. We spend only 1 night there and after our early morning camel ride went to the Hotel to shower.

My god, is that place a mess. The room was run down and the shower basically unusable. I never could have spent a night there and neither should you.

So in summary, stay at the Bivouak and AVOID the hotel.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jersey1977
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Loulé
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed 12 January 2009

We had booked one night in the Auberge and one night in the Bivouak and had two controversial experiences. The night in the Dunes was 5 star. Luxury tents, open fire with Champane and delicious food. Our little group was the only guests and the silence at night was almost unreal.
The Desert Inn the next day was a bit disapointing. Reception was ok, friendly but reserved. The bungalows have definitely seen better days. Trying to open the bathroom window I had the window including frame in my hand. Also if you want to be right in the sand you are at the wrong place. The dunes are still about 8 km away. Apparently the old soul Michel who passed away 3 years ago has taken the spirit with him.
My advise: Book the Bivouak, avoid the Auberge.

  • Liked — The Bivouacs are superb
  • Disliked — The Auberge is a bit run down
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tabita_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Napa Valley, CA
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 February 2008

Who would expect to find a flush toilet, gourmet meal, luxurious tent accommodations, and live entertainment in the middle of the Sahara Desert? We went the entire route, even riding a camel to the bivouac site, and all of this was arranged by the owners of the Kasbah Derkaoua. It was the adventure of a lifetime, and very well done. Unfortunately, we never got to stay at the actual hotel, since faulty communications in advance caused us to miscalculate the time it would take to get there. A caveat, however, about the communications. You really ought to have a 4x4 to get there (since it is located IN the desert and requires driving on sand). The e-mail and phone communications must have suffered in translation, and if it had not been for the memory of other Trip Advisor contributors having the same problem, we would have felt that we were hopelessly lost and turned around. One must pay in cash. And communications once there are casual: in retrospect, we cannot believe the leap of faith we took with this entire experience. It worked out well, so well, so we felt it was worth it.

  • Liked — Very exotic, as comfortable as camping gets
  • Disliked — finding it!
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank msvines
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 November 2007

Firstly, it is between Rissani and Merzouga, so not really in/near Erfoud. I would endorse the comments made on 21.10.07. Having to send a deposit by money transfer was costly.

Stayed October 2007
Helpful?
Thank MTLUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 November 2007

I have read some negative reviews of this hotel and I wonder if it can be the same place we have just left. (carpets by the pool - what is that?) The room was dim, cool and spotless. Service could not be fauted, both owners and staff being available and
friendly. The dinners are really good and, oh joy, you can get a decent bottle of wine without having to know the secret password;

If you are thinking of taking the desert bivuac - do it, and prepare for something magic.

David and Trudy Watt, Sydney Australia

Stayed October 2007
Helpful?
4 Thank doverdaveSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Auberge Derkaoua

Property: Auberge Derkaoua
Address: Route Dunes de sable et Merzouga, Merzouga, Morocco
Region: Morocco > Meknes-Tafilalet Region > Merzouga
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 22 Hotels in Merzouga
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Auberge Derkaoua 3*
Number of rooms: 21
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Auberge Derkaoua Hotel Merzouga

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