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Ali & Sara's Desert Palace
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Reviews (142)
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All reviewsmeeting pointcamel ridehot waterseparate bathrooma wonderful staybare feet in the sandnight busdetailed informationlovely campwonderful couple of daysother countrieslocal berbernext morningother campscomfortable bedsincredible experiencewatch the sunset
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101 - 106 of 142 reviews
Reviewed 5 January 2014

Our two night stay at Ali and Sara's Desert Palace was an incredible, unforgettable, once in a lifetime experience. Initial ambivalence about going to the desert at all and worries about commercialism, lack of privacy and primitive facilities were quickly dispelled both in advance via e-mail with Sara and on arrival. The camp is set well away from everything but pristine dunes and consists of a cluster of attractive, authentic Berber tents. The tents, both sleeping and dining, are aesthetically lovely and amazingly comfortable. The bathroom facilities are modern with ample hot water. Food, dinner and breakfast expertly prepared and beautifully served by the young Berber camp crew, was absolutely delicious (not just for the desert, but some of the best throughout Morocco) and super abundant. Sara and crew are totally dedicated to providing an exceptional, personalized experience. The camel trek into (and out of) the camp was fun, relaxing and helped to ease into the rhythm of the desert. The silent beauty of the desert dunes, the amazing night sky, and the warm, wonderful hospitality of Sara and the Berber people cannot be overstated. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank NCtravelerWS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 September 2013

Sara and Ali are truly terrific hosts. If you are looking for a night away in the desert, trust them to be your guides. Prior to the trip, Sara was extremely responsive and informative via email. She helped not only plan the evening with them, but also answered questions (and helped plan) the day before and after our stay with them. It was above the call of duty and beyond 'good service'. The entire staff were so warm and gracious. They were welcoming, provided delicious meals, and made sure we were comfortable the entire stay.

What you pay for is a camel trek (or jeep transport) into the dunes, dinner, accommodations in a spacious tent with a comfortable bed, breakfast, and a ride back into the city. What you get, however, is an experience of a lifetime. The desert is so beautiful and serene and the camp does a great job making you feel comfortable -- i.e., modern plumbing -- while still respecting the landscape and environment.

I could not recommend Ali & Sara enough. They will exceed your expectations and will be the highlight of your trip to Morocco.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank cinnerj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sarabreeze, Owner at Ali & Sara's Desert Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 12 November 2013

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us.

Travelling around Morocco can sometimes be difficult to plan and so that our guests can achieve the best outcomes we’re more than happy to help wherever we can, offering advice, handy tips or recommendations and we’re pleased that you found this to be useful.

Ali and I are completely chuffed with your feedback and happy to know that you enjoyed yourselves in the desert. I’ve also passed your kind words on to our team who appreciated your compliments.

Regards, Sara

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Reviewed 5 July 2013

Please look no further if you want the most memorable experience in Sahara desert. We booked a night to spend in Sara&Ali desert palace and it exceeded our expectations. The 1.5 hour camel ride was memorable and exciting,we stopped in the dunes to watch the sunset.Will never forget this amazing experience. The tents were we spend the rest of the night exceeded 5 start luxury by far! Decorations and comfort was top of the line.Food and service was beyond incredible! Sara and Ali both made sure our stay was very special and memorable. On the way out we opted for jeep ride instead of camels,and I have to admit,was scary but very very adventurous experience. Please look no further if you want to have experience of the lifetime and book this adventure with Ali & Sara!

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank giedrer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sarabreeze, Owner at Ali & Sara's Desert Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 12 November 2013

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us.

We are so pleased that you had such a wonderful time, and we like it that you enjoyed your camel trek so much. Comfort, plenty of freshly prepared good food and excellent service are high on our list and I’m very happy that we exceeded your expectations.

Yes it's true, Ali’s dune driving over the highest dunes is quite an adventure in itself, not for the faint hearted - but the views are lovely at the top, so I hear.

Your photos are lovely, thank you for sharing them with us..

Regards, Sara

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Reviewed 19 June 2013

We spent one night at the Desert Palace and we agree with all of the great feedback here... Ali and Sarah’s Desert Palace is a fantastic experience.
When we were planning our vacation, a night in the desert was high on the “to-do” list, but the distances and time requirements kept us vacillating. We had three main concerns –the time commitment, we didn’t know if we “needed” a camel ride, and we didn’t want a “party-group” experience in a camp. Our desire was to experience the calm nature and reality of the desert. I was reassured by the many e-mail exchanges that I had with Sarah, and when we finally committed to the trip we received a very detailed information package with all the details we needed. The only detraction at all was the fact that Sarah herself would not be able to be at the camp on the days that we would visit. She mentioned this in advance with apologies, but we knew we would be in good hads with Ali and his guides. …In the end we need not have been apprehensive… Ali+Sarah’s was exactly what we wanted, and it surpassed our highest expectations!
So… First, Yes, it is a long way from Marrakech,… We took 4 days to do the trip with much driving and the middle night in the desert… but the countryside on the drive is varied, interesting, and very beautiful in so many ways. As we got closer to Merzouga, with glimpses of the high golden dunes in the distance we knew the drive was already worth the time.
The desert is a very special place. The contrast between the harsh sun, and the cold nights combined with the ever changing shadows, colours, and shifting dunes means that the experience will be different and personal for everyone.
When we arrived at the meeting point in Merzouga we were early and had to wait for the heat to lift and the sun to drop in the sky. The Auberge meeting point was cool, comfortable, hospitable, and had free wifi – so we caught up on contacts while waiting.
Once the sun was low enough we met the camels dromedaries, got our heads wrapped with a headscarf (cooler – really!) and then we mounted up and started walking. The riding was actually much more enjoyable than we would have thought, and the dromedaries are funny, but nice and each has its own district character. At our request we avoided the other camp tours so that our trip was quiet, peaceful, and personal.
After an hour of riding we stopped to watch the sun-set. It was beautiful, colourful and doubly special as the full moon was rising in the opposite sky at the same time.
From there we chose to walk the last 20min, bare feet in the sand to the Desert Palace.
The camp itself is clean, exceptionally comfortable, and everything said previously in other reviews holds. Sturdy individual tents, good beds, excellent WCs, and a very comfortable and nicely decorated dining tent. There is electricity from a generator both for inside power (lights – camera chargers), but also some outdoor general lighting.
Because we arrived late (again mid-summer sun), dinner also happened very late, but this gave us time to climb the surrounding dunes and watch the bright desert in the light of the full moon. Dinner was plentiful multi-course and featured a very fine tagine (vegetarian at our request) with a full selection of drinks, and lovely cut fruit for desert – perfect for the desert.
After dinner the guides offered us a spectacle of music and drumming, but we and the other guest couple declined, as we were tired and they went to bed. This decision was perfect as we could hear distant drumming and singing from the other camps drifting over the dunes.
The following morning, early, we were woken by clapping outside our tent – Ali letting us know that the sun was about to rise. The wind had picked up overnight, sand was blowing and the peaks of the dunes were slowly shifting. We watched a much less impressive sun-rise, and then went to visit the dromedaries before breakfast.
One of the main differences between A+S’s and other tours is that breakfast is also served in the desert at camps, (most others go back to Merzouga for B’fast at a hotel), so one may spend additional time in the morning there as well. We chose to have a late breakfast, and while the other guests rode back to the Auberge in the 4x4, we rode back with the dromedaries.
Breakfast was excellent! A delicious egg tagine dish was the highlight (best breakfast of the whole trip! – thanks Mustafa!)… along with fruit, bread, yoghurt, and traditional Moroccan sides. Afterwards we packed up and rode back for 80min to the Auberge – where there are full facilities for a shower before departure.
The overnight experience in the desert was clearly the highlight of our trip, and Sarah and Ali’s was the perfect choice for our needs. It would have been nice for both my wife and I, to have met Sarah while there, but other than this the stay was exceptional, and highly memorable. Sarah and Ali clearly have a very special approach to their desert tours. The camp is purposely small, the experience is natural and personal, …and we truly appreciated this.
There are many desert excursions offered from Merzouga, …however if you are looking for a very comfortable, personal, calm, and even romantic experience, just tinged with a bit of adventure - I can highly recommend Ali and Sarah’s Desert Palace.

Room Tip: There are 4 very solid and comfortable tents... these are not simple camping tents - but rather a nomadic palace experience!
  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank canswiss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sarabreeze, Owner at Ali & Sara's Desert Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 12 November 2013

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay with us.

We try our hardest to provide a unique, quality experience for each of our guests and we’re very happy indeed that you enjoyed yourselves so much. Our intention has always been to remain small, natural and personal, and the fact that you liked this is important to us.

Ali and I very much appreciate the further helpful feedback that you provided, we’ve gone some considerable way to making the improvements you suggested to make it an even better experience for our guests.

Thanks for sharing such lovely photographs.

Regards, Sara

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Reviewed 27 May 2013

We could not have wished for a more incredible experience. The desert palace is just that, but perhaps what makes it so special is Ali and Sara and their wonderful staff. We were lucky enough to be the only two people staying for the night and Sara made the experience so special for us. The tents felt like a royal palace, the food was devine and I was even treated to a cold beer as we watched the sun set... The Desert Palace is a true labour of passion for Ali and Sara and anyone who has the pleasure of staying will never forget it. Thank you so much!

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Fraser S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sarabreeze, Owner at Ali & Sara's Desert Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 6 June 2013

Thank you for taking the time to review your experience of staying with us.

When you spend time in the desert it should be a sublime experience, so It’s just perfect for us that you had such a special time.

I’ll pass on your thanks to our hard-working and wonderful team, they're an essential part of what makes the desert palace unique.

Regards, Sara

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