I stayed at Quaryati Eco-lodge over the christmas/New Year period for a week with a friend. We were greeted at the airport in the middle of the night by a very helpful and friendly staff member who drove us back to the lodge which is a 45minute drive, most of which was down a bumpy, dusty road. However in the morning we woke to the Atlas mountains, a beautiful garden and amazing wildlife.
We found the staff to be helpful and kind throughout our holiday despite the fact that they were completely overworked. Websites mention that this lodge is multilingual unfortunately English was not one of the languages known to staff with the exception of the manager who was not always available. It was fun however to learn Arabic and French phrases to try and communicate with staff, who took it all in good humour. Unfortunately it was difficult just to order a drink or ask what was on the menu as there was no menu listing or pricing available at any time of the day and we couldn't ask due to the language barrier. The drinks menu wasn't up to date and we were charged more than the price listed when we ordered a drink from the menu provided. Not only was there no menu, there was also no set time for dinner. There was also no other food available if you did not want to eat at the time the food was ready, which differed each night. Unless you could clearly explain your dietry requirements in the spoken languages you were served and charged for a set 3 course meal of soup, tagine and a dessert. Full credit to the kitchen staff because the food was exceptional when it did arrive.
On New Years eve we went to have lunch only to find a sign posted on the door (in French and English this time) stating that no lunch would be served all day as they were preparing for the New Year dinner which would be served after 9pm. In the end, food was not served until well after midnight and no other food was available beforehand. We were also not informed that the New Year celebration would cost 800DH per person (this is what the manager told us separately, it may have not been consistent for every guest who attended) and that would include dinner, alcohol, music and brunch the following day even if breakfast was included in your package holiday that you had already paid for. There was no alternative provided to us in terms of food and so we ended up not eating for the whole day because we could not get any food.
Shuttles were available for free once a day - 9.30am to be taken into the centre of Marrackech and between 4.00pm and 5.00pm collected from the Medina (centre) back to Quaryati. |f you wanted to go or be collected at any other times it cost you a little less than it would a taxi fare.
There were no shops anywhere nearby to access any kind of food. Luckily we managed to get to a super market a couple of times when out in the city.
On our stay we were extremely fortunate with the weather and when we decided to stay at the hotel we were always grateful for the serenity and the friendly locals around the farming community.
We later found out we had had our room downgraded from what we had paid for. During our 6 night stay, the bedding was only changed once, towels were not changed daily and there was no Wifi, no Golf Course and no basic amenities guaranteed as stated such as kettle and hair dryer, when we had purchased our accommodation package. Please make sure you pack these things in your suitcase to avoid disappointment!
On our second to last night we had a problem with the plumbing in our room and we could not sleep because of the noise and could not locate a staff member as there was no staff available. The lodge was locked up and there was no phone or contact measures in our room to contact the reception desk so we were unable to find any staff onsight and had to endure the night listening to the pipes making ridiculous squealing noises.
We would've gladly expected this had we been staying at a backpackers lodge but not for the money we paid to stay at a "4 star" accommodation.
If we hadn't stayed here we wouldn't have met such lovely people (staff and guests) which made our stay worthwhile even with the disappointments mentioned above.
At times we did feel that had we been travelling with a male our time there might have been an overall better experience than the two of us females travelling together.