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“Better than the Rest - an Oasis” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Auberge Derkaoua

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Auberge Derkaoua
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Route Dunes de sable et Merzouga, Merzouga, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #10 of 21 Hotels in Merzouga
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
20 hotel reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Better than the Rest - an Oasis”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

If you a visiting the desert to enjoy nature and the uniqueness of this part of the world AND want comfortable accommodation this is the place for you. We were not disappointed and the overnight trip to the private camp that was part of our booking was one of the most memorable experiences we have ever had. As others have said this place is away from the hustle of Merzouga - sitting well off the road in a lovely oasis with wonderful trees, birds and you will want to arrive in the daytime as the track across the desert is not something I would want to find after dark - it is marked with green posts or poles. The meals were very good, including on the overnight Camel trip and Ahmed and the owners treated us like royalty. We chose an upgraded room and were glad we did. The pool and garden are wonderful. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: Choose an upgraded room - they are larger and seemed to be a bit brighter too.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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62 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

We stayed here recently,and found the owners and staff very welcoming,nothing was too much trouble. The gardens are stunning with hidden tented seating areas beautifully decorated. The accommodation was spacious, clean and comfortable. There was a hamman which was very relaxing, also a swimming pool which I am sure would be great to use when the weather is warmer. The food was delicious, some of the best we have had in Morocco! The desert camp we would have classed as a luxury camp with proper beds in the tents and even flushing toilets!
Again the food prepared was excellent and served cheerfully and efficiently.

Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
141 reviews 141 reviews
77 hotel reviews
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

We have visited both Namib and Oman deserts and so our expectations were extremely high.
Unfortunately there is no comparison. Both other deserts were far and away more impressive as were the accomadations which were truly luxurious in other places, but you don't know until you go, so off we went to see Sahara.
The trip from Fes and to Marrakesh is long and tiring. Yes the scenery changes and environment is interesting ( esp,Marrakesh leg) but unless you really enjoy car rides be prepared and I suggest you make an over night break if possible.
The auberge is lovely and I didn't see the wear and tear others complained of, but while we were there the flys were quite annoying and even insect repellants didn't work (98% DEET).
Apparently this is a problem when harvesting and watering dates so it may be short lived issue. The flys don't bite but they are bothersome. It would be nice if they could work on solution to this problem.
The overnight at desert is pleasant. Sunset is beautiful and we were blessed with perfect weather conditions. Sunrise is lovely and our camelier was sweet and patient. Riding out in dark and then sitting on top of dunes to await the rising sun is nice experience.
Food is just "OK" but given the location and difficulty getting supplies and preparing meals they do a very good job. Service is good and quanities abundant.
Yes, you do get offered the fossil pitch but we were forwarned that it is perfectly acceptable to say no thanks. Of course, we now own a fossil or two.
You return the next morning to auberge for cleaning up and showering and that is nice given the long day ahead returning to civilization.
I have never stayed anywhere else is Sahara so I have no comparison but I think they do a good job given the location and it is extremely peaceful and secluded.
Worth a try.

Room Tip: Tent camp is basic. There is properly made bed with very firm mattress and pillow adequate blankets...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
29 hotel reviews
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2012

Sorry for a rather lengthly review, but given the other reviews I feel that i have to give this some detailed descriptions.

Making a reservation here is already the first hurdle you have to overcome. Their website doesn't really work, the English version not at all and overall very confusing. Still jumped through the hoops to book here due to the positive reviews on Tripadvisor and in the Rough Guide. Communicated via email and by phone to make the reservation and was not sure to the very day of arrival whether we really had a reservation. We did... Finding the place was far from easy. No directions on the website, none via email, GPS is not available in Morocco and the map was also rather vague. We met people in Fez who stayed here before and the recommended to take the route via Rissani, rather than Erfoud, which we did and which was good advise. The piste via Erfoud is hardly marked. However on tarred road from Rissani you find exactly one sign posted, so you better don't miss it.

Once you arrive you feel like you are getting into a small oasis, which is really nice. The gardens are quite pretty and much greener than I expected for a place in the dessert, also the pool area was very relaxing once you got over the fact that the lounge chairs and the provided towels are not very clean. Our room was quiet but very simple, very dark (which makes some sense in the dessert, but still it makes you feel like in a very dark place and not one filled with sunshine), the bathroom was very basic. You get provided with soap and the oldest towels you have ever seen. I was provided with a hair dryer upon request though. Shampoo is available for purchase.

The food for dinner and lunch was nice. The breakfast is very simple. Music entertainment was provided at the dinner.

For the second night we booked a stay at the hotels own bivouac tent. Communication on how this all works was very poor. We were told by Bouchra that we would be picked up at 4 PM and that we would keep our room although we were not sleeping in it, so that we could take a shower in the room the next morning. We appreciated this very much as we were packing only bare essentials for the night in the tent. However we were than told by a different staff member that we had to clear the room of our luggage, as it would be rented out to other people. When we returned the next morning from the tent and took our luggage again from the car where we had stowed it the afternoon before, we were guided back to our old room which was in the same state as we left it the morning before. Neither cleaned nor used by anyone else.

For the tent night we also booked a sunset camel ride. This was again not properly communicated. While we were under the impression that we would ride by 4x4 to the bivouac and take the camel from there, we were driven to the camels which were then taking us to the bivouac. We were left with the two camels and a Berber guide who didn't speak any English whatsoever and also only very limited French. The guide took us over the first few small sand dunes towards a bigger one to take some pictures, then he walked down to the bottom of those dunes towards a well, which looked deserted and there was a lot of trash. We were the guided halfway up the next dune and then asked to dismount the camel. This was maybe 30 minutes into the whole ride. We then sat about 5 minutes to admire the landscape and were then asked to come back down to the camels, where the Berber guide then showed us fossils and granite items for sale. If you are anything like me, you feel you have to buy something also because you really want to go back on the camel to ride further into the dunes to watch the sunset and not to look at stuff you can buy at any of the souvenir shops. However once we were back on the camels we were guided out of the sand dunes onto the plain grey dessert sand walking away east (so not into the sunset). This stretch is very boring and very long and very uncomfortable. Due to the lack of communication we were literally kept in the dark how long this will take and how much further it is. We finally arrived after almost 3 hours in the bivouac camp.

The night we stayed at the camp we were only 8 guests altogether. It's was a decent size. Anything under 20 would have been okay, however beware, they can fit many more there and it might not be the experience you'd be looking for. They do provide real flushing toilets which is a huge comfort. The dinner was fine in the camp.

During the night we experienced a minor sandstorm. The next morning we were not woken up by any of the staff (who might not even have been on the premises during the night) for the sunrise, as promised before.

Overall it was okay, but not worth the money. There are plenty of kasbahs closer to the dunes, but still far enough away from Merzouga, the main place for the highest dunes. Would not recommend to stay here.

Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2012

Auberge Kasbah Derkaoua may also have a tent in the desert but this establishment is definitely not part of the Sahara circus that one might find nearer Merzouga. We stayed in May and my fellow traveller was taken ill while we were staying here (please see entry The “Real Sahara”). Gary was ill from something he ate in Fez (about 5kg of unwashed salad) the day before we arrived at Auberge Kasbah Derkaoua. The staff were exceptionally helpful and offered to take Gary to the Doctor which would have been a 10km ride in their 4X4 over the sand. Within 36 hours Gary had turned the corner and the offer of medical intervention was not needed but it was very reassuring for me to know it was at hand because Gary was looking towards me for a plan of action – which I didn’t have!
While Gary was confined to his room is was experiencing what a lovely and relaxing Kasbar this is. The food was very good, excellent breakfasts of warm freshly home cooked cakes and pastries, great coffee and fresh orange juice. Evening meals were equally as proficient. The staff were all discrete, kind and thoughtful and cared about our predicament.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Radstock, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2012

Forget overly touristed Merzouga on the road right on the dunes. Instead head to the Auberge Kasbah Derkaoua, which because it is slightly more off the beaten track - requiring driving across piste to get to rather than the black top is far more akin to the Sahara I had always imagined. Outside the fort like compound walls it is truly remote, yet inside it really is a cliched oasis. Beatifully manicured gardens envelop a generous terrace area and there is a pool if you can brave the heat (we were there end of May.) If you want to be right upon the dunes then they will drive you in a 4x4 to their bivouac where you can spend the night which would be far more rewarding than heading off from Merzouga. Although I only ate one night the food here is excellent. However the reason I am writing this review, which I have created this tripadvisor account solely to do, is to convey the amazing hospitality of Madame Bouchra and her staff. Unknowingly I had picked up a food bug in Fes from where we had ridden non-stop and the following day I was pretty sick and laid up in bed for 36 hours, plus another 24 hours to try and get some strength to get back on the motorbike. During this time the hostess and her staff couldn't do enough for me - firing up the generator to have air con on during the day (as I had a fever) and when I tried to pay more for the extra diesel instead they lowered our rate. By far the most considerate place we stayed in Morocco or anywhere.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ann Arbor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2012

It was amazing to pull up to this auberge in the middle of the desert. We stayed in the desert for two days; one at the auberge and one at the bivouac owned by Bouchra. We loved the room in the auberge and it was great fun eating a lovely meal and spending the night in a tent in the Sahara no less. The sand picked up during the night and the flap of our tents went wild. Made it hard to get the best sleep but the whole experience of camel rides and desert "camping" was great. Nice to have a place at the auberge to shower the next morning--very civilized!!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Auberge Derkaoua

Address: Route Dunes de sable et Merzouga, Merzouga, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Meknes-Tafilalet Region > Merzouga
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 21 Hotels in Merzouga
Hotel Class:3 star — Auberge Derkaoua 3*
Number of rooms: 21
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Also Known As:
Auberge Derkaoua Hotel Merzouga

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