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“Unique Experience” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Xaluca Bivouac La Belle Etoile

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Xaluca Bivouac La Belle Etoile
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Route d'Errachidia Km.5 Bp, Erfoud, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 14 hotels in Erfoud
Kirkland, WA
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
54 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Unique Experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2012

My friend and I searched and searched for photos of the "La Belle Etoile" deluxe berber tents advertised by our tour company as well as Kensington Tours. We couldn't find details before we left and it looks like reviews for this "Xaluca Bivouac La Belle Etoile" are mixed with some regular hotel photos. So, to be clear, I am reviewing the deluxe TENT experience on the edge of the Sahara!

All in all, this was a unique experience--a bucket list sort of thing, but not a "deluxe" resort type of experience. Very worthwhile to have the experience of riding the camel and being in the dunes. It wasn't quite as remote as I expected since there is a hotel base not far from the tent camp. But we did have to drive in a 4x4 to get to that base and then rode the camels back to the tent area.

We had a little camp of tents, but only a couple and a small family of three in the tents besides us, which was nice for privacy. I can only imagine how it would be if all the tents were full! We did have a working, actual toilet in our tent (better than many of the squatty potties on our visit). We also had running water with a bit of a messed up sink (the mirror was falling down as was the faucet into the basin). We also had a hand "shower" which was tepid temperature at best in the morning. I think the generator runs for about 3 hours from 6-9 at night, so by the morning, there wasn't really warm water. The sink, the toilet, and the shower were in three distinct areas and the "door" to the shower and toilet were rugs, so we had to lift the flap up to enter and there was no light.

The beds were much more comfortable than I expected and we had a lot of heavy blankets, so did not get cold even though the night was very windy and we could hear the rugs and other things flapping in the night. Our guide was very friendly and helpful, but I think it was an oversight that we did not get a lantern after dinner. Big mistake, so be sure to ask for one. We had to use the light of our mobile phone to get by in a place that is unusually dark at night (no light pollution) and in the early morning when we woke to watch the sunrise.

The dinner served at night was decent for being that remote...typical tagine fare. Breakfast was okay, but a guide who was visiting with a family advised us not to drink the orange juice or eat the fried bread.

On the way back from the sunrise walk, the guides stopped us to sell fossils and ugly jewelry. They were very pushy and it was offensive. We were heckled everywhere in Morocco, but certainly did not expect that in the DESERT on a sunrise walk. Crazy. Of course we had planned to tip them for their services, but they started demanding a certain price for the tip.They really need to STOP that practice. It really spoiled the whole experience.

I would strongly recommend ensuring all cameras, phones, etc. are FULLY charged before going there as there was only power and one outlet for a few hours. Also recommend packing a flashlight and insect repellent. It was windy when we were there (scarves are worn for more than decoration), and sand got everywhere--including our camera lenses.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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41 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
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new york
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2012

We are a family of three and stayed for 2 nights in the Lux tents as part of a 4 days tour through the desert organized through the Xaluca Tour. The lux tents are 100% better than La Belle Etoile and not much more expensive. They are very large, have private bathrooms and showers, a fireplace and a covered dining room. Beautiful spaces, right on the dunes (La belle etoile is not on the dunes and is huge, not a desert experience). Food was really good and the service was excellent. Could not ask for more. The Xaluca guide who drove us from Marrakech was one of the best guides we have ever met, very knowledgeable. His name is Ahmed. My daughter is 10 and will never forget this very unique experience.

Room Tip: Ask for the lux tents, they are worth it!
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Top Contributor
227 reviews 227 reviews
99 hotel reviews
Reviews in 114 cities Reviews in 114 cities
283 helpful votes 283 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2012

We spent 1 night here in a deluxe tent during our 4 day Sahara Tour. It was better than we expected! Although pretty pricey, it was worth the experience. We were there in January and it was FREEZING at night. They provided us with 8 blankets which kept us warm but was a little hard to breathe under all that weight. They also gave us 2 hot water bottles which helped greatly.

In the tent, we had a sink, a flushing toilet and a shower but with very little water. I did not even bother washing my hair as there would be no hair dryer but I did take a quick shower.

The tent was within a little compound of 3 other Deluxe Tents but at the time, we were the only ones there and we had a couple of people serving us exclusively. They also provided us with the camel trek for sunset which was a lot of fun but when the sun sets, it is cold. I did not want to get up in the early morning for the sunrise so we opted out of that.

The next morning, we had breakfast and walked around on our own. What great fun! And it was so quiet. Just you and your thoughts and the desert.

I was pleasantly surprised with our stay here. It was very good considering you are in the middle of the desert!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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Netanya, Israel
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2011

I stayed for two nights with a grup so I did not have time to enjoy the hotel to its fullest.
It is a big hotel used to catering for big tour groups and other desert travelers. The rooms are spacious nice desighned and situated in blocks set up to look like Berber houses.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
geneva
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2011

I stayed here for work so I did not have time to enjoy the hotel to its fullest. It is a big hotel used to catering for big tour groups and other desert travelers. The rooms are spacious and situated in blocks set up to look like Berber houses each with a big courtyard. Mine was the furthest away from reception so I had a long way to walk.They are nicely decorated and comfortable and cool. There were a lot of mosquitoes and a distinct smell of drains, but what can you expect in a desert. The restaurant was buffet style and almost the same every night but it was good food. I did get very sick but it could have been from anything. The bar around the pool was very relaxing and they played some good music. There was a gym as well but I did not have time to use it. On the whole it was a very good hotel and I enjoyed the desert style architecture of the place.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Tel Aviv
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2010

We stayed there only for 1 night before going on an overnight camel trip to Erg Chebby. I wanted to stay there for at least one more night but we didn't have the time.

It is a great indulging hotel with amazing amenities and great pools. Everything is well designed and the rooms are fantastic.

A recommendation: use this place to have a 1-2 day in your trip if you do a round-Morocco trip. It is a great place to have a good time, rest and recharge.

Another recommendation: the prices for the trips to Erg Chebby in the hotel are overpriced and too touristic. If you have an access to Erfoud or plan in advance, look for a guide that will take you to Erg Chebby not by a 4X4 but by camels and not for a few hours just for the dawn but with a sleepover in the tents in the desert - it was one of the picks of our trip.


The only thing

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Albufeira
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2010

I was already 3 times in Xaluca and everytime its a great surprise. Great, great ! No words enough. I'm a travel agent in Algarve/Portugal and I always include this hotel in our tours. Can be jeep or minibus tours but we always stay there one night. Our guests always feel in paradise. Amazing.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.

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Additional Information about Xaluca Bivouac La Belle Etoile

Address: Route d'Errachidia Km.5 Bp, Erfoud, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Meknes-Tafilalet Region > Erfoud
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 14 hotels in Erfoud
Hotel Class:4 star — Xaluca Bivouac La Belle Etoile 4*

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