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Hotel Nomad Palace
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Reviews (559)
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Reviewed July 2, 2012

Easy enough to find but you need to drive off piste albeit no more than 1/2km or so. The Hotel is rather grubby - to be expected given the desert location but the general rather tatty appearance is less excusable. Food is OK and overall the hotel represents reasonable rather than good value for money. Some may enjoy the 'Nomad' experience - desert excursions, camel rides etc. but if you just want somewhere to relax you will soon find that the novelty of the hotel's resident characters and their anecdotes quickly wears thin.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank oldmapman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2012

We really loved the hotel! It impressed us by the friendly, polite, ready for amusing conversations and helpful staff, its stylish interiors and the awesome food, but first of all by its mystical atmosphere! The time seemed to stop there. We didn't want to leave the place just after one day, so we decided to stay another one to be able to enjoy this peaceful and beautiful oasis in the middle of the desert. And it was a very good decison. We will definitiely come back!
Ania and Martin from Austria

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Anna S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2012

I have just come back from a week at Ali's hotel, another wonderful time. The staff are some of the best and have become like friends. I did quite a lot of walking in the Erg Chebbi Dunes, and did a few paintings whilst perched on top of the sand. It is my heaven. What more can I say.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank misswindolene
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2012

Prior to our trip to Morocco, we set up our Nomad Palace adventure by email. Ali, the owner, speaks fluent English, but has an American named Maryam assist him in responding to emails...we were able to set up all of the travel arrangements ahead of our March 2011 trip. After an overnight busride from Fez, we were greeted at dawn at the busstop by Ali's brother. He took us to Nomad Palace, which I can only describe as a desert oasis. As the sun came up over the horizon, we passed the camels on our approach to the front gate. Once inside, we were allowed to grab quick naps and hot showers in one of the rooms (though we were not scheduled to stay overnight at the hotel). We had tea next to the gorgeous pool, followed by lunch inside - salad, kebabs, french fries.

That afternoon, we left on our camel trek with our Berber guide. We rode through the desert and watched the sunset over the Sahara from the top of a dune. At one point we heard ATVs, but everything went silent as everyone stopped to watch the sunset. It was gorgeous, and peaceful in a way that is difficult to describe. After the sun dipped down, we proceeded on to our Berber camp where we ate dinner and were treated to Berber songs and drumming. We were told all sorts of stories by our hosts, and I was shocked by the number of languages they knew, ranging from Japanese to German. The Berbers that we spoke to were by far some of the most friendly and happy people I have ever met.

We returned to Nomad Palace the following morning and had a wonderful breakfast at the hotel before hopping our next bus on to Marrakech. My one regret about my trip is that we did not spend more time in Merzouga. The desert and Nomad Palace (employees and accomodations) were wonderful.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank ATaps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2012

Ali's Nomad Palace: an oasis in the desert and any photographer's, videographer's and artist's natural choice in Morocco. In short; the most authentic experience of the desert, and the best travel experience I've had. I've photographed all over the world (www.EnglishPhotographer.com), but Morocco was new to me. I had high expectations but I didn't much care for Marrakech, or for Fez; the two most highly recommended cities. On a whim, I travelled 500km (Supratours bus - overnight and cheap) to a remote village called Merzouga. Arriving at dawn, I had no place to stay and had been warned about touts, so I walked about to get a feel of the place; it's very small. I found the top 4 places on Tripadvisor and went looking for them. I met Ali who was in town in his Land Rover; he seemed incredibly genuine but I had not heard of The Nomad Palace so I didn't take him up on his kind offer for tea, and opted to meet him after breakfast. There is a great restaurant with wifi in Merzouga, so I checked out his website. It turns out that Ali's warmth, professionalism and hospitality are famous! Indeed, he was crucial in testing Land Rover's latest vehicle; he has copies of the magazines with coverage of this and films he has helped out with. Ali arrived early, and off we went to the Nomad Palace, which is only about 6km outside Merzouga. It is incredible! I thought Nomad Palace was just a good name; but it describes the place perfectly. There is a great pool, an amazing lounge room and the people are all perfectly welcoming. The design is excellent too; traditional, but simultaneously luxurious with great interior design and HUGE rooms. I've stayed in some of the best hotels and the Nomad Palace is on a par. There is plenty of hot water and modern Air Conditioning. What really struck me though was the location. The rooftop terrace looks directly onto the most beautiful sand dunes I've ever seen; they are a two minute walk away, and there is nothing else; just the sound of the wind. It is incredibly peaceful. I spent a night in the desert, trekking in with camels. We met a caravan of more people briefly on the way, but Ali has a different, less touristic route that really keeps the sense of adventure. His desert camp is excellent; the food was made on location by locals and is delicious. There is traditional music, stars and the tranquility of the Sahara. A sand storm blew up in the night, and the tents kept us warm and protected; the loos are better than most restaurants too! A lot of companies offer camel tours of the desert though, and I wouldn't have taken the time to write a review if that was it. A lot of companies are set up just to make money, and the guidebooks speak a lot about the necessity of haggling. So why was I happy to spend over my budget with Ali? And was under no pressure at all? I genuinely felt that the experience that I received would be good value at four times the price. Ali is very modest, but as far as I could tell, he is the most amazing person. I heard that his mother was a Nomad and his father was a Berber, and that he was born in the desert; I did not ask him to confirm this. He has built a palace out of the desert though, and created the beautiful place and travel experiences I enjoyed; he does this to help preserve the traditions and local ways of life. I could see his work in the smiles of the local people whenever they saw him; he knows everybody. He took us into the desert where I was able to photograph flamingos in the wild, the oasis and have tea with a nomadic family; this was like National Geographic, there was nothing else for miles. He knows the desert better than anyone, and his expert 4*4 driving skills gave us tremendous access. We saw an ancient village that was almost entirely ruined, but one family still lived there; truly breathtaking, and something I'd never have seen without Ali's knowledge. Ali also helps the local Gnawa musicians, and they performed privately for us; excellent. After, the Nomad Palace was a sanctuary; calm and quickly a second home. Ali's men are also locals; they cook some of the best food I've tasted and incredibly hospitable. In the evening, I walked into the desert and watched the sun setting over the Dunes. This experience was one of the best moments in my life; as far as I'm aware Ali's Nomad Palace is the only place with such excellent access to the desert, and Ali is the most authentic, trustworthy host I've encountered. He is also incredibly busy; his website www.adventureswithali.com is popular and clients visit him from all over the world. At the moment, the Nomad Palace is perfect; there are interesting guests, but it is not overcrowded; there are amazing tours, but it is not touristic; and it is traditionally authentic; but more like a palace than a house. It's a relatively undiscovered gem, and definitely a first choice to visit now, even if that means a long bus/ taxi journey. I saw the Prime Minister of a major country staying, so ensure you visit before prices rise with ultra-moneyed demand and the Nomad Palace becomes the exclusive preserve of holidaying Hollywood A-listers looking to experience the tranquility of the Sahara desert and the authenticity of the nomadic/ Berber culture in the warm hospitality of Ali and his men. 

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled on business
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2  Thank Ben E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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