Cyplon Holidays recently hosted a group of nine travel agents on a three-night fam trip to discover the contrasting landscapes of Morocco, with visits to Marrakech, the Atlas Mountains, and Essaouira.
The trip combined hotel site visits plus local attractions. The group stayed at the Mövenpick Hotel Mansour Eddahbi & Palais des Congrès Marrakech.
Cyplon Holidays’s North Africa sales manager, Jerome Downer and Angela Angela Eleftheriou, Middle East sales manager led the trip. Cynthia Turner, international account director, UK & Ireland, from Mövenpick hotels and resorts, plus ground handler Imane El-Ahdi from Complete Tours – ground handlers for Cyplon Holidays –
were also in attendance.
Here are details of the itinerary and some the agents’ comments about the trip.
Following arrival at the airport and transfer to check-in at the Mövenpick hotel, the group headed to the first site visit at the IBEROSTAR Club Palmeraie Marrakech, where they also had a buffet lunch.
It’s an all-inclusive hotel with a free transfer shuttle to the city centre.
Following the visit, Teresa Ryan, from Thomas Cook Eltham, said:
“It’s a great family all-inclusive hotel on the outskirts off Marrakech, giving you the opportunity to visit all the sites easily around the city. The food was fantastic with a great choice. Even a section for gluten free. Overall, a good hotel.”
The group were then treated to a tour of the Medina, souks and Djemaa El Fna, and the second site visit to Les Jardins de la Koutoubia.
On the visit to Les Jardins de la Koutoubia, Helen Ferguson of Deva Travel Ltd said: “The hotel is located next to the famous Djemaa El Fna square so you are in the heart of the Medina but have the peace and quiet within the hotel grounds.
It has 108 rooms including 30 mini suites, 22 junior suites and two royal suites. It also has three restaurants, two pools and a spa. I particularly liked the rooftop pool with fantastic views over the city. Highly recommended.”
On the afternoon and evening experiences, Paul Malyan, senior travel consultant at Carrick Travel Limited, said: “In the afternoon we had a guide who took us round the souks of Marrakech, which was an endless array of stalls selling near enough everything, in a way it was a good job we had a guide as you could easily get lost!
That evening was spent the Chez Ali Show which included a traditional Moroccan tagine meal before the spectacle involving horses and the riders doing stunts while the horses were at full canter.”
The group departed to the Ourika valley in the Atlas mountains to visit the Ourika Mountain Garden Valley, a boutique property. Whilst there, the agents had a fun and informative cookery lesson to learn the traditional way of how to make a tagine.
Commenting on the experience, Eve Hattley from Independent Travel Experts, said: “Ourika Mountain Garden Valley is a boutique three-star property based in the Atlas mountains. I loved the remoteness of this six-room property offering
either couples, families or groups a chance to experience a complete
getaway experience. Hiking and cookery lessons can be arranged along with other activities. Highly recommended for small groups who can book the complete accommodation for themselves.”
It was then time for a tour of Kasbah Angour Atlas Mountains Hotel in Tanahoute. Englishman, Paul Fulham is the owner and general manager. He designed and helped to build the luxury property which opened in March 2011.
Travel agent Milly Gooding from East of England travel Co-operative said: “We continued to Tanahoute, a 30-minute drive from Marrakech for a tour of Kasbah Angour which is owned by an Englishman. The hotel is set in the Atlas mountains which makes it the perfect place for a relaxing retreat. It has 26 rooms and suites as well as a restaurant with views across the gardens with an outdoor pool and a view of mountains. I particularly liked the ambience and setting of this hotel.”
On return to the Mövenpick Hotel Mansour Eddahbi & Palais des Congrès Marrakech, the agents had a tour with Cynthia Turner and the hotel’s sales executive, Sofia Hamdi.
Jean Anderson from Cannon Travel gave her thoughts on the property:
“The Movenpick Mansour Eddahbi is located in the L’Hivernage district, only a ten minute drive from the Medina. It is suited to leisure travellers, couples and families and business travellers, offering facilities to suit all. There is a fully equipped gym and spa and a separate lobby and reception area for groups as it has direct access to The Palais De Congress. It has six restaurants and bars and 503 luxurious rooms which are beautifully designed and in a contemporary in style. The family suites are extremely spacious. I was very impressed with the main pool area. Don’t miss the ‘chocolate hour’.”
Following the tour, the group had dinner at hotel’s Medi Terra restaurant serving Mediterranean food.
Sofia Hamdi, sales executive at the property said:
“The hotel was closed for three years in order to do renovations and was reopened in October last year. There are two entrances, one for groups and one for individuals. There is a theme of being in an ‘oasis’ in the city centre. The hotel’s name has a story behind it, Mansour Essaouri was a sultan in the 16th century who developed the city of Marrakech, and during stays, guests can see the story of his life throughout the hotel.”
Agents had an early start for a trip to to Essaouira, a two-hour drive from Marrakech, then a guided tour of the destination, lunch and a couple of property visits.
Tom Parsley from Hays Travel said:
“We left Marrakech after breakfast for a great day out to the historic seaside city of Essaouira. After leaving the hectic traffic of ‘Kesh’ behind the road runs almost dead straight through scrubby desert for the two-hour plus journey with plenty of interesting sights on the way such as ‘tree climbing goats and a very charming womens co operative making a range of lovely products from Argan nuts .
Essaouira is an historic old seaside port city with a mix of European and Moorish influences and more recently some legendary musicians!
The beaches are wide and long -great for wind surfing and beach kiting and the fish market, historic fort and old town are must see sights. Essaouira has so much to offer for a quick weekend break or as part of a multi-centre trip to fabulous Morocco”.
Following the site visit to Le Medina Essaouira on the seafront, Mike Tunstill of Easttravel Ltd said: “It’s a landmark property on the corniche looking out over its own pristine, white sand beach to the mediaeval fort, and an easy walk to the souks, Le Medina offers a warm Morroccan welcome in a style fusing French chic with traditional Berber architecture and interiors. Accommodation is delightful, facilities superb and the dining experience exquisite. Innovative and thoughtful touches abound, not least packages designed exclusively by women, for women.
The final visit was to Riad Dar L’Ouissa,
a boutique property with 24 rooms. This beautiful property is located in the Medina in Essaouira and is close to the beach and harbour. It offers a traditional hammam and the stylish roof terrace has great views over the town and coast.
It was then back to Marrakech for the final evening and dinner at Al Baraka in Djemma Al Fna.
Jerome Downer of Cyplon Holidays gave his thoughts on the trip: “I felt we had a really successful fam trip and all the travel agents learned a lot about Morocco and will be very confident selling properties and the atlas mountains now that they have seen them.
“The Movenpick hotel is an amazing five-star deluxe hotel with many facilities. We also saw the Kasbah Angour in the Atlas mountains which is a great four-star property with excellent views of the mountains and great garden.
“My greatest memory of the trip was doing a cooking class at Ourika Gardens with all the travel agents who became very competitive. Finally, I would like to thank all of our partners who made this Cyplon holidays am trip possible.
“Please look out for our brand new Cyplon Holidays Morocco brochure coming out on November 3, 2017.”
Cynthia Turner, international account director, UK & Ireland, Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts, said: “The fam trip was held to promote the hotel with Cyplon Holidays who have been supporting us in promoting the hotel in the UK market.
“As it recently reopened, our aim is to get more people to visit and agents will discover it is the best value for money.
“It’s a beautiful five-star hotel and because we’ve just reopened, we want people to know about it, so come and visit and the earlier the better to get the best price. It was great to visit with the agents and show them around, I think they were impressed.”
Cyplon Holidays offers:
London Gatwick to Morocco (Marrakesh)
Depart Jan 6, 2018, 15:40, arrive 19:20 with EasyJet
Morocco (Marrakesh) to London Gatwick
Return Jan 11, 2018, 12:05, arrive 15:45 with EasyJet
Includes 20 kilos luggage allowance per person and private transfers
Staying at the Mövenpick Hotel Mansour Eddahbi & Palais des Congrès Marrakech from Jan 6, 2018 to Jan 11, 2018 (five nights)
1 x bed & breakfast in a classic room
Costs £529 per person