Grass Roots Luxury for Families – Emma’s Story
Emma was under pressure to bring together the ideal trip for her family with only six weeks to go the clock was ticking, she chose Epic to help her because of their responsiveness and pragmatism. What also stood out for her personally was the dedication Epic have to helping local people on a grass roots level.
“We felt like we were actually making a difference with ‘grass roots’ but still gorgeous stays and bringing money to help the actual people living in the country.”
How did the trip come about?
“I love travel, it’s part of my DNA, I used to work in travel, and even with four kids we still like to go away three or four times a year. I usually organise it myself, but on this occasion, we had left it quite late to book and I was finding it hard to find the right accommodation, and when trying to plan the Sahara leg it became a bit complicated.”
“I had wanted Mexico but the flights were coming in at 12K for the six of us and that was far too much, Morocco had always been on the back-burner so I explored that. We had 6 weeks to book the trip and for 6 people – I wrote a list of things we wanted to do with my 11-year-old son which included Sandboarding, Camels, Surfing, Dune Buggies and also the places we wanted to visit.
The tipping point for me was the car going into the Sahara, I realised I needed an operator.”
How did you find us?
“I first tried a tour operator that was recommended by an Icelandic blogger I like, but they were really rude, they said it was impossible and I would be looking at 2020 not 2019. So, I sent emails to five more operators and Charlie was one of them, he was so cool & said that although plans A, B & C would be sold out, we could try for a Plan D.”
What happened then?
“We were looking at a 3 centre holiday picking warm, Southern places because our trip was to leave on Boxing Day; Desert, Mirleft and Marrakech.
It was a leap of faith as there were no reviews on the internet – Epic don’t do TripAdvisor – although I understand why.
Charlie ticked every box, with blow your mind accommodation you’d never find on your own, he took the pain out of it – and we felt our safety and happiness were key to Charlie – we could have got my 11 year old onto a Dune Buggy, the supplier probably would have done it but Charlie recommended not to.”
How did you find it when you got to Morocco?
“We were met by the most lovely guy at the airport, he was absolutely fantastic, we were whisked away by car and then woke up the first morning in the middle of nowhere in a village near Ouarzazate with the most beautiful sunrise, then went on to Dar Azarwad & M’Hamid.
We stayed in a luxury camp that Charlie recommended, he mentioned it would be very expensive but it was so worth it for 2 days, the kids loved the sandboarding and the desert of course is a very special and enchanting place.”
What did you like best about the place?
“What I really liked was the way the people on the ground spoke about Charlie, one of the guides got his guiding qualifications thanks to Charlie and now prioritises Epic work; one lady in the Mountains was able to build her restaurant based on Epic’s business and Charlie’s recommendations – the opposite of a “Sandals” type holiday where the money goes out of the country, this felt as if we were actually making a difference on a ‘grass roots’ level but still with gorgeous stays.“
“We were bringing money to the people living in the country.”
“Apart from that as a family one of the highlights was surfing lessons on New Year’s Day in Mirleft, and the place we stayed there was heavenly.”
What made the difference?
“Charlie was truly Epic, I need a Charlie in every country – anywhere you’re not sure you want to hire a car, but to be honest, you can benefit from such an insight into the country and the people anywhere in the world.
Pain free, stress free – the holiday avoided the usual arguments map reading and driving, I knew what we were doing every day and so did everyone else.”
For custom-designed family trips which take in some of the best sites, activities and local encounters in the country, with authentically luxurious accommodation designed for small groups contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.