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“beautiful riad”
Review of Riad Le Calife

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Riad Le Calife
Ranked #2 of 99 Hotels in Fes
Certificate of Excellence
New York
Level Contributor
27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“beautiful riad”
Reviewed 2 July 2014

We had a beautiful time at the riad, where we spent 5 nights during our honeymoon.

Pros:
- We stayed in the Diamante room. It was absolutely gooooorgeous, with several stained glass windows and beautiful decor. You can tell they really pay attention to detail by the decorations throughout the riad. We have never stayed in such a beautiful room. Seriously, this is a gorgeous room. Look at the pictures.
- Complimentary chilled waters, sodas, fresh fruit and snacks were stocked in the room every day and appreciated.
- Good water pressure in the bathroom, with a big, separate tub.
- The location is close to a square where you can easily hail taxis.
- The location felt safe.
- They have a lovely courtyard with a running fountain. We could hear them cleaning it every day.
- We were able to book a couple of tours/guides, restaurant reservations, and concert tickets, very easily with the help of the staff. Really, they made it very easy and convenient.
- The staff tried to make our stay enjoyable, helping with whatever was needed. Everyone was nice, including the owners, front desk, housekeeping, clerks (especially Rene), etc.
- They sent up a nice bottle of wine and apologized when we had an issue with something in the room (see below).
- Tasty and generous breakfast, served on a lovely rooftop terrace overlooking the medina.
- Lovely soaps, shampoos, and even Q-tips and cotton pads that are avalaible are a nice touch.
- They gave good restaurant recommendations. (Try Palais de Fes, nearby).
- They serve alcohol.
- The bed was clean and comfortable.
- The drivers they recommended were excellent. Karim and Hamid were friendly and professional.

Cons:
- We saw a big roach (about 2 inches long) in the bathroom for two of the five nights we stayed. We are from NYC and realize that in densely populated areas, uninvited critters are just a fact of life. But, you don't want to stay in a nice place and then be scared to even use the bathroom during the night. When we brought it up with them, they graciously apologized and noted they treated the riad and will have it treated again though sometimes it's just a hazard of being in that location. And with the attention they pay to detail, we do believe that they will get it taken care of promptly. They surprised us with a nice bottle of wine, which they didn't have to do and which we appreciated. (Side note: my husband and I named the roach Pierre, so if you see him, say bonjour.)
- The bathroom ran out of toilet paper on our last morning because it wasn't restocked. I also noticed that there was a hair on the bathroom floor (not ours) and it was there the whole time we stayed there.
- The staff was sometimes a little "too" nice, which can seem insincere at times. And they seemed to know too much information about us (i.e. the evening staff, who were not there when we left in the morning, knew what we did that day). It's a little more attention than we like.
- We had dinner there one night, and the food was good. I told them earlier in the day when we made dinner reservations that I am vegetarian, and they made a delicious vegetable "purse" entree. However, they brought me a big salad with non-vegetarian tuna fish in it for a starter.
- The room smelled faintly like raw sewage. We realize this is a developing country, and we've smelled that in Morocco more times than we would like to count. We noticed we didn't smell it when we turned off the air conditioner. But then the choice is to be cool and have a weird-smelling room, or have cleaner air and be warm. We were a little warm.
- The location wasn't super. There weren't a lot of things in the immediate vicinty (which can be good sometimes), and it didn't seem to be a "destination" part of the medina.
- Breakfast ends at 10 am - a little early for us vacationers, which meant we had to set the alarm to wake up in time.
- I had emailed months in advance (literally, months in advance) about scheduling tours. Specifically, we were interested in seeing the Cherry Festival in nearby Sefrou. They forgot when we got there, but it was no problem for us to coordinate it in person. But I wish they had gotten more info about the Cherry Festival. We ended up spending about US$100 on a driver and guide, and there weren't any Cherry Festival happenings at that time. Most of all, I wish we hadn't spent the time doing that when we could have explored other things in Fes. If we had known the Cherry Festival wasn't going to be going on at that time, we wouldn't have gone to Sefrou.
- The riad is not built for tall people. My 6'2'' husband bumped his head on several doorways six times throughout our stay. We know of other guests who faced the same problem. Watch your head!
- Also, because we need change for tips, taxis, etc, (and the ATMs give 200DH and 100DH bills) we tried to get change upon check-out. (It seems difficult to get change at times in Morocco.) They did not have the change available. They sent someone for change, and he brought back 2 50DH bills, which didn't solve our problem. It would be really nice and convenient if they had change available on-site.

Also, some things to be aware of:
- There was some construction near the front entrance when we came. I thought the door to the actual riad was missing and almost had a heart attack! :) But just be aware when you are walking through the alleyways that the actual riad looks much better than all the construction outside.
- We found in Morocco people just hand you off to someone else who knows the way. (This is very unfamiliar and a bit disarming to a couple of skeptical New Yorkers.) A driver handed us off to someone at the square (Cinema Amal) who had a wheeled cart to take our bags and show us to Riad Le Calife. It all happened very quickly and we were a little sketched out by it. Where we're from, that is something we would consider unsafe. But I guess that's how things are done here. Also, we weren't expecting it, so we didn't have much money to tip the baggage handler with, which made us uncomfortable. So just know you might be handed off to someone at Cinema Amal and prepare to have some money available for tips.

Ovreall, it was a nice place to stay and we would recommend it to others.

Room Tip: The Diamante room was absolutely gorgeous. It was the most beautiful room we've ever stayed in.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
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3 Thank jammyjams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (102)
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 June 2014

We stayed at the riad for three days and our stay was truly delightful. We were collected from the airport and despite the unimpressive approach to the riad once we were in the door it was fantastic. Douane and Merjala could not have been kinder or more thoughtful and very sweet with two oldies. Our room had been upgraded and was spacious and charmingly decorated. Our first meal was so delicious we took all our evening meals there. Where else would you get home cooked meals by a great cook and different dishes every time to showcase some of Morocco's fabulous food? Try the nougat ice cream if you get the chance! We met Yasmine and Alexandre the owners the following morning and they were so welcoming and full of helpful suggestions, and organised an interesting tour with good cars and drivers. The location is excellent, and the riad quiet and cool, beautifully decorated and comfortable. There are a lot of stairs, so if you have trouble with stairs ask for a room on ground level. We recommend this riad most highly

Room Tip: Get a room on the ground floor if you don't like stairs
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank snpgray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 June 2014

We visited the Riad for a quick Anniversary break and to visit the Music Festival.
Everything was made easy and delightful from the airport pick up (do it) to the care and attention that Yasmine and the Team give to your comfort.
We had a fantastic meal on arrival and then settled in to our lovely room. I had a fall and was nervous before the trip but Yasmine moved our room to help me manage and could not have been kinder.

The directions and restaurant suggestions were spot on and exactly right for us.
Yasmine even saved us time and hassle by booking tickets for the festival for us.

All in all a beautiful, clean and wonderful Riad - amazing view from the roof terrace and staff that treat you with kindness and care. Perfect!
We will definitely be back - asap

A few days in Fez could be hard work but they made it easy!!!

Room Tip: We stayed in the Rubis suite which was lovely and at the top so easy for access to the terrace and r...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank lm-bm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barcelona, Spain
2 reviews
Reviewed 21 June 2014

I have stayed in Riad le Calife for 3 nights with my father in the end of june, it was excellent. everything all the way from the service to the cooking class with the Riad chef Fatima. Everyone is so helpful and friendly and really treat you like family. I will definitely come again.
Greatings to Yasmine and her husband from Zurich! :)

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Lukas R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 June 2014

We booked online only the day we planned to arrive and received a very quick reply giving clear assistance for parking near the Riad. On arrival and during our 4 day stay, everyone was very helpful, giving advice on things to see, offering to make reservations at restaurants etc. The owners are charming and clearly want their guests to enjoy both their establishment and Fez. A beautifully restored building, lovely decor and the bar is beautiful. Would not hesitate to return here and thoroughly recommend.

Room Tip: We stayed in Amethyste - but am sure all are great.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Joy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
29 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 June 2014

We spent two nights at Riad le Calife and would have happily stayed for several more. The riad is in the medina convenient to explore different areas. The building is a traditional old private mansion which has been converted to a hotel. Our room was very large and faced the central courtyard which meant it was quiet and protected from street noise. The bath was also large and elegantly designed. On the rooftop is an attractive terrace with a great view over Fes for breakfast, dinner and relaxing after a day exploring. The staff is very warm and friendly, and made every effort to make our stay a pleasure. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank plongeurcaraibes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York, New York
Level Contributor
19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2014

We had wanted to stay in a riad and chose Riad Le Calife based on the Tripadvisor reviews. We traveled by train to Fes and arranged with the Riad to be met by a car and driver. It is well worth it. Not only were we met at the train station but when we arrived at the closest place to the Riad where a car could go - not the front door of the Riad - there was someone with a luggage cart to transport our bags to the Riad. Otherwise I am not sure we would have found the Riad from where cabs can drop you off.

Everyone at the Riad is very helpful: Yasmine, Alex, Chaimae. Every day started with a conversaton with the owners, Yasmine and Alex ,where we discussed where we might go that day (we stayed four days, five nights) includng suggestions as to where to eat. While sightseeing in Fes not every place seems clean enough for westerners to eat so this was very helpful. They also provided a great map and explained how the various routes were color coordinated making navigation around the medina much easier (everyone gets lost but the signs make getting around much simpler). One day while looking for the tannery we were off course (although we did not know it) but ran into Alex who took time out to walk us - in the other direction - to the tannery. Whenever we needed a taxi for our travels, they sent a staff member to walk with us to the area where there were cabs - a short walk-and to tell the cab driver where we wanted to go. They really made staying in Fez very easy.

The Riad is a perfect location. It is near one of the main gates but not in the souk itself. The gate is a good starting place to explore the souk, While it is not on a main road it is near enough that you can get a cab and have your luggage transported to or from a vehicle. We definitely saw Riads that were not anywhere near as convenient.

Each day breakfast was served on the rooftop (and dinner when we ate there) which offered great views of the city.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Emerald suite which is on the top floor. It was a very nice suite. If stairs are...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank BrianNewYork_NewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Riad Le Calife

Property: Riad Le Calife
Address: 19 bis derb el Ouarbyia | el Makhfia, Fes 30000, Morocco
Region: Morocco > Fes-Boulemane Region > Fes
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Fes
#2 Luxury Hotel in Fes
#15 Family Hotel in Fes
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Riad Le Calife 4*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover the authentic world of the Riad Le Calife, and relish in its harmonious alliance of tradition and modernity. Located in the historical centre of the Medina (old city) of Fez, the Riad is a traditional home of the last century recently converted into a charming guesthouse. The house includes three prestigious suites and four charming rooms, three lounge areas, a well-being space and two terraces with a stunning panoramic view of the Medina. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riad Le Calife Fes
Riad Le Calife Hotel Fes

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