I do not know what we would have done without Alex and Yasmine. They were phenomenal hosts and it was such a pleasure to be guests in their home.
Our plane to Morocco was an hour late; this caused us to miss our train. We missed the high speed train and ended up in Fes two hours late. We emailed Alex and Yasmine to let them know but we were worried that someone would not be at the train station to meet us. We were extremely relieved the find the driver waiting for us at the station. He waited for two hours after Alex and Yasmine informed him that we were still coming on a later train. What a relief! The riad porter then loaded our bags in a cart and lead us to the riad.
When we arrived at the riad we were graciously greeted by Alex and Yasmine. They requested our passports and completed a form upon our arrival. (This form is important.** All hotels are required to turn this form into the authorities as a way to account for the guests. We found out later in our trip that many riads operate fraudulently as a way to escape paying taxes. The owners will not live at the riad, they will require cash only and will not complete the forms. Just something to watch out for. ) After Alex showed us to our lovely room he escorted us to dinner in the courtyard. We had requested dinner on the first night and it was kept warm for our arrival. After our long train ride we were famished and the food was amazing. Dinner was awesome! I would recommend having dinner at the riad at least one night.
The next morning Alex showed us a map and explained how to navigate around the old city. Alex has probably given the same speech 1000 times but he seemed excited to tell us about Fes and all of the information was very useful. We set out on the first day and tried to follow the signs but we did not realize that the color paths in the souk are not always the same as the colors on the map. We realized that if you look for the name of the gate (bab) this is what really helps. You just have to let yourself get lost in the medina and have fun with it or you will get frustrated. You do not need a guide. Once we stopped trying to figure it out and just went with it, we had a blast. After wondering around a short time we started to figure out the different routes through the souk. The alleyways in Fes are very narrow and maze like, not as wide as the alleys in Marrakech. Only mules and motorbikes can make it into the souk. The souk is very traditional and it was an amazing adventure.
The riad was a wonderful place to relax after the exhausting day in the souks. My husband and I enjoyed mint tea on the terrace with an amazing assortment of cookies. The cookies were absolutely scrumptious. Alex and Yasmine did such an amazing job restoring the riad. Their riad was in the traditional format with the fountain in the center of the courtyard and the lovely gardens in the surrounding areas. Some riads have a swimming pool and other amenities which take away from the authenticity and beauty. I am involved in photography and had a blast photographing all of the amazing details in the riad. Please check out my photos attached to the trip advisor site. The riad is beautiful! The riad I stayed in in Marrakech didn’t even compare.
Alex and Yasmine recommended a restaurant called Fes Et Gestes for dinner the second night. It was wonderful! Le Calife is number one on trip advisor for a reason. They made our stay memorable and we will never forget our amazing experience staying at Le Calife. I highly recommend this riad and cannot praise the fantastic service enough. We were completely spoiled by Alex and Yasmine. They will do anything in their power to make your stay exceptional.
- 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