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“5 star riad, 0 star staff and service”
Review of Riad Alkantara

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Riad Alkantara
Ranked #84 of 207 Fes B&B and Inns
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“5 star riad, 0 star staff and service”
Reviewed 7 September 2013

We were the only people staying in the Riad couple of weeks ago. Its a beautiful place, huge room, very clean, lovely gardens, great views from the roof terrace.
We were welcome by a taxi driver we booked via Riad to be told in very angry way that he was waiting for over an hour and nobody told him what time we were going to arrive.
The receptionist spoke very good English, he showed us to our room. Was surprised when after we were left alone one of the staff members came up without nocking on the door, just walked in with a tray of mint tea. Its lovely, but rude in a way. Especially when the loo door is more or less see through and is on the stairs leading to the room.
Breakfast was nice, but having same food for 3 days in a row its not very enjoyable. 2 pieces of spread cheese, butter, honey, jam a 4 small pieces of bread type pancakes and small bowl of black olives, glass of orange juice. Nothing else to choose from. We have ordered our breakfast to be ready at 9am and only when we walked down the lady started preparing our table, we finally started eating at 9:30am. Service is incredibly slow. And it was only two of us staying there! How long does it take to get breakfast for 2 people ready??? Coffee however was absolutely perfect!
We didn't spend much time in the Riad in our first 2 days but decided to stay by the pool on our third day.
Was surprised that the towels from the day before were still by the pool next morning. Pool only got cleaned at lunch time. You would expect to have pool cleaned first thing. Everything is left laying around until next day when cleaners come in.
There are many staff literally doing nothing. two security guys which are just standing all sitting around doing nothing all day long. there is absolutely no need for security as there is no way anybody would get through . 2 maintenance people, one sitting and the other one standing and pretending to do some work just playing with a screwdriver. looking very bothered by us walking past them like we interrupted what they were doing. other 2 guys which who knows what they were doing.
Cleaners are however very good,
Don't expect your fridge to be topped up with water, you only get 2 little bottles on your arrival. If you ask for more, you will be charged at the end of your stay, and nobody will warn you about that.
Nobody would ask you if you need anything when by the pool. The supposed great restaurant is not there. You need to pre-order your dinner by 2 pm on the day. menu is in French and Arabic only with no prices mentioned anywhere.
The bar was also shut.
The Riad is in a great location, min away from the heart of Medina. Very easy to find.
the place has a great potential, but need to step out their game with the customer service.
The riad owner needs to think about it and maybe get a proper manager in to show them how to run successful hotel where people would like to return to.
we will definitely not return to this place and will not recommend it to anyone either.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Helenka123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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89 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 13 August 2013

The Riad is amazing wonderful design and rooms. Were large however there were some issues.

We were the only guests and on arrival we were checked in to our two large rooms which were great however the mini bars were Empty and never filled and the tea was missing in one room and never replaced despite staff promising to do so.
We were told that they had recommended restaurants and we discovered that the hotel restaurant was not open and so no food. We noticed staff left dirty towels on the loungers all night and also never offered drinks. They also were surprised that we asked for breakfast at 08:00 and were late serving it and it was. Commented on that we were early for breakfast. Also the attitude of the staff especially the head receptionist was poor especially as there was no extra toilet roll in the rooms and we were told at check out she couldn't replace it without manager permission on email and after we raised the issues she did not apologise and said there was new management and then tried. To charge us full price not accounting for the fact we already paid a deposit.
Overall a great hotel but it will only go downhill if the staff carry on and the manager does not invest and run it correctly and open the restaurant.
Please improve the staff and it would help.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Palmma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
79 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2013

This Riad in the Fes medina is one of the most attractive properties I have ever laid eyes on. The riad is comprised of two very old buildings with two more even older buildings being added (one from the 14the century). All four surround an absolutely beautiful pool area with olive trees and grass to create a unique serene area to hang out in the summer Fes heat. The rooms are just amazing; thirty foot ceilings with ornate wood, walls with carved plaster, twenty foot ancient wooden doors, etc. It is like you are in some awesome museum, except it is your room! There is no way a property like this could be built today. Also, the location is right in the medina which can’t be beat. Within two minutes of exiting the door, you are in one of the 9,500 alleys where you can wander through all sorts of markets until you get tired or lost (both of which is a certainty just a question of which happens first). The manager and staff are very pleasant and happy to help you but their service is of the reactive kind ie it is always initiated by the guest. Ex: they will serve drinks (non alcoholic during Ramadan) to the pool but only when asked and the remains are not bussed until the next day when the cleaning crew comes on. Fresh towels are left in a stack by the pool but old towels are just left around the pool, presumably for the cleaning crew. One of our rooms had an ongoing AC problem which was looked at but never fixed. Given the uniqueness of the property it could become one of the best small hotels with some improved hotel management.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Dave Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Caerleon
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 7 August 2013

We stayed in this marvellous riad for three nights. Firstly the accommodation was first class, immaculately clean, beautiful with excellent air conditioning, a must for July in Fez! The gardens were verdant and full of surprises; a chess board,orange peach and lime trees, water features, an amazingly refreshing pool and during the evenings the smell of jasmine was overwhelming. The riad is in walking distance of many of the attractions in the medina and the staff organised an excellent guide for us.
All the staff who looked after us during our stay were so kind,helpful and courteous. A special mention for Imane who made us feel very comfortable and who made our stay in Riad Alkantara memorable. Nothing was too much trouble for her, she spoke excellent English and was always available for advice. She is a real asset to the Riad! Thank you.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Annie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 5 August 2013

I had to write a review for this place as it is so rare you stay somewhere that truly gets under your skin.

Quiet and secluded behind a large wooden door in the heart of the Medina, Riad Alkantara brings your senses alive with the smell of jasmine, sound of birds and sight of beautiful Moroccan architecture.

The staff are brilliantly dedicated and if you are lucky enough to bump into the owner he will tell you the inspiring story of the Riad's inception and the role he played in the training and development of both the Moroccan craftsmen of Fes and the buildings within it.

The chess board in the garden alone is a work of art and you could while away the hours by the beautiful pool, the size of which should not be taken for granted in the heat, as a large pool, let alone one that is outside, is so rare in the Medina. In fact it becomes hard to drag yourself away from the poolside to see Fes itself!

Don't hesitate to treat yourself to a few nights here, if only to wonder at the incredible craftsmanship that Morocco has to offer and sit under the stars by the pool with a cold drink after a day spent in the hectic markets.

Having been taken over by new management one can only hope it retains it's exceptional charm and remains a jewel in Fes' ever more reputable crown.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Sophie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 31 July 2013

Our recent stay at Riad Alkantara was exceptional. You can not describe in words how beautiful the Riad is, it has been restored to perfection with utmost attention to detail. Currently with only 5 rooms it is a personal experiance with nothing too much for the staff. In the searing heat of summer the pool is essential and the only downside to the place is that it is open to the public.

We would not hesitate to come back and only hope that the new management listen to the old and maintain its high standards.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Mathew G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 16 May 2013

Alkantara was our first expirience staying in a riad - we couldnt have asked for anything better! We were greeted at our car and walked to the riad (as it is not easy to find). The grounds were emaculate (though lots of flies), the pool was beautiful (although too chilly to enjoy while we were there).

Our room: BEAUTIFUL! large room with beautiful light and wonderfully decorated- we enjoyed the full jacuzzi tub and l'occitane products and robes as well.

The food: our breakfast was prefectly fine both mornings, no meat but great coffee. We did not have dinner at the riad but heard it is fantastic.

The service: everyone was very kind and accomodating - they gave great recommendations for outside restaurants and were very accomodating with a lost wallet! Only thing that could have been better was maybe an extra person on staff- took a long time to get drinks and food and the same girl seemed to be doing everything!

We hope to return here and would recommend it to all of our friends!

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank rcsuave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Riad Alkantara

Property: Riad Alkantara
Address: 24 Oued Souaffine | Douh Fes Medina, Fes 30030, Morocco
Region: Morocco > Fes-Boulemane Region > Fes
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #84 of 207 B&Bs / Inns in Fes
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Riad Alkantara 4*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Riad Alkantara is an exceptional location within the walls of the medieval city of Fes; it is a hidden enchantment in the heart of a shaded area surrounded by 5 riads of different periods and architectural styles that have been restored with patience and passion to unite modern comfort and the splendours of the past in an exquisite alchemy. The garden has a vast swimming pool surrounded by greenery and supplied with pure spring water, there are many fountains and patios, where you can relax and listen to the birds soothing singing. At nightfall the delicate light breeze from the Atlas Mountains highlights the assorted fragrances of musk, jasmine and honeysuckle. The oriental sweetness and delicacy is revealed. In the vein of Italian theatre, the esplanades located at various levels are very well adapted to all types of events, whether cultural, artistic or just for amusement. Riad Alkantara also has its lounge bar and smoking area on a shaded terrace, a restaurant where cuisine inspired from all over the world is served, traditional Moroccan cuisine which is served in the guest dining room, a shop selling traditional Moroccan clothes and decorative items ... more   less 
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