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“Stressful not restful............our stay at the Ryad Alya, Fes, Morocco.”
Review of Ryad Alya

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Ryad Alya
Ranked #9 of 99 Hotels in Fes
Certificate of Excellence
Grayshott, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Stressful not restful............our stay at the Ryad Alya, Fes, Morocco.”
Reviewed 20 September 2010

It is with great sadness that we find ourselves having to write a negative review about our stressful stay at Ryad Alya. We would have much rather reported upon the few positive aspects of the Ryad and chosen not to mention the bulk of the negatives we experienced; however, there are just too many negatives aspects to ignore.

First impressions..........wow! On entering the Ryad from the lane outside one is immediately impressed. From the warm greetings by the staff to the authentic decor and apparent calm of the open courtyard interior, complete with fountain and orange trees the visitor cannot fail to be hopeful of a memorable stay at the Ryad Alya. Well now, our time was memorable but sadly for all the wrong reasons!!

We had planned to stay for seven nights and took particular care when choosing our accommodation. All of the available reviews to us on the Alya were positive. The Marrakech Suite appeared to meet our needs, it is of reasonable proportions and boasts a Madina view. However, along with the Madina view one has the means to experience the unpleasant aspects which accompany such a feature. The 'Hound of the Baskerville' lurks below the window just across the lane from Ryad. During the heat of the day it hides in it's lear conserving energy in silence. Come the cool of the night then it lets the whole area know that it is awake and yes, it continues to do so all night long! Disturbed sleep in the Marrakech Suite is a fact even with ear plugs! Once the darkness descends upon the Madina, the locals like the hound come to life. Children are allowed to enjoy the cool of the night (and I do mean the night not just the evening!) by screaming well into the early hours. The nearby families can chatter, play loud music and enjoy themselves oblivious of those around them. The window also admits the sound of every passing pedestrian, motorcycle, handcart and even the dawn calls of the local cockerels!

While on the subject of windows (and there are a total of four in the Marrakech Suite) the two which overlook the open courtyard allow every sound from the terrace above or open court area below to be funnelled into the suit. While the window in the bathroom not only allows the conversations of those sitting on the roof to intrude, but also the intimate sounds from another suite! If this were not bad enough, this window also allows for the passage of light down into the basement kitchen; however, all of the kitchen sounds and smells invade the suite too! All very unfortunate for those trying to sleep in the Marrakech Suite.

Dinner is served on the terrace directly above the Marrakech Suite. The disturbance to the suite residents in addition to the aforementioned disadvantages are two fold: - 1) The movement of iron tables and chairs upon the tiles of the terrace above echo down throughout the suite constantly between about 1930 - 2230 'ish. 2) As access to the terrace from the basement kitchen is via a staircase which is adjacent to the head of the bed, then the pitter-patter of feet are a regular intrusion and when cutlery was dropped it clattered down the ceramic tile covered stair treads. An early nights sleep was not possible without resorting to ear plugs!

Yet another unpleasant aspect to the bathroom of the Marrakech Suite is the problem of smelly drains. The Ryad might well have only recently been renovated but the artisans who carried out that work omitted one vital aspect when designing the plumbing - 'P' traps! The 'P' trap fills with water from the hand basin and shower and thus prevents the foul smells of the sewer from entering the room. The only way to prevent this overpowering occurrence in the bathroom was to ensure that the plugs were sealing the drains and that water was present to seal the plug!

Another negative observation was that of the laundry service offered by the Ryad Alya. Not only was it found to be expensive by UK standards, but an expensive pair of trousers have been ruined by the use of an over hot iron. The hole left by the burned fabric has now developed into a large tare just above the knee, the trousers have been rendered totally useless as a result! Sadly the damage was not noticed until after we had checked out of the Ryad two days early!

Our original stay through Booking.com was for seven nights but after only five nights of misery we had to forfeit the cost of two unused nights in this Ryad. The three hundred pounds from the original booking plus the cost of two nights at another hotel it a lot to pay for the satisfaction of a good nights sleep! The Ryad staff could not or would not give us any compensation for the lost nights - blaming Booking.com for this fact.

To finish on a positive note: all of the staff who we came into contact with at the Ryad Alya could not have been kinder to us. They were all very gracious, always helpful, never condescending and constantly available with sound advice. It was only thanks to them that we stayed at Ryad Alya as long as we did.

I trust that the reader of this review will draw something helpful from these words even if it is simply to note the shortcomings of the Marrakech Suite. In another room/suite we might well have been able to overlook so many of the negative aspects of Ryad Alya and this review might not have been so explicit in some of those areas. However, we will never return to find out if any of the shortcomings experienced in the Marrakech Suite apply to the other rooms too.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank aerob13a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (65)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 15 September 2010

We stayed here fpr two nights during a short break.To think that such a magnificent Riad is located in a narrow backstreet just added to the ambience of old town Fes. The architecture was stunning and it was tranquil at all times.We stayed in Marrakech suite which offered a view of the mountains and old town via the window-beautiful just before sunset.Made me want to go home and refurbish my whole house in reds and oranges!The staff were friendly and helpful.We didn't get the chance to eat here because of the short stay but what we did get was attentive customer service and attention to detail-nothing was too much from breakfast to a lovely package of sweets upon check-out.Absolutely beautiful.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Light74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 2 September 2010

This was a really nice Riad. It is a little bit tricky to find at first if arriving by yourself, but there are plenty of people around you can ask for directions. The location is great, not far from a Taxi stand and it is in the Medina. We took a guide recommended by the hotel, and he was fantastic, too. Everything was very clean and tidy and the staff were REALLY friendly and helpful. We really enjoyed our stay there and are already planning to come back!!!

Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank verenalein
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
146 reviews
104 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 140 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 August 2010

This place is simply amazing. Not cheap, but totally worth it. We stayed in the very luxurious Suite Casablanca and enjoyed every inch of it. The 25 square-meter bathroom with a jacuzzi is something out of this world. However, be aware that the bathroom does not have a door but just a curtain to separate it from the bedroom. The suite had a flat screen tv and a pc with internet although there was also free wi-fi available. Breakfast was served either at the roof-top terrace or downstairs in the little patio. Either way, service was impeccable and the food was delicious. We also chose to have dinner at the riad one night and we were very impressed with the homemade meal, especially their harira. They even got us a bottle of wine (something not easy to score in the medina). Staff was very attentive and took care of every detail, from arranging transportation to the airport to hiring a local guide to visit the medina. Always with a smile on their face. This is a beautiful place in the heart of the medina and I would go back in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Piolina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
34 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 August 2010

All in all it was a great experience. The rooms were beautiful and the service was excellent. The location is very good. It's easy to find the Ryad and it's right in the Medina so you are in a great area. I wasn't happy about two things which I complained about and the Ryad's solution was to voice my concerns which is what I'm doing now.

1.- Our first day was the second or third day of Ramadan so no lunch could be provided. We were told the earliest they could serve us a meal would be 5pm (it was around 3pm when we arrived so we didn't think that was too bad of a wait). Our early dinner consisted of a soup and pastilla (a very typical and basic Moroccan pastry) with meat inside. We were four people and were charged 25 euros per person for this. I thought it was over-priced and they told us this was the standard rate for dinner. I've never paid 25 euros for a bowl of soup and a pastry. All the other nights we ate at other ryads/restaurants and never paid anything close to this amount even when we ordered alcohol.
2.- My brother in law was charged almost 100 euros extra in the final bill. It was a miscalculation on the Ryad's end but make sure you check all amounts before paying. We realized this before leaving the Ryad but they were only able to provide about 60 euros back (in Dirhams) because they didn't have anymore cash. Keep an eye out for this!

  • Stayed August 2010
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Helpful?
Thank tmu201
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Exeter, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2010

Have just got back from 4 nights at Ryad Alya and would highly recommend it to anyone wishing to stay in Fez.

The staff are fantastic; helpful and friendly (Amine, the receptionist was always willing to help out with any query we had and made us feel extremely welcome from the minute we arrived). There are lots of lovely little touches like mint tea on arrival and complimentary pastries that make you feel very at home.

I travelled with one other friend who is also female and we were a bit worried about going out alone at night but the staff were more than happy to come and meet us and walk us back if we wanted.

I wouldn't necessarily recommend visiting Fez in August, though, as the heat can be unbearable, reaching 47 degrees!

Ryad Alya is perfect though, a real home from home and a complete haven :)

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Oliviaxxx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 9 June 2010

This certainly isn't the cheapest riad in Fes, and there were a few minor hiccups (I think the plumbing in Fes sometimes leaves a little to be desired), but the riad is an oasis of calm, with a gorgeous patio, super terrace and brilliant service. The staff were attentive and helpful. We were picked up from the train station, given information about the town, had meals (plain rice, etc) brought to the room when I was ill and couldn't eat much. The owner (who happened to be there when we arrived) was also friendly and charming. The riad has a wonderful hammam downstairs where you can book a hammam treatment or a massage (at extra cost). The only disappointment was the guide they booked for us, who turned out to be a bit of a hustler and merely herded us around town. However, this was not necessarily the riad's fault, as they had booked a guide from the tourist office because their preferred guide was busy.
The rooms were well-equipped and comfortable (ideal unless you can only sleep in a very soft bed) and the riad is also (surprisingly) easy to find, once you know your way around the medina a little bit, as it is near one of the main gates. Breakfast was fresh and tasty and the riad's own food was also delicious.
The owner has done a brilliant job of restoring the riad, and the service is the friendliest (and occasionally most amusing) we've come across in Morocco.
I would definitely recommend this riad to the traveller who is keen to explore Fes and isn't on a tight budget.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank bloomingmarvellous8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ryad Alya

Property: Ryad Alya
Address: 8 Bis Derb El Guebbas, Medina | Medina of Fez, Fes 30030, Morocco
Phone Number:
Region: Morocco > Fes-Boulemane Region > Fes
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 99 Hotels in Fes
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Ryad Alya 4*
Number of rooms: 8
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