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“A beautiful property, very friendly and helpful staff but a difficult review”
Review of Riad Ahlam

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Riad Ahlam
Ranked #8 of 100 Hotels in Fes
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 August 2014

This is the most difficult review of our whole recent trip.

Firstly this place is as beautiful as it looks in the photos minus a little photo Sheen. As we were staying for a few days we had what was probably the best room in the house which was gorgeous and had a large shared balcony overlooking the main dining/relaxation area.

There is access to the rooftop and a great view across the cities of Fes (there are actually 3) and also some of the surreal landscape surroundings.

The included breakfasts were marvellous for us but may not suit everybody. The honey was magnificent as were the varieties of home baked breads including a writing style bread and crêpes. Also a number of times we had a very nice omelette with breakfast as well as beautifully fresh fruits/juices and good enough coffee.

Dinner we had only once there and it was excellent with a beautiful tagine at a reasonable price. However as everyone is asked to come at the same time it had somewhat of a boarding school feel as we were all served pretty much the same food at the same time and in common with our other meal at a Riad experience it was not a very social occasion in terms of interaction with the other guests being easy or occurring. This of course may please some.

The woman who does the cooking and heads the serving is very friendly and smiles all the time which is great and makes you feel very "welcome" as indeed they are always saying to the guests what we believe is traditional Moroccan fashion rather than friendliness overkill as we 1st thought.

Location is very good if you want access to the old Medina although you do need to cross an old dusty car park to enter the Medina. This of course might suit some who are driving and want to park the car there.

A little clarification to the less morocco savvy travellers or the pedantic– as our wonderful tour guide said this is actually a Dar rather than a Riad as there is no inside garden here but rather just plants in pots which are admittedly still very nice.

Now to the difficult part. There is a previous review in early July which accuses this place of dishonesty and theft. We read this before arriving and were somewhat concerned. For those considering this place and having similar concerns I will give our best assessment of whether you are likely to have anything stolen here and we would say no and that the owner is essentially a very honest man who takes pride in what he does. However he appears somewhat of a stress head and we suspect that every now and then he just does not quite click with certain guests. For most of the time we suspect other guests find him fantastic as many of the reviews attest (although as in many trip advisor reviews of these days we are sceptical of some of the more glowing reviews as having been generated by professional social media tout companies).

it was also interesting to us that the woman writing the bad review only wrote two reviews in her whole trip in Morocco and has written no other reviews anywhere. At the very least there appears to be some personal vindictiveness in the reviews indicative of a personality clash.

Further in terms of the greediness or otherwise of this place we can only say that when we arrived very early in the 1st morning they immediately offered us a full breakfast which was not due to us and for which they did not charge us and also over the course of the 3 days we were there we asked for large bottles of water a number of times and again were never charged for these on our final bill.

Our best guess as to what happened is that these women really did believe that they had had something stolen but that the manager could not believe that it had happened and that he went into their room while they were out trying to find the missing items as he was obviously extremely concerned not only for the reputation of his place but also in case the local authorities were to become involved. We met a wonderful Jewish woman living in Fez married to a Moroccan who apart from entertaining us with numerous accounts of her experiences in this situation said that she could not believe that this had happened as all the locals knew how incredibly hard local authorities would be on anyone jeopardising the tourist experience with dishonesty. We witnessed with our own eyes plainclothed police in the old Medina shaking down people they thought might have been pickpocketing.

Our final advice on the matter is give this place a go with confidence if it seems it will suit your needs otherwise and it is certainly far more friendly for example than the highly touted Riad Roumanna where we had a meal which we paid relatively speaking a hell of a lot for and really had very poor hospitality in terms of friendliness and welcome which are certainly not a problem at Riad Ahlam which is very welcoming.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank George C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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146 - 152 of 602 reviews

Reviewed 12 July 2014

We stayed at Riad Ahlam during our stay in Fes, and we had a great time in this beautiful Riad with a nice roof terrace and excellent food, the staff are fantastic, the manager was very helpful and friendly, he just can't do enough for his clients. Our room was huge, clean and nicely furnished.

Could not recommend it higher!!

Room Tip: Is an excellent riad with excellent food
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Ibon L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2014 via mobile

We loved our stay at the modern, CLEAN (CLEAAAAAN!!!), centrally located, BEAUTIFUL riad with the nicest, down-to-earth staff. Upon arriving to the air-conditioned Riad Ahlam, Kasem, the manager, welcomed us with the best mint tea we've ever had! Kasem also gave us many recommendations and what NOT to do- listen to his advice!

The dinner is a must- we only had two nights here so we requested the 3-course dinner for lunch before our departure. The BEST meal we've had during our whole Moroccan adventure- the chef is amazing, every meal (breakfast as well) were fresh and delicious!

We highly recommend the city view from the terrace at night. A beautiful riad for the Fes music festival.

  • Stayed: June 2014
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1  Thank worldstays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2014

In our two night stay at the Riad Ahlam in April, we could not fault the presentation and appearance of the place. But we were very disappointed to find that upon return to the Riad after a days outing, we had some clothing missing and our bags had been disturbed. After thoroughly searching through our bags on more than one occasion, we confronted Kasem. All he kept on telling us was that we must be mistaken as this sort of thing had never happened before in his many years there. These clothes had been worn the previous day so we knew they should have been there in our bags. We had planned to go out for dinner that night so we set the room up in a manner that we could clearly see if someone had been into our room whilst we were out. Upon our return after dinner, we spoke with Kasem (before going to our room) and asked him if anyone had been in our room whilst we were out. No he said, no-one would do such a thing. We went up to our room. Upon entering our room, it was clear that someone had been back in our room as our possessions had been moved. Infuriated I went back downstairs to confront Kasem who then conceded that he had been in our room without our consent.
Our main issue here was that not only had we had clothing stolen out of our bags but he had lied to us and as the manager of the Riad, I felt this level of professionalism was disgraceful.
Wonder how many times this happens and people don't realise things missing!

Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
3  Thank LeeD1902
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2014

Beautiful riad on the edge of the medina in Fes, close enough to the activity and souks but on a quiet street. Very helpful manager who went out of his way to assist, lovely breakfast and stunning views of Fes from the rooftop terrace.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
Thank Vivian P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2014

We are just completing a 9-day stay at the RIad Ahlam while visiting the Sacred Music Festival, so we have had plenty of time to experience all the amenities. Kasem is extremely helpful and went out of his way to check on us frequently, whenever we saw him, to make sure we were happy and well. Initially we found the room (Ambre) somewhat dark and masculine, compared to our feminine, rose-petal-strewn, deep blue rooms in Marrakesh. We understand now that the typical decor in Fes is of a different style. Our room was spacious, immaculate, quiet, and we got the best sleep of anywhere in Morocco! The bathroom was gorgeous- wonderful hot shower anytime and the biggest bath towels I have enjoyed anywhere at any hotel. The little touch of black, Moroccan ointment-like soap was an interesting local touch. At first we were concerned that we were not close enough to the Festival venues, but that was definitely not the case. It has been so refreshing to be so close to the heart of bustling activity, yet just far enough away to feel in a different world. We loved the breakfasts: cheese omelet and hard-boiled eggs on alternate days, a wide variety of delicious local breads and crepes, baguette, fresh orange juice, plenty of fresh fruit, yogurt, tea or coffee.... a feast! The highlight was the giggling Fatiya- a delightful, bubbly Moroccan woman who is one the most cheerful people I have ever met anywhere! Give that woman a raise!! Kasem has been here for 9 years and clearly takes his responsibility of making guests happy very seriously. My husband tripped and fell on arriving at the bus station and hobbled around for the first few days. Kasem was genuinely concerned about his well-being. This is an excellent place if you want privacy, tranquility, and professional service.

Room Tip: We loved the Ambre. There may be rooms with more light, but we were quite satisfied.
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank judythr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2014

A great place to stay. We were treated like family not only by Kacem, but by all the staff - Fatiya, Reja and Omar. Nothing was ever any trouble, and endless mint tea and orange juice!!Food was excellent, especially as we are all vegetarian. Dinner was freshly prepared, and breakfasts, so much food! Very clean, and well maintained. Always providing good advice on what to do and where to go. Great Location, slightly away from hustle and bustle of Medina, but on the doorstep.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Mayur S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Riad Ahlam

Address: 24 Derb El Miter | Ain Azliten, Fes 30110, Morocco
Region: Morocco > Fes-Boulemane Region > Fes
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Family Hotel in Fes
#7 Romantic Hotel in Fes
#11 Business Hotel in Fes
Price Range: £71 - £132 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Riad Ahlam 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Former traditional Moroccan palace built around a beautiful shaded patio, refurbished and turned into a lovely guest house accommodation in Fez, Riad Ahlam boasts two terraces offering breathtaking panoramic views over the medina. Ideal place for an unforgettable stay in the historic city of Fez, Riad Ahlam offers 10 charming rooms and suites, equipped with all the modern comfort, as well as a dining venues where guests are invited to discover the fine flavours of Moroccan cuisine.Located in the heart of Fez Medina, Morocco, the traditional guest house Riad Ahlam is a welcoming place to stay when planning a sightseeing tour of the Old Town Fez, within walking distance from its colorful souks and Bab Boujloud door ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riad Ahlam Hotel Fes

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