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“Overrated food and service - beautiful location” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Riad Al Bartal

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Riad Al Bartal
Ranked #16 of 209 Fes B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Overrated food and service - beautiful location”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 November 2013

Given the high review ratings here, I must admit we had high expectations of Riad al Bartal.

The ambiance was gorgeous, a dream of a riad setting, very romantic and lovely for a special dinner.

But then, sadly, expectations were not at all met.

Our food was okay - not amazing, (for instance, not nearly as good as our dinner the night before at Dar Hatim, which was also cheaper). For the cost, which was what I'd spend on a good meal back here in the U.S., I expected more than a few small salads, a moderately good tagine, and a western-style pear crumble with far more crumble than pear.

But it was the service that really made the experience so much less than it could have been. We sat down at 8, the assigned time for dinner, and the server did none of what you'd expect at a nice restaurant -- he didn't give us choices for food, but also didn't tell us what the set meal was, or even that there WAS a set meal that would involve the following courses, x, y, and z. He didn't welcome us, or give us any sense of hospitality. He plunked down a drinks menu, and then just started bringing out courses.

The courses, already prepared for the prearranged time, then came out SO fast that there was, again, no pace or ceremony or niceness to the dinner. Now, I don't like waiting forever for my food. But this felt like fast-food, not a nice restaurant. The instant we finished one thing, the next came out, everything had clearly been pre-made, since it's a pre-set menu -- meaning that we finished a three course dinner 45 minutes after we started! If you're in a rush, that's great. But if you are looking for a nice dinner in a beautiful location that FEELS like a really nice meal, this wasn't it.

We wanted to linger a bit at the end of our meal, since the location _was_ absolutely gorgeous. So we asked for mint tea (not included in the price of the meal, but we were happy to pay extra). Guess what - this was the only place in all of Morocco that did not have mint tea! So, 45 minutes after sitting down, we left.

If the price was half what it was, I'd rate this higher. But for this price, a little ceremony, a more welcoming service, and a little better food, should be expected.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank rachel k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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245 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    215
    24
    5
    1
    0
See reviews for
42
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4
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
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English first
Paris, France
Level Contributor
166 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 November 2013

This Riad is a truly nice surprise in Fes. As always with Riads, the entrance is deceiving; inside there is plenty of light and you are surrounded by high columns (about 10 meters), plants and chanting birds. The atmosfer is great, personnel is fantastic. I highly recommend eating there as well, we decided to explore and give other restaurants / hotels / Riad a try but they were not at the same level (and more expensive).

Room Tip: Only little advice is on the room choice, we were in the Berber that, although very nicely decorated...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Catello L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bucharest
Level Contributor
59 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 September 2013

Al Bartal is a beautiful riad in Fes maybe one of the best in Fes or even in Morocco.Many beautiful plants, skilfully crafted doors, stairs, furniture. A truly beautiful place to have breakfast, dinner, to chat with Marc, to play with Poulette the parrot. A magnificent visit indeed!

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank nicu_moraru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 September 2013

This a magical place. Architecture art design decore all are perfect with high ceilings that take your breathe apart and great food
Don't stay anywhere ...stay at Riad AlBartal if you want a real complete magical romantic experience

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jalaa' A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 August 2013

This was my second visit to Riad Al Bartal and I brought two friends with me this trip. We were all 3 amazed and transported! The setting is magical: beautiful plants, loving attention to details, unique personalized environment, magnificent building, light pouring in. The personal could't be more helpful and friendly. Smiling faces, help with all requests, well organized staff all made for a stress free stay. We asked for a driver to make visits outside Fez and were extremely satisfied with their connections. I loved my rooms both last year and this year. I had a smaller room this time and it was still spacious, well appointed and had a very comfortable bed. The location near one of the gates and close to the markets makes it a super place to be. So glad to see that Poulette the gray house parrot was still in residence! It's a special place, I highly recommend!!!

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank dcolivier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roma
Level Contributor
19 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 July 2013

What a magic place!! And also best assistance in finding a guide and a car to go to volubilis.. I will return there!!! The atmpsphere was pleasant.. Everybody was helpful.. Fes is an incredible place with its wonderful Medina.. We had to buy one more bag...!!

Room Tip: It was low season so we got a suite.. We felt like being in a fairy tale.. Breakfast is gorgeus!!
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sergiewa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 June 2013

Arriving in Fez after dark following a 7hr. train trip from Marrakesh, our taxi backed up a narrow, unlit lane and stopped at an inconspicuous door set in a blank stone wall. But the door opened and we were greeted by our smiling host standing in the warmly lit entrance and the fabulous aromas of dinner. Ushered down a broad staircase to a covered inner courtyard, we were seated at a candle-lit table among other guests in a garden of Eden. We had clearly arrived in Heaven! Our stay was fabulous in every way

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ron42154943
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Riad Al Bartal

Property: Riad Al Bartal
Address: 21 rue Sournas | quartier Ziat, Fes 30000, Morocco
Phone Number:
Region: Morocco > Fes-Boulemane Region > Fes
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 209 B&Bs / Inns in Fes
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Riad Al Bartal 4*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
You'll be charmed by this riad in the Arab-Andalusian architecture. the limited capacity of 5 suites and 3 rooms, allows you to customize the contacts and to take the time to settle down in an harmonious décor. the patio filled with green plants offer more intimate corners for reading. A library is available and full of books on the history and cultures of Morocco and the art of oriental cooking but also something to prepare for documenting his visits to the medina and its surroundings. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riad Al Bartal Hotel Fes

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