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“Gorgeous Oasis”

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Riad Fes - Relais & Chateaux
Ranked #13 of 99 Hotels in Fes
Certificate of Excellence
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Gorgeous Oasis”
Reviewed 6 August 2009

Thank you Riad Fes, for a spectacular vacation.
We stayed three nights, in two rooms (four people total). I would have liked to been able to all stay in one room since the rooms were large and I was traveling with teenagers (even if this meant an extra charge), but I was told that was not an option. Our two rooms were large, with authentic and gorgeous bathrooms. The decor of the hotel in general is stunning- we especially loved the bar and the pool. My only real complaint was that every day when the maids came they turned off the AC so that when we arrived in the late afternoon the rooms were untollerably hot. All in all, Riad Fes was superb and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. We fell in love with Morocco and will absolutely return to this hotel. The hotel restaurant is wonderful! whatever you do, do NOT go to Al Fassia, a restaurant near by- it was by far the worst experience i've ever had traveling. The management was rude and even agressive. The entertainment goes against all things truly Moroccan and it is clearly nothing more than an over-priced tourist trap.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank reginaeileen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Riad_Fes_Manager, Marketing Manager at Riad Fes - Relais & Chateaux, responded to this review, 7 August 2009
Dear Sirs,
Thank you very much for staying with us and for your review on Tripadvisor. We are very happy to hear that you had a nice stay with us and are deeply sorry concerning the AC. All our guests usually leave the Riad in the morning, at around 9.30AM for excursions or guided tours and they usually come back at around 6PM. Keeping the AC or the lamps on during their absence would be sincerely abnormal, even not ecological. In order to participate in our environment's protection, we kindly ask to our guests to avoid wasting water and putting off the lamps or AC when leaving their rooms. And the maids, all the staff in general, are very sensitive to that. Concerning the Restaurant Al Fassia, we would like to mention that the hotel did NOT recommend this restaurant to the guests who went there by their own. We know our clientele and we do know the specific restaurants and places where they can go. Anyway, we are happy to know that you liked our food which is one of the best in Fez. One advice: in Fez, it is preferable to go in other guesthouses where the food is much more better and fresh. Most of the restaurants are very commercial.
We look forward to welcoming you next time in Fez and we hope to have a suite or room which can accommodate four persons!
Best Regards
Miss Awa DIAKHATE
Marketing Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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USA
1 review
Reviewed 20 July 2009

The Riad Fes is beautiful, however, we unfortunately experienced some of the poor qualities of the management that some of the other commenters have noted. On multiple occasions, management booked tours for us that were quoted at one price and ended up being much higher when presented with the bill from the tour guide. One tour guide informed us that the hotel set the price, while the man who said he was the "manager," who later turned out NOT to be the manager, told us that the hotel does not receive any kick-backs from the tours. By the end, it was unclear who to believe. Also, when a hotel books a tour for you, especially a hotel with such a great reputation, the tour guide should be working FOR you, not trying to constantly corner you into making purchases from his friends in the souks and not letting you leave when you want to head back, but are lost in the maze of the medina and are relying on his guidance.

The reason why our stay was such an especially frustrating experience is that we had just arrived from Marrakech, where we stayed in a lovely little Riad where the owner took care of everything we needed -- we were given prices up front, the best tour guides in town who were not just out to make a buck off of us were called, and little things such as transportation from the airport were taken care of on a complimentary basis, even though we were delayed and our flight did not arrive until nearly 2AM. If possible, stay in a smaller, more charming Riad. The Riad Fes is certainly more corporatized, cold, and caverness than some of the charming, more traditional Riads in the Medina.

The room was very large and well equipped, but the heater did not work very well. Also, not that we care about this at all, but there was no television in our room.

The best part about the hotel was the restuarant. Absolutely amazing breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We ended up eating there for almost every meal since each meal was individualized and outstanding. Hassan, the maitre d', was extremely helpful and welcoming.

As well-versed travellers who have stayed at many fine hotels and expect excellent service, the Riad Fes was overall disappointing.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MATTWFG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Riad_Fes_Manager, Marketing Manager at Riad Fes - Relais & Chateaux, responded to this review, 28 July 2009
Dear Tripadvisers' reviewers,
First of all, we would like to thank this reviewer for his comments which are very important to us.
As we informed the guest from the beginning, Riad Fes does not assume any
responsibilities about the tour guides' behaviour. We are only an
intermediary between the clients and the guides who are actually selected by the National Office of Tourism. This latter itself set the tours cost. If the guest has any remarks on this guide, S/he can write directly to the same office. Here below their contact details : Tel: +212 (0) 535 623 460
Fax: +212 (0) 535 654 370
Address: Office National du Tourisme
Place Mohamed V, Ville Nouvelle
30 000 Fes
MAROC
On the other hand, we installed televisions in the rooms upon the guest's
request during that period. This was mentionned clearly upon the check-in and also in the kit of presentation put in all of our rooms. Since two months, the tv is put in all rooms. All our rooms and other spaces are heated and air-conditionned; we are really surprised to hear that her/his room was not heated and s/he did not claimed that.
Our aim was, is and will be to satisfy all our guests and we are deeply sorry of that disappointment.
Thank you for your understanding.
Miss Awa DIAKHATE
Marketing Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
toronto
Level Contributor
57 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 July 2009

Our entire trip to Morocco was outstanding. We stayed two nights. This was the second last night for us. We had adjoining rooms which were beatutifully decorated and all the amenities were lovely. We ate dinner next to the fountain and the food was excellent. The breakfast was served to our table one mornining and buffet the next. The food was very traaditional moroccan with lots of fresh juices and fruits. Delicious jams and marmalades. We felt transported in time an place to paradise. The ambiance is serene. Around town it has the reputation of being the "finest Riad in Fes" I am sure this is true

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank mugr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boulder, CO
Level Contributor
35 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 July 2009

My friend and I stayed for 2 nights at Riad Fes in early June. I chose the hotel because we wanted a bit of luxury after our camel trek. The riad is larger than many of the more traditional riads. More like a hotel than a true riad experience. Our room had satelite TV and great air conditioning. The room was large and very comfortable (and we were given a free upgrade). The bathroom was luxurious. The service at the hotel was good, but not great. Our check in experience was frustrating. There were 4 people at the front desk, but only one person (a man who we thought was the manager, but later found out was not) was checking people in. As more guests arrived, he became more and more scattered. I was not sure why each group checking in was not given the individual attention of one of the front desk employees. We had similar experiences with the front desk at other times. Unless we were the only people at the desk--and the phone did not ring--we were not given any one person's full attention. The staff was always friendly and helpful, just not as efficient as they could have been. The hotel organized several tours for us. All were very professional. My only bad experience with the tours were the additional fees the hotel tried to tack on to our bill (an additional charge for transportation to the airport, which was already included in our tour). Once this charge was brought to their attention the manager quickly removed it from our bill. Overall, my friend and I did enjoy this hotel, but we felt there was room for improvement.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bouldermary56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Velizy
Level Contributor
19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 June 2009

Great piece of time with awesome night. welcome, hall, lobby, bar and restaurant...ending by rooms. great for all, absolutely marvellous place. A must have in the surrounds.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank evidencesx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
220 reviews
105 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 438 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 June 2009

I will preface this review to say that we spent a total of 6 nights in Fes...first three in small more intimate riad in the Medina and the last three at Riad Fes. The excellence of the first experience may have an impact on my feelings at the Riad Fes but I think facts are facts.
Initial communication with hotel via email was excellent and they were very helpful in selecting just the right room for us. Unfortunately upon check in this room was a disappointment in terms of size and decor and looked very much like something at a hotel in Chicago or similar. It was the Vizier Suite. Some may like it I did not. We then began the search for another room and ended up in the Royal Suite (with a significant discount) and of course this room was beautiful. There is a massive terrace with all of the Medina at your footsteps. The upstairs bathroom was a bit inconvienent but it was a nice room. The last night we had to move again due to someone coming into the Royal...the last room was a standard called Tghat and although small we liked it more than the original Vizier at half the price...key here is the private terrace with acess to the same views as the Royal Suite...if you still want to stay at Riad Fes after reading this review....go for a standard with terrace and request the Tghat...
I will now outline the major areas of concern in our stay at the Riad Fes:
~General decor and building of the Riad is beautiful but lacks the real atmosphere of a Fassi home or "riad"...very astere and cold with a lack to detail such as fountains not running...few if any fresh flowers..no music in background (except oud at night) etc. It is a cold environment...worst is the new area which we spent no time in. Do not expect to use the pool which is in a very ackward location...no sun or air moving (this is true with the whole lobby which is not open air as more traditional riads) and it looked not so clean.
~Breakfast is an odd assortment buffet style in modern restaurant..no coffee pot left at table which seemed customary in other places...little fresh fruit or croissants...everything looked pretty boring and not so fresh including the waiters standing around. They do however serve eggs etc. to your table and that is probably your best bet. No move was made to service breakfast say around the small pool or on the terrace (it was a bit windy but not so bad that you could not serve on the terrace)
~Spa...wow this was really bad! Had booked a massage in advance and all was set up as promised. Spa is just above main reception desk so you are listening to phones, front desk personnel, slamming doors and then the masseuse wants to have a conversation during the massage...not before or after but during. Very inexperienced masseuse...zero regard for privacty in terms of changing...she just stands and stares at you while you undress and you are given nothing but told to get up on the table...most of the time you are given something (either sheets etc.) to cover and then the massuse carefully removes each area as she works...not here...and then same you must get up immediately when she is done and she stands there while you dress. When I asked about oils etc. nothing used even had a scent. I asked about orange or jasmine (pretty standard in Morocco and very nice) and she knew nothing about oils like that. The table was not fully covered and my head was resting on plastic...I should have gotten up and left but I stayed. It was a waste of money and very substandard for a hotel/riad of this level.
~Room toiletries...generic...again not moroccan scents etc. Most nice riads provide orange or jasmine oils. Not Riad Res.
~Turndown service provided two out of three nights.
~In general staff was polite but bored and seemed not interested in their jobs or making your stay a good one. The exception was front desk in particular a gentleman named "Redone" (spellling not sure). Was a big task to get a dinner booking done as they are multitasking on the phone etc. and I was just wanting a restaurant recommendation for international style as we were getting tired of Moroccan. They did recommend Zen Garden in the Ville Nouvelle and I highly recommend it for a change of pace.
I booked two different type of riads and wished I would have stayed at the first one for the whole time in the Medina. I would not recommend a stay at the Riad Fes as there are too many great options costing less and delivering way more in atmosphere and service...the medina is fascinating but you don't really get a sense of it at Riad Fes...the charm is gone at this place and you will do better elsewhere...there were some negative reviews in the last year but I chose to ignore them...big mistake.
~In closing it is one of the few places I have ever stayed in Morocco where upon check out not one person said goodbye or wished us a safe trip or any sign of appreciation for having stayed there. Apart from the major room shuffle at check in I lost interest in commenting about any of the above experiences to the manager (never saw) and we just went about our business of exploring the medina and enjoying Fes. It is a great city and such an experience in 17th century living. Don't miss it but find another hotel/riad.

  • Stayed May 2009
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank gene
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Riad_Fes_Manager, Marketing Manager at Riad Fes - Relais & Chateaux, responded to this review, 16 June 2009
Dear Trip Advisors’ reviewers,
First of all, we would like to thank these guests for their comments which will help us to improve our services. These women booked one of our suites on recommendations from one of their friends who stayed before at Riad Fes. They would bargain the rate of the room upon their arrival. In the very high season, we do not accord discounts; which irritated them. Arrived in their suite booked by themselves, they refused to stay there and asked to see other rooms of the Riad in order to make their final choice. We had only one room available. They accepted to take that room at the beginning. Some minutes later, they called and asked for another room. We had to change a room for one guest and gave the Royal Suite to them at a very special rate in order to make them feel at ease. They seemed to be happy of that offer that we really regret now. They used to disturb the other guests by shouting in the sitting areas and in the restaurant. One of them used abusively the computer which is graciously at our guests’ disposal. They talked very loud with their friends on Skype; disturbing the neighbourhood. The Visir Suite chosen by them is a suite of more than 45 square meters with a terrace overlooking the medina and the hinterland. That Suite is decorated in a Moorish style. Its pictures are available on our website. We have never received complaints from our prestigious guests about the Visir Suite. Most of our guests are accustomed to staying in the biggest hotels of the world and are mostly very important persons: artists, actors, politicians, journalists, etc. Contrary to their comments, the room TGHAT and its terrace do not offer any view on the Medina of Fez. Riad Fes is known by all the Tour Operators as a Palace which gathers the essential of the Moroccan traditional architecture and decoration. It is aberrant, even scandalous affirming that our architectural heritage has not a historical and cultural depth and that we can see such spaces in Chicago or somewhere else in Occident (the guests’ comments). We have never received bad comments from our guests concerning our breakfast which is a buffet composed by more than 40 products which are made every morning by our Kitchen staff. We always propose 5 or 6 varieties of fresh fruits and juices. We can serve on the terrace, in the garden next to the swimming-pool or in the room if it is requested by the guests. The comments in regard to our staff and our Management in our Guest Book or the articles in different specialized newspapers are enough to contradict their comments. I do not understand how they can say that they did not see the Manager as they talked with me concerning some remarks in the Royal Suite and had the check-out with me!!! We never claimed to say that we have a Spa. On the other hand, we do have a traditional Hammam and a room for massages which services have always satisfied our honourable guests. The essential oils, the scents and the other cosmetic products are used there. Overall, our aim is to satisfy all our guests and we are very sorry that these guests were disappointed with their stay.
Miss Awa DIAKHATE
Marketing Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Providence
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 April 2009

We stayed at the Riad Fes for three nights. It was truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever stayed. It was like magic. And the staff were so friendly and welcoming and so very patient!! It is hard to put into words how beautiful the Riad Fes is - it's tucked back in the medina and is an adventure getting there and once you are there, it is an oasis in the middle of the craziness that is Fes. I highly recommend this riad, if we ever get back to Morocco we would most definitely stay here again, no question.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank providencemelis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Riad Fes - Relais & Chateaux

Property: Riad Fes - Relais & Chateaux
Address: 5 Derb Ben Slimane | Zerbtana, Fes 30110, Morocco
Region: Morocco > Fes-Boulemane Region > Fes
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 Spa Hotel in Fes
#9 Luxury Hotel in Fes
#21 Family Hotel in Fes
#22 Romantic Hotel in Fes
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Riad Fes - Relais & Chateaux 5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Riad Fes - Relais & Châteaux is renowned for its luxury, impeccable service and fine restaurant. Restored to its original glory, Riad Fès - Relais & Châteaux is located in the heart of the ancient city of Fez. It has succeeded in combining refinement with inspiration and invites you to relax and enjoy your stay in a serene atmosphere with decor reminiscent of Arabian Nights. Riad Fes provides guests with the opportunity to travel back in time and enjoy the splendour and authenticity of the lifestyle of Fassi nobility. The prestigious history and refined civilization of this Imperial city are reflected in the Spanish Moorish architecture and attention to detail seen in the decor. With spectacular views of the Medina and the Atlas Mountains, Riad Fès - Relais & Châteaux is ideal for those travelling for business or pleasure.In the heart of a medieval city known for its diverse savory eateries, Riad Fès - Relais & Châteaux offers a fine dining restaurant that should not be missed when visiting Fez: l’Ambre. A haven of purity and tranquillity created by the designer Christophe Pillet, our Spa Riad Fès by Cinq Mondes invites you to enjoy a unique experience in luxurious and comfortable surroundings. With a selection of the best treatments, massages and traditional formulas marked by Quality, Authenticity and Ceremony designed and developed by Cinq Mondes, our Spa will take you on genuine Sensoriel Journeys.Riad Fes - Relais & Chateaux offers tailored golf holidays to golf enthusiasts. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riad Fes Hotel Fes
Riad Hotel Fes
Fes Riad Hotel

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