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“Not the Best Choice”

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Riad Laaroussa Hotel and Spa
Ranked #2 of 98 Hotels in Fes
Certificate of Excellence
Massachusetts
Level Contributor
21 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Not the Best Choice”
Reviewed 1 April 2014

The place itself is magical; the staff are above exceptional, but I would not recommend this riad for a solo female traveler due to its location. I felt a bit deceived in that I was told by the owners I would have someone to accompany me back and forth to the gated taxi stand area each day. My friend wound up greatly inconvenienced in that he had to escort me back and forth each morning and night. I also had a problem with credit card payment at the end which I resolved as quickly as possible (it not having been my fault to begin with). I'd say I had the rather uncomfortable feeling at the end of my visit that it was all about the money as far as the owners were concerned.

Room Tip: The Cream Suite is fantastic: the staff are exceptionally kind and helpful...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank gypsy090
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FredLaaroussa, Owner at Riad Laaroussa Hotel and Spa, responded to this review, 5 April 2014
There is always something to learn from a guest review, especially when it point out something we can improve and margin for improvement is a never ending story! However in this specific case, what we learned is that, from one person to another, reality can be perceived differently for the same facts.

The facts:
This guest, when booking, told us about her concern about going in and out of the old town by herself early or late at night as she was here on business. We offered to have someone taking her every day to the taxi and back at night.
A week before checking in, someone from the local organisation she was supposed to work with for a week, showed up, introduced himself and said he would take care of this guest including walking her from and to the hotel on a daily basis.
We saw this person anytime the guest was arriving or leaving the hotel. As a consequence, we have never been asked to do so. We would have done it without any problems as we have someone specially employed for this type of matter.

This guest booked a Suite for 7 days and checked in on a Thursday. A day later, she decided to leave for the week-end and come back on Monday.
We didn't really know how to react about charging her for the 2 night’s last minute cancellation. (The probability of renting a room at the last minute is quite low in a place like Fez where most of the time guests book their trip well in advance). We have only 8 rooms, we were full and had to refuse guests previously for this specific week-end.
We decided to offer charging only one night out of two.
We understood that the guest was disappointed and was expecting us to accept not charging her at all, which we finally did for not even a thank you!
Funny enough, the same day we had another guest checking out who insisted on paying a night he originally booked but could not attend due to transportation issue. As this situation was out of his control, we had decided not to charge him for his first night and he insisted on paying as it was not our responsibility.

The concept of responsibility is quite different from one person to another.

A day before departure, our guest came to the front desk a bit worried that her card might not work. We tried to de-stress her and told her not to worry. We could sort out the money issue after departure if the card doesn't work temporarily.
At check out, the card didn't work. We repeated to the guest what we said earlier that we will try again later, letting this guest checking out without paying us. We were a bit surprised that even at this specific moment, she didn't show any sign of responsibility, it was clearly our problem if her card didn't work.

We kept her credit card details and tried a few time to charge her unsuccessfully. We passed on other credit cards transactions before and after which worked normally.
We called the local credit card company who answered that the « paying bank » was refusing this transaction without any explanation and there were nothing we could do apart asking the guest to contact her bank.
We started to exchange emails (15 in total…) with the guest and always got the same answer: Her bank never saw the transaction, the problem was on our side and we just had to try her credit card numbers again…which we did without any success. In the meantime we were carrying business as usual using our credit card machine without any problems.
We called again our credit card company who gave us the same answer.
We contacted again the guest and got the same answer with a clear feeling that we were the only one responsible for this problem.
After a few days, it was becoming very embarrassing to chase someone to get paid.
We even thought abandoning the money.
We are a small family business with 15 employees and 1600 US Dollars does matter.
As we had no control on what was happening and in order to try stopping this Ping-Pong useless email exchanges, we introduced very politely other options of payment to clear the issue, such as international wire or Paypal, we got always the same answer, « there is a problem on your side, try again ».
At the end, we sent a pay pal request to be paid, which she finally agreed. We were 10 days after check out!
This guest clearly made us feel as if we were the only responsible for this credit card payment issue as she explains clearly in her review but we can’t accept taking the blame for that.
Our responsibility is to deliver a hotel service as well as we can and to provide means such as credit card payment facilities for guests being able to pay for this hotel service.
In 8 years, we almost never had any payment problems. If it happened, it always has been sorted out in a responsible way from both sides without any problems.
Dear reader, if you are still with us and didn't fall asleep yet, thank you for giving us the chance to explain what happened.
Riad Laaroussa is a passion for us and we can’t accept having someone transforming the reality and tarnish our reputation because what is said in this review is just NOT WHAT HAPPENED!
Frederic Sola Owner of Riad Laaroussa
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English first
New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviewed 1 April 2014

My family just returned from a fabulous trip to Morocco, and one of the highlights was our stay in Fez at the Riad Laaroussa. The other hotels we stayed in in Morocco were the Sofitel Jardins des Roses in Rabat, La Mamounia in Marrakesh, and the Dar Ahlam in Ouarzazate; only the Dar Ahlam equaled the pleasure of our stay at the Laaroussa (and if you care about cost-benefit analysis, there can be no comparison between those two; the Laaroussa is a real bargain!) We were at one of the entrances to the Medina by two luggage handlers, who wheeled our bags and led us through the teeming and windy streets of the Medina to a very unpromising looking big brown metal door down a quiet alley. We were greeted by a nice woman, who led us into the riad (central garden), which immediately gave us a sense of tranquility--it's hard to believe all the bustle that it taking place just outside the walls! Fred, the French proprietaire, greeted us immediately very cordially, and showed us to our rooms (the Orange Room for my husband and me and our two boys (who loved their sleeping loft), and the Green Room for my parents-in-law. He then led us upstairs (they are steep but certainly navigable) to the rooftop terrace, where we had tea (and met their chocolate lab, Ben, who is quite charming). Very comfortable and easy process. And the view from the roof over Fez is just lovely. We ate dinner at the Riad both nights, overseen by the very friendly Fatima--"FZ"--and both meals were delicious, classic Moroccan cooking expertly prepared. We had drinks on the rooftop terrace before dinner, then went into the cozy dining room (also on the roof, but enclosed, and with a fireplace) for the meals. Breakfasts were served outside on the rooftop, equally delicious (and surprisingly elaborate!) The bedrooms themselves are wondeful, large and very comfortable, and my husband enjoyed lighting a fire in our own fireplace both nights. The one full day we spent in Fez, the riad arranged for us to take a guided tour with Hamidou, who was absolutely marvelous, informative, friendly, and gave us a real sense of the city. Our biggest regret of our whole trip is that we did not spend more time in Fez (in retrospect we would have skipped Marrakesh entirely). But this gives us the excuse to return to Fez sooner than we would otherwise, and next time we would like to incorporate a trip into the Middle Atlas as well. And we will definitely stay at Laaroussa again. Charming experience.

Room Tip: The Orange and Green Rooms are on the first floor, which limits the number of stairs you will have t...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LKMBS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2014 via mobile

I enjoyed there with all staff.
Although I check in early morning, they were welcome to my coming. I took a lesson of Moroccan cuisine, they told me a lot of things kindly.
That's why I satisfied all of things at Laaroussa and can recommend it. Thank you Laaroussa! and see you guys again!

  • Stayed March 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dancingtoshi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 29 March 2014

My husband and I stayed at Riad Laaroussa for 3 nights during our 2 week stay in Morocco and our journey was truly made special because of our stay here. The riad was beautifully decorated and the room was large, clean and comfortable. The bed was so comfortable and we slept so good that it was tough waking up each morning. The food was superb! I can go on and on about the food and accommodations...but the very best part of our stay was the staff. I can never put in words that would do justice for how much both my husband and I appreciated the kindness and warm hospitality by everyone we met there. When we left, we felt like we were leaving friends. We feel so privileged for this experience and for anyone thinking of going to Fez and Morocco, would say definitely go...stay at Riad Laaroussa...and you will also have fond memories to cherish for a lifetime.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank ma826
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pittsburgh
2 reviews
Reviewed 18 March 2014

Our experience at Riad Laaroussa was simply magical. The Riad itself is quite possibly the most beautiful home I've ever seen. It is a ~300 year old 3 story, inner courtyard mansion that was renovated by Fred and his team in great artistic taste. The online photos, as good as they are, don't quite do it justice. The room (rather a whole suite) made us feel like Sultans. The views from the roof terrace are stunning. The staff is extremely friendly, constantly showering us with offers of tea, coffee, cookies, Morroccan soup... More importantly for me, they are happy to tell you about themselves and their lives, if you only care to ask. Topping it all are the owners, Fred and Cathy, who clearly set the tone of extreme attentiveness and grace. Cathy spent a lot of time designing a personalized activity plan with us. When I inquired about their kids, Fred took me over to meet them all. Truly a magical experience. I would give it six stars if I could.

Room Tip: Every room is different, all beautifully decorated. Rooms on the higher floors require climbing ste...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RR_in_Pittsburgh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 March 2014 via mobile

How privileged to be in such accommodation. The team of this riad led by Fed and Kathy made my stay soooooo great. Everything I wanted for my first visit to Morocco and then more.
I feel like I made real friendships with members of the team and hope to see them again in the near future.
Karim and the rest of the team made it like being in a family.
The room was exquisite and the food excellent. You have to try the Royal Cous Cous.
Excellent selection of Moroccan wine as well.
I will remember that roof top terrace and room forever and would recommend this riad to all. I felt like I had been transported to paradise and what a base to explore Fez from. I know I will go back there for a much longer exploration of this mystical Fez.

  • Stayed January 2014
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Gitamurti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rio de Janeiro, RJ
1 review
Reviewed 7 March 2014

My husband, my teenager son and I had a great time at the Riad Laaroussa, the best we stayed in Morocco. The staff is very efficient and friendly and the food is really tasty. The accomodations are very bealtiful e comfortable. I deeply recommend the Riad Laaroussa.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Laura F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Riad Laaroussa Hotel and Spa

Property: Riad Laaroussa Hotel and Spa
Address: 3 Derb Bechara | Fes medina, Fes 30000, Morocco
Phone Number:
Region: Morocco > Fes-Boulemane Region > Fes
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Fes
#1 Romantic Hotel in Fes
#1 Spa Hotel in Fes
#2 Luxury Hotel in Fes
#8 Business Hotel in Fes
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Riad Laaroussa Hotel and Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the heart of the Medina of Fez, Riad Laaroussa opens its doors to you for an exceptional place in a relaxed atmosphere. An immense 17th-century palace, 8 suites and rooms surround a beautiful courtyard with orange trees so that you can relive the splendor of Fez. A huge terrace, pool and garden, a variety of spacious living areas, comfortable and warmly decorated and a very caring staff are at your disposal to make your stay memorable. At Riad Laaroussa, you can also enjoy our spa with a private, authentic hammam and relaxing massages as well as enjoy quality Moroccan cuisine on one of the terraces with breathtaking views. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riad Laaroussa Fes
Riad Laaroussa Hotel Fes

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