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“A very warm welcome in the Medina”

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Riad Laaroussa Hotel and Spa
Ranked #2 of 99 Hotels in Fes
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level 6 Contributor
232 reviews
138 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 256 helpful votes
“A very warm welcome in the Medina”
Reviewed 3 June 2010

I have just returned from 5 nights at this wonderful Riad. As always with these buildings, you arrive at an unassuming front door tucked away in a quiet alley. Behind the door is a characterful and wondefully restored building. We stayed in the grey suite. It was comfortable, tastefully furnished and large, opening out in to a good sized bathroom, which had a hairdryer. The owner Fred, his partner Kathy and the team made us feel at home. Nothing was too much trouble. Professional service delivered in a warm, natural way. Just as we like it. We ate at the Riad twice. The food is traditional Moroccan expertly and lovingly prepared by Samira and Fatima, helped by their team always using fresh ingredients. It's worth accompanying Samira to market to buy the ingredients and spending an afternoon in the kitchen cooking, a truly enriching experience. Alcohol is available at the Riad.

Weather permitting breakfast and dinner are served on the lovely rooftop terrace overlooking the medina. There are a number of steep steps to climb to get there.
It's worth ordering a taxi from the Riad or your travel agent to get to there from the airport as cars cannot stop inside the Medina and you may have difficulty finding it first time when you arrive. The Riad though is ideally located to visit all the sites in the Medina.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Milonga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Delaware
Level 6 Contributor
30 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 June 2010

The riad is in a great location in the medina. You walk out the door into the chaos of the twisting alleys - but on the other side of the door lies a lovely oasis. The courtyard and public rooms are beautiful and our huge bedroom was nothing short of magnificent. The decor, the view through the stained glass windows overlooking the courtyard, the king sized, very comfortable bed.

The meals we had at the riad were all delicious and generous portions. There is a computer for use by guests. The rooftop terrace has lots of comfy seating for relaxing and also tables for having breakfast. On chilly evenings they have a fire - very cozy to hang out & read in the salon - & they have lots of interesting books. Our room had a fireplace also.

Overall a most fabulous place to stay in an exciting city.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank LeslieJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris, France
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2010

A nice view from the terrace, a quiet garden downstairs, rooms in a sober and chic local style. The location in the medina is exceptionnal.A bit disappointed with the food:not so good for its price. The terrace could be better arranged and with more flowers/trees

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
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    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank abika83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brignoles, France
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 20 May 2010

The service was excellent and the people very nice
The morrocan food was very good ,delicate and various
The room and the bathroom were wonderfull , cosy and nicely decorated
We appreciated the chimney in the room and the breakfasts on the terrace with a view on the Medina and the surroundings of Fez
The Riad is well located in the Medina

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank santoni_jocelyne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Florida
Level 4 Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 May 2010

The Riad Laaroussa is a luxury retreat in the center of the Fez medina. We parked our car at the edge of the medina and were met by a hotel porter. Our luggage was stowed on a cart and we were whisked into the medina, a maze of narrow, twisting alleyways. After walking long enough to completely loose hope of ever finding our way out again, we arrive at a very nondescript door off a narrow corridor.

Stepping inside, we are transported to a Moroccan fantasy of painted wood beams, ancient tiles and an unbelievably beautiful open garden atrium. We are introduced to the owner, Frederick, a frenchman who undertook the complete restoration of the riad in 2005. He did an outstanding job by the look of things. The riad is centered around a large open courtyard, filled with a fountain, flowers and trees. Rooms are arranged around, and open on, the courtyard. The public rooms on the first floor are comfortable and inviting and have a homey feel, complete with pets. Large white columns frame the courtyard toped with wood carvings and green tiles.

After showing us to our room, the gorgeous Creme Suite on the first floor (not ground floor), we head up to the roof. Sitting on a comfortable settee, we are served mint tea and pastries while looking out over the rooftops at an amazing view of Fez. Soon, the sun sets and the air is filled with the call to prayer from multiple minarets.

Accompanied everywhere by the riad dog and cat, I settle on a comfortable iron bed that is festooned with pillows, positioned on an elevated area on the rooftop terrance. The sun sets and I gaze up at the moon and stars while cooled by a gentle breeze.

Back in our room, smelling of incense and lit with soft lights, we soak in a huge tub while contemplating dinner. Someone had come and lit silver candles in our bathroom and the effect was exotic and soothing.

At dinner at the Riad Laaroussa, we had a choice of where to sit - outside in the garden area by the fountain, inside by the fireplace or up on the star-filled roof terrace. We chose the garden, next to the trickling fountain. Before dinner, they brought us a bottle of wonderful Moroccan wine while we sat next to the fireplace, dog at our feet. We were surprised at how good it was, on par with California wines. As a frenchman, Frederick knows what he is doing in selecting wines for the riad. The local wine growing area in in Meknes, just down the road from Fez.

Our dinner started with 3 vegtable dishes, presented in individual, brightly colored mini tagine pots - eggplant, roasted red peppers and a mixture of carrots and potatoes. The next course was a fragrant tagine of lamb with prunes. Delicious and served with couscous. The desert was a plate of sliced green colored cantaloupe - perfectly ripe and sweet.

We retired to our room to our very comfy bed, under a fluffy duvet. The riad was quiet until the morning, when we awoke to the sound of birds. We ventured out for a tour of the medina and souks, marveling at the living museum that is Fez. Around every bend was an amazing sight or smell, donkeys pulling carts, goat heads hanging from butcher stalls, spices piled up in cones. Metal workers hamered sheets of metal into whimsical lanterns. Hides soaked in huge vats of dye, creating a mosaic of color and a photographers dream. After a day of sightseeing, we welcomed the peace and comfort of the riad, taking a swim in the rooftop pool and drinking mint tea while enjoying another sunset, the voices of the Imans echoing in the air.

We decided that we could not find a better place to eat than Laarousa, so we had requested the cook to prepare Pastilla for us that evening. Pastilla is made with pigeon or chicken with ground almonds and cinnamon, all stuffed between sheets of crisp phylo pastry. It was divine! The pear tart for desert was the best desert I could imagine.

We had the opportunity to visit with the riad owner Fred and his wife, who is an American. Fred is a very interesting guy and speaks perfect english. He said he fell in love with Fez and purchased an old riad. It took 2 years to lovingly restore it after he negotiated ownership from several different family members who were living on different floors of the building. Black and white photos of the restoration process line the walls of the riad, a testament to the transformation. He now has a real estate company that helps others purchase property and is a resource for skilled restoration craftsman.

Fred asked how I found the Riad Laarousa and I told him that it was mentioned in one of my favorite books by Tahir Shah called The Caliph's House, about restoring an old house in Morocco. Fred told me Tahir Shah was a friend and had a beautiful job restoring home. Fred and his wife where wonderful gracious hosts and made us feel very welcome. They were headed out to a dance festival in Seville the next morning, but waited to bid us goodbye and take photos of us before we left. We were there during the Iceland ash crisis, and Fred was busy helping stranded guests find their way back home to Europe or the UK.

I would highly recommend the Riad Laaroussa and look forward to staying there again during my next visit to Fez. When we got home, we were greeted by our photo that Fred took, making us wish we were back in the quiet serenity of the Riad Laaroussa.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank rrayner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tokyo, Japan
1 review
Reviewed 12 May 2010

We strongly recommend this riad if you stay in Fes.
Neat room and kind staff will make your trip very happy!

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank moroccoTokyo_Japan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 May 2010

Everything about our 5 day stay at Riad Laaroussa was a pleasure !
-from the very warm welcome by all the staff to the spacious and comfortable rooms .
The delicious and typical Moroccan meals , were lovingly prepared by Fatima and Samira, and served on the superb roof deck, in the lovely garden or by the fire in the living room , of this beautifully restored , and exquisitely decorated17th century palace.
After spending the day wandering around the colourful and busy medina or surrounding areas , it was a treat to return to our peaceful oasis , hidden in a small lane , behind medieval high walls.
Don't forget to pamper yourself with a hammam and massage - in the Riad's private and heavenly spa !

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank margaretcampbell
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 Romantic Hotel in Fes
#1 Family 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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