You might remember a recent blog post from Ben, one of our bookings consultants. He was so taken with Dar Seffarine on his recent visit to Fes that we just had to devote an entire post to telling you all about it.
Found right in the heart of Fes’s medina, Dar Seffarine is a unique combination of hippy living and impeccable design and, with rooms starting at just 70EUR, it’s a real bargain. Owners Alaa and Kate have resurrected this 600-year-old house with their own hands, lots of love and plenty of patience. He’s an architect from Iraq, she’s a graphic designer from Norway, and the result is a highly original blend of Moorish monumentalism and Scandinavian minimalism. Think soaring square columns, 18-foot carved cedar doors and zellij-tiled floors set against blank white walls. We think it’s beautiful.
And it’s definitely a home rather than a hotel. The central courtyard and the roof terrace are the focus of communal life, and you’ll feel as if you’re among friends – or people who are soon to become your friends. It’s a mecca for young, open-minded travellers who like to share beers and travel stories on the stunning roof terrace and who want to experience the real Fes in all its gritty, colourful, noisy splendour. It’s the kind of place you could easily book for a night and end up staying a week, or even a month if you’re not careful.
Rooms: There are 7 bedrooms spread over 2 double-height storeys and a mezzanine; connecting doors provide secret passages to the various staircases. All have small ensuite bathrooms and the 2 suites (Anneka and Kobbe) are much larger and more opulent – but still excellent value. You won’t find many frills of the modern kind (except WiFi in communal areas), but plenty of original 14th-century ones, including hand-painted chests, mosaic-tiled floors and antique wardrobes which match the fabric of the house to a tee.
Food: A communal breakfast is served on the terrace from 8.30am until the conversation runs out, with fresh juice, breads, homemade jams, eggs, fried tomatoes and cheese (if you’re lucky you might get Norwegian goats’ cheese). You can also join Kate and Alaa for dinner, sharing whatever they’ve cooked with whoever else is around. There’s no choice of menu, but everything is delicious and it’s excellent value. We enjoyed a feast of breads, salads, soup and a huge communal lamb tagine, with fruit for pudding.
Top tip: Don’t miss evenings on the roof terrace: the view of the medina is absolutely breathtaking. You’re situated at the bottom of a gently curving bowl, so the city wraps itself around you, creating an utterly mesmerising view – pictures will never do it justice. Watching the city change colour as the sun set, with the call to prayer humming around us, was a real moment to remember.
i-escape guest review: “We absolutely loved our stay and would recommend Dar Seffarine to all our friends. Service was amazing- interiors beautiful and location could not be better! One of my favourite places to stay in the world- I can’t wait to go again!”
Philippa, Australia (25.05.12)
Read the full review of Dar Seffarine >>