“An extremely popular riad, with a choice of traditional and modern rooms, and perhaps the best service in Fes' medina”
There's quite a difference between the various roomtypes so it's worth choosing carefully. On balance we preferred the Deluxe Rooms, but the older Standard Rooms with terrace came a close second. We haven't seen the baroque rooms yet.
Deluxe Rooms, above the Andalous patio, are clean and contemporary, with cream walls, pale floor tiles and dark-stained wooden furniture, including vast beds, low coffee tables and a desk. A scattering of bright rugs, silky quilts and heavy floral curtains keeps them from being minimal, but by comparison with the usual over-ornate Fassi riad, they're pretty toned down. There's no shortage of space, and plenty of storage room too. Most have windows overlooking the court, but noise is not a problem as the bar music stops around 10.30pm. You get all mod cons - air-conditioning, satellite TV, safe, minibar, CD player - and the result is that you feel very comfy and sleep very soundly. The only possible criticism is that you could be in almost any small luxury hotel in the Arab world.
Black-tiled bathrooms all have a tub (this is a legal requirement of the 'luxury hotel' category); 3 have a separate shower room too, glazed in smooth tadlakt plaster of course. Beside the twin basins is a bewildering collection of herbal/mineral rubs and scrubs in pretty ceramic dishes, and a comforting stack of fluffy towels and robes.
Pride of place in this wing goes to the Ambassador Suite, a palatial double aspect room with 3 windows over the upper Andalous terrace and 3 over the neighbouring garden. It's clearly designed to impress - high beamed ceiling, generous sitting area, a gleaming marble and tadelakt bathroom - and it's no surprise that the GM of Louis Vuitton stayed here. The Junior Suite, above this, is the best of this category, with its own balcony.
Of the older rooms, we liked the Standard rooms with terraces, whose pretty peach hues, carved headboard and screened outside sitting area make it an outstanding value-for-money choice. The remaining Standard Rooms are less enticing, with some dubious colour schemes (green bathroom tiling, vivid orange curtains) and rather dated bathrooms (though the claw-footed tubs might be a draw for some). The Royal Suite - the most expensive in the hotel - is fantastically over-the-top, with half-tiled and half-stuccoed walls, a patterned zellij floor and a creamy kingsize bed and armchairs; the downstairs bathroom is spacious, but lacks natural light.
An excellent breakfast is served at wrought-iron tables beside the dipping pool in the old court, brushed by roses and citrus leaves. Waitresses bring you seasonal fruit salad (banana, melon, pomegranate seeds), individual yoghurts, fresh orange juice and all manner of pancakes and crumpet-like things, presented on elegant blue-white patterned china and starched tablecloths. Our only complaint was that the tea - as so often - tasted faintly of coffee from the flasks which are used for both.
You can also book dinner (see Rates) in the cosy restaurant room or upstairs on the roof-level terrace, looking out over the hotch-potch of sandy stone houses and copper-hatted minarets that typify Fes' medina. Expect a spread of Moroccan cooked salads (fried zucchini, soft aubergines, tasty tomato paste) or a soup such as lharira (chickpeas and lentils), followed by a main such as stewed lamb with quince and sesame, or roast chicken stuffed with semolina, almonds and raisins (the sweet-sour combo is popular here). First-timers might want to order classics like pastilla (puff pastry filled with pigeon and almonds) or couscous with 7 vegetables. Desserts include strawberry mousse (runny but delicious), carrot soup with orange-blossom water and briouates in honey. There are plenty of decent local wines in stock, and coffee/tea is included in the price. All in all, the meal was good without being outstanding, and you will probably want to eat out some of the time. Options range from a simple streetside snack to a fully-fledged feast at La Maison Bleue; ask staff for advice.
Children are welcome and all rooms are suitable; cots are available. Children are free up to 3 years old and cots are also free; for children up to 18 years old an extra bed in parents' room is extra.
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
Baby cots available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking