“An opulent riad at the heart of the Medina where guests can learn the secrets of traditional Fassi cookery”
There are 4 suites - Green, Orange, Grey and Cream - and 4 double rooms - Red, Blue, Yellow and Little Brown (best for single use). Each room's name reflects the bathroom's polished tadlakt tiles. All bedrooms are high-ceilinged and many preserve their original zellig floors and cedarwood ceilings and doors.
The bedroom's ornate base elements - floors, ceilings and doors - are complemented by silk curtains, sabra bedspreads, intricately carved wardrobes and eye-catching objets like huge brass pots, funky lamps made from fish traps and deco-ish chairs and tables (many from Indonesia). Lanterns, appliqués and bedside lamps up the wow factor whilst the rooms' hot and cold air units ensure you'll be comfortable all year round.
On the ground floor, the vast Green Suite has 6m-high ceilings and enough space for queensize double and a single bed. Across the way, the cavernous Orange Suite has soaring ceilings and a mezzanine level with 2 single beds accessed via a wrought-iron staircase. These are in addition to the main queensized double. A floor of buff-coloured beijmat has replaced the original tiles; a corner fireplace is rendered in stucco. The bathroom is a flight of fantasy with lacquered vine stems dropping down from the ceiling to wrap around an oval-shaped tadlakt bathtub. You're also treated to twin hammered-metal basins and mirrors.
Other rooms are up on the first floor. The Grey Suite is accessed via a narrow staircase and has grey tadlakt columns supporting its high ceiling. There’s a fireplace as well as a dark metal bedroom suite and a swanky bathroom has twin porcelain sinks and a huge tadlakt tub.
The Yellow Rooms give onto a cosy salon and can be linked to the Grey Suite - great if you're staying as part of a larger group. The Yellow Room has a kingsize double bed with a gold sabra bedspread and matching cushions and curtains. This room is considerably smaller than the suites but it does have a small dressing room next to its shower room.
The Cream Suite has a kingsize baldequin bed plus a second double reached via a steep metal ladder (certainly not toddler friendly). There’s a corner fireplace, a triple set of courtyard-facing windows and a fab bathroom with twin surface-top sinks and a ceramic tub.
The Red Room was a favourite with its kingsize double (can convert in twin beds) and an open-plan bathroom. Here the tadlakt has been replaced by wafer bricking, the bathtub by a shower and twin copper pots serve as sinks. The Blue Room is large enough for a queensize bed, an extra bed and a metal writing desk looking out to the courtyard.
In all bathrooms you'll find monogrammed black and gold babouches and bathrobes, scented candles, a stack of fluffy white towels and flannels as well as full range of Senses de Marrakech bathroom goodies presented in chunky, silver-topped glass vials.
Laaroussa's huge sitting room-cum-dining room provides a perfect setting for a romantic meal-for-two. Its massively high walls are hung with big canvasses of splashy contemporary art and a collection of black and white photographs that tell the story of the riad's rehab' a couple of years back.
You eat at small metal-topped tables which are only just big enough to allow for comfortable dining. We had an excellent dinner and only regretted that we hadn't made time to slip along to the kitchen to see what went into the creation of our meal. It began, after nibbles of olives and cashews, with a selection of hot and cold salades marocains (the lightly spiced aubergine was particularly scrummy) followed by a rich almond, apricot and chicken tagine whose depth of flavour was the proof of its slow-cooking. A tarte aux poires ended the meal on a Gallic note and we enjoyed our chosen red wine, which came from close to Meknes: there were plenty of other bottles to choose amongst. And, in proper Fassi style, we then slumped into a sofa next to the fire for mint tea and chebbakia briwattes, the little honey-sweetened cakes that are ubiquitous in Fes.
Breakfast is a moveable feast: you choose between eating in the dining room, the courtyard, in your room or up on the roof terrace. The latter would always be my favoured option: the wraparound views of the medina are unforgettable. Expect a traditional Moroccan breakfast of orange juice, malaoui pancakes, semi-leavened bread as well as French-style baguette, a fresh fruit salad and several different jams and honey.
If we were to return to Laaroussa we'd jump at the opportunity of helping out in the kitchen. You can even join Samira and Sabah, the riad's delightful cooks, on their forays in search of fresh ingredients in the medina.
The ethic at Laaroussa is resolutely pro-children and there can be little doubt that any vaguely adventurous child would have a ball in the souks.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
The Yellow and Grey Room can interconnect, while the Orange and Cream Suites have an extra bed on a mezzanine. Most rooms can hold baby cots.
Babysitting available by arrangement.
Baby cots available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Special meals are available for kids.