20 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Beautiful Hotel, friendly staff - Stay away from Max
"The one reviewer earlier who talked about the scam who visited in December was accurate - there was (maybe still is) someone hanging around the hotel scamming young people. I was there in early January. I ran into this Max character at the hotel who had frequent conversations with the girl who worked in the hotel office but he did not actually seem to work there. Max didn't present himself as the owner to me. He told me he was 27 and presented himself as Lebanese living in America and said that he makes money taking carpets back to the states and selling them. He took me to this carpet shop but some things he said didn't really make sense and I didn't end up buying anything. Max actually bought some carpets and the carpet store owner showed me the receipt to suggest that Max was telling the truth. I still didn't fall for it. The thing that worried me in terms of the hotel was that Max spent a good deal of time talking to the office staff at the riad. Further, Max stated that he got a discount at the hotel for bringing people there. Perhaps he was just hanging out there in December and January and is no longer there. Besides Max, however, I received the best attention from the staff. The riad was beautiful and the food was great. Everything was clean and top quality. They should be commended on the state of this gem."
- Travel date: 23rd April 2010
georgous 19 Century Riad with 5 stars meal like Four Season!
"We stayed there 3 nights, and ate 2 dinners there. You have to understand what's Riad first. Mr. Samir,the gracious Riad's manager told me this Riad might be built around 1860, you can see beatiful Moroccan architetual design with antiques everywhere! Riad is like a smaill high-walled , no window faced outside,only inside, with courtyard in the center, usually with a fountain , orange tree and garden. lset's talk about room first. it got hair dryer, soap, shampoo. TV , phone. I never watch TV, so don't know is working or not. with key on both closet doors( double) some suite with real safe box. U2 did come here to shot the "Magnificent" MTV ( check --youtube). room with 4 dim lights( 2 bedside table, one above bed wall, one ceiling light, b/c it's Moroccan-stlyle-deco lamps, not very bright. but they do have chair for you to sit outside to read in front of your room, or by a tiny swimming pool( there are 20 or so room in total). I would say Riad is like B& B in USA, with Moroccan history & style) . Their service was great! Samir helped us reconfirm the flights, and the waiters did excellent job to serve the most delicious Moroccan meal! for dinner 300 Dirham set meal( 8 dirham=1 US dollar) per person, first you have 12 courses salad. every single salad used the most fresh ingredients, and yet, the flavour never repeat! then they serve you the famous national dishe, Moroccan chicken pastilla. outside with very thin crispy & crunchy thin layer of phyllo that was perfect bake & serve it just out of oven hot, inside with mince chicken mixed with some spices, a hint of sweetness. very delicous! then serve you your choice of Tajine( another famous Moroccan national dish)--We had tried beef, chicken and lamb, I like the lamb best. they were very tender, juicy, and lots of flavour, I think Tajine is cooked in a clay made contained that looks like a Pyramid, slow cooked for many hours, and all the moisture trap in the container, that's why meat become so juicy & tasty! it's like new fancy sous vide cookers. and dessert is deep-fried phyllo with some sweet sause on top. with mint tea( their national drink) coffee. so, for $40 with so many decilious food, as good as Four Season, I think it's worth to eat once, though you don't have to live there. If anyone want modern high-tech ,no personality hotel, you may like to stay at a international chain hotel , instead of old fashioned Riad. So, for their good service, food, and beautiful, quiet rooms, I gave them 5 stars review. but you have to understand that never talk to stranger on the train, airport, street that wants to offer you "good deal" , they are not your friend, they just want your money , remember mom's advice, "Never talk to strange!!!" Now, with WWW , google, yahoo..tripadvisor. you can book your own hotel, tickets ( air & train) basically, you can go around in Morocco without a tour guide, it's a country with very convenient public transportation, you can reach any destiantion with Morocco, also, for good tips--always bargain very hard with taxi driver, vendor, shop owner( not shop salesman), within 5 minute drive taxi should be 10dirham( 1.5 US $) for local people, but for foreigner, maybe they will ask for 20, but from airport, train station, the fare never should over 40 dirham, but at night they charge 1.5 times more of the fare. DO try, Marrekesh night market food, it's cleaner than some resturant, why? fresh delivered to market, and cook( deep fried, or slow cook, roast with high temperature.) we ate twice,, never got sick, also try 3 dirham Orange Jiuce, 10 dirham for grapejuice, We only tried OJ, very fresh & sweet, after all, Moroccan are one of biggest export of OJ.( like Spain). DON"T let any snake or monkey or any costumed guy put something on your head, shulder, to take silly photos, just take from distance without theit notice, otherwise, they will haunt you like ghost, asking for money, I know some people paid for $20( not dirham) just for couple minutes posing photos with monkey, or snake. DO bring small changes all the time, when you use toilet( even in resturant) you need to give 1 dirhamfor using toilet. or give small changes 2-3 dirham for someone eager kid show you direction when you were lost in Medina. other than thant, use your common sense, haggle the price down at least 75% of originally price, and final price usually will be 30-40% of originally asking price. for instance, I bought beautiful emboided real leather slipper(tip lamb skin, sole-camel skin) only paid $20, and DON"T walk into a resturant without price-munu, or allow your tour guide bring you toa resturant without price.DO try Marrakesh night market foods. they are delicous and cheap, with price list,too. well, Bargaining is their culture, it's mutual agreement. it's win-win situation, of course, you have to educated yourself first. then you won't become a sucker! or being ripped off. DO do some homework, read some guide book, travel blogs. then you will have a great time in Morocco!!! travel safe with common sense! :)"
- Travel date: 1st March 2010
"When my friends and I arrived at the Riad, it seemed to good to be true. We hadn't booked a hostel in Fes yet, but had managed to meet a man on the train ride who said he was a travel agent, and could get us a great deal on his friend's hotel. We were skeptical at first, but when he said the price per night would be 200dh (30$) to stay in a luxury hotel, we said yes. He mentioned that Bono stays there when he visits Fes. The previous night, we had stayed in a hostel for 30dh (3$) per night, so you can imagine how nice a room with a shower, bathroom, and decent bed sounded. As soon as we arrived, we were treated like royalty, and within half an hour, we knew the life story of Max, the hotel owner. He is a very likable character, funny, charming, and young (27 to be exact) He also paid for our in-hotel meal, which costs 40$ per person. He said the next day his driver would take us on a tour of the city. We did end up doing some sightseeing, but we ended up spending more time than we wanted to at the government rug co-op. This place is piled high with hand-crafted, expensive-looking rugs. As 3 poor, scruffy college students, we weren't exactly sure what we were doing there. After a good 2 hours of looking at rugs and talking, the three of us had decided to split the cost of one of the larger ones. Max, the hotel owner, was there with us the whole time, explaining to us the lucrative business of buying rugs in Morocco and selling them in the states. It didn't seem that far fetched, I had seen beautiful handmade rugs for well over $2,000. And he kept talking about how many other college students were doing the same thing. 250dh seemed like a small investment if we were going to get $6,000 in return, which is what Max promised us would be the minimum bidding price. He said he would get us in contact with an auctioneer he knows in Seattle, where we go to school. Alas, Max never called. Nor did he answer a single e-mail. We recently took the carpet to be appraised... It should sell for roughly $400. Word to the wise: Do not buy a carpet if Max takes you to the co-op, you will get ripped off."
- Travel date: 20th February 2010
This is a very nice riad in a good location.
"Due to a change in our travel plans, we only spent one night in Riad El Yacout but we were very impressed. It was the most lavishly decorated riad or hotel we staying in during our two weeks in Morocco. The room was very large and there were three English language news channels on TV. Another reviewed expressed complaints that puzzle me. Yes, the dinners are expensive, but no more so than other top-end riads. And our dinner and breakfast there were quite good. If you do not like the prices, the riad is very close to the Blue Gate and the numerous restaurants in that area. In fact it is in a great location. The disgruntled reviewer also described the neighborhood as "something of a demilitarized zone." The front entrance to the riad is on a quiet, clean narrow street in the medina. On the rear side of the riad is a vacant lot between the riad and a street with traffic on it. It is not very pretty, but hardly a "demilitarized zone." Its close proximity to the street is actually a plus, because a taxi can deliver you directly to the riad allowing you to avoid carrying your luggage into the medina. Finally, the disgruntled reviewer said they were "locked in at night and not allowed to leave the riad." I did not try to leave at night, so I do not know if this claim is true or not, but I am skeptical. Every other riad we stayed in gave us 24 hour access, so I would be surprised if Riad Yacout locks its guests in at night. But you might want to check on this before going there."
- Travel date: 14th February 2010
"We recently stayed at Riad Yacout where we met our son who now lives in Morocco. Great location, lovely riad, very friendly staff who especially loved speaking Berber with our son. We stayed in a suite which worked out well. it was pretty cold during our stay, but the room did have heat for us to turn on. Hot water was also well available. We had one dinner there which was very good. Breakfasts were plentiful. Location is great as it is right on the edge of the old city. The courtyard and other common areas looked wonderful, but given how cold it was in December, people didn't generally just sit in them."
- Travel date: 9th January 2010
Friendly, helpful staff; great food; beautiful!
"We stayed for 3 nights last fall. The staff was tremendously helpful and the riad was beautiful. It was quiet which was nice since right outside was the hustle and bustle of the old city. Food was wonderful."
- Travel date: 17th July 2009
Beatyfull place, but...
"The place is beautyfull, well appointed, but... first of all, it's at the rear edge of the Medina and far from the new city... just forget the possibility to walk to a non-moroccan restaurant. The staff hardly speaks english (forget about spanish), at some hours nobody speaks anything but arab and some french, specially at night. In general staff is not helpfull, they just do their job. The TV in our room didnÂ´t work propperly (not that we would spend much time watching TV), but although fist the butler and then the manager promised to fix it, they didnÂ´t. Bottom line, beautyfull place if you don't expct too much from the service and if you like morrocan food."
- Travel date: 30th May 2009
Great Fes Location
"We only stayed in Riad El Yacout for one night. We arrived late, around 10PM. Having called ahead, and requested dinner, everything went as planned. We had a delicious Moroccan meal, and very much enjoyed staying there. Overall excellent experience."
- Travel date: 8th April 2009
Staying inside a work of art, with outstanding staff and cusine.
"The architecture, moaics, anitiques, and furniture focus on the garden (riad-patio). If you have the slightest opportunity to enjoy time in this Riad, you should sieze it. We have seen many places, in our travels to over forty countries. The "Tree House" in Namibia was more novel, over looking the roofs of Venice amazingly charming, and a villa in Cyprus very luxurious. But, this hotel gives to the soul the richness ot the culture that it represents and perpetuates."
- Travel date: 10th March 2009
Luxurious Riad Experience in Fez
"I cannot rave enough about this place. I am sure everyone loves their Riad experience but this place was amazing. Lovely courtyard, beautiful rooms, and really helpful and friendly staff. The breakfasts were delicious; lots of Moroccan pastry-type items, yogurt, juice, milk, coffee, and an egg each morning. We ate one âdinnerâ there of just salads (our request for a âlightâ meal) and it was really tasty. When they told us to make ourselves at home, they meant it. In fact, they let us use the company computer to check email (quite an experience since the keyboard wasnât QWERTY). Nice upstairs terrace to see the medina below. Itâs just on the edge of the medina. We loved it here. (oh, and itâs so cute, Bono stayed there with U2 at some point so thereâs a photo of him and the Riadâs owner displayed). This place felt so welcoming and luxurious--the room was gorgeous. Would stay here again in a heartbeat"
- Travel date: 27th January 2009
Poor Service - Marginal Riad
"We had expected a beautiful Riad with great service -- what we got was a a three star facility and one star service (in fact self service at most times). The Riad is located in a strange location -- we needed to walk down a muddy alley. Then, surprisingly, only one guy available to help with bags for 8 people. No one else there to greet us at check in. Rooms were ok, but a little smelly and very dark. Breakfast area was very cold -- while it is normal for Riads to be colder in the winter most have enough gas heaters to keep eaters warm. First could get no one to turn them on and then they refused to move them closer to the tables (leaving this for guests). Breakfast was also funny (albeit sad). There was one waiter/bell hop. So, he was always both hopelessly too busy to bring coffee (or food). But, at least he was very rude (so it added to the humor). No one there to help with dinner recommendations or reservations. No help on check out. We moved the bags ourselves. Only good note -- we tried to pay our extras bill but after 10 minutes effort in trying to find someone finally gave up and did not pay. Two weeks later, still no charge on our credit card yet. The whole thing felt like a public car park where you park your car yourself, park the car your self, pay your self and leave yourself without ever seeing a parking car attendent."
- Travel date: 31st December 2008
Way to go.
"We stayed here quite by chance and found it one of the most beautiful riads we visited in Fes. The staff were all very courteous and helpful, the rooms beautifully appointed and you were treated like royalty. For me the only negatives are: 1. The pool had only a couple of hours of sun on it in the morning as it was surrounded by 3 levels of rooms on all sides. 2. If you asked at reception for any guidance, you were offered the hotel services and it was nearly impossible to refuse. Whether this was henna'ed hands, manicure, haircut , repairs etc. I believe she was not really skilled in any of these areas at all and we would have far preferred to have been referred to a professional place rather than paying her for a shocking nail job. 3. The pressure of tipping was underlying moreso than a normal hotel but this is the case in all riads I believe as it is very intimate. 4. We had to change rooms and noticed that most of the rooms are very dark with no possibility of some strong globes or an extra lamp. We could not see in our dressing room at all, it was pitch black. This also is typical of riads as they are old family homes built in a certain style and typically do not have good lighting on the lower floors. With no lifts, many are not interested to be on the 2nd or higher floors as the steps are uneven and steep and tiring. 5. Riads seem to be typically extremely quiet. For me, actually too quiet. I felt at every moment when I was there that I was being watched as there seem to be so many staff and not enough for them to do. It is incredibly tranquil but after 4 days I needed to move onto something livelier."
- Travel date: 13th October 2008
Riad El Yacout is also called
- Riad Yacout
- hotel riad yacout
- riad el yacout