20 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"This was a great experience all-around. The Riad is wonderful and Jean-Claude went out of his way to do the "extras" that made our stay special. We got lots of info in advance, our reception at the R'Cif Pharmacy was immediate, and in no time we were having mint tea on the terrace. The Riad architecture and decoration were immaculate and the service exceptional. Jean-Claude is a great host and has a great team in Simo and Rachida. He even set us up with a wonderful guide, Fettah, who took us around Fes the entire day. He did a great job explaining everything and keeping our daughters, ages 15 and 11, engaged throughout. He even set up cooking lessons for us at a nearby Riad. Everything about our stay was perfect and we are extremely grateful to Jean-Claude. Book Riad Laayoun now...there is no way you will be disappointed."
- Travel date: 16th April 2010
"A beautifully restored gem. Located close to the center of old city (medina). We had an absolutely fabulous two -level room. Bedroom on the first level and bathroom on the second one. Could be an issue for people who have trouble to use stairs. With a lot of city noise, dust and smell outside, like it is suppose to be in old Morocco city, inside there is quite and cool. Very nice patio overlooks an old city. Location is very convenient to explore the medina with it's narrow and dark passages and multitude of souks (markets) but some people may not like late evening strolls in the dark area full of suspiciously looking (but mostly harmless) young people. As everywhere in Fes, there is a lot of petty harassing of tourists for a small change around the hotel. There is an exceptionally helpful staff and owner, which is not typical for riads (small Arabic hotels). You can expect a lot of helpful hints in excellent English."
- Travel date: 11th April 2010
"I can not believe that Riad Laayoun is not ranked one of the Top Values in Fes. I am so grateful to have stayed in such a beautiful place for such a economical price. Not only was the property beautiful, but Jean Claude was the perfect host. I would like to apologize to him for taking so long to post my review - I told him when I left that I would be praising his riad on tripadvisor as soon as I returned, and here we are six months later ... The night we arrived, my friend and I were suppose to have dinner at the riad - then get our bearings during the day time. There was some sort of mix up and dinner had not been prepared for us. Thus, we had to go out in the very confusing maze of streets in order to get dinner. Jean Claude saw the fear in my eyes and made sure we were escorted to a nearby restaurant. There were lots of turns along the way, and I was worried about the return trip, so the hotel called the restaurant to make sure that we knew that another couple arriving after us were also staying in the hotel and would return with us. The next day, Jean Claude must have felt bad about the dinner mishap because he was kind enough to take us into the medina and help us get our bearings. I was convinced we needed a tour of the area, but my friend did not want to pay for one. Jean Claude helped us understand the signs to follow and how to get to the main attractions. My friend was right, with Jean Claude's help, we were able to understand the city streets much quicker than I could have ever imagined. I had read many horrible stories of the people in the markets being aggressive, but I found the people of Fes to be extremely nice and fun to haggle with. We were two blonde females, and we never felt threatened. Fes was a wonderful experience. One more thing about Fes - several people have written that they were bothered by many aspects of the tanneries - I do not eat meat, so I was not sure how I felt about going - but I found the whole thing fascinating and was not bothered by the smells because we were given mint leaves. Sorry, I have started writing about Fes instead of the hotel. My friend and I stayed in the Paprika room - it was a basic room and provided everything we needed, but we did not spend much time in the room. We spent all spare time at the hotel in the courtyard, it was absolutely gorgeous. Our meal was good - but the atmosphere is what made it so special. I definitely recommend eating in one night. Thank you Jean Claude for a wonderful stay!"
- Travel date: 29th March 2010
Very well run...
"In the southeast quadrant of the Medina and not on the main "tourist lines", which is a blessing as well as a bit of a challenge. Head deeper into the medina by traveling north, northwest or west and you will find places that no other westerner has ever been to (kidding... maybe). Rest assured, you'll never be more than 5 Dhms away from where you want to go (have a pocket full of the coins, and the young school boys will guide you in the correct direction... illegally apparently). Alternatively, a few minutes to the southeast and there is a major taxi stand that can take you to the blue gate for less than a euro (~6.8 Dhm + tip, 11 Dhm = 1 euro). As for the Riad, very well restored and attended to. Try to splurge on one of the ~suites... I popped my head into a couple and they looked very appealing. I stayed in the "Paprika" room as I was a single male traveling alone. Not exotic or romantic... but then again, I was a single male traveling alone. It was clean and a very good value. Staff is extremely willing to address your needs, whatever they may be. I was fortunate enough to meet the owner and he is by far the nicest "hotel operator" that I have ever met. I truly hope he is there when you visit! The riad also has an affiliation with one of the official guides. His name is Fettah and I would encourage you to utilize him even if you are unable to make arrangements for a stay at the riad ([--], English & French)."
- Travel date: 23rd March 2010
A memorable experience
"The moment we walked into Riad Laayoun we were overwhelmed by its grandeur and beauty. The 400 year old Riad has been lovingly restored using traditional craftsmen which has maintained the Riads authenticity and soul. The intricate detail on the wood, plaster and Zellij tile-work is simply stunning. We stayed in the very comfortable suite Safran which had everything we could have wished for, including great water pressure in the shower and a massive wooden front door. The location of Riad Laayoun was perfect. We were immediately able to get lost in the medina, but the proximity of the Riad to Place RâCif made navigation home very simple indeed. Rashida made the tastiest vegetarian food of our trip (including great breakfasts), Simo was so kind and attentive at all times and Jean-Claude seemed like an old friend. All in all any number of words will fall short of describing the pleasure of our stay, but Riad Laayoun made our stay in Fes memorable, and hopefully we will be able to return soon."
- Travel date: 24th February 2010
unbelievable; could not have been better
"Jean Claude, Simo and Rachid went out of their way to make sure everything was perfect. From our meeting with Abdoul at the airport, to our good bye, everything was great. Be sure to try Rachid's pastilla. It was amazing. It rained a lot all four days we were there, so we spent quite a bit of time in the Riad. It was spacious and very welcoming. Although a riad is not built for really cold temperatures, JC provided electric heaters and a propane heater in the dining room. Our guide Fettah was great. There is a lot of construction in Fez, bring old boots (I am not kidding!). The donkeys are a real danger in the little streets. They are overloaded and do not walk straight! The hamman JC recommended was great."
- Travel date: 16th February 2010
Great value for a beautifully restored old riad
"Riad Laayoun, which is located in the Medina of Fez, is not right in the very heart of the medina-- it is a little out of the way from the the mosques, madrassas, and shops, but it is only about a 10-15 minute walk to get to those parts. The riad itself is incredibly beautiful-- even more so than most of the madrassas I toured in Fez and Meknes. The manager told me it was about 400 years old. The Islamic decor and architecture in the first courtyard you see when entering the building is almost breathtaking. I found the room to be a good value (it was 60 euros/night). Be sure to bundle up if you are coming in the winter. Though the bedrooms have heaters, the rest of the riad is chilly, including the dining areas. The breakfast was simple- crepes with jam and honey, but it came with the price of the room. The dinner meal was tasty, but far more expensive than you would pay for an equally tasty meal at some of the restaurants in the touristy part of the medina. If you have the time, I highly recommend taking a day trip to Volubilis and Moulay Idris. The riad can arrange for transportation. Volubilis and Moulay Idris were the absolute highlight of my trip to Fez and Meknes."
- Travel date: 24th January 2010
A hidden gem
"Fes is a wonderful city to discover the culture of Morocco and our visit was made even more special with our stay at Riad Laayoun. It has been lovingly restored and its elegant accomodation comes with extremely helpful staff and excellent home-cooked meals. We definitely recommend this charming and elegant riad to anyone who is visiting Fes."
- Travel date: 14th January 2010
We love Riad Laayoun!
"We had an amazing time at Riad Laayoun, which must be one of the most beautifully restored guest houses in the whole medina. The value, service and ambiance are all top-notch. We were a group of four adults, so we got to experience two of the lovely rooms. The Paprika Room is quite small, but cozy. The Cannelle suite was gorgeous and had a spacious, creatively placed bathroom (it's up a spiral staircase!) There was plenty of hot water (and great water pressure). The rooftop terrace has a lovely view, and would be a great hangout in warm weather. (We were there in winter and it was a bit too cold, though we did enjoy a spectacular sunrise). The dinner, cooked by Rashida, was a feast (traditional soup, side salads and tagine with fruit for dessert). The breakfast (included) was filling and excellent (crepes, fresh bread and jam, coffee, fresh orange juice, mint tea, etc.) Owner Jean-Claude was not there when we visited, but his second-in-command, Simo, was wonderful. He went out of his way to make our stay comfortable and worry free. We would also like to compliment our medina tour (which Simo arranged). A guided tour of the medina in Fez is a must, and we highly recommend our guide Anouar (pronounced Anwar in English). He was a nationally certified guide who speaks fluent English (along with French, Arabic and German!) and knew everything there was to know about the medina. He also introduced us to Moroccan street food and market shopping, which totally transformed our trip (and many subsequent meals!) The only slight hiccup was that our ride from the train station did not materialize. Once we called, however, Simo sent someone right away. It is pretty much impossible to find the riad on your own the first time, so a ride in is necessary. Arrange in advance and be sure to have the riad's number handy when you arrive. Overall, Riad Laayoun absolutely deserves its reputation as one of the best in Fez. A visit here will not disappoint. We'll definitely be back!"
- Travel date: 4th January 2010
Lovely and great value location
"I felt so lucky to find this Riad in Fez. Jean Claude is a marvelous host. I felt like part of the family while staying at the Riad, like I could always call Jean Claude on his cell phone and ask for advice, because he naturally thinks of how to make your Morocco experience exceptional. For example, when we mentioned we wanted to go to the desert after a few days in Fez, he remember seeing a place online that looked amazing and called that place on our behalf to gather extra info for us (even got us a better deal for that other extremely wonderful location). So, the very first reason I would go back to Riad Laayoun is the people: so welcoming, and positive. The rooms and beds are very comfortable, warm -- a great place to rest. The setting is beautiful in terms of the architecture, the details, but with all modern comforts added on top. A great value for the quality and comfort of accommodations. Reason number two I would go back. Last, but not least: the food. We did not get a chance to eat at the Riad itself, except for the breakfast which is delicious and plentiful (typical, carb-based Moroccan breakfast). However, Jean Claude gave us some awesome food recommendations. We must have had one of our best meals in Morocco (if not the best) at a place he recommended to us, run by a French lady, who prepares one melt-in-your mouth entry every evening, which can be ordered with or without a dozen (or more) small cups of fresh salads/vegetables/olives/spreads... followed, of course, by dessert."
- Travel date: 12th December 2009
"What a surprise! For a first timer in Fes, walking through the maze of the Medina, even the short distance to the Riad Laayoun is rather intimidating, but once arrived the surprise of what lay in store was really fantastic. The owner of this Riad has such a lovely property but clearly understands that good staff and little touches make the difference. The breakfast and dinner were both excellent. Recommendations for a guide and a Hamam were both fulfilled immediately and with perfect results. If you can specify that you would like the large room on the ground floor, I highly recommend it!!"
- Travel date: 25th November 2009
Terrific stay! A pearl in the sea of riads!
"We thought that after our riads we had in Marrakesh we stayed in some great places...BUT that was before we stayed 2 nights in Riad Laayoun. THIS is the real deal if you talk about a riad in terms of original looks combined with hospitality and uniqueness. We payed 60â¬ for a double and compared to what we payed for other stays in that category and received for it...there is NO WAY around Riad Laayoun in Fes! Dont search for anything else too long: Go to Riad Laayoun! Despite the maze of the Fez Medina the Riad is easy to find from Place Rcif, nevertheless use the offer from Jean-Claude to get picked up from there. Staff was...hmm...was means staff...I rather would say friends since the whole stay was like a visit at friends: Jean-Claude, Loup and Rachida and Simo will welcome you and take care of you in an unbelievable manner. And one more thing: Eat there at least once! It is terrific what Rachida, Simo and Jean Claude will fix for you! It is worth it! Not to mention the uniquness and beauty of the rooms and the riad itself! unbelievable art work! The Riad AND Jean Claude and his friends will leave you stunning after your visit to Fez."
- Travel date: 25th October 2009
Riad Laayoun is also called
- hotel riad laayoun