10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Pitch perfect in crazy Fes
"Of four stays in riads throughout Morocco, the best was this, our last. It does all the right things--genuinely kind and welcoming service, great facilities including two separate bars, great rooms and a fantastic rooftop terrace with a view of old Fes. Alex and Yasmine were by far the most gracious and genuinely kind hosts we met. Location is outstanding--being outside the maze of the medina but within walking distance to a nearby entrance is highly recommended. The Fes medina is not for the meek, making Marrakech seem like Disneyland. Like our other riad stays, the room had a nice decor of traditional and modern North African themes. What made the difference was both high tech and low tech. The low tech came from collected antiques from Europe. The high tech came from a groovy clock radio with Alex's custom mix and other little touches throughout. The central courtyard was lovely and featured original tiles and details from the building. Unlike many 'made from scratch' riads, this felt very authentic. Darwin the Dog and songbirds made the place much more friendly than just another nifty riad. Great food and drink. A full bar menu and wine list was a welcome sight after interminable sparkling waters and Cokes. Dinner and breakfast were exceptional. We had fish that had been hand-selected in the market that day. We arrived in Fes as the last stop on an eight night trip through Morocco. More than a little fatigued, hot and not altogether well, we had long taken off the rose-colored glasses. Riad Le Calife was a perfect coda to our Moroccan visit. Thanks to Alex and Yasmine. (And Darwin.)"
- Travel date: 1st August 2009
Go before it hits the guidebooks
"Simply â this place is great â Since last October (2008) Yasmine and Alexandre (a young Moroccan/French couple who own the place) are creating their own little patch of heaven in a great location, not far from the Bab R'cif. Located up a quiet side alley, Riad Le Calife is a tranquil retreat from the madness of the Fez Medina. The Riad elegantly and effortlessly houses the beautiful and colorful dÃ©cor of Morocco, with a simple European touch, reflecting the harmony of its owners. The attention to detail, level of thoughtful service and overall quality make Riad Le Calife a place to return to again and again. Make your reservation soon though, because as soon as word gets around, it's going to be tough to get a reservation."
- Travel date: 22nd July 2009
Cannot imagine a more perfect riad
"My husband and I just returned from our Moroccan vacation, where we spent 3 lovely nights at Riad Le Calife. Although we did not want to leave, we were glad to have ended our trip at this riad because, as a previous poster pointed out, Le Calife will definitely spoil you for any other riad or hotel in Morocco. Situated in a more quiet residential area, Le Calife offers a peaceful and luxurious break from the chaos of the medina. Yasmine and Alex could not be more gracious and welcoming hosts, and their hard work in preserving and restoring this beautiful building is apparant everywhere you look. The hotel is relatively easy to find (at least the closest square where vehicles are allowed is) and a phone call to the riad will ensure someone is at the square to show you to the door and transport your luggage. As soon as we stepped through the riad doors we were transfixed by the exquisite furniture, carved doorways, and mosaic tiling. Alex and Yasmine offered us a refreshing drink of lemonade before showing us around the riad and then to our room. We stayed in the Amber room, which I believe is the smallest room, but it was more than enough space for the two of us and we enjoyed being on the ground floor and looking out towards the courtyard. We also loved the rooftop veranda, where the view over the medina is jaw-dropping. Sharing a bottle of wine while watching the sunset over the medina became a nightly ritual for us. Altogether, my husband and I spent more time relaxing in this riad, be it in our room, the courtyard, or the rooftop veranda, than we normally do in our hotels simply because it was so comfortable. Let me also add that the bathroom, including the towels, in our room was fantastic- best we had in Morocco. The riad is about a five minute walk to the entrance to the medina. The medina is a huge maze and is exhilarating and slightly daunting at the same time. Even when we tried to follow the star-shaped signs to different sites we always ended up going in circles. Alex and Yasmine set up a half day guide for us and Hussein, who spoke perfect English, showed us more of the city than we could have ever anticipated. Our half day turned into a full day and it ended up being the best day we had in Fes. I highly recommend hiring a guide for the day. After navigating the streets with Hussein we had a better feel for the medina and didn't get nearly as lost on our last day as we did on our first. I also recommend having dinner at Riad Le Calife at least one night. We found it difficult to find restaurants in the area of the riad, and even if they were abundant, I would still say you should eat at Le Calife. You must tell Alex or Yasmine in advance if you would like dinner one night because they buy all of the food fresh that day. The dinner we enjoyed on the terrace was one of the best we had during the entire trip. My husband is still talking about how tender the beef was and how amazing the apricot and cashew marinade was. Also, the breakfast each morning was delicious and filling, with an assortment of breads, moroccan pancakes, hardboiled eggs, ham and cheese, yogurt, and fresh-squeezed orange juice. It was a perfect start to each morning and even on our last morning, when we had to leave around 5 am, Alex made sure that we had breakfast and woke up early to see us off himself. I think it would be impossible to be dissapointed with this riad. The staff are helpful and happy and Alex and Yasmine become fast friends. Darwin, the Riad dog, will surely capture your heart and helps to add a homey feel to Le Calife. My only wish is that it weren't so far away and that we could return again soon."
- Travel date: 17th July 2009
Beautiful, Relaxing, Great Towels!!!
"I had made no hotel plans coming to Fes, and was just hoping to find any place when I got there. Luckily for me, I decided to check tripadvisor for a place, and stumbled upon one of your "best values." I read the reviews and was impressed, so based on the reviews I decided to go ahead and book. I was not disappointed, as La Calife was everything I expected and more. After a 7 hour train ride, and finding a petite cab that would take me to R'sif square, this place felt like heaven. In fact, I did not even bother going out to explore Fes that evening and opted to stay in and have dinner on the rooftop terrace. Dinner was great, but the portions were a bit too much for me (I know, I know, nothing to complain about there - but I was suffering from some slight food problems from the last leg of my trip, so unfortunately my appetite was not at 100%) but what little I did have was amazing. After dinner, Moroccan pastries and tea was served on the other side of the roof, where comfortable couches invite you to sprawl out and enjoy your tea while staring out into the expanse of the city before you. And it was not just dinner, but the entire experience. From sitting down in the afternoon and enjoying a beer in the courtyard, the great guest rooms, comfortable beds, great hosts and staff, and super fluffy towels!!!! Oh, and of course Darwin - the cutest dog ever. The personal service and the great amenities combined to make this not only the best riad I've ever stayed at, but the best hotel I've ever stayed at. In fact, I could have stayed in the riad for the three days I was there, and wouldn't have felt guilty about not seeing Fes at all. I definitely plan to return and would recommend it to everyone."
- Travel date: 2nd July 2009
"I've just come back from Fez, I love the city and I love Riad Le Calife... Their owners are very very nice and they make you feel like in home... If you go to Fez dont hesitate to go to this Riad because I'm sure you will love it... and also have dinner in the terrace because the views are incredible... The rooms are beautiful, all of them, and everything is very clean...Thank you for everything, I'm sure I will come back... LAURA AND SILVIA..."
- Travel date: 24th May 2009
Le Riad Le Calife deserves 6 stars
"We just returned from 3 months travelling in Africa. Morocco was our final country destination with a rough plan of spending some time in Fes & Marrakech as well as a week's walking in the Atlas mountains. We stayed for 3 nights at Le Calife & had a wonderful time there. The riad itself is well situated in the old medina; it's at the end of one of the numerous narrow alleys in Fes but don't worry about finding it - just call when you're nearly there & a friendly porter with a trolley will take care of everything. As we came through the front door it became obvious that we'd found something really special. We've since called it a 'palace' or 'something out of a fairy tale'. We learned from Yasmine & Alex, the owners & hosts, that renovation was completed mid 2008 & it's clear that great attention has been paid not only to the materials used but also to the final atmosphere/ambience. Yasmine & Alex greeted us personally when we arived & were perfect hosts during our stay in Fes. As well as the lovely fresh breakfasts on the rooftop terrace, we also tried the home cooking one night & this was delicious as well. We preferred Fes to Marrakech (it's less touristy) & will definitely be back. Finally there's Darwin, the most adorable, friendly little dog you could hope to meet. He also welcomes all guests &, if requested, will demonstrate his ball control skills - with a full size rugby ball!"
- Travel date: 1st April 2009
Got it perfect!
"My wife and I live in Marrakech...so staying in a Riad was no longer a novelty...but my in laws were here to visit so we thought we'd give them a taste of Moroccan culture. After 3 years of living in Marrakech and working in the tourism industry, I have seen plenty of Riads and 'botique' hotels. I've stayed in some of the most exclusive boutique riads and in no frills ones too... I must say that Riad Le Calife has just got it perfect! Location wise, it's easy to get to. The owners Yasmine & Alex were just wonderful and very helpful. The staff were all friendly. The rooms were exceptionally clean. The showers great. The rooms spacious. the Internet worked all the time! The food was really delicious...the pastilla was one of the nicest weâve had... Bedrooms had air conditioning, flat screen TV, a safe and internet access.... I nearly forgot to mention the many original features of the riad, the fanstic views from the terrace and the originality of the place... In summary Alex and Yasmine have really gone out of there way to make sure that all of our modern comforts are found in the majestic and original Riad that reflects the history of the imperial city of Fez....other Riad owners should follow in their foot steps... Weâll be coming back..."
- Travel date: 12th March 2009
Jewel of the Medina
"This was such an amazing Riad. It was more than I could have expected! Yasmine was such a wonderful host. There was no end to the warmth and hospitality. We traveled with 2 young children and even that was easy at the Riad Le Calife. The food was exquisite, rooms were beautiful, bar and dining area warm and inviting and courtyard a medina oasis. We will come back for sure!"
- Travel date: 5th March 2009
"Le Calife sets the standard for riads! We did not know whether to believe the Trip Advisor reviewer who said that this riad would spoil us for all others but YOU WERE RIGHT! Our stay was top of the line in every way. Breathtakingly beautiful riad, fitted out to the highest standard with great attention to detail while still retaining the warmth, comfort and intimacy of a "small" establishment. We had the Diamond Suite, which was huge and stunning. Our married kids were equally thrilled with the Emerald Suite, slightly smaller but still very large and elegant. Nothing was too much trouble for Yasmine, the owner. She made sure the dinner and breakfasts were very plentiful and varied and absolutely to our liking, and she and Alexandre, her husband, have assembled a wonderful staff. The riad is spotlessly clean, well-located in the old Fes Medina and most romantic. It has a lovely and spacious courtyard, cosy bar and comfortable dining room, and a roof terrace, partially shaded, where it is a real pleasure to enjoy tea, cocktails or a snack. The view from the roof terrace over the Medina and beyond is gorgeous. Our stay in Fes was all the more memorable because of this wonderful riad. We wish we could have been there longer than the two days we spent!"
- Travel date: 4th March 2009
Treated like royalty in the heart of the Medina
"Fes was the first major stop on our road trip through Morocco and our stay at Riad Le Calife in the ancient medina was probably our single biggest mistake (PLEASE READ ON! -->). Purely because this was our first experience with staying in a Moroccan Riad and thus the benchmark for the remainder of our Moroccan tour AND nothing came close to being as good as the experience we had at Riad Le Calife. While the prospect of finding them (we drove our own car from London to Morocco!) in the heart of an 'ancient medina' in a city we had never travelled to was a little daunting, this was made as simple as possible with clear directions and we were also greeted on the road side by our host Yasmine and their bellboy with trolley in tow ready to receive the burden of our (family of five's) luggage! Parking was quick and simple (only a few yards away) and for a nominal daily fee our car remained under 24hr guard for the duration of our stay (without incident). We were then led to what was going to be our home for the next three days and within a couple of minutes found ourselves inside the beautiful Raid Le Calife. The Riad was everything it appeared to be on their web site and more. It was obvious from the start that our hosts Yasmine and Alexandre were very proud of the fruits of their labour - and deservedly so. Everything from the mosaic patio to the uniquely decorated rooms to the huge original restored wooden doors to the terrace bar on the top level with amazing views across the medina was gorgeous! We happened to be the only guests when we arrived so we had the luxury of a guided tour of every room in the Riad and each one had the WOW factor. Again it was obvious how much work and attention to detail Yasmine and Alexandre had poured into their masterpiece. From the moment we arrived we were made to feel very welcome and at home (they welcomed our three young children with open arms!) and nothing was too difficult. Any requests were taken care of without problem or fuss. While we probably only saw a fraction of the whole, the location of Riad Le Calife was perfect giving instant and easy access to the wonders of the ancient medina of Fes. The food was exquisite. Breakfast was a veritable smorgasboard and we were even able to make requests for dinner which was preceeded of course by an apperatif personally selected by our host Alexandre and served in their exotic african artifact adorned bar. To top it all we had bbq (I'm an Aussie:) sausages for lunch on the upper terrace followed by the ubiquitous mint tea. Ahhhh what a life! Thank you Yasmine and Alexandre for a most enjoyable and memorable experience! Peter and Family."
- Travel date: 29th January 2009
Riad Le Calife is also called
- riad le calife fes
- riad le calife hotel fes