7 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Overpriced...Â£1,100 for 3 nights is just obscene
"Spent 3 nights here & ate here twice and the bill was over Â£1,100. The most dissapointing place I have ever stayed at.
Billed as top class luxury I knew it would be expensive, but the surcharge at check out of Â£45 a night for double occupany was a shock and the last nail in the coffin of honesty. I felt shafted from the moment my taxi driver dumped us in the wrong place and a local who became agressive demanded excessive amouts for guiding us [without request]
We stayed in the "Kings suite" [Ines] which was lovely [honestly would a single bloke book a suite] but claustrophobic looking into an enclosed small courtyard. Quite why the surcharge was not mentioned at check in is beyond me, but represents how we felt about the place. They are simply perpetrating a con trick and squeezing every cent from the unwary guest. Pretentiousness is the word that springs to mind except there was not the charm to carry that off properly!!.
Breakfast was Ok .....this is a small place with limited resources, but the evening meal was served without much charm and was ordinary. Is Â£90 for two with a bottle of local wine and no deserts is reasonable in a third world country ? ...a local street restaurant meal more tasty by far at Â£5 was a better bet.
The view from the roof terrace is over a rubbish dump and unless with friends on a warm night I'm not sure why anybody would want to be there. No view at all. In our case it was compounded by cold wet weather and we soon retreated to the room frankly bored.
I suppose we could have had a "Hannam treatment", but it was not offered and the unit seemed closed. Again silly prices.....this is not the Ritz but a manufactured facility in the middle of a slum.
Not having taken any wet gear the rain and cold was a real killer. Many places would have a courtesy umbrella or something, but nothing here nor any suggestions or help in obtaining such. So we sat in the room and read...... we were of course offered a guide with car who for money would drive us out , but it seemed just another excuse to screw money from us.
The souk is great as an open air museum and I know folks buy stuff to take home, but we did not which is a shame as we would support the clearly poor local traders especially the spices if we understood what was on offer. Here the Riyad could have helped...they had no maps, books or tourist information at all. A dosier on the local facilities/products would have been invaluable.
But then they would probably want to charge. The staff most often seemed to look at you sideways with a sort fo sneer..as if to say you are rich and I am having some of it. Ha ha!!
No it just was not a hospitable or genuine place and we left with happy hearts for the airport. The taxi driver to the airport was by far the nicest person we met and I wish we had have had enough money left to tip him properly for his efforts."
- Travel date: Wed 8th of April 2009
Most Romantic & Beautiful place to stay with excellent service...a hidden paradise!
"We stayed in room OUM KALTOUM. Absolutely gorgeous! The staff was so accomodating. The service was excellent! The room and the Riad was absolutely amazing! The location was great as well, really close to the souks! Only regret was that I wish we could have stayed longer."
- Travel date: Mon 9th of March 2009
"We arrived on a cold, dark, wet December evening. We entered through an ordinary looking door into an extraordinary space. The Riad was beautiful, lovely decor and tasteful furniture.
Our room was everything we had expected and more, it was large with a good sized bathroom and proper bath. The bowl of fruit and plates of local pastires was very much appreciated.
We ate in the restraunt and found the food excellent and very reasonable. The staff were attenative and it was clear that the hotel wanted their guest to really remember their stay. We certainly will remeber our stay and hopefully return again."
- Travel date: Tue 3rd of February 2009
The place to be
"I donât know any other hotel in Fes, but I simple donât think I would need that.
Just spent a night at the Riad Maison Bleue, and I can only recommend it at the highest level. The location is simply perfect: just at one of the doors of the Medina, but also on a very accessible area. Maybe the doors are difficult to find, but a simple call to the Reception and we got a man to guide us to the Riad.
Once inside we were greeted with green mint tea, and installed in the courtyard in order to fill in the registration forms. All very discreet, as service was during our stay. Donât expect so called âtop-classâ service with up-nose staff feeling richer than you because they met Madonna last week. Just relax, because you will feel at home.
We had booked two suites and boy were they great! All so authentic, all so well appointed, great fruit-baskets in each suite, perfectly working air-con, both suites facing the quiet, lovely, fresh and impressive courtyard. Our suite with two beds was quite large, with a separate living room and a bedroom with an en-suite living area as well. The queen-size bed suite was a large room with an en-suite living area including two great sofas, and a âbaldaquinâ bed. Bathrooms were simply beautiful.
Again, donât look for state-of-the-art amenities, like Bvlgari toilet products or a perfectly equipped minibar. You are at a small Riad in Fes, close to the Medina, not in London or Geneva. However, everything worked fine, something you cannot assure in many well known European palaces, and both TVs were set in the Spanish channel. I can tell you not all 8.000 euros per suite hotel do that... Itâs a silly detail, but it is appreciated (even though I switched to an Arab chain as soon as I could and even though you probably wonât be watching TV when the Medina is waiting for you 24 hours a day).
We booked a guide through the hotel. The man was perfect: he knew everything, took us to the places we wanted to see (rather than to the places were he would like us to go), to a great restaurant, shopping, helped us discussing prices, showed us the Medersa and lost corners of the Medina, and all for such a small feeâ¦ And he was there within 10 minutes after we requested the service to the hotel manager, speaking very good Spanish.
Diner and breakfast were at the Riad as well. Really, you donât need to go out for diner when you are at this place. Simply relax in your suite after the long day, and come downstairs for a great and typical diner, where service will be perfect and food just awesome. Donât be surprised by water served in plastic bottles, or for only having one waiter: you are in Fes, not in Paris âchez Alain Ducasseâ. Entries are wonderful, main courses as well, but leave a place for the best desert youâll ever have. And all with live music from some really funny musicians. Ok, the restaurant is quite expensive for the Medina standards, but itâs still great deal for Europeans.
Breakfast was astonishing. I had never had such breakfast before, starting with a bowl of some kind of cooked rice on a spicy sauce (but simply perfect), a true orange-juice (oranges are impressive in Morocco, and the one telling you this is from Spain, main producer in Europe), and then great pastries with crÃªpes and Moroccan pies with honey or jam. The best thing to get ready for a long trip back through the mountains.
All in all, we came looking for a true Fes experienceâ¦ and this is what we got. If you are looking for the same, maybe one or two nights, or maybe more, stay away from the big hotels in the modern area of the city (which is actually quite far away). Get inside here, and feel the city as it must be felt. Donât worry for the noiseâ¦ it is surprisingly quiet inside the Riad. They also have another sister hotel, with swimming-pool, spa and soâ¦ Didnât have the time to check it, but didnât miss it. If you cannot leave without those facilities, stay only for one or two days in Fes before going back to your resort, but consider that a resort can be found anywhere in the world, being all more or less the same. A Riad at the Medina is different. Once you know this one in particular, you donât feel like needing any other."
- Travel date: Thu 16th of August 2007
Adored the Riad
"My cousin and I stayed at the Riad on our very first visit to Fes (and Morocco for that matter). It proved to be an excellent choice - the hospitality and service was first rate. The Riad itself was an oasis of calm. We had a suite with a large living area (with windows looking out to a great view of the Borj and Merinide Tombs-see one of the photos for a sample), a full dining area, and a luxurious bathroom. My mini facial was excellent; the breakfasts are divine; the list goes on and on - I honestly cannot fault it! My only regret is that we didn't stay long enough. It made my first visit to Fes, hopefully one of many, very memorable. Full compliments to Younes and the staff. I must also mention their excellent choice for a guide in Hicham Chakir. (by Ann - Surrey, England)"
- Travel date: Sun 1st of April 2007
Earns its Most Romantic rating
"We moved here for the last night of our Morocco adventure, having a very bad taste after a previous night at Zalagh Park Palace. Advertised as 5 star, but really 3 at best. Glad we left there, because....
Riad Maison Bleue is absolutely delightful, with superior service in every respect. Rooms are very large and authentically Moroccan. Many creative and artistic touches, plus funny little twisting staircases leading to fantasy hideaway rooms and terraces. We LOVED the whole experience.
Its "sister" is La Maison Bleue, where we went for dinner. Also an excellent choice for accommodation, though more straightforward than the Riad Maison Bleue. We like the unconventional room arrangment at the Riad better. Both would offer superb service.
If you've never eaten a Moroccan feast in an old Riad, "La Maison Bleue" is a good choice. However, we didn't find it especially different or outstanding. Certainly an excellent dining experience, just maybe a bit overrated...unless you've never dined this way.
Also, you can walk right in to the medina with no taxi. It's just across the parking lot from Riad Maison Bleue. Very helpful and gracious staff will show you the way.
This is the kind of place where the staff individually thanks you for your stay, and walks you down the the path to personally place you in your cab to the airport. Even kept the trunk open to show us that everything was safely packed. Can't say enough glowing good stuff about the gracious staff.
Also, can heartily recommend the services of excellent english speaking driver/guide, Hamid Khalifi. Mobile: 061.25.04.42. Trustworthy, knowledgeable, and a wonderful generous kind hearted man. Nice Mercedes, has worked for major top-flight tour companies and knows his stuff."
- Travel date: Thu 23rd of November 2006
"We're a couple from New that just got married, and we've chosen Morocco to spend our Honeymoon. Riad Maison Bleue was a very wonderful experience that we will never forget. The service was excellent, the food so delicious, and we are sure that we will be back to that wonder land: Morocco."
- Travel date: Wed 22nd of March 2006