20 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Return Visit to Paradise
"On a recent return trip to Fez Morocco, I was obliged to stay in a well-known hotel for my first night. The greeting was cold and business like and I knew that I must return to Riad Norma, where I had spent four days last summer. When I walked inside I could feel the enchantment of the riad return to me from the warm and generous greeting by the charming owner, Monique, to the desire of the manager, Abdelkader, to grant my every wish. No task is too small or too great for Abdelkader to offer his assistance. I requested the same room, the Manon, and felt I had returned to paradise. After several days of the winding, dusty streets of the medina, I gave myself a leisurely break, and just stayed on the beautiful grounds of Riad Norma with its bougainvillea covered pool. That experience renewed and revived my soul. Riad Norma is definitely the place to stay, if you want one-on-one attention in a magical atmosphere."
- Travel date: Mon 16th of July 2007
"moniques fabulous riad is comfortable, beautifully designed interior, her french flare make it very special,her hospitality holds no bounds and she went out of her way to make you feel you where staying in a friends home, her plunge pool and rose garden leave a wonderful memory, also her lovely cooking, i would highly recommend it, and love to abdul staff and ti ti yum yums her lovely cat ."
- Travel date: Fri 1st of June 2007
Excellent service at Riad Norma
"We had an extremely pleasant stay at Riad Norma. Monique was a wonderful hostess. Nothing was too much trouble and she made us feel very welcome, her staff were also very helpful.
The Riad is a beautiful property and the meals in the Riad were a particular highlight of our stay."
- Travel date: Fri 25th of May 2007
A glorious riad
"Riad Norma is fabulous. We were hosted by a lovely staff, including the owner Monique. An avid music lover, Monique plays arias throughout the day. The house itself is breathtaking and dinner at the riad was intimate and delicious."
- Travel date: Thu 3rd of May 2007
Calm and serenity in a bustling Moroccan Medina
"I selected the Riad Norma from an original shortlist of Riads in Fez based on the reviews in TripAdvisor - and the experience was even better than advertised!
Monique Devaux has created an exquisitely decorated, well run guest house in the traditional Moroccan courtyard format. There are only 7 rooms making it feel very homely and the junior suites are very large and well appointed. The Staff are all well trained (Monique's background is in customer service) and courteous. Abdelkader, the manager, is a jack of all trades serving breakfast and dinner, taking bookings and operating the computer system.
We were a party of 6 and consequently felt that we nearly "owned" the Riad! We stayed for 7 nights travelling out from Fez to visit other parts of Northern Morocco and dined at the Riad on 3 evenings. The quality of the food was very high and Monique, working with her chef, prepared us several specialities - her pizzaladiere is to die for! Having lived in Paris for some time, Monique knows her wines and there are very good whites and reds to be found in Morocco.
The Garden has a pool and large shady trees including several types of orange - the perfume from the blossom is memorable.
The Riad Norma website is worth visiting for pics: [--]
If you need an english or french speaking driver with an 8 seater minibus in Fez, or anywhere in Morocco come to that, call Mohammed Lafkir on [--]"
- Travel date: Mon 23rd of April 2007
"This is , with riad EL BARTAL the most beautiful riad I've been to in Fes (I have tried 5 and seen about 10).
The romms (the suites and not the simple rooms) are fantastic.
All attention has been put in the small details for the renovation of this incredible riad.
The lady owner is French (like me) and very friendly and helpful.
Breakfast is incredible and if you go in the summertime you can bathe in the beautiful garden outside.
But perfection comes with a price (about 120 â¬ for a suite ) but it still is 10 times better than p^laces like riad SHEHERAZADE twice more expensive."
- Travel date: Wed 14th of March 2007
"What a great place to stay. Hope to stay again.
The Riad is a little hard to find first time so it's best to take a taxi from either the airport or station. The staff can arrange this for you if you email them in advance. The food is a little more expensive than you'd expect but the quality is superb.
- Travel date: Thu 1st of March 2007
Truly the best accomodations in Fes
"I have travelled to over 70 countries and this accommodation with its amazing renovation and unparalleled service is on par with the very best accommodations that my wife and I have ever encountered. Monique, the owner and Abdelkader, the manager are so attentive and warm to their guests that we felt like cherished family members. The Riad itself is gorgeous and we have visited many others that have been recommended: Palais Jamai, Myra, Maison Blue and this is really the best- and best value as well. Rooms, garden, pool, open areas are spectacular and Monique is really a treasure of an individual. Have their driver pick you up at the airport for only 15E and consult with Monique about the best places to purchase Moroccan goods. No bearing on Riad Norma yet FYI for touring Fes: the guides are good value at 25E per day but be aware that they have incentives to steer you toward stores where they will receive a kickback commission. Tell them up front that you want to see historical sites and do your shopping on your own! To summarize, we stayed 4 nights at Riad Norma- it was sincerely the best aspect of our visit to Fes and truly one of the top accommodations we have ever experienced!
Bill, Boston MA."
- Travel date: Wed 21st of February 2007
"Stayed for three nights recently at Riad Norma which Monique has refurbished and decorated in a really authentic and exquisite style. BUT although the weather was quite nice for the month of February, we now learn that Monique quite reasonably takes the month of January off to go home to France. Consequently it was very cold inside the Riad. The staff followed us around the public rooms with calor gas heaters, moving them towards us, every time we moved! There was a real fire lit in the dining area, but it was only lit shortly before the meal and then never restoked. We ate sitting in our coats. The meal was fairly expensive, compared with what we chose out of the Riad, and was OK, but rather average, apart from the hot soup, which was delicious. We had had to get up at 4 a.m. on our first day of arrival, because of our flight, and had to wait until after 8.30 to sit down for the meal, and nearly 9 p.m. before we got any food. We were more than fed up when we still didn't have the dessert by nearly 10.30p.m. If you are not really wanting to eat, but pass an evening by I suppose it is OK, Monique's choice of music is good, but if you want an early night, then you have to listen to Monique chatting away to guests and laughing until nearly midnight. Also her cat is lovely, but there is no mention of it in the blurb, which would not be very good if you were allergic. She sits beside you every breakfast, waiting for your yogurt!! It was also unfortunate that her hot water system had failed, probably because it had been shut off for a month, but it took nearly a week to fix, and even when it was fixed, it was only hot enough for a shower, and not a bath. All in all, a Morocco experience, but probably better in the warmer weather."
- Travel date: Sun 18th of February 2007
My memorable stay
"My positive impressions started with the efficient and helpful handling of my email reservation. I was glad to accept the Normaâs offer to arrange an airport transfer to the Riad (Euros 15), as I suspect many taxi drivers might have difficulty finding the Norma, situated through the Bab Ziat gateway down a narrow side street.
Donât be put off by the anonymous unimposing exterior â the interior presents a stunning array of intricately carved Moorish columns, arches, mosaics, fountain, and a patio garden complete with pool. All fabrics and furnishings were of the highest quality, creating a memorable and lasting impression.
On arrival I was greeted with a warm welcome from Monique the owner, and from the efficient manager Abdelkader. I arrived well before normal check-in time, but my room was immediately made available. My room, Junior Suite Lucia was spacious, and together with most other rooms overlooked the main âhallâ â not an adequate word to describe the Moorish focal point of the hotel, which comprises lounge and dining area.
Dinner comprised a good quality set menu of Moroccan food, which changed every day. I did not find other restaurants within close walking distance from the hotel, but it was a pleasure to eat most evenings in the Norma, to the accompaniment of Mozart and Verdi â pleasant but never intrusive.
I will remember the Norma long after I have forgotten other hotels.
Minus points? It seems almost churlish to mention what in lesser establishments would be regarded as normal.
- mineral water and toiletries in the room were not automatically
- I found the room lighting to be poor â to the extent that it was difficult to read at night
- It may be contentious, but I like to have a TV in the room, both for
occasional news reports and possibly as a way to get a further
insight into the country one is visiting. My impression is that some Riads consider TV to be an unwelcome intrusion.
- I was slightly disappointed to be reminded on checkout that the
bill for dinners did not include service â it seemed unnecessary
and out of character."
- Travel date: Sat 17th of February 2007
Excellence in paradise
"When we read the reviews on Trip Advisor we knew that the Riad Norma would be a very special place. Upon arrival our expectations were not only met but far exceeded. The Riad is an oasis of calm and tranquility away from the intensity of Fes, with every luxury catered for.
We stayed in the Royal suite, Tosca (to our knowledge, this is the only suite with a double bed), and it was wonderful and romantic - clean and comfortable yet majestic. We strongly recommend the dinners in the Riad which were beautifully prepared.
Everyone was incredibly helpful, particularly Abdelkader, the manager, who advised us on guides, dinners and directions at very short notice and how much to pay for our goods.
If you want to stay somewhere which will leave you feeling like you have really experienced luxury and culture, we would suggest the Riad Norma.
Ben and Sarah, London, Jan 2007"
- Travel date: Fri 2nd of February 2007
Very nice place
"Only now I find time to write this, but I still remember very lively the nice atmosphere and the excellent service provided by Madame Monique and her team.
At the time when we where there, a review was posted on this site complaining about the service and we saw how shocked the team of Riad Norma was about that. And I must say I cannot imagine the allegations to be true. But whatever...
It's truly a nice place to go to."
- Travel date: Sun 21st of January 2007