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“Best riad in Morocco and the best hotel in the world for that matter.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Le Calife

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Riad Le Calife
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   19 bis derb el Ouarbyia | el Makhfia, Fes 30000, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 87 Hotels in Fes
Geneva, Switzerland
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
“Best riad in Morocco and the best hotel in the world for that matter.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

I'm hesitant to use the word 'hotel' in my title, because when you walk into Le Calife you are walking into your home in Fes and the passion of the lovely owners and hosts, Alexandre and Yasmine. We stayed in the Emerald room and it took our breath away. A beautiful, light and airy suite, which made us feel like royalty. I can only say that this place is truly more amazing than any pictures you'll see online.

Also, the small details in service which is so easily overlooked - WOW! Alex, Yasmine and their staff stop at nothing to make your stay as good as it could possibly be.

I truly hope that we will have the opportunity visit again. I travel a lot and I am slightly annoyed that you guys have now set the bar so high that I am afraid I will never be happy with any other hotel again :) Much love and all the best to you guys! Thank you!

Room Tip: We stayed in the Emerald room and it took our breath away. A beautiful, light and airy suite, we fel...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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517 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (69)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012

Wow! Where to start? Everything about Riad Le Calife is simply amazing! And it's not just the beautifully restored building with comfortable rooms, but also the fact that Yasmine and Alexandre are such wonderful hosts that it felt like staying with friends in their private home. Step in the door and the chaotic buzz of the medina melts away and you can't help but feel relaxed. And that's before you get onto Fatima's stunning food and the charming staff.... This is without doubt one of the top 3 places I have ever stayed.

The Riad

The Riad itself is stunning and unlike many places in Fes, the period features are largely original and not just modern reproductions. Everywhere has a gorgeous smell of orange blossom and cedar wood that immediately makes you feel calm and relaxed. The communal rooms were all comfortable and spacious with a fully stocked bar, lovely dining room and a very smart library/reception around the peaceful courtyard garden.

We stayed in the Diamond Suite, which is definitely worth the extra money. It is enormous and lavishly appointed with period features everywhere - tiles, carved pillars, stained glass and the most beautiful painted ceilings I've ever slept under! The bowl of fruit and mini-bar with free softdrinks were nice touches. The bathroom was spacious and products very good.

Staying in December, it was one of the colder months. Our room was nice and warm with the heating. Some of the communal rooms were a little colder, but then again they do have lofty ceilings and nothing that a jumper couldn't fix! Advice at this time of year is to bring layers as many other places in Fes don't have heating. We didn't really need coats as we wandered around Fes, but some layers are a must!

The Hosts

Without Yasmine and Alexandre, Riad Le Calife would just be a beautiful building. They are truly brilliant hosts and could not have been more kind and helpful. I cannot emphasise enough the value of their combination of French and Moroccan backgrounds coupled with a previous life in Paris, not to mention the fact that Yasmine's family are pretty much tourism royalty in Fes. Not only do they know Fes inside out, but importantly they can also see it from non-Moroccan eyes too. Their tips on appropriate tipping amounts, haggling tactics and ballpark prices for what represents a good deal were invaluable. They also know the best people to arrange trips and guided tours with - we had a half-day tour of the medina with Hassan, who was an excellent guide and really helped us to understand the medina in greater detail than we ever would have done just wandering on our own.

From the moment we arrived, it felt like we were staying with old friends and felt reassured in the knowledge that if we were ever unsure about something, we could ask them and get a decent answer. Being in Fes for only 4 days, this made such a difference and minimised the (inevitable) period of feeling slightly overwhelmed and lost!

The Food

The presence of Fatima in the kitchen just makes things even better. Food was one of the main reasons for visiting Fes in the first place and she didn't disappoint - we ended up eating in the riad 3 out of 4 nights! The food was excellent, typically Moroccan and the portions are huge. I totally disagree with some previous reviewers who considered it overpriced - it might be more expensive than a small cafe in the medina, but you're getting a wholly different experience.

On the second night, I took up the offer of the free cooking class. We were the only ones eating, so I was able to choose what I wanted to cook. I then spent over 3 hours with Fatima in the kitchen preparing everything and chatting about Moroccan food and life in general. Her English is excellent and she is very knowledgeable and the time flew by. I would happily have paid for the class and it definitely did not feel like a 'freebie'.


If you like small, independent hotels and the prices fall within your budget, then I cannot see how anywhere in Fes could be better than Riad Le Calife.

Room Tip: The Diamond suite really is worth the extra money!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Innsbruck, Austria
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2012

Our tour guide from Morocco Overland book us two nights at Riad Le Calife Ourand had a wonderful experience.The Riad is stunning and the whole team did everything to make our stay an experience to remember! Breakfast on the roof terrace with a view of Fez is amazing. Nothing was too much trouble.

Unfortunately due to flight times and connections home we were only able to stay two nights in Fez - definitely not long enough. But a great reason to go back one day and stay again and explore the medina a little more.

We would definitely recommend the Riad Le calife and Morocco Overland tours I would love to return!!!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2012

We really enjoyed our stay at Le Calife during our trip to Fez. The hotel has a good location with easy access inside the Medina. They have clean and comfortable rooms and a good breakfast. The crew is very careful and friendly but definitely the highest point is how the owners Alex and Jasmine take care of you during your stay. They really do all their best to give you the right directions, the best suggestions accordingly to what you want to do and they always like to make sure that we are having a great experience inside the Medina.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Hitchin
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

We stayed at Riad Le Calife for 4 nights and I have to say that on arrival I was overwhelmed by the decor and amazing design of all the rooms - the photos on the website do not convey how impressive the rooms are!
Yasmine and Alexandre were incredibly welcoming and organised and had plenty of suggestions and recommendations for places to see and eat and we really appreciated the tips as it can be difficult to make a decision around the food areas of the medina (because so many people try and coax you in to their restaurant it can get quite frantic!) so that was a real help. We did not take up the offer of a guide although this was available as we were happy to wander but Yasmine and Alexandre made sure we knew how to find our way back - the Riad is quite well hidden but we managed to find our own way back every day and took a petit taxi on the one day it was raining with no problems.
We ate 2 evening meals and had breakfast every day and the food was wonderful, Fatima was the chef while we were there and both evening meals were traditional but presented in a modern way and the desserts were amazing!
The Riad was fairly quiet while we were there (there was 1 or 2 other couples there) and on the 3rd day our room was upgraded (from Ambre to Opaline) - both rooms were gorgeous and lavishly decorated, the Opaline room was slightly larger and on the middle floor but it was a nice touch to see a bit more of the Riad and it's clear that Yasmine and Alexandre are understandably proud of the Riad they have rebuilt and designed themselves. We had a kir with Alexandre one evening and a really nice chat which genuinely felt as though he was welcoming us into his home.
We also had the run of the bar and spent a few very pleasant evenings playing board games over a bottle of wine - it almost felt like it was our own personal Riad on the final evening!

I would recommend this Riad as it is very luxurious and it's design and running has clearly been a labour of love. M. & Mme LeComte are fabulous hosts and will genuinely do anything to help your stay in Fes be what you want it to be.

Room Tip: Ambre is on the ground floor, Opaline on the middle floor - all the rooms face into the courtyard bu...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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chile
Top Contributor
116 reviews 116 reviews
115 hotel reviews
Reviews in 73 cities Reviews in 73 cities
102 helpful votes 102 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

We like this hotel even if you arrive at late night your first impresion can be diferent ,is located in a very dark and dirty alley
On the other hand we stay at rubi suite which means a lot of stairs and an outstanding terrace looking to the medina at your door step i believe that moments spended there worth the trip
Rooms are very big to any standard with every amenity little overdecorated for our taste
I really recomend this property if not perfect has many unique features
The riad is in the other side of the medina in relation to food street were most of restaurants are dont be afraid to take a red taxi its a very inexpensive 10 minutes drive
We recomend cafe clock which veg food was outstanding and Fes restaurant near by which is very very vey expensive (3 times normal prices) but quality was oustanding and view better ,daughter of owner spend like an hour chating with us during tea time adding to the overall experience
We disagree with most other guest we found breakfast less than average

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bethesda, Maryland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

From the moment we arrived at Riad Le Calife we knew we had made the right decision! My husband and I traveled with two other couples and it was the first trip to Morocco for all 6 of us. The rooms are very well appointed and the public areas are beautiful. The breakfast each morning was served in the upstairs terrace overlooking the entire city. Not only was the view wonderful so was the breakfast! Dinner each night was an event in itself with excellent tasty dishes and perfect service. Thank you Yasmine and Alexandre for your wonderful hospitality!!

Room Tip: If you have trouble going up and down stairs request a room on the ground floor.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Riad Le Calife

Address: 19 bis derb el Ouarbyia | el Makhfia, Fes 30000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Fes-Boulemane Region > Fes
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Fes
#1 Luxury Hotel in Fes
#3 Business Hotel in Fes
#15 Family Hotel in Fes
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Riad Le Calife 4*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover the authentic world of the Riad Le Calife, and relish in its harmonious alliance of tradition and modernity. Located in the historical centre of the Medina (old city) of Fez, the Riad is a traditional home of the last century recently converted into a charming guesthouse. The house includes three prestigious suites and four charming rooms, three lounge areas, a well-being space and two terraces with a stunning panoramic view of the Medina. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riad Le Calife Fes
Riad Le Calife Hotel Fes

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