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“Everything I was looking for..” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Dar Hafsa

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Dar Hafsa
34 Derb Sidi Safi Souiket Ben Safi | Talaa Sghira Mesdina, Fes 30000, Morocco   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #14 of 92 Hotels in Fes
Cambridge, MA
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Everything I was looking for..”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2012

With trepidation, I travelled to Fes alone and was looking for a place that would "take care of me" in way that a hotel would not. Dar Hafsa met all my expectations and more.
As arranged, they met me at the Blue Gate and escorted me to their charming place; they immediately made me feel at home, allowed me free access to their computer, provided me with a knowledgeable guide to the city (Nadja) and found other Hafas residents who would share the cost of this. They answered all my questions with infinite patience, served me tea at every opportunity. I enjoyed their breakfasts (though as a low carb person, they presented a bit of a challenge). Also loved the delicious, cozy dinner a few of us ordered in advance. Because of the nature of Dars with their rooms situated around an open courtyard, this might not be the place for honeymooners or those with noisy kids--sound travels! Otherwise, I'd recommend Dar Hafsa to anyone wanting a comfortable, clean room in a great location, genuine hospitality, and a glimpse into the lives of Fes natives. Kareem, Aziz and Miriam get my highest ratings. One warning here: Do not buy carpets on your first day, as I did. Look around first, refine your taste and LEARN HOW TO BARGAIN. I think I paid more than twice as much as I should have! Maybe four times as much.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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647 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (80)
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London
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2012

We booked for Wednesday night but emailed in advance to try to get the two preceding days which unfortunately were unavailable when we arrived. The riad looked beautiful but a man claiming to be the owner took us to another riad along the road. Although they knew that we had been on a local bus for 10+ hours he waited until he walked us to the top floor with our bags before he told us the price. This riad was of a much lower quality and he wanted to charge us the same price. When I queried it he screamed and shouted and insulted us. I would have normally voted with my feet by my friend wanted to stay as we were already tired, frightened and intimidated. So we paid the money.

The second Riad was not so bad and the owner seemed much calmer so we cancelled the Wednesday at Dar Hafsa and decided to stay well away from the agressive man. I fell ill with food poisoning so we were sitting on the roof of the riad after a tough, sleepless night of sickness. The owner of Dar Hafsa came up and started to shout at us again! He wanted us to move back to his riad and said he did not get the message of cancellation. He threatened to call the police. He stood over us in a menacing way and told us if we didn't move he would charge us anyway. He told me I was a bad person and that he was a muslim and muslims never do anything bad. The whole time my friend was trying really hard to be polite and explain that we had cancelled and it wasn't our fault. At this point there was nothing I wanted less than to stay in a riad where this man would be. I now also felt unsafe in the second riad as he had just been able to stormed in to scream at us. I stood up to go away from him and he noticed that I really was sick and then changed his tune. He said if we cancelled by email he could relist it on the hostelbookers website and then he wouldn't charge us. So he made us to go to the internet cafe to send an email to officially cancel and we wrote the reason was due to staying in the riad he had taken us to. He came and found us in the internet cafe (a bit more shouting from him) and told us to resend the email without the part about the other riad. (I would guess for some unsavoury reason).

Basically there is a big old con going on. What a shame that this man's horrible attitude ruined this lovely looking riad. I really hope this doesn't happen to anyone else. Maybe the advice I would give would be if someone offers to help you find another riad when you are in Dar Hafsa say no thankyou and find your own place to stay. Or sleep in the street. I wish I had.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
merielove, Propriétaire at Dar Hafsa, responded to this review, April 25, 2012
As with all guesthouses,hostels,we have a clearly stated cancellation policy. Unfortunately ,this guests didn't t respect it or didn't get attention to it. She came two days before her booking date at 10:30 PM in Simana Santa which means there are no availibility not only in my place . They asked for our help and sent my worker with them looking for a place where they would stay hopefully he found a room with 400 dh ( tv,satellite,heater,private bathroom,toilette paper and towels ) also breakfast included .She shouted on him saying that is too expansive and then asked him to keep the room that she booked in dar Hafsa through the agency for the third day,In the third day I sent my worker to help them coming to my place but they refused saying that one of them felt sick ,my worker asked for the payment because they didn't cancell as mentioned in the cancellation policy that was written in the paper of confirmation they recieved from the agency and one of them got nervous and started shouting and humiliating him ,he called me asking what he could do for that I told him to ease them and tell them that we are not going to charge them anything and just to send me their cancellation through mail even if it was late .
In all cases,we would like to apologize for the confusion that had happened . We are unhappy that you felt we disappointed you and it is our honor and our pleasure to provide a warm and comfortable to learn about fes,our customs and traditions,in this case it didn't work
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Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2012

It's great and if I had friends or family coming to Fez I'd suggest that they stay here.
It's family run. The father met us, the daughter runs the days and the son does the evenings. It's obvious that the father is very proud of what his family has accomplished here and there are many awards from booking agents to highlight their commitment to great service. The rooms are very well decorated, the beds fantastic, the showers hot and everything was really clean. The breakfast that you get in the morning will allow you to save money on lunch because it is soo huge that you'll be able to skip lunch entirely.

  • Stayed April 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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Rome
Level Contributor
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2012

The interior decoration of this lovely hostel is amazingly beautiful, with colorful windows and delicate stairs, and the final move is the roof balcony from where you can bird view the old Medina. The hostel owner is a local family with high-level language ability, including French, German, English, Spanish, Arabic, even a little Hebrew. Except the sumptuous breakfast and warm mint tea, a good conversation with the family tells you lots of knowledge on the tradition, the culture, and the religion. 5 star, no doubt.

Room Tip: Rooms downstairs
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  • Stayed April 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
36 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2012

Dar Hafsa is a lovely old private home coverted to guest house with lots of excellent original architecture and an inviting rooftop terrace. It’s an easy location to find in the old medina, with access to shops, sights, restaurants, etc. Our host was very gracious and attentive to details, and we looked forward every day to the sumptuous breakfast we were provided. Though our room was comfy, the bathroom was pretty rough with water seeping up from underneath the tiles and a sink that took forever to drain. We never tried the shower; it was too scary to think about what with the seepage.
There was one thing that really turned me off, however. One afternoon, we came back and asked the owner’s daughter if she knew of a good local shop to buy argan oil. She said she wasn’t sure, but another gentleman with her piped up that he knew of a place and would take us there. Well, he took us to a shop where prices were double what we’d seen elsewhere. Not wanting to seem ungracious to the women there, we bought a few items. Then this same fellow asked us to accompany him on “his” shopping which, of course, turned out to be a ruse and we were led into a rug shop and waylaid by rug salesmen with a hard pitch. Five minutes of that scene and I walked out disgusted. We stayed in 6 different places in Morocco and this was the only one where someone tried to dupe us.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
merielove, Gérant at Dar Hafsa, responded to this review, April 13, 2012
Thank you very much for mentioning the good things in our place such as comfortable room ,the decorations,the breakfast and the roof terrace we really appreciate that and yes that is true that you came and ask for buying an argan oil and my answer was that I really don t know a good place to buy from as you mentioned in your comments and the gentleman who was sitting with me in reception hall and who offered to help you when he heared you asking me about that he was a guest like you in our place and I think you know that ,that is why you accepted his offer which means I have nothing to do with that and I don t have the right to tell you with whom you can go or not so it is not my responsibility and I didn't t know even when had you gone with him .concerning the bathroom when the water is poured on the ground it needs time to dry and each morning we asked you to clean it or dry it for you and you refused finally I am sorry for what you had experienced with that foreigner even if it was not my responsibilities
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2012

I spent 3 nights in Dar Hafsa. I must say I was very impressed by how beautifully decorated the riad was. The room wasn't extremely big, but it was very cozy.
Breakfast was always amazing, I could probably say the best I had during all my stay in Morocco.
The owner and his son are really nice and extremely helpful.
The only thing I did not like was its location. You had to walk quite a lot into the medina in order to reach it. At night, especially after 9 pm, I didn't feel safe at all walking on the narrow, dark streets of the medina. I suppose if you have a man accompanying you, you wouldn't feel scared. However, as women, we didn't feel safe walking all that distance alone at night. Anyway, I suppose this is not a big issue as long as you don't intend coming back so late.
I should also mention the very good price. Definitely worth the money!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2012

I called this place from Rabat at noon on the day of my arrival, and they booked me in with no hassles. I was met at the entrance of the Medina quite late in evening by the hotel staff (son of the owner), who was very welcoming. In general, the family who run the place are very friendly, open and hospitable. They understand that providing good and honest service is the key to building their reputation, and they do a great job at it. The hotel itself is clean and inviting, the rooms (I stayed in two) are comfortable and well equipped. The breakfast was particularly great.

The owner provides his guests with some very useful tips on getting around the Medina. He insists that one should not go into any store to buy things, as most places will give you less quality at a higher price. Not surprisingly, he has his own recommendations on where to get the good stuff, for less. I'd take his advice with a grain of salt: it’s true that he showed me some great shops, but I wasn't convinced that they were much better than the myriad other places one finds wandering the narrow alleys.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dar Hafsa

Address: 34 Derb Sidi Safi Souiket Ben Safi | Talaa Sghira Mesdina, Fes 30000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Fes-Boulemane Region > Fes
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 92 Hotels in Fes
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dar Hafsa is a traditional 19th century Morocccan home. Recently renovated, the house is a beautiful example of fine Moroccan craftsmanship. The ornate tile work and painted doors reflect the best in cultural design. An open floor plan with multiple indoor balconies gives the house a cozy feeling, but not at the expense of privacy. A roof-top terrace offers an expansive view of the Fes Medina and the Riff Mountains.This lovely accommodation is seven minutes from the Blue Gate (Bab Bouljoud), and a simple right-hand turn from the main street (derb sidi safi souiket ben safi talaa sghira) and souk. It is situated on a quiet, clean byway. Those looking for a more authentic Fes stay will find themselves a reasonable distance from hustle and bustle of the shopping and trade.You will feel welcome at Dar Hafsa by the family who manages the guest house, Mariam and Aziz and their parents. They are friendly and generous. English, French, and Arabic languages are spoken well, along with some Spanish and German. Your comfort and satisfaction is assured, and the family can share their local knowledge to enrich your stay. ... more   less 
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