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“You can't get a better bang for your buck...” 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   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 84 hotels in Fes
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“You can't get a better bang for your buck...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2013

This guesthouse is located inside the old Medina, conveniently close to one of the main entrances (the Blue Gates). My husband and I didn't get into Fes until well past midnight. Knowing that we'd probably have troubles finding the old Medina, let alone the guesthouse inside the old Medina, we'd made arrangements with Abdul Karim, the owner, to get from the airport to Dar Hafsa. Sure enough, when we arrived, there was a taxi driver waiting for us. He drove us to the Blue Gates of the old Medina (15 euros - which we later learned was a good fare because when we left and hired our own taxi, it was 20 euros) and from there, we were greeted by a friendly teenager who helped us with our luggage and walked us directly to Dar Hafsa. Even though it was now close to 2AM, Abdul Karim had stayed up and greeted us and showed us to our room.

Our room had 2 single beds and was a tad cramp and dark. But there was AC and a TV and the bathroom was a decent size. It is an open shower, meaning there's no bathtub or shower stall or shower curtain. When taking a shower, it does get the toilet seat and everything nearby wet. But, the water pressure and temperature is great. There is a slight sewer smell in the bathroom, especially after a shower when everything is wet. But in the old Medina, because of the leather tanneries, everything smelt a bit off.

The next morning, we were greeted with the generous breakfast which many reviewers mentioned. Breakfast is a HUGE spread of many varieties of pastries, bread and baked goods, a glass of orange juice, a piece of soft cheese, jam, olives and half a boiled egg. Breakfast is served only from 9AM - 11AM, so on days we had to leave early for a tour or to catch a flight, we didn't get breakfast. For bread and carb lovers, this would be THE breakfast. Unfortunately, for us, by the second day, this was too carb-heavy and we were fighting for each other's half boiled egg. If possible, I'd suggest perhaps including or substituting some fruits into the breakfast. All in all, however, considering how much we paid for this place, the breakfast was a real treat.

I do agree with another reviewer's comment about Abdul Karim being a tad over-bearing and opinionated at times. He does comment and ask and remind you to write a review about Dar Hafsa on tripadviser or hostelbookers...while we were still staying there! BUT, we can tell that he is genuinely passionate about his business / guesthouse (which used to be his family's home) and can understand the importance of these reviews. During breakfast, he does sit there while we eat - but we just took that opportunity to ask him about Fes, the old Medina, his family, etc. And although at times him being constantly present made me (not my husband) a tad uncomfortable, he is ALWAYS helpful and offers suggestions / recommendations (whether asked or not).

Abdul recommended a tour guide to take us around the old Medina on the first day and I highly recommend that. No matter how adventurous you are, you need a guide to show you around first and then go exploring on your own. The guides also help keep many children and shop owners from hassling you. Our guide was extremely friendly, knowledgeable and pleasant to be around. Not once did he try to get us to buy anything or seem to favour any particular shop or shop owners. He took us around the old Medina for the entire day. From the very start, Abdul told us he'd be 20 euros per person and that was what we paid him at the end of the day, no surprises.

Abdul also recommended us a restaurant to eat at night. This is where we were a tad disappointed. He'd told us that this restaurant is where 'they' (meaning locals) went to eat and that it's the best around with the very best value. When we got there, we were surprised to see that this was the very restaurant which our guide took us to earlier that day. We were even more surprised to see that we were given the exact same menu (fixed menu where you get to chose from one of two appetizers, main dish and dessert) as earlier that day, except in the afternoon, the price per meal was 12 euros and now, it was 9 euros. When we went earlier in the day, there were a lot of other tourists, no locals, who were also brought there by their tour guides. This restaurant had obviously worked up some deals for tour guides / hotel owners to recommend their guests there...not quite the 'authentic' experience we were hoping for. The food was alright (regular chicken or beef or couscous tagine) but portions were small. However, none of us got sick afterwards. When another couple from the guesthouse ate at another restaurant the following day, they ended up getting food poisoning and had to remain at the guesthouse, cancelling their tours and flights. Not wanting to return to the same restaurant or gamble our health and eat anywhere else, we ended up taking a taxi for 5 euros to the new city and ate at Burger King and McDonald's for our other meals.

The view on the rooftop terrace was probably one of the main reasons why we booked it and why we enjoyed our stay there the most. We spent most of our time up there whenever we returned to the guest house (including eating Burger King up there one night). It overlooks the whole of the old Medina with the Atlas mountains in the background. It's simply breathtaking and stunning.

Overall, this wasn't a 5 star hotel...but we also didn't pay anything near a 5-star hotel rate. We got way more than what we paid for and I'd recommend this guest house to anyone who's looking for a budget-friendly, neat, clean and sweet place to stay while in Fes!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    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 (53)
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English first
Florence, Italy
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2013

Riad fantastic, very good position inside the old Medina.

The Riad is very clean and very queit. The breakfast is amazing very good, and a lot of food, maroccan and continental.

The owner of Riad is very friendly and if you want he can help you for your trip in Fes.

  • Stayed October 2013, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fes, Morocco
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2013

I stayed at Dar Hafsa with my girlfriend and brother for two nights. We were greeted at the gates to the Medina by Karim (very helpful owner of the Dar and has lived in the old city of Fez his whole life). It was great to sit and relax on the rooftop of the Dar which overlooks the beautiful old city and enjoy tea with Karim while he explained the intricacies of the medina.
The service is absolutely flawless and the brekky was top notch!
I will definitely stay here again and recommend to all my family and friends who ever get the chance to stay in this amazing city.

  • Stayed October 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2013

I stayed at this fabulous place with my brother and his GF for 2 nights.
The breakfast we had each morning was delicious, and the man who runs the show is very welcoming and is always available to help you in any way you need.
He met us at the gate where our taxi dropped us off, made us tea on arrival, showed us where to get the best food and experience the culture, booked our tour, aswell as our transfers onto chefchaouen.
Fez is an amazing city and staying at DAR HAFSA will make it all the better!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
Fes, Morocco
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2013

Our stay for 2 nights at this Dar was not enough! The hospitality was wonderful, and the ever-smiling Kareem made sure we had the best experience Fez has to offer. The rooms were beautifully decorated, the beds were very comfortable and the rooftop is a refreshing oasis with stunning views of the medina and beyond. We will definitely stay here again when we return to see more of this unique city. Thanks Kareem!

  • Stayed October 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sesto Fiorentino, Italy
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2013

Very beautiful dar in the medina of fes. great and marvellous breakfast with 8 different kind of patisserie. the owner is very kind; explaining you everything you need to spend a beautiful vacation in fes.

  • Stayed October 2013, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2013

My husband and i just enjoyed a wonderful three night stay at the Dar Hafsa in the medina of Fez. Our trip started off great by us being personally greeted at the gate by ABDUL Karim, the owner who walked us back to the Dar and ensured that we made our way through the maze of the medina with great ease.
Upon arrival at Dar Hafsa ABDUL Karim showed us to our room where we were able to drop off our bags and then proceeded to take the time to give us a complete tour of the Dar as well as briefly explained the history of the medina to us from the lovely rooftop terrace. Our "check-in" process was a lovely procedure where we were served with wonderful tea and sat in the main salon area and overall the process was easy and seamless.
Our room, an amazing three person bedroom space on the first floor was wonderfully furnished with a comfortable four poster bed, a small table with seating area as well as an extra bed and lovely decor. It's a fantastic space complete with air conditioning, windows, a well-sized bathroom with great running hot water and room to move around. Overall of the many, many places we have stayed in Morocco during our visit this Dar and the room itself has been a wonderful delight and surprise in the midst of the chaos of the medina. As well, included in the price of our room is a wonderful, filling breakfast each morning and housekeeping service for our room each day.
On our first morning after our long travels the previous night we were greeted by a cheerful ABDUL Karim who ensured we were more than well fed. Beyond full would be more adequate to describe the feast of the breakfast we were served! Our breakfast consisted of tasty orange juice, wonderful Moroccan tea (mint tea) along with at least 10 different plates of pastries, breads, eggs, olives, and other treats I cannot even begin to describe. Overall it was a wonderful breakfast, by far the BEST breakfast we have enjoyed during our travels in Morocco!
The owner ABDUL Karim has been beyond helpful during our entire stay in providing us any assistance that we may require for any small or large request. He helped to arrange an official tour guide for us, recommended the various sights and foods we should try and what to avoid. All great tips for newcomers to the medina of Fez and definitely helpful to ensure we avoid any scams and losing out on our money! He has even gone out of his way to help me to purchase souvenirs for family at home and to ensure that we purchase products that are not fake and assisting with the purchase of the goods from vendors. Truly above and beyond what any owner of a business has ever done and the amount of time taken to see to our needs during our travels has made our stay pleasant, memorable and definitely something to be recommended to friends and family!!
A must visit if you are ever in Fez and in need of some great hospitality.

Room Tip: All the rooms offered are great options. Our room that sleeps three people is a lovely option as it...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
Phone Number:
Location: Morocco > Fes-Boulemane Region > Fes
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 84 hotels in Fes
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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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