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“Oasis in the medina” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Idrissy

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Riad Idrissy
13 Derb Idrissy | Siaj, Sidi Ahmed Chaoui, Fes 30110, Morocco   |  
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Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Price
15 % Summer Discount
Ranked #5 of 176 Fes B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Leicester, United Kingdom
1 review
“Oasis in the medina”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2013

Riad Idrissy was everything we expected and so much more ! The pictures we had seen did not do it justice as its beauty left us speechless. From the moment we arrived (and we have to mention here that our flight arrived at 1am but Robert not only arranged the taxi to the medina, but also sent someone to fetch us and was there himself to greet us at that unsociable hour. What a star!) Robert made us feel welcome and at home. He couldn't do enough to please us from our first day orientation to the fabulous meal Robert cooked one evening in the ruined garden. The Riad sits tucked away just outside the main souks and it was hard to believe somewhere so tranquil and idyllic was only a stones throw away from the hustle and bustle of the souks. The interior design was stunning and every corner of the Riad told a visual story . We had the top room and for most of the week we had the roof terrace to ourselves ( well, we shared with 3 kittens and maman chat!) Najir is an absolute delight and her grace and willingness to please left us wanting for nothing throughout our stay. The morning coffee and tea and sumptuous breakfasts of fresh fruits and homemade breads meant that our arrival home and subsequent breakfast were somewhat disappointing! Thank you so much Robert and Najir, we will definitely be back !

Room Tip: All rooms are different but equally excellent. The top room means negotiating windy stairs so may no...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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131 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
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (43)
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sydney
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013

There is no shortage of raids or dars to stay in Fes, but Riad Idrissy is hands down one of the best. For three reasons:
1) The Ruined Garden. Taking breakfast there surrounded by herbs and even a mulberry bush on a sunny morning is a rare oasis experience in the hustle and bustle of the media.

2) Robert. From the moment we met our host he was welcoming, engaging, full of stories and enthusiasm for his riad and went the extra mile at every turn to make our stay special. He knows where to go, what to do and nothing is too much trouble. I don't drink coffee, just hot chocolate (nerd), but Robert surprised by creating a nutella milky concoction that will surely take the world by storm. A nice surprise that was left in our daily morning hamper by the door. Definitely ask him for a tour of The Ruined Garden (you don't have to be, but may be encouraged to sing from the 'Evita Balcony')

3). Robert's cooking. It is Moroccan, with a twist, as you would expect form a renowned chef. Hence a tagine, with fish (not a traditional tagine ingredient). And he does a mean gin and tonic.

All the rooms are gorgeous, but for ultimate romance, head for the top floor room that opens onto the terrace. It's a lot of stairs, but is unusual for a riad in that it doesn't overlook the central courtyard.

The Morning Hamper. The nutella milk. The Ruined Garden. The welcome. All these ingredients made for a stellar stay.

Even if you don't stay here, stop in for Sunday brunch in the garden or for an outdoor cooking school (the pavilion was being built while we were there).

Room Tip: All the rooms are outstanding, but the top floor room with terrace access is a rare road find.
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  • Stayed May 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Malaga, Spain
Level Contributor
32 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2013

After reading a review on a local South African weekend paper, my partner and I decided to stay at the Riad Idrissy for a week at the beginning of June.

Our choice of the Riad was one of the best we could have made, and we could not have been made more welcome by Robert, who personally met us at the taxi drop off point. He arranged all our transportation, a guide to tour the amazing Medina, and prepared the most incredible food together with his housekeeper Najia (a truly wonderful woman). His almond and orange cake just has to be eaten several times.

The bedroom off the courtyard was spacious and had everything we needed, down to a hairdryer in the bathroom - a welcome touch - and traditional robes for lounging around were found in the wardrobe.

We woke to the smell of freshly brewed coffee each morning, served in a basket outside the room and drunk sitting down on the very comfortable wooden and leather chairs. This was followed by a very healthy breakfast of fresh fruit salad and yogurt, plus interesting and tasty Moroccan breads and jams. I wish I could buy them here each day!

The Medina itself offers a wealth of sights, sounds and smells as well a handmade fabrics, leatherwork, ceramics and much more. Take a guided tour to see the many wonderful palaces, souks, museums and enjoy the incredible tiled and carved decorations everywhere.

We will definitely be back again, and look forward to staying at one of the most beautiful and sensitively restored Riads, which, together with the Ruined Garden, makes it a jewel in the centre of the Medina.

Thank you Robert, Najia and your excellent staff.

Room Tip: We enjoyed the courtyard room as my partner uses crutches, which did not impede him at all when we w...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2013

Riad Idrissy is just beautiful! Although my visit to Fes was over a year ago, I often think about my stay at the Riad. From the moment I walked in I was mesmerised by this stunning palace. It's been beautifully restored with many original features. The room was great, spacious and comfortable, with the added bonus of the roof terrace where we enjoyed our daily breakfast overlooking Fes. Robert and his staff are the perfect hosts. I can't wait to return and see the progress of the secret garden.

Room Tip: There are stairs climb, but top floor is definitely the best
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  • Stayed July 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florence
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2013

The riad is absolutely gorgeous, restored and decorated with a great taste, it's magnificent.
It's even more beautiful than what you see on photos. Beds are highly comfortable, I never ever had such a great sleeping while away from home!
The ruined garden is a great plus and has a magic atmosphere.. Everything is so easy, charming and relaxing thanks to the beauty of the place but most of all thanks to Robert who manages this riad. Great manager and great chef, we had some of our best meals in Morocco and believe us, we are italian and love very good food.
He booked our transfer and tour, prepared a huge amount of mint tea and coffe whenever we asked, served us a last minute lunch (with no previous advise) on our departure day which was delicious
Always attentive, professional, friendly and really nice..what a pleasure to have met him
So do not hesitate and book, no way to be disappointed!

Room Tip: We had the 2 suites at the first floor, both lovely and spacious
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  • Stayed May 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Bend, Indiana
Level Contributor
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2013

Fes is a long way, on any dimension you can name, from the US. Culturally, linguistically, chronologically, Fes is distinct from normal everyday American life. So much so, that even though I love to travel, I was a little nervous about visiting and staying in the Fes medina. As a stereotypical American, I’m monolingual and the idea of actually staying in the “maze” of the medina rather than just visiting it was a little daunting.

Fortunately, that trepidation was completely baseless and a large part of the reason why it was baseless was Robert and the oasis that he has created at Riad Idrissy. For our Morocco trip we reserved rooms at three different riads in the medinas of three different cities. Even during the reservation process, Robert was by far the best communicator and the most helpful. Before we arrived, he was emailing to help us plan our stay and find out what, if anything, he could arrange ahead of time for us. For example, he arranged a guide for the first afternoon and gave us detailed instructions on how to get to the riad for the first time.

The attention to detail and commitment to making sure that our experience was both excellent and tailored to us continued when Robert met us at our cab to show us the way to the riad. He used the walk to the riad as an opportunity to give us an introduction to navigating the medina with an emphasis on specific landmarks to use to find the riad when we were exploring on our own. Every morning he sat down and talked with us for a few minutes and helped us plan out our day and saw if there was anything he could do to help.

As you can see from the photos here and at Riad Idrissy’s website, both the riad and the Ruined Garden are gorgeous. What you can’t necessarily see is the care that went into selecting every item and the unexpected little bits of interest and beauty throughout the place. Things like the collection of ring pulls in a little alcove part way up the stairs or the old posters in the library or the picture of a star made up of books add a unique, non-commercial feel to the riad that just works. (Except for the two gold trophies(?) on a shelf in the ground floor salon – I thought they didn’t fit. Maybe they are the intentional flaw in Robert’s quilt to insure that he doesn’t have the hubris to think he can create perfection?)

I could probably go on for many pages extolling all of the virtues of Riad Idrissy, but I will limit myself to just two more: food and community. First, Robert does an excellent job of bringing the guests together and getting them to interact. Hearing over drinks and dinner how other people spent their days and the things they discovered added to the whole experience. It was enjoyable in its own right, plus it allowed people to share ideas for things to do the next day.

Lastly, buy certainly not least, is the food. Robert, with his extensive interest and experience with many different cuisines, including ancient Roman, and his housekeeper Najia, with her complete grasp of local cuisine, combine to create food that is unique and magnificent. At lunch time explore the restaurants that Fes has to offer. I can recommend both the Café Clock and the Fes Café. But at dinner time, don’t miss an opportunity to have Robert and Najia cook for you. By far, the two best meals I had in Morocco were the two dinners I had at Riad Idrissy.

The bottom line is that Robert, Najia, and Riad Idrissy are the best. I’ve been staying at B&Bs all over the United States and parts of Europe for over twenty years and the single best B&B I’ve ever stayed at is Riad Idrissy. On a ten point scale, Riad Idrissy definitely scores an eleven.

  • Stayed May 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.
South Bend, Indiana
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2013

Our stay at the Riad Idrissy was perfect in every way. First, the Riad is just gorgeous. There are little details everywhere that are just fascinating; even on the third day as we were waiting for a porter to come help us with our bags (which Robert arranged for us), I was still just looking around and noticing new things. You can tell that Robert loves this place & revels in sharing the little details about the Riad that you might not notice.

But, this beautiful place is made an oasis by the host, Robert, and his housekeeper, Najia. When we arrived in Fez, we called down to the Riad from our arrival point outside the m& Robert came out to meet us personally. As we walked in, he started giving is little pointers to help us find our way in the Medina. We had a fabulous dinner with Robert & the other guests both evenings. Dinner made a little community of the guests and we shared our stories about what we had done during our stay -- which gave us ideas about what to do the next day that we might not have thought of. The company, the candlelights, the live music one of the nights & the laughter shared around the table was just perfect. Throughout our (too short) stay, Robert answer all of our questions -- he was there in the morning & stopped by while we were enjoying our breakfast to see what we might be up to that day & offer advice when we asked. I loved the breakfast -- outstanding fresh fruit salad, yogurt, fresh squeezed OJ (we saw Najia carried the oranges in from the market in the morning), and a lovely selection of breads and jams. Dinner was phenomenal both nights -- beautiful salads and Moroccan dishes & when I asked for a special dish of Couscous, Robert made a vegetable couscous with Sardines for a starter.

Staying in the medina is an adventure and with the Riad Idrissy as our home base it couldn't have been any better.

Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Additional Information about Riad Idrissy

Address: 13 Derb Idrissy | Siaj, Sidi Ahmed Chaoui, Fes 30110, Morocco
Phone Number:
Location: Morocco > Fes-Boulemane Region > Fes
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 176 B&Bs / Inns in Fes
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Riad Idrissy is a restored 400 year old mansion in the heart of Fez medina, it is perfectly located for days wandering the medieval streets as well as bespoke excursions into the surrounding countryside. There is a large garden at the riad where both traditional and 'Modern Moroccan' dishes are served. The garden is a rather grand ruined house filled with fruit trees, roses, jasmin & a spice garden. Whole house rental is also available. ... more   less 
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