This hotel is beautiful, the rooms are spacious with all the amenities of a 5 star hotel, the food in the restaurant is delicious (ranked #4 on tripadvisor for restaurants when we visited) and the spa is nice. Our room was a great place to hole up in when we wanted a break from the Fez medina. Oh, and the breakfast is delicious (the Spanish omeletes!)
However, I wonder if Fez would be better done staying in a riad with its very personalized service. In Marrakech, we stayed in a Riad where the manager personally gave us directions to every single place in the morning we would want to visit, showed us on a map, and made sure we knew how to get everywhere. In Fez, which is a city exponentially more difficult to navigate than Marrakech, we asked the front desk for directions and were given a map, with some basic directions on how to get into the medina. Once inside the medina, within 2 minutes we were lost, and we ended up hiring a half-day guide to show us around (and we typically like to do everything on our own). Once we were done with the guide, we asked the taxi to drive us to Bab Ziat, which is what we were told to do at the hotel. The driver dropped us off somewhere, and we had no idea where our hotel was in relation. We asked people in cafes, security guards along the road, taxi drivers, and no one knew of our hotel or could read the map that was given to us by our hotel. We eventually stumbled and found our way to the hotel, but the experience was made more scary by the fact that we were being aggressively followed / hassled by a group of teenage boys. When we came back to the hotel and asked what we should do next time, the person at reception said 'just tell the taxi driver Bab Ziat. He probably didn't understand you because you were speaking English.' Helpful.
Because of that experience, we were actually put off by going back into the medina ourselves. That night we wanted to eat dinner at a place that was highly recommended by everyone but was in the medina. The people at reception were unable to give us even basic directions, whereas I feel like the manager at our riad in Marrakech would have personally walked us if we felt uncomfortable. So instead, we had to settle for the hotel's recommendation for an average and expensive French restaurant in the New City because we could take a taxi straight to/from the location.
Finally, the same person at reception seemed very concerned about an umbrella we had borrowed on the first day. I told them that we wanted to keep it until the end of the trip (thankfully because it poured rain the next day). It was strange for a luxury hotel, as at other five star hotels, I have never been asked about making sure I returned the umbrella (even though I always do).
I've actually had friends stay at this hotel before, and they loved the service they received. So perhaps I was just put off by one specific person or incredibly spoiled by the service we received in Marrakech, and hopefully it was a one-off experience.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
January 28, 2013
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Greetings from Palais Faraj Suites & Spa!
I would like to thank you for choosing the Palais Faraj for your stay in Fez, also I thank you for your valuable comments.
First of all I would like to sincerely apologized for the misconduct of my team and the lack of information you received during your stay.
This is not at all our standard of service, and the special treatment we want to provide to all our guest.
The medina of Fez is a huge pedestrian city of 1200 little streets and we definitely ask our guest to have an Official local guide in order not to get lost and visit this beautiful medina the best way possible.
Again I thank you for the time you took to give us this comment, and wish to have the opportunity to welcome you again to the Palais and take personally care of all your needs.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.