I arrived to this hotel after riad-hopping for a good week. I decided the open-air riads were quite loud and smokey at times and I just wanted to get a good night's rest, even though I missed seeing the nice folks that I met. It's a trade-off for me...social atmosphere and authentic Maghrib surroundings vs. sleep/energy for the next day.
My first impression came from the reception; the staff was not very pleasant. They exuded an attitude of not wanting to be there. This differs from the riads because usually it's a group of friends or a family that has started a business so everyone is in a great mood and welcoming you into their "home". That was the first large difference. In a way, I felt bad for them because I imagined coming from more humbler homes and now working in a foreign hotel where you see people all day that make more money....it might not really make one feel good after a time. But still, you should take pride in whatever job you do (the Studiotel Afoud staff in Agadir were the most amazing staff and in a similar position).
The first room was a very dirty-carpeted, musty room without Wifi which I needed to plan the next few days of travel. There is wife in the lobby where at times, there are no seats available. Not even less than a meter away outside of the lobby are you able to get online.
I requested for assistance and they were kind enough to change my room to the one room that has wifi (Room 141). It also has hard-wood floors which was better than the carpet of mysterious stains. It didn't stop a massive cockroach from coming in the room though. The 3 places I stayed in Fez all have them though...there seems to be nothing you can do about gigantic roaches here.
I slept well. No noise, no smoke. But it's an average to less-than-average hotel...the staff don't really smile or seem friendly except for the cleaning ladies. The pool was nice....my favorite part was actually the beautiful grassy area they have behind the pool. You can do stretches there, it's peaceful and quiet.
The train station is right next door which gives this hotel a huge convenience.
ADVICE for getting to the medina/food: The food in the hotel is mediocre at best. I ate the salad bar which was good but pricey at 60DHMs for the area. My advice is to head across the street, toward the mosque and on the right-hand side, there are several "hole-in-wall" eateries with rotisserie chickens on display. There is a place called Snack Brahim that is AMAZING. For 20DHMs, you can get salad, rice, 1/4 chicken, bread..a full meal.. or you can get a tajine (the Grand and Petit tajine is made with beef) for a little more but they have several other choices that include salads, lentils, for vegetarians. The food is great and I discovered it because it was the only one on that side that was full of locals. The locals know! :) I have been everyday and see the same people...now it's become a place "where everyone knows your name" type deal which is nice too. It's better than paying 80-100DHMS for a not-so-great meal at the Ibis.
In regards to taxis...because this has been a thorn in my side the whole time in Fez....during the day, you can walk toward the mosque (only about 300 or so meters) and find a line of taxis near by. Avoid the train station taxis; they want to charge 40-50 DHMS to get to Bab Boujloud when it's only 8-10DHMs and always ask any taxis to use the meter). However, be aware during rush hour (5-8pm), it's much harder to negotiate a taxi to use the meter and to find taxis near the mosque. You also have the option to foot it if you don't mind walking for a half hour. Additionally, during rush hour, some of the train station taxis might take you to Bab Boujloud for 10DHMs but you have to wait for the taxi to fill with other pax (like a gran taxi).
Getting around can be the biggest pain in the a## in regards to staying at the Ibis as you expend so much energy dealing with hagglers but if you just use your feet, you'll be okay.
Overall, the average stay was still welcoming and just fine.
- Also Known As:
- Ibis Moussafir Fes Hotel
- Ibis Moussafir Fes Hotel Fes
- Accor Moussafir Fes
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Ibis Moussafir Fès hotel is located a few minutes from the centre of Fès and the magnificent Médina, a universal heritage retracing the history of the Moroccan dynasties. 40 m from the railway station and 12 km only from the airport, the hotel has 123 air-conditioned rooms and a meeting room for organising seminars and conferences. Guests have the use of a garden with a swimming pool, a bar open 24/24, a restaurant and parking. Tennis courts close by. Golf 15 km away. ... more less
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