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“The Charm of a Former Age” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Dar el-Ghalia

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Dar el-Ghalia
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   13-15 Rue Ross Rhi, Fes 30000, Morocco   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Price
15% off room rate
Ranked #46 of 87 Hotels in Fes
Cornwall,
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“The Charm of a Former Age”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2014

Not a riad but a dar - the clue is in the hotel name, but check the definition!
Where does one start with the D el G? Possibly with how to find it. The taxi will drop you off at the taxi-stand near to Place R'cif but without some assistance it is difficult to identify the correct entrance into the Medina. Once you have set-off in the correct direction it is then readily possible to follow the hotel direction signs set high up on the walls of the passageways but by that stage you will almost certainly have acquired one or more young aspiring guides to take your luggage and lead you there.
The 2-300m walk up to the hotel is less than auspicious but as you enter through the plain wooden door you cannot fail to be impressed by the grandeur of this wonderful old building. It is a cool, serene haven hidden in the bustle of the Medina. Absolutely in keeping with the character of the architecture, the staff are helpful and attentive with all the courtesies of a former age.
Our bedroom was spacious, measuring some 10m by 4m with ample wardrobe and drawer storage. All furniture, and the wood-burning stove in the corner (which the Management offered to light!) is contemporaneous with the building and tends to be a little idiosyncratic in its operation. I hasten to add that the room was fitted with air-con which had the capability of both heating and cooling. The ensuite bathroom was clean, basic and functional with some potentially lethal steps and level changes. In fact the whole building appeared to offer an impressively wide range of trip hazards. Breakfast and dinner could be taken either in the main atrium or in one of the cosy side-rooms which led off the atrium. Alternatively, the hotel is prepared to serve meals in your bedroom or on the delightful roof terrace which offers splendid views of the old town. The restaurant offers a selection of good quality fare but, in common with most restaurants in Fes, it is overpriced. For residents who feel like a change of menu and atmosphere, I would suggest the Riad Doha (also not a riad!) which is situated only 50m further up the same street. This somewhat esoteric establishment has a mostly young clientele and certainly offers a different experience. Again, the food is well cooked but must be ordered earlier in the day because all main ingredients are bought-in fresh specifically for each reservation.
If your ideal hotel is in the range of Mercure to Marriott then the Dar el-Ghalia is not the hotel for you. However, you would find it difficult to equal the sheer old-world charm and service. Where else would you receive a polite knock on your door at 4.30AM to ensure that you did not miss your flight, to find fruit juice and hot coffee waiting downstairs for you and then to be escorted 300m to your taxi because it was still dark?

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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53 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    25
    17
    9
    2
    0
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4
29
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
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English first
hk
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2014

One of the most satisfying stay in this riad, nicely decor, great rooms, nice friend staff, antique furniture all around, the place is well kept and maintained. The restaurant there were excellent, all food were prepared with tender care, professionally served. Price are fair and portion is big.
I tried few dishes from the menu, and they are all great, specially the soup were really fantastic.
And I end up dinning there every nite. We rented a suite which got 3 rooms. Just perfect for us (5 people in total). And each of us got a good impression of this riad.

I will stay there for sure if I ever come to Fes again. Highly recommended for traveler of any type, business or leisure.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 2
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 January 6, 2014

My friend and I stayed here for 2 nights over the New Year and it was most definitely one of the highlights of our 2 week trip. The Ryad is stunning and everywhere you look there's a picture, mosaic, piece of antique furniture or something that makes you stop and stare. The staff are wonderful and cant do enough for you and the food is out of this world. If you can afford to stay for longer do, but I highlight recommend treating yourself to at least one or two nights here.

Room Tip: All of the rooms seemed beautiful. we stayed in a standard twin which was perfect!
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 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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Surrey
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2013

Lovely old Riyad in great need of money invested on its building and staff training!Very few of whom speak English,the service is not great we had our starter and drink order forgotten one night and only our main course served when we enquired they asked would we like them after main course!!The food was average and expensive for what you get ,they asked us on the 1st day if we wanted a guide and we said yes ,but out of the 6 hours he was with us 5 hrs was spent him dragging us from one shop to the next which was annoying to say the least !on occasions the hot water was not on and one had to ask them to put it on,you are not shown around ,but have to explore your self and breakfast is a selection of different breads with juice and tea and coffee,which was not good enough really considering the price The most bizzare thing was that upon our arrival we were asked to pay the 5 days upfront ,which has never ever been asked of us anywhere in the world before!!.All in all a very so so stay.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Brasilia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2013

For the first time, i got scared with medina with tiny crazy streets. Dar el ghalia provides a kind help of staff which came to us in train station.
Rooms r good but little dark, no problem for old traditional palace.
Ahmed always contacted official guides for us, and let us in safe. Sweety Mustafa and Alamin made us feel like family. I miss them. Cook available, good food on time, the way we want, anytime. Me, my mother and friend really thanks for staff. I recommend. Samia

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingston, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2013

Although this riad is on the pricier end of what you can find in Fes, you definitely get what you pay for. The building is absolutely beautiful, and the staff are very friendly. The view of the old town from the rooftop patio is amazing (I wish we had stayed longer just to enjoy this view more). Breakfast was good, although their promise to provide a gluten free option was not fulfilled. Staying in the Medina is a bit of an adventure, as well, and can be trying. Don't make the mistake of showing up after dark - it can make finding the hotel in the maze a bit intimidating.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013

The hotel is incredibly lovely - it was a former palace and has retained 100% of its charm. The room had a seating area with a fireplace and TV in addition to the bedroom. The lobby/patio is a lovely spot to relax after a busy, hot day. The tinkling fountain soothes your cares away. When you first arrive, it smells a bit musty, but the ambience and reasonable price more than make up for that.

If you arrive by train, you can call the hotel and request a pickup. This is a 5x the cost of taking a petite taxi, but it would be difficult to find your way without a guide the first time, even tho it's well sign-posted when you get close.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Dar el-Ghalia

Address: 13-15 Rue Ross Rhi, Fes 30000, Morocco
Phone Number:
Location: Morocco > Fes-Boulemane Region > Fes
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#27 Luxury Hotel in Fes
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Dar el-Ghalia 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Riad El Ghalia is a prince palace built back in the 18th century.Located in the heart of the old medina's Andalusian district, this magnificent 18th Century palace belongs to a well-known Fassi Family At Riad El Ghalia, all the rooms are organized around the central patio (space dedicated to main activities). There are a variety of different room types, each named after ancestors of the family who still own and run it. Each room is en-suite, and other facilities include lounge areas, internet access, and traditional hammam. On our terrace you can appreciate the Fes gastronomy while enjoying a unique view on the whole medina with its uncountable minarets. You can also relax there sipping a drink at any time of the day. Faithful to its culinary tradition, the palace houses a well-known restaurant with a table d'hotes of great finesse serving true Fassi cooking, the most famous of Moroccan cuisines. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dar El-Ghalia Hotel Fes
Dar El Ghalia Fes

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