Dar Roumana is a place that makes you feel at home right away. Vanessa has a great sense of humor and style and explained directions with the map to me in a way that made sense to me (“this is all uphill”, “there are three arches”, “look up for this sign”) instead of north, south, or left and right. I spent the first day in the upper half of the medina away from the crazy 9,000 streets but had a great time people watching, going to the blue gate and clock restaurant and other historical sites. At the end of the day I felt pretty comfortable navigating around. What I really loved is that if you want to go out to eat, let Vanessa or Mohammed (an absolutely charming man- alas, too young for me) know and they will call to have the restaurant send someone to pick you up on foot and they will bring you back as well. Now THAT is door to door service! Breakfast on the terrace is heavenly and they serve the lightest scrambled eggs I have ever had. My room took up the entire floor with the bedroom, dressing room, and a glorious bathroom. There is a separate tv room, computer room, and other public spaces as well.
A guide was arranged for me for one full day and Abdelmalek (Malek) was just incredible. He was really, really knowledgeable, his English is great, he loves to talk to people, and has an infectious smile and laugh. By the end of the day he was helping me to negotiate prices- in fact the shopkeepers kept telling me I had a very good attorney. (Although one did ask me what Berber tribe I came from as I evidently picked up the art of negotiating pretty well for a foreigner. I took that as quite the complement!) Malek doesn’t have a website but his email is email@example.com Vanessa also arranged for a private hammam and massage for me at Dar Larousse- it was 2 hours of incredibly divine pampering at a very, very reasonable price.
By the time I left Dar Roumana, I felt like I was leaving home and realized I would miss everyone there. It is an incredible place to stay and on my return next year to Fes, I will be there again!