Riad Laaroussa was a spectacularly great riad; in fact it was the best riad we have ever experienced, in terms of services, our room, facilities and food.
About Our Stay
# of Members: 3
Days Stayed: 3 nights
Service Used: Car to/from the riad
The riad is around 20 to 25mins away from Bab Boujoloud, one of the highlights of the medina and where all the cheap, delicious restaurants are. It is only a minute of walk from Seguira street(one of the two main streets), and despite the whole medina is a huge maze, you only have to take two obvious, immediate turns from Seguira street to the riad. Because of the simpleness of the route and the closeness to a major, populated area of the medina, we were able to do all the sightseeing without getting lost even once.
Service and Hospitality
The staffs were friendly in a family-like way, talking to us frequently. They even took pictures of us, and sent them on e-mail immediately after checkout. They were all eager to provide us with the best hospitality they had.
Upon our arrival (which was quite late, and we were tired from travelling 24 hours), we had been offered our first servings of mint tea and Moroccan sweets. We weren’t asked to check in, or to fill our papers until the next night. They didn’t even ask us of our names, but they probably had it after we met our driver at the airport.
During the stay, we were offered yet another offering of mint tea and sweets, after a whole day of walking around in the medina. The cleaning always seemed to be done while we were away, which meant they closely kept check when we left our rooms, and when we usually came back. They also had a special system of tipping. They have set up a tipping-box in the office, and so any money put in there would be equally shared amongst staff. This was a very fair idea, even innovative, as many hotels and riads turn a blind eye to unfair tipping.
Almost all the staffs spoke fluent English, and we had no problem communicating, except for the cat and two dogs.
Room – The Orange Suite
Our room was simply magnificent. It felt quiet and homely, compared to all that busy bustling medina.
The room is located on the north side of the Riad. The door to it is elaborately decorated in Moroccan-style—it looks like the entrance gates of some madrasa, only they are used as gates of each room doors. On opening the door (which opens outwards, the room floor is 15 to 20cm higher than the corridor) you notice a red curtain going all the way from the ceiling of the second floor right to the floor, and that will block just about anyone’s view in.
The room has mainly 4 different sections. Furthest to the left is the bedroom, where there is a double bed with bookshelves containing books in English, French and Arabic. It also has a desk and a chair. Next to the bed is a large window, looking out to the courtyard, and next to that is a built-in wardrobe, containing a small security box and other amenities. In the center of the room (and in front of the door) is a set of sofas, placed close to the fireplace so that we keep ourselves warm in the cold (it was March) nights in Fes. Yes, the fireplace is lightable, and in the evening the staffs will come to your place lighting up those newspapers. Over the fireplace is a staircase taking you to the second floor. The staircase was a bit of a fright to us, because despite each steps were 20cm high but only had 15cm of plank to step on, so when going down the stairs in those babouches, we had do be careful not to roll down the stairs. Anyways, going upstairs, there are two single beds, with a small window and a lighting desk in between. There is a furniture wardrobe, and another desk but the legs rattle. Right below the second floor is a bathroom, probably one of the most luxurious one I’ve seen. It has two sinks, each with elaborate Moroccan designs. Everything there was quite luxurious and Moroccan-looking.
We liked and enjoyed each and every part of the room, probably no furniture, no painting was placed there without thought. Despite all the brilliantness of the place, it still felt home and relaxing.
Facility—Terrace and Garden
The terrace, located on the third floor, is used for having breakfast. Part of it is covered in glass panes, used for rainy days. The terrace, its views and everything, was simply awesome. From the terrace, you could see the medina of Fes without having to closely see all the messy parts (the rubbish in the morning, modern-looking roofs…), but to have a great, overall view of the place. You also get to see a view of the mountains/hills that encircle the area, along with many ruins of what looks like a city wall and a triumphal arch. I assure you that you will never get bored of looking at those sceneries, and that you have a great time taking photos.
The garden was another piece of comfort and niceness. The top isn’t glass-paneled like many other riads, so all the rain get in to give a natural effect to the place. The riad cat, Mimi often goes to the fountain to drink water, just like you see in the picture. You can never get bored of watching the garden. The four orange trees sometimes drop mature oranges, and every time you see the gardens something is different. Apparently these oranges taste great, but don’t produce enough for the orange juices in the morning.
Breakfast was great, with the high-qualityness of food and the scenery of the medina. They ranged in variety and each of them was cooked brilliantly.
We were first offered slices of baked goods (changed daily; marble cakes and carrot cakes), and then they asked for coffee, English tea or mint tea, and this they have remembered for the next three days and didn’t have to ask us again. Fresh orange juice was served (not the oranges from the garden, they say. There isn’t too much of that). Then came the Moroccan pancakes, the khobs breads. After that, we either had harira soup or yoghurt and eggs. They kept on offering us with another servings of tea or coffee, and we spent a good hour on it. Breakfast starts at 8:30, but the whole city (I think) starts later.
Anyways, there was a lot to eat and each of them was simply great and warm, especially because the kitchen (smaller) is on the terrace.
We were thinking of staying at another Riad but then we saw the #1 riad in Fes, and instead decided to stay here. The ratings were true; I think it’s the best riad I’ve ever stayed. Thank you, Riad Laaroussa, for the great experience we have gone through, and we wish to return someday.
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