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“Fantastic!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Laaroussa

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Riad Laaroussa
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   3 Derb Bechara | Fes medina, Fes 30000, Morocco   |  
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Ranked #2 of 87 Hotels in Fes
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

Riad Laaroussa was home in Fez for 2 nights, and hopefully will be home again sometime soon. The staff was extremely kind, spoke great French/English, and helped my family and I to navigate the old town with a great guide and recommendations. The suites are situated with a seating area around a fireplace, which was extremely cozy and comfortable after a long day touring around. It's a beautiful spot in a quaint, historic city. I recommend for families, couples, or anyone stopping in Fez.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 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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770 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (136)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Tokyo, Japan
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

Riad Laaroussa
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.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pisa, Italy
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

very nice riad, runned by friendly and professional people.

The riad is very quiet and situated in an excellent position.

It is very nice, renovated, and in a perfect state.

All rooms are beautiful, clean, and the service overall is excellent.

You won't be disappointed!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jimbaran, Indonesia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

From the moment you pass through this discreet entrance, you come upon what could only be described as a medieval Moroccan sanctuary.
Immediately there's a central courtyard with the most charming little garden shaded by orange trees. You then can walk around this gallery - accented by impressively tall columns - which leads to all the rooms and various zones; including the rooftop terrace which has a fantastic view of Fez. Up here you can enjoy breakfast or just lounge about in these chic iron chairs or that beautiful big day bed – and enjoy a mint tea with those marvelous home made cookies.
For our stay we chose one of the more superior rooms upstairs which was very spacious and decorated with just the right balance between contemporary and old world Moroccan. The floors in our room were gorgeous and we loved having the fireplace lit every night. Because this Riad is centuries old, you can expect a very authentic experience – but due to the impressive renovation – it still has the modern comforts.
We also found the staff at Rihad Laaroussa very kind and polite... as were the French owners who were so generous with information and all recommendations we needed. You definitely felt like you were staying with friends – there’s a very warm energy in this place.
Another thing that’s great about staying here is that its so centrally located to the medina… you just walk out of the door and straight into the action. And then after wandering through the labyrinth of markets and sights, you can easily return and discreetly retire back into the haven of this Riad.
We would definitely recommend this place if you’re visiting Fez.

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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013 via mobile

Great position in the middle of the medina, however you'll need a guide to make the most of the sites of fess and ensure you can find your way back to the Rhiad. Make sure you take afternoon tea on the rooftop terrace as the view of the old city, (and surrounding hills), is fantastic. Breakfast is comprehensive, including a taste of the local area when served breakfast soup! The rooms are pleasantly appointed, however the hot water production for showers is questionable. The only slightly strange experience was being constantly asked for free cigarettes from the male staff member. All in all a pleasant experience.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

We booked through internet after much research on riads inside the medina.
Room was beautifully designed and spotless. Very well thought out. Pictures on website are accurate but cannot fully capture the beauty of the rooms and common areas.
What stood out for us was exceptional service and hospitality provided both by owners and staff.
Food was good and plentiful.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buenos Aires
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

Choosing a riad in Morocco is like choosing a color for your bedroom. Options are almost endless, and TripAdvisor reviews do help, but there's always the dissonant rating that makes you uneasy... So I will try to be as complete and fair with this review, so you, my fellow traveller, can decide quicker than I did!

First of all: if you've never been to Fez, I do recommend staying at the medina (old town). It's dirty, noisy and not totally safe to walk in the middle of the night, but it's the real thing. Riads are amazing medieval mansions built around an open courtyard (think orange trees, fountains, quiet), now mostly owned by European who have recycled them as chic hotels. They are usually hidden behind aged walls that you would think twice about entering. But once the doors open... voilá! Riad Laaroussa in particular is a truly incredible building. Rooms are huge (I mean huge), and the decor is wonderful (save for the unnecessary posters hanging on the walls, the rest is all beautiful handmade artisanship). They all have fireplaces, and comfortable international-quality mattresses and linen. A bit dark, but that's the Middle-Eastern way, small windows so it's fresh in summer. At Laaroussa you will get the whole boutique-hotel experience with the candle lit bathrooms, wonderful mosaic bathtubs and showers, the works. And the view from the terrace, my goodness, it is truly wonderful. Breakfast is served in the terrace, either inside a glassed winter garden or outside, depending on the weather, and consists of a monster amount of food, including tea of course, coffee, yogurt (excellent in Morocco), eggs any style, msaman pancakes with honey (don't miss that), bread, fresh fruit, and I could go on. Every day, they would change something in the breakfast table -like the pancakes- so we had a chance to try every variety. Even for a frugal morning-eater like myself, the temptation was too big to pass. Silverware and dinnerware are typical Moroccan, so pretty that you want to go out and buy yourself the same thing for your home. Service at the riad is very kind, and everyone will go out of their way to make you feel great, from Fred, the French owner, to every single employee working there. Nothing but smiles, help, affection and good vibes. On the downside: we had quite a few problems with our hot water (not enough), and running water in general (it stank like a sewer). Fred immediately called the plumbers, to have a larger water heating system installed and fix the smell problem, but in Morocco, time is a relative concept. So it was never really quite fixed. To compensate, he kindly offered us a second room all for ourselves to shower, which we used, but I wonder what would have happened if the hotel was full. The air heating didn't work well either (it stopped in the middle of the night, then started again in a very noisy manner, day after day). Again Fred immediately called the repairman, but again the problem wasn't quite resolved. To compensate for the inconveniences, he was kind enough to pay for our last night dinner at "7", a very nice restaurant just meters away. So he really did his very best to make up for it, even though the problems subsisted through our stay. Two other things you might want to know: Fred and his wife, who live in the riad, own two massive dogs. My children adored them, and they are the sweetest dogs I've ever seen, but if you are not a dog lover, or are phobic to them, please note they freely roam throughout the place -it's their home after all. Second: there are also several cats (Fes is full of them) living in the riad. Many of the common areas, such as the reading room, smelled strongly, which drove us away. I would suggest they castrate them or just keep females, as the odor can be quite offensive. Lastly, dinner is not included, but for 25 euro per person (kids requested pasta and was free), you can get a very nice Moroccan dinner in the terrace, which I suggest you do at least once in your stay, to enjoy this "at home" feeling that comes with a riad and not a hotel. In conclusion: an amazing place, gorgeous decor and rooms, excellent service, awesome massive breakfast, convenient location, and some infrastructure issues to resolve. Hope to have helped with your riad-hunting! Bon voyage!

Room Tip: All rooms are great and different. Check their website for photos.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Riad Laaroussa

Address: 3 Derb Bechara | Fes medina, Fes 30000, Morocco
Phone Number:
Location: Morocco > Fes-Boulemane Region > Fes
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Fes
#1 Family Hotel in Fes
#2 Romantic Hotel in Fes
#2 Luxury Hotel in Fes
#10 Business Hotel in Fes
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Riad Laaroussa 4*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the heart of the Medina of Fez, Riad Laaroussa opens its doors to you for an exceptional place in a relaxed atmosphere. An immense 17th-century palace, 8 suites and rooms surround a beautiful courtyard with orange trees so that you can relive the splendor of Fez. A huge terrace, a variety of spacious living areas, comfortable and warmly decorated and a very caring staff are at your disposal to make your stay memorable. At Riad Laaroussa, you can also enjoy our spa with a private, authentic hammam and relaxing massages as well as enjoy quality Moroccan cuisine on one of the terraces with breathtaking views. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riad Laaroussa Fes
Riad Laaroussa Hotel Fes

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