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“A Real Gem”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Riad Laayoun

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Riad Laayoun
Ranked #5 of 99 Hotels in Fes
Certificate of Excellence
Berkeley, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“A Real Gem”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 13, 2012

Stepping inside Riad Laayoun after a long train ride and a short walk through the narrow walkways of the medina was not only a huge relief, but a genuine surprise. The physical space is quite spectacular, and great care has been taken in the very tasteful and high quality furnishings. We enjoyed very comfortable beds, a gorgeous terrace for delicious breakfasts and evening winding down and comfortable public spaces, with good WiFi connection. One has to be prepared to climb stairs, but that's part of its charm. But most of what makes this place special are owner Jean-Claude and his right-hand man, Simo. They couldn't have been friendlier and more helpful in recommending great restaurants (even walking us to one) and interesting sites to explore. This is a special place, for sure, and we will certainly recommend it to friends who visit Fez!

Room Tip: We liked the Saffron room, on the ground floor; our friends enjoyed the Cinnamon room on the first f...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank PatBerkeley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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520 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
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English first
Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Level Contributor
84 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 10, 2012

Ah, I will join in the majority here: this Riad is amazing! Moroccan beauty in the peaceful corner of Medina with a tremendous amount of real hospitality - Jean-Claude and Simo are truly happy to accommodate guests and make them feel like kings of their castle.

Now, some practicalities: owners will always arrange a pick up for you, and wait for you at R'cif. Then you will be taken through the local market and small smelly fish street, and after several winding curves you will be able to enter this beautifully styled Riad. Riad is very confusing, so if you dreamed about labyrinths - this is a perfect place. Small sharp stairs might be not to everybody's taste, but since Simo will take care about your luggage - the rest is up to you to enjoy.

Riad will greet guests with mint tea and cookies, offer maps and explanations to Medina, possibility to hire guide, plan your trips and order dinner within Riad. Dinner here is really nice, if you stay here, you should give a try. However, you should order it by noon as it is being prepared only upon request.

The breakfast is bit basic, but I did not hear anyone complaining, especially because you can easily buy anything you would like around the corner and use it as addition. The breakfast is served on roof terrace, and includes tea/coffee, fresh orange juice, bread and local pancakes, and a selection of marmalade+butter+olive oil+olives. And breakfast is served from 08:30. It is vacation time here!

The rooms itself are nicely decorated, cozy and comfortable. Each of them has air condition and separate bathroom. However, in some cases sleeping room and bathroom is connected via open corridor, where other guests can see you walking - be aware that complete privacy in this Riad is not possible. Not recommended for people that like running naked or so...

Also, the rooms (and bathrooms) have windows, opening inside, basically directly to other rooms. It means that from you bathroom you can usually observe your neighbours, resting in their rooms, and vice versa... Although not all rooms have such a layout! Ah, and there was no TV in Vanilla room, but I nearly forgot to mention it. Didn't miss TV there at all.

Well, if you are ready to come along with this setting (and it seems that most people are), you will be welcomed as part of the family, and immediately hugged by the unusual hospitality.

P.S. Wireless internet is available not only in the lobby, but also in the rooms that are directly above Jean-Claude office - all floors till the roof terrace.

P.S.S. I'll be back here!

Room Tip: All rooms above Jean-Claude office should be able to catch wireless internet connection.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
2 Thank icetealemon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
50 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 8, 2012

What a wonderful place to stay in such a fascinating and vibrant city! Riad Laayoun is a beautifully restored house in the heart of the Fez walled city. I am sure there are a few others like it, but I doubt any of them achieve such a calm tranquility as this one.

We had such a lovely time, and so much of this was due to the kindness and friendliness of Jean-Claude and this delightful Riad. Having arranged a car for us from the airport, the lovely Si-Mo met us at the nearby Place R'Cif and took us into the maze of the medina and up to the Riad a couple of minutes away. We had a lovely evening meal in the Riad on the first night and then took a long walk into the heart of the Medina to explore this amazing city, before returning to sit out on the roof terrace under the moon and stars.

Behind a discreet old door to the Riad a short passage opens up into a delightful airy courtyard and a few tastefully furnished rooms which are wonderful to rest in during the day and night, and little balconies to sit down by and read. Once inside you don't need to worry about anything, the warmth of the welcome from Jean-Claude and Si-Mo making one feel secure and happy. Jean-Claude is Gallic charm personified; we returned home one afternoon to find him lying down reading to the sounds of Fauré. He is also discreet enough to allow plenty of privacy and the place can be wonderfully quiet and peaceful.

We were there for a (small) birthday and a beautiful cake greeted me on the first night, but an even greater present was to have this lovely place to return to each evening after the wonderful sensory overload that is Fez, to digest the many, many exciting memories and experiences of each day.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Clemente B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Karachi, Pakistan
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 15, 2012

Was travelling for work and pleasure to Fez, and found this Riad through trip advisor. This being my first trip to Morocco i didn't know what to expect and i was completely right. After the crazy train ride, we were coming from Casablanca and unfortunately caught the holiday season end rush so had to travel standing! from the station the taxi dropped us off at R'ciff, from there a chariot man took our luggage all through this mysterious maze in the medina. Finally we reached a dark alley to the Riad, the door opens and OMG you enter into this beautiful interior of the most intricate detail strewn all over the place and i realised i had made no mistakes! We were greeted by the lovely Jean and Simone with tea. They showed us the Riad, helped with the luggage, then explained how to walk around the Medina. Always there to help us out, i couldn't have completed my assignments in Fez without their help. Cosy comfortable rooms, delicious breakfast every morning, fantastic view from the rooftop. It's a wonderful place to stay and you will get attached to these people for life! they make Fez unforgettable

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank AyazAnis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 12, 2012

We moved to Riad Laayoun after staying in a larger, elaborately restored riad in another section of the medina. While the other place was spectacular, I prefered the smaller Riad Laayoun as it had a more homely atmosphere and our individual needs were graciously catered for. Jean-Claude and Simo are friendly and charming hosts When my son had a mild bout of gastro, the staff went out of their way to get him yoghurt and make louisa tea. In fact it was a delight to be "stranded" in such a beautiful, tranquil place while he recovered. Jean Claude's superb music selection permeated the riad and the sun warmed the central courtyard while I caught up on emails and laundry. Laayoun is well located ïn the medina near R Cif and, within a few twist and turns, you can experience the sensory overload of the stalls selling fish, olives, fruit, orange blossom, spices, offal, snails... just wonderful! Breakfast was served on the roof terrace and each morning Simo presented us with a different style of Moroccan "bread". We also ate dinner at the riad a couple of times and enjoyed the delicious soup, tagines, salads and desserts. One of my favourite memories of Fes is spending sunset on the roof terrace listening to the call to prayer as the little birds darted about in the evening air and the first stars became visible over this ancient city.

Room Tip: If you don't like climbing steep stairs, ask for a room on the ground level. The bathroom is lo...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sally B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC
Level Contributor
40 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 11, 2012

My husband and I stayed here for three days in April. This is a lovely, well kept riad and its just beautiful on the inside. Our room was the canneli suite which was a two story room with a sitting room and large second floor bathroom with nice big windows and a balcony overlooking the courtyard of the riad.

The service is also excellent. Jean-Claude is extremely helpful and friendly and spent a good half an hour trying to find us a last minute guide for the medina. Simon is always around to answer questions or to show you how to get from point A to point B.

Breakfast is served on the roof depending on the weather. Its a simple breakfast of baked goods and crepes and jams.

Word of warning--this place has lots of narrow, winding steps and no elevator so if you have trouble making stairs I would not recommend staying above the ground level. Also, as lovely as our room was the bathroom was located up the winding stairs in a loft--so if you have any qualms about privacy while using the restroom you might want to stay in another room.

Hints/Tips: The hotel provides shampoo, lotion, shower gel. You might want to bring condition and a clock since there isn't an alarm clock in the room. Riad also has wifi in the courtyard, but it doesn't work in the room unless you're standing in the doorway.

This riad is centrally located in the media and its about a minute walk to the souks. That said, the media is really, really dirty and stinky and you very well may walk out the door of the riad and directly into some donkey droppings (which is what I did the first day). That is just how Fes is, but I just wanted to warn those germ-phobes or travelers with weak stomachs! Also, the riad is about a 10 minute extremely confusing walk to a plethora of good, clean restaurants.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank isaleistar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Regensburg, Germany
Level Contributor
72 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 6, 2012

My wife and me stayed at Riad Laayoun 4 wonderful nights. We arrived by train and were picked up at the train station by the driver who took us to Place R'Cif where Simo waited for us already. He took us thru the maze of alleyways to the Riad (without him no way we would ever have found it). We were blown away by the beauty of this Riad. A spacious courtyard is the center part of the Riad with lovely decorated seating were you can have tea, read a book etc. 3 floors above there is a wonderful roof tarrace with a stunning view over Fez. Perfect spot to wait for sun to sink and listend to the evening prayer calls.
Everyone took care of us like family especially Jean-Claude the owner and Simo. Especially when I got sick and had to stay in bed for a whole day, everyone cared so much, running to the pharamcy to get medication and Simo made a special tea to help my stomach get better.
Not to forget Rachida the cook who prepared delicious dinners and breakfast for us.
Our room was on the first floor and very spacious. Everything was perfect.

Thank you Jean-Claude, Simo and Rachida for such a lovely stay. Merci beaucoup et a bientot en Fez!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank hesspoint
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Riad Laayoun

Property: Riad Laayoun
Address: 47 Derb Thakharbicht Rcham Laayoun | Fes-Medina, Fes 30000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Fes-Boulemane Region > Fes
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 99 Hotels in Fes
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A marvelous old house located in the heart of the medina close to the world's oldest university and the souks, built nearly 4 centuries ago. We offer to you 3 suites and 2 rooms with all the modern confort. Riad Laayoun is a marvelous place for your stay in the most beautiful medina of Africa. ... more   less 
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