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“Perfect little hotel in perfect location”
Review of Dar Sienna

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Dar Sienna
Ranked #16 of 210 Fes B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Vienna, Austria
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Perfect little hotel in perfect location”
Reviewed March 16, 2011

The Dar Sienna is right in the middle of the Medina but easier to find than many others.
There are 4 floors up steep narrow stairs, but the view from the terrace is worth it.
The staff are cheery and helpful and the little tower house exudes a friendly atmosphere.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Azoura-OCD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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435 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (75)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
  • German first
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  • Spanish first
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English first
Sydney, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2011

the staff were pretty good ...
the owner stayed when we were there ... the room we were given was where she stayed because her jeans were there and she smoked ... we were given the poor cousin of accommodation while she moved to the top floor ... bad call ...
we had to leave early as i twisted my ankle and she did not send us the account we paid in full for the days we stayed as she indicated so that we could claim it back on insurance. the owner would send us to places such as restarants, carpet, silver to buy goods from her networks in Fez at over inflated prices. we only found this out from a local when we went new town Fez. We felt ripped off at the lack of transparency. The owner did not even gives us ideas or places to stay when we left old medina because of my twisted ankle in new town fez. she just let us go in a taxi and that was it ... very poor i would say ... however, mohamend and fattima were great and truly the best people, as were the local people of Fez. I would stay at another Riad. And to the owner if you read this and she will as she likes to tell people that she would like a good review ... be transparent to people, and not treat the locals as if they were your workers, which is what we saw and experienced when she had the local workers do some handy work at the riad.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank franziska2806
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Inverness, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2011

We arrived in Fez train station, having stayed in various places around Morocco preceeding this, and took a petite (small) taxi to a meeting point as arranged with the owner.
Upon arrival we were greeted by Muhammed, who led us to Dar Sienna. Muhammed was very friendly and welcomming, although he put on Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston on repeat to welcome us, which, although not to our taste was fine at first, but when the songs were looping later in the evening it got quite frustrating.
First impressions when arriving at Dar Sienna was that it was a nice house. We were shown the details of the restoration in a booklet. The level of work involved was impressive.
The room seemed nice, albeit cold. The biggest wow factor is by far the location, we went up to the roof terrace. There is a spectacular 360 degree view. You are essentially in the near as possible to absolute centre of the old city of Fez. We've been all accross Morocco, and this is up there with the greatest views we had. (Certainly this time we visited Morocco at least).
On first inspection, the room was freezing, partially due to the windows being opened. We closed the windows and turned on the heater.
We briefly met another couple, staying at Dar Sienna, one of which had unfortunally become unwell whilst in Fez, so were mostly room bound. But like us, loved the view from the terrace. The first night we watched sun set with some mint tea.
As said, Muhammed was very friendly and assisted with queries when asked.
On the first night, we advised Muhammed we were going out to explore. He helpfully followed behind us at a distance to make sure we were reasonably decent at our bearings, which was a nice touch.
We were then taken to the resteraunt that he used to work in, where we bought dinner. That was good for the first night.
The problems were when we arrived back to the Dar.
The room had heated up a bit since we'd turned on the heating, but was still very cold. There were no curtains or shutters between the central room, and our room, so light shon through from the window dividing the communal area and the room we were staying in.
There was a heavy wall hanging rug being used as a bed throw (presumably because of the temperature) Which did it's job, but wasn't comfortable to sleep in. (It did contrast greatly with the extremely flimsy single (not exagerating) pillow each provided.)
There was a design book in our room which had damp spores throughout it.
There were no guests this night other than the Australian couple that had also retired for the night.
Once Muhammed put the music off and left, We switched off the lights for the communal area and got some sleep.
The next day, my partner spent 40 minutes trying to get hot water out of the shower, (as it was advertised) before coming back to bed.
We were given a lovely breakfast by Fatima. Then found our way to the Tannery and Cafe clock - both a must see.
We bought some food and brought it back to the Dar.
Everyone was out so we contacted the owner in London, and asked about internet access (to find that the laptop that Muhammed had been using for his youtube videos etc. all the previous night was for guest use. (That would've been helpful to know the previous night)
Muhammed was out, but arrived back with some new guests. Things were a bit cramped so we retired to our room.
Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston came on again, and the new guests and Muhammed were up chatting.
Muhammed kindly knocked on our door to offer tea, and I advised that we were off to bed, so no thanks.
The other guests stayed up for a while. We heard them complain about no hot water too to Muhammed.
Once they went to bed, we put up with an hour more of the same music coming through the door and windows, before asking if Muhammed could switch it off. He obliged, it would have been nice if he had taken the hint when I both spoke, and gestured that we were going to bed several hours prior to that.
We discussed leaving at that point, the room was still freezing, and my partner had a wheezy cough.
Once Muhammid finally left, we switched the hall light off, so that it was no longer shining into our room. We then slept.
We got up very early the next day - but again there was no hot water, so we left a tip for Fatima and Muhammed and left.
We advised the owner by text that we had left, and requested a refund for the two days following, which she agreed to refund. (That's relatively rare in old town places once paid)
The owner also took on board our comments regarding the noise, and ammended the description to reflect this.
For the rest of the holiday my partner had a chest infection and had to get antibiotics. We didn't let this ruin our holiday, but it did restrict how much we could explore.

Overall, the view is amazing.
The Dar is very pretty too.
I think the place would have been fantastic when initially run, but damp, no hot water, and an overall lack of TLC for the place made it inappropriate for our stay.
For what it was, it was overpriced, we stayed in several cheaper places with more considered service. Although saying that, if improvements are made, and you don't stay in the standard room, it's worth it for the view.
If you stay on the standard room, the design/layout is not appropriate if you want a quiet stay or a good sleep.
The shower didn't drain of cold water, and a bucket had to be used to aid.
With a little bit of care,some tweaks, sorting out the water situation and a bit of training this could be a very nice house. At the time we visited it was at the standard of one of the better youth hostels, rather than as the descripton states:
"Perfectly located for travellers wishing to immerse themselves in Moroccan culture.Helpful and friendly English,French,Arabic speaking staff and amazing Moroccan hospitality."
We got amazing Moroccan hospitality on our holiday, in several places, just not Dar Sienna.
I do believe the owner was unaware of the shortcomings, and suspect they will be improved as needed, she comes across as a nice person, though part of the problem with this place lies with it being run from afar, and part with the layout/or use of the main room.
The kitchen is nice, similar to many in Morocco.
I'd be interested in visiting it in a couple years, but wouldn't book here again unless I'd inspected it first.
If this had been advertised as:

A youth hostel, with an absolutely amazing view, bit noisy, a place where we'll help you pick where to go in Fez, and cook you breakfast.
And the possibility of having to brave cold water was mentioned, we'd've perhaps visited it on another holiday, just not this one.
Wish I could be more positive about this place, as it's not too far off with everything, but its failings are fatal. We stayed in several other Dars and Riads, all without the issues this one had. I had to write this review, this impacted for a week after we left.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Pete D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2011

The riad is lovely, Mohammed and Fatima are really helpful and sweet. Unlike other riads in Morocco, these guys make sure you are met at the gate the medina to assure that you don't get lost or hassled on your way. At first Fez seems like a maze, but it doesn't take long to understand it a bit! Great night tour from Idriss too.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ice_Tea_Lizzy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Torquay, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 13, 2011

Fes was our favourite place in Morocco and Dar Sienna the perfect place to stay; the highlight of our holiday. The house is wonderful, lovingly renovated, and very homely. Big breakfasts on the roof terrace were great, and the view is just stunning. Mohamed and Fatima were lovely, very friendly and helpful. The English owner Sonhild was staying whilst we were there, she was a great host with an infectious love for the house and Fes.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank nige-lynn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2011

Sar Sienna was a great experience. The location is perfect because it's so central, the staff were incredibly helpful. Not to mention: the rooms are gorgeous.

I think what makes Dar Sienna so great is that it has character and Fes is such an interesting place; it can be an adventure at time (not knowing the language, navigating the medina, not knowing what you're eating) but then when you get back to Dar Sienna you can just relax and take it all in. The perfect balance.

We will definitely miss relaxing on the terrace at night, smoking shisha and sipping mint tea.

Go to Fes (it's such a wonderful place), stay at Dar Sienna, have a amazing experience; you will not regret it.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank myboombox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hobart, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 10, 2011

Staff made us feel like family, nothing was too much trouble. The location is perfect. rooms very comfortable. Loved every second.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ellawj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dar Sienna

Property: Dar Sienna
Address: 6 Derb Eloued, Fes 30000, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Fes-Boulemane Region > Fes
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 210 B&Bs / Inns in Fes
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dar Sienna is a cosy guesthouse, located in the heart of the car-free Fez medina. ALSO AVAILABLE TO RENT THE WHOLE HOUSE, SLEEPS 2-6 PERSONS. Free breakfast and high-speed wifi and use of kitchen.Golf course and swimming pool nearby. Excursions to Sefrou, Meknes, Volubilis arranged. Cookery and breadbaking lessons at Cafe Clock. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dar Sienna Hotel Fes

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