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“First Rate”
Review of Dar Roumana

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Dar Roumana
Ranked #11 of 226 Fes B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 16, 2008

Our stay at Dar Roumana came near the end of a month-long tour of Morocco and it could not have been more welcome. The building itself is a marvel - a meticulously restored traditional Moroccan riad that is stunningly beautiful. Our room was very large with intricate tile and filigree work - it was quite literally breathtaking when we entered it.

Jennifer and Sebastian are great hosts. They know what they're doing and do a great job without being overbearing. The afternoon tea (or juice, or whatever you like) was a treat that we enjoyed every day. They gave us a good tip for a rug dealer so that we didn't have to waste a lot of time in trial and error.

We had the misfortune of one of us getting quite ill during our stay (not due do any fault of Dar Roumana!) and Jennifer graciously prepared some special meals, directed us to doctor and pharmacy and generally help to regain health - all very much above and beyond the call of duty.

The only struggle we had was with the hot water system, which proved to be a bit too complicated and/or sensitive for us to master. This was not a big issue, just a minor annoyance.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled with friends
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Thank FastOregon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 2, 2008

We expected extraordinary things from Dar Roumana: Our friends had raved about it insisting we stay there as it was their favourite hotel in the world; Lonely Planet had it as the author’s pick; and Trip Advisor reviews lifted our expectations way above what was probably reasonable.

Dar Roumana’s immense charm is, above anything else, the enormous old building itself and the lure of staying in a fabulous Riad. The building is amazing. Tiled ornately like a palace, with oodles of Moroccan charm and mystery, it was lovingly and meticulously restored by American owners Jennifer and Sebastian. They also, until March, ran it, lived in it, and apparently cooked amazing meals and ran cooking courses. Since March they have been in Spain and have employed a well-credentialed Dutch/English couple, Nico and Stephanie, to run it for them, but theirs are impossible shoes to fill in quite the same way.

Nico and Stephanie are generous, obliging, careful and kind hosts, who will bend over backwards to help their often demanding guests. The rooms are all individual, ornate, and well-cleaned. But there are small things that niggle about Dar Roumana.

It is unavoidably out of the way, down dusty dirty lanes where you might find the locals yelling abuse at tourists. There are some maintenance issues you wouldn’t expect in a Riad of this price range and reputation too, eg: door locks having been moved and the holes not covered in. The Riad also suffers from Fez’s well known water pressure and power supply problems. The much publicised afternoon tea on the website never materialised, and the local night porter will, despite Nico and Stephanie’s best efforts to stop him, still be persistent in trying to take you to his mate’s restaurants to get a cutback. Also, without Jennifer, the much-vaunted cooking school seems to have fallen by the wayside and, as that had been one of our primary reasons for going, we were a little disappointed.

Dar Roumana is still a very nice place to stay, just different to what we had been led to expect. It’s impossible to live up to that much hype.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank ebit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fassia, Owner at Dar Roumana, responded to this reviewResponded December 4, 2008

Although it is disappointing to hear that one of our guests had a less than spectacular stay, I am happy for the chance to mention that, prior to this review, we have addressed all of the issues mentioned.

It is very important to us that our guests have at least one haven of peace in the otherwise hectic medina – a place free of hassle and pressure. Our porter, who has been with us for 7 years now, has been re-assigned to back-office and maintenance duties and no longer has contact with our houseguests. We have also hired new managers, both of whom are professional chefs, and one of whom was an instructor at a reputed culinary institute in New Zealand. We’re very excited to have Justine and Didier preparing meals and running the cooking lessons. To clarify, Sebastian and I are not permanently in Spain, but do travel there regularly.

We still do offer complimentary afternoon tea and cake/biscuits for our guests. We do not lay out a tea service, but ask that our guests let us know where and when they would like to have tea. Perhaps this was not clear, and I can see how someone might be disappointed if tea never “materialised”, but it would not be served if we had no indication that the guests wanted it.

Unfortunately, tourists throughout Fes do encounter hassle from locals from time to time. The local authorities and guesthouse association are aware of this issue and are doing what they can to minimise it. The same goes for the dusty lanes. This is a medieval city in a developing country with over a half a million people within its walls, so you can imagine that keeping the streets clean is a real challenge.

I appreciate this review and the opportunity it affords me to address the issues raised. We have been blessed with great guests and great reviews, but we welcome all feedback from our guests and the chance to develop and improve our services.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2008

I have just returned from a 2 week trip to Morocco and my only regret is that my itinerary only allowed me one night in this exquisite Riad in the heart of Fes. The friendly hosts and staff, the delicious food and beautiful decor make this place a great retreat after roaming around the thousand alleyways, with all their hustle and bustle. Definitely a treat for all those spending some time in Fes.

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled with friends
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Thank michag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2008

Just returned from an amazing vacation in Morocco. One of the highlights was Dar Roumana in Fes. An oasis of serenity between the small alleys of the medina, Dar Roumana is a beautifully restored riad with intricate Moroccan decorations and tastefully furnished rooms. The owners, Jennifer and Sebastian are a reliable source of information and great hosts without being intrusive. One of the highlights of this riad is its roof-terrace with great views of the Medina. This info was already published before so I wont elaborate more on the place itself. I just want to say that everything we expected and heard of this place was an understatement for it 's actual beauty .
We found the price also reasonable, compared to riads in Marrakech and would recommend staying at least 3-4 days to fully appreciate the Fes medina and area. It was really an experience of a lifetime to stay in such an amazing place for a few days.
Please note however, that when (and if...) you return to the riad late at night, you walk through some dark alleys where gangs of young men are gathered. No incidence according to my knowledge were reported, but the feeling could be a bit uncomfortable.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank Fusion-X
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2008

My wife and I had a wonderful time in Fes, and it wouldn't have been the same without the hosts of Dar Roumana.

It's easy to get lost i the Fes medina being a tourist, but their advice and their recommendations really helped us a lot.
Because there aren't a lot of rooms in Dar Roumana the hosts have a lot of time to explain all you need to know before exploring this great city. All our questions were answered in a pleasant and personal manner. Nico and Stephanie made us feel welcome, and at home.

Also, the Dar Roumana is an oasis of tranquillity in the busy medina. A beautiful, cool and quiet place to relax after another hot afternoon.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Rootje
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2008

My wife an I had a wonderful time in this fantastic city. This riad only served to enhance that experience not only by providing a beautiful set of sleeping quarters, spectacular food, wonderful views, but offering highly useful tips for exploring the city. Nico and Stephanie were the hosts during our stay and we couldn't have been happier as a result. Morocco is still only lightly explored by us, but Fez is definitely our favorite city in this very interesting and culture-rich country. The sites are for all the senses, whether the tanning vats, curbside restaurants, or souks. Although Fez doesn't have the same open space as the more popular Marrakesh, we thought this city offers more cultural interaction, less inflation of prices for tourists, and much less annoyance of speeding scooters/mopeds common in the "pedestrian" streets of Marrakesh.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank USA_TravelBugs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2008

everything about this place from the impeccable renovations; the hosts; the food; the location and espcially the views was just magic

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with friends
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Thank trambustatrice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dar Roumana

Address: 30 Derb el Amer | Zkak Roumane, Fes 30100, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Fes-Boulemane Region > Fes
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 226 B&Bs / Inns in Fes
Price Range: $103 - $180 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Beautifully restored Riad guesthouse in the ancient medina with a 360 degree panoramic view from the furnished roof terrace, where drinks and breakfast is served. All rooms (4 suites and 1 double room) are decorated with traditional arts and crafts, intricate carved plaster, high cedar ceilings, mosaic tile floors, and hand-crafted furniture. At the heart of the Riad is an ornately tiled courtyard with a sunken fountain where our restaurant is located. The cuisine is French/Mediterranean with a Moroccan twist and dining with us is a highlight for our guests. Other amenities include an intimate salon with fireplace, large library, DVD/TV salon, roof-top BBQ, and free WiFi access. The managers provide a full concierge service to help our guests with any arrangements they might need and allow them to experience the best of the Fes Medina and surrounding areas. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dar Roumana Hotel Fes

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