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“a serene escape”
Review of Riad Laayoun

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Riad Laayoun
Ranked #14 of 100 Hotels in Fes
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 10 July 2010

My friend and I stayed at the Riad Laayoun for 3 nights and enjoyed dinner there twice. We arrived in Fez at about 8pm after a long 10 hour drive from Imlil in the High Atlas. Our driver had trouble finding the right gate into the medina, and when we finally found the Place R'Cif, one of the locals there ran to tell Jean-Claude that we had arrived. What a relief to see the tanned, charming Jean-Claude arrive to guide us back to the Riad. He sent our luggage in a cart by a different route (no steps), and then led us through alleyways, waving and greeting the locals "Bonjour!!" all the way there.
Rachida had prepared a delicious meal of soup, lamb tagine, salads, and a dessert pastilla for us. Our room was the saffran suite downstairs. I was concerned that the heat might be a problem because of the time of year, and I thought the riad was not air conditioned. The room, however, had an air conditioner which kept us nice and cool, and the rest of the riad was pleasantly cool as well.
The next day, Jean-Claude arrange a guide for us - Malek. He took us all around the medina and even extended his 1/2 day with us to a whole day. When we'd mention the time, he'd say that he was having such a good time with us, that he wasn't concerned about going over his time. He is an English tutor, and took us to a small cafe in the medina that is owned by the family of one of his students for lunch. His student took us into the small kitchen and let us taste several different dishes before we ordered. The food was delightful and the price was so low! He showed us everything we asked to see and even carried our shopping packages, earning him the nickname "Husband".
The next day Jean-Claude arranged a driver for a trip to Meknes and Volubilis. We had dinner again at the riad, and at our request, Rachida made us chicken pastilla which was delicious. She really is a wonderful cook.
The next morning our flight was at 6am, so Jean-Claude and Simo (always friendly and smiling) got up with us at 4:30, offered to prepare breakfast, which we declined...except for o.j., and accompanied us, carrying our luggage to the car in the Place R'Cif.
The location of the riad seems hard to find at first, but after coming and going a couple of times, it gets easy. After all the frenetic activity and crush of humanity and heat exhaustion of a day in the medina, opening the front door of the Riad Laayoun will make you say "Aaah, I'm home."

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank gopat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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171 - 175 of 538 reviews

Reviewed 6 July 2010

What more can I say that hasn't been said already? This place is incredlible. It is difficult to find and get to, but well worth the effort. If you are arriving by car, Jean-Claude will meet you at the pharmacia, help you park your car, and take you to the riad. Finding the pharmacia can be a problem, however. We ended up having to pay a local to take us there. We arrived late at night and the medina was hopping. People were everywhere, outside enjoying the coolness of the evening. Arriving at the raid, it was like a refuge from the craziness going on outside. It looks like a dream. Every inch of the riad is absolutely exquisite and meticulously maintained. My husband and I spent one night on our honeymoon in one of the suites here and wished we could have stayed longer. It was definitely the most romantic place we had stayed on our 9-night trip. Do accept Jean-Claude's offer to serve you dinner in the riad. Rachida is a terrific cook and we thoroughly enjoyed every bite. We were the only couple enjoying dinner at the time and they had set up a candlelit table for us. Everything from start to finish was simply magical. The only thing I didn't care for at the riad was the breakfast, but that was simply a matter of personal taste. My husband did enjoy it and devoured every bite. If it is your first time in the medina (or even your second or third), definitely let Jean-Claude set you up with a guide. We would have been completely lost without our guide. Adnane was wonderful - very personable and knowledgeable, and he spoke 5 languages, so he could communicate with just about anybody. My only complaint was that he seemed to have a set agenda and itinerary of places he wanted to show us and seemed to disregard the things that we told him we wanted to see and do. We had said from the beginning that we were on a very tight schedule and had to leave the riad no later than 1:30, but he didn't get us back there until 3:00. And, instead of showing us the things we had told him we wanted to see, he stuck to his own schedule. So, if you're in a rush, like we were, make sure the guide understands that from the beginning. All in all, this was a once-in-a-lifteime experience and I wouldn't change a thing! Merci, Jean-Claude!

Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
Thank TravelTalent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2010

We really enjoyed our 6 days at Riad Laayoun. It's small and intimate, beautifully decorated with interesting architectural features, a panoramic roof terrace - and the staff are great. Once you master the winding alleys, it's only a few minutes to the Medina. As others have said, Jean-Claude is a lively, enthusiastic host who will ensure you have a memorable stay. We almost forgot we were guests. With your own key to the front door of the Riad you can wander around the Medina and let yourself back in like a local resident. We had the ground floor suite (Safran) which was large but a bit dark, especially upstairs in the bathroom. Breakfast on the roof terrace, delivered by the ever-smiling, energetic Simo really sets you up for a day's sightseeing. Trips can easily be arranged through Jean-Claude and we particularly enjoyed the day out to Meknes, Moulay Idriss and Volubilis. Our return to the UK (from Marrakech) was delayed by the volcanic ash cloud but we got an email from Jean-Claude asking how we got on. That's customer care! [mccormack08 - hope you got the tiled mirror home in one piece]

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank gway25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2010

The eternally youthful Jean-Claude went out of his way to make this a very enjoyable stay; the room was large and comfortable (except for the pillows) , and I would recommend the suite canelle on the first flooor rather then the smaller rooms. There is a great roof terrace where you can have breakfast and also sunbathe and relax with a book. The Riad is very well located and was very quiet. Being woken at 4.30am by the first prayer call is often a problem in Morocco, but this did not happen here
J-C was very helpful but not at all pushy; always there to assist but dicreet too. I would recommend Fettah as a guide, even if you are the sort of traveller who likes to explore independently; he only takes you to the sights rather than a relative's shop and was very informative.
I'd also recommend the Riad for single travellers but not to anyone with severe mobilty issues.
Overall, a great place which deserves to right up at the top of the list.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank WorldTravellerPlus8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2010

We are a family of 5 (3 children aged11, 16 and 18) who spent easter at the riad. We travelled for a total of 5 weeks (including europe) and we all agreed that our favourite place was Fez. Jean Claude and his staff, the riad, Fettah our guide, the food, the friendly Moroccon people, the fascinating medina and so much more made this part of our trip truly memorable and unforgetable. We had the perfect start to every day sitting on the rooftop overlooking Fez with this fabulous breakfast laid out for us. I loved the location as it was only a five minute walk from the food market and from the medina entrance. We had no problem finding our way around day or night. The riad was quiet, clean, comfortable beds and as everyone else comments beautifully restored. Jean-Claude really made us feel at home, Simo so kind-hearted and Rachid a wonderful cook. This is one place we all would like to go back to.





we

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank rosanna50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Riad Laayoun

Address: 47 Derb Thakharbicht Rcham Laayoun | Fes-Medina, Fes 30000, Morocco
Region: Morocco > Fes-Boulemane Region > Fes
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 100 Hotels in Fes
Price Range: $84 - $150 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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