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Historical Traveler Reviews Dar Roumana Fes
You can believe all the reviews!
Staying in this riad made trips to historic moroccon buildings redundant. We, including our little 2 year old boy, stayed in Yasmina suite which we recommended highly. The zellij (tilework), stucco decoration and wood carvings were simply unbelievable. Your night can be perfectly spent just by staring at the ornamental ceiling instead of sleeping. The bath was big enough for the whole family to fit in at the same time.
Compared to Riad Mabrouka that we stayed in Marrakech, Dar Roumana is much more beautiful and a lot cheaper. Jennifer is such a good cook. Sebastian is very friendly. They kindly moved our booking after we missed our flight to Fez courtesy of Ryan air.
Out tips about city guides are that they are very much interested in your money. 70% of itenerary is shopping and the shop owner will charge exorbitant prices (eg 5x more, and the guide will get high comission). So if you go with a guide, don't shop, and if you don't want him to bring you shopping, pay him about 60% extra.
We love Fes and plan to come back again. Finally if you fail to book your stay in Dar Roumana, my heart weeps for you.
My girlfriend and I spent 5 days in Fes at Dar Roumana at the end of November staying in the Roumana and Yasmina Suites. The former has a fantastic bathroom and the latter is simply one of the nicest rooms I've ever had the privilege to stay in. Jennifer and Sebastian are the best hosts you could hope for - helpful, informative and funny when you need them and not there when you don't. We did the day's cooking course - a great way to spend a day - deciding on the dishes, buying the ingredients and then cooking it all up under Jennifer's supervision. It made for a really enjoyable evening meal with the other guys who were staying there. The dar itself is suberbly and thoughtfully restored - the views from the roof are extraordinary. So, all in all, a great city, a great dar to rival (and pretty much beat) anywhere we have previously stayed. Good luck getting a reservation!
Simon & Ellie
Great hosts, beautiful riad
From beginning to end, my stay at Dar Roumana was amazing! I was traveling by myself through Morocco (as a woman, this is not easy!) and it was so wonderful to find some respite at the hotel.
The riad could easily be a museum - I stayed on the ground floor (forget the name of the room) and it had the most ornate mosaics and woodworking on the walls and doors! The roof terrace was incredibly relaxing and beautiful as well.
I ate at the hotel one night and enjoyed a 3-course, freshly made meal, and my second night Sebastian was able to recommend another excellent riad to eat at (I also forget the name), and the waiter picked me up at the door to
Jen also gave me a primer on the city - where to go and where I was on the map. She lent me her mat and gave me instructions on how to experience the hammam (a Moroccan bathhouse), which was one of the best parts of my trip. The women at the bathhouse saw Jen's card and welcomed me into their culture!
Highly recommend Dar Roumana. Note that if the bill is under a certain number of dirhams (4000? ask them) they request you pay in cash.
Beautiful restoration, gracious hospitality
My husband and I, along with our friends with whom we were travelling, had a wonderful 3-night stay at Dar Roumana. It is very beautifully and authentically restored, but not pretentious. The American owners, Jennifer and Sebastian, are wonderful hosts and very knowledgeable about the city and the culture of Morocco.
We stayed in the Tamarind and Yasmina rooms on the second floor (first floor for Europeans); both were spacious, very attractive and comfortable. Well, the bed was a little hard, but that was true of all beds in Morocco. The bathrooms were great too. Between our room and our friends' room was an attractive lounge with books and comfortable seating, as well as a laptop with internet connection for the use of guests. Nice rooftop seating area as well as additional sitting areas on the ground floor. (I would recommend the rooms on the second floor which are probably quieter and more private than the rooms on the ground floor. I accidently walked into the room of a guest thinking it was a sitting room!)
The streets around the Dar feel a bit dicey at first, but they are perfectly safe. The Owners will send someone to meet you and guide you to the hotel.
I highly recommend this lovely property.
Beautiful building and lovely hostess
We just returned from 3 wonderful nights at the Dar Roumana and can't thank Jennifer, the owner, enough for the incredible introduction to Fes. The dar is absolutely gorgeous, having been painstakingly renovated by Moroccan craftsmen. The suites are spacious and comfortable, the rooftop terrace has incredible views of the Merinid tombs, and the mint tea and fresh-baked goodies every afternoon are a fantastic touch of hospitality. And Jennifer, the owner, is priceless. She loans very useful maps and helps plan itineraries, spends time with the guests answering questions and offering advice (we wouldn't have visited Rabat if it hadn't been for her, and are very glad that we did) and describing what it's like to live in Fes. After spending the day touring Fes and its souks, it felt like we were going home when we returned to the dar.
We didn't get around to taking one of Jennifer's cooking classes, but next time we visit we will be certain to do so.
A wonderful hotel experience
Dar Roumana is truly one of the nicest places that my husband and I have ever stayed in. The dar itself is beautiful - a testament to the years that Jennifer spent in restoration. We stayed in the Yasmina suite which was great value for money, a huge ornately tiled room overlooking the internal courtyard with a big four poster bed, a sitting area, separate outside terrace and bathroom with large bathtub. The roof terrace gives wonderful views of Fes and was a great place to enjoy the delicious breakfasts.
What really made the stay special though (as other reviewers have commented) was the warm welcome and personalised service from Jennifer. Whether recommending places in the medina to shop or cooking meals to meet my husband's (painfully fussy) tastes, she couldn't have been more helpful or more pleasant company.
Definitely the place to stay in Fes. I only wish that we'd had more time to spend lounging around there!
Amazing Dar/Riad and Great Owners!
Dar Roumana is one of the most beautiful places I have ever stayed! The architecture is just amazing and the story of the "palace" and how Jennifer restored it is amazing! The hosts are incredibly nice and really helped me out with some advice on where to go in Fes and the surrounding area as well as where to eat etc! It is so nice after wandering the huge noisy Fes market place all day to return to this secluded location and just enjoy some quiet and the view from the roof. I highly recommend staying here!
Dar Roumana is a breathtaking experience
Dar Roumana, recently restored, is as beautiful as any place you will find in Morocco. Gorgeous traditional handcrafted tiled floors and walls, hand-painted and carved cedar ceilings, intricate latticework, airy, spectacular high-ceiling courtyards, wonderful rooms - a fantastic value. The location is excellent within the medina of Fes.
Jennifer and Sebastian are consummate hosts, young and professional, welcoming, gracious...we cannot recommend it more highly.
An exquisite guest house and great value -- highly recommend!
Dar Roumana is a spectacular Moroccan house with the best terrace in Fes! The house has been beautifully restored, beautifully furnished and has wonderful bathrooms! The terrace is huge and while Dar Roumana is in the Medina, it offers the best of both worlds -- you feel like you're in the country when you look out over the hills and you have wonderful views of the Medina. After being out all day, Dar Roumana is an oasis in the Medina!
Sebastian was an especially gracious host - helpful and considerate. He surprised me on my birthday with an amazing chocolate cake; he helped with travel arrangements when our trip plans changed, and he even took us shopping to his rug merchant! The best was he serenaded the guests in the house with his incredible flamenco guitar playing! Thanks to his efforts, we experienced the magic of Fes and the magic of Dar Roumana!
Finally, if you can't be disconnected while you're traveling, Dar Roumana has a computer with high speed internet access for their guests - with an English keyboard! It was a wonderful convenience - and another example of why Dar Roumana is so special!
I highly recommend Dar Roumana -- and we can't wait to go back!
Dar Roumana is exceptional and wonderful
As we entered the Dar Roumana we were literally awestruck - the beauty of the old mosaic, and painted cedar wood carving is the match of any building we saw in Fez. The rooms are palatial with a real eye for comfort and style. There is a fantastic view from the Dar's luxurious roof terrace over both the Fez Medina ( which is 2 minutes walk away) and the sourrounding hills The Dar building far exceeded our expectations as the online photos and website do not convey the actual splendour of the house.
But it was not the building that made our stay exceptional, but the young American owners, Jennifer and Sebastian, who could not have been more welcoming. They gave us a real insight into what it might be like to live in Fez. They gave us maps and the confidence to walk around the Medina with no guide ( much better) , and Jennifer accompanied me to the local Hammam - completely inaccessible to most tourists. From the moment Sebastian met us at the station -a welcome friendly face after a long journey- our every need was taken care of. There were also some extras, like henna painting provided by one of the staff for our teenage daughters. The Dar is English based so we did not even have to exercise our ropey French!
Jennifer who has painstakingly restored the Dar, often doing the work herself, is also a superb chef, providing some of the best food in Fez, with just the right blend of Moroccan and European influences. Dinner by candlelight in these surroundings was quite an experience.. The restoration of the Dar is now nearing completion and is a brave and wonderful project - this is an unforgettable place to stay and we cannot recommend it highly enough.
TripAdvisor Reviews Dar Roumana Fes
Travel Blogs from Fes
... ju ju be nuts. We stopped at one and Lansari arranged for us to visit their house which was across the road. It was a fascinating opportunity to see how the local Berber people live. We sampled the Ju Ju be nuts back on the bus. Meknes is considered the capital of olive trees. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was the Royal Capital from the 17th century until the French moved the capital to Rabat. The present dynasty unified Morocco. It is the ...
... here. It actually tasted good - juicy. After purchasing items in the medina, our group headed back to the train for a ride to Fes. Geckos uses local forms of travel as often as possible and meant that I ended in a train car with a couple of locals. There were about 8 to a car and we shared a giggle once we realized the squeaking and nudging of one couples' bag was a chicken they were transporting home. It reminded me a little of the chicken buses in ...
... a wonderful fountain that graces the center of the courtyard. The walls are covered with intricate mosaics or exquisitely carved stucco, that is typical of the interior decorations of royal buildings in Fez. We enjoy an excellent Moroccan lunch here, with the highlight being the opportunity to take in all of the beauty that surrounds us here. It is definitely like something out of a movie. in beautiful courtyard of an old home.
After lunch, we spent ...
Rather than let us wander off by ourselves and explore the Imperial city of Meknes our guide organised another guide to guide us. He is concerned about stepping on the financial toes of the local tourist industry. Fair enough. The history of Morocco is a tangled one but to summarise: Berber tribes led to small Berber kingdoms followed by Arab invasion and rule and back to Berber followed by French and now Arab-ish rule. During the course of ...
... route through the Atlas mountains, which would have made for some spectacular scenery. The scenery on this route seems fairly bleak so using this time to write our highlights from Fes.
1. Food and sweets - In Morocco this seems to always make it to our list of highlights. Tagines (hot clay pot baked in the oven or on a stove) of all kinds, meat, fish, veggies, 'brains' (haven't tried this yet) and deep fried sweets soaked in honey. We ...