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Travel Blogs from Fes
... the shopkeepers were a little more vocal today than yesterday with all the locals, but not to the point of being aggressive or intimidating. A simple "Non Merci" suffices, just don't stop walking (my travelling companion extraordinaire Bun learned this the hard way with some dude selling mini bongo drums!)
A headed towards the Karouine university and tanneries and quickly got lost (there are over 9000 unmarked alleyways in ...
... same thing every meal, BESIDES the one time I decided to try something new... some sort of soup. So while I stared at the insides of our hotel room all day, Colleen and Chelsea did a little last minute shopping. Then we headed to the airport. Even been sick on a plane.. probably one of the worst experiences ever. For starters, usually the Ryanair flights are freeeezing, but this time the plane was about a million degrees, then I ...
... last rabbi was nearby, along with many houses featuring white-washed walls, dark shutters and balconies, with Moroccan and Jewish stars (the Moroccan one, featured on their red flag has 5 points, the Jewish Star of David has 6). Both featured on a number of different buildings. I managed to snap a few of the long, narrow buildings of yesteryear as I walked thro’ the mellah, which is more than I could do at the Dar el-Makhzen. With 80 hectares set aside for ...
... to a weaving shop (also pictured below). All of the "machines" are not electronic. They are powered by the feet and hands of the Moroccan craftsmen. Each scarf, turban, linen, table cover, is hand crafted. A coined phrase that is not heard very often in the United States.
Fes also houses the first University in the world that is now actually a mosque because it is no longer in use as a school. I was able to see how tiles were ...
... be a walk through about a dozen different twisting alleys to their car and then a 10 minute car ride each way. Had we known it was that far, we would just have gone to the ATM back at Bab Barjloud (which we have now determined is only 5 minutes walk away. It has also started to rain - no, make that 'pour'. Its like a torrential Brisbane storm and Khardija buys an umbrella for herself and one for us. When we get back to the riad, she will take no money ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Riad Norma Fes
A lovely Experience
This Riad lived up to it's excellent reputation. My boyfriend and I stayed there for two nights in early September and couldn't have been happier with our choice. The riad is totally gorgeous. The staff are friendly and helpful, everything they recommended was amazing. I would recommend Norma to everyone!
Simple Luxury in Complicated Setting
We really enjoyed our stay in Fes and Riad Norma was a large party of our experience. Fes Medina is anything but simple; an incredible maze for even the most seasoned traveler. For this reason alone, Riad Norma is a perfect place to stay while visiting. After a long day wandering the crowded twisting streets of the Medina, or a day trip to Meknes, Riad Norma's peaceful environment, accented by local music, provides a great respite from the day's heat. The staff is wonderful with Monique (the owner) always present, and Abdelkader (the manager) extremely attentive. The rooms are spacious and the food is well prepared and very reasonably priced. Breakfast and dinner are served in a garden surrounding the pool. Finally, no review of Riad Norma would be complete without a mention of the house cat, Ti-Ti.
We highly recommend staying here.
Riad Norma - Gracious Living.
My wife and I spent 4 days in Fes, staying at Norma - It is charming and everything one would hope for on a holiday. We were treated as if we were royalty. Monique, the owner, and Abdelkader, her Major domo, were caring, and meticulous in their approach to all amenities.
Monique's cooking was delicious, prompting us to have all our dinners there, at poolside (as were our ample Moroccan breakfasts).
We would return there in an instant - our stay couldn't have been more wonderful.
Larry and Sonja
Heaven in Fes
We just came back from an 8-day trip to Morocco, and Riad Norma was a particular delight in a marvelous trip. The review immediately preceeding this one captures much of our experience (down to the Tosca suite and musicians during dinner). Abdelkader, the hotel manager, was the most gracious host (as was Monique, the owner of the riad, but she was in France for part of our stay), and you may trust any of his recommendations-- he will really look out for you. We looked forward to the plunge pool in the lovely garden at the end of each day, and breakfast each morning. If we are ever back in Fes, this is where we will stay.
Hard to beat
A truly beautiful place to stay. Well located - within the medina walls, but on the medina periphery away from the chaotic shopping areas. My wife and I stayed in the Tosca suite. Very opulent, with a twenty foot ceiling, a nice seating area, nice furnishings, a king sized bed and a large private bathroom with tub. Individual air conditioning at your control. Plenty of hot water. The riad has a nice central court where breakfast is served and an attractive garden with a small clean pool that is nice for a cooling dip. Breakfast (same breakfast each day, included) is fresh orange juice, fresh fruit, yogurt, a traditional semolina bread (texture of cornbread) and a chewy crepe-like pancake. There is strawberry jam, marmalade and honey, and coffee or tea as well. Dinner is available at the riad at 25 euros per person and very good local wine is available at 15 euros per bottle. The dinner offerings were traditional Moroccan fare (chicken or lamb tagines, couscous) and very tasty. We had dinner at the riad 3 of the 4 nights we were there. One night we went to a restaurant recomended by the riad that had traditional Arab and Berber entertainments - about 8 "acts" including various musicians, several groups of dancers (including the mandatory belly dancer), a magician, and a mock wedding. Food was OK and the sampling of music and dance from both the Arab and Berber cultures was interesting. Clearly a production for the tourists, but still a good sampler. The last evening we were there, the owner of the riad, an elegant French woman named Monique, arranged for the guests to be entertained by a pair of Berber musicians/dancers. Their entertainment was very good and different than any we had seen in the restaurant - very percussive. They invited all the riad guests to participate in the dancing. It was good fun.
Bottom line, if you want satellite TV, a game room, and 24-hour room service, this is not the place. If you want quiet, elegant, plush surroundings, a small but attentive staff, and good eats, Riad Norma is a great choice.
A haven of peace in the medina
We stayed in this beautiful riyad for four wonderful days at the end of March. It took twelve craftsmen eight months just to restore the plasterwork and the results are exquisite. The beautiful garden, with its pretty pool, orange trees and flowers was a peaceful haven after a day in the medina. Monique, her excellent staff and her cat will make you feel very much at home. The food was delicious and we did not eat a better couscous anywhere else in Morocco. Abdelkader will look after any requests for guides or cars and was always very helpful. We will be back.
A little gem
We booked this riad [townhouse]after reading other favourable reviews. We were not disappointed.
The house is approached along a fairly narrow Medina alleyway. But inside what a difference. A lovely inter
ior with a warm welcome and excellent food.
Monique and her staff do an excellent job.
The riad is in a quiet part of the Medina and is in easy walking distance of the busier parts. The staff can arrange a guide for your first walk. Do ask about the palaces close to the riad; they are eye-opening.
If we have one small criticism it is about the lost opportunity to further enhance the night-time interior with imaginative lighting.
As an alternative to Norma the recently opened Riad de cle de Fes is Morocco with a modern twist. It is operated by another French lady. Looks very good.
Most Beautiful Riad in the World
This is indeed the most beautiful place we have ever stayed. You will truly feel like you are a guests at a palace. The staff is excellent, Monique the owner is a true joy, and the food - from the elegant dinner to the Moroccan sweets - is delicious. The architecture and decor are stunning. We cannot wait to return.
For a special stay in Fez it has to be Riad Norma with staff preempting your every need, superb food, advice from hunting houses to actually accompanying us as translator and beds and linen from same suppliers as Royal Palace. I cannot praise Monique and her staff (all 5 star) highly enough and as for the Riad lovingly restored at great cost, it was worth every euro or dirham. We felt at all times like royalty and were treated as such, faultless hostelry.
A surprise awaits
From the outside you would not believe that a riad of any sort exits but once you step inside it's like you are in a different world. The owner is a French lady named Monique who has renovated this home to the riad it is now. The service is outstanding and the dinners are fantastic. The breakfasts were delicious especially the freshly squeezed orange juice. The room we stayed was called Lucia and was quite large with it's own private bath. Everything about this place was dream like and beautiful and I would give it a 10 out of 10.