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Picking a hotel should be a simple task, but I get lost in too many options. But when deciding where to stay in Fes, I didn’t have to search hard because I got an awesome reader recommendation for Dar Seffarine.
Why You Should Stay in a Riad (or “Dar”)
In Moroccan, a dar is a house and thus Dar Seffarine is a guesthouse. This is not a hotel, and you’ll do best by picturing some of the comforts of a boutique hotel, crossing it with a B&B’s communal atmosphere, and then adding in the personal touch of Moroccan hospitality. If you haven’t tried anything like this, Dar Seffarine is the perfect place to start because it is a very laid-back and easy-going atmosphere.
This is exactly the type of accommodation I enjoy the most, but it is not for everyone. If you expect room service or even a TV, you’ll want to look for other options. However, if you want a place where you exchange stories over breakfast with other guests and take tea and learn about hidden spots in the city with the owners, you’ll love Dar Seffarine.
Dar Seffarine History
Dar Seffarine is over six hundred years old and after centuries of being lived in, it was in need of a little TLC. Nearly three years of careful, loving restoration has brought this building to true splendor. Like most buildings in Fes, the outside appearance is plain, and perhaps even run-down, but after stepping inside two sets of doors, you’ll find yourself in a magnificent guesthouse.
This Fes Riad is Beautiful
The Location Makes This One of the Best Riads in Fez
What Makes Dar Seffarine Special
Eeryone who works at this guesthouse has learned what great customer service is through the gracious owners, Kate and Alaa. They are warm people who genuinely want you to enjoy your stay and are happy to chat with you to ensure you have a great visit to the city they now call home. However, the hospitality doesn’t stop there. Everyone working there was friendly and helpful. In the mornings, Mohammed was our go-to man and he started the day on the right foot with a smile, lots of laughter, and a great breakfast. Not only did he share delectable meals, but he took the time to show me how different meals were prepared and where I could find the same pastries in the (local, authentic) market. Zuhair was available in the evenings, and he also was a pleasure, sharing maps of the medina, information about Fes, and even taking the time to sit for tea and cookies with us.
And, Oh! The Food!
If breakfast is good, then dinner is spectacular. Yes, it’s on the pricey side for Morocco, but it’s convenient, relaxing, delicious, and plentiful. Your choices for dinner are vegetarian or non-vegetarian, and the kitchen will decide on the specifics. Expect breads, soup, salads, tagines or other entrees, roast vegetables, and dessert. Drinks are available at an upcharge so get cozy and settle in for the night with a bottle of wine if you’re feeling deprived. Chances are, you’ll eat with other guests, which leads to great conversation and a meal that hits the high points of being served family-style. I very much enjoyed the dinner we ate here for both the quality of food and interesting company.
A Local Touch
You won’t find the same amenities here as you would at the Sofitel down the road, but we had everything we needed. There’s a heater for the winter and ceiling fan for the summer. You’re treated to mint tea at any time you want, often with little sweets on the side as if sweetened tea isn’t enough.
Another great amenity is that they work with trusted local guides who can share the history, culture, or other things tailored specifically to your interests. By partnering with guides who work on a flat rate rather than tips or commissions, they can offer a quality, immersive experience. Best of all? No hard sells on getting a guide; we simply said “no, thank you” and went off to explore on our own although other guests raved about their experiences.
Have you decided where to stay in Fes? Book now!
I almost always book through Booking.com for easy details on pricing and reviews plus one-click cancellation if needed.
I can’t say it any better than the original recommendation I received: “It is the most incredible place I have ever stayed, in one of the most amazing cities I have ever visited.”
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I paid for my stay at Dar Seffarine in full and did not receive any compensation for this review. As a travel blogger I love sharing opportunities for you to travel the world affordably (and comfortably!) and felt that this hotel was worth a glowing recommendation. Some links in this review may provide commission if you book from my review.