More about Riad Laaroussa
Lovely Stay at Riad Laaroussa
This lovely and palacial riad has been painstakingly restored to its former glory, and offers both the comforts of a hotel with a greater level of hospitality than a standard hotel can offer. It is like a mini paradise in the heart of the medina - the courtyard, in particular, is quite beautiful. The staff speak excellent English and were very helpful in making our stay comfortable. It was also fun meeting the other guests while taking tea in the salon around the fireplace.
Tranquil Oasis in Fez
We visited the Riad Laaroussa for a much-needed break during September of 2007 and had a wonderful time. The Riad was excellent in every way, especially the attentive and helpful staff (Mohammed, Samira, Fatima etc.), and the owner of the Riad, Fred; nothing was too much trouble. Riad Laaroussa is a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the old Medina and we would highly recommend it.
Unsurpassed tranquility and bonhomie
My wife Marina and I have just returned from six days and nights at Riad Laaroussa. In three decades of travel around the world, we have never felt more welcome and at ease than we did at this extraordinary house deep in the old medina of Fez. The house itself is an astonishing oasis of tranquility, from the beautiful inner courtyard with its fountains and orange trees to the terrace and its 360-degree views of the medina and mountains beyond. It is difficult to say which is more pleasurable: the breakfasts of fresh fruit, warm pastries, and Moroccan-style crepes served on the terrace as the sun begins to bake the medina, or the candlelit gourmet dinners set out in the courtyard to the accompaniment of the splashing water of the fountains and the call to prayer echoing from the city’s minarets.
What makes one’s stay at Riad Laaroussa truly memorable, however, is the bonhomie and hospitality of Fred Sola and his wonderful staff – Sabah, Samira, Fatima, Mounir, Mohammed,
Couter, Khadija, Rabia, Naima, and the others whose names I apologize for having forgotten.
The Fez medina, with its narrow lanes crowded with people in flowing djellabas and donkeys trundling by laden with crates of Coca-Cola or bales of wool, can be daunting upon arrival for the first–time visitor. Fred and his staff eased our transition from the 21st to the 9th century by ensuring we were met at the train station and escorted through the maze of the medina and then welcomed with mint tea in the salon of the riad. This respite gave us time to appreciate our new surroundings and compare them to the photos on the salon walls showing what the riad looked like before and during its renovation – a breathtaking transformation.
Fred encouraged us to consider the house our own, especially to feel at home in the kitchen. That is, in fact, where we spent our most delightful time, chatting with Samira and Fatima and Sabah, unlocking the secrets of Moroccan cuisine, learning Arabic along with the cooking, and making good friendships in the bargain. Each day we’d head off into the medina with Samira to shop for that night’s dinner, tasting the figs or grapes she considered buying, getting to know the merchants, feeling as though we belonged in Fez too.
Fred is fond of speaking of the humanity of Fez, that contact with what’s essential in our common nature that one senses in the centuries-old pageant coursing up and down its cobbled streets, swirling past its mosques and through its fragrant souks. He’s on to something there, but it extends as well to the adventure and journey he and his staff have embarked upon at Riad Laaroussa itself. Their joie de vivre is infectious and reassuring. Come to Fez and Fred’s house to feel good about life again.
Sean from Ann Arbor
Damian and Suzy say....
We arrived by hire car from Marrakech and Sabah kindly met us to guide us the the Riad. That was essential.
However well travelled, nothing could prepare the senses for the contrast between the narrow Medina alleys and the ancient court of floodlit orange trrees and lawn surrounded babbling fountain, that welcomes, beyond the door to Riad Laaroussa.
This dream-like centre piece combines ancient Morrocan architecture with all its magnificent historic intricacy and charm, together with the extraordinary artistic sensitivity of the owner responsible for reflecting the same dedicated passion that built it all in the first place.
We were flooded with the sense of 'having arrived'.
That thirst quenching travellers' relief, gulping in that 'whoever runs all this, knows what's required'.
They do and it's a team led by the owner Fred.
Fred is a man who like any artist, first makes himself a canvass by painstakingly renovating to authentic perfection, a seven hundred year old palace.
He then takes the many colours of the local Morrocan people in his staff, selecting the strong pigments of care, humour, understanding, ability and from these he mixes and presents an experience worthy of an impressionist grand master, vivid colour, charm and a sensual delight.
If you can get to stay there, do - there are bold exciting touches where 'Fred the artist' has waved his brush with modern energy and flair and that's just another of the many big 'Wows' behind that little alley door.
Gorgeous place and sincere wonderful staff
We stayed only 1 night in the Blue Room, which connects to a sitting/dining room and stairs leading to the beautiful roof garden. We had a small child with us, sleeping in our room while we were dining, so the staff brought our dinner to us and served it in our adjoining lounge. They could not have been sweeter or more accommodating. The location is great, right in the old medina of Fes and the building and courtyard are a spectacular restored mansion. Don't miss the breakfast on the roof, it was one of the highlights.
exceptional stay in the heart of the medina
what a wonderful stay. my wife and i stayed at the riad for 3 nights while we visited fes and surrounding area. the riad was magnificant - perfect location in the medina, hidden away on a small street, incredibly decorated.
the slightest detail was not overlooked. the food was fantastic when we ate there. the service from booking drivers to guides was perfect. best of all was the polite and knowledgable staff. we became friends with them and chatted with them often; they were so friendly and wonderful to talk to.
would highly recommend this riad in fes!
Highlight of our Trip
Exquisitely restored 800 year old palace - tasteful surroundings, excellent and accommodating staff, relaxed ambiance, wonderful food, huge rooms full of architectural detail, great location - truly a wonderful experience!
I can take no credit for finding Riad Laroussa because my co-travellers made all of the bookings but boy...were we in for a treat. As it was my first time in Morocco, I had no idea what to expect from a Riad conversion but I was so pleasantly surprised. Arrival and pick up (my flight was 3.5 hours late) was seamless, welcome at 10:30 pm was warm and helpful and discrete. The fireplace that was in my room was already lit making me feel warm and cozy immediately. The manager, Saba waited for my arrival before going home. The room (and this is true for the entre place) was absolutely lovely. An elegant restoration with attention paid to detail; a lovely mixture of modern and traditonal. My suite (The Orange sutie) was absolutely gorgeus (and perhaps needless to say but I'll say it anyway, perfectly 100% clean and well maintained). The courtyard with its orange trees and fountain are colourful and peaceful and the entire place is a great respite for what is the hussle and bustle of the Medina.
Breakfast was delicious, a nice blend of fruits and breads and teas and coffees and local specialites and it changed everyday giving us the chance to sample a variety.
As I had arrived in the winter just before Christmas, the Riad was not completely full so I was lucky enough to get a tour o some of the other rooms which were all beautifully done, each with their own charm and style. My only regret for this trip was not being able to sunbathe on the beautiful roof terrace due to the cold weather. But that's the kind of place that it is....you just want to stay and soak it in. I look forward to my next stay there and will make sure that I spend more time relaxing in the Riad itself!!
a perfect experience
We stayed for three nights in early January and had a wonderful time. Fred and his staff treated us like family. The rooms are enormous and gorgeous and the sitting room is the cosiest place to curl up with a book and a glass of wine and mimi the cat. The breakfasts every morning were delicious. it was too cold to eat on the roof deck in January, but if you are staying during the colder months go up there anyway. The view is spectacular. We made a fire in our room every night and slept wonderfully- the beds are comfortable and the riad is very quiet. The whole place looks like a palace, but the vibe is very low key and comfortable. Ask Samira to let you tag along when she goes to the market, really interesting, plus she's a lot of fun. Overall, i can't say enough good things about this riad. Fred also sent us to another riad around the corner called riad fes which is a great place to have drinks and dinner. But stay at riad larouissa- you won't want to leave.
You would be insane to stay anywhere else! This hotel surpassed the service and attention to detail that I have experienced at any other hotel. Nothing was overlooked, the property is beautiful and immaculately clean.The food is beyond exquisite. The service is prompt, polite and attentive though most of your needs are anticipated before you realise it yourself. Bill and Tom are wonderful, as are the rest of the staff. Worth every dirham!