- Central Medina location
- Friendly welcome & relaxed atmosphere
- Arty, eclectic style
- Beautiful ruined garden restaurant
Located in the heart of Fes, Riad Idrissy offers an arty, bohemian base from which to explore the ancient Medina.
A project of two friends (John and Robert) Riad Idrissy first opened its doors in 2012 after a 6 year restoration. Careful, sympathetic work has brought the 400 year old riad back to life, it’s now a celebration of traditional Fes style - think beautiful mosaics, tilled walls and intricate carvings combined with contemporary touches and stylish object d’art.
The Riad has an intimate atmosphere with just 5 rooms, all of which are en-suite with air-conditioning. Each has a nod towards luxury with rain drench showers, mist free mirrors and high quality bedding and bath sheets. Mensah, located on the roof terrace, is huge and can easily fit a family of four. It should be said that its bathroom is on the smaller size and probably the least impressive of the lot but don’t let this put you off, it’s a lovely choice especially for younger families and represents great value for money.
For relaxing there is a small roof terrace and sitting room with balcony on the middle floor. There’s also a cosy salon on the ground floor which really comes into its own in the cooler winter months.
The Riad does lack a plunge pool, which can be important for families in the summer, but all is not lost as instead you have the ruined garden restaurant. Attached to Riad Idrissy, the garden is set in the foot print of an ancient Riad. Here you’ll find a rambling garden with Triffid like plants growing in large pots, shady terraces and secluded seating areas. The vivid greens combined with the eclectic mix of pretty table cloths create a slightly surreal yet incredibly charming atmosphere. Breakfast is served here and you have the garden all to yourself until opening time at 12. You also can choose to eat lunch or dinner here; the menu is traditional Moroccan street food during the day and modern Moroccan in the evening. Meals are reasonably priced but please note that alcohol is not served.
Both Robert and John spent many years working in hospitality (they met whilst working at The Ivy restaurant in London) and their customer service experience shows through, from the warm welcome and complementary mineral water to the thoughtful ‘wake up’ hampers (containing tea and coffee) which are left outside your room each morning.
Wifi is available throughout the Riad.
We had a wonderful trip to Morocco. What a fascinating country. Thank you so much for all of your help making things smooth and less stressful!
Here are a few things we wanted to pass on:
Dar Housnia was absolutely delightful. It was like an entire wing of a house to ourselves with perfect Moroccan decor. The private area where we ate was so cute, the riad staff so accommodating. I loved waking in the cozy space with our family and hearing both call to prayer as well as roosters. Just perfect.
I was a little unclear how to ask what time we were being picked up etc, but your office promptly replied to my emails - even on weekends- when we had these questions about transport times. Once, we met our guide in Imlil these details we not problematic as our guide “Abraham” totally took care of us. Abraham was awesome. You should definitely request him again in the future. He was young (29)and energetic. He had a ton of hiking experience in Imlil as he was from there. He also seemed to know everything else about morocco, the desert, the culture, etc, etc. He was approachable, kind, patient, great with our kids and answered SO MANY of our questions.
The hike was lovely - after rain the day prior in Marrakech - there was snow in the mountains. It was gorgeous. We may have been up for a longer hike up Mt Taboukel if I had known this was a realistic option for families ( I thought from reading that it was too technical for us). Yet not sure we had enough days for all these things always since getting in the desert was a priority.
The mountain house, Dar adar, was just as described… very basic. The wifi was broken (which was a nice break when you have pre-teens addicted to phones, plus my husband called no wifi an amenity to not be available by email for his work!)). There was no heat and the fireplace helped a tad - but was so very cold in the rooms. My husband loved the rustic space, I may have gone up one step in niceness of mountain accommodation if I had to do it over again. Yet, meeting the other families in this Dar Adar (including another Tourdust family from England) made this house very memorable.
We were then joined by our driver for the next several days, Jamal. What a fun guy and a perfect driver. He could joke with my kids, he had a fun smile, and he had worked with Abraham before so they were a great team. The drive to desert was long as I knew it would be. It was nice to have the stop on way there near Ait Ben Haddu. The drive back from desert was long. It was more near 10 hours of driving (plus 1 hour at lunch = 11 hours) but I wouldn’t have made any different choices.
The luxury desert camp was far and away the highlight of our trip. The tents were adorable, I was sufficiently warm even at night inside the tent. We loved the camel riding, the ATV vehicles at a nearby camp, sunsets on the dunes, music around the camp fire, meals with others at the camp and more.
The last night was at Riad Jona. This was so very very lovely. The food was amazing - such a good idea to eat here after our long drive back to Marrakech. They had a small dining pool plus a hot tub which was delightful. It was almost more of a boutique hotel as it had several rooms.
Gwyneth R reviewing Luxury Family Desert Holiday on 11 December 2018
The trek was fab, really enjoyed it! Was definitely a challenge but one worth doing. Our Guide Mohammed was excellent, took care of our needs, patient and went at a suitable pace for us. Ali, the muleteer and cook made us the most remarkable dishes and such large quantities, we felt bad for leaving so much food.....was enough for six people or more.
The refuges provided us a great place to stay....the first one was very quiet only another couple staying there, whilst the next was much busier and was a fab way to meet new people.
We were really pleased we made it to the summit, it felt like a great achievement.
I don’t think I would change any part of it.
Thank you, to you and your partners in Morrcco, will recommend you to anyone who wishes to follow in my footsteps.
Louise D reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal on 29 August 2018
The walking in the mountains was a fantastic experience, helped by our perfect guide Ibrahim. He was intelligent, kind, cheerful and looked after us very well. He could answer all our questions on flora, fauna, geology, history and local culture. He walked at a steady phase that suited all and made sure everyone was happy. We could not have asked for more.
Our favourite place to stay was the Azzaden trekking lodge where we were welcomed warmly with slippers, dates, milk and a hand wash. The food was excellent and the breakfast was very impressive. The hospitality of Mohamed was second to none. The view from the balcony was amazing and when it got dark the stars came out in their millions. ( we did however not manage to find out in which bed Daniel Craig had slept).
When we reached Kasbah Toubkal the weather had turned cold and wet so we could not enjoy the roof terrace and the outdoor area.
Riad Tzara was excellent and Naima, Khadija, Abdul and Mohamed looked after our every need. We had dinner one night on the roof of Dar Hanane where the view over the city was great. We also liked the cozy roof terrace in Riad Tzara where the perfect temperature was in the afternoon after escaping from the noises and fumes of the Medina.
Inga O reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Comfort Trek on 27 February 2018