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Dar Rbab
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Savings alert! 18% below average rates

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Reviews (90)
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Reviewed 26 December 2013 via mobile

My family and I visited Dar rbab for lunch today and had a very lovely experience. The staff were attentive and welcoming and while we practiced our French the staff was also fluent in English.
The building is a lovely 800 year old home in the Medina and is well kept (lovingly so) with a strong aesthetic as well as a touch of British sensibility (photos of Churchill and Ian Fleming on the wall).
The lunch began at what appeared to be a handmade local mosaic table. Beautiful plates of prepared vegetables were among the best and freshest we've had in morocco. Spaghetti bolognese was a nice departure from our streak of tajine at lunch and dinner everyday elsewhere. The interior doors and fine woodwork were beautiful and the ceiling was a few stories high creating the sensation of being in a very luxurious space. This was our first open kitchen and it was spotlessly clean, which was great.
Dessert was also yummy and contained fresh bananas.
The price was well less than our sadly overpriced lunch the prior day and portions were more than generous here.
We felt very well looked after and would be delighted to return. Congrats on a lovely experience (complete with Miles Davis and Etta James as delightful background music).

Stayed: December 2013
Thank EdGrapeZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 November 2013 via mobile

We liked: Great location - minutes walk from the main souk and easy enough to find, and there's a small shop at the end of the street which was a godsend when we arrived on Friday night when all the restaurants were closed. We were given a key to the main door and our room, and felt very secure inside the guesthouse. Internet is ok but didn't work in our room unless we sat right next to the door. The manager is helpful and friendly and breakfast was good. The central courtyard and seating area just off it are beautiful with original features and jazz on the radio.

Disliked: It would have been prefect if as much attention had been paid to the room as to the public area. We stayed in the 'venetian room' which was off the main courtyard on the ground level, and so we were woken each morning around 7.30 by the staff getting breakfast ready etc, and by some noisy guests who arrived at 11.30pm and proceeded to talk over a bottle of wine noisily. I had to ask them to keep it down, which I expected the manager would have done as he was also up. They might as well have been in the same room for all the soundproofing the door offered. The red paint on the wall stained my boyfriends shirt when he brushed against it. Apart from one leather pouf, there was nowhere to put our things - a small bedside table would have helped, as we had to put everything on the floor. The bathroom situation is frankly ridiculous - a small cupboard like space off the main room has a toilet and overhead shower, but no door, and so you can see the toilet from the bed. Zero privacy. On the first night the drain smelled for hours after my shower. The floor isn't level so the water collects in a puddle around the sink, meaning we had to put our shoes on to use the toilet. The paint in the shower was peeling and came off and stuck to my skin when I was showering. To be honest it felt like we were staying in two separate hotels, with the rooms completely mismatched to the rest of the guesthouse.

Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Soapywise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 November 2013

We stayed in the red room of the riad, which we booked for 4 nights. Unfortunately we decided to leave after two nights for the following reasons:
- Despite it being a small riad and not a hotel, we were not given any advice at arrival or visit of the riad, or a welcome tea to discuss the history of the place and the must sees of fes. Nothing, just brought to our room and that's it...during the walk from the gate to the riad, the manager almost did not speak to us to give us some hints to find the riad ourselves for the next days etc...
- the room itself was nice, big and quite charming but the bathroom was definitely not good: bad smell and the shower was not practical at all as you had to clean the whole bathroom to evacuate the water after a shower. Also, what a pity that despite all the amazing handicraft from fes, that there are no reading lights:(
- we had to pay 25€ for the airport transfer and for the guide from the gate to the riad. In reality the true price is 14€ which we paid in another riad and they even came to pick us at the gate! So for me this is more a hotel behavior than a small riad:(
- there is no access at all to the terrace for fresh air:( I should have seen this when booking but in other riads you can have a nice rooftop terrace to relax from the buzz of the medina.

I think value for money is good with a good breakfast, 35€ is the maximum I would say, but we will not return. For 15-20€ more you can stay in a nicer riad, with panoramic view and nicer decoration and bathroom.

Mohammed and mark were nice and easy to contact and answered all our questions.

If you are looking for a cheap and simple place, this is a good solution but If you are looking for something with more charm and character, we think there are better places in the medina.

Note: I allow myself to give such feedback as all these points can easily be improved for the future. For example, put some candles with perfume in the bathroom, add a couple of reading lights, and a warmer welcome with advice and recommendations for the area. And charge the true price for the shuttle 120-150 dh instead of taking 10€ commission! As for the terrace, I guess if it has not been opened there must be a good reason, at least I hope. But it would be so much nicer to relax than in the darker patio...

Room Tip: Ask to be on the top floor, as there is one room in the ground floor, very dark and noisy as close to the breakfast area.
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank JanAntibes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mark_Willenbrock, Owner at Dar Rbab, responded to this reviewResponded 6 November 2013

We do normally offer guests tea on arrival. Equally, we do our best to orientate our guests within the medina. But, we are a very small business and it is possible that in this instance it didn't happen. To be fair to us, it is a free service.

We've covered the subject of our bathrooms before here. They were designed, by me, as traditional hammams - so effectively a wet room. I absolutely detest plastic shower cabinets and the like. Neither the bathrooms nor the house is particularly easy or practical. I note that no one ever mentions the magnificent cedar woodwork, the gilding on the doors, the carved stucco.

We are working on the drains. Traditionally, in Fes the drains were constructed with hand made bricks forming the base and side of the drains, with the top formed by a plank of wood. Vertical drains are made of interlocking terracotta pipes - rather like a plant pot without a base. Obviously this isn't the most leak proof construction. We are working to replace this with plastic pipes, but, I stress that Dar Rbab has been restored, and, due to the fragile and complex nature of these houses, we will never be finished.

Most 'riads' have been demolished; destroyed and rebuilt. It's much easier. You can fit in all the modern amenities you want, accurately quantify the cost, and nothing leaks. However, the houses just don't feel the same. I adore the patina and character of these old mini palaces. Complain as much as you want; I'm not knocking my house down to pander to people's desire for perfect plumbing. You can get that at home.

We charge 25 euros for an airport transfer. This includes our fee for organising the transfer and an additional payment for the driver, who will park his car and walk with you through the medina to our door. If you wish, you can take a taxi from the airport, who will charge you 130dhs (around 11 euros). Find one yourself. You will be left at the gate and have to find your own way to us. It's a straightforward choice and we are not forcing anyone into paying our fee for the transfer. The bus is even cheaper. Walking is cheaper still.

Whilst the house has a roof terrace it isn't (yet) open to the public. We are working on it. Other riads frequently do have terraces, and if the courtyard (open to the sky except in cold or bad weather) isn't enough fresh air for you, I'd recommend choosing a riad with a terrace.

Finally, please remember that depending on who you book through, our creaky old riad costs from just 25 euros a night. TWENTY FIVE EUROS. With private bathrooms and air conditioning. So, all you amateur travel writers and critics, please remember to keep things in context. We are CHEAP, and I hope, charming and interesting. Perfection is available elsewhere.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2013

We spent 3 nights at Dar Rbab, and due to my gluten free diet, felt it wise to eat breakfast and dinner here, especially as I was particular about not only eating traditional Moroccan cuisine, but not having to worry about dietary difficulties.
There is a very relaxed feel about this Riad, and a freedom to move around which was required at this stage of our trip in Morocco, and any individual requests about anything, were well catered for.
Dar Rbab became our base; Mark, our host, arranged a guide (although the day we set off with her was a public holiday so many places had been closed or shut down early), to orientate us with the medina, its culture and history.
A real treat for me was the afternoon of cooking with Mohammad and Aisha. Firstly, after our typical leisurely breakfast, Mark, Mohammad (the house manager), my husband and I set off to the local souk to purchase the goodies required for the dinner to be prepared. This has been one of the absolute highlights of my trip to Morocco! The hustling and bustling of everyday life, the haggling, tantalising scents of coriander and mint fill the air as we wind our way around the labyrinth of streets purchasing ingredients which are stored 'at home' until later in the day.
My lesson begins with Farah and Mohammad as we prepare the traditional Fes salads and our piece de resistance 'Atlas Chicken Tagine'. I have learnt how to stuff beautiful, juicy dates with fried, peeled almonds (there is an art to peeling these), figs that have been reduced to beautiful rich syrup containing cinnamon and sugar, after caramelising onions (that I have to admit Aisha peeled and diced) before assembling the whole dish, which looked and tasted stunning. Being an ESL teacher, I used this time to avail Mohammad of english lessons as he was very eager to improve his repertoire of vocabulary, which was a complementary exchange of skills sets!
We thoroughly enjoyed the time spent at Dar Rbab.

Room Tip: Choose an upstairs room, the downstairs room is adjacent to the living area.
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Felis2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2013

The room was comfortable and the aircon was a lifesaver for us during August, the hottest month of the year! Mohammad was always there to assist us with anything and everything during our stay. He also arranged a guide, Abdul, to bring us around the medina. Abdul was really engaging and protective of us as we walked around the medina. The breakfast was always good, and we had a chance to have lunch at a nearby restaurant which served really tasty dishes as well.

Room Tip: If you have bulky baggage you should probably choose the room on the ground floor if possible. Lugging the baggage up and down the stairs is a chore!
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank winnielaii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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