Lovely traditional Fez house in great location in Fez medina
My partner and our friends (so two couples) stayed at Dar Mystere in March. Although it belongs to someone we know in our home town, this is an impartial review. It was helpful to us to know that we could trust the owner and get reliable information before we went.
We were met by arrangement at the station which was a great help. The house-keeper Alami was very helpful with good English. He doesn't stay at the Dar but lives about ten minutes walk away and was on hand if we needed him. He showed us around the house and then welcomed us to make it our home.
We explored and were delighted to find that the house, although simple, was very clean and modern yet still traditional with tiled everything. The bedrooms were around a balcony and we could have easily accommodated 2 or three more people. 1 is ensuite but the other has a toilet and washbasin so close that it is virtually ensuite (though the shower is downstairs). The third bedroom is on the 2nd floor and there is a roof garden above that. On the ground floor is the kitchen, a spacious dining area which is the full height of the three floors with a 'roof' which can be wound back to reveal the sky. We didn't do much of this as in March it was still quite chilly and there were some hefty rain showers. Around the ground floor central space are three 'salons' sort of furnished alcoves so that you can choose where to sit in the evenings or to read a guidebook.
The kitchen was basically equipped with a large fridge, a cooker top (but no oven) and kettle. I would have liked to cook with food brought from the market, which I could have done, except that we found lots of places to eat nearby and wanted to explore the various Moroccan cooking styles. But don't plan on extensive dinner party cooking - more one or two pot would be fine. The bathroom/shower room is downstairs and tiled with a deep shower tray/bath. There is plentiful hot water from a new boiler. There is no central heating though, and as Moroccan houses are designed to keep the heat out, and with lots of tiled surfaces the house got chilly in the evening. This was easily solved by fleeces and sitting in the little curtained salon which also had a heater (which we mostly didn't use) but don't expect it to be like an overly-central-heated hotel room.
The cost of the Dar is extremely reasonable too so again, you can go for 5-star luxury in a hotel at a 5 star price. This Dar is for people who want a home-from-home comfortable place with atmosphere and genuine traditional taste of Moroccan life (although we didn't have any chickens or other animals living with us).
I wouldn't recommend it for someone with mobility problems though as houses and buildings in Morocco generally have lots of steep narrow stairs and it's quite hard to get around. This house has four floors all together and lots of stairs to navigate - though you could get away with one set if you sleep on the first floor or even in a salon on the ground floor.
Free and efficient wi-fi was a real benefit as I was able to Skype my dog-sitting daughter and also check out websites for guide books and reviews of restaurants, so do take an Ipad or Kindle if you have one. I did and left it locked in the Dar when we went out.
Outside, we were down a small street in between the two major streets in the medina - a perfect location as it was (mostly) quiet but in easy reach of taxis and the major food market so we could just pop out for milk, eggs, meat, bread, fruit and vegetables (and the odd camel's head). People were friendly although you do get hassled if you stop and look at goods or ask directions. I found it helped to wear moderate dress and was really glad that I had taken a dark brown pashmina type scarf which I could cover up with. Somehow, my M&S holiday clothes seemed really out of place and I felt more comfortable in less conspicuous Western dress covering my arms and body shape. This way I felt more at home and part of the medina life. And don't be afraid to talk to people, they are friendly and mostly will try and communicate even if not in English. Just be firm but polite if people are too pushy.
Cost of things is not that much different to UK, except taxis which are cheap. Alcohol is possible but not common and is very expensive so worth buying a bottle of gin from duty free on your way if you like something to see the sun over the yard arm to feel as though you are on holiday. There is a well-stocked supermarket a taxi drive away though.
Overall, Fez is not a pace to go for a tidy luxury holiday (although there are some fantastic riads) but it is a rich and fascinating place which is very different from life in the UK. If you embrace that, you will have a very enjoyable time. …
Beau Riad for Rent
you can't imagine how is fantastic Dar Eva, it's one of the most wondrful place I've ever been in my life. It's True, nothing Touristic, you can improve the quality of your trip in Fes.
Pascal the owner is a really good person.
The dinner there is something special in the wonderful roof top.
Each detail in the house is unique! No other Riad could be so fantastic.
Enjoy it.Thank you Dar Eva.