Best luxury hotel in Fes Morocco: Riad Laaroussa can’t be beat

by Oct 4, 2019Morocco

To ensure fair prices and to help you choose the most culturally authentic and ethical hotels, we recommend planning a Moroccan adventure with a reputable, local tour operator. We recommend Open Doors Morocco.

When you intend to spend time in the sensory-intense souk markets and medina of Fes Morocco, having a quiet, restful, clean escape is a must. Do not hesitate to select the Riad Laaroussa, the best luxury hotel in Fes.

Centrally located so you can get to where you need to go in the medina in a flash – but can also get back for a respite, a spot of tea, or a rooftop sunset – the Riad Laaroussa is actually more than just a hotel. It is a family operation that gives back to the community, treats its staff well, and treats its guests like royalty but in a comfortable familial manner. You want to hug everybody you come across, and they treat you the same way: This is your home, as Moroccans love to say when you are staying somewhere. At the best luxury hotel in Fes, it really does feel like your home.

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Cozy Living Room Riad Laaroussa

A little background about the luxury Riad Laaroussa in Fes

Fred Sola owns the riad along with his wife Cathy and brother Thierry. Fred was born in Casablanca but raised in France; Cathy is American. That means you find all the best Moroccan touches along with all the Western sensibilities that are sometimes missing from riads (e.g. AC that works, windows that close, sockets that don’t pull out of the wall, an eye on the environment…). You get the best of both worlds including the lovely Moroccan hospitality in a traditional riad that has been beautifully restored.

Riad Laaroussa Tea Greeting And Checkin

The building itself is nothing short of spectacular. Acquired by the family in 2005, it was likely built in the 17th century. A team of 50 worked endlessly to restore it accurately (there are fascinating pictures of the before and of the work all over the walls, with photos of the work completed in each room located in each room).The gorgeous luxury Riad Laaroussa in Fes has an expansive center courtyard with tall orange trees. The courtyard transforms into a beautiful symphony of birds coming to roost at sunrise and sunset. Just open your suite’s window and breathe in the beauty.

In a nod to Western expectations when it comes to a luxury riad in Fes, there is an expansive, meticulously cared for rooftop terrace where you are served breakfast (and dinner if you choose that). You can also catch some of the best sunrise and sunset views over Fes from that terrace. And on its lower level, there is also an intimate pool for guests to enjoy the long, warm days and nights. We did not have a chance to enjoy the on-site hammam and spa, but it is a popular visit even for those not staying there.

Rooftop Terrace Riad Laaroussa Dinner

A stay at the Riad Laaroussa

Whether you choose one of the four suites (50-55 square meters/540-600 square feet) or the expansive Red Room (40 square meters/430 square feet) in the main building or one of the three rooms in the “annex” (really a part of the complex with access simply up a different stairwell), you will have a delightful stay. We were in the Red Room, and it was hard to imagine needing more space than that. The riad not only has Wi-Fi, as of course many say they do, but here it truly works stunningly well!

Red Room Riad Laarousa Luxury

Naturally, you are greeted with the typical Moroccan hospitality of tea and homemade cookies or goodies (we enjoyed the exuberance of Badiaa for our welcome!). A full Moroccan breakfast is included and forget all those environmentally damaging plastic bottles for your safe drinking water: The Laaroussa has a filtered water system in the kitchen area where you can fill up all you want — either your own bottles, or the glass bottle provided for your stay.

HITT Tip: As with all traditionally restored and historic riads, the stairs to upstairs rooms are quite high, sometimes uneven and can be challenged to maneuver. If you have any mobility issues or do not think you would be comfortable going up and down these stairs, please request one of the downstairs suites. The Laaroussa will also serve breakfast or dinner downstairs as needed.

Red Room Bathroom Riad Laaroussa Fes

Other environmental and community activities

What really sets apart this luxury riad in Fes Morocco is its commitment to the community and to the environment. Staff is hired locally and offered more than a job, with training and opportunities to advance their own lives. The Laaroussa also supports the Medina Children’s Library, a free lending library for children in the old city that has been open since early 2015. Fred and Cathy also support the “Centre Amal,” an Fes association that cares for orphaned and abandoned children (four of whom were adopted by Fred and Cathy, with the entire family living on site).

In a rarity for Morocco, the luxury Riad Laaroussa takes the environment seriously, monitoring energy consumption, checking for leaky taps, using solar panels, installing timers on lights in stairwells, sorting kitchen waste, and focusing on locally grown and prepared food, among other things. For that commitment, it has earned the Green Key from the Global Sustainable Tourism Council since 2013. It is truly refreshing to know there is an effort made to recycle and conserve – another reason to choose the Riad Laaroussa for your hotel in Fes Morocco.

Cooking with Fatima at the Riad Larroussa

Not a formal cooking class – at least not yet – every guest can ask to spend a few hours in the beautiful, expansive kitchen helping to prepare that night’s dinner at no charge.

Cooking With Fatima And MIchael

Lead cook Fatima can manage a little English and some French, with the rest being hands and feet. But when you are handling a knife and steered toward a cutting board loaded with piles of vegetables, it’s hard NOT to know what to do. You’ll be plied with delicious Moroccan tea and goodies along the way. You laugh a lot, watch a lot, get a few finger waggles for maybe not doing it “right,” but it’s all great fun and in good spirits. You are indeed preparing that night’s dinner so be sure to book it that night so you can enjoy what you helped prepare!

Fatima And Therese With Couscous Riad Laaroussa

At this time the Moroccan cooking class is only available to guests at the Laaroussa, but there are plans in the offing to expand this feature.

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You may want to read and download the recipe for the best Moroccan couscous – How to cook the best Moroccan couscous, thanks Riad Laaroussa

Our top riad choice in the Fes Morocco medina

The Riad Laaroussa was such a delightful, fresh, tranquil haven in the bustling, sprawling, loud Fes medina, we regretted not staying more than our meager two nights. Do yourself a favor and do not even DREAM of just one night. If you happen to be on a tour where most stays are one night, make sure you do at least two nights here so you can take a breather and truly enjoy. This riad on our trip was one of our most memorable stays – yes, it was beautiful and luxury but honestly it was primarily because the staff was just so lovely and welcoming.

Swim In The Pool At Riad Laaroussa

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If you want to book your stay at Riad Laaroussa here yourself, you can of course and we would appreciate it if you used this Booking.com link as it helps us to earn a small commission while ensuring you get the best rate — win-win for everyone.

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Riad Laaroussa Hotel Review

Disclosure: We received a complimentary dinner at Riad Laaroussa in exchange for a story. The review, opinions and ratings here are however our own, and are not approved, provided, or otherwise endorsed or influenced by the hotel.

We recommend planning your trip to Morocco with a reputable, local tour operator who will plan your lodging and riads precisely to suit your needs and will also ensure a place respects its staff, has ethical business practices, can get the best rates and rooms, and is safe as well as culturally authentic and charming. We have traveled to Morocco with Open Doors Morocco, owned and managed by U.S. citizen Nancy Lauer who splits her time between the United States and Morocco in running the company with her Moroccan business partners. We found the wealth of knowledge the team offered and its insights into the country, its culture and every hotel or riad to be indispensable.

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Rating the Riad Laaroussa in Fes, Morocco

99%

Our Rating Our hotel ratings will tell you what we think of an individual property and are not a comparison to other hotels in the area. They are valid at the time of our visit. Things can change, of course, but we hope not with properties we love! We frequently pay for our hotel stays and will disclose whenever we receive discounts or comped room nights as a part of a hotel stay. Our ratings are a percent, with 100% being perfect and 0% some place not even a rat would stay. We rate cleanliness and upkeep (e.g. dust on the windows, dirt under the beds, unclean bathroom fixtures, need of repairs or maintenance, etc.), comfort (e.g. taking into account quiet, how comfy the bed is, if there is a nice robe, a comfy chair, etc.), amenities (e.g. free parking, breakfast included, free Wi-Fi, free bikes, fitness gear, workout room, pool, etc. -- and are not fans of hotels who say they include things, but then charge a facilities fee!), location (e.g. how easy is it to get around by foot, bike, and car), and value (e.g. how much we feel we got in return for the amount charged).

Cleanliness | Upkeep
100%
Comfort
100%
Amenities
100%
Location
100%
Value
95%

9 Comments

  1. It is great to see that beautiful riads can be found throughout Morocco. When I stayed in Marrakech, the riad was definitely a highlight of my stay, and clearly that was the case for you as well. It’s also great to see a family-owned business so committed to giving back to the community while also providing top-notch hospitality. The building is stunning, and helping to cook dinner with Fatima sounds like a hidden gem. I’d love to get a glimpse at what makes Moroccan cuisine so incredibly full of flavor!

    Reply
  2. Fes is supposed to be the better city in Morocco (been to Tangier only). And the Riad looks so authentically different from the traditional chains. Would love to stay there.

    Reply
  3. I am heading to Morocco for the first time in April, but sadly not to Fez. This looks like a great riad. I also am jealous that she invited you into the kitchen with her.

    Reply
  4. For one moment, I thought this was the Riad I stayed in Fez about three years ago, but then it wasn’t. The riad you stayed in looks much cleaner and better services than the one I stayed in and if I was to return to the area, I would love to stay here. Really does look like you had a great stay here. The room looks huge which is a bonus but the size of the bathroom amazes me!

    Reply
  5. Der Artikel kommt zu spät..schade, jetzt steht unser Marokkoaufenthalt im Januar schon. Und Fes ist leider nicht dabei. Der Tipp ist aber klasse und ich denke wir werden bestimmt noch einmal hinfahren.

    The article is coming too late. Too bad, our stay in Morocco is already in January. And unfortunately Fes is not part of the trip. The tip is great and I think we will definitely go there again

    Reply
  6. Wow! This looks like a wonderful hotel indeed! The room seems huge and the bathroom too! The most important things about a hotel are cleanliness and its location, and it seems like this hotel has all of it! We haven’t been to Fes yet, but when we do we’ll certainly consider staying there as well!

    Reply
    • Room is huge and heck that’s not even the suite!! Now If we were in a small group, the cluster of rooms in the annex would be divine. not as big but with a sitting area so it’d be like your own little multi-bedroom apartment practically

      Reply
  7. Morocco is still on our travel wish list. And we do love our luxury retreats. And being treated like royalty. So it was good to read about the Riad Laaroussa. I like the idea that the hotel blends Moroccan touches with Western touches. We would definitely want to spend time on the roof for sunrise and sunset views. Good to know that they take the environment seriously. And give back to the community.

    Reply
  8. What a beautiful property. I love the colors. I would like to visit Fes one day.

    Reply

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