About This Listing
Dar El Ma is a lovingly restored traditional Moroccan house conveniently located in a quiet alley between the hubbub of the two main streets of the medina.
We have just been awarded a 2014 Certificate of Excellence by Tripadvisor putting us in the top 10% most popular accommodations in the world!
We have two lovely double rooms in the three storey house, so there's plenty of space to relax and you can book both rooms if you'd like to have the whole house to yourselves.
Ferhana means happy in Darija (it was one of the first words we learnt)! and the room has a comfortable double bed and also a small single bed in a quirky mezzanine up a wooden ladder; perfect for an older child.
The room looks out over an inner courtyard and the house itself is full of light, peaceful sounds, local colours and ornate detail.
We also have two roof terraces, where you can lounge around and admire the view across the ancient medina, have a barbeque or even take an outdoor shower (modestly screened by palms)!
We may be there but even if we're not, Houda will look after you and make breakfast from fresh bread and local produce.
There's a hammam style shower/bathroom, a fully equipped large kitchen and a kitchenette, a roomy salon, a 'snug' (cosy Berber-cushioned downstairs mezzanine), two toilets, washing machine and wifi. There are books, maps, boardgames, table football, comfy nooks and plenty of crannies, not to mention a lovely atmosphere so it's very much a case of make yourself at home...
Dar el Ma is opposite a hammam (traditional bath house) which is wonderful to experience - you'll feel wonderfully scrubbed and renewed - and next to the baker, so you'll smell the fresh bread twice a day.
Enjoy Fes - it's a mad and magical place!
IF YOU BOOK PLEASE READ THE 'HOST'S DIRECTIONS' PART OF YOUR AIRBNB RECEIPT EMAIL - THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.
This is our other room: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/647778
Or you can book the entire house (2 rooms) if free !: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/697112
P.S. If you fancy learning how to shop for and make a few delicious Moroccan dishes, Houda is a brilliant cook and can teach up to 2 people at a time in the kitchen at Dar el Ma - let us know if you're interested.
The entire house is yours so this means you can relax in the lounge, or play some table football. You can read a book in the snug or do some work in the office. The kitchen is all yours to cook in and there is also a hammam style bathroom and then a utility room for washing clothes.
On the roof is a kitchenette and two roof terraces, most likely with a cat or two on! You can cool off in the outdoor roof shower after a day of relaxing views over the medina.
Interaction with Guests
We will not usually be present during your stay however Houda the house manager will be there from 8am to 4pm to help you with anything you need, as well as serve you a delicious breakfast in the morning.
We will however be on hand at any time via message, email and phone, mainly before your arrival to help plan how you arrive.
We supply a mobile phone in each room should you need to contact Houda in the evening so you can always be in touch.
The House 'Dar el Ma' is situated in the heart of the medina between the two main pedestrian streets. This means you are close to everything in the old medina.
The medina is pedestrian so the best way to get around is on foot! Please read our Host's Directions section regarding the very important need to assist you with your arrival plans.
Other Things to Note
Please don't try and turn up at the house by yourself - we will arrange for you to be met - as there may not be anyone at the house to let you in... Please read the HOST'S DIRECTIONS part of your Airbnb booking confirmation email for more information.
Despite having flexible check in times we can not allow check in before 8am on the day of your arrival. Guests wishing to arrive in the early hours, before 8am would need to either book the room from the night before or arrange to wait until after 8am until we can meet you to show you to the house.
Once in - make yourself at home!
No smoking inside the house but on the roof is ok.
Wifi is free and the code is written in the bedrooms.
I loved staying here. It's been beautifully restored with real sensitivity and some clever modern touches like motion-sensors on the lights on the staircases, so no fumbling in the dark. Very comfy beds, and wifi throughout, even on the roof terrace. I had a very tasty breakfast every morning, skilfully prepared by the lovely housekeeper Houda.
For me, one of the best things about staying here is its location - halfway up the hill! I spent lazy afternoons on the roof terrace which is not overlooked, with lovely planting enjoying the wafting scents of woodsmoke and baking bread. All the staff i met were extremely friendly, helpful and kind, and really made this a home from home.
The owners don't actually live here, but we were well looked after by their local repsresentatibes
We enjoyed our stay in Claire and Joe's Riad which they had beautifully restored. Our room was very nice, well decorated with nice furniture and a very comfortable bed. The communication with Claire and Joe was excellent. Finding the Riad would have been difficult but thanks to Yacen, we were taken from the car park straight to the house as described by the host.
The facilities were very good most of which retain the original features. Houda kindly looked after us very well. Her breakfast was delicious with homemade pancakes (msmen). She was also able to cook for us and for the other two guests who shared the house, a very nice Moroccan meal. We recommend Khalid, our guide who made our visit to Fès an enjoyable experience as going round the old Medina can be tricky. We certainly recommend Claire and Joe's Riad without any reservation. Thanks! Momtaz & Gillian.
My experience in Dar El Ma was great. The riad has a perfect location. The house is beautiful restored, super confortable and with an authentic style.
And the best is Houda. She was súper kind AND helped us in everything we need. Breakfast aré great! Totally recomended.
The entire experience starting from communicating with the host to returning the key was easy, professional and pleasant. The listing was accurate, however more wonderful in reality with the beautiful colors and aesthetically pleasing decoration, stairs and nooks. The bed was very comfortable and we slept well after walking all day. Breakfast was delicious! Houda and her sister created an excellent meal each morning and made us feel welcome, were helpful yet reserved. We had not been to Morocco before and based on the instructions from Claire and Joe found our way without any problem. I loved the neighborhood and we felt safe and could walk everywhere. The wifi worked great, could easily upload even a video. We did not have time but there are plenty of comfy spots to relax inside and get away from the busy medina. It is clean, quiet and serene in the riad. It perfectly balanced our stay from touring all day and relaxing in the morning and evening.
I highly recommend Claire and Joe's place in Fes and hope that I can go back some day.
Fes is a beautiful city that can overwhelm the senses & tire one out after a day of exploring. Staying here was a oasis. A well needed place to call home. Staff was wonderful & made our stay effortless. Definitely recommend staying here. Enjoy.
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About the Host, Claire And Joe
We live on a houseboat in London with our chickens and cats when we're not escaping to the madness of magical Fes. We loved restoring Dar el Ma - delays and donkeys and all - and enjoyed making friends and having adventures in the medina. It's brilliant now to be able to welcome others into the house so they fall in love with the quirks of the medina too!
We're both freelancers, love travelling and have enjoyed using Airbnb ourselves.
Houda, (fourth photo) who works in Dar el Ma when we're not there, is from Fes and speaks Arabic, English and French. She's a fabulous cook, a great henna'ist and a wonderful friend :)