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 in the heart 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!
It's very hard to capture the sense of space in photographs of the house but we know that everyone who walks in exclaims (with joy!) at the size and atmosphere.
The house is full of light, peaceful sounds, local colours and ornate detail. There's a hammam style shower/bathroom, a fully equipped large kitchen and a kitchenette, two staircases, a roomy salon, roof terraces, a 'snug' (cosy Berber-cushioned downstairs mezzanine), two toilets, washing machine, wifi and hifi! There are books, maps, boardgames, table football, comfy nooks and plenty of crannies. It's very much a case of make yourself at home...
We have two lovely double bedrooms in the three storey house. The Ferhana bedroom (means happy in Darija) has a comfortable double bed and also a small single bed in a quirky mezzanine up a wooden ladder; perfect for an older child and the Mirror bedroom, so named due to the giant mirror and has a comfortable double bed and also another single bed on a mezzanine reached by a wooden ladder.
Both rooms look out over an inner courtyard and 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)!
As you will book the whole house we will not be there but Houda will look after you and make breakfast every day from fresh bread and local produce.
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.
You can also book the rooms individually:
'Mirror Room': https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/647778
'Ferhana Room': https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/647717
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.
1) 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.
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.
Pets are allowed.
Wifi is free and the code is written in the bedrooms.
This Dar is spectacular. The renovation that its owners have undertaken is gorgeous. But that is not the best part of staying here. The house manager Houda is completely charming, makes delicious breakfasts, did gorgeous henna designs on our 13 year old daughter and introduced us to her wonderful friend - a university student. The recommended guide we used on our first proper day in Fes, Khalid, was terrific and we had a really interesting and informative day with him. Perfectly located and perfect all round.
Joe and Claire's place is a real gem, in the heart of the medina. The location was perfect, and easily accessible. The house itself was beautiful, only outdone by the outstanding service we received from Houda - she was friendly, extremely helpful, and her breakfast on the rooftop terrace was amazing. The house was very clean and fun to explore. If we ever return to Fez we will definitely return, and will pass along the recommendation to all of our Morocco-bound friends.
Joe and Claire have a wonderful place in the Fes old medina, and must be very proud of what they've created. We can relate to the work that went into the rehab, as we've done some of that as well. It is indeed a Moroccan experience. We enjoyed the house and loved Houda, the housekeeper. The first floor has two sitting rooms, the kitchen, and a toilet room. It is light to the sky, and very nice for breakfast, or planning agendas. The second floor has two spacious bedrooms, with two narrow staircases at opposite ends of the house leading up. There is a shower room half a flight down and the bathroom was half a flight up along the back staircase. The terrace was our favorite place to hang out after a day of haggling in the medina! There are two levels on the terrace, with the top level having outstanding views of the area. On the way to the terrace is a laundry room, with a charge for the dryer which we did not need, as clothes on the line dry very quickly. The location was great, close to the car park, and along one of the two main streets of the old medina. Houda cooked twice for us in the evenings, and her meals were labors of love. We all love cooking, so talked much about it. Breakfasts were plentiful and varied - not just various forms of bread! The weather was nice, but cool, which was better for us than hot. There are in room heaters which we did not use, but the other couple with us did. The shower was hot, and the air can be nippy, but jumping into clothes you quickly warm up. We would stay here again in a heartbeat! Great experience.
Dear Claire and Joe,
it was a pleasure for us to be your guests. Thank you for your hospitableness.
Dar El Ma is a very beautiful house, very smartly refurbished and decorated. All pictures truly depict the real thing. It is also very well located in the heart of the wonderful Fes Medina.
We rent a car from Fes Airport. With GPS we went to “Ain Azzliten in about half an hour”. There we were fetched by Omar who brought us to the gorgeous House.
Sincere thanks are given to all, especially for Houda and Ikram. They were so affectionate to us. It was a very big pleasure to meet them. So things were very easy for us upon arrival.
To all of you Claire, Joe, Houda, Ikram, Omar and all the other friendly people Thank you for every Thing. We had a great Time in Fez!
We hope to come back :-)
The stay in Dar El Ma was wonderful. The location is perfect, it's an oasis in the Medina. Houda is very nice, she will you feel as at home preparing lovely breaksfasts for you.
The Riad is in perfect condition, Claire and Joe congrutalions with your work in the renovation!
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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 :)