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Mouna and Simon are the greatest! I was very sick while in Meknes but they took excellent care of me and were always warm and friendly and smiling and just a pleasure to be around. We really enjoyed our stay here. We did find the dinner to be a bit expensive but we were happy to pay it as we had wonderful dinners and they made them very last minute for us, but if you're a budget traveller you might want to eat elsewhere. I would absolutely stay here again and again!
Oh, the other best part was the shower -- the only good shower we've had in our month in Morocco!
Staying at Riad Labhoul was just perfect! The riad is beautiful, comfortable, well-equipped, well-located and spacious. I shared a huge and splendiferous room with my friend, and we both felt like Scheherazade in our ginormous beds!
But the best thing about it was the warm welcome from Mouna and Simon, who made us feel so at home; gave us so much useful information about Meknes; were always happy to chat about Moroccan life and culture in general and music in particular; fed us such delicious, home-cooked food; treated us to an evening of fantastic live music; and spoiled me with herbal inhalations and home remedies when I took to my bed for a day with a virus. Mouna even entertained my fiend by taking her shopping...
We will definitely be back - this time to see more of Fes, along with Volubilis and Moulay Idriss, to spend more time wandering the relaxed and friendly streets and souks of Meknes, and to catch up with Mouna and Simon. As we discovered from some other guests at the riad, Meknes is a good place to base oneself for Fes, as it's a short, cheap train-ride away, without the hard sell and hassle.
We had a fantastic time at Riad Lahboul. Simon and Mouna were fantastic hosts - full of great information, suggestions and insight. And the soundtrack for all meals was stellar!
The riad is enclosed (unlike the others we stayed at with an open central courtyard) but the central room has a vaulted ceiling and it felt spacious and open. The common eating space gave us the chance to meet the other guests.
It is located ten minutes' walk from the central square and just across the street from a garden. The taxi ride from the train station was quick and cheap.
Riad Laboul was the warmest and most hospitable riad we stayed at in Morocco. The house itself is very beautiful and very thoughtfully decorated with Moroccan crafts. Our room was cozy and the shower was very strong and hot. What really made this a wonderful experience was Mouna and Simon's joyful and conscientious sharing of a culture they love and respect. Mouna and the ladies cooked two delicious meals that we ate at the riad and breakfast was ample, so we didn't even feel hungry in between. On Saturday night we were lucky to hear Mouna and Simon play music together. Mouna is a wonderful singer, Senna is a lovely dancer and it was a great night. From the smiles we saw, it seems their staff is treated with integrity and we also felt a sense of sincere care during our stay. Mouna took us to Volubilis and to see the holy places and an olive processing co-op in Moulay Driss Zarhoun. She is very knowledgable and generous of sprit and it was delightful to spend time with her. Simon was always eager to help and even though they had a packed house he was cheerful, polite, and present with each of the guests. Also, Meknes itself was a welcome change from the intensity of Marrakech and Fes. The souks were for Morrocans not tourists so they seemed even more amazing in smells, colors, tastes, and impressions- although maybe that was mostly the slow and hassle free nature of our walks through. One rainy cold day we were welcomed into shops and given demonstrations by artisans of tile, damascene, copper, and paint without pushiness to buy. We did buy some embroidery with a side lesson on how young girls learn to sew the motifs and carpets with a side lesson on really good lines for selling carpets; they were both good experiences. Even with our little French we learned more from the shopkeepers and makers in Meknes than any English guidebooks we looked at. One woodworker spoke with us for half an hour about the process behind his custom work and this was a highlight of our trip.