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Review: Staying at a Moroccan Riad in Fez: Dar Seffarine

Staying at a Moroccan Riad, Dar Seffarine

 

The Dar Seffarine. A restored Moroccan riad. What is a riad?

When we first arrived, we didn’t have the energy to explore it or ask myself that question. We were wiped. After the day we had with our luggage not arriving, I wasn’t prepared to be much fun. Thankfully, Margaret was. Our hosts prepared us dinner (a traditional Moroccan dish, Tagine) and drinks and she held up our part of the conversation at the dinner table.

Exhausted and not having our luggage with us actually made our fatigue feel lighter. I opened up the bag of newly-minted clothes I picked up at a local shop- green PJs and a hot pair of fuscia lacy undies, the kind that a hot grandma would wear.

Best we could do was sleep and rise early in the morning to start the day.

Moroccan windows

Moroccan buildings have few windows facing outwards

The Riad:  The tradition of Islamic designs and meditative architecture

Upon morning, we awoke to an infinitely better day .

Our guesthouse seriously rocked in the light of day. It gave our pitiful one-outfit existence in Morocco (and my hotsy-totsy grandma panties), a consolation prize of modern Moroccan luxury and glamor.

We were called up to breakfast on the rooftop. The rooftop kitchen is where breakfast is served. A full spread of fresh fruits, jams, teas and Moroccan breads. After breakfast, you can walk out onto the roof to see a panoramic view of Fez.

Our hosts also said they would call the airport and intermittently check upon the status of our luggage. This was a huge weight off of our shoulders and we were grateful! We had no phone and the baggage issue required constant pushing and prodding.

Staying at a Moroccan Riad, Dar Seffarine

Our room was spacious, with touches of Moroccan hand-crafted elegance.
A simple lounge area attached to a two-bed bedroom and bathroom.

Whoa! Upon further exploration of our guesthouse, we realized our riad was more like a palace. Everything revolved around a central courtyard!

Plain mud brick walls on the outside of the building, is what we saw when we arrived, while weaving through the dark alleys of the medina. The bland demeanor is said to help keep the Islamic privacy centered inwardly, like the traditional hagib (the traditional headdress for Muslim women) and burkha for women.

But the interior of the Dar Seffarine was like a fortress, adorned with an intricately-woven, hand-painted Arabic calligraphy.  Illustrious architecture guilded the heart of a courtyard, which was protected from the weather.

 

 

All the rooms open to the courtyard.

Staying at a Moroccan Riad, Dar Seffarine

 

If there’s one word for Islamic design, I’d say it was Reflection. Stepping into a riad, you can understand how Islamic lifestyle can be so inwardly-focused. The architectural beauty and craftsmanship is profuse with intricacies which inspire calm meditation and inward beauty.

 

Information:

DAR SEFFARINE
14 Derb Sbaa Louyate, Seffarine
30020 FES MEDINA
MOROCCO
Tel:  00212 (0) 671113528
Fax:  00212 (0) 535635205
mail:   [email protected]

Advice: Upon arriving, call your riad so they can have someone come and get you. The medina can be a maze and street signs are small and some are painted on the walls. Dar Seffarine was about 5 minutes from the bus/taxi center, but we required help getting there.

For more guesthouses in Fes, see here. Dar Seffarine is in Fes Medina or Old Fez.  There is an old Fes and new one.  The one with the most sightseeing and tannery tours is OldFez.  I recommend a stay in this area.

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 Getting to Fes Medina (Old Fes)

From the train station, it’s a 25 minute drive to Fes Medina. There is either, the small red taxi or the grand taxi (old and more spacious black Mercedes).  An alternate option is to take local Bus No. 16 to the medina square or CIF square.

Inside the medina, no vehicles are allowed to enter, except donkeys. You will need to walk.

More travel info here and here.

 

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