Iain S - Cobham, United Kingdom
Beautiful Hotel - But Service Needs Improving - Jan 1, 2019
We stayed for 4 nights.The hotel, for strangers travelling independently (i.e. not using a local tour) is not easy to find. It is best to ask locals for Bab Guisssa or Palais Jamie - and then seek help.The public rooms are beautiful: classic, ornate Moroccan decor but in winter (we were there in December) they are freezing. Eating breakfast required a fleece and an high-tech anorak on top of regular clothes. By dinnertime the rooms had warmed - but a fleece or jacket was still required. I would day that, beautiful as they are, the rooms are looking in need of some TLC and maintenance.Our bedroom was a reasonable size, clean with a good bed and quality linens. However the bathroom plumbing is very definitely in need of renewal and detracted from our impression of the hotel. Again the decor is showing its age (peeling paint in places). Fortunately they do provide a (much needed) electric radiator.Where the Arabesque let itself down was on organisation and service. Management was not always in evidence and, when present did not seem to be managing.The sole waiter on duty at breakfast worked very hard but his need to go outside and downstairs to bring each and every item to the table overwhelmed him as soon as more than one table was occupied. He was also at the mercy of the kitchen - which managed to give him a pot of yesterday's, stone cold, coffee to serve not once but 2 days running. Breakfast was hit-and-miss with different tables being served yogurt (or not), given butter (or not) or 2,3 or 4 different kinds of bread - sometimes stale - (or not). The daily fried egg at least was fresh and hot.We had dinner twice there. It was average quality but very expensive and marred by poor (slow, erratic) service - especially from the very rude, supercilious Head Waiter / Maitre D'. For information, alcohol / wine is available.Other aspects:- Wi-Fi available but Internet availability far from reliable. - despite the price point, towels were not changed regularly nor were the amenities (soap, shampoo) ever replaced once consumed.- hotel advertises availability of a laundry service: this was difficult to access and unreliable; we kept on having to chase for return of clothes late in the evening and some came back smelling so bad (of fried onions and rancid grease) that we couldn't wear them and had to have them re-washed later.- Reception desk rarely manned (not a problem if a manager was floating around but often they were not)- beautiful large gardens but you run the risk of being approached by a very threatening guard dog if you are stupid enough to actually go into the garden.In summary, this hotel is trading on past splendours. Pity, some basic good management could make it so much better« less ...
   D3bsa - United States
A faded glory - Jan 1, 2019
Our first challenge with the Riad Arabesque was to find the hotel - this is practically impossible without a local guide. Access to the private car park is up an unmarked, unmade road near Bab Guissa. The hotel provides little in the way of guidance, so we hired a taxi to show us the way and the hotel provided someone to walk us in. Our first impression was of a charming, quaint Riad decorated in the rococo style of the early 20th century. It is on the north edge of the Medina and has lovely views over the city. In warmer months, the terrace and bar offer a lovely place to enjoy a drink or dinner. The Riad serves alcohol.Our room was clean and the bed was comfortable. However, the bathroom was in serious need of updating and both rooms were very poorly lit; the bedside lamps did not provide enough illumination to read by. There was hardly enough hot water to fill the small bath. Tho our room had heating, the public areas of the Riad were not properly heated. Twice we had breakfast in a freezing cold dining area. The bottled gas had run out and not been replaced. Staff are undertrained and undersupported. There was generally only one waiter for breakfast; on one day he was trying to serve about 20 guests at once. Food came in relays and was served on freezing cold china. Bread and sweet rolls were stale - which is unpardonable, since the local bakers operate 24\/7 in Fez. The orange juice was not freshly squeezed. Why? There are truckloads of fresh juice oranges in the market. We asked for laundry to be done. It came back smelling strongly of cooking odors - we had to wash everything again by hand. But the piece de resistance of poor service was the headwaiter. He was rude, peremptory and boorish. Worst of all, twice he asked us directly for a tip for service. We had thot to tip everyone at the end of our stay, but his actions ensured he did not receive a penny. We can not recommend this hotel. In addition to being poor value for money, there are better locations (the Blue Gate is more near the action) and better hotels to be found in Fez.« less ...
   Mickey39 - Northampton, United Kingdom
Lovely stay - Nov 7, 2018
We were given a lovely welcome and our room was a delight. Staff were very helpful and wanted to please. The only thing we thought could be better was the pool. It was too cold to swim in. We did think after the hot summer it would be perfect for a swim when we arrived. We did not see others using it and I am guessing for the same reason.It was well placed for going into the souk.« less ...