Guide and riad in Fez

By Dorothy Botnick
This item appears on page 37 of the May 2019 issue.

Royal Palace of Fez. Photos by Dorothy Botnick

While staying in M├ílaga, Spain, for a month, my husband and I took a short trip to Tangier and Fez, Morocco. We wanted to have a private guide in Fez, so, as usual, I went to ITN’s website and typed “guide in Morocco” in the search bar, then searched through the articles for private guides.

In Liz Stack’s letter “Enjoyed Moroccan Guide” (Aug. ’17, pg. 49), I found Youssef Kharroubi’s name and email address. I sent him a message and asked if he ever works in Fez. He promptly answered, saying he works only in Marrakesh, but he gave me the name of a colleague in Fez: Khalid Akhdim (khalidakhdim@yahoo.fr).

We contacted Khalid, he responded, and that was that. We hired him to be our guide for a full-day tour of the city during our stay there, Dec, 16-19, 2018.

Khalid grew up in Fez and is university-educated, with degrees in history and geography. He is everything you want in a guide: knowledgeable, friendly, patient, humorous and completely interested in giving you the best experience.

Yes, he takes you to a rug dealer, a leather shop and a ceramics shop as part of the tour (and they’re interesting), but he never pressures you to buy anything.

We highly recommend using Khalid for a thorough, interesting tour of the city. His fee for the day was 90 (near $102). (By the way, Youssef stayed in contact to make sure I was satisfied.)

While in Fez, we stayed at Riad Myra (13 Rue Salaj; riad-myra.hotelfesmorocco.com), a beautiful, traditional guest house in the medina. The staff was wonderful and met our every need. Ibrahim, the riad’s manager, met us at the train station and looked after us beautifully.

We chose Riad Myra from a list of three or four recommendations Khalid gave us when we asked for suggestions on riads. It was first on the list.

After checking their website and prices, I liked what I saw and contacted them. The owner responded promptly, we made a deal for the largest and best-appointed suite in the place at a price that was lower than listed, and I booked the room.

Riad Myra is a calm oasis in the busy medina. We paid $95 a night, including breakfast.

DOROTHY BOTNICK
Dallas, TX


Within Riad Myra in Fez, Morocco.

A view of the Old City of Fez, Morocco.

Interior of Riad Myra in Fez, Morocco.