Friday, June 19, 2009

A Room in Fez?

Should I take it? Should I blow the budget?

I've been clicking around for days, making a list of hotels and small restored homes (riads) in Fez. I want something cheap. I don't want anything skanky. I want wi-fi. Hot water. And I don't want anyone in my face. Anonymity is essential for a solo traveler like me. I value the ability to disappear.

The best combinations of cheap and decent are so far the places I found on this site. Some of them look just fine.

And then I stumbled over the reviews for Dar Al Hana on TripAdvisor. 60 Excellent. Hmmmm. And the owner offered me a discount. And heck, she's Australian. I was almost Australian once.

But I hate to spent an addition $150 over three nights if I'd get something similar half the price.

Tempted. I think I'll do it. What would you do?


Sue said...

$150 extra over 3 days? Go for it! That's the fun part of being a grown-up, not having to do the cheapest thing possible every time. I know from personal experience that the cheap travel gene is hard to overcome, but this isn't that much $$ and it looks lovely. I've always wanted to go to Morocco so I'm really looking forward to hearing about your experience. Do you speak French?

Zora said...

Morocco was the first place I blew real money on hotels. Not my choice--my co-traveler was very picky. But oo-ee, those places were memorable! Best part was that we stayed in a fab place in Fez, and some French travel writers happened to be there too, and they made reservations for us in Marrakech. They were quizzing us, "Do you want dinner? A pool?" It was kind of hilarious--it had never even occurred to me that some people chose their hotel on things other than price. Anyway, I don't miss the money now, but I do remember the gorgeous tile in the Fez place, and the moonlit night on the roof (and the French toast!) at the Marrakech place. And heck, the food in Morocco is pretty cheap, so you can make it up on that side of the budget. And if you're staying somewhere more than one night, it's even more worth it. Oh, _and_ if you get sick at all, it's _very_ worth it.

Zora said...

FWIW, I also found Morocco interesting because it was the first time I got into the parallel world of non-English-speaking tourism. There's just so much stuff there catering only to French people, it's kind of boggling. Both the places we stayed were pretty much French only spoken.

Zora said...

Oh, and of course I'd tell you where I stayed...but I don't remember. This was at least ten years ago. Rats.

Marie Javins said...

Sue: My French isn't that great, but I had basic sentence structure drilled into me in high school. Which means I could fake it... except that I've since muddled it all up with Spanish and German and Arabic. There's no telling what will come out of my mouth most of the time, but it is always a mutt of a sentence with too many languages involved.

I hope that I can just mutter a few Arabic words and that will throw them off enough to not press me on the French issue.

Zora: I knew I wasn't in Kansas anymore when everything on the sites was priced in euros and French was all over the reviews. Waw, as my Moroccan Arabic translator would say. ("Precisely, a resentful exclamation!" um, what?)

I'm loving the idea of sitting on a terrace above the medina at night. I am pretty sure I'm going to fork over the dough and take this room. (60 euros a night, which is $85 right now.) I can go cheap in Chefchaouen and Marrakesh.

Ed Ward said...

That was the place Scott stayed, and he raved. I say go for it.

Marie Javins said...

My friend Chip told me of a $35 3-star nice hotel in the new city. But I have already booked, decided to stay in the old city.

The View From Fez said...

The Fes Riads site you visited has the best deals and the woman who runs it ( Helen Ranger ) will sort out all your hassles. The Australian woman (Josephine) who runs Dar el Hana is great and her house is cute.

For more Fez info... google The View from Fez - it is our almost daily newspaper on line. and has over 2000 stories on Morocco which are searchable.

Marie Javins said...

Been there, done that, bought the book. Though it hasn't arrived yet, hope it gets here before I leave.

Thanks for the confirmation! It's such a great feeling when you click-and-search, click-and-search, then hit the right site and suddenly know you've found the spot you've been searching for.

Linda said...

Sure, spend the cash. (Easier for me to say it than to do it.) Have a great time!