***PLEASE READ THE FULL DESCRIPTION BELOW AND LET ME KNOW YOU THAT ARE HAPPY WITH EVERYTHING, OR IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS THAT ARE BEST ANSWERED BEFORE BOOKING***
This is a second home and so available much of the year. We live in London where, amongst other things we run a busy B&B
Fes is unlike anywhere else, the old medina is really like stepping back in time several hundred years. A labyrinth of tiny streets where modest wooden doors lead to palaces or secret gardens and the main means of getting bulky items in and out by donkey. Once inside it’s car free.
Ours is a 300 year old house in the oldest part of Fes medina, within a few minutes walk of the karaouine mosque, tanneries, Nejarine museum, the henna souk and other culturally important sites. Like most medina houses it is very tall with a central light filled patio. There are a lot of stairs as it is spread over 5 floors including the terraces. The house has been completely renovated using traditional techniques but with a modern aesthetic. Downstairs there is a sitting room, library and a modern kitchen and seating area with a wood burning stove for winter. Both main bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms, one has twin beds and the other a double. The master bedroom has double doors which open onto the lower terrace. Stairs lead to the upper terrace with fabulous views across the Medina and to the hills beyond. There is a small third single bedroom with access to a third (shared) bathroom on the ground floor and another double room on the second floor used by our resident house sitter.
This is an area of antique shops, artisan wood and leather workers. You will be immersed in the everyday life and sounds of the old city, artisans working, children playing and people transporting goods by mules. Right next to the house is Musee Behl Ghazi with it's orange tree filled courtyard and small private museum. Whilst many tourists come this way, it is a typical mixed neighbourhood. Mostly Moroccans, a weaving workshop next door, leather shop opposite, a scattering of foreigners and one other guest house. For me this is the appeal, I would not want to be in the middle of a touristy area.
Please note that my house is in the middle of the old medina, that means, lots small dark streets between high houses, people walking (and donkeys ...), so no cars, no taxis, no public transport. Living in the old medina is handy for many cultural sites but about 10-15 minutes walk from the nearest parking and taxis. The medina is hilly, which means you often get fabulous views from up high on the terraces but there is a lot of up and down on foot.
Interaction with Guests
I'm based in London and will be your main point of contact in organising the house swap. We normally have a resident house sitter (living in the house itself on the second floor) who is there mainly to look after the house in my absence and welcome's occasional guests. The house sitter will be your main point of contact during your stay in Fes. Our current house sitter is an American lady. Fes is unlike anywhere else and can be disorientating - we think that it's a very positive thing that to have someone on hand to meet you, give you local tips and help with translation - if you normally prefer to have a house completely to yourself, then let us know before booking to see if it is possible.
We don't have a cook or a cleaner / maid. The role of the house sitter is more that of host. If you want to have dinner cooked for you at the house then we can organise that. My friends sister in law is a great cook and. Happy for you to watch and learn, but she only speaks Arabic She charges around 200DHS plus ingredients.
Other things to note:
I'm very happy to answer questions about the house it's location and about Fes itself - so you can decide if what is on offer is right for you and your family before you book. Fes is an incredible destination like no other, but it may not be right for everyone.
There is a cleaning charge of €15. In winter if you would like to use the wood burner we ask you to pay for the cost of bringing wood in from the countryside. 250DHS per delivery
You will need to pay for a porter if you want help bringing luggage to and from the house and a guide to bring you to the house if you arrive late/after dark or wish to be taken to restaurants.
We do not provide breakfast, but can buy breakfast items in for you in advance ( fruits, yogurt, local breads, eggs coffee etc..) so they are there for your arrival. 100DHs buys enough for a couple of days.
Our Guide to Fes
After booking, I send by email our guide to the house and Fes. This has info on airport taxis, check in, useful information about the house itself and Fes. I've included a section of my top 10 things to do in Fes (some 'secret spots') and some ideas for day trips.
Our house is called 'Dar Kharmous' which means ‘House of Figs’ and was named after a small square nearby which sells dried figs and dates. It’s 300 years old and the renovation was quite some journey, taking 10 years in total. We really love our house in Fes and hope you will too!