Dar Melody – Fes (review)

By tdf, April 21, 2014

Our plush sanctuary at Dar Melody.

The medina of Fes is a labyrinth, a maze, a hectic, vibrant bazaar. In such an environment, the ideal lair for a traveller, is a refuge, an oasis, right in the thick of the action. A launching pad for adventures and a home away from home when your feet and eyes and mind are weary, to find solace, relaxation, comfort and a much needed solid slumber.

After our gruelling coach trip from Merzouga, during which sleep proved impossible due to a dangerously sick native, retching and vomiting constantly for 10 hours, clearly in need of medical attention…and the heat from our jaunt in the Sahara, still throbbing in my bones, we arrived in Fes in darkness, an ungodly hour, at the central train station.

I was so damn happy to be off off off the bus that it seemed wonderful enough to merely be placing my anxious paws on terra firma. Words had been sent by email to Lawrence and Bernard regarding our arrival.

My hopes are rarely placed confidently in strangers, so after realizing we had arrived rather early, booking our outward train tickets to Tangiers at the station, my elation faded and I began to lose faith…but out of the darkness appeared a car, as described in our correspondence with the Dar Melody owners, and Bernard was quickly flagged down. Salvation in a Bernard!

Sincerely, Morocco can seem often like stepping into another realm, where everyone and anyone is trying to prise gold nuggets from your wallet. You become wary and weary…and suspicious.

So imagine the scene…haggard, happy, then worried, Bernard appears. His english wasn’t great but his body language was accommodating in every measure. I tried to speak french, which at first he appreciated, but soon realized I could go, only so far. For no extra fee, Bernard drove to meet us at a horridly early hour, and proved amiable and jovial!!

Arriving at Dar Melody, we found ourselves tardis-esque heading through an ancient door into what seemed like a palace. Lawrence brought us tea, english and coffee. The two of them came across as warm and wonderful hosts.

Our room was fit for visiting dignitaries, four poster bed, gorgeous d├ęcor, soaps and aromatic delights aplenty in the bathroom, looking out onto a wonderful terrace, where we were mightily happy to relax, play scrabble and enjoy a great view of the surrounds after a hard day of fighting our way through the souk.

Lawrence kindly organized a guide for a reasonable fee, who gave his best, took us to the best sights, and was clearly well known to the locals. A good price for a good day…I just wish I had asked him to lead us home when the tour had finished (he DID offer!), for my confidence in our whereabouts quickly sunk to unease, soon after parting! Two hours later, after haggling, just to pass the time and take something useful from walking around the same part of the maze for the umpteenth time, we were home in our sanctuary.

Breakfast was sumptuous, help was at hand whenever we desired it and overall, I must say, that Dar Melody, thanks to the beautiful building and top class hospitality, was one of the most comfortable places where we stayed during our four months of travelling.

The position is perfect. The hospitality supreme and very hard to match. The accommodation is plush and perfect. The price is a steal…

Overall, I would heartily recommend Dar Melody.

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