I’ve stayed in hostels all around the world, and I have to say I’ve never been to one as good as Riad Verus in Fez, Morocco.
Riad Verus is an old Moroccan home built around a central garden converted into a hostel right near the main gate into the Fez Médina or old city.
What makes this hostel special, however, is not the rooftop patio, exquisitely decorated interior or massive breakfast, but rather the friendly atmosphere the staff build around the central common area. I’ve never been somewhere before where it was so easy to make friends and meet people.
The trick is the common space or central courtyard. The room is filled with excellent couches to relax on, wonderful music, and the staff constantly come around with free Moroccan mint tea or coffee for the guests. This creates an atmosphere where hanging out in the common area is enjoyable and it is easy to strike up a conversation with anyone. Besides free drinks they also often host massive free dinners in the common area with more Moroccan food that a grown man could possibly eat.
When I was there I met an Italian, Australian, and French person and we spent the day together exploring the city. We visited the tanneries, madrassas, and saw the sunset on a hill overlooking the city with even more friends we met later that day.
The breakfast was definitely one of the highlights – bread, cheese, eggs, Moroccan cakes, fresh squeezed orange juice, and coffee. Even if you hate meeting people, honestly just come for the food.
Overall the facilities weren’t bad. It’s an old home, so you have to make the best with that, but the place is super clean and the beds are very comfortable. The showers were hot and the WiFi worked great.
Besides being an excellent place to stay, Riad Verus can help set up local tour guides, local excursions, henna tattoos and trips to the hammam. In Morocco not everyone is trustworthy especially with tourists, but the staff at Riad I felt were honest people who gave great advise. While I was there they helped organize a group of people to go with a private driver to tour a nearby city for the day.
How to Get There
If coming by bus, it’s easiest to just walk to the hostel from the station. Save the location on Maps before arriving.
From the train station, the walk is much longer so a taxi works better. The red taxis parked outside the station will probably charge around 50 durhams to Riad Verus but if you cross the street and flag one off the street just say Riad Verus and offer 20 to him. If he doesn’t know it, tell him to take you to the Batha fountain and walk from there.