Review of Dar Roumana Fes, Morocco
Dar Roumana, the House of the Pomegranate, is a charming riad perched on the hillside within the medieval walls and only a five-minute stroll to the cafes, shops and main attractions of Fez. With so much going for it, this may just be the perfect hideaway from which to explore the rich cultural heritage of Fez: an authentically restored traditional Fessi house, the very best views over the ancient Medina and contemporary cuisine prepared by a cordon-bleu chef!
The cordon-bleu Chef is none other than Jennifer Lopstol who, along with her guitarist husband, owns and manages the Dar. But before the “House of Pomegranate” was ready for business, the couple took three years of painstaking renovation, much of it personally supervised, to bring the zellij, stuccowork and cedar wood back to its former glory. The result is a stunning house that invites you to discover the riches and comfort to be found within its walls.
Each of the five suites contains the work of local artisans: original mosaic tile floors, intricate carved plaster, rich cedar ceilings and doors, and hand-crafted furnishings. To extend the already peaceful atmosphere within, there are no TVs or phones in the rooms, but a satellite TV/DVD is set up in the salon. Here, a ceremonial alcove sits besides a burbling fountain, cosy with guides, city maps and a quiet reading corner.
Wind up the steep stairwells to the roof terrace, strewn with leather pouffes and inviting sofas, where you can enjoy the view over Fez. You can take dinner up here – a fusion cuisine of Mediterranean food with a Moroccan twist prepared by a cordon-bleu chef. Take it a step further and replicate the tastes by taking the twice weekly day-long cooking classes that begin with a recipe book, a shopping expedition to the souk and end up in the Dar Roumana kitchen.