Staying at Dar Benares was a once in a lifetime experience - and not in a good way! Do not be fooled by the pictures or the rating on Bookings or any other booking website. Although they might suggest a great guesthouse, it is rather the opposite. It is a small bed & breakfast that has great potential - if only the owner cared more about his guests. There are three rooms, only one of them with its own bathroom. It looked rather nice, especially with the flower petals strewn around the sink and the bathroom floor. The problem was that nobody ever cleans the petals once they are old and brown and so the entire room has taken on an eternal smell of rank and rotten flower petals. Unlike in any other guesthouse in Morocco, where the kitchen has a vent or an exhaust pipe, this one didn't and when Narbila cooked (great cook, best food in Morocco!), all the food smells rise up to the guestrooms, where they stay.
The owner is socially inept. He tries very hard but just lacks any sort of instinct necessary to make him a great host. When we arrived, we got the impression he had no idea what to do with us. He left us sitting in the courtyard where we waited for.....we're still not sure what. Nobody offered the ubiquitous mint tea - a big no-no in Morocco, where you are always offered mint tea upon stepping into a shop, hotel, private residence, etc. So we just sat there waiting for the owner to tell us what to do. Finally we got our room. We asked for a map of Fes and the owner said yes, he had one, but then never mentioned it again. It seemed as if he didn't want to give it to us. He gave us a map the next day, but it was only after we had asked again. The most curious thing was that every night at around 6pm (unless his cook prepared dinner for a guest) he just left the guesthouse and went home. Nobody, no hotel staff, was left behind at the guesthouse. It was rather sinister because he turned off most of the lights and you were left there to your own devices.
great cook, best dinners in Morocco!