The ancient city of Fez is high on the list of travelers looking for an exotic getaway with luxury refinement. And with dozens of offerings throughout the medina and beyond, the city doesn’t disappoint. Of course, the number of luxury hotels in Fez would make an exhausting list, so we narrowed them down to the very best. Here are our picks for the best luxury hotels in Fez, Morocco.
Riad Maison Bleue
Riad Maison Bleue — not to be confused with La Maison Bleue, a palace hotel by the same owners — is the grande dame of the Fes riad circuit. Once the home of philosopher Aziz Lahbabi (he has a suite named after him) it’s actually composed of three interconnected riads, which means the interiors are a maze of terraces, stylishly appointed courtyards, and assorted nooks. The 18 suites are each unique, ranging from thoroughly authentic to über-modern with some local details added for good measure. Guests also have prime access to its celebrated restaurant, well-regarded cooking school Maison Cordon Bleue, and lovely rooftop spa — all of which make the Riad Maison Bleue a major medina tourist attraction in its own right. However, for the ultimate in luxury, you’ll want to stay in the modern, mirrored Mallika suite, complete with marble floors (a nice change from the tiling that’s ubiquitous in Moroccan riads), latticed woodwork above the beds, a spacious lounge area, and a lovely little vertical garden with a skylight.
Palais Faraj Suites & Spa
Perched on the south hill of the Fez medina with breathtaking views, Palais Faraj is one the best places to have a luxury experience while soaking up the rich cultural life of the city. The hotel was designed by the famous architect and interior designer Jean-Baptiste Barian, famous for his work in Arab Andalusian architecture. The rooms are exquisite and come designed with cedar wood, zellige, stucco, and marble — all shaped by the greatest artists of Fez. For the ultimate experience, guests will want to book the Suite royale, which reminds one of the elegance of a bourgeois Fassi mansion. Both onsite restaurants also serve delicious Moroccan cuisine while offering fantastic views from the rooftop terrace.
This hotel is one of the finest in Fez and will have guests pampered by luxurious surroundings and amenities. It’s one of many in the city that are going for the traditional meets modern look, and it pulls it off by using elements of extravagance and simplicity. All of the rooms are awash in natural light, fitted with marble bathrooms, and are decorated with soft touches everywhere you look. The rooftop bar gets swarming with fashionable locals on the weekend, where there is a live DJ spinning every night from Friday-Sunday. And a visit to Hotel Sahrai wouldn’t be complete without spending some time at the Givenchy Spa — the first in North Africa. The spa has five treatment rooms, including a double one featuring a terrace with a view of Fez, making it the perfect place to relax in a peaceful setting.
Palais Amani, in the Fez medina, manages to marry ancient tilings with Art Deco facades while keeping things very current. You’ll enter gold-spangled wood doors to find a classically tiled riad courtyard, dominated by a massive fountain. The rooms lining it are modern, with tile and granite bathrooms, sleek purple couches, mini tagines bearing potpourri next to the toilet, and large color photographs of daily medina life surrounding a flat-screen TV. Guests will also enjoy the roof bar, decorated with spools of vibrant threads in indigo, scarlet, and berry pink, a ubiquitous sight you’ll get used to seeing throughout the medina.
La Maison Bleue
This elegant traditional hotel was built in 1915 by Sidi Mohammed El Abbadi, a famous judge and astrologer of the times. Today, the hotel still has the same spirit and is run by his grandchildren. Guests staying here will enjoy a haven of peace, serenity and regeneration while enjoying the intricate mosaic tiling — the blue symbolizing the ancient city, and the green representing the color of Islam. The rooms are filled with authentic Moroccan antiquities creating a palatial space for you to relax. From the rooftop terrace, guests can see an impressive panorama of the Medina, while down below in the central court yard, renowned chefs make some of the best Moroccan cuisine in the country.
This fabulously chic property has fast become a favorite among the stylish, creative set. Inside you’ll find just eight suites and rooms redolent with incense, each completely unique and filled with various eclectic finds the French owner Fred Sola has sourced from his travels — such as Indian paintings and Balinese stones. The public spaces are also filled with quirky touches, like chandeliers fashioned from dangling tagines, and one impressive sculptural light fixture crafted entirely from teapots, courtesy Fes-based British artist Jessica Stephens. Come sunset, there’s no better place to be than up on the Riad Laaroussa terrace. The hotel is set on one of the highest points of the medina, so unlike most riads that merely look on to neighboring rooftops, here you get panoramic views of the whole city.
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This article was originally published on August 4, 2015.