Navigate Morocco’s second city and its UNESCO medina – the largest in Africa
Stay in a typical riad, the art deco Palais Amani that was partly rebuilt in the 1930s
Learn to cook various dishes at the rooftop Fez Cooking School after a tour of the medina with a chef, for a unique insight into Morocco’s foodie city
Fez is old Morocco fast combining with new ideas and openings, but everything in Morocco’s second city remains authentic. The elaborate architecture, the historic, vast medina and the throngs of locals who spread their time between the medina and new town. A break here is sure to be a cultural experience starting with the UNESCO Heritage medina. The interconnected mass of souks is where the stunning Palais Amani is located.
The Imperial City of Fez has stood in the north of Morocco for 1,200 years. Walking inside the walls it’s easy to see its history; out of the four major Moroccan cities, this is easily the one that has the strongest connection to the past. A fourteenth century mosque stands close to a Moorish estate built in the 1700s. Mourners trek daily into the ornate tomb of Moulay Idriss II and the oldest continuously operating university in the world, al-Karaouine, lies in the north-east of the city.
It’s in the Medina – Old Fez, the world’s largest car-free urban area – where the city’s heritage is most obvious. You can easily get lost in the twisting, labyrinthine streets, both literally and figuratively, but this is undoubtedly the best way to discover the true heritage of Fez.
Spending time at Palais Amani is also a unique Fez experience:
• The Roof Terrace
A perfect spot to enjoy the sunshine or read a book or enjoy a cocktail before dinner by the bar. The roof terrace offers wonderful views of Fez and has many quiet corners with sun loungers and larger seating areas. A rooftop bar is open throughout the day and in the evening; there are cocktails to enjoy.
• Fez Cooking School
Start with a guided foodie tour of the medina followed by a cookery class at this purpose-built cookery school on the far side of the hotel’s roof terrace. Guests can learn to cook a selection of Fassi, Moroccan or Sephardic dishes.
• Eden Restaurant
Eden Restaurant at Palais Amani offers 'Market Moroccan' local produce. Here diners can enjoy Moroccan signature dishes from an a la carte menu along with a weekly changing three-course bistro menu. A diverse tapas menu is also available daily. Diners have the option to dine in the outdoor hidden paradise under the majestic citrus trees for a truly unforgettable culinary adventure.
• The Library Bar
A separate space combing literature, board games and a light menu of local snacks and drinks, The Library Bar is open throughout the day and in the colder months an open fireplace is the ideal place to curl up by with a book or magazine.
• The Bedrooms
Each of the 18 bedrooms and suites is completely different both in design and layout. The Classic Rooms are cosy offering discreet views of the garden or medina. The second category of rooms is the Luxury Rooms, which combine a seating area and bedroom with stunning large windows and doors. The Junior Suites have a master bedroom, elegant salon and bathroom and can accommodate an extra bed so can sleep up to three. The Senior Suites offer an additional single room and the minimum dimensions are from 45m2 and include a salon and dedicated dressing area. Finally, The Grand Suite; this unique splendid room covers the whole 100 sq./m of the south wing. The suite includes a salon, a his and hers dressing room, spectacular bathroom and includes breath-taking views of the gardens and hills beyond. All rooms have their own fragrance and feature local beauty products and a selection of water and wines. Room service is also available.
• The Shop
A small shop showcases local items including wool blankets, cotton and linen throws, hand-blown glass, modern Fez pottery, hand-carved wood, contemporary rugs and stationary.
• The Gardens
A large garden of 600m2 is at the centre of the palace filled with orange trees where birds, permanent residents here, provide the birdsong in this tranquil haven.
• Hammam – Les Bains Amani
The hammam is designed in true Moroccan style complete with a hot room, an exfoliation room, separate showers and a luxury relaxation chamber. The ‘Royal Hammam’ treatment lasts 1 hour 15 minutes and transports guests into the ritual of purification not found outside of this fascinating country.
Just three hours from London, Fez is fast becoming one of the leading cultural destinations for 2020.
www.palaisamani.com 12 Derb el Miter, Oued Zhoune, Fes Medina, 30000, Morocco
B&B is priced from €190.00 per room per night
Special 2020 offer –
AMANI20 offers a 15% discount on the best available rate online at Palais Amani – subject to availability
Getting there: Air Arabia Maroc (from Gatwick x2 weekly), Ryanair (from Stansted x2 weekly) and TAP Air Portugal (via Lisbon Daily) and Air Arabia Maroc (via Marrakech Daily)