We spent three nights at the magnificent Riad named Palais Amani, in the ancient Medina (fortified old town) of Fez.
The Fez Medina is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered to be one of the world’s largest car-free urban areas. Founded in 859 CE, for centuries, Fez has been a great centre of learning and intellectual pursuits, not just on Islamic theology and jurisprudence, but also philosophy, mathematics, astrology, astronomy and languages. It is also a renowned center for arts and crafts.
Located within a crowded medieval urban landscape, when we entered the old Riad, it felt as if we had stepped into a splendid little middle age palace, built in the Moorish – Andalucían architectural style, with a lush green garden and a fountain in the middle. The garden was home to numerous small birds.
This was a place where one could spend endless hours, reading a book or just doing nothing.
Apart from their outstanding hospitality and cuisine, the Riad also offers excellent classes on Moroccan cuisine. Given that we did not have sufficient time, we opted for the two hour baking class, in which two friendly and charming Moroccan chefs taught us how to bake traditional Moroccan breads and cookies (coconut and almond Ghriba), subtly flavored with orange blossom essence.
While retaining its old world charm and architectural integrity, Palais Amani has fitted with all modern luxuries when it was painstakingly restored by its owners.
Our stay in this Riad was simply magical. While in Fez, it is worth spending an extra day, just in this Riad.