The secret to a seamless stay in Fez, Morocco, according to Joanne Shurvell, is to stay at a luxury riad. Scroll through below as she gives a glimpse of the hotel and the city.
From the rooftop terrace of Palais Amani, we were mesmerized by the panoramic views of the Middle Atlas mountains that dramatically frame the ancient city of Fez, with its verdant hills and valleys nearby supplying olives, almonds, beans and peas to the medina.
The owners of our hotel, Englishwoman Jemima and her husband Abdelali, a Fez native, spent four years lovingly restoring the ruined building, maintaining many of the 17th-century riad's features – including fine tiling, carved wooden doors and stained glass windows – before opening it as the Palais Amani, in 2010.
Jemima explained that the building was called a palace because it is much larger than a typical riad. Riads (from the Arab word 'ryad' for garden) are traditional Moroccan houses with internal gardens or courtyards. Over cocktails on our first evening we discovered that, after meeting in France where they still have a home, Jemima and Abdelali moved to London where they ran the Twenty Trinity restaurant and a catering business before embarking on their Fez adventure.
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