Fes is the second largest City in Morocco. It’s also the world’s largest urban pedestrian zone which means foot traffic and donkey carts are much more abundant than cars – so if you’re visiting Fes for the first time, we highly recommend choosing a strategic location for your accomodation right in the heart of the City. With that said, we chose to stay at Riad Fes.
If there were three words to describe how you feel when you step into Riad Fes, they would be: Enchanting, romantic and opulent.
Riad Fes is an ancient mansion refurbished into a luxury five-star hotel offering guests a contemporary experience in an “ancient Arabian setting” which mimics the lifestyle of Fassi nobility.
The hotel decor is intricate and immaculate and the way the afternoon light bounced off the grand columns and stained glass windows made you forget the busy streets that lay outside the hotel walls. There were many moments where we truly forgot we were right in the middle of the busy medina.
Upon arrival, the hotel staff showed us to the entrance and took us through a maze that lead us to one of the most beautiful hotel lobbies we’ve ever seen. The General Manager of Riad Fes was kind enough to personally come out and greet us and with wonderful tales of the history of the hotel accompanied with welcome tea and local sweet delicacies.
We were then given a grand tour of the hotel which includes all the ammenities you could think of from their famous rooftop terrace to solarium, swimming pools, spa and wellness centre, fitness centre and a main patio area where you can enjoy complimentary afternoon tea. By this point, the hotel had already exceeded our expectations.
Location & View
The location of Riad Fes is right in the heart of the ancient City of Fes which is about twenty five minutes’ drive from Fes International Airport and seven minutes from Fez bus station or the train station. It’s a bit difficult to find your way around Fes in a taxi/car because of the nature of the streets so this hotel is a great home base for exploring the souks and the various historical sites in Fes
It’s conveniently situated right in between the medina and the Middle Atlas foothills which means that the cultural hub of the City is merely footsteps away from the hotel and the towering rooftop terrace just happens to be the perfect spot for a panoramic view of the city.
The location and view has also started to attract the attention of many visitors around the area, we even heard through through the grapevine that the rooftop bar man also serves the “best cocktails in Morocco”. Talk about a win-win.
We stayed in a Standard Room at the hotel and boy did we get lucky because the room was right next to the famous rooftop terrace! We simply woke up, rolled out of bed and opened our door to one of the most amazing sunrises we witnessed in Morocco *take me back please*
The room came equipped with a beautiful marble en-suite, air conditioning, great Wifi signals, super soft robe and slippers and all the toiletries. We even had our own mini terrace with sunbeds where we could soak up our private dose of Vitamin D but we were way too excited about the rooftop terrace view that we didn’t even get to spend time in our sunbeds!
Restaurant & Dining
I think we’re always a bit hesitant to dine at a contemporary hotel in an exotic location because we want to try the local dishes…but damn the food was good.
Restaurant “l’Ambre” Fez
We had the set menu at L’Ambre right by the pool which had a great warm and welcoming atmosphere to enjoy an intimate dinner after a long day. The menu was a “fine dining” take on local dishes such as tajine, couscous and nougat. Everything was cooked to absolute perfection, there were plenty of vegetarian options and the serving sizes were extremely generous – our belts were very snug by the end of our meals!
Talk about an impressive buffet selection! We enjoyed freshly cooked Moroccan pancakes and omelettes outside by the pool and loaded up and the huge spread of pastries, sweets, yoghurts, muesli, fruit, juice and cheese inside the L’Ambre dining area. I’m pretty sure we ate our weight in food during our time here at Riad Fes but it was indeed worth it.
Pool & Spa
You know you’re having a great time when your biggest decision of the day is whether to bask in the sun on the rooftop or by the pool…so why not do both?
The main pool is located right next to the Spa & Hammam where the waiting room was already a mosaic dream.
The spa menu at Riad Fes has a range of treatments from your regular mani-pedi to a full body sauna with the Physiotherm Infrared Cabin made of ceramic and filled with lava sand for low-temperature infrared technology to relax and rejuvenate all your aches away.
Overall, our stay at Riad Fes was even better than we had imagined. We had read all of the incredible 4 and 5 star reviews on TripAdvisor but nothing prepared us for the truly luxe chateau experience.