fez morocco travel guide

A laid-back alternative to the frenetic pace of Marrakech, Fez has all the allure of a North African city without the crowds. Textile lovers will find nonstop inspiration as they journey through the compact medina, the oldest in Africa, and visit the studios and shops of artisans who are drawing on Morocco’s craft traditions to produce contemporary creations. We take a look at hotspots across the city which challenge the paradigms of contemporary and traditional culture.

To Stay

Palais Amani

Palais Amani is a palatial luxury riad with a chic interior. Traditional mosaic tiling is combined with the fluid lines of art deco detailing in the grand courtyard, which is filled with fountains, gardens and arches. Spacious suites are finished with contemporary linens and tiled bathrooms, and the rooftop terrace has medina views. Cookery courses encourage guests to get to grips with local flavours and discover the authentic tastes of the medina. Rooms from £143 per night.

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  • 12 Derb el Miter Oued Zhoune Luxury Riad

Hotel Sahrai

The sleekest bolthole in the city, Hotel Sahrai is home to Africa’s first Givenchy Spa. Renowned French designer Christopher Pillet reimagined the former palace into a modern homage to Moroccan craftsmanship and heritage. Berber rugs and brass lamps feature across the 50 guest rooms and two restaurants. Expansive terraces feature an outdoor pool and spaces to lounge in style. Rooms from £120 per night.

To Eat

Numéro 7

Pop-up restaurant Numéro 7 brings a slew of sizzling international chefs to the city, staying for between one and four months. Each cook creates an exciting, fine-dining menu using seasonal Moroccan ingredients, served in an art-filled, black and white dining room, where the creative community gathers at weekends. (Price varies according to the resident chef. Open for dinner only – Wednesday to Sunday.

Dar Roumana

French chef Vincent Bonnin worked in Michelin-starred restaurants around the globe before settling in Fez, where his ever-changing menu combines Moorish influences with Mediterranean flavours. The rooftop terrace and intimate dining room, on the ground floor of a stylish converted house, enhance the experience. Set three-course dinner Tuesday to Sunday £25.

To Shop

Arts of Morocco

From exquisite leather bags to woven throws and rugs, discover beautifully crafted products in Fez’ souks, which are more relaxed compared to other Moroccan cities. Local craft entrepreneur, Aziz el Ouahbi recently launched Arts of Morocco – a resource that helps visitors find artisanal products made by the best crafts people.

Maison Moi Anan

For bespoke pieces, go see Thai fashion designer Anan Sorsutham. His small boutique Maison Moi Anan stocks his collection of stylish, simply cut pieces using block colours and gorgeous fabrics. He also runs a cute Asian restaurant upstairs.

Artisan Project Inc

Visit LA ex-resident Nina Mohammad-Galbert in her studio (visits by appointment only) to see her one-off range of contemporary textiles, also sold in the shop at Yves Saint-Laurent’s Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech. Mohammad-Galbert has sourced Moroccan products for a variety of fashion clients, including Edun in the US and Paddo to Palmy in Australia.

To Drink

Maison Blanche

Cocktails are mixed in style at the mezzanine bar of this sophisticated ‘new town’ spot. The design is distinctly more European than Arabic, with slate walls and hot pink seating. The restaurant, run by French chef Thierry Vaissière, offers delicious fusion dishes, combining Francophile recipes with Moroccan flavours.

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