Photo courtesy of Riad Laaroussa
Riad Laaroussa Hotel and Spa
Hidden behind unassuming doors, this 17th-century palace offers respite from the frenetic bustle of the medina. The charming property hits all the Moroccan style mainstays: there’s plenty of colorful tiling in geometric and arabesque patterns, filigree wrought ironwork, and of course, a lush courtyard complete with trickling fountain and fragrant citrus trees. The traditional stylings are accompanied by a contemporary flair here and there, like on the panoramic rooftop or the chic restaurant that overlooks it, which not only serves local Fassi fare, but offers free cooking classes that start off with a trip to the market. For an alternate taste of tradition, guests can head to the hotel’s candlelit, Carrara marble-rich hammam, which uses native ingredients like ghassoul clay from the Atlas Mountains, black olive soap, and argan oil for its soothing pamper sessions.
By Aleksandra Hogendorf, AFAR Contributor
Forget Chain Hotels, Try the Riad Laaroussa Experience
Planning a trip to the fascinating imperial city of Fez? I recommend staying at the Riad Laaroussa which is located inside the Medina. This 17th century palace is a welcome retreat of peace after spending the day exploring the chaotic Medina. What’s a Riad? Historically, it is a traditional Moroccan home with an open garden or courtyard. However, now most function as hotels/resorts. Riads are more inward focused. You won’t see large exterior windows. In fact, the exterior is plain and you are unable to tell if the home is upper or lower class. There are clay walls with a huge (and in some cases, ornate) door. Once you enter thru the massive door, you will be amazed at how lovely the interior is. Beautiful tiles & mosaics, water fountains, lush fabrics…riads provide you with the opulence of a grand mansion combined with a cozy atmosphere. These lovely “homes” only have a small number of rooms (i.e. 5-10). Riads provide you with a unique Moroccan experience that you won’t get staying in a hotel. Have insightful conversations over mint tea while learning about Moroccan culture from the locals. Centrally located with delicious food and an absolutely phenomenal staff, the Riad Laaroussa is a wonderful place to stay during your exotic trip to Fez. So forget using hotel chain rewards points and enjoy the unique experience of staying in a riad!
3 Derb Bechara، Fes, Morocco