The Top Hotels in Fes
Whether you seek the splendor of a historic riad in the heart of the medina or a chic hilltop escape high above all the commotion, there’s something for every wandering spirit in the Moroccan town of Fes. Here are some of our favorite places to stay.
Derb Ziat, Fes, Morocco
With its carved arches, intricate tilework, and marble swaths, the scenic Palais Faraj feels like it’s from another time. Each room in the former palace is like a treasure chest of colorful rugs, stained glass details, and vibrant objets d’art; perhaps none are more enchanting than the library, with its arabesque and geometric patterns, though the lovely grounds, which are dotted with palm trees, rose bushes, and manicured hedges, are a close second thanks to their breathtaking views over the labyrinthine medina. Panoramic vistas also unfold from the hotel’s two restaurants, which serve Fassi specialties such as pigeon pastillas—try making them for yourself during an on-site cooking class. Other highlights include a spa with a traditional hammam and a courtyard pool for afternoon dips. As for the guest rooms, the hotel’s 25 suites are cloaked in the same elaborate tiling and carvings but stocked with mod cons like free minibars and Nespresso machines.
24 Derb El Miter, Parking Ain Azliten, Fès 30110, Morocco
Though less decadent than some of the medina’s more storied hotels, Riad Ahlam offers charm in spades at budget-friendly rates. With its trickling fountain and potted citrus trees, an elegant central courtyard is the setting for highly Instagrammable daily breakfasts brimming with homemade pastries and breads, fresh fruit and juices, sweet jams, and aromatic coffee; lunch and dinner highlight typical Fassi fare such as spiced tagines and vegetable couscous. Guests seeking pampering can indulge in a massage on-site, then retreat to one of eight rooms featuring colorful local textiles, traditional Moroccan lamps and lanterns, and brightly hued bathrooms with mosaic-tiled showers and shiny copper sinks. There’s also a scenic rooftop terrace, a prime perch for a cup of mint tea with a view.
5 Derb Zerbtana, Fès 30110, Morocco
It’s easy to get lost given the dizzying number of courtyards, patios, and terraces at Riad Fes, a lavish stay in the heart of the medina that feels like a desert mirage thanks to its opulent zellige tilework, towering plaster columns, wrought-iron filigrees, and antique wooden doors. Individually appointed guest rooms follow suit with embroidered linens atop four-poster beds, stained-glass details, and richly patterned textiles. The hotel’s subdued L’Ambre restaurant offers a mellow counterpoint to the grandeur with clean lines and hushed color schemes that allow refined Moroccan dishes to take center stage—think roasted lamb with onion jam and caramelized carrots, quail pastilla, and spiced-fruit tagine with mango ice cream. The riad also has a chic pool overlooking a verdant vertical garden; equally serene is the spa, which provides gentle relaxation with its soothing hammam and menu of aromatic scrubs, wraps, and massages.
3 Derb Bechara، Fes, Morocco
Hidden behind unassuming doors, this 17th-century palace provides respite from the frenetic bustle of the medina without sacrificing sense of place. The property hits all the right Moroccan style notes: there’s plenty of arabesque-patterned tiling and a lush courtyard complete with tinkling fountain and fragrant citrus trees. But the classic interiors also have contemporary flair—see the chrome lamps, cement-hued tadelakt baths, and leather furnishings in the eight guest rooms, or the panoramic rooftop and on-site restaurant, which not only serves local Fassi fare but also offers free cooking classes that begin with a trip to the market. For an alternate take on tradition, guests head to the hotel’s candlelit Carrara marble hammam, which uses indigenous ingredients like ghassoul clay from the Atlas Mountains, black-olive soap, and argan oil for its soothing pamper sessions.