The Most Beautiful Riads in Fez, Morocco

Stay in one of the large, luxurious suites at the Karawan Riad in Fez, Morocco
Stay in one of the large, luxurious suites at the Karawan Riad in Fez, Morocco | Courtesy of Karawan Riad / Expedia
Mandy Sinclair

Ancient Fez, in the northeast of Morocco, oozes atmosphere, from its walled medina to its landscaped Jnan Sbil Gardens. When you visit a place this beautiful, you’ll want a hotel that’s just as fabulous. Step forward, riads: the traditional Moroccan accommodation, with fountain-studded courtyards, rooftop terraces and cool corners for sipping glasses of mint tea.

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1. Riad Al Makan

Riad, Hotel

Riad Al Makan_34a8ab4b

From ornate blue-and-white floor tiling and fanning palms to intricate tadelakt plasterwork and a striking courtyard, this riad has it all. You could wear out your phone battery snapping selfies here, but you’ll want to save some juice for the must-see Blue Gate – it’s just a 3-minute walk away. A restaurant and a hammam on site mean there’s no need to head out after a long day’s sightseeing.

2. Riad Fes Maya

Riad, Hotel

Riad Fes Maya
Courtesy of Riad Fes Maya / Expedia

Stained-glass windows, elaborately carved cedar doors, chandelier-style lanterns – this might just be the most ornate room you’ll ever sleep in. It doesn’t matter which room you choose, either: every one of the nine at this centrally located riad has an artisan’s touch, transporting you to historic Morocco (thankfully, however, the bathrooms are modern). If you find yourself obsessed with the geometric zellige tiling during your stay, you can sign up for a themed workshop at reception.

3. Le Jardin des Biehn

Riad, Hotel

Le Jardin des Biehn
Courtesy of Le Jardin des Biehn / Expedia

Years ago, a French couple, the Biehns, relocated to Fez and opened this lovely riad, now managed by their son Paul. They gave it a fitting name: the centrepiece is a mature, lush garden stuffed with aromatic herbs, olive trees, vegetables and rustling palms. But, the rooms, too, are something special, blending traditional Moroccan textiles and antiques with the occasional, well-placed contemporary accent to keep things feeling fresh. A garden cafe and steamy hammam give further reason to linger.

4. Riad Layalina

Hotel, Riad

Riad Layalina
Courtesy of Riad Layalina / Expedia

You’re just a 5-minute walk from the Blue Gate, but you’ve also got a pool on site – what else could you wish for? This riad is beloved by visitors for plenty of other reasons, including the intimate feel (there are just seven rooms) and Moroccan cookery classes. Its good looks might also have something to do with its popularity: the tiling and hanging lanterns in the courtyard are utterly atmospheric, especially after dark. Travelling as a group? It’s possible to hire out the whole riad exclusively, too.

5. Riad Alkantara

Hotel, Riad

Riad Alkantara
Courtesy of Riad Alkantara / Expedia

From above, the strip of the aquamarine pool at the Riad Alkantara, set against the white-washed walls of Fez, looks like a scene from a postcard. The view of the historic city is one reason to come here. Others are the atmospheric rooms, with their traditional tiling and carved cedarwood, and the sense of space. Because the hotel is, in fact, made up of five different riads linked by the pool area, there’s plenty of room to stretch out.

6. Dar Roumana


Dar Roumana
Courtesy of Dar Roumana / Expedia
Luxurious suites, exclusive dining and panoramas of the ancient medina: it’s easy to see why guests may not want to leave Dar Roumana. The cuisine, in particular, is among the best in the city; head chef Younes Idrissi serves Franco-Moroccan dishes such as roast pumpkin salad with tahini, yoghurt and fresh chilli. Priority is given to guests, but the tables are in demand, so book in advance.

7. Riad Fes

Hotel, Riad

Riad Fes
Courtesy of Riad Fes / Expedia
A true architectural gem, Riad Fes may be the finest riad in the region, and its accreditation with Relais & Châteaux is a testament to its quality. Find soaring ceilings and beautiful Moroccan craftsmanship on display at every turn, including carved stucco, cedar work and intricate zellige tiles.

8. Riad Laaroussa

Hotel, Riad

Riad Laaroussa
Courtesy of Riad Laaroussa /
Tucked inside a 17th-century palace, the rooms and suites at Riad Laaroussa encircle an orange-tree-filled courtyard. Stay in a selection of atmospheric rooms – from the dinky Little Brown Room, with a double bed and a bathroom with a rainfall shower, to the split-level Orange Suite, with a fireplace, a separate seating area and an earthy tadelakt bathroom.

9. Karawan Riad


Karawan Riad
Courtesy of Karawan Riad / Expedia
Don’t be surprised if the suites at Karawan Riad are larger than your apartment; each features an interior and exterior balcony and comes with luxury linens and organic toiletries. And, if you prioritise substance over style, you won’t be disappointed either. The hotel owners have spent more than a decade sourcing local materials and trinkets to capture the building’s past as the grandest harem in the region.

10. Riad 9


Riad 9
Courtesy of Riad 9 / Expedia
American designer Stephen di Renza’s Riad 9 is one of the trendiest riads in Fez. Bought in 1999 as a family home, the owners embarked on a three-year restoration project, digging out the original mosaics of this 18th-century property in the process. It was opened up as a boutique in 2007 and now offers three suites and communal spaces decorated with curios from Morocco, England, France and Asia.

11. Dar Seffarine


Dar Seffarine
Courtesy of Dar Seffarine /
This is a stay with a spectacular start. Step inside the unassuming doorway of Dar Seffarine into a gawp-worthy central courtyard, flanked by lofty columns and towering walls. Around 600 years old, the Moorish property underwent a two-year refurbishment project that restored much of its original grandeur. Rooms are suitably palatial, and there’s a sunny roof terrace with views over the ancient city; head there for your morning breakfast and evening drinks.

12. La Maison Bleue

Hotel, Riad

La Maison Bleue
Courtesy of La Maison Bleue / Expedia
Built in 1915 by Sidi Mohammed El Abbadi, a famous judge and astrologer, La Maison Bleue is today owned and operated by the late judge’s grandchildren. Its central courtyard has an inviting dipping pool, while the restaurant serves El Abbadi family recipes, passed down through the centuries. Head to the in-house culinary school, the first in Fez, for a local market tour, followed by a lesson on traditional Moroccan cooking.

13. Riad Mabrouka

Hotel, Riad

Riad Mabrouka
Courtesy of Riad Mabrouka / Expedia
In typical Arab-Andalusian style, the interior courtyard at Riad Mabrouka features carved stucco, cedar wooden doors, a small babbling fountain and colourful traditional mosaics. From here, you can access the garden fragranced with rose bushes and citrus trees plus a small plunge pool. The eight rooms are individually styled with traditional Moroccan architecture and family heirlooms.

Ellie Hurley contributed additional reporting to this article.

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