Hotel Review: Palais Faraj Suites and Spa, Fes in Morocco
Set on a hill overlooking the Fes medina is the Palais Faraj Suites & Spa. A luxury hotel built in a former Arab-Moorish palace, Palais Faraj is an architectural mecca featuring zellige tiles, marble floors, and mashrabiya windows.
Designed by Jean-Baptise Barian, a specialist in Arab-Andalusian interiors and architecture, it’s of no surprise that the four-year renovation project resulted in one of the most beautiful riads in the city.
We’re welcomed by Rachid who tells us about the owner’s love of art and design. We notice that the riad has a balanced mix of secluded nooks and wide open spaces that allow guests to get lost for hours before re-emerging into the Moroccan sunshine.
As Rachid shows us around the courtyard, past the massive swimming pool, and through to the library, he points out the different pieces of art that tell stories from Africa and beyond.
Palais Faraj has 25 air-conditioned suites which showcase pops of colour set upon white stucco walls and painted wooden ceilings. A number of suites have their own private terraces and living spaces. We check into the Hammam Suite, which is right by the courtyard and has a little balcony overlooking the pool.
The suite has high-vaulted ceilings, wooden carvings, and colourful flooring. A rose-coloured bathtub takes centre stage in the extraordinary bathroom, which used to house the former hammam. Traditional Moroccan tea, biscuits, and fruit are waiting on a desk by the window for us and we immediately feel at home.
The Palais Faraj team takes wellness seriously. Aside from a traditional hamman, the riad has two scrub rooms, three luxury massage and treatment cabins, a hair and facial care centre, and a resting room set around a central patio with a tisanerie, where herbal teas and infusions can be enjoyed.
We also enjoyed spending hours lounging and doing laps in the sizable swimming pool. If you’re looking for a creative outlet, they also organise pottery, Moroccan tile, and natural cosmetics workshops.
When we visited Palais Faraj, it was during the Ramadan period. Because of this, the hotel offered a special Iftar menu in the evenings, which had a buffet selection of traditional Moroccan dishes that are eaten to break the fast.
Guests can enjoy a mix of Fassi and international cuisine out on the roof at La Terrasse, where you can get a panoramic view of the medina below, or inside at L’Amandier, the hotel’s fine dining restaurant.
We enjoyed dishes such as Atlas pigeon pastille, stuffed cockerel, and a delicious grilled sea bream. The luxury riad also has two bars: Salon Bar on the ground floor serves coffee, mint tea, and aperitifs, whilst Le Golden Bar on the top floor offers cocktails, wine, and spirits in a ritzy Art Deco setting with a view that can’t be beat.
For visitors of Fes who would like to have a balance between the bustling medina and a calm wellness retreat, Palais Faraj allows you to step back in time and into an era of opulence and tradition. Surround yourself with beautiful art and exquisite architecture as you allow yourself to enjoy the calming sounds of your very own Moroccan refuge.
Address: 16-18 derb bensouda, Bab Ziat, Fes, Fes El Bali, 30000 Fes, Morocco
Phone: +212 535 635356