As with many of the ancient medina’s most beguiling treasures, the simple heavy wooden door betrays no hint of the sumptuous majesty awaiting on the other side. Palais Amani is one of the best luxury riads in Fez and its restaurant serves some of the best food in the city to boot. Tables are scattered throughout the courtyard, interspersed among a beautiful garden centered around a fountain. Intricate blue and white zellige abounds and lemon, orange and Clementine trees stretch upwards. It is a chic and elegant oasis in the midst of the bustling, winding streets of the ancient Medina, just steps from the Golden Triangle.
The guidebooks to Morocco endlessly rave about how Moroccan cuisine is one of the most diverse cuisines in the world. That was decidedly not our experience, having had chicken tajine almost 20 consecutive meals in a row at one point. But Palais Amani’s restaurant acknowledges this dissonance, noting that visitors frequently do not sample the full range of Moroccan cuisine because the local restaurants tend to produce only a limited variety of dishes. Palais Amani’s aim therefore is to introduce visitors to the full spectrum of Moroccan cuisine by cooking the types of dishes found in Moroccan homes. And, indeed, the cuisine at Palais Amani was more differentiated than at many of the other restaurants we sampled in Morocco. There were some misses, but also some big hits, particularly those dishes that involved pastry. Palais Amani is possibly the best place to stay when visiting Fez, but if you make it only for dinner, a visit to the gorgeous rooftop terrace and bar before departing is highly recommended.