Well, now that Christmas (with its attendant feasting and festive activities) is, to borrow Gordon Ramsay’s well-worn phrase, ‘done’, it’s time to address our bulging waistline, slender wallets and all those fantasies hopes we have of giving up the bad stuff and improving our inner lives. So: how does an inexpensive week in sunny Fez, whilst learning a new skill, with a bit of pampering on the side sound? Yes, that’s what we thought…
Why this week? To whet your wanderlust for the New Year, the generous folk at Palais Amani – a luxury riad in Fez – are offering 15% off early bookings for stays between 1 March and 12 June 2012. While you’re there, why not better yourself with a little ‘edutainment': try your hand at bread-making basics or traditional calligraphy on one of the hotel’s easy-going workshops.
Our favourite bits Palais Amani’s spa provides facials, massages, gommage and, of course, hammam treatments. In summer and autumn, treatments take place in a rooftop pergola, looking out over the city. The assorted unguents employed are made using unique-to-Morocco argan oil from the gardens of Ourika.
Mr & Mrs Smith say… ‘Some places just grab you by the eyes and don’t let go: this astonishing enclave of serenity amid the busy bazaars of the ancient desert city is definitely what you’d call a looker. Although the riad is located on one of Fez’s most bustling medina streets, it’s astonishingly serene, with a tiled courtyard planted with citrus trees and fragrant, night-blossoming jasmine. The palace has been here for centuries, but thanks to a rebuild in the 1930s, it’s acquired some smart monochrome looks and a splash of art deco, and a recent top-to-toe restoration has given it a distinctly modern sparkle. The bedrooms – all offering plenty of cavorting room – showcase ornate tilework alongside Bose sound systems, flatscreens and other techno knick-knacks that somehow manage not to disrupt Amani’s Arabian palace air.’ Read more about Palais Amani in Fez, or find more hotels in Morocco.
You say… ‘Unbelievably good. This hotel is beautiful and situated in a really interesting position. The staff – from the owner down – were so helpful in every way. The food was very good; I do not believe there is a better place to stay in Fez.’ (Clive, BlackSmith, stayed March 2011)