If you’re visiting Fez, one of the four Moroccan imperial cities and UNESCO world’s heritage, and are looking for a place to stay, Riad Anata is the perfect home away from home.
Right in the Medina (old city), it is strategically located to access most of the interesting sites on foot. This can prove super useful: on our first visit to the souk for instance, we bought 3 carpets and carried them straight back to the riad before hitting town with free arms again. You know what they say: location, location, location.
Riad Anata is built like most riads, which are typical Moroccan homes: a tiled patio around which the house evolves, with the various rooms looking onto the beautiful courtyard. The interiors, -designed by Audrey Vermeersch, are really breathtaking and ooze an utter sense of chic. With its waxed concrete, elegant tiles and carefully curated textiles, the place is luxurious without ever being pretentious. A scent of orange blossom in the air and beautiful little windows creating glimpses of light that furnish the surfaces of the five rooms. A cocoon; a holiday all in itself. Up the flight of stairs, a stunning rooftop terrace with shade to shield you from the hot sun and a gorgeous hammock (feet on water!) to enjoy a nice book or unwind from the bustling Medina outdoors. Weather allowing, the terrace is where breakfast is served. Probably brought to you by Saïd, the Riad’s Maître d’ or perhaps Mohammed, another gem of the staff. Breakfast varies slightly every day, so you don’t get bored and get to discover many little treats, like Harcha (semolina bread) or Mafrouk (flat bread). The staff was incredibly kind and generous, but never servile.
We had the opportunity to take one of the cooking classes proposed by the Riad. It was one of the highlights of our trip. We met Hasania the cook on the terrace and she took us to the market to get the groceries we needed to make a chicken tajine with preserved lemons, one of Morocco’s culinary treasures. We made a veggie tajine for me too, and it was the tastiest tajine I’ve ever had, nothing like the sad and bland slops I had tried elsewhere. Hasania bears a constant smile and guided us through the cooking process which was actually a lot of fun. Another blogger (Nuria from @sweettravellers) was there too and amidst the obligatory myriad of photos, we ended up pretty satisfied with our dishes! We had our delicious and copious lunch on the breezy terrace. You should totally take the riad’s cooking class if you have a chance.
Valerie, Riad Anata’s Belgian owner was not there when we visited but she looked after us from afar. Before the trip, during and after! She really takes it upon herself to make you feel at home (except more pampered and better fed!). I hope we’ll meet on our next trip and can share a cup of mint tea!
While we were in Fez, we visited many riads for lunch, dinner or an afternoon in the sun and we honestly have to say Riad Anata was by far the best option, all things considered, from the lush interiors to food, location and service. A magical place with beautiful energy; a gem in the city of the thousand doors.
Riad Anata, Derb El-Hamia, Fès Boulemane 30200, Morocco, T: +212 5357-41537.