Review of Riad Al Bartal Fes, Morocco

Luxury Riad Al Bartal is in the heart of the Fez medina, only a block away from the main entrance. This is a traditional family home renovated to high standards by the personable French couple Mireille and Christian Laroche. The central patio, contrasting with the soft lights of the rooms, detailed zelliges, polished marble, delicious scents of cedar, red and gold of lacquered woods, all make for charming accommodation with no overbearing European formality.

The gallery is on the ground floor, with the first floor opening onto the patio, giving access the seven rooms of the Riad. The rooms are very spacious and each has its own personal interior decorations of Moroccan artisan creations and European furniture: vast cedar wood doors, high ceilings, shimmering zellige tiling and sitting areas with either a fireplace or ceramic wood stove are featured in all rooms. Though rooms have access to the internet, there are no televisions, telephones or mini-bars, which allows for guests to unwind and really enjoy their surroundings.

There is also a living area, a library full of guide books, a quiet courtyard and a roof terrace with stunning, panoramic views over the Medina. The cuisine is taken care of by Fatima, a local chef from Fez who is always more than happy to share her recipes, spices and ingredients to the most exclusive and traditional Moroccan dishes. Breakfast is included in the price of the room.

Riad Al Bartal has an ongoing exhibition of local Moroccan art is a perfect complement to its setting in a traditional family home.