Review of Riad Norma Fes, Morocco

Set on the southern edge of the medina, about 5 minutes from the Batha Museum, Riad Norma is an oasis of luxury, calm and exquisite taste. Once the home of a wealthy merchant, it has been immaculately restored by skilled and devoted local craftsmen in line with local traditions and decorated in inimitable French design.

Stepping in from a dusty Medina alley and through the big wooden door, you will discover the opulence of Riad Norma. The covered courtyard is a paradise of intricately hand-carved stucco plasterwork, zellij tiling and antique wooden furniture. To the left, a walled garden where bushy rose trees and tumbling bougainvillea surround an enticing pool and to the right cedar wood doors lead to a salon where the music of Maria Callas echoed and an open fire keeps the winter chill out.

Riad Norma offers 8 stylish, beautifully furnished rooms or suites in 4 price bands, ranging from 9 sq m mini suites to spacious 54 sq m royal suites. All rooms feature a combination of fancy French fabrics and Moroccan decorative elements and come equipped with extra pillows, a writing desk, bathrobes slippers and that elusive appliance: a hairdryer.

Services at the riad include various Moroccan salons, roof terrace and a traditional hammam.