Staying-in in Fes at Riad 20 Jasmins
Riad 20 Jasmins is the reason why I skipped half of the Morocco Business Forum. I left the conference early on the second day to take a much needed nap. My room, the smallest and, ahem, least expensive room in the house, was towards the front of the building. I could hear medina life at all hours of the day and most of the night. People watching was off limits. My room’s window was above the alley, so all I could see was the small garden where black birds made a ruckus in the morning just after the morning call to prayer. Instead of napping I enjoyed the quiet of the riad when all other guests exhausted themselves with tours of the medina. I essentially had the salon to myself, wireless Internet access, and excellent examples of zillige tesselations, borders, and stars to contemplate.
The Riad 20 Jasmins, known by the locals as Riad Yasmine, is a short walk from Batha Place. Hotel staff can arrange a tranfer for you from the Fes train station all the way to the front door. After a few trips to and from the riad, you will have no problem finding it on your own. Hotel staff are wonderful and can arrange and English-speaking guide for you to help you navigate the extensive medina. The food is some of the best I’ve ever had. Enjoying a glass of wine on the back patio after dining on a selection of Moroccan salads and the world’s best pastilla is a great way to unwind. Or, if you can steal some time for your self, stay in for a day. Staffing is limited, so don’t expect them to serve lunch, although you could request it in advance. Read a book in the garden or on the sofas in the salon, where you can rest your eyes on beautifully restored architecture between chapters. Or, relax in the reading room where you can browse through their collection of books on Islamic art or regional children’s stories.
I regret that I missed parts of the Morocco Business Forum, but I don’t regret a moment I spent at Riad 20 Jasmins. You can view photos of the riad on my flickr photostream. The pictures alone are enough to inspire. The riad’s website is at www.au20jasmins.com.