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Palais Amani, Fez 

12 Derb El Miter
Oued Zhoune
Hay Blida
Morocco 30000
Tel: 212 5 35 63 32 09
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
On a narrow medina lane, the Palais Amani's gold-studded cedar doors only hint at the remarkably beautiful hotel on the other side. Step into a hallway finished in intricately worked zellige (traditional Moroccan-style glazed tiles), though, and there's a faint perfume of orange flowers in the air and the comforting sounds of birdsong and a spattering fountain. All of this comes from the interior garden—planted with lemon, orange, and clementine trees—at the heart of this 14-room hotel. Following a meticulous renovation by its En-glish and Franco-Moroccan proprietors, this century-old riad-style palace combines a heavy dose of Moroccan design with first-rate modern comforts. The original tiling and honeycomb plasterwork were painstakingly restored, and furnishings are traditional, but, unlike at many riad hotels, bathrooms are state-of-the-art, lighting is impeccable, and heating and air-conditioning work perfectly. A rooftop terrace with a bar, lounge chairs, and four showers invites on a hot afternoon, while the lounge and library are cozy on cool nights. Massages are offered in the hammam, and the dining room serves outstanding Moroccan and contemporary Mediterranean cooking, including a superb lemon mousse made with fruit from the hotel's own trees. Staff are efficient and, best of all, memorably friendly. —2011 Hot List

Which room to book: Splurge on the stunning Grand Suite, or book a first-floor double for more light than you'll get in a ground-floor room.

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