In the seventeenth century there was nowhere more romantic than Maqfia in the Andalous Quarter of the Fès Medina. In those days it was a complex of palatial riads separated by gardens filled with flowers and fruit trees and cooled by tinkling fountains to create an environment befitting of queens. Karawan Riad was the grandest harem in town.
It was here that the pashas of the time entertained, while their ladies peeked at proceedings from square balconies tucked into each corner of the first floor of the palace. These women were known for their refined culture and beauty, for music, poetry and an elegant cuisine, and above all their best ability to advise their men-folk based on what they saw from their secret observatories. Although, there was little written record of the time, 300-years on our dream was to recreate that atmosphere.
During the course of our decade long restoration we’ve sourced exactly the same materials made by local craftsmen - hand-crafted zellije (glazed mosaic tiles), delicate wrought iron-work, intricate plaster and filigreed lanterns, silk embroidery and richly painted wood - and added curios and artefacts inspired by the ‘caravanserai’ that moved exquisite handicrafts, fabulous food and romantic stories all over Morocco and the Middle East.
Karawan Riad in Fès is the coming together of all these influences and the art of Luxury Moroccan hospitality re-imagined for the 21st century. Marhaba !