Amani means desires or wishes in Arabic, and Palais Amani seeks to fulfil your wishes. If one of your wishes is a taste of the riad experience but with luxuries like elevators and extra sound proofing, Palais Amani will fulfill those wishes too.
The hotel opened in 2010 after four years of extensive restoration. The 17th century home had been almost uninhabited since the 1970s. Only a guardian, his wife and two children lived in a small part of the then-dilapidated mansion, preventing the building from being ransacked. The guardian’s smiling face still welcomes you to Palais Amani if you’re coming home after a late night dinner.
The hotel is in the northern part of the medina, just a minute’s walk up some steps from a parking area. There are 14 rooms and suites in total; including some connecting rooms and a two-bedroom apartment. If you want to splurge, the Grand Suite (bedroom pictured) is spectacular.
My suite had a sitting area with high ceilings at one end, and a sumptuous king bed with hand-embroidered pillowcases at the other. In between, two bathrooms — one with a toilet and sink, and the other with a deep tub with handheld shower (at proper height, rare for Morocco!). Another rarity for hotels anywhere in the world — good lighting at the sinks in both bathrooms.
The hotel is in riad style, but has wide hallways between the garden-filled courtyard and the rooms. Stained glass windows and shutters block noise to the rooms and another set blocks outdoor noise from the hallways. Breakfast is taken on a sunny patio, there’s a dining room and a library on the first floor, and you’ll love the scents from all the garden flowers in the courtyard.
Unusual for a medina hotel, Palais Amani has an elevator to take you to most of the rooms and suites, as well as to the rooftop terrace and bar. If you’re using a wheelchair, though, note there are still small steps to get into the elevator and into the hotel.
Up on the terrace I found several places in the shade to relax and enjoy my complimentary mint tea and cookies. If you’re a sun worshiper, you’ll appreciate the comfortable loungers and the showers to cool you off. You can take a massage up here if you’d like, or just enjoy the 360 views of the medina and surrounding hills while you sip a cocktail from the rooftop bar. Other hotel services include a hammam and spa, a cooking class, bread and pastry workshop, and even calligraphy lessons.
Does Palais Amani sound like the kind of hotel to fulfill your wishes?