Fes: hotel inside the medina or out?

Jan 19th, 2003, 04:41 AM
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Fes: hotel inside the medina or out?

I am planning a trip to Fes. Is it OK to stay at a hotel in the medina? In my research I keep getting the feeling it is not always desirable to stay inside. Is there a safety issue?

I am interested in the Palais Jamai, however the guidebook I have says "one might find the medina location too confining."

Anyone know what the book is implying?
Thank you for your help!
Jan 19th, 2003, 02:40 PM
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i can't imagine NOT staying in the medina. the most desirable lodging (in fes and most moroccan destinations) is now in the medina - with tons of riads and boutique hotels opening to keep up with the demand.

the guidebook is probably referring to the fact that you need someone to walk with you through the medina in fes...not so much for safety's sake, but because fes' 'streets' are tiny walkways that twist and wind for literally thousands of miles. after three or four turns you'd be hard pressed to find your way back to your hotel. the benefits of staying in the medina are that you're in the middle of everything, i.e. can hear the calls to prayer, see daily life as it is now and has been for centuries.
you picked a great destination. fes was my favorite stop in morocco.
Jan 19th, 2003, 05:55 PM
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The previous poster is correct, but it does limit your freedom. If you stay in the modern section of town, you can look for restaurants, stop in cafes, etc. without needing a guide. Stay in the medina, and you are limited to the hotel's meal offerings, or at least your freedom of movement is somewhat more restricted. On the other hand, my recollection is that the Palais Jamai is actually on the edge of the Medina, but on the opposite side from the modern city. So you can take a taxi to and from the Palias Jamai without any problems.
Jan 22nd, 2003, 03:14 PM
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Monica, as the others have mentioned, what the book probably means about being confining within the medina is that you may find yourself in the midst of the very life of the medina. I personally find that to be a good thing. you become less of a tourist and begin to feel somehow a part of the comotion. there is no where else I would recommend staying. if you are worried however, you should check out Fes medina's website (www.fesmedina.com). they will have more details. they rent out restored villas for a very reasonable price that you end up having completely to yourself and they are located right smack in teh middle of the medina overlooking the busy life below. and as far as feeling confined, when we rented a place, we got our own guide who escorted us throughout the streets. it was overall an excellent exprience and gave us a chance to absorb more of the reality that way. good luck in your travels.
Jan 23rd, 2003, 03:34 AM
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Thank you all for your insight. Based on your answers I am now convinced! I will stay in the medina. I want to experience the real culture, not just observe it.

Thank you and happy travels,

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