Every now and then we see the launch of a new boutique hotel to set a precedent and reference point for many more to come. I believe the recently opened in 2014, 50 room Sahrai Hotel in Fez, Morocco is one such property. It stands on a hilltop overlooking the UNESCO World Heritage listed Medina dating to the 9th Century and is soundly rooted in it’s location as it boldly references local architecture and materiality in an expression that is very contemporary. The Paris based architect and designer, Christophe Pillet has also been responsible for other benchmark boutique hotels such as Sezz Paris and Sezz Saint Tropez, Hotel B (see previous posts) as well as big brands, Pullman La Defense for Accor. Pillet not only has an intrinsic understanding of luxury but can identify the local cultural persona of city and translate it into a chic and sophisticated destination with an international appeal.
With two restaurants, two bars and the external spaces in between, we can see Moorish references that are more than surface deep. The apparent gestures such as stylised lanterns, Islamic fretwork patterning and the materiality of Taza Limestone, timber, plaster, marble and steel, link the hotel to it’s vernacular whilst exuding luxury. But it is the spatial arrangement, colonnades, courtyards, squared voids and expressed ceiling beams that evoke the architectural landscape of the Medina.
The experience of sleeping and bathing extends the Moorish experience with authentic textures and restrained decorative elements contrasted with minimalist detailing. And for guests who relish in luxury brands, there is a Givenchy Spa! This hotel is likely to be a destination in itself, as it achieves an experience of “authenticity” for guests – the current buzzword in this market.
There are plenty of superlative’s I could use to describe this incredible hotel, but one stands out – “Romantic”
you may also like the Wiesergut Hotel
Images downloaded from Hotel Sahrai site