“A great-value sanctuary with panoramic views across the medina and delicious fassi cooking”
Tizwa's 6 bedrooms are spread over 3 levels. They vary in size and configuration, but have lots of common features: ornate zellig tiles, coloured tadelakt (polished stucco) in bathrooms, garnet-coloured Berber rugs, and fabulously comfy beds dressed in crisp white English linen with feather duvets topped by sabra bedspreads.
The size of the rooms, along with subtle lighting and an absence of clutter, creates a mood that invites relaxation. Light slants in from courtyard-facing windows past the arabesques of wrought-iron grilles and half moons of stained glass, creating pools of coloured light.
All rooms have snazzy extras: a dock for your iPod, WiFi, aircon, hooded bathrobes and slippers, and a range of natural bath products. Our only quibble was that in some bathrooms there was no shelving for your toiletries.
Opposite the sitting room, Room 5 is a high-ceilinged double plenty big enough to slot in easy chairs and a table. The first-floor rooms (2 and 3) also have high cedar ceilings plus zellig tiles on walls and floor, mostly of cobalt blue. Room 2 has its bathroom on the same level, whilst that of Room 1 is reached, along with a small dressing room, by a narrow staircase which winds up another level. Rooms 7 & 8 are sold together and are ideal for a family, with two double rooms - with lower ceilings - sharing a bathroom. Next door, Room 3 is a slightly smaller double, with a shower rather than bath, whilst on the top floor Room 4 was my favourite. This room has a really private feel and double sinks set into a long sweep of marble. The icing on the cake is a private terrace; a great spot for an intimate breakfast or supper. This and Room 1 are alone in having fireplaces: book one of these rooms should you visit in winter.
You come to expect delicious breakfasts in Morocco, and Tizwa's didn't let us down. With the sun bathing our table (there's a Berber tent for shade in the hotter months) and the medina's roofscape stretching out before us, we were in no mood to rush. A potful of coffee was accompanied by freshly squeezed orange juice, creamy homemade yoghurt served with muesli and chopped banana, pains aux chocolat, baguettes and semi-leavened Moroccan bread, along with several different jams and pancakes drizzled in honey.
And we were glad that we chose to have dinner at Tizwa: if you plan to do the same, let Merieme know at breakfast - feel free to say if you have any preferences regarding food. We emerged from our room to find dozens of candles twinkling round the courtyard and our table dressed in white linen and strewn with rose petals.
The meal began with a selection of salads: scrumptious briouattes, ricotta cheese wrapped in mille-feuilles pastry, slices of lightly spiced fried aubergine and courgette, chopped tomato and green pepper, 3 different types of olives and scrummy semi-leavened bread. This was followed by a beef, prune and almond tagine: its richly flavoured sauce was proof that it had been slow-cooked that same day. A dessert of sliced oranges sprinkled with rose water and crushed pecan nuts together with mint tea provided a traditional finale to our feast.
There's a limited selection of wine (including the ubiquitous Cuvée du Président) as well as soft drinks and bottled water. Just ask if you would prefer to dine on the roof terrace or in your own room. Lunches are available on request too, and there are plenty of restaurants within walking distance should you want a change of scene - Fes et Gestes and Cafe Fes are recommended.
Children are welcome and extra beds can be added to most rooms, but there are no baby cots.
Children (4-12 years)
Rooms 7&8 would be an ideal choice for a family
Menus can be adapted to suit children
Exploring the souks would be an amazing experience for any kid although it might feel a wee bit intimidating at first.