Through the Back Door at the Riad El Yacout, Fès, Morocco

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(Last Updated On: September 12, 2016)

The Riad El Yacout sits outside the medina wall near the gate of Bab Boujeloud. Along the one side the scene is dominated by a large construction site that is becoming a new hotel. This is where we first approach the riad because this is where the nearest parking can be found.

From this vantage the Riad El Yacout looks unremarkable – a long plain wall of indeterminate age with a few simple stairs leading to an old door framed in blue-tile. The riad’s name is splayed across the top of the wall and a large hot water solar system sits above it on the roof. I prepare to be underwhelmed.

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We go through the door and find ourselves in a simple hall with a stairway.

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It feels as if we have come in through the back door, through the servant’s entrance perhaps. However, after a few quick turns the enclosed hallway opens to the riad’s central courtyard.

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It is beautiful, perhaps all the more so after the simple entryway.

There does seem to be another door, one that opens into a fancier, more conventional hotel entryway, but we continue to use this back entrance throughout our stay. It is convenient, but I also like its simplicity and the fact that we share it with the staff. Entering here makes me feel like an insider instead of a paying customer who is just passing through. It’s an illusion, but Morocco is a land of illusion.

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