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“A sublime experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of El Fenn

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El Fenn
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Derb Moullay Abdullah Ben Hezzian | Bab el Ksour, Medina, Marrakech, Morocco   |  
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Ranked #42 of 461 Hotels in Marrakech
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“A sublime experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2012

A memorable long weekend in this haven in the midst of the bustle of the Souk. Room 19 lived up to expectations; we loved the private roof terrace, rose scented soaps, bath oils, mud masks and big fluffy robes in the palatial bathroom. The fine linen sheets, open fires and rich Moroccan decor added to the sense of opulence.
The Riad has enchanting courtyards and lovely pools – although the water was a little chilly. We experienced an invigorating hammam followed by a blissfully relaxing massage. The afternoon tea is delightful and the terrace breakfast serves the most delicious spiced porridge, home made yoghurt and fruits.
We had a warm welcome from enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff and nothing was too much trouble which made our stay really special. An oasis indeed!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
willemsmit2011, General Manager at El Fenn, responded to this review, November 19, 2012
thank you so much for your wonderful feedback. Great to read you enjoyed your stay with us so much and particularly room # 19. Since your stay with us we have been redoing the roof terrace of this room, which we extended with a traditional Berber tent, new Tadelac and an even more spectacular pool.

We do hope we will see you back to enjoy Marrakech & our property,

warm regards, Willem
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464 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (101)
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2012

Prior to getting a series of short, sharp lessons in humility from stallholders in the souks of Marrakech (face it: their silky bargaining skills are built on something you’ll never know: the real cost of a sales item), you’ll need a damn good breakfast. Something to give you strength to plunge into the maze of hot, narrow lanes where sellers are standing shoulder-to-shoulder to relieve you of twice the amount of Dirham you should have paid for pieces of tat. A breakfast like Riad El Fenn’s homemade yoghurt, slim baguettes, runny jams and fresh mint tea.

Under a pale blue sky in a pale red city, and seated on the riad’s rooftop beneath a casually-thatched wooden awning, you can eat well while practicing your appalling French on the charming, professional and supremely patient waitstaff. Scrambled oeufs, merci. Ah, this is the way to start your day in the Medina: a raffish, if slightly scruffy, area of Marrakech.

Now you’re ready. The nearby souks await. You have nothing to lose but your perky innocence. Hours later, with the happy laughter of contented sellers still ringing in your dust-flecked ears, you’ll return to the Riad El Fenn. Pass me that book of travel clichés, s’il vous plait. “Oasis” is the word. Cool, in both senses of the word, the riad manages to combine restrained elegance with impeccable service.
My wife (described to me by several souk sellers as “your Berber wife” for her ability to turn the gentle art of bargaining into a form of street warfare) and I have just spent five days at Riad El Fenn. Blissful days, indeed, in Room 19. Would we go back? Put it this way: to raise the money, we’d even sell some of the almost priceless items we bought in the Medina’s markets. Almost priceless but, for you, I can do a special price, not a “tourist price”. I consider you a friend. To you, I can offer an antique silver-like serving tray hand-etched centuries ago by skilled craftsmen in the fastness of the High Atlas Mountains. For you, 3600 Dirhams. No, do not thank me, you are a friend. Cash only.

-- Greg Flynn, Sydney.

Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
willemsmit2011, General Manager at El Fenn, responded to this review, October 10, 2012
Dear Greg, thank you for your wonderful words on El Fenn. Of course we are delighted you enjoyed your stay with us and Marrakech so much.

In the last weeks we have been improving our breakfast selection and we are pleased it is clearly paying off!

You also gave us a wonderful idea to add a new course ' souk bargaining' to our range! We do hope you will make the (long) journey again and to have you again as our guest,

warm regards, Willem
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012 via mobile

It's rare to find somewhere that really lives up to all the things that they say about themselves on their website but, Riad el Fenn does and really is a wonderful boutique hotel of unique quality. The attention to detail is so clearly evident throughout the riad - from the sumptuous rooms throught to the friendliest and professional service - making it all the more difficult to leave! Thank you everyone at Riad el Fenn for making my first visit to Marrakesh an unforgettable one - I was there with friends and my partner and we all agreed that it is simply our favourite hotel in the world and the only place to stay, when you're visiting Marakesh! You'd be silly not to.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
willemsmit2011, General Manager at El Fenn, responded to this review, October 3, 2012
Thank you so, so much for your wonderful words! W do hope next time you will come while there is still snow on the Atlas mountains and when the fire places are on during the night; again a complete different experience from boiling hot August.

We truly hope to see you again, warm regards, the El Fenn team
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London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2012

Marrakech is a city that has to be seen, discovered and embraced, this is why staying at Riad El Fenn is so unique, as soon as you enter through the doors it becomes increasingly difficult to leave, it becomes a home from home, a place to relax and to explore. The space is huge yet not at all overpowering, allowing you to wander from the tranquility of the main courtyard to the amazing panoramic views of the roof terrace, taking in some Terence Donovan's and Antony Gormley's on the way. All of the rooms are individual in character and rooms 4 and 5 have great outdoor spaces complete with fantastic, locally sourced vintage furniture. Having returned to the Riad on several occasions, the last at the end of August, the experience remains the same, this time enhanced by a stay in the incredible room 14. Whether you are a first time visitor or a returning devotee El Fenn delivers great service, food, ambience and above all effortless chic.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
willemsmit2011, General Manager at El Fenn, responded to this review, September 26, 2012
Dear Mark,

it means a great deal to us that you as a regular visitor posted these wonderful words on El Fenn. We will be delighted to have you with us soon!

warm regards, Willem & team
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Rotterdam, The Netherlands
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

It was amazing, on forehand you hear stories about Marrakech that it is a place like you are in a fairy tale of the famous One Thousand and One Nights. The city is exactly what it's said before, the Riad el Fenn however is much better. The first time you arrive at the hotel you won't have any clue what is behind the walls. Once you enter the door and step into the red hall, you'll be amazed. It's better then your imagination. We were told that it was a hotel combined by 5 traditional houses within the old medina (old town). Really beautiful.
There's a fabulous roof top where they will serve the breakfast and with a beautiful view around town. There are a lot of opportunity's to chill out on the roof top, many places to sit without being disturbed by other guest of the Riad. Everything in the Riad El Fenn is remarkable being analysed for improvement. You can see that there is a lot been done to give the visitor a as best welcome vacation as possible! Everything is taken care of until the last detail. We enjoyed it very much and recommended it already to some friends. Hopefully we will come back sometime.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
willemsmit2011, General Manager at El Fenn, responded to this review, September 26, 2012
Google Translation
Dear Pim,

Het was geweldig om jou en je familie bij ons te gast te hebben en dank voor de lovende woorden. We hopen je snel terug te zien en wellicht om een impressie van Riad El Fenn vast te leggen.

hartelijke groet, Willem
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Geneva, Switzerland
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2012

We only spent two nights in August at the El Finn, but they were wonderful. The Riad is beautifully decorated and centrally located. Our first night we stayed in room 15, which was very well appointed with a large lovely bathroom and then, upon meeting Willem, he moved us to room 22, which was even more spectacular. (Even though this room had an outside terrace, in the searing +45 degree heat, we didn’t really have the chance to enjoy. However, on our early morning departure, we were served breakfast there and it was very nice.)

The Riad has lovely sitting areas and a few plunge pools which provide relief when escaping the Medina and the heat.

We had dinner (a delicious lamb and prune tangine) on the rooftop, which was truly beautiful. The staff are incredibly accommodating, from dinner and breakfast service to the cleaning staff (a maid took me on a tour of the unoccupied rooms, when I inquired about the room she was entering to clean, which turned into a mini ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the entire Riad). Everyone was just lovely. They even brought in an outside masseuse to oblige our request for a deep tissue massage, which was miraculous.

I even loved the hand-drawn map they gave us to guide us about the Medina.

A truly wonderful experience and I would highly recommend.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
willemsmit2011, General Manager at El Fenn, responded to this review, September 26, 2012
Dear Kelly,

thank you so much for your time & effort to write these complimenting words on Riad El Fenn. We do hope you find the time to visit us again and experience one of the other 23 rooms.

warm regards, the El Fenn team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san francisco, ca
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2012

We visited during the low season, and had the Riad to ourselves. The rooms are impeccably decorated with Moroccan decor & modern art. There are several dipping pools & sitting areas. The breakfast on the terrace was great. Staff was at our service as needed.We felt very secure & didn't even lock the room. I will visit El Fenn again.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
willemsmit2011, General Manager at El Fenn, responded to this review, September 26, 2012
Dear guest of Riad El Fenn,

thank you so much for your kind words, it means a lot to us you have take the time and effort to share your experience. We hope you will visit again although it is quite a journey from California.

warm regards, The El Fenn team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Fenn

Address: Derb Moullay Abdullah Ben Hezzian | Bab el Ksour, Medina, Marrakech, Morocco
Phone Number:
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Marrakech
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#12 Spa Hotel in Marrakech
#17 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#18 Business Hotel in Marrakech
#24 Family Hotel in Marrakech
#49 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — El Fenn 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With 20 individually styled rooms and suites, a four-bedroom private riad, 3 swimming pools and its own hammam spa, El Fenn is a unique boutique hotel combining grandeur and historic architecture with hideaway nooks, terraces and gardens - making it the most peaceful place from which to enjoy Africa's most exotic city.Our story began with two friends on the hunt for a small riad to buy as a holiday home. It was 2002 when Vanessa Branson and Howell James walked into the almost ruined courtyard of one of Marrakech's formerly great private homes. Nearing dusk and with the sound of the muezzin's call to prayer echoing in the air, they instantly fell in love with the atmospheric house which was being sold with three smaller neighbouring homes. They soon realised that their holiday home was going to become so much more.At the time, only a handful of Marrakech's riads had been converted to small hotels and Vanessa and Howell knew they wanted to open a place offering something different – a home from home retreat that combined great food and service with the spirit of the building's past and a contemporary decorative twist. During a two-year renovation, local craftsman used traditional techniques to breathe new life into the building. Polished lime plastering was used in a rainbow of colours to create walls, baths and bed frames, original tiling was renovated and carved cedar ceilings restored. Retro furniture sourced from local flea markets was combined with one-off bespoke pieces to create a unique interior. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riad El Fenn Marrakech
Riad El Fenn Hotel Marrakech

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