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“... lots of WOW factor ...” 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 #34 of 490 Hotels in Marrakech
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
149 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“... lots of WOW factor ...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

This is a small intimate hotel with lots of 'wow' factor ... each room has its own 'special individual character', whether raised shower cubicle or sunken bath, leather- upholstered floors, 5-metre ceilings ... whilst communal courtyards (I counted 4) are havens of delight, with cosy nooks, water features and pools (yes, there are 3) providing tempting surrounds for 'just hanging around' ..:-)

Elements I particularly appreciated were:
- gorgeous hanging gardens over the heated swimming pool;
- proliferation of scented roses decorating rooms and public areas .. (I counted 80 in my room alone); these, together with potpourri and scented woods, left a perpetual sense of 'pervading enchantment' in the air ...
- the scenic roof terrace - breakfast of fresh fruits, home-made marmalade, eggs of choice, and birdsong ...meditating among the herbs on the roofgarden, to the sound of running water ...
-the eclectic blend of 'old' and 'new' , East and West -- art and culture on the walls, and in the many 'delicious' coffeetable books scattered round...
- totally charming staff, maintaining excellent service levels throughout ...
- individual 'outside seating area' for each room, where morning tea/coffee is left for you, as an extra 'waking- up treat' ..

The list goes on .. there's an atmospheric restaurant serving good french-moroccan fusion food and wines ... fruit trees and indoor fountains emphasise the 'cooling factor' when it gets too hot, open hearth fires 'warm your cockles' as the evenings get cold ...

This riad is priced at a 'premium' - partly to discourage 'the wrong types', partly to maintain its standard of service (staff-to-room ratio of 2 : 1), and provide the sort of 'intimate luxury and privacy' much valued by certain types of travellers, especially media- and arts-types.. the layout, design and atmosphere make it great for a romantic wedding ...

This hotel is not 'ostentatious', it just tries to provide 'charming service and high aesthetic standards', which is what creative folks tend to appreciate... which is why it is a 'magnet' for 'creative folks' seeking a change from 'the big and the bland'..

I have to say, thinking back, it ' quite blew me' and left me with the 'nicest impressions' of what was a 'far too short sojourn' in this town , and this hotel ...

Thank you, Riad El Fenn, for a most 'magical' stay in Marrakech ..

Room Tip: take a little time to choose the 'ideal room' for yourself - whether opening onto a courtyar...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 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
Helpful?
2 Thank DWams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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692 reviews from our community

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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
58 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

I travelled with a group of friends for a long weekend (3 nights). The service is exceptionally good, we were very well received and shown around the hotel. It has lovely, though small, pools and very pleasant courtyards. The highlight is the rooftop. It has very beautiful views and it is a great place to enjoy sunset drinks. At first I was a little bit concerned that the rooms do not have locks but that turned out to be totally fine. The safe in the room is quite big and it has a key, rather than being electronic. The rooms we stayed at (I also got to see my friends' rooms) were very large with very large bathrooms. In this respect, I can highly recommend the more simple rooms as I didnt see much of a difference between the different ratings. The decoration is very smart as it is very basic but charming, nothing like a good colour of painting to create atmosphere. In this sense, I thought the hotel was a little bit overpriced as the rooms, though nice, are very far from luxurious. In any case, we hardly stayed in our rooms, and fully enjoyed the hotel's common areas (which is easy when/if you are with a big group). Internet worked fairly well. I thought the breakfast was outstanding. It is served until noon, which is a definite bonus. We always had it in the rooftop. There is fresh baguette and croissants, eggs, omelettes and pancakes, fresh orange juice, etc. Really good! It is a lovely place to stay if you are not planning to spend much time in the room, or else you may feel you are paying a bit too much for quite a basic, albeit large, room.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sissi2702
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012

Riad el Fenn is wonderful. As other reviewers have said before it is an oasis of calm in a hectic city. I particulalry liked the discreet swimming pools, very cool on a boiling hot day, and the inner courtyards with cmofortable sofas dotted around. The location is excellent, only a few hundres yards from the main square. The local staff were excellent and nothing was too much for them, but they never hovered over you. A lovely retreat.

  • Stayed October 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
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Piers M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
18 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012 via mobile

If you are looking for a unique, non-traditional hotel, that can show you the art and style of Marrakech. The roof top terrace is a great place to crash, listen to the call to prayer while sipping Morrocan wine, and a relaxed lunch. The restaurant with its new menu is excellent, and the space is something to see.

Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Pete H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Royal Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

We stayed here with our 18 month old son for two nights in November. The Riad is quirky and stylish - huge comfortable beds and baths. Great breakfast and room service menu. The Riad arranged a babysitter from one of their own hiusemaids one evening and we ate in the restaurant enjoying a fabulous meal and amazing Moroccan wine. We found the service really friendly and attentive. Would definitely recommend this place to people looking for a chic retreat in the Medina.

Room Tip: Maybe ask for one of the rooms that doesn't back onto the road.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Lisa H
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, January 18, 2013
dear Lisa,

Wonderful to read you have enjoyed your stay with us. It is much appreciated you have taken the time and effort to share this.

We do hope to have you back with us soon!

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.
Level Contributor
47 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

Riad El Fenn is an oasis of peace within the medina of Marrakech. We arrived late in the evening and were very well received with a guided tour of this beautifully decorated riad. The roof top terrace is wonderful, breakfast with a nice view on the Koutoubia, the pools are great. We stayed in a nice room with a large bath. We never felt any resistance to go out in the busy streets being on walking distance of delightful calm.

  • 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
Helpful?
Thank HedonicTom
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, January 18, 2013
dear Tom,

thank you so much for your very kind words, much appreciated! We hope to have again at Riad El Fenn,

warm regards, willem
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2012

We had a wonderful 6 night stay at the Riad el Fenn at the start of our Moroccan honeymoon. We were exhausted after the wedding and the Riad was an oasis of calm and luxury in the middle of Marrakech. The pool suite was enormous and bliss and views from the roof terrace over the city were great. Although we had our own little pool we also liked the fact there were 3 other pools and lots of quiet shaded areas to enjoy. We loved the flasks of tea and coffee and pastries outside the room in the morning and afternoon tea in the courtyard. The staff were fantastic and looked after us beautifully, including a very romantic, candle lit meal on our roof terrace (including a very helpful waiter jumping over a wall with our delicious food and great local wine, both discreet and funny!). The staff were very helpful when recommending restaurants and took the time to get to know what we were looking for and the type of thing we'd enjoy. Marrakech is beautiful but the Riad el Fenn is so blissful that it makes it challenging to find the time to explore the city.

Room Tip: Pool suite with the roof terrace is awesome.
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  • Stayed July 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
Helpful?
1 Thank EmilyJHutch
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, January 18, 2013
dear Emily,

thank you so much for your time &effort to share your experience at Riad El Fenn. A review like yours always makes the day of the El Fenn team.

All the best to both of you and we hope we will be your favourite destination for your anniversaries!

warm regards, Willem
Report response as inappropriate
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 High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) 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:
#14 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#15 Spa Hotel in Marrakech
#15 Business Hotel in Marrakech
#16 Family Hotel in Marrakech
#30 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates):
Hotel Class:4 star — El Fenn 4*
Number of rooms: 20
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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