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“An Oasis in Marrakech” 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 #33 of 480 Hotels in Marrakech
Certificate of Excellence
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“An Oasis in Marrakech”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

This was our first visit to Morocco and we loved the location and the ambience of El Fenn. The rooms are amazing...each one different, but equally beautiful, comfortable and meticulously clean. The public spaces (of which there are many) are warm and welcoming. Lots of places to curl up with a book by the fire or relax rooftop and enjoy the view (and maybe a glass of wine or pot of tea), while listening to the call to prayer echoing from mosques all over the city. Each morning coffee and moroccan tea, with a tiny morsel of sweet pastry are left outside your room. What a way to start your day! Then upstairs when you are ready, to the rooftop for a leisurely (and delicious) breakfast before heading out into the hubbub of the medina. The service and the staff are excellent. One day we came back from the medina laden with purchases and before we set two feet inside, one of the staff had asked if she could wrap them for us for the trip home. Our goodies were delivered to our room safely and securely wrapped and ready for their trip. They also arranged and double-checked restaurant and transportation reservations for us, all of which added to the feeling of comfort and well-being that is a hallmark of El Fenn. I would recommend El Fenn to anyone who is looking for a unique and peaceful place from which to venture out into the wonderfully hectic city of Marrakech.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
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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 22, 2013
dear Ellen,

thank you so much for taking the time & effort to share your experience at El Fenn. We were delighted with your kind words.

We do hope to have you back with us in the (near) future! All the best from 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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612 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (142)
Date | Rating
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English first
The Hague, The Netherlands
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

We just came back from a visit to this Riad, located in the old city heart of Marrakesh. A friend had recommended this hotel to us and we're grateful she did so. What an amazing atmosphere, service, rooms and food! We loved it so much that we decided to spend a few days more there. It's great to combine this Riad with a visit to 2 other places (Riads): La Pause and Bab Ourika (recommended to us by the owner and perfect too if you want to escape from the city for a few days). We will definitely come back to El Fenn and hope many others will soon go too. You'll really miss 'an experience' if you don't go! One of the best hotels we've ever been to! Enjoy!

Room Tip: If you really want to treat yourself well... go for room 19!
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  • Stayed December 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Level Contributor
114 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

We had one night at this Riad which is a calm area a midst the hustle and bustle of Marrakech. The room was comfortable but as others have mentioned be prepared to have the bathroom and the bedroom basically in the same open plan area. We had dinner and breakfast here and the food was well prepared. The art, decor and various nooks and crannies around the place means you can always find a quiet spot, and for thoser that like to keep in touch the wifi is reliable. Breakfast is first supplied with tea in flasks at your bedroom door, and then you cmplete breakfast on the roof top, which for this time of year can be pretty cool. Location is great in that you are on the outsirts of the medina, and yet only two minutes walk from the main square.
Again this is a Riad and not a modern built hotel s dont expect all the latest mod cons, storage for clothes in the room we had is fairly limited, and sometimes trying to get the Air con to get to a sensible temperature can be a challenge.
Afternoon tea and pastries is held in the courtyard, although despite the cage around the pastries, the birds have certainly found a way in to the nibbles, so the staff may need to think about that.
Highlight for us was probably the tour with the local guide(Mustapha Chouquir) who was knowledgable and showed us around the maze of the souks and many other places we would not have found. I think in general having an initial tour is good as you can quickly get your bearings and see what makes Marrakech before venturing out on your own.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

Riad El Fenns mix of Moroccon vibes and bohemian chic really sets you in the mood. An amazing haven of tranquility in the bustling city of Marrakech. I really enjoyed the excellent room (room 1) and having drinks by one of the fireplaces in one of the numerous hang-out places (there are many).

Also the rooftop terrace with great views on Marrakech is an excellent place to relax, day and night...also the outstanding breakfast is served here.

Upsides: the friendly staff(!), the fireplaces, swimmingpools, restaurant, rooftop terrace, hotel location (4 min. walk from El Fna Square and souk). No room keys, no signatures.
Downsides: it's hard to drag yourself out of the hotel and go do stuff:)

Next visit it's El Fenn again for sure...

Martijn van der Horst

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2012

Running a lodge of our own in the Southern Pantanal of Brazil makes us appreciate the dedication to detail and quality of service that we found at Riad el Fenn. The rooms and bathrooms are spacious and have a creative decor using a warm color scheme which reminds you of the dazzling colors of the Medina. The staff was very attentive and makes you feel at home from the moment you enter the Riad. There was a serene friendly atmosphere which had an apparent effect on the other guests staying there as they always had a smile on their faces. The charming relations managers Alessandra and Karima helped us in the setting up of our tours and introduced us to the lovely, knowledgeable guide Mustapha. They also directed us to some local, not touristy, gastronomic jewels. We visited some other well known Riads but found that El Fenn had all the elements one would look for: authenticity, excellent service, great accommodations and the Moroccan human warmth factor!

Room Tip: All rooms are great we stayed in 10 and our friends in 11 as they were quieter. We also visited 14 a...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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.
Midi Pyrenees, South West France
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

Some of the reviews for this hotel on Tripadvisor have complained about the manangement - they must have come from people who were either very unlucky or are very picky and are used to the big international hotels and not this sort of quirky 'boutique' hotel. We found the management and indeed all the staff to be extremely friendly, helpful and personable and exactly what you would hope and expect from a hotel such as this Riad. This hotel was very comfortable with very imaginative and individualistic bedrooms, lovely outdoor spaces with some lovely decorative touches to add to the ambience and a great roof terrace for relaxing / having breakfast etc. It was also very central and well located with the souk very near by and when we wanted to venture further afield, the management was able to lay on transport for us - thank you Hasan - great service. All in all a most enjoyable stay - only too short, so we didn't get a chance to try out the spa, massages etc. Next time .....

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 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.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
148 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
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...
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  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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:
#12 Spa Hotel in Marrakech
#14 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#19 Family Hotel in Marrakech
#24 Business Hotel in Marrakech
#26 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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