We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“An unexpected touch of paradise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of El Fenn

Save Saved
You added El Fenn to your Saves list
Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 6 more sites!
El Fenn
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Derb Moullay Abdullah Ben Hezzian | Bab el Ksour, Medina, Marrakech, Morocco   |  
  |  
Hotel website
  |  
  |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #42 of 461 Hotels in Marrakech
Los Angeles
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“An unexpected touch of paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

I've never been so eager to write a review.

My partner and I recently traveled to Marrakech for our five-year anniversary. As a gay couple in a country where it's illegal to be gay, we asked the nice people at Mr and Mrs Smith about any gay-friendly riads. This is one of the three they recommended.

First off, Marrakech is a trip. It's intense and hectic and exhilarating all at the same time. If you're going to spend your days in the medina, you owe it to yourself to have a comfortable respite for when you need a break. I can't think of a better place to do that.

What we enjoyed most about the riad was all of the little touches just thrown in. This was partly due to the deal we got from Mr/Mrs Smith, but our stay included dinner for 2, transport to/from the airport, and a hamam for 2. But even without those things, we were taken by the lovely tour upon arriving, the slippers sized to our feet, the delicious breakfasts, the tray of coffee and tea waiting for us upon waking, and the first day of free minibar items.

I can't describe how beautiful the grounds are. It's not luxurious or opulent. But it's totally considered and charming as hell. Everything was just so. Everything was impossibly quiet, considering how close we were to the lively streets. Our room was at least twice the size of our London flat, and at least 10 times more beautiful and comfortable. We fell asleep every night to a roaring fire at our feet, and woke each morning to chirping birds. One thing to note was our only complaint about the riad: We only got wifi in one small corner of the room. But who needs wifi when you're in paradise? We even grew to be comfortable with the fact that our door did not have a lock on it.

We ate breakfasts and lunches on the roof terrace. The meals were simple and delicious. We enjoyed one dinner at the riad, which was also very good. All of the tableware is available for sale in the office, and we loved and bought a set of everything.

Finally, the staff. From the lovely ladies in the office, to the strapping gents serving food, everyone was simply lovely and helpful. They made the experience so great. We wanted to follow the ladies in the front office around after work because we were sure they'd know the best places to hang out. There was a sense that everyone working at the riad had a tremendous amount of pride in the place, and it was well deserved!

I'm not sure if our travels will ever bring us back to Marrakech, but Riad el Fenn has easily set the standard for our ideal place to stay wherever we go.

Room Tip: Room 21 was jaw-droppingly awesome.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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, January 19, 2013
dear Joran,

you have made our day! Thank you so much & please don't be a stranger,

all the best, The El Fenn team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

466 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    397
    42
    15
    8
    4
See reviews for
63
201
25
10
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)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

There are few words that are needed to summarize my recent stay at the Riad El Fenn - amazing, stunning, faultless and incredible should just about cover it.

I just returned to New York after spending New a few days over New Year at the Riad with friends and I haven't stopped thinking about it and wishing I was back there ever since.

Marrakech itself is an incredible place that really makes you think you have been transported to another world - far away from London but only a three and a half hour plane ride away. The city is amazing and so full of life and color - Riad el Fenn however, is the icing on the cake. The moment you enter the hotel for the first time you are thrown into a whole other world....it's literally like a fairy tale. Courtyards filled with fairy lights and strewn with rose petals, candlelit pools in every section of the hotel, cosy nooks to sit and read by the fire with a glass of wine and the most stunning rooftop with breathtaking views over the city, the medina and the Atlas mountains.

The rooftop is the perfect place to soak up the cloudless skies over breakfast or drink a bottle of rose in the sun over a long, lazy lunch, followed by a nap on one of the many chill out sofas without being disturbed by anyone.

The staff were absolutely incredible from start to finish and nothing was too much trouble - be it a massage at a moment's notice, a gin and tonic to be brought to my room (well I didnt want to leave the room, it was too beautiful), to fresh coffee left just outside my door every morning - how on earth did they know I had just woken up? Seamless.

Everything possible detail has been considered and is taken care of every step of the way.

I loved it so much I will be looking to make this my go-to place as many times as possible each year, knowing that I will come back from this holiday as relaxed as I could possibly be, with a suitcase full of beautiful new things for my apartment and a bucket full of beautiful memories.

Room Tip: Every room is different and I had the smallest room in the whole Riad - I only wish I had had the ti...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 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 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, January 19, 2013
dear Emma,

how good it was to have you 2 ladies staying with us! You and all the other guests over the holidays gave it all such a special vibe.

We do hope you will return shortly and we will have you discover so much more about El Fenn and beautiful Morocco!

warm regards, Willem
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lectoure, France
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

I spent 10 days in paradise amongst people who became friends. The staff were wonderful and could not do enough. Apart from going into the Atlas mountains we stayed here. Loved the boudoir feel of the rooms and the sound of the birds who loved the Rhiad as much as us. Visiting the markets and the restaurants was like visiting life in all its colours. I must admit we mainly ate in the hotel as the food was excellent. A truely divine experience and one which I will never ever forget.

Room Tip: we had a room overlooking the street so noisy (ish) and the AC unit was not too good. But a pair of...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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
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
Anna! it was delightful having you staying with us and celebrating the New Year. Thank you so much for your kind words and feedback.

Next time you are staying we will make sure you will get an extra duvet (upon arrival instead of upon departure :-)

Don't be a stranger and all the best from the El Fenn team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
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
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, 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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!
See more room tips
  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
44 helpful votes 44 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Utrecht, The Netherlands
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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to El Fenn? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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
#25 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Travelocity, Booking.com, Priceline, Expedia, TripOnline SA, Odigeo, Hotels.com and Otel so you can book your El Fenn reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Riad El Fenn Marrakech
Riad El Fenn Hotel Marrakech

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage El Fenn, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.