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.
- 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:
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- Also Known As:
- Riad El Fenn Marrakech
- Riad El Fenn Hotel Marrakech