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“beautiful, friendly and utterly charming” 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 #38 of 462 Hotels in Marrakech
Manchester, England
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“beautiful, friendly and utterly charming”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

it is difficult to convey how stunningly beautiful El Fenn. Furthermore it's like being the cherished guest in someone's beautiful Marrakesh home. We arrived in darkness and were led through courtyards twinkling with candles. Stunning room. Fantastically comfortable spaces on the roof terrace the next morning to sit and read. This is our fourth visit to Marrakesh (two friends) and is by far the best located and beautiful place e have stayed in. One particularly delightful aspect of this riad is you don't need to lock your room so it did feel like staying in somebody's house the house of somebody who really wants you to be having a lovely time.

We stayed for three days. It was at the end of our holiday when we returned to Marrakesh after a week away in Essaouira that we most appreciated how kind and effortlessly charming the staff are. Willem (manager) and Karima looked after us- even though we were no longer staying there but were leaving our bags and having lunch on the way back to the airport. I was a troublesome guest and forgot something-which was sent to the airport for me with no sense of this being a nuisance. Wonderful. Memories of El Fenn will keep us going until next January.

  • Stayed January 2013, 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, February 9, 2013
thank you so much for your kind words, we were all delighted (especially karima) We are looking forward to having you back with us January next!

warm regards, willem
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489 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
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Amsterdam
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

We recently returned to El Fenn, our previous stay being more than 4 years ago. It has always been our favorite riad in Marrakech. It still looks stunning with the beautiful and bold use of colour, amazing art by renowned artists and has a relaxed laid back feel and a great buzz about it. This time we had a court yard room which was very spacious and tastefully furnished. We loved the art installation on the wall, like we were sleeping in a galery. We spent most of the time outside our room though, hanging out on the roof terrace during the day and sitting by the fire in one of the courtyard salons in the afternoon (where they provide complementary mint tea and a selection of delicious cakes every afternoon).

We were very impressed with the new manager Willem and his staff. The riad is run like clock work, but it all seems to be done effortlessly, which is a great achievement.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 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, February 9, 2013
Thank you so much for your kind compliments, it means a great deal to us especially coming from returning guests! Looking forward to your next visit in March, we will make it a memorable one!

warm regards, willem
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Dublin, Ireland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

I stayed at the hotel as part of their Photography Workshop group, which was incredibly well put together and tremendous value - Karoki Lewis & Poppy Berry were brought in specially as tutors. The decor, cleanliness, facilities, location, staff and food were all wonderful. Little touches such as flasks of fresh coffee and pastries on your doorstep from 7am each morning (before you go for proper breakfast) are typical of the surprises that abound. The staff even made themselves available as models for our photography practice - above and beyond the call of duty! Would recommend this hotel to anyone planning a trip to Marrakech!

  • Stayed January 2013, 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 22, 2013
Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful feedback. It was great to host the photography course and we are definitely planning to organise it again next year, so we do hope to have you back!

warm regards, Willem
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London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

It was my first visit to Marocco-Marrakech and heard so many things things about these Riad's that I decided to stay at one instead of at a 'one of a dozen' and standard hotel chain. After some research I decided to stay at El Fenn; it was spot on! As soon you enter the beautiful and very stylish decorated Riad -with stunning contemporary art in every corner of the property- you enter a whole different world; a mysterious world within the walls of the property. All the different buildings, corners, stairs and terraces give you the feeling that you step into a movie, but thankfully this was our home form home for some days. Each room is different decorated which makes the hotel so unique. After some strolling and shopping in the Medina (which is literally around the corner) it's a breath of fresh air to come back to Ell Fenn (where high tea with delicious cakes are waiting for you in the peaceful authentic courtyard) and relax on the roof terrace with stunning views over all the characteristic roof tops of the city. This is also the place where in the cooler months breakfast will be served; it was every morning a great start of what mostly became a lazy day. Especially this spot on top of the Riad is a hidden gem in the hectic and buzz of the city outside.
It was not only the amazing interior that made our stay so fantastic; also the staff is worth it every penny. They are well trained and every person we bumped into (from housekeeping to the security or Hassan the driver to the bar tender) are very well trained and extremely friendly.
We also visited some other Riad's purely out interest for the architecture or have a relaxing lunch or glass of wine, but El Fenn is by far the most beautiful and welcoming one!
El Fenn is absolutely the most stylish hidden gem in the middle of Mysterious Marrakech!
We will be back for sure!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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willemsmit2011, General Manager at El Fenn, responded to this review, January 19, 2013
thank you so much for your very kind words. We have printed out your review and passed it on to our 45 colleagues to share your appreciation.

We hope to have you back as our guest soon! very warm regards, the El Fenn team
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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
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.
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  • 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
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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...
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  • 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
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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...
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  • 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
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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 ( 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:
#11 Business Hotel in Marrakech
#11 Spa Hotel in Marrakech
#15 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#26 Family Hotel in Marrakech
#47 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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