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“Stepping out of time in a city that hardly sleeps” 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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Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Rate
€200 (EUR)
Ranked #41 of 461 hotels in Marrakech
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Stepping out of time in a city that hardly sleeps”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

Three generations of women (myself = granny ), my daughter and my granddaughter (age 10) stayed here for 3 nights. A wonderful experience. Courtyards with plants,birds and tortoises, high tea served every day, rooftop terrace for breakfast and/or lazing about, pool, hamman (the hotel treated us to this great experience), good restaurant, big basket with lovely leather slippers for the guests to use, each morning a tray with tea, coffee and some typical Morrocan sweets outside your door...We felt like spoilt princesses. No television - but we did not care about that! There is a library, and a "cinema room" where guests can view a film from the selection offered. I would suggest the direction, though, to also provide some for children, and some games, like chess, draughts etc. And just to acknowledge that perfection does not really exist: There was evidence of some overdue maintenance in our room.
We were picked up from the airport and taken back there, with our suitcases carried, put in the mini-van etc. Instead of tipping every time, the hotel reception has a big box on display in which to put an amount of one's own choosing before leaving. In this way, it is explained, all the employees get an honest share. We were very pleased to comply. We booked a guide for a walking tour in the old city and another one to the mountains. Both arranged by the hotel, both friendly and polite, especially kind to my granddaughter.
I did not find an elevator but that doesn't necessariy mean there isn't one. Yet, perhaps for those who cannot climb stairs this is not the best hotel in the city. We happened to hear that the Dutch crown prince Willem-Alexander and his wife princess Maxima stayed here, too. I am confident they liked the experience too!The hotel itself does not boast about it.

Room Tip: I wouldn't know. As soon as you're inside, it is quiet, and nice nooks to be found everywher...
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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.
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409 people have reviewed this hotel

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 (89)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
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English first
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

This is without doubt the best hotel I have ever stayed in, and that's a big call considering I travel lots and I have also been to many destinations. I stayed here as part of a 3 month euro trip and we took a little side trip to Marrakech. You must must must stay here!! It has first class accommodation with excellent service from the amazing staff and the grounds and rooms are paradise.

To be honest I was a little timid when I first arrived in Marrakech when I arrived into the hassle and bustle. The hotel is down a little alley, but don't let that put you off, once you step through those doors it is paradise. There are no locks on the doors to the hotel rooms which I freaked out about but after being at the hotel for 10 minutes I was so content to even leave my door wide open! There is also a safe for valuables and security is very good.

The rooms are very private and there are little sanctuaries everywhere to be able to sneak away and read a book or catch the afternoon sun. You get a room plus a whole lot more here. The rooms are great, bed comfy, great manchester, lots of space - huge rooms and bathrooms, light filled, we had a window that looked down on to the busy street which was great for people watching. If you are into art - the artwork here is another draw card.

The roof is also a great place to spend time, we loved chilling out on the seating, sitting by the pool, eating the delicious breakfasts up there. The other pools are also amazing places to relax by the water and we never found them busy. The day spa is also excellent!

The food here is soooo good. I am a fussy eater and like the best of everything. This food was incredible. They would put out daily specials. But the kitchen was so flexible - I would tell them what my appetite desired and without any fuss they would make it for me - whether it be salad, chicken, cous cous etc or a plate of watermelon after a day in the sun - they delivered the most tasty, fresh and well cooked food every time. They also held a complimentary afternoon tea each day which was so delightful with treats and eats.

We also did not have very much locked in for our itinerary but the staff were so helpful in organising our days, booking our guides, booking our restaurants - their recommendations were exceptional - especially the day trip that we took to ride the camels - I think it was called La Pause?

I said that this place was the best hotel I have ever stayed in and that is because this hotel feels like a home. And it is so relaxing. I work like crazy and find it hard to wind down and here I did. The staff are also unbelievable - so friendly, helpful and they go out of their way to make your stay special. The English lady that manages it is exceptional at her job - as well as being a really interesting and lovely person to chat with.

This place gets a 10/10 but then gets extra points. As an example on our last day we realised our flight was actually later than we thought - midnight. The hotel at no cost accommodated us. They organised us a driver - he was so organised and had all the exit paperwork in the car for us. When we arrived at the airport he realised our flight was actually about to depart - he ran a million miles a minute and organised for us to check immediately in, ran though the halls with us and literally walked us to the plane door. If we did nt already have a great lasting impression of Riad El Fenn that sealed the deal.

I want to go back to Marrakech just to stay here again!! Thank you so much for being such a highlight of our holiday - Kara and Annalisa

  • Stayed June 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.
MeganLD2013, Director of Sales at El Fenn, responded to this review, December 4, 2013
Dear Kara. What can we say?! Thanks so much for the review - and for coming back to stay with us again since your first trip. We hope to see you again when you next come to this side of the world.
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Copenhagen
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

...You want to visit a stereotype, boring, unfriendly staff and a genuine dull interior! But if you want a truly charming experience in the company of great people, funny people, openminded people, in a fantastic refurbishes and designed Riad, I really think you should consider this exquisite Riad, just at the entrance of Bab K'soor.

You are close to the souk, the Jamaa el Fna - and still in your own little heaven. At least we were for 5 days. Room 17 is recommended.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 4 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, February 15, 2013
dear Hyman,

we are so glad you DID come to El Fenn and appreciated all people around. Thank you so much for your wonderful words and time & effort to share this, greatly appreciated by the whole El Fenn team!
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Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

Spending a great weekend in this beautiful Riad El Fenn in the Medina. The design in the Riad is beautiful and with a lot of taste respecting the Moroccan heritage and the mix with contemporary allure. The mix of the beautiful variety of art combining the friendliness of the staff makes you want to stay at the Riad. Spending a day on the roof terrace, enjoying the daily special and relax on one of the many lounge sofas. Before the night falls Riad El Fenn is turned into the tale thousand-and-one-night, with all the candles lit.

Our suite was very spacious, with a beautiful leather floor and a burning fire place in the evening. Waking up with coffee in front of the suite was one of the small detail, which makes Riad El Fenn exclusive and yet very intimate and personal.

The restaurant in the Riad was very good with and International menu and Moroccan influences.

I can advise to spent your weekend break at Riad El Fenn and you will not be disappointed. Will be back for sure.

  • Stayed February 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 15, 2013
dear Marcel,

Thank you so much for your time & effort to share your feedback. Great to read you enjoyed your stay with us so much and especially our restaurant; recently we have altered the concept to make it broadly excess-able in terms of price range and menu variety.

Hope to have you back with us in the (near) future, warm regards, willem
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Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

You will not regret your decision to stay at Riad El Fenn (The Art House). In fact, you'll start planning your next trip back and who to bring while you're still there - your best friends, partner, parents; you'll want to share this luxurious secret with everyone. I've never stayed somewhere that felt so much like home. Part of that is due to the relaxed, friendly, helpful attitude of the staff who make your stay so easy and enjoyable. The other is how peaceful, quiet and relaxing the Riad is. With a number of pools to choose from, delicious restaurant (or room service), hammam, beautician on call, and the most beautifully decorated, comfortable room (mine had a big bath that could fit two, and a fire place!), you'll find you'll love the time you spend inside the Riad equally as much as your time in the souks, Berber villages, or Nouvelle Ville. If only every day of the year started by eating breakfast in the sun on the terrace as birds flit about in the palm trees. Or ends by coming home to homemade sweets and mint tea after a busy day shopping in the souks, or walking around the Riad at night, atmospherically lit up by candles and filigree Moroccan lamps. Riad El Fenn is not just a place to stay - it's an experience, and a beautiful one at that. Plus it's only a few minutes walk to the infamous Jemaa el-Fnaa. Next time I'm in Marrakesh I know where I'm staying!

  • Stayed January 2013, 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 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 15, 2013
dear Kate,

thank you so much for your lovely words! We enjoyed it as much having you as our guest. We wish you all the best and hope to have you with us again soon, the El Fenn team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nanaimo, Canada
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

Beautiful facility with gorgeous sitting rooms, cooling pools a wonderful rooftop area. Staff are friendly and helpfully willing to assist with shopping tips, sightseeing, tours, airport transfers, local transportation, restaurants and more. Food is very good. The restaurant are beautiful, candle lit and wonderful artwork. enjoy

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 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
dear Brent,

thank you so much for your time & effort to share your wonderful feedback on El Fenn. Greatly appreciated and we do hope to have you back soon.

warm regards, Willem
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, England
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
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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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 Spa Hotel in Marrakech
#14 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#24 Business Hotel in Marrakech
#45 Family Hotel in Marrakech
#50 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 
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Also Known As:
Riad El Fenn Marrakech
Riad El Fenn Hotel Marrakech

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