This morning I woke up back home in my own bed after a weekend at Riad el Fenn and I am suffering from serious withdrawal symptoms. There were no flasks of coffee outside my door and no one to make me the amazing homemade porridge and yogurt I have become accustomed to, whilst taking in the morning sun on the rooftop looking out over Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains. I was only there for four days but it seems as if I had been there for so much longer, my very own Narnia.
We had a lovely tour guide (organised by the hotel) that described the charm of Marrakech as the 'beauty within'. This applied to el Fenn with it unassuming entrance that opens into an oasis from which one can escape the hustle and bustle of the city. From the second we arrived we were made to feel at home with all the staff bending over backwards to tend to our every whim. To our delight we were told that we had been upgraded to room six with it's own private terrace and plunge pool, what a treat for my husbands 30th birthday. We ate lunch and dinner at the hotel on the first day, and I would highly recommend getting the daily special that consisted of a selection of fresh vegetables with meat or fish, Moroccan style. My husband and I had our first hammam experience in the spa where we were scrubbed, steamed and submerged in cold pool followed by a massage. The experience was surprisingly relaxing, and I left feeling refreshed and rejuvenated for the evening ahead.
We had a group of friends join us for the weekend and the hotel organised everything for us, from eating out to things to do and see to an incredible dinner party in one of the secluded courtyards by one of the swimming pools. Yulia, Karima, Sara, Alesandra, Hussain and his team all worked so hard to make this the best dinner party any of us had ever been to. They covered the whole area in lanterns and flowers, lit a fire pit and laid the prettiest table ever, we even had our own speaker system set up to play 20's music. Their attention to detail is impeccable and this is clear to see throughout the hotel, from the fresh patterns of rose petals arranged in the fountains each day to the basket of multicoloured moroccan slippers for the guests to pad around the hotel in. Everyone drank far too much of the delicious Sahara rose and the food was a spectacle for the eyes as well as the stomach with a whole lamb being presented to the table before being ceremoniously carved before us.
This hotel really is a (much nicer, more spoiling) home away from home and I will definitely be returning, our group has decided it would be a lovely annual trip, but given the option I would happily move there tomorrow!
Our only regret was that having taken a closer look at the bill (which was very reasonable) we have noticed that no service had been charged at any point during the weekend, and with everyone working day and night to make this a holiday we will never forget I feel hugely embarrassed and plan to rectify the situation as soon as possible. Without the team at Riad el Fenn I would have not had any time to relax and enjoy myself between organising a group of people, but they took everything off my hands, and did a much better job than I ever could.
- 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