Having always used tripadvisor to take information, I'm finally going to contribute for the very fist time. I wouldn't normally be the one reading this, I'd have clicked straight to "terrible" reviews; which I now realise is itself a terrible way to choose a hotel. If like me you go round the world just looking for the least-worst hotels to stay in, dismissing all rave reviews as marketing or naive misplaced praise, then like me you probably don't deserve to stay at Riad El Fenn.
A friend decided to have a birthday week end here so tripadvisor wasn't consulted prior, in any case, but I've seldom been so well directed as it was the most heavenly place I've possibly ever (and I apologise in advance, this whole review is going to sound like I'm over-egging it, believe me I'm not) stayed.
The rooms were incredible. We were sleeping in the most basic they have (it doesn't even get a mention on the website) but I could have moved in and stayed forever. It was lovely, perfectly proportioned, sweet and pretty. I had a good snoop around the other rooms (there was a big group of us) and some of them were so palatial that the Sun King himself, or his sultanate equivalent, would have found little to complain about.
What made this place so idyllic were the twin factors of overall impression and minute detail. The overall picture is impressive, set over a number of courtyards each with a very different character, a fantastic roof terrace with boulle lawn, two pools, restaurant and so on. I'm sure it's all listed on the website.
But it was the minute detail that you only study when you're there lying in the bath, that really confirmed its near-perfection. Each little thing had been thought about with the precision and love of an artist. How many quality hotels in big cities do you stay in where you go into another room and it's got exactly the same stuff? Plenty, if not most. At Riad El Fenn it was as though each room was really someone's (your) own bedroom! All the rooms had different furnishings and an individual style that suited the setting exquisitely, from the books they'd chosen for the room to the lamp on the desk, it was clearly a labour of love. Likewise in the communal areas, wonderful works of art would pop out unexpectedly around each corner; the baskets they put the bread in at lunch, the beautiful-yet-simple vials of soap by the baths, the leather floors, it all knit together to create an experience so delicately crafted and luxuriously executed that I can't imagine staying in a Hilton again.
I'm racking my brains to think of anything negative to write, just so you don't think that I'm the manager there or I'm bezzy-mates with the owner or something. And I really can't. Honestly. I've been paused at my keyboard for about 3 minutes, pondering. The staff were wonderful, I was suspicious about Moroccan wine but was won over, the location couldn't have been better, really tripadvisor, I can't think of any negatives.
If I was forced at gunpoint to settle on a negative, to it would be simply to note that of an entire week end I left the Riad only twice, once to spend just an hour in the souk, and the other to reluctantly take a car to the airport. The stay was so perfect that I passed up on one of the most beautiful cities in the world to spend more time in my hotel. Which is cheating as a negative, but pretty much sums it up. As soon as I've saved up enough, I'll be back.
- 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