We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A shower of superlatives” 5 of 5 stars
Review of El Fenn

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 4 more sites!
Save Saved
You added El Fenn to your Saves list
El Fenn
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Derb Moullay Abdullah Ben Hezzian | Bab el Ksour, Medina, Marrakech, Morocco   |  
  |  
Hotel website
  |  
  |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #42 of 462 Hotels in Marrakech
London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“A shower of superlatives”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

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.

  • Stayed March 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

473 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    403
    44
    15
    8
    3
See reviews for
62
206
25
11
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 (103)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

As a part of a large group visiting for the weekend I cannot recommend Riad El Fenn more. From seamless transfers, tea outside your room every day, endless complimentary tea and cakes in the afternoon, unmatched friendliness and service, exceptional cleanliness, a beautiful and very reasonably priced spa allowing complete escape from the hubub of the markets, impeccable food (with no issues), amazing lunches and all set right in the heart of town. Look no further - we're already looking to stay again next year for sure.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

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.

  • Stayed March 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

From the magnificent and homely rooms, with a bath that could easily be mistaken for a swimming pool, to the super cool bar and restaurant, this Riad makes for an all encopassing experience. There really is something for everyone here, with endless nooks and crannies where you happen upon swimming pools and dining areas, moroccan day beds and roaring fires, fresh made tea cakes and mint tea and the endless sound of birds singing. But most impressive of all was the the never ending attention to detail from all the staff and their way of making you feel totally at home in the Riad and in Marrakech as a whole, great tips on shops, bars and restaurants. We travelled as a group of friends but I would jsut as soon return with my husband and daugher. This Riad is a gem - I can't recommend it highly enough!

  • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2013 via mobile

We had dinner here and it was really fab! Very beautiful fashiony restaurant with charming staff and delicious food. A real treat and next time I would stay here as well,as the hotel staff were the most charming and helpful in Marrakech. Also gad a very nice shop with better end buts and bobs should you need to take back a really nice present for someone.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
london
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

From the moment we were picked up at the airport everything was wonderful. Amazing views from the roof, friendly staff and a totally spectacular room. They deliver coffee and pastries to your room first thing in the morning and then you have breakfast on the roof. Can't wait to get back.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
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...
See more room tips
  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to El Fenn? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 ( Wi-Fi ) 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:
#9 Business Hotel in Marrakech
#13 Spa Hotel in Marrakech
#17 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#26 Family Hotel in Marrakech
#50 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Travelocity, Booking.com, Expedia, Priceline, TripOnline SA and Odigeo so you can book your El Fenn reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Riad El Fenn Marrakech
Riad El Fenn Hotel Marrakech

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage El Fenn, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.