In the midst of the Marrakech maze of quaint little alleys, a hidden door shields Riad El Fenn from the busy medina. First off, your eyes can feast on amazing contemporary art and displays. Not at all the dreaded 'in your face' kind, but subtle and blending.
Checking in at the front desk (which also serves as a little shop selling lovely and colourful Moroccan bric-à-brac which I instantly expected to be spending my entire holiday budget on) was as quick and easy as it was warm and welcoming and before long I was unpacking my suitcase in lodgings I would be ashamed to refer to as a 'hotel room'.
A private little terrace overlooking the pool area. Inside, old Moroccan mixed with Colonial and 50's European style. Wooden beamed ceilings that undoubtedly reached the floors of heaven, which I think must have been necessary to accomodate the luxuriously high-elevated four-poster bed...king size of course. A mosaic fireplace, a polished copper clawfoot bathtub. And that's just the bedroom!
Wooden church doors lead into the marvellous bathroom, the walk-in closet and the huge shower cabine which doubles as a steam room. Double sinks, separate toilet, vanity table: THE WORKS! And beautiful camel leather floor tiles wall-to-wall. Quelle luxury!
Drinks were served in front of the fireplace in the bar/restaurant and we decided to stay in for dinner. What a great choice that was! The grilled jumbo shrimp and the entrecôte were everything we hoped they would be, the décor was beautiful and the waiters were -without exception- extremely nice and helpful.
The after dinner stroll through the green courtyards of the completely candle-lit Riad was like walking through a fairytale. Never before have I seen such an exquisite display of taste and elegance. Everything ranging from the scented candles, the artwork and the furniture, to the fresh floral arrangements...it all adds to the stunning sense of style Riad El Fenn exudes.
The next morning, after the most amazing night's sleep in quite possibly the best Egyptian cotton sheets money can buy (yes, they are for sale at the aforementioned shop!), the complimentary breakfast was served on the roof terrace overlooking the medina and with an breathtaking view of the Koutoubia mosque and the snow-covered summits of the Atlas mountains. We would not have left our colourful and comfortable lounge beds had we not been running late for a massage, which turned out to be an hour of soothing perfection in the wonderfully quiet in-house spa.
Afternoons are spent with a High Tea (also complimentary) in the cozy library or in the courtyards, in one of which a family of tortoises lazily mingle with the guests.
Then we head back to the roof terrace for a glass of Moroccan 'vin gris', which easily turns into a bottle or two, especially when you watch the glaring red sun set over the ever vibrant medina.
This is the sort of treatment and surroundings that will, quite literally, make you cry when your stay here is over.
But we will be back. NO DOUBT ABOUT IT!
- 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