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“One of our favorite trips” 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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Ranked #38 of 462 Hotels in Marrakech
New York
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“One of our favorite trips”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2013

The Riad El Fenn is really amazing. The people that work at the Riad are lovely and helpful. The rooms are huge (at least the ones we stayed in). We stayed in 18, 19 & 20. 19 has its own roof terrance with plunge pool. If available, it is worth the price. They are all decorated differently and have large bathrooms. The RIAD is a haven within a bustling city. We lounged on the roof terrace every day and when we needed a break from the sun, we went for a walk in the souks.

What I really loved about this hotel was the location. If you walked out the back door you could walk down a side street right into the middle of the souks without going through the main square which is very crowded. We personally loved the souks. It was fun seeing all the different shops. The salesman are a bit aggressive but in a very friendly way. It is a sport for them to barter on the price. And if you make it a sport as well, it can be fun. Some people found it annoying. My husband and I loved it. Everyday we went in a different direction and found something new.

When we booked this trip, we planned on staying in the Medina for 3 nights and then going to the Palmerie (desert 20 mins outside of old city). When we arrived at the next hotel, we were disappointed. We missed having the ability to walk into the old city and we really missed the Riad El Fenn. There wasn't any atmosphere at the new hotel (which was more expensive) and we felt like we were the only ones at the hotel. We called the Riad El Fenn and they had a room for us so we went right back.

The roof terrace is just perfect. You can sit in the sun during the day, have an amazing lunch (we had the hotel set lunch every day and loved it - but they have many other options as well) and have drinks and dinner at night. Or if you go out to dinner, it was nice to come back to the hotel and have a drink before bed.

Again, the staff is really great. The decor is exceptional. The food delicious.

As a side note, we went to have a drink at the Royal Mansour hotel which is right down the street. Crazy expensive but we wanted to see if it would be worth it for our next trip. The hotel just opened last year. beautiful hotel but no atmosphere and my husband said it was the most expensive drink I have ever had - 35 euros.

We also ate in the square one night. This was fun. It is crowded and you will be approached to sit in every food stand but try to ignore this and just enjoy the experience.

One last note. I packed many colorful summer outfits. I realized that when walking through the Medina, the best is to wear understated outfits. Otherwise you just stand out. I also wore short shorts one day and felt a bit strange since most people had their legs covered. So no need to bring heels or cute outfits to walk around.

Room Tip: we loved 18, 19 and 20. 18 & 19 have close access to roof terrace....19 has its own terrace and...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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488 reviews from our community

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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 (108)
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English first
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

I visited this beautiful Riad El Fenn a year ago.
Although i was already in Paradise then,..
This time it was even better!!
With incredibly eye for detail this Riad is decorated and it creates a world that 's new and even more beautiful then i already knew it was.
A must see! And even more.. a must experience!
Wow. Here you find the perfect balance between luxury and a very relaxing, comfortable atmosphere.
A very big compliment tot he staff. They are ALL very kind, polite and helpfull!
They make the beauty of the Riad not something you only see, but also something you can feel every minute off your stay there.
If you have to the change to go... please do, go and experience it!!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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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Agadir, Morocco
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

traveling by myself to Marrakesh, i stayed 4 days in Riad el fenn.
soon i enter to the Riad i feel the warm atmosphere and i think wow i just discover the best place in Marrakesh. very Sheike Riad ,huge space and great decoration and roof terrace is best part .
i was very luck while i was staying there i experience Moroccan weeding ,very special experience indeed .i had good time in Marrakesh and i enjoyed my stayed at Riad el fenn and im coming again but this time with my family.
thank you people for wonderful time

Room Tip: if you dont stay in room 19 less ask to see it
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  • Stayed March 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
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Munich, Bayern, Germany
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2013

We were a family of 13 and were looked after in the most wonderful way by attentive staff. They helped us plan our excursions and dinners, had great suggestions. The riad is a spacious oasis, rooms are big and tastefully decorated. Thank you!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
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Brussels, Belgium
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

I stayed for three nights with my family. We booked room 19, which I think is the best and most expensive room in the Riad.

The best part of the Riad is the decoration and all those spaces that make any traveler feel comfortable, relaxed: The cinema room, the reading room, the swimming pools, the terrace, the reception area with the turtles slowly moving around, and certainly room 19. One has the feeling to have been transported to a sumptuous palace, an oasis of peace; which as a nice plus, is child-friendly.

Now to me, a top place that charges top money, should offer flawless service, and unfortunately El Fenn is not quite there. That’s why I don’t rate my experience as “perfect”.

Several things added up:

- The Wifi in room 19 worked for exactly 10 minutes during the first two days and only on the evening of the last day. Certainly, the idea is that one is not hooked the whole day to the outer world (that’s why, I guess, there are no TV sets in the rooms), but one definitely wants to write a couple of emails and check out the news while lying on bed at the end of the day. I couldn’t do it, so I had to go to the reception area or reading room to get internet connection. Of note, after the first night the reception was notified of this inconvenience.

- We wanted to experience the Hammam, a service advertised by the Riad, so we booked it as soon as we arrived. They told us that the service was only going to be available on the last morning of our stay. We booked it for then, only to discover the previous afternoon that the area was still not prepared for the Hammam. And it was already too late to do it somewhere else! –Major letdown!

- Room 19 has an exclusive small pool on the terrace. But it has a problem: Instead of having tiles, the finishing of it is cement. When we arrived, we noticed that one of the inner walls of the pool was peeling off, a process that continued through our stay. This would be just a small aesthetical detail, if it wasn’t that my children and I got some nasty scratches in our elbows and legs every time we accidentally grazed that area.

- To avoid the constant feeling of being on alert, beware of how people would take advantage of you (unfortunately, a sad reality in Marrakech), we booked a day trip through the reception of the Riad. As adviced by the Riad, we were ready at 9:30 on the morning of the trip, just to discover that the driver was only coming at 10:00am (half an hour more of sleep makes a difference!). Then, the worst part is that the driver of the tour took us to a different restaurant instead of the one where we had intended to have lunch (Kasbah de Toubkal). I had to call the Riad to get things straight. In the end we were taken to the right place, but you see the picture: You just can’t be relaxed and enjoy the day, trusting that the Riad had booked a reputable tour.

I reckon all these points might be seen by some as nitty-gritty details, coming from someone picky. I go back to the beginning: This is a premium Riad that is not cheap, hence, I admittedly measure it and all such places with the highest of quality and service standards. And on that measure, El Fenn is average, not exceptional.

Room Tip: Rooms around the reception area got to be noisy. I'd rather choose the ones facing the swimming...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

This is one very classy stylish place to stay, right from collection at the airport. It is expensive but I highly recommend it. Firstly the service from all staff was exceptional, really friendly and helpful but not obsequious. Secondly the room (we had a first floor room) was beautiful; big with an open bath and fireplace and it rained one day so we lit the fire and relaxed in the bath. Great bed linen too. Remember that in Riads rooms are often odd shaped so in our case the bathroom and wardrobe space was unusual but stylish. Thirdly the food, breakfast on the roof terrace every morning overlooking the Medinah and up to the snow capped Atlas Mountains is unforgettable, if i am honest the food in the main restaurant wasn't great quality and not good value but that's minor. Fourthly and finally this a beautiful well located Riad with a wonderful sunny roof terrace, a large swimming pool and more importantly where you feel well looked after, almost as if you are part of a unique house party, complete with afternoon tea in the courtyard with pet tortoises wandering about. Highly recommend it!

Room Tip: Ground floor courtyard rooms could be quite noisy.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Machynlleth, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

With only a three day break in Marrakech, my partner and I couldn’t believe how much we relaxed, and it was all thanks to the Riad el Fenn. From the moment of arrival at the airport, everything was supremely easy and well-organised, and an absolute pleasure. It made for the perfect short break.

What particularly makes the place is the staff, who are endlessly helpful and kind; nothing was too much trouble. There wasn’t a single exception. The riad itself is just beautiful; a series of courtyards, open spaces and cosy interiors to fit any mood at any time of the day or night. A particular highlight was the sumptuous breakfasts on the roof terrace, available until midday, with the sound of the muezzin from the nearby Koutoubia mosque floating across the air. That was after waking to flasks of tea and coffee, together with some sweet nibbles, to take in our room. If only real life was like this…

The roof terrace was a great place to spend hot afternoons too, under canvas awnings or wallowing in the plunge pool, idly dozing or reading. I had a great massage, and my partner tried the hammam, both of which were brilliant and invigorating. Otherwise, we found our favourite corners in the courtyards, by the pool or in the very relaxing bar and restaurant (the food was great too).

Our room was magical; everything as you’d want it, including a sunken marble bath and a massive, comfy bed that gave us both some brilliant nights’ sleep. Best of all, we had the riad’s colony of tortoises living by our door, which gave us many lovely moments (and a stack of photos!).

Marrakech is a wonderful place for a few day’s blast of colour, spice and excitement. The riad is right in the heart of the old medina, yet when you come back through the big wooden door, it makes for such a deliciously quiet contrast with the noise and tumult of the souks and alleyways. Rarely have I stayed anywhere that gets everything right, but the Riad el Fenn really did. We’ve been back home a couple of days now, and it all feels a bit like a dream – but one of the loveliest dreams you could ever have. Thanks to all at the riad, for they’re doing a superb job. We will be back.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
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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
#11 Business Hotel in Marrakech
#15 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#26 Family Hotel in Marrakech
#47 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 
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Also Known As:
Riad El Fenn Marrakech
Riad El Fenn Hotel Marrakech

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