As soon as you step into the “tardis” that is Riad El Fenn you feel that you are cocooned in a calming, luxurious home from home that makes the madness of Marrakesh and its teaming souks feel like they are miles away rather than just the few steps from the riad that they really are.
A number of hotels that try to make you feel special fall spectacularly short. It is difficult to put into words but the best description I can think of is that it feels that you are walking into a charming home. I know a few people that have their homes set up as if they are a hotel and it feels sterile, El Fenn is exactly the opposite – almost akin to the disparity between the beggars in the souks and the flash business people whistling along outside the medina – El Fenn creates the same sense of intrigue – it is a place where you walk in and it immediately feels like home. Our eldest daughter who is 9 and is generally anxious at the start of a holiday felt “safe” as soon as she arrived.
The decor plays homage to all that is Morocco and the rooms are simply, elegantly furnished with a mix of the locally made furnishings and the modern technology that we all still need at times (flat screens for the parents, the odd movie for the kids and wifi for the essential email connection to the outside world!).
The pool area was my favourite – it is best described as like a set from an Indiana Jones film with incredible foliage all around you and the open skies above attracting the birdlife and the occasional wailing from the call to prayer. A lazy time spent here with the odd dip in the pool listening to the faint sounds of the medina followed by an amble through the beautifully lit lantern strewn corridors and maze of rooms in the evening with a drink in hand and the relaxing music lulling you into relax mode does wonders for the stress of arriving with 2 bickering children!
I have to commend the manager for being superbly attentive, the reception staff for being eager to please and sorting all our excursions and bookings whilst we were there and the rest of the staff for their beaming smiles and genuine sense of the pleasure they took in looking after us during our stay.
El Fenn is a beautiful, relaxing and charming home from home and I can unreservedly recommend it for couples, families and business people alike.
We are a well travelled family of 4 with 2 girls aged 6 and 9 and we all had a fantastic stay so much so that we all would rate El Fenn in the top category of hotels that we have stayed in worldwide and probably number 1 for the sense of occasion that it inspires. We simply cannot wait to return.
- Also Known As:
- Riad El Fenn Hotel
- Riad El Fenn Marrakech
- Riad El Fenn Hotel Marrakech
- Riad El Fenn
- 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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