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.