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“Best experience ever” 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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Hotel amenities
Ranked #48 of 460 hotels in Marrakech
London, England, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Best experience ever”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2013

This is my very first review ever, but I thought that I should do it in exchange of the amazing time I have spent on this place.
The room, the food, the ambiance, the decoration, the staff, everything was beyond perfection.

It is by far the most incredible place we have ever stayed and we have already booked our Holidays for next year again.

  • Stayed May 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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366 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (78)
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English first
London, England, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2013

"My two friends and I recently stayed in Riad El Fenn for 4 nights whilst we were on holiday. From the moment you arrive you are greeted with a warm comforting smile and immediately feel at ease. The Riad is a beautiful place with pockets of vibrant courtyards round every corner providing natural light throughout the maze like corridors. The room we were in was very comfortable and i liked the design, from the high rise ceiling to the old wooden fireplace helped instill a homely feeling rather than a 'plastic' hotel room you often stay in. My favorite area is the rooftop terrace which looks over Marrakesh and the Souks. There are number of Bedouin area's dotted around where one could lay, sit or sleep on. We ended up eating a majority of our meals up there and we were never disappointed with our food or service. The food in fact is fantastic, especially the lunches. We often were late for lunch but the staff and chef were always accommodating and even made a particular meal requested by my friend without fuss. I would suggest trying the Cinnamon porridge for breakfast. I miss not having it now! The location of the riad allows you to roam around the hustle and bustle of the city and explore the djemma al fna square. However this can be very hectic after a while and there is something very special about returning to the tranquility of the riad, especially at around 4pm when the cakes and tea are laid out. Just be weary of the tortoises roaming around. Over all Riad El Fenn is one of my favorite places and I could not pay it a high enough complement. The staff, the location, the food, the people, the culture all culminate in a fantastic and memorable experience."

  • Stayed May 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
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London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

Overall it was a stunning Riad to visit, from the sense of humour as you walk in to be greeted by dozens of slippers, and then walk into breath takingly beautiful courtyards, with both modern and traditional themes.

I would totally echo the comments this hotel has the most fantastic collection of bathrooms i have ever seen... from rain showers to bath’s you could stage a swimming final in... I would agree that not everything is pristine and new adds to the sense of the relaxed atmosphere and your ability that nothing is to much trouble. The Hotel bent over backwards to organise a private dinner and drinks party on the terrace.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Riad Vanessa a few minutes away from the main Riad which was lovely, had stunning r...
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  • 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
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Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

We have never been in such a cool and wonderful place before. This amazing riad with it's attention to detail, lovely colonial/art deco style is something else.
The room we stayed in, Chambre 19 with it's private rooftop terasse and private pool was just fantastic.
Each morning you are served coffe/thé and cakes outside your room (there are wonderful seating areas outside all rooms), before breakfast so you can wake up gently. What a treat.
Although there are 21 rooms and technically this is a hotel, you are so private, you can sit in different areas for a whole week and admire the beauty of this place. There are so much to explore.
The rooftop terasse were breakfast is served and dinner, has stunning views of Marrakech. You can also eat dinner downstairs in the restaurant were you'll also find the bar. Real art deco style, so cool. Try the drink, Fenn express, lovely!
Each afternoon the pampering continues when the afternoon Tea is served in the courtyard. Wow. This is a hidden gem in a perfect location. Close to the souks but at the same time faar away enough from Jemaa el Fna. It's a 5 minute walk. Perfect.
We will definately be back!
Thanks to all the staff that made our stay such a wonderful and unforgetable experience!!!

Room Tip: Try chefs Tagine! Best one we've Evert had!!!
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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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London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013

My husband and I stayed with our three kids at Riad El Fenn for 4 nights in occasion of my husband's 40th birthday - a fantastic choice!

The Riad is a beautiful place and will make your Marrakech trip pretty unforgettable! We stayed in one of the Imperial suites for 4 nights, but could have happily stayed for much longer.

Riad el Fenn is made up of three connecting riads, making it very spacious, a real bonus when you have three excited kids with you. We had the sole use of the main pool (but the heated water, at the beginning of March, was pretty cold) and the kids loved splashing about in the plunge pool on the roof terrace (which gets the sun all day - the other two pools unfortunately are mainly in the shade). There's also a small cinema room (which was out of order when we stayed), ideal for kids to use to watch some movies - I suggest you bring along a few kids' DVDs!

Coffee, tea and some pastries are left by your room door every morning just before 8AM. How I loved sitting on the outside small sofa sipping a freshly brewed cup of coffee while the rest of the family was still in bed, and chirping birds all around me! (and, admittedly, also an iPad to read the morning news...)

Breakfast and light lunch is served on the roof terrace, with magnificent views of the Koutoubia Mosque and Atlas mountains. There's even a bowling green for kids (and adults) to entertain themselves with a game of bowls.

The main restaurant where evening meals are served is very atmospheric and unmissable. There's a wonderful array of art exhibits on the walls which I couldn't stop photographing! The food is well above average and the chef made our kids whatever food we asked for. The service throughout is very good, especially at the front office.

In the afternoon, cakes, coffee and tea are made available on the ground floor near the front office for guests' use. The cakes are freshly made and delicious. And there are little tortoises walking around as you enjoy your afternoon snack (my girls loved them)!

The location of Riad el Fenn is absolutely fantastic, a two-minute walk to the Koutoubia mosque and a five-minute walk to Jemaa el Fna, the main square. The hotel recommends food stall no.1, where we happily (and cheaply) dined twice.

Being so close to the souks and Medina makes exploring Marrakech very possible with children as it gives you the chance to pop in and out of the hotel throughout the day.

On the last night, my husband misplaced (or lost) the keys to our room safe (where our passports were) - the safe was swiftly broken into with screwdrivers and hammers (making it unusable) at no extra charge.

As a final note, and looking at previous reviews, Riad el Fenn is certainly not without its small faults (some handles that come off, some windows hard to open, some smoke in the room when the fireplace is on) - but that is because it is an authentic place. If you want a faultless hotel, there's plenty of choice of modern large-chain hotels around Marrakech, with none of the charm of this Riad though.

Thank you Riad el Fenn for making our trip so memorable, we will be back (if you'll have us!).

Room Tip: Imperial Suite 18 is very spacious and will easily accommodate two extra beds for children.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Stockholm, Sweden
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

We just returned from a 3 night stay at the riad. It is difficult to rate this hotel, as there are so many good, but also disappointing points:
Plus:
Our room was large, beautiful. Best rain shower ever! Rooms are clean, as are all the areas of the hotel.
The roof top terrasse is gorgeous and a lovely place to sit, sun, have a drink etc. It has a very calm and relaxing atmosphere. Great view over the medina.
Breakfast on the rooftop was very good; home-made yoghurt, fresh fruit, fresh fruits juice, croissants; porridge, eggs etc made to order.
Staff on the roof terrasse was very friendly and helpful.
Location is perfect; walking distance to almost all the sights.
Front door guard was very friendly and helpful organising petit-taxis for fair price.
Drinks on the root top come with a nice selection of olives etc; the roof top staff is very attentive.
Lovely entertaining turtle family near the reception. Be carful were you walk!

Downside:
The rugs covering the sitting areas have seen better days.
There are no locks on the doors to your room (I do not like leaving my cameras etc around).
The safe in our room was not fixed to anything; it was light weight and you could just walk off with it.
Plumbing in the sink was poor - did not drain.
We stayed with 2 adults, 2 children in one room. However, morning drinks in front of the door were only for 2, the pastries for 3(???). As children pay for their stay, they should be treated equal (actually, make that always!)
We were offered a swift welcome tea near the reception - all cups had been used before and tea pot was empty. Not a good first impression.
Shampoo etc were not refilled during our stay.
We had booked transport, restaurant reservation etc - on several occasion these were forgotten. If you stay at the El Fenn, make sure you keep reminding them!

For the amount of money you pay, you should expect basic things to work. I had the feeling that there was a lack of general overview and management.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Andover, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

I've just returned from my 2nd visit to Riad El Fenn, this time accompanied by my partner and two daughters and I cannot rate it highly enough. We were picked up by Hassan and transferred quickly and efficiently in an air conditioned car (cold bottles of water having been issued from a cool box in the boot) and from the moment we stepped from the hot busy street through an unassuming door into the riad, we were met with a wonderfully attentive, calm and relaxed atmosphere.

The reception staff were superb, greeting us warmly, immediately putting the children at ease showing them the resident family of tortoises in the courtyard (which kept them amused for hours and provided them with an interesting lesson in reproduction). We spent 6 wonderful days there. We breakfasted on the roof terrace - freshly squeezed orange juice, home-made yoghurt, croissants, fresh fruit, coffee, unlimited supply of bread and jams plus a choice of eggs, home-made muesli (fantastic), porridge etc. We dined in front of a roaring fire on several evenings and each time the food was delicious particularly the fish cooked in paper. The staff were very accommodating too when our daughters occasionallly just wanted pasta rather than something on the menu (although there was plenty of plainer dishes on offer suitable for their as yet relatively uncultured pallettes).

We lounged around in all the different quiet areas/courtyards the riad has to offer and we spent many a happy hour in and around the courtyard pool whilst gazing in awe at the giant palm trees and vines scaling the heights of the riad walls.

A particular highlight of the day for the girls especially was the complimentary afternoon tea served in the courtyard each day consisting of a fabulous array of cakes accompanied by mint tea.

All the staff were incredibly attentive and helpful - nothing was too much trouble. A special mention must go to Willem, the general manager, his assistant Megan, Hussein the restaurant manager and the Reception staff who were all utterly charming and extremely helpful, able to offer plenty of advice on things to do with the children, restaurants, shopping in the souk etc.

I would describe El Fenn as a shabby chic oasis with a house party atmosphere. The rooms are all beautifully furnished with high ceilings, huge baths big enough easily for two along with a wonderful array of exotic smelling potions, big power showers and bathrobes. It's a wonderfully calm and relaxing atmosphere and at night it is truly magical with millions of candles and lanterns evoking a wonderfully atmospheric and romantic ambience.

As a final testiment to El Fenn, we returned there for our last night (after 4 days in the mountains) only to find three other families had checked back in having gone off to other hotels/riads and finding them significantly lacking by comparison.

I was a little unsure of holidaying in Marrakech with two children in tow (away from 5* star luxury with a kids club thrown in!) but I can honestly say that it was one of our best holidays, truly relaxing in a wonderful riad in an exotic city - we're already planning our next trip back....

  • Stayed March 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
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Additional Information about El Fenn

Also Known As:
Riad El Fenn Hotel
Riad El Fenn Marrakech
Riad El Fenn Hotel Marrakech
Riad 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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#17 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#23 Business Hotel in Marrakech
#63 Family Hotel in Marrakech
#73 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — El Fenn 4*
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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