We were not staying here so this is a terrace restaurant review.
I am awarding this 3 stars purely on standard of food. There was, however, some really nice parts to our experience so I will talk about those first.
The lady on reception was great and gave myself, my wife and two young girls a tour of the riad (including getting two tortoises for the girls to see!). The riad is spectatacular, with two pools, stunning planting (with great night garden lighting). She escorted us to the terrace restaurant. So far, so very good.
The terrace is nice comprising a typical Moroccan seating area, restaurant table, some sun beds and small plunge pool. Very nice with romantic mood lighting for all you honeymooners and anniversary celebrators out there...or those just on a romantic break.
The food...the menu is very small which is often a good thing...do a limited range well is much better than do a large range badly.
My wife ordered the lentil soup and I ordered the beef carpaccio. Her impression was 'nothing special and under seasoned'. My carpaccio? Well it was a plate of beef 'circles' arranged like a pizza with some grated cheese on it. Not great.
Main courses were steaks, medium rare and rare. All I can say is that it was average. I never understand why, when you order a sauce, they douse the food in it rather than give you the option to decide if you want it 'off or on'.
I think they need to reboot their menu and food standards...it's more cafe than restaurant.
I am going to temper this review by saying that the riad looked fantastic and the service was generally very good. Would this experience put me off staying there? no, it wouldn't. Two main reasons (1) a restaurant is not the only defining factor and they have two (I only ate in one) (2) the standard of the public spaces was very high and the location is very very good.
I would definitely consider staying here and giving the food another chance...if on second look the food did not improve..well, there are plenty of other eating options in Marrakech.
We plundered the cocktail menu, expensive, slow service but very well done all the same.
- 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