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“Great surprise and relief!” 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 #33 of 471 Hotels in Marrakech
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Miami, Florida
Top Contributor
142 reviews 142 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
101 helpful votes 101 helpful votes
“Great surprise and relief!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

Located inside the medina but close to city walls and gate make it very comfortable also to arrive by car if necessary. Once you enter through the doors of the hotel you are immediately put at ease, a great sensation after the chaos of the medina. The rooms are great, all very different, there are various beautiful courtyards, each one makes you want to sit and enjoy them. We went during ramadan, we were worried that the service would suffer due to that, but it was not an issue, as a matter of fact it made it better for us. Things start late enough during ramadan so that your day is very long so you can actually enjoy the breakfast, pool etc without being in a hurry to exit. The breakfast is very good, the staff is very nice, sometimes on the slow side but it didn't matter because the place was great and they were very nice and polite. We had dinner one of the nights on the roof top restaurant and it was magical, food was very good. Try the hammam. We liked that there are no tv's in the rooms, we also liked the morning coffee and croissant they leave outside the door of your room every morning, and we also liked the afternoon tea set up.
On the improvable side, but nothing that should make anyone angry (and possibly attributable to the Ramadan period) is the replenishing of the amenities (we had to ask on the second day for additional shower products) and the time it takes to get a drink in the evening at the roof top is a bit long. Everything else was top.
Our stay was great, thank you El Fenn for a great weekend.

Room Tip: Get an imperial suite
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  • Stayed July 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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567 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 (131)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2013

EL Fenn a tardis in the medina . The moment you walk through the ancient wooden doors you are enchanted , the warmth and depth of the deep red coloured walls invite you in and in turn lead you to a gardened court yard , black and white tiled floor ,little birds singing at your arrival and yes ,watch your step, mind the tortoises .We were a large group (11) and to some that can be quite daunting but Allessandra was well organised, she has a way of putting you at ease and after a relaxing interlude we were shown to our rooms . Having seen all the rooms , I can say they all possess a charm, they are colourful and reflect the essence of Marrakech. El Fenn is as intriguing as the streets of Marrakech, a labyrinth of stairways balconies, courtyards and pools all leading to a pleasant surprise . The Hotel is well positioned to explore the medina but should you get lost ( likely) the way back to the hotel from the square is easy. This is when the main Pool or the rooftop come into there own . The pool is relaxing and offers a chance to cool down as does the rooftop in the evenings where you can sit back and unwind listening to the hustle and bustle in the streets below . When Allessandra was not around Carima was there to help .Nothing was too much trouble ,always a smile ,very efficient and professional but so so charming at the same time .Both make you feel at home which can be said of El Fenn . We arranged all our travel to various restaurants (including a lunch at Kasbah Tamadot) http://www.kasbahtamadot.virgin.com/ through Allessandra and Carima . Kasbah is well worth a visit lunch/dinner. I can only reiterate all the previous comments about the breakfast ,delicious .Our one and only collective gripe was the price of the drinks. If the beers /wine were half the price we would have stayed in the hotel a lot more in the evenings and spent a lot more than we did. Worth considering . A big thank you to Allessandra and Carima we all had a lovely time.

Room Tip: Room 6 Room 22
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  • Stayed August 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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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2013

We stayed at El Fenn in August 2013 and my partner and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of our stay at this unique Riad.

Firstly the location is perfect.It is within the Medina walls, but more importantly only 5 minutes walk from Jemaa El Fna Square with its vibrant nightlife, and the Souks. Although this may not seem essential, after a hot day or busy evening wandering around its wonderful to be so close to home without the bother of taxi's. Despite being so close to the bustle of busy Marrakech the Riad itself is quiet and tranquil.

The Riad itself is several houses joined together, built round 4 courtyards. It is simply gorgeous. Luxurious and comfortable without being ostentatious and at night the whole place is lit with candles and lanterns. The planting is gorgeous and the pools are a real haven.

The staff are, without exception helpful, courteous and unobtrusive. Nothing was too much trouble - they will serve you drinks or food where ever you like, whenever you like, and always with a smile and polite greeting. We did the cooking morning with the chef Hafid and it was great fun - informative & interesting.

Was there anything that could be improved? - only two small suggestions. Firstly none of the rooms have any locks and although there is a safe in each room its not large enough for a laptop and its a pain to put you valuables in it every time you lave the room. There is a doorman at the entrance to the Riad so we were not too concerned but I do think it would be worth considering locks for the rooms. Some instruction in the room about how to work the air -con/ phone system etc might also have been helpful. However I must add that every time we asked anything or needed anything it was instantly sorted out, again with a smile.

I would recommend the tour of the Medina - we hired a guide twice through the hotel. Both guides (Mustafa and Ali ) were knowledgeable, patient and provided us with an insight into Marrakech that we could never have achieved on our own. They also guided us unerringly though the maze that is the Marrakesh Souk!

El Fenn is not cheap, but for us it was worth every penny!

I truly hope to return to El Fenn in the future, we had a wonderful break there. Many thanks to all the staff who helped make this such a great experience.

Room Tip: We stayed in in Room 2o which was upstairs. It was enormous with a huge bathroom - a shower room the...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Los Angeles, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2013

I had such a great stay at Riad El Fenn! The riad itself is stunning, and very well maintained. I really love the mix of traditional moroccan and contemporary design and the decor details are beautiful. From the moroccan rugs, to the unique and diverse artwork, and even the color palette that paints the walls, I was mesmerized by El Fenn. The staff is exceptional, and despite our stay during Ramadan, we still received great service. Everyone on staff is lovely, and helpful when needed. I enjoyed my rooftop breakfast every morning, afternoon moroccan tea and confections, and had an excellent lunch consisting of perfectly seasoned fish and vegetables. El Fenn met all my expectations for a moroccan riad and then some, and I will likely stay here again on my next trip to marrakech.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013

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.

Room Tip: In the heat of the Marrakech summer sun, I would pick one of the two plunge pool rooms.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Brighton, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

Some friends were staying here, and we visited them cocktails a couple of times, absolutely stunning decor and ambiance, very good cocktails best enjoyed on the roof terrace! Even a visit for drinks or dinner will make your stay in Marrakesh memorable - as it did ours.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013

If you are looking for a stylish Riad in a fabulous location then look no further. The friendliness of the staff, the quality and style of the furnishings, the stunning rooftop (where we lost ourselves comfortably for hours!) and the delicious food - all went towards making this a perfect getaway. Can't wait to go back in March.

Room Tip: Let the Riad talk you through the options as i'm told their all a bit different.
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  • Stayed April 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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 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
#14 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#15 Business Hotel in Marrakech
#24 Family Hotel in Marrakech
#27 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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