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“Absolutely Outstanding” 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 #37 of 465 Hotels in Marrakech
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Absolutely Outstanding”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013

The nicest hotel I've ever stayed in - everything was perfect and I would quite happily have stayed in the hotel every day without leaving.

I particularly enjoyed having a hamman, and the fact that the pool was big enough to swim lengths.

I don't have any points of criticism, and little to add to what other reviewers have said. Just wonderful - thank you to everyone there.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
willemadriaansmit, General Manager at El Fenn, responded to this review, September 24, 2013
dear John,

thank you so much for your time, effort and especially your very kind words. Greatly appreciated and hope to have you back as our guests soon, warm regards, willem
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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502 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 (113)
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Rome, Italy
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2013

4 nights here in the middle of the August heat and this riad was an oasis of peace and tranquility. The air conditioned rooms were astoundingly beautiful - stayed in both 20 and 21 and fell in love with both of them. The hotel staff are all friendly and helpful. We enjoyed all three pools and the chilly water of the lower two pools was a welcome relief after hot days out in the medina and city.
We also took advantage of the the market tour and our guide, Aziz, was a pitch perfect professional. I'd highly recommend the tour service - the price is reasonable and the degree of hassling in the medina was reduced 10 fold.
Breakfast, lunch and dinners were all very well done in the restaurant and the service was predictably awesome.
I can't say enough good things about this hotel and look forward to our next visit.

Room Tip: 20 and 21 are just perfect
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  • Stayed August 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
willemadriaansmit, General Manager at El Fenn, responded to this review, September 24, 2013
wonderful to read you enjoyed the city and our property so much. Thank you for the time and effort and we hope to have you as our guest again soon, warm regards, willem
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Miami, Florida
Top Contributor
141 reviews 141 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
99 helpful votes 99 helpful votes
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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London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
17 helpful votes 17 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
9 helpful votes 9 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
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Glasgow, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
63 helpful votes 63 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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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 Breakfast 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:
#10 Spa Hotel in Marrakech
#15 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
#19 Business Hotel in Marrakech
#25 Family Hotel in Marrakech
#43 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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