We spent a long weekend here with a group of friends to celebrate a very special birthday (the oh-so-generous Claire’s) and it’s difficult to describe the place other than in superlatives.
Exiting the hubbub of the street through a solid, if somewhat unprepossessing doorway, one is suddenly transported into an oasis of calm, elegant chic – all very much in the traditional Moroccan idiom but with lots of sexy contemporary twists.
The ratio of around 25 rooms to 50 staff gives an idea of the service level. Everyone was hugely friendly and accommodating but without being in the least intrusive - and the grub was top notch, too!
Our ground floor room, accessed from the Tortoise Courtyard (home to free-range tortoises), was spacious and very stylish, complete with semi-sunken marble bath and deluge shower – lovely, and all immaculately maintained.
By way of entertainment, the Tortoise Courtyard is currently the roosting spot for several hundred small birds of various denominations (apparently they do sometimes transfer allegiance from courtyard to courtyard), so be prepared for a cacophony at sunset and sunrise! Please note, however, that the birds’ detritus disappears as if by magic thanks to the efforts of the ever-industrious staff.
And talking of sunrise, it’s well worth taking a hike to the roof terrace first thing (the birds will tell you when!), from which the view is simply breath-taking.
Many thanks again, Willem and Megan, for your tremendous hospitality.
- 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