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“Absolute Heaven”
Review of El Fenn

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El Fenn
Ranked #51 of 501 Hotels in Marrakech
Reviewed May 22, 2013

Just returned from a four day trip in morocco to relax, suck up some culture, sun and a little shopping. I took my girlfriend who is a designer by trade and has a deep love for culture. I am happy either way lying in the sun or trotting around.

We spent two days in the Atlas Mountains at Branson's Kasbah Tamadot - the best part of it was a bucket list quad bike through the surrounding countryside.

We got to El Fenn late in the evening were just aghast at the vibe of the place. Deliciously cool art, design and vibe candle lit interlaced with garden vines and soothing cafe del mar type muzak.

We stayed in Room 19 with a brown leather hand sticked floor, double shower, daft high ceilings and its own roof terrage with a plunge pool - the floor of which can been seen from the bedroom below.

The staff were very accommodating and helpful yet bizarrely out the way so you don't feel you are in the middle of some commercial hospitality conference.

The food was simple yet diverse and relevant to its surroundings. breakfast was included and delivered with fruit, yoghurt, pastries, fresh bread and OJ alongside a small selection of egg affairs.

We were recommended to hire a guide to hit the souks and took on Mustapha for two days seeing the history and the all important haggling to furnish our new house. He was funny, knowledgable and a joy to be around. He taught us things and gave us site into a religion and culture that I had not spent the time to really understand. Such beauty, logic and kindness. That was one of the real life enhancing returns from this trip and the El Fenn experience.

Leaving was hard, probably one of the hardest holiday farewells we've had. Made even more so by the tortoises in the courtyard, who although gorging on their lettuce afternoon tea, seemed upset we were leaving their little paradise by managing to get under our luggage and in our exit path at every opportunity.

This place and the experience really hit the nail on the head for us. If you're up for sun, culture, good people and a real grassroots hospitable experience, I have yet to find better.

Room Tip: Room 19 with its own rooftop plunge pool is incredible.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank benjamin p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
willemsmit2011, General Manager at El Fenn, responded to this reviewResponded June 19, 2013

dear Benjamin,

thank you so much for your very kind words, great for all of us to read. We also passed on your compliments to Mustapha.

hope to have you back again soon,

warm regards, willem smit

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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610 - 616 of 975 reviews

Reviewed May 20, 2013

I stayed at this magical riad in February this year. It is hidden behind a simple entrance just next to the souk but, when you go in, you are greeted by a sumptuous indoor garden and an array of stunning rooms in four interconnecting buildings. We spent most of our time on the fabulous roof terrace where we ate breakfast and lunch and where there is even a beautiful little pool. It was easy to slip into the souk and explore the little streets and then retire back to the cool recesses of the riad. The staff were super-helpful and I highly recommend the hammam. All the rooms are individual works of art - massive showers and marble baths and an exotic array of colours, artworks and furniture. I will definitely be going again.

Room Tip: I prefer the higher rooms.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank MaGabriel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2013

I am not a regular reviewer on Trip Advisor, far from it in fact, but I have just returned from Riad El Fenn and I felt compelled to lend my support to this fantastic hotel. The staff were exceptional and I found every single person I met in the hotel to be extremely welcoming and very attentive. Whilst only a minute or two's walk away from the souks, once you close the front door of Riad El Fenn behind you, you feel a world away from Marrakech's famous hustle and bustle. The courtyards are beautiful, the rooms are spacious and varied in design and the roof terrace is fantastic. One thing that we all noticed was the unbelievable attention to detail that has so clearly gone into every part of the hotel and it truly captures the essence of North Africa. I could not recommend this hotel more highly to anybody - the location is fantastic, the food was outstanding, the service was faultless and the atmosphere was extremely welcoming. If you go to Marrakech and you don't stay here, you've made a mistake!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Henry W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 10, 2013

My partner and I have just returned from the Riad El Fenn where we stayed for 3 nights and are so sad to be back.

The rooms themselves offer high ceilings, spacious bathrooms and outstanding features. We had room number 15 which had a beautiful pale pink marble bath along with a lovely rain shower. When we checked out at 12 they offered us room 4 to shower in. This room was absolutely beautiful with so much character in the doors and the bathroom.

The staff are amazing, humble people who couldn't do enough for us! Alessandra and the team were all so warm, welcoming and advised well on where to go. The head chef at the hotel who we were properly introduced to as part of our Morroccan cooking class is one of the nicest people we met in Marrakech and took us to the local market to pick up some local, fresh produce before heading back to the riad to prepare the meal. To get more of an experience out of the session I'd recommend you ask if you can cook in the tangia which is a clay pot. The chef takes you to the local hammam where you're taken underground to bury the tangia in the hot ashes allowing it to slow cook. The result is the most tender, infused meat you have ever tasted.

The whole vibe of the place is really moorish and you almost don't want to leave your riad to step outside.

Overall I would definitely return and recommend the Riad to anyone wishing to stay in Marrakech.

  • Stayed: May 2013
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Thank Elena26x
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank DanielaCecilio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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2  Thank Footie25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank iamnottheonlyone
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:
#15 Business Hotel in Marrakech
#16 Family Hotel in Marrakech
#28 Spa Hotel in Marrakech
#30 Romantic Hotel in Marrakech
#34 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range: $312 - $877 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — El Fenn 4.5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Special Offer From 11/05/ 2016 to 31/08/2016 DIRECT BOOKING OFFER We assure that you'll always get the best rate available when you book directly with us. Whether you book online or by email, our team are on hand to answer all your questions from pre-booking to check-in and even after you're gone. 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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