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“Calm in the center of the storm”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of El Fenn

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El Fenn
Ranked #53 of 494 Hotels in Marrakech
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
53 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Calm in the center of the storm”
Reviewed 3 January 2012

This was our first trip to Marrakech and we weren't really sure what to expect. Picked this place based on the recommendation in Conde Nast as well as the reviews here on tripadvisor. The riad is off a narrow alley practically in the heart of the Medina, but once you're inside it feels so calm, quiet, and luxurious.

Lots of places in the riad to hide out and read or have a glass of wine, and they also helped us out with a few excursions and making restaurant reservations. Lots of nice touches like afternoon tea and a good continental breakfast. The spa is minimal, but the hammam was definitely a fun experience. And our room was beautiful.

Service was friendly, if sometimes spotty, but it was very easy to find someone if you needed something.

The only real negative was one evening, hearing one of the managers having a loud argument with the head of the kitchen. That was kind of awkward and should have been handled privately.

Room Tip: There are a couple of rooms with private terraces and pools - we met someone there who had one of th...
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Raj R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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895 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (206)
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English first
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Level Contributor
325 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 177 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 January 2012

We stayed a week at Riad El Fenn on our second trip to Marrakech. We took a cheaper standard room and then upgraded to a deluxe room with rooftop patio and heated pool. The Riad is arty and beautiful. Lots of spaces to find privacy. Great hamman and spa - very good therapists.

  • Stayed December 2011
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank SheryleMoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
128 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 January 2012

One of a kind property with exceptional service. The Riad is full of contemporary art, paired with an eclectic decor that is just right. It is chic without being snooty, and extremely welcoming without being too much. This Riad is very service oriented (you are welcomed with fresh oj, and there's a lovely tea each day at 3:30), and the staff is incredible. From the 3 dinners we had in the restaurant (excellent!), to the huge breakfasts on the rooftop each morning (the little pancakes with honey are unreal!), to the kindness of the staff here...I loved each of our five days. We left when they were booked up - but we missed this place so much they brought us right back and accommodated us immediately. It is a warm, homey 5-star service. The Riad is an old building, so keep that in mind...but the experience is one to treasure.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank zeppo33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 December 2011

This is my first time in Marrakech and I usually don't like going to the same place twice, but the hotel made it for me. It was an experience on it's own, that it looks like I will be coming back for a second or even third times. Home away from home. The rooms were beautifully coloured leaving you with the true Marrakech experience. Everywhere you go in the Riad you seem to be followed by art, colours and greenery. Beautiful escapes on the sunny roof terrace, to the downstairs patios... to little balconies tucked away. And although I found myself being able to be alone, there was always someone around to help or offer me anything if I needed anything. My favorite thing was when the managers invited me for the afternoon tea. Apparently they do this everyday. Moroccan tea is available with all kinds of cakes and pastries. I met another guest who was in Marrakech for work and he mentioned that it made him feel like vacation even though it was a work trip. The value met the price.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Queen520
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford, UK
Level Contributor
187 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 153 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 December 2011

This was our first trip to Marrakesh! The Riad was recommended by a friend after spending trawling through websites looking for the right one. We were collected by the Riad's driver as soon as we arrived, whisked into the city and greeted by Allessandra and her staff. Welcoming green tea and pastries and a candelight Riad awaited us. The room was amazing, huge and eclectically decorated. Huge bath in the corner, massive bathroom with shower and steam room. Plenty of storage and very peaceful. Breakfasts were OK, I am not big on fruit and yoghurt, pancakes were chewy and too sweet, french bread fresh and crusty and jams to die for! The rooftop setting was magical, soaking up the September sun!! We ate one night in the restaurant, very average and expensive for what it was but being able to avoid the madding crowd outside was a welcome break and one night of street food was enough. I'm not sure Marrakesh is the place for me, and on more than one occasion it was a welcome respite from the noise and aggressive behaviour of the locals. The Hammam, included in the offer, was revitalising and cleansing. Decoration is indeed hippy-esque but that is part of the charm, beds and linen are soft and comfortable, towels are plentiful, heating and plumbing is effective and the fireplace in the bedroom was lovely.

Room Tip: Room 22, huge with a private terrace and access to the pool
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Brid1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sf, ca
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 December 2011

With so many choices for places to stay in Marrakech, I ultimately chose to stay here because numerous friends had referred Riad El Fenn to me. It is in a good location. There are many interesting rooms to linger and relax in. I enjoyed the roof top terrace, and my room was spacious; but, I often felt there was much amiss. While the décor is indeed bohemian chic, it is tired, torn, and tattered. They are definitely needing to reupholster and buy new linens. While there is an artsy vibe, I felt like it was a hostel for adult bohemian wanna-bes; it seemed management and guests were all trying to put across a vibe of being cooler and hipper than each other. Which leads me to management. It seemed that their cool laidback attitude was actually lackadaisical. They seemed to be concerned with scheduling their social agendas and scoping out VIPs instead of attending to all their guests needs. When I would ask to arrange for a guide, directions, reservations, or even tea…I would need to remind them at least three times and then still it might have been forgotten.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank k m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lima, Peru
Level Contributor
279 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 November 2011

Beautiful with lovely patios, a dreamy roof terrace and beautiful rooms. Lovely idea, terrible execution. Infuriating mix of good and bad fixtures, style over practical comfort (huge room, minute hanging closet, nowhere to unpack and leave bags). Trying too hard to be British hip, complete with tongue in cheek, without attention to detail. The manager warned us the shower might fill up ("Moroccan plumbing", giggle) but in fact it flooded. After two attempts to get them to fix it, we just took the plug out; plumbing was fine, fixture was not. How could he have been aware of the flooding but have failed to fix it. This was not an isolated case for our party. No TVs and phones is fine but if you offer wifi then at this price it should work in all or most of the hotel and your staff should know where it works (very good at gallic shrugs). Rooftop breakfast lacked; chairs, cutlery, hot food, drinkable coffee or tea...Staff were completely disinterested and poorly supervised. In spite of a full hotel, one person on dual duty as rooftop barman and doorman late at night- he disappeared and since there are no phones, no way to call for a drink. In different hands this could be a wonderful place.

Room Tip: Rooms are beautiful. It is quiet even when full. You can't go wrong. Plumbing is something els...
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 1anon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about El Fenn

Property: El Fenn
Address: Derb Moullay Abdullah Ben Hezzian | Bab el Ksour, Medina, Marrakech, Morocco
Phone Number:
Region: 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
#36 Luxury Hotel in Marrakech
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
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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