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“Great place with some minor grumbles”
Review of El Fenn

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El Fenn
Ranked #52 of 499 Hotels in Marrakech
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Great place with some minor grumbles”
Reviewed 21 March 2012

Where to start? Well the good stuff deserves praise. I would recommend this place to anyone looking for a fabulous bolthole in which to escape the hustle and bustle of downturn Marrakech. We stayed for 5 nights in the deluxe room with private roof terrace and plunge pool. We both thought the room and Riad were lovely. Really relaxed vibe in the Riad and the staff were charming (Mohammed deserves special mention). Our room was simply stunning and utterly decadent to have our own roof terrace and plunge pool. We tended to spend our mornings lounging around sun tanning followed by an afternoon of exploring. All in all we returned to the UK well rested.

However we both admit to a high level of frustration with the Riad. Paying top dollar I think deserves excellence. The place needs better management as lots of little things are not adequately addressed which when added together leave one disappointed! In our opinion it is unacceptable for water to not be replaced in the room. Dirty glasses were only replaced when asked for. The room cleaning was cursory. The heated pool in the courtyard remained unheated despite promises. In discussions with the manager she recommended a shop in the new town for us to visit. When told we planned to go that afternoon no mention was made that all shops are closed on a Sunday. The restaurant recommendations were very average, which surprised us given how well we had eaten on a previous trip. Lots of little gripes but given the stunning Riad we just felt frustrated.

All in all we would return but if the Riad wants to improve the manager/s need to step it up.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Colgorm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (212)
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English first
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 March 2012

The Riad El Fenn is a place to start the best trip to Marrakesh, just on the side of the 'Midina' Old town. This place is an oases of rest, art, comfort and relaxation. The Rooms are all different and the interior is beautiful and very specious. The treatments like Hamam are the way to experience the Maroccan live. I would say the best way to start your visite to Maracco

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Dirk D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 March 2012

A great stay in a breathtaking environment.
We really enjoyed our stay in Riad el Fenn
Everyhing was perfectly clean. For every detail in the decoration/interior was taking care of. Also the way people approached us, was excellent. We felt very special and very welcome during this stay.
A chapeau for all the people who work in this Riad as especially for the management.
I think staying in Riad El Fenn is THE perfect way to explore Marrakech.
Thank you very much
Mr. Brouwers

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Marijn B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2012

Vanessa designed paradise. I didn’t know that was possible until I stayed in it. It wasn’t just the way the colour contrasted to the grey on grey of England, but the vibe. That comes from the people. Those like Aisha who smile and laugh and sometimes sing as they work here. Laila, who quietly gives the most rejuvenating massages. Issam, who has a higher degree in English from the university and reads ancient Arabic poetry. Raffik and his partner are dashing managers. Alexandra is an ever elegant and generous presence as one walks in to el Fenn.
Among all the pretentious and uptight high end hotels I experienced in Marrakech this one maintains exquisiteness without ever showing an effort or making you feel like the staff are under unpleasant strain. It is also not too personal like some warm family run places, only if you want will you see the articulate, joyful, pleasure that all have to share here.
Plus it's the hub of arts and the Marrakech Biennale! http://www.higheratlas.org/

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled on business
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Helpful?
4 Thank Khadija_1607
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Buffalo, New York
Level Contributor
107 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2012

We rented the entire "small house" (Riad Vanessa) for our family's week in Marrakech. The service we received was outstanding. It was a pleasure to interact with the staff each day. Our housekeeper, Jora, should be singled out for providing truly exceptional customer service. She was warm, efficient, industrious, and actually looked for ways to make our stay more pleasant. She even helped us out with our 10 month old grandson!! Allesandra was a great help, booking transfers, arranging dinners, and generally being kind, patient, and pleasant. Riad Vanessa itself is very comfortable and ideal for a family. Riad el Fenn is described as "trendy" which worried me a bit, but the small house is an excellent choice for a family of a group of close friends travelling together. It really felt like an oasis and a refuge from the sometimes overwhelming sights and sounds of the medina.

Room Tip: The small house (Riad Vanessa) has an excellent location and is perfect for families.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank anitabee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 January 2012

Beautifully decorated and stunningly designed, Riad el Fenn is a truely special retreat tucked away in the heart of the city. It is just amazing to have such a tranquil and relaxing hotel amidst the chaos of the Marrakesh streets. The staff are friendly, the food is exceptional (almost too good, it's tempting to not eat anywhere else!) and the views from the roof are simply breathtking. You won't find a hotel with more charm and character. I couldn't recommend this hotel more, you will love it.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank Freddie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2012

7 demanding ladies on a weekend in Marrakech searching for perfection, indulgence, relaxation and atmosphere. Found it all at Riad el Fenn. A perfect spot close to the main places of interest. Beautiful suites and a stunning roof terrace where we feasted on freshly prepared breakfasts and taste tingling lunches whilst basking in the sun with the snow topped Atlas Mountains in the distance. Disappointed not to find a Riad el Fenn cookbook for sale on departure and hoping their amazing chef will have written one when I next return. A wonderful place to stay with friends or lovers. Nothing too much trouble for the staff from lighting our room fires when we got back late at night, to bringing us mint tea (also late at night) to organising the delightful Mustapha to show us some of the sites. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: We stayed in 20, 21 and 22 and had terrace to ourselves which was great as a group of 7.
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank jules l
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
#29 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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