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“A Sublime Experience”
Review of El Fenn

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El Fenn
Ranked #51 of 499 Hotels in Marrakech
Oxford, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A Sublime Experience”
Reviewed 14 March 2014

As a designer and sculptor and somebody obsessed with the aesthetic and more importantly an individual asthetic, it was truly refreshing to spend three days at El Fenn 6-9th March 2014.

The fixtures and fittings were an Aladin's cave of querky, inspired, antique and contemporary art. the rooms and beds sumptuous beyond belief! the staff courteous, professional without being remotely obsequious.

We ate in one of Marrakesh's 5* restaurants and our Saturday evening meal was a romantic event on the roof terrace of El Fenn, which eclipsed the 5* experience in every way. Food, service, atmosphere, the experience was marginally marred by two English? ladies on the table next door who seemed to be determined to find fault with their evening. I suspect that Marrakesh was not for them, but their grumblings whilst irritating didn't detract from my glorious evening and the staff were remarkable in their endeavors to palate the unpalatable.

Room Tip: The Green Room was great and the breakfast is fantastic.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank David H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level 4 Contributor
17 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 March 2014

Organising an event in Marrakech I chose Riad El-Fenn.
Having been through many other possibilities (4 and 5 star hotels) I was certain, it had to be El-Fenn.
The reasons were:
- the atmosphere and artistic interior decoration
- the location being in the Medina.
- and….the people behind.

Being a hotel connaisseur I prefer hotels with personality, all rooms different and many corners and sceneries, lots of beauty with many artistic details.
This is how it is at El-Fenn, where at least 100 lanterns are lit every evening, and you will find stunning photographs and art pieces on the red walls.
In that way my guests and I immediately felt at home at El-Fenn.

You are only as good as the people you deal with ….and I dealt with the very best – being an event manger this is essential.
For many weeks, I had been planning everything in small details with the El-Fenn(s) demanding endless alternative solutions for my guests.
The booking manager Alessandra was a great help with all the changes

The group was picked up in the airport by Hassan, who with his smile made us feel at home immediately.
Welcomed at El-Fenn by Willem Smit (general manager) and Lise Buntschuh (passionate and professional Front Office Manager) we were in the best of hands.

The front desk crew Karim and Anna were ready for action with bookings, purchases and good advises - all done with great enthusiasm and expertise.

In the he restaurant Tom Aslanian (F&B Manager) was doing magic in his Kingdom with his great staff and exquisite food. No one visiting the restaurant had a boring time.

During the day many helping hands all dressed in red gave us the homely atmosphere you are looking for travelling a lot.
In the night Mohamed greated us coming back from the various restaurants and watched over us until the next morning.

Staying at El_Fenn is a must – and I give it my best and warmest recommendations.

Sophie Adamas
ADAMAS EVENTS
Copenhagen

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
4 Thank AdamasEvents
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 5 Contributor
17 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 March 2014

This was nearly a four star review, but on balance El Fenn just squeaks five stars.

To start with the niggles and gripes. Service was well meaning, but too often a bit muddled, vague and inconsistent. Seemed to be a huge number of staff but just didn't seem very organised. Spa treatments were at best a bit mediocre. No information in rooms at all, so had to contact reception for even basic info like check out times. In contrast we went for dinner/drinks at Maison Arabe and service there was several times slicker and more assured.

BUT...El Fenn is just so utterly gorgeous you'll forgive it all that. I don't think I've ever stayed anywhere that is as beautifully designed. I took more photos inside the riad than I in the rest of Marrakech put together. Loved the eclectic furniture and quirky modern art collection which looked fabulous set against some of the more traditional features of the building - a real feast for the eyes.

We kept finding ourselves opting to lounge about on the roof terrace or swim in the pool rather than actually explore the city, it was just too tempting. The free afternoon tea was a nice touch and cakes always scrummy. Limited menu at breakfast but delicious - I would eat the yogurt/fruit/granola every day for life if I could. We didn't eat lunch/dinner in the restaurant (would have preferred a menu with a greater range of Moroccan dishes).

Despite the niggles I'd definitely recommend El Fenn - it might not be slick but it's got style.

Room Tip: Each room is unique! The ground floor rooms off the main courtyard may lack privacy as they open st...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank beeboo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2014

Myslef and my girlfriend stayed here t the New Year and were blown away by the experience. It is probably my favourite 'hotel' experience ever. I travel a lot for work and have stayed in plenty of nice hotels, but this is next level stuff. The building is a warren of beautiful, elegant, stylish rooms/spaces. The staff are supremely genial/professional. Just stay here goddamnit! I cannot wait to go back.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank FlannObrien2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MeganLD2013, Director of Sales at El Fenn, responded to this review, 18 March 2014
Thanks so much for taking the time to write such a great review and so glad you enjoyed New Year. We did so much too! Great to see the restaurant so full of people all having a great time together. We do hope to see you again here.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Boston, Missouri
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 March 2014

Gorgeous riad, not personal at all though. We stayed in 4 other riads in Morocco and this was by far the worst service we've had. We don't want to be "those people" complaining, but after such magical experiences elsewhere in Morocco we had to write this review. Here we go:
We arrived and were greeted by "What's your name?" at reception.
Gave our passports, they forgot to return them. no apologies after 5 hrs.
Went up to our room, smelled of raw sewage. We aired it out and flushed all drains. Still stinky.
Asked to book hammam for the afternoon to host, they didn't get back to us until 2 hrs later saying "they're most likely booked now" Can we book tomorrow? Maybe? Leaving us in dark. No follow through.
Restaurant: food was amazing.....Shrimp was to die for. They left our drinks at bar for 15 min TWICE and were not attentive at all. Bar manager was fabulous at taking constructive criticism. Imagine how much money there losing due to the lack of service?!
Hammam was ok.
Rooftop was nice.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank JCM0722
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MeganLD2013, Director of Sales at El Fenn, responded to this review, 18 March 2014
We were really sorry to hear that you weren’t happy with certain aspects of the service at El Fenn and we sincerely apologise for any shortcomings. We do appreciate that, however hard we try, things can occasionally go awry. For this reason we have managers in place who can put things right on site immediately. It's obviously unacceptable that you had to wait for your passports to be returned and found it difficult to book a spa appointment. When it comes to the drains, we should point out that while we have done everything we can to modernise the system and continue to conduct regular plumbing maintenance within El Fenn, we are an historic building in the ancient medina of Marrakech and sometimes the plumbing can fight back. We’re only sorry that you felt you had to deal with this alone and have had a meeting to discuss your comments. I wanted to let you know that we have now put in place new measures to ensure the smooth running of passport return and spa appointment systems in future.
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New York City, New York
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 February 2014

Stayed here in November and it was absolutely wonderful. To say it exceeded my expectations would be an understatement. You walk in and you feel as if you have been transported from the rush of the medina to a tranquil bohemian outpost. The staff was more than helpful when we arrived early for check in by two hours, they rushed to get our room ready and served us breakfast in the downstairs courtyard while waiting. The room itself was lovely, so serene with great design. They had a wonderful breakfast each morning, also the yummiest pastries with tea in the afternoon. If you are thinking of staying here, you absolutely should, it made me fall deeply in love with Marrakech. The rooftop views are incredible and the perfect way to end the day with some yummy mojitos.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Caitlin R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MeganLD2013, Director of Sales at El Fenn, responded to this review, 17 March 2014
Dear Caitlin R… How wonderful that we helped you fall in love with Marrakech! So pleased to know that you enjoyed this wonderful city so full of colour, light and vibrancy and of course your stay here. We do hope to see you again at El Fenn.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St Albans, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 15 February 2014

Very easy to find in the Medina, well located for the square. The staff were exceptional, the room was massive, bed and sheets of great quality, breakfast on the roof terrace was a particular highlight. Would love to go back!

Room Tip: We stayed in Room One which was one of the cheaper rooms but was huge! Breakfast on the roof terrac...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lee B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MeganLD2013, Director of Sales at El Fenn, responded to this review, 17 March 2014
Great to know that you enjoyed your time here - and our close location to the souks! We're always delighted to get feedback so thank you for taking the time to review us.
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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
#35 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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