silvia
Silvia Pisci
El Fenn
Derb Moulay Abdullah Ben Hezzian, 2, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
7th January 2016

Marrakech has indisputably become one of the trendiest destinations in the world, a city where tradition goes hand in hand with new, powerful and very international artistic movements. El Fenn is an icon of Marrakech’s bohemian-artsy style (“marrachic”!), and for a reason… but was my stay impeccable?

Location
In the heart of the Medina. To avoid getting lost through the narrow streets, you better arrange a transfer with the hotel or make sure that a representative will welcome you where the taxis stop (some 300 metres from El Fenn). Djemaa El Fna and its souks are only 3 minutes away by walk.
Who stays?
Creatives, artists and design lovers will find themselves in paradise. I’ve seen gay couples as well as families and solo travellers.
Style and Character
Take a traditional riad (with its labyrinthine stairs, small open courtyards, rooftop terraces) and put it in the hands of an extremely tasteful designer, then spice it up with eccentric artworks all around – here’s El Fenn, the n.1 boho-chic venue in Marrakech. Definitely not a place to show off, wear high heels or expect crazy parties – quite the opposite, at El Fenn you can chill in style with a pair of espadrillas and a book, often engaging in random conversations with international creatives or local artists.
Service
Service at El Fenn is with no doubts higher than the average in Marrakech. The atmosphere is very laid-back, so you never feel the “pressure” of an overly-attentive Staff, which I liked a lot.
Service at the restaurant was lacking though, and the poor English of waiters resulted in unpleasant misunderstandings. Having said that, they’ve been extremely kind in amending for my complaint, and I really appreciated.

I loved little touches like hot coffee and tea pot delivered in front of my room early in the morning, or fresh fruits at the guests’ disposal in the common areas…
Rooms and Suites
The distinctive style of El Fenn reaches its peak in the rooms (26 in total), piled up across the labyrinthine courtyards. Vintage pieces of furniture are paired with traditional architecture in the most stylish way. The feel is cosy and alluring, also thanks to the large tubs, the fireplaces and the warm colours on the walls (with a predominance of blue and red), very distinctive of El Fenn.
Courtyard rooms (entry category) aren’t very spacious (just like in a traditional riad), and I would definitely consider an upgrade to Colonnade room or a Junior Suite, many of which have an outdoor little terrace and bigger bathrooms.
The Private Pool Suites were in my opinion the most charming ones, featuring a plunge pool with sun beds, but also free-standing tubs, camel leather walls and original artworks.

Hint: each room is different, so it’s advisable to check carefully if you’re looking for a specific feature.

Lastly, beware: no phones or TV in the rooms. Wifi is free but the connection isn’t that good… so, you better put on your Out of Office and forget about work!
Food and Drink
The buffet breakfast served in the terrace was rich and delightful. Everything is very fresh and local, the hot dishes being prepared in the open kitchen right behind the buffet. You also get some spectacular views over the Medina… I couldn’t hope for anything better to kick off the day!

There’s a fix menu at lunch for 200 dirham. Again, products are fresh and the Moroccan dishes I tried were very tasty, but there was no flexibility in what I could order. The waiter’s English was poor and that didn’t make things easier when I tried to change the menu slightly (I wanted a vegetarian option and fruit instead of dessert), with no success.
The atmosphere is a bit more elegant (yet nothing too formal) at the restaurant in the evening. It looked really nice, although I haven’t had the chance to try it.

Overall the food was excellent (provided that you like Moroccan cuisine!), but I couldn’t say the same of the service.
Features, Wellness, and Amenities
Everything at El Fenn is about relaxation. The rooftop plunge pool isn’t big but extremely enjoyable (the view on the Medina from there is spectacular), and so are all common areas. Hammocks, songbirds, fireplaces… everything feels so beautiful and authentic that you can easily spend a whole day without leaving the riad. When the weather outside is rainy or too hot, I couldn’t imagine a better place to be – enjoying quality time between the hammam, the library, the cinema room… and indulging with delicious food at the restaurants.
Perceived Value
200 Euros per night for the entry rooms and EUR500 for the biggest suites is indeed great value for the quality of facilities and the service you get at El Fenn.
Verdict
There’s no place I would suggest more to the creative crowd for a fun holiday in Marrakech.
Still, I would warn the more demanding ones: you better chill out and enjoy the experience, closing an eye on the small service hiccups.