El Fenn is the perfect retreat from which to enjoy Africa’s most exotic city. Combining grandeur and historic architecture with hideaway nooks, terraces and gardens, the hotel is just a three minutes walk away from the world-famous Djemaa el Fna square and bustling maze of streets that make up the souk.
In 2002 Vanessa Branson and Howell James were looking for a holiday home and 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. 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 create 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.
Despite all this evolution though, the spirit of El Fenn remains: it’s a place to kick back and enjoy the tranquility in an abundance of hidden spaces before stepping outside to soak up the atmosphere of a city that’s seduced everyone from Yves Saint Laurent to Winston Churchill.
«The yoga session on the rooftop with views of the Koutoubia mosque.»
- 28 individually styled rooms and suites
- tree-filled courtyards
- roof terrace
- three swimming pools
- restaurant and bar
SPA & THERAPIES
El Fenn spa, hammam, yoga or Pilates at the roof terrace
Different massages, facials, pedicure, manicure
- Yoga, Pilates, swimming, Medina-tour with a guide
- You can buy a day pass for a local gym or go for a run in a beautiful nearby park
El Fenn’s location beside the Bab El Ksour gate means there’s no negotiating long, dark alleyways or complicated map-reading – just instant access to both ancient and modern Marrakech.
The hotel is just a three minutes’ walk away from Djemaa El Fna square and the surrounding souks.
The riad is also accessible for those with mobility problems thanks to several ground floor rooms and a lift up to the roof terrace.
Exploring the city is easy because all the sites of the medina are within easy walking distance and we work with the best local guides who will take you off the beaten tourist track.
Derb Moullay Abdullah Ben Hezzian
Bab El Ksour