Marrakech, Morocco

El Fenn

Rates from (ex tax)$382.54

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR361.00), via, using today’s exchange rate.


Traditional riad with an artist’s touch


On the cusp of medina and souk

A 28-room labyrinth with three sheltered courtyards, El Fenn hotel is a serene, shady enclosure that offers an art-gallery-worthy respite from the outside world of bustling Marrakech. Lanterns light a sultry courtyard with a marble fountain in this colourful, avante-garde hideaway, complete with carved antique wood doors and a well-stocked library. Modern statement pieces sit pretty amid restored original features (filigree plasterwork, wrought-iron detailing), thanks to the light touch of architect Amine Kabbaj. The hotel's earned its many 'most stylish' accolades, but it's more cosy hideaway than catwalk, with a petite pool and a cushion-lined roof terrace.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A bottle of wine; members staying three nights or more will receive a pair of Babouche slippers each, fruit, flowers, a bottle of wine and macarons


Photos El Fenn facilities

Need to know


28 rooms (including 12 suites) and one private four-bedroom riad set away from the main house.


Noon, with free late check-out whenever possible.


Double rooms from $382.54 (€328), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional service charge of 7.5% per booking on check-out.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR328.18), via, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Breakfast, afternoon mint tea and home-made pastries are included for Smith guests. The hotel doesn't accept cash, only Visa Debit, Visa Credit or MasterCard.


The artworks on display are by Bridget Riley, Antony Gormley, Frances Upritchard, Fiona Rae and so on. No pets allowed – El Fenn has its own tortoises, chameleon and iguana. If you're staying in a lower-category room and need an AM shot of caffeine, a tray of fresh coffee, tea and hot water will be left outside your door at around 7.30am. And, afternoon tea of pastries and snacks is served daily – all delightfully free.

At the hotel

Spa and hammam, heated marble swimming pool, treatment room, mini cinema, free WiFi throughout, massive roof terrace with dining area, hanging garden, sun deck and heated reading pools, library, boutique, painting kits (oils and watercolour), yoga mats, concierge service. In rooms: artwork from the owners' collection, hand-stitched Egyptian-cotton linen, leather babouches, free bottled water and air-conditioning. Suites have a minibar, a kettle and a coffee machine; some rooms have working fireplaces and a stash of logs.

Our favourite rooms

The Pool Suite, aka Room 6, is a split-level rock-star retreat with its own 600-foot private terrace with little unheated pool. Room 11 has a dramatic, scarlet-upholstered 10-foot headboard, white marble fireplace, and private veranda. Room 10 is similar, but turquoise. In the main riad, most of the rooms are open-plan suites, six with fireplaces and all with six-foot-wide beds and Egyptian cotton bedlinen, giant custom-built baths, and powerful showers. The 'Pink Room' an Extra Large Suite, lives up to its name, with shades ranging from fuchsia to ballet-pump; we liked its grey-marble bathroom with a mini hammam and a bath tub lined in marble shot through with rosy hues.


Three pools. In serene and shaded open-air courtyard's, the hotel's two Carrara marble-lined pools are surrounded by day-beds and a fire-pit; the petite plunge pool on the roof has a Berber-tented sitting area and sweeping views of the Atlas Mountains and the Koutoubia mosque.


The little spa is tucked away in its own serenely shaded courtyard. Dip in the spa pool or lounge alongside it between treatments. Try the hammam and massage – they're both first class, or perhaps a Saharan-sand scrub; gents get their own facial too. Guests get a 20 per cent discount on treatments taken between 10am and 3pm, and you're asked to arrive in your bathrobe.

Packing tips

This Moorish hideaway is a jewel-coloured mishmash of patterns and textures, which will undoubtedly bring out your artistic side. Bring a sketchbook so you're ready when inspiration strikes.


The little shop behind the lobby is packed with super-stylish Marrakchi delights, from tasselled babouches to ornate tablewear worth bringing an extra suitcase for.


El Fenn is not ideal for kids, though they love the pools and the pets. Cots and extra beds are free for under-5s (€25 a night for 5–12s, €50 for over-12s). Babysitting can be arranged for around €20 an hour, and meals can be tailored for tots.

Food and Drink

Photos El Fenn food and drink

Top Table

The little table facing the fireplace in the dining room, or the end table on the roof with a view of the Koutoubia.

Dress Code

As though you’re at home.

Hotel restaurant

Daily-changing Mod Med-Maroc menus based on what’s in season from El Fenn’s organic garden suppliers: country-style at lunch (burgers, salads and light bites), polished and inventive 'new-wave' Moroccan fare at supper, (both €30). Expect dishes such as fillet steak with coriander couscous, caramelised duck breast with ras-el-hanout-spiced vegetables and nougat for dessert. Breakfast is a lavish spread (€15 a person, but included for Smiths) of hot and cold delicacies: home-made yoghurt and granola, fresh fruit, cakes, pastries, breads, Moroccan pancakes, tea, coffee and orange juice and eggs cooked to your taste: shakshouka – in a spicy tomato sauce – fried, boiled, poached, scrambled or in an omelette. 

Hotel bar

As well as in the stylish, art deco-inspired Krug bar, guests are served drinks anywhere they like in the riad. We recommend flopping down onto one of the rof terrace's soft banquettes and sampling the drinks list while you gaze out over the city. Drinks are served four ways: tall, short, tropical or shot. We recommend a tall drink on the rooftop (perhaps an El Dorado with tequila, lemon juice and honey), short then tropical libations in the bar (the piña coladas are eminently sluggable) and finish your night with a few potent shots.

Last orders

Until 11am for breakfast, 3pm at lunch; 10pm at supper, unless pre-arranged otherwise. Can serve until midnight. Afternoon tea kicks off at 3.30pm.

Room service

You can order up burgers, pasta, light dishes and desserts on request, up until 10pm.


Photos El Fenn location
El Fenn
Bab El Ksour, Medina


From the UK and elsewhere in Europe, British Airways (, Royal Air Maroc (, EasyJet ( and Ryanair ( fly into Marrakech’s Menara Airport. Transfers to or from the airport can be arranged with the hotel for €30 each way.


The Moroccan state railway, ONCF (, runs inexpensive (but limited) services to Marrakech from Casablanca, Fez and Tangier. Look for TCR (Train Climatisé Rapide) trains to guarantee an air-conditioned journey in summer. You’ll find plenty of taxis waiting at the city’s charming, if slightly run-down, station on Avenue Hassan II.


Driving in Marrakech can be horn-filled and hectic, but if you insist, hire a car from one of the desks at the airport. To reach the hotel, follow Avenue de la Menara to the city centre.

Worth getting out of bed for

Book yoga or Pilates lessons (MAD700 an hour, MAD900 for two); soak in the rooftop pool or swim laps in the main pool; shop in the artsy boutique or book a spa treatment. The reception staff can recommend jogging routes or arrange biking and hiking tours. Jemaa-el-Fna and the souk are within walking distance and landmarks nearby include El Badi Palace, the Ben Youssef religious school and Bahia Palace. To get a glimpse of the Medina as it once was (and in some ways still is…) head to Maison de la Photographie. Jardin Majorelle is a riotously colourful delight, with a small Yves Saint Laurent (its former owner) museum at its heart, and further afield are the olive groves and fruit orchards of Menara Gardens. Ask nicely and El Fenn's chef will take you on a mystery food tour of Marrakech's markets, followed by a cooking class (MAD750 a person).

Local restaurants

Le Grand Café de la Poste has been around since the 1920s; it’s somewhat of an institution in Marrakech, with an art-deco setting of checkerboard floors, potted palms and plush sofas. Highlights include roast fish and delicately pink duck breast. Terrasse des Épices is the big sister of the much-loved, medina-perched Café des Épices. People-watch on their lantern-strewn terrace while sampling grillades (grilled meats and kebabs), followed by something rich and sweet from the classic dessert. The no-frills, souk-side eatery Chez Chegrouni (+212 (0) 246 54761) offers classic dishes of skewered meat, lamb and plum tagine, and fluffy aromatic couscous at fabulous prices. They don’t take reservations so join the queue to devour hearty portions of traditional Moroccan fare.


Photos El Fenn reviews
Howard Marks

Anonymous review

A mixture of jazz and pagan ritual music blared out of the speakers of the taxi taking us on the ten-minute drive from Marrakech airport to El Fenn. Parking in a narrow alley, the driver carried our luggage down an even narrower alley to an entrance resembling that of an urban after-hours club.

A riad is a house built around a central square courtyard. Its exterior walls and entrance door are usually weather-beaten and uncompromising. Moroccan architecture encloses space, creates a sheltered garden from a wilderness, turns away from the outside world, shuts out its noise, and looks in on a personal paradise of shade, rippling cool water, and fragrant flowers. The door’s eye-slit slammed open and shut, and the massive door swung open to reveal a smiling face.

‘Welcome to El Fenn.’

Splashes of cherry red and pomegranate pink beamed at us as we walked down a dark corridor. At the end, a neat array of about 50 pairs of sparkling slippers and jewelled trainers lay next to a large mirror. I was about to show respect by taking off my shoes and adding them to the pile, when Mrs Smith exclaimed: ‘This is art at its best?’

Feeling sheepish, I recalled that while Richard Branson had been in the neighbourhood converting a kasbah, his sister Vanessa had bought a heap of ruins and vigorously set about restoring them to the current combination of family home, boutique-hotel business, and artistic retreat. Some of her favourite and most precious works are exhibited here. A portrait of George Bush was hung upside down. A sign read: ‘I Believe in Van Gogh’. El Fenn means ‘art’ in Arabic and ‘hip’ in local slang. The double meaning made sense.

We walked through a sensually lit courtyard, past a marble fountain trickling water into a rose-petal-filled basin, and up a short flight of steps to a WiFi’d library stocked with French and English books on all subjects. In the corner was a laptop and desk diary, which served as the reception desk. Frederic, the man responsible for the riad’s final design, welcomed us and reeled off a list of the facilities. There was a hammam, a marble swimming pool, and a lounge cinema with a digital projector to watch DVDs.

All food was freshly prepared with local products bought daily at the city market or produced at El Fenn’s own organic vegetable garden in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. Drinks and snacks (breakfast, lunch and dinner, too) would be readily on hand anytime. Beauticians and masseurs, including a Japanese-trained shiatsu master, were constantly available to offer treatments varying from hot-stone chakra stimulation to upper-lip waxing, either in one’s bedroom or in designated healing rooms. We were offered the choice of eating dinner now or sometime after settling into our room. Tired and starving, we opted for the former.

In a cosy, informal dining room where Moorish architecture blended with superb modern interior design, we were served a delicious and delicate feast of lobster mousse, sesame wafers, artichoke hearts, grilled sea bass with olives and lemon peel, apple ratatouille, pulses, mashed turnips, harissa, pigeon, chocolate timbale, strawberries, and two bottles of wine. Well fed, we asked for the room key and were told there weren’t any: there was no need.

A feeling of complete safety overcame us. Soothingly exhausted, we climbed slowly up the steps to our room, which had an open fire and a private roof terrace with small plunge pool. Scented candles flickered seductively. Bowls of roses perfumed every corner. A giant powerful showerhead towered over a deep marble bathtub surrounded by various oils, salts and erotic products. Mrs Smith turned on the taps. The massive bath filled with hot water immediately. Twenty minutes later, we were lying in our hooded and tasselled dressing gowns on a huge firm bed with plentiful pillows and the finest of linen listening to the silence. Unexpectedly, we fell asleep.

Next morning, I cautiously opened the door and let in streams of strong sunlight. On a stool outside, the caring staff had placed a tray of hot tea and coffee flasks, milk, sugar, and tiny cakes. Consuming the lot simply increased our appetite for breakfast. We went to the main rooftop terrace, overlooking the snow-covered peaks of the Atlas and replete with corners containing woven-leather chairs, daybeds and giant cushions to make one’s own for reading, eating, drinking, sunbathing, or snoozing. Freshly squeezed orange juice, strong coffee, home-made yoghurt, beetroot marmalade and warm croissants took seconds to arrive at our chosen table. Smells of rosewater and incense and songbirds’ melodies floated over us we drifted back into dreamland. Carved wooden doors, ornate metal jalousies, antique mirrors, intricate carvings and lanterns in alcoves, and faded rugs reminded us where we were. Perhaps we should explore.

We ventured out to take a short walk, which was curtailed by Mrs Smith spotting the horse-drawn carriages. We grabbed one. Anxious to please, the toothless driver, proud of his city, took us for a ride around the sights of Marrakech. He stopped at a herbalist whose shelves were stacked with jars of medicinal plants, dried flowers, spices, cosmetics, and dyes. Mrs Smith bought some cream of argan (a tree that refuses to grow if transplanted outside Morocco) and some of the diet tea favoured by Victoria Beckham. I sampled some Moroccan Viagra (red ginseng) and Spanish fly (beetle wings).

The hotel room had been thoroughly serviced by the time we returned. This time, sleep eluded us. For providing a mixture of African exotica, Arabic glamour and European comfort, El Fenn is unbeatable.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in El Fenn’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The little hide-aways within this enchanting riad that offered sprawling views of the Médina rooftops from the roof terrace. The Médina is at the El Fenns doorstep. So you have local shops and restaurants aplenty. Get to Cafe Nomad!

Don’t expect

To be surprised by the 5 tortoises that roam the riad. They are easy to walk on!


Stayed on 16 Dec 2017

We loved

The friendly staff, the beautiful bold colours and art used in all the rooms, the roof terrace, the food. Nomad cafe excellent. Maison de la Photographie is ab if you are into old photos and history.

Don’t expect

...peace or good light if you book a courtyard room. Book the upper levels!


Stayed on 1 Feb 2017

We loved

Everything! El Fenn was a perfect chic getaway, and its Marrakech Medina location was amazing! Raves all round! Loved El Fenn! Plus Mr & Mrs Smith made it extra special with breakfast and a bottle wine included. Pretty much most awesome stay – bar none! We stayed in the El Fenn Suite for 2 nights – ooh la la! Chic design with a private roof top pool. Then we stayed in the Vanessa riad (16) for several nights. El Fenn is uber arty-chic with a laid-back vibe, drop-dead gorgeous pools, food, hospitality, and fun, helpful staff in heart of Marrakech Medina. One word: GO! Loved it all at El Fenn! Awesome places to explore close by: Le Jardin Nomad for dinner views, souks to shop, hammam at El Fenn La Sultana, culture tour and more! El Fenn will book it all. Chic, fun, hip, beyond fab! Great for any holiday: friends, couples, family, honeymoon.

Don’t expect

Get it all – nothing underwhelms


Stayed on 2 Sep 2016

We loved

Food, service, quirkiness, proximity to Marrakech main square (10 minute walk max). Recommend eating from the stalls in the main square.

Don’t expect

TV or any kind of in room or in hotel entertainment (or locks on doors)


Stayed on 28 Aug 2016

We loved

Everything! El Fenn is amazing!!! Design style hospitality food fun - just so great! Loved having breakfast included - yum roof top was amazing! We loved pools boutique store. We loved the souks, Le Jardin for dinner, Nomad roof top for drink views, Terraso des Espice for lunch design appeal, tour with guide for history of Marrakech, and so much more!

Don’t expect

Has it all - nothing amiss - love.


Stayed on 21 Aug 2016

We loved

The location inside the medina, close to the souk and great restaurants, the stunning décor, the amazing art, impeccable gift shop, incredible service, literally the most friendly people who were willing to do anything and everything to help at a moment's notice - just super personable. The way they meshed all of the old riad buildings together, we got lost inside the hotel every single time we came or went, and kind of loved it every time it happened...Oh and the turtles. LOVED the turtles :) - also - the rooftop is EPIC, and wasn't ever crowded, felt like we owned the place. The pool suite #19 is worth EVERY dollar. 

Don’t expect

Anything in the form of nightlife at the hotel. The whole hotel / restaurant / bar goes to sleep around 10pm, which again, can be kind of magical in the sense that you can wander around like you own the get a really great nights sleep.


Stayed on 30 Jun 2016

We loved

EVERYTHING! The riad is tucked away but near everything, we loved the information, tips and advice we got about visiting Marrakech from those who worked in El Fenn, we love that they take care of reservations for us... Makes everything a lot easier as a tourist. Service is insanely AMAZING. Spa is amazing, loved the interior design of the entire riad, love the little turtles!

Don’t expect

To eat between 3-5pm at the riad :( Also the lights in the main courtyard of the riad weren't on late when we returned from dinner so we felt weird coming back. Hard to find a chair at the pool too. Crowded.


Stayed on 28 Jun 2016