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 $285.15 (€233), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional service charge of 7.5% per booking on check-out.
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.
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.