This stylish riad is three minutes’ walk from Marrakech’s main square, Djemaa el Fna, in a great spot for experiencing both old and new Marrakech. Behind its doors lies an exciting city retreat, a place with secret nook and crannies and a family of tortoises. Riad El Fenn has been lovingly restored and extended under the careful eye of Moroccan architect Amine Kabbaj to mix original tiling and features with a colourful palette and unique pieces of retro furniture that make the place sing.
You can enjoy a traditional candlelit treatment and mint tea at the hotel spa, El Fenn. Lie back and relax as you experience a black soap scrub, an Argan oil facial or perhaps a ghassoul clay body mask, all using natural products made by Les Sens de Marrakech.
Marrakech has lots of golf courses – so ask the hotel about organising a round.
The riad has 28 very individual rooms and suites, all decorated in an authentic Moroccan style but with modern flourishes (though strictly no TVs). You can opt for a standard or colonnade room, junior, imperial, family or private pool suite, a private house or a ‘little sister’ room in a separate house three minutes away. Features vary according to the room but might provide a real wood fire, original artwork, a private terrace, leather walls or a hand-stitched leather floor, an open bathroom with tadelakt (a traditional craft using lime) bath. One suite even has 23-carat gold leafing. All have Egyptian cotton sheets, free wifi and mineral water and air-conditioning. Accessible rooms on the ground floor are also available, and there’s a lift up to the roof terrace.
The hotel is a lovely place to hang around in, with cool seating areas with retro chairs, three swimming pools (including a rooftop plunge pool), a library, a private cinema room and, of course, those tortoises. You can also arrange a yoga or Pilates class on the rooftop terrace – where there is also a Berber tent with daybeds – or a personal cooking class that will initiate you in the secrets of Moroccan cuisine. You can even learn the ancient art of belly-dancing. The hotel can help you organise a group cycling tour of the city or a hike in the Atlas Mountains or Ourika Valley, and of course, a wander round the souk is a must.
Flexibility is key here: the hotel will provide a choice of Moroccan and international dishes made from seasonal ingredients at any time of the day, served on the rooftop terrace, in the restaurant or in your room. Every morning you’ll find a cafetière of coffee and a pot of tea left outside your room. Cocktails are also served in the restaurant/bar, which has comfy sofas and a grand piano.
DERB MOULLAY ABDULLAH BEN HEZZBAB EL KSOURMEDINAMARRAKECHMAROC