“Sleek, chic and very boutique, this gorgeous riad hotel is filled with modern British art and ancient Moroccan crafts”
Originally created from 3 riads merged together, El Fenn’s main building now holds 22 rooms and suites of many varied colours, sizes and sensibilities. In addition to this, there’s a second riad named Little Sister, where 5 guest rooms await, and finally a Private House which can be booked exclusively for up to 8 guests.
All are a generous size, with high ceilings, sitting areas and, in many cases, open-plan bathrooms so you can chat while you splash. A cool mix of oriental furniture and vintage pieces from the 30s to 70s - carved wooden doors, ornate metal jalousies, antique mirrors, Moroccan rugs and Art Deco chairs - offsets the modernism and reminds you where you are. Most have fireplaces, large tubs and showers, and all come with slippers, iPod docks, robes and powerful yet discreet air-conditioning/heating.
In the main hotel, there are 22 rooms (those numbered 1-11 are in the old house, and the rest are in additional buildings): some look onto the courtyard and therefore feel less private, while others are off a more quieter colonnade. The various suites are vast, with 6-ft wide beds and the Private Pool Suites are more like 2-storey apartments, with roof terraces and plunge pools. Family Suites are perfect for groups, as each has a spacious master bedroom plus a smaller second bedroom.
The Little Sister riad, a 3-minute walk from the main hotel, holds a further 5 guests rooms: 4 doubles and 1 2-bedroom suite. You get access to all of El Fenn’s facilities, and the riad has its own pool, roof terrace and library, so guests staying here have a more peaceful base than those in the main El Fenn building.
Families or small groups wanting a bit more space and privacy can book the Private House, a 4-bedroom townhouse just down the lane, with its own interior courtyard, roof terrace (plus a tiny plunge pool), dining/sitting areas and staff. If there are 6-8 of you, it works out cheaper than booking 4 rooms in the main hotel building, and it feels a lot more exclusive.
Dinner is a very civilised affair, usually laid out in the riad’s palatial theatre-style bar and restaurant, where you dine under a mirrored ceiling which reflects the sparkle of a glass chandelier and the flicker of candlelight. The other option is to dine on the roof terrace, as we did, where tables are dressed with white cloths and twinkling candles. Either way there’s an a la carte menu offering European dishes (risotto with lightly spiced king prawns and lemon dressing, perhaps) and more traditional Moroccan cuisine. We plumped for the latter and enjoyed delicate bowls of Moroccan salad, chicken tagine with dried fruit, couscous and zingy preserved lemons. Vegetarian meals are also always available.
Lunch is simpler but no less tasty - typically a daily fish or chicken dish with salad, staples like club sandwiches or burgers and fries, and fruit and cheese - taken in the courtyard or up on the roof terrace. In the afternoons, a help-yourself high tea of cakes, sweet pastries and mint tea is served, and you can order from the room service menu any time you like (until 10pm).
In the morning, it’s bliss to wake up to sweet pastries and coffee outside your door. This is followed by a bountiful breakfast, served on the roof terrace or in your room, with eggs to order, fresh baguettes, the best homemade granola we’ve ever eaten, cinnamon porridge, homemade yoghurt, and fresh fruit and juices.
The main hotel building is more suited to couples than children, and under 12s can only stay with prior agreement, that said many rooms have space for a family...
Teens (over 12)
An extra bed can be put in most rooms and there are also 2 Family Suites, each with 2 bedrooms, an open fire, terrace and seating area. We think the best family option is the Private House, which has 4 double bedrooms and plenty of privacy so kids can play freely without the risk of disturbing other guests. It's most suited to larger families (or 2 travelling together), but is certainly neither too expensive nor too large for one family to feel very comfy here.
Babysitting can be arranged on request.
Baby cots are available on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking