- Tara Stevens, Travel writer
Standing cheek-by-jowl to the Bab El Ksour means you can get a taxi right to the door. The snake-charmers, acrobats and street food vendors of the D'Jemma el Fna are but minutes away, but be warned, mopeds also zoom through the lanes to short-cut through the medina.
Style & character
A revamp started about three years ago means many of the rooms have recently been updated in jewel-coloured tadelakt, while crimson walls point you in the direction of sun-bathed courtyards filled with trees strung with giant wicker lanterns lending a more streamlined feel to the sprawl. If you just want to chill there are wide galleries dotted with vintage armchairs wrapped around the main house, soaring palms shade the courtyard pool and a collection of striped sofas beneath a Berber tent on the roof make a top spot for a snooze mid-afternoon. Coming soon is a rooftop yoga terrace and a boutique showcasing the best Moroccan artisans.
Service & facilities
El Fenn exudes that special brand of big-family atmosphere that eludes so many chains and the vibe is so laid-back you can easily forget there’s anyone around at all. That’s not say you don’t feel looked after, but if you’re feeling adventurous in-room guides provide irreverent tips on the latest hotspots (Café Clock, Nomad), reassurance (don’t sweat the funny smells, it’s the medina) and encouragement (you’ve not done Marrakech until you’ve eaten tangia).
- Room service
Standard rooms are categorized as courtyard or colonnade and tend to be cosier, warmer and more intimate, while still providing ‘wow’ factor with tie-died tadelakt, unique art works and statement pieces of furniture. Most have bathtubs and fireplaces too. Upgrade and you’ll get stitched camel-leather floors and maybe even a private terrace and plunge pool.
Your passport to a better trip
Food & drink
The heart of the place is a midnight blue restaurant and bar - a giant of a room with two fireplaces, a vast mustard sofa, and mirrored beams bouncing light off the ceilings. It’s also the buzziest spot in town for watching the wildlife: visiting artists, designers, and the odd celeb all come here to party. Hit the bar for an expertly mixed mojito before moving onto Maroc-bistro dishes like fig tart with smoked duck breast and poussin tagine with preserved lemons and olives. I loved getting home in the afternoons with sore feet and a bagful of goodies to dainty pastries stacked up in a wire birdcage alongside man-sized cake or clafoutis. All I missed was the Earl Grey – there’s only so much mint tea a girl can take.
Value for money
Courtyard rooms start at £150 (Colonnade from £225) in low season, and include one of the best breakfasts buffets I’ve seen in the Kech – I love the glacé fruit granola - so the day is likely to get off to a slow start. Wi-Fi is free and everywhere, but connections can be patchy.
Access for guests with disabilities?
Very good. Vehicles can drop you right at the door, and there are several bedrooms at courtyard level, as well as a lift that takes you up to the roof so you don’t miss out on the views.
Two-room Family Suites, with fireplaces and a roll-top bath are ideal when you’re travelling Brangelina style, but you can’t help but feel a gaggle of kids might cramp your style when you’re posing for that perfect selfie by the rooftop pool.