A boutique riad with 20 rooms, 3 pools, hammam & spa
ABOUT: El Fenn is as much a contemporary art gallery as beautiful boutique hotel. Modern works from the collection of co-owner Vanessa Branson—the tycoon’s sister, and Marrakech Biennale’s founder—are ubiquitous. Guests can dine below a Francis Upritchard chandelier, for instance, or bed up beside ink studies by Antony Gormley. Set across three courtyards, El Fenn is a feast of marble pools, bougainvillea and metre-thick walls which block out the medina’s racket. Jemaa-el-Fna, Marrakech’s incredible centrepiece, is only three minutes away.
ROOMS: Twenty luxurious quarters offer space, slippers and free Wi-Fi. Showers are powerful, pillows plentiful, beds huge and ceilings high. Courtyard Rooms all include a bathtub (plus terraces in some cases), Imperial Suites throw in a lounge area and Private Pool Suites pair roof terraces with plunge pools - an unusually glass-bottomed one, in the case of No.19. And then there’s Riad Vanessa: a super-indulgent four-bed bolthole with kitchen, courtyard, roof terrace and plunge pool.
FACILITIES: All three pools are heated. One’s found on the vast roof terrace, in the company of hanging gardens, shady daybeds, loungers and even a putting green. You can enjoy the restaurant’s fine Moroccan and European dishes up there, too, as delicate wisps of food-stall smoke float by. Down below, a spa uses Le Sens de Marrakech products and cushioned crannies offer an array of secretive spots.
EXTRA INFO:El Fenn’s very eco-minded: solar energy is used, and a countryside organic farm helps with the cuisine. Talking of which, cookery classes are available.