by KITTY ALDEN
Located in the complex technicoloured maze that is the souk, the small boutique hotel, El Fenn, sits hidden away in the patchwork kingdom that is Marrakech.
It becomes quite clear on arrival that this hotel is passionate about design, incredible art work adorns vertical surfaces, bringing to life this chic city hideaway. Owner of El Fenn, Vanessa Branson, is an avid art lover and curator, and she brings a variety of conceptual art to the spaces of El Fenn, injecting contemporary design into this traditional part of the city.
Step out of the large iron doors of the shop boutique into the jungle courtyard where gold lanterns line a walkway to an elongated pool which swells into a hidden alcove. Tables, chairs and sun loungers spread out across the rest of the courtyard so that guests can lounge beneath the falling vines and overhanging bamboo.
Along the first floor balcony of suites, one is overwhelmed with the refreshing explosion of plants that fall from above, concealing the view down to the pool courtyard. The sensation is unique, like that of standing behind a rushing waterfall, the light flushing through the vines that tumble down, illuminating their chlorophyll neon nature. And along these hidden balconies are the large doors to luscious suites, the balcony corridors are ideal places for guests to relax and absorb the serenity of this city retreat.
Cross a small emerald hallway and find a narrow flight of stairs which will transport you to El Fenn’s best kept secret.
El Fenn’s rooftop is a spot in Morocco not to miss. The perfect time to visit this haven is early evening, if you are visiting Morocco in October time (Our favourite season to visit magical Marrakech) then head to the rooftop for 6:30pm. Settle down on the colourful pillows with glass of fresh Rosé in hand whilst watching the sun flourish in the sky, beaming from blush pinks to deep dark ochres and finally to a crisp navy, casting a blanket of stars across the bustling city. Once the skies darken, the rooftop lights up and dinner is served.
El Fenn offers guests either a full set menu, each course taking your palette to different lands, but ultimately bringing you back to Morocco. The fresh crab, mango and avocado salad is a sensational and refreshing start to the courses, leaving your tastebuds gasping for more. Or you can go your own way and celebrate the ‘light bites’ menu, ordering multiple plates so that you can try a little bit of everything. Beware, these portions are relatively small, so do not be afraid to fill the table with as much as you can. (Little secret from us to you, the fresh salmon bruschetta with crunchy tomatoes, cream cheese and a touch of parmesan is a delectable infusion and delicious when paired with a dry white wine)
El Fenn is a contemporary space in the heart of Marrakech, a hotel which puts design at its forefront, pushing boundaries with its bold colours and eye catching art. If you’re after a chic, elevated hotel that is in the perfect location then check out El Fenn and fall in love, as we have with its enchantingly modern spirit.