El Fenn

Derb Moullay Abdullah Ben Hussain,
Bab El Ksour,

+212 524 44 1220
[email protected]

Look Inside Our 10 New Rooms

Here’s a first look at our ten new rooms and suites. It’s been a two-year labour of love – and we’re delighted to show you the results of all the hard work. 

In 2020, we bought a neighbouring property – sandwiched between our main building and our former annex. Extending into it has allowed us to connect the two and bring the whole of El Fenn under one roof for the first time. 



Our co-owners, Vanessa Branson, Madeline Weinrib, Howell James and Graham Head worked in tandem with architect Sylvain Raguenau, from Marrakech-based practice Aire Au Carre, on every aspect of the design process. 

The inspiration for the new spaces were the ancient royal palaces of Morocco and in particular the frescoes. As ever, attention was paid to every detail: from tiny hand-cut zeliige friezes providing a pop of pattern along the bottom of walls, to domed tadelakt ceilings in bathrooms. 

It’s the culmination of a dream that started with just six rooms in 2004. Ever since, El Fenn has grown and evolved to what it is today. The hotel now stretches across thirteen interconnected riads that house 42 bedrooms. 



To ensure the latest additions feel like a seamless – and organic – whole with the existing buildings, we made sure the new rooms channel the key ingredients of our style DNA. Think tadelakt in jewel colours, intricately carved plaster and wood, zellige tiling and leather floors crafted by hand – combined with some amazing vintage furniture and the best in contemporary art.



Completing the picture are vast bath tubs, double showers, vintage chandeliers, traditional open fireplaces, stain-glass windows and doors, as well as artwork and fabrics from the private collections of Vanessa and Madeline.

The new building centres on a stunning ground floor patio that we envisioned as a ‘three-dimensional painting for the eyes’. Echoing other parts of the original El Fenn buildings, the patio facades have been built using soaring wooden poles to reinforce the dizzying height above. 



The new rooms and suites include a jaw-dropping 61m2 top floor suite (above) with a master bedroom and sitting room – plus its own 30m2 private roof terrace. 

 The tones are an extension of the colour-drench that we’re known for. Tadelakt in rose pink, burnt orange, soft chocolate, red and sea green; marble in black, cream and Agadir red; zellige tiling in brick red, honey yellow, pink and black.



After buying the neighbouring house, we soon realised that its wood and earth construction was too fragile for modern use. We made the tough decision to demolish it before setting about rebuilding it – honouring both traditional architectural design and artisanal techniques. 

Every load of brick and rubble had to be carried through the medina. We then brought in dozens of local artisans to create the kind of hand-worked interiors that El Fenn is known for – a celebration of the iconic heritage crafts of Morocco. 



Architect Sylvain Raguenau says: ‘The light in the original building was both soft and intense as if slightly filtered. This atmosphere and light were anchored in our heads as we rebuilt the structure.


‘The original riad was a long building and riad rooms are also narrow with high ceilings. We were delighted that the new building would be in line with this traditional architecture. It gives it authenticity. 


‘To this, we added the Moroccan materials we know well but used them in different ways to create a fusion of tradition and the contemporary. Putting all this together allowed us to recreate the original atmosphere that had touched us so much.



‘Now the project is finished, we feel a slight sadness. It’s like a child who has grown up and become independent. But that’s life and the El Fenn is a perfect representation of the beauty of that process.’

El Fenn now has five beautiful courtyards, three pools, a rooftop restaurant and bar, spa, shop and ground-floor residents only restaurant. We’ll also be adding a new winter lounge in the coming months for those colder days when you just want to curl up in front of the fire with a book. 

Together this represents the final phase of our vision. 

We opened with six rooms in 2004 but authenticity, community and a feast for the senses will always remain at the heart of what we do however much we’ve evolved. 

We call El Fenn a home from home and that’s what it remains. Now however there’s even more of it for you to enjoy.  



With thanks to our photographer, Cecile Treal.



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