El Fenn

Derb Moullay Abdullah Ben Hussain,
Bab El Ksour,

+212 524 44 1220
[email protected]

The House of Art – El Fenn

Art has always been at the core of what we do. Our original name – ‘Riad El Fenn’ – means ‘house of art’. And although that name has evolved as the hotel has grown, creativity and culture remain a key thread in the fabric of life here.


When El Fenn opened in 2004, our co-owner Vanessa Branson brought pieces from her personal art collection to hang in the hotel. The aim of El Fenn, then and now, was to create a ‘home from home’ and the art would be a key part of that. Soon works by Bridget Riley, William Kentridge, Sir Terry Frost and David Shrigley could be seen in both the public spaces and bedrooms of the hotel. 


In the same year, Vanessa also co-founded the Marrakech Biennale and the event ran for six editions until 2016. It quickly became a melting pot for cultural exchange as creators from all over the world worked alongside Moroccan artists on everything from photography and film, to architectural installation and performance. 




As the years passed, we also forged increasingly strong links with the Moroccan, and African, artistic communities as pieces were added to our ever expanding collection. Today these include works by some of Morocco’s most talented contemporary artists including Hassan Hajjaj, Yto Barrada, Ali Maimoun and Abelmalik Berhiss. Young Moroccan talents are also showcased including Laila Alaoui, who believed photography could be used for social activism and intimately captured the complexity and dignity of her countrymen and women in her portrait series Les Marocains.  



But we’ve also made sure to explore the art of Africa as a whole because the continent is home to one of the world’s most dynamic artistic scenes. Pieces include work by Kenyan photographer Thandiwe Muriu and Ivory Coast artist Joana Choumali. 


Today when you come into our ‘home’, you can enjoy the art just as we do: as part of everyday life here at El Fenn. And make sure to look all around you to take in the collection. Art hangs on walls of course but it’s also on shelves – and even the floor – too. 


Tucked on a shelf in one of our corridors, you’ll find the Pig and Ibis ceramics by Francis Upritchard. Sitting on a corridor floor is Batoul S’himi’s wonderful World Pressure installation – a collection of everyday kitchen pressure cookers transformed into art.


Colour, art, creativity. All these are heartbeats of life here at El Fenn. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do. 

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