El Fenn Unveils its Most Impressive Expansion Yet
This October, El Fenn, the landmark Marrakech hotel, will reveal the final stage of its grand expansion which will see it span across 13 interconnected riads and introduce 10 new bedrooms. The new look El Fenn will boast 42 rooms and offer guests a staggering two acres to call their home-from-home. What’s more this latest evolution will also see El Fenn connect with its Annex down the road to bring the entire hotel under one roof.
Led by architect Sylvain Raguenau, the inspiration for the new spaces were the ancient royal palaces of Morocco and in particular the frescoes. Local artisans have been drafted in to recreate the ancient and iconic traditions of Marrakech, such as hand-carved cedar wood ceilings and tadelakt lime plastering.
The dazzling new suites are all one-offs, but follow the iconic El Fenn formula, featuring bold colours and striking mid-century furniture alongside ancient local decorative traditions. Expect jewel-coloured tadelakt walls in tones of pink, orange, red, green and chocolate, with artisans mixing their own colours using pure pigments from the medina. More colour is added with marble in striking Agadir red and black, backed by zellige tiling in honey yellow, pink and brick red. Completing the picture are vast bath tubs, double showers, enormous chandeliers, hand-stitched camel leather floors, traditional open fireplaces, stain-glassed windows and doors, as well as the artwork and fabrics from the private collections of owners Vanessa Branson and Madeline Weinrib.
In addition to the new suites, the sun-dappled Madeline Courtyard with its hanging gardens and birdsong will be introduced bringing the total number of tranquil courtyards to five. A new Salon will also open in December offering games, books and a TV alongside cocktails and nibbles – the perfect respite from the warmth of the summer sun and a cosy haven in the winter.
All four of El Fenn’s owners* have been involved in designing the new rooms. Vanessa Branson comments: “A project of this scale is quite a challenge anywhere in the world but in Marrakech the job felt more adventure than challenge. We purchased the next door riad pre-Covid, in order to not only create new rooms but to link the original building to the annex. It has taken us two years of meticulous planning, from carting materials along the narrow alleys to working with the many local artisans and sourcing the furniture and fabrics. The process has been a joy and we can’t wait to welcome guests to the glorious new spaces.”
El Fenn’s drama and decorative abundance has earned it a reputation as one of Marrakech’s most beautiful and bohemian hotels. A hidden gem, set in the heart of Marrakech’s medina, the hotel is an oasis of tranquility, boasting photogenic vistas of colonnaded balconies with billowing drapes, foliage-filled courtyards, lantern-lit trails and a family of friendly tortoises, as well as a labyrinth of stunning suites. Facilities abound too, with three inviting pools, a stylish boutique, an indulgent spa with hammam, two bars and two restaurants all on offer. However, it is El Fenn’s vast roof terrace that really sets it apart. With its panoramic views over the Marrakech cityscape, it is the place for a sunset cocktail, a romantic meal under twinkling lights or for lounging on the enormous day beds soaking up the relaxed vibes high above the bustling medina.
A double room at El Fenn (el-fenn.com Tel 00212 524 44 1210), including breakfast and afternoon tea, costs from €360 per night.