I SPY: House Of Choice

Feb 23, 2016

Ever walk into a hotel that is picture perfect, with a decor on point that you wouldn't change a single thing about?  Rarely.  It's only happened once before at the Ace Hotel in Panama City that I splurged about before in an old post.  However, my recent discovery in Marrakech, Morocco takes over that past obsession.  Guys...I've moved on and found a new love!

It's name is El Fenn!  I was lucky to call this RIAD home for a whole week.  What is a riad?  A riad is a traditional Moroccan stately home built around an interior courtyard.  In the olden days these homes, or rather what we would call mansions in the Western world, were owned by the wealthy merchants and courtiers.  Today many of these riads have been converted into hotels.  Similar to a bed and breakfast concept, but on a much grander scale then any B&B's I've ever stayed in.

The rooms at El Fenn either over look this courtyard above, or the other garden filled with fragrant lemon and orange trees below.  We happened to have two courtyards in our riad.  All riads are generally structured this way with an inward focus on at least one indoor courtyard or garden.  To provide family privacy, and to remain discreet and humble to maintain the cultures dogma, there are rarely few windows on the exterior of the clay or mud brick walls of the structures in the old medina area. All natural lighting provided to the rooms come from the interior open space in the courtyard or garden.

This riad has 28 individually styled rooms, 2 courtyards, a large rooftop terrace, 3 pools, and a heck of a lot of eye candy that will have you drooling from the moment you step through the front door.  Take a peek.  Welcome into my dream home!

Are you in love?  THIS really is my house of choice.  The decor is smack bang on point for my taste.  I admire the eclectic mix of vintage, modern, Andalusian and ethnic Moorish details in the decor that flowed through out the house, down to the towels.  No corners were cut.  Praise must also be given to the amazing staff who treated us like family, and the delectable food that added to the charm.  Their Cappucino's were the bomb!  Super frothy.

During our stay in Marrakech I visited a few riads, they were nice and had their own character, but El Fenn was special and hit my spot.  Partially because it was the most fresh in interior.  However, there were some quirky things that may throw you off about El Fenn.  Firstly, there is no key to lock your room up.  There is a safe to store your valuables though.  Secondly, it is an old re-furbrished structure, so the pipes are ancient.  Our bathroom sink drain was releasing a stench.  But quickly re-solved by Drano to the rescue!  Thirdly, there are a lot of stairs.  Breakfast is served on the terrace every morning.  So it was a step aerobic workout to hike up there, especially if your room is on the ground floor!  Good for me, but maybe not for those who aren't a fan of stairs and have babies to lug up.  Nothing major right?  Hope that doesn't defer you, but I had to warn you.

If you ever visit Marrakech I highly recommend you stay here.  If you don't then you should at least go visit for a drink.  PLEASE.  It is quite the sight!  If it helps to get you to go by name dropping, El Fenn is owned by Vanessa Branson.  She is the sister of the famed Virgin mogul Richard Branson.  They are a cool family, so maybe thats why it's such a cool pad?  But not pretentious cool…just casual cool in it's own unique way.  You'll see what I mean if you visit!

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