Postcard from El Fenn, Marrakech

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

El Fenn Marrakech is an absolute artist's paradise. Tucked away behind the antiquated walls of the Medina, its unassuming front door opens to a winding Riad bursting with a rainbow of color at every turn. Formerly a derelict courtyard, it's no wonder this place feels like it's brimming with stories to tell from a brilliant past life. I couldn't believe my luck when Mr & Mrs Smith confirmed that I would be staying there my last two nights in Marrakech. It was the perfect way to bid adieu and solidify my new found love for this majestic city...

When I arrived to check in I was greeted by their marketing manager, also serendipitously named Megan, who was as lovely and rich in character as the colors of the hotel. I knew I was in for a great stay at El Fenn. She explained that the hotel's co-founder, Vanessa Branson, curated all the art in each room from her private collection. Moreover, she is responsible for creating the Marrakech Biennale beginning in 2005, uniting art enthusiasts from the world over. You can imagine how I felt hearing all this, sitting in the courtyard with my sketchbook and markers in tow. It was as if I finally found a new home away from home...

To say El Fenn does hospitality differently is a bit of an understatement. When you stay at this hotel, you are not only a guest, you are a family member. The rooms are known by their decor and location rather than number, the doors don't have locks, the courtyard is bubbling with the sound of conversations between guests and staff, seemingly longtime friends now, coffee is left outside your room every morning, and no matter the time of day, the rooftop feels like the best damn party gathering you could be invited to in the city. And did I mention that every inch of this hotel is worthy of an instagram post?! For all my millennials out there, you know that means it's good.

On my first night at the hotel I wasn't feeling well and was knocked off my feet pretty hard. El Fenn's sweet matradee, a berber man with crystal blue eyes, served me personally to make sure I was drinking the right teas and eating the right solids to get my feet back on the ground. I will never forget his kindness and compassion in my moment of severe discomfort. And this is why I know first hand that El Fenn treats their guests like family. And sure enough I was up and running in no time. Thank goodness for that because there was still so much left to explore and enjoy...

I spent my last evening in the spectacular turquoise room located off the lanterned courtyard with the ginormous orange daybed and hammock. This room was so otherworldly. The high ceilings and tadelakt walls transported me to a Marrakech of the past, one filled with glamour and opulence, warmth and relaxation. El Fenn makes it VERY hard to ever want to leave. You could spend your days exploring the hotel and never make it outside into the Medina.

I think every apartment in New York should be built to accommodate couches and bathtubs of El Fenn's proportions. It's a retreat that embraces the luxury of lounging. And so I painted and napped until the very last second before narrowly missing my flight, and left with the feeling of wanting more... My sincerest thank you to El Fenn and Mr & Mrs Smith for bringing my dream to life. I will never forget my time spent with you in the red city.


  1. Wow such wonderful photos, makes me want to pack my bags, leave my job and go there now. As for the hotel, well lucky you. I hope you enjoyed being there.

  2. Pure magic! Yes, I'm in for the large bathtubs and couches!;-) Fantastic adventure and I enjoyed all your photo/illustration sharing moments! Waiting for the next trip!;-)
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    1. @Purse Fixation awe so happy to hear it!! Yes a new adventure awaits, but I tell you, I could live in this memories for a while longer xx

  3. Gorgeous post as always! Your photos are great, dreamy and take my away from a rainy cold day here in Brisbane!

    1. @Lorenabr awe that's amazing!! Yes nice to look back on that gorgeous Moroccan sunshine!! xx


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