Marrakech was an absolute ideal conclusion to our three-week journey through Europe. I knew that I wanted this to be our last stop because I was NOT coming home without a rug…and, therefore, I did NOT want to lug it around Europe for three weeks. I’d seen picture after picture of the souks and tanneries in Marrakech’s bustling Medina…but wasn’t quite prepared for how impressive and thrilling this city turned out to be.
Since this was our last stop and probably the most foreign, I didn’t want to take a gamble on accommodations and chose to stay at El Fenn. Winner of the 2014 “Best Dressed Hotel” award from Smith Hotels, El Fenn is one of the only hotels with a pool within the medina (3 pools, actually!). We felt very safe within the walls of this massive riad and felt that the ammenities were beyond measure.
El Fenn means “art” and the owners took great pride, not only in the artwork that hung on the walls, but, also in their interior design and furniture selections. Almost everything was locally-made or created and they added a modern twist to the majority of the traditional Moroccan design. My pictures don’t do this hotel justice…and I highly suggest you browse through their website galleries. Our room was just off from the pool and although there were other guests at the hotel…we felt like we were in our own, private oasis.
El Fenn was only a few minutes walk from the famous Jemaa el Fna – the large square in the middle of the medina that literally comes to life at night with snake charmers and vendors. We spent the majority of our first day loading up on souvenirs (rugs!!! – more on that another day), wandering around for hours, and dodging the overwhelming amount of people zooming through alleys on mopeds. It was insane.
We had lunch at Nomad (I had the chicken tagine and Billy had the nomad burger – which I’m attempting to replicate soon – holy moly) and breakfast on the roof of our hotel the following morning AND dinner on the roof that night. We spent a LOT of time on the roof listening to the sound of the muezzin’s call to prayer and drinking wine. I mean…this rooftop…
The people of Marrakech will forever have my heart. The warmth from the staff at El Fenn…to the light-hearted vendors in the souks…this place was pure magic. Coming soon…a post entirely devoted to purchasing a rug <–it deserves it.