Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Moroccan fantasy: Riad el Fenn

It's the kind of place that you read about in luxurious travel magazines, hinting at promises of far flung adventure. The delightful Riad el Fenn, which I was fortunate to stay at during my first of hopefully many visits to Marrakech. Tucked away on a busy, dusty road within the walls of the Medina, entering this riad is like stepping through the looking glass. One moment you're surrounded by noise and bustle, and the next, you find yourself in an idyllic courtyard of cool marble, the trickle of water from a fountain and the twitter of birds the only sounds. It's enough to turn anyone into a poet.

Once a grand Marrakech home, the near derelict building was bought in 2002 by Vanessa Branson (sister of Richard) and Howell James, who turned it into a luxurious, art-filled 20-room boutique hotel. There are three pools, one of which is located on the raid's amazing rooftop, and a fantastic hammam which we naturally had to try out! Each room features a different colour theme and the art that Branson has been collecting for decades, which is varied and inspiring.

I definitely want to return to this magical place, where all my senses were simultaneously awakened. It was truly the most relaxing, yet oddly invigorating experience I've had in a long time!

One of the pools, on the roof

The courtyard where we were served refreshing drinks upon arrival