In 2002 Vanessa Branson and Howell James walked into the almost ruined courtyard of one of Marrakech’s formerly great private homes and instantly fell in love.
Vanessa and Howell knew they wanted to create a home away from home retreat that combined great food and service with the spirit of the building’s past and a contemporary decorative twist.
During a two-year renovation, local craftsman used traditional techniques to breathe new life into the building. Polished lime plastering was used in a rainbow of colours to create walls, baths and bed frames, original tiling was renovated and carved cedar ceilings restored.
Retro furniture sourced from local flea markets was combined with one-off bespoke pieces to create a unique interior.
El Fenn opened with six bedrooms in March 2004. Since then twenty-two more rooms and suites, three swimming pools, a restaurant, bar, spa and library have been added thanks to the purchase of neighbouring courtyard homes and the expertise of renowned Moroccan architect Amine Kabbaj.