Vanessa Branson's insider tips to Marrakech

Vanessa has a unique connection to Marrakech, in the early 2000's she restored (with Howell James) a derelict riad in the heart of the city to create El Fenn one of the most beautiful and special hotels in Marrakech. The hotel was created using abundant artisan skills found in Morocco, complimented by serious contemporary art (from Vanessa's career as an art collector and patron) and striking mid-century modern furniture, leading Architectural Digest to call it ‘Instagram gold’.
In 2004 she co-founded the first major Trilingual (English, Arabic and French) festival in North Africa (now the Marrakech Biennale) with the intention to position Marrakech as a platform for contemporary art in Africa, the Middle East and the Mediterranean region. The Biennale has focused on cutting-edge contemporary Visual Art, Literature, and Film. 

Vanessa's insider tips to Marrakech:

Best museum - Museum of Contemporary African Art.

The best cocktail bar and restaurant really are on the  El Fenn terrace or in La Marmounia gardens.

Commercial gallery - Hadia Temli’s Synia - 28 Rue Tarik Ibn Zaid

Good selection of Shops in the streets around the Marjorelle gardens….can’t remember all their names!

The El fenn store is bloody brilliant too…not that I’m biased of course.

One of our favourite spots in the city is El Fenn's beautiful 13-m roof terrace pool with its panoramic views of the Marrakech and great rooftop bar.  If you're not staying at El Fenn you can enjoy the rooftop with a day pass. The hotel has  x3 pools and an amazing spa, a hamman is the must-have treatment when in Marrakech. 

EL Fenn rooftop pool
EL Fenn rooftop pool
EL FENN hotel room

What to wear in Marrakech, a great T&H dress!
Vanessa wears India dress bell pink / yellow styled with necklaces by Marisa Schiaparelli Berenson.

Vanessa Branson wears Tallulah & Hope dress

What to read on your travels, Vanessa's memoir One Hundred Summers.

Vanessa Branson memoir One Hundred Summers


Brimming with unforgettable characters and jaw-dropping personal experience, Vanessa Branson's memoir is both quirky and heartwarming. Written with great compassion, Branson's joie de vivre is infectious. This is a book where fact is certainly far more colourful than fiction. ― Freya North

Vanessa is the founder of two beautiful hotels El Fenn and Eilean Shona on Scotland's wild west coast. She is also an arts patron, ecological activist and writer.

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