10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Loved the El Minzah, peace and comfort in the chaos of Tangier
"My husband and I stayed at the El Minzah during a short trip to Tangier. It was a last minute change to our travel schedule, but one of the most memorable hotels we stayed at during our 5 week trip throughout Europe. The staff were very friendly, and eager to help. We also enjoyed their restaurants and piano bar in the evenings. The El Minzah was our safe haven admist the chaotic streets of Tangier. We would definitely return to the El Minzah if we went back to Morocco. Also, we would highly recommend hiring a tour guide to navigate any parts of the city."
- Travel date: Tue 25th of July 2006
"Gee, it must have been a great hotel in the '30s! It still has masses of character and a good town-centre location. However, the air conditioning was dodgy, the lift hardly worked, there was inadequate lighting in the dining room and the wall decorations were faded and musty.
Invest a couple of million and you'd have a gem."
- Travel date: Mon 26th of June 2006
"I went to Tangier with my husband and three children(14, 13, 9) the first weekend in June and had a great time at El Minzah. After reading the reviews on Tripadvisor about Tangier and El Minzah I regretted booking a room and was anxious about our stay there. The El Minzah was wonder, the staff more than helpful and courteous. Upon arrival we were greeted and shown to our rooms. The staff called our room within 15 min to ask if everything was to our liking and offered additional services as needed. A tour guide was arraged to walk us through the Medina---12 euro for three hours with Joseph. The following day Abraham drove us around for 4 hours at 40 euro. No scam there. The resturants in the hotel are fine.The wait staff is very polite , no touching or rude faces/comments.. The town posed no threats. I would highly recoomend the El Minzah. Is the hotel 5 star by American standards--no, but it is the best place to stay if you are in Tangier and want to be within walking distance of the medina."
- Travel date: Sat 10th of June 2006
Oh, How Sad!
"I have been to tangier many times, and have even stayed at the Minzah before. Before making this booking I took a deep breath and prayed that the less that polite service had improved. I stayed for two nights, and found myself in the grips of the tyranical staff who run the reception, treating clients like newcomers at boot-camp. I just don't understand it! The place is nice enough, although shoddy. It's essentially a 4-star hotel pretending to be a 5-star. I'd recommend the much more charasmatic and authentic Hotel Continental, on the seafront. My friends were staying there at the same time I was at El Minzah and I was green with jealousy!"
- Travel date: Fri 28th of April 2006
Just plain awful behaviour.
"This hotel used to be on my top 10 of hotels ever visited. Full of character and a bit of luxury with it. I have visited this hotel at least 20 times since 1997, both on business and family breaks. It is above average in all it offers, but not 5 star, and I have always opted for this hotel as opposed to the Movenpick across the bay, however, my last visit will remain just that, my last visit, which is very sad for me as it was like home from home when stopping off from travels back from Marrakech and Casablanca. My last visit was arranged in a hurry through a large international corporation based in Casablanca, faxes were lost and though they expected us they had no fax confirmation to confirm corporate rates, which they no claim do not exist.
I have to say that 60% of my stays at the Minzah have been slightly marred by the checkout procedure where items get "accidentally" added on, or board rates not applied. This occasion was no exception, but what was so amazing was the stance that both the head receptionist and the manageress took. The receptionist who has always had an ability to look at you like you are something he has scraped off his shoe, just ignores anything you say and then walks off expecting you to give in, pay and go. On this occasion because of their refusal to accept me as a corporate client, they charged the full rate, which is a complete rip off. Despite knowing me as a regular corporate visitor, and a group organiser for family and golf parties, the manageress proceeded to shout at the president of my corporation, telling him it was his fault that no fax was received to confirm the rate. All this took place in the busy reception area of the Hotel, and was so completely humiliating. To fuel my embarrassment further two security men suddenly appeared on the door(I guess in fear that we may leave without paying). In 15 years of travelling and staying in some of the best and worst hotels in the World, I have never been spoken to in such a disrespectful way. The manageress, is the closest thing to Basil Fawlty I have ever seen, and it was far from amusing.
My advice to potential guests, is enjoy the hotel and its history and atmosphere, befriend the staff, enjoy the fabulous food in both the Moroccan and French restuarants, but be VERY aware of what you are paying for before you arrive. If you book half board make sure you have their acceptance that you are half board, trying to recoup costs after you leave is pointless. I once stupidly accepted settlement on a bill once I got home, on the proviso that I would have a credit on my account that I could use on my next visit. Surprisingly on my next visit nobody knew anything about it!"
- Travel date: Mon 27th of March 2006
not recommended for women travellers
"Waiting staff in the breakfast room were very 'hands on' taking any opportunity to touch you (when directing you to the table etc).
We booked a hotel taxi for collection from the airport, and reception staff refused to add the cost of the taxi to our bill.
Check out took fifteen minutes, and I was expected to submit my pin details in a crowded area with people looking over my shoulder.
We were not advised that the pool and sauna would be unavailable during our visit. However, we did enjoy the excellent service and food in the wine bar - shame the rest of the hotel and staff were such a disappointment."
- Travel date: Sat 25th of March 2006
Great Ambiance and Food
"Our tour only spent one night here. Available patio dining overlooking pool and lavish greenery. Exercise facilities housed in separate building across from dining areas. Outstanding tomato-based soup, their specialty. Small, comfortable bar with free munchies. Room, bed and bathroom facilities, comfortable. Breakfast fare included fruit, breads, rolls, eggs, etc.
The French Embassy is located up the street and, further on, stores for shopping. Doorman would not allow us day nor night, men nor women, to go in opposite direction toward downward leading steps which citizenry used when called to pray at the mosque. When we inquired, no one would tell us anything more than that it was not safe.
The bus did take that direction the morning we left to cross over to Spain again. We could not see anything but the wide steps which had no railing for safety and the drop would be 20-30 feet."
- Travel date: Sat 18th of March 2006
"Morocco could have a huge and very profitable tourist industry. It's close to Europe but offers fantastic weather, great architecture, food etc. Unfortunately, tourists are routinely hassled and sometimes it feels as if everyone you deal with is trying to operate some sort of scam or con.
The El Minzah is a great building, with real atmosphere and character. The restaurant is terrific. Unfortunately, our room was burgled while we were at breakfast. There was no evidence of forced entry and it was clear to us that hotel staff or their associates were responsible for the theft of a valuable and brand new mobile phone.
The hotel management were unhelpful and advised us not to contact the police. They did not provide the paperwork necessary to allow us to complete an insurance claim, despite repeated requests.
During our stay, we also witnessed the hotel's concierge staff encouraging guests to take tours from a "city guide" who repeatedly tried to sell us drugs on the street. We checked out early and returned to Spain. This is a five star hotel, which made the management's response all the more disappointing.
Travellers who are not accustomed to visiting countries outside Europe, North America and Australasia may find Morocco very stressful."
- Travel date: Mon 2nd of January 2006
"I booked a room at this hotel. Upon arriving to the country, they did not honor their own confirmation number or that of the internet. They ended up turning me away. Please beware of scams. They abound. From the guides to hotel personnel. Not a trip for the faint of heart!"
- Travel date: Sun 16th of October 2005
"Close to all the action but once inside this hotel, a sweet haven awaits. Not only was our room lovely and comfortable but the entire staff at El Minzah was extremely attentive and warm. In particular, Hassan the bartender at the Piano Bar and Absalom, a waiter, were absolute gems."
- Travel date: Tue 18th of January 2005