10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
over rated Riad
"We picked The Riad tanja after having read the reviews on Trip advisor and the place was rated as number 1. Booked the menzah suite for a 1 night stay during our 6 night stay in Tangier.
The entrance lobby was untidy with rugs pused to one side which i presumed incorrectly was because they were going to clean, it also had a bad drain smell, which luckily didn't filter to our bedroom. The place looks quite tired and in need of fresh paint and a good clean. Yes our suite was Ok but I was disapointed and at the same time releived I haddn't chosen one of the other rooms. The restaurant looks marvelous, however the waiter was insistent we sat where he wanted us to. As it was our Anniversary night, We choose to sit down a few steps in the lower part of the restaurant away from other tables. After having been spoilt with the quality of food at the Moevenpick hotel for the rest of our stay, I would say the food at riad Tanja was pretty mediocre. We may have ben more impressed with the food had we not eaten in better places in Tangier. Also we were ovecharged for our room by about 250 dirhams (25 euros) they had emailed me to say the room would be 134 euros initially. We diddn't quibble about the overcharge, but would not return here. During our stay in Tangier we popped into Riad La Tangerina which was far superior , has a lovely roof terrace. It is spotlessly clean and well decorated, with very friendly and helpful staff. Looked at all the bedrooms there and my favourite was the senior room in blue, and looking at their website much cheaper! we have just recommende the Riad tangerina to a friend who is staying there next week so we lok forward to hearing is reports on the place."
- Travel date: Tue 19th of June 2007
Some balance please
"In my opinion, some of the below reviews are a bit over the top. Okay, the place is very cute. Nice decor. Rooms are quite big, and the view over the medina is very nice.
Service is friendly, granted, and the restaurant IS popular with the locals.
HOWEVER, you should know that this is basically a vamped-up-hostel-and-restaurant, not a "hotel" per se. You will not find any of the amenities you might expect from a hotel; no fitness centre, no in room phones, no hotel bar and so on and so on... So, if those kinds of features are what you need - look elsewhere!
In terms of service, as written above, it is nice. BUT for me, sometimes disturbingly slow and unprofessional. Some basic hotelier training would be in place, since a smiling face does not solve every problem a guest might have.
Another thing is the location - right above the petit socco and fish market, you will find it extremely smelly if you open the windows. And, if you are a woman, you might find the area quite uncomfortable to walk through during all hours of the day.
The restaurant? Pretty. But with an over-priced "tasting menu" consisting basically of the usual tajines and cold sallads. No, it is NOT a gourmet restaurant, and you will not find any tastes you will not be able to find in much lower priced restaurants all over town.
All in all - "OK". Nothing more. Nothing less. Expected so much more from all the reviews..."
- Travel date: Sun 10th of June 2007
Place to crash a Moroccan Wedding
"Imagine you are traveling Morocco and unexpectedly you find yourself in a place where Moroccan Wedding Party is taking place and it is happening right next to your room. This is what you can expect when staying in Riad Tanja. Since the Riadâs restaurant is so highly rated, many Tangiers high-class residents choose it for their special events. We were lucky to be there during one of those moments. Moroccans are extremely friendly and will go out of their way to make sure you are comfortable. The staff at the hotel although not speaking much english went out of the way to help and fulfilled every little whish we had.
BTW Congratulations Nabeel and happy Honeymoon."
- Travel date: Thu 7th of June 2007
a fantasy of a hotel
"Stayed here for two nights in April 2007 with my wife and 2 year old daughter and it was simply amazing. The room, El Minzeh suite, was enormous. And had a row of lovely yellow shutters opening with views across the Medina. The location was very handy, just inside the medina (very romantic green door) and moments from Grand Socco, Cinematheque Tanger and the souks for shopping. The staff at the hotel are charming and incredibly welcoming. We felt like we were staying with friends. The breakfast was extraordinary: many tagines brought out with jams and honey and butter inside. And local Moroccan breads and drinking yoghurt. We had a dinner there too. They had a musician playing traditional Moroccan music. And a terrace, with cushions, overlooking the medina. The whole hotel has exquisite decoration: for Morocco lovers, like us, the room itself was a dream. Poufs and a table. Amazing tiles, rugs, furniture. A woman from the kitchen brought us Moroccan mint tea to the room when we arrived, a real treat. Since Moroccans love children, it goes without saying that the staff at Riad Tanja made a wonderful fuss of our daughter who was smitten with the place and ever since, says "I want to go to the green door house in Morocco". We would stay there again without question. Clean, charming, very exotic, lovely staff and well located. And the food is really, as mentioned above, out of this world. A truly spectacular place to stay."
- Travel date: Wed 25th of April 2007
"Stumbling into the Riad Tanja one hot September evening, just off the boat from Spain, I could not help but be amazed by the atmosphere and friendly staff.
The dining room views are amazing and the food in the restaurant is fantastic - always seems to be arriving on the table as if you are part of a greater feast.
Location, staff, food, lodging all are excellent.
I only wish I had more time to spend in this hidden oasis.
- Travel date: Wed 1st of November 2006
The best in Tanger
"This riad deserves to be no. 1 on the Tanger list. As far as riads in Morocco go, this one is definitely amongst the best in terms of the ambiance that it offers, perfect location and value for money. But what is most priceless that you dont get even in many established institutions is the exemplary service. I rate the service 7-stars! More about that later.
The riad is actually not difficult to spot at all. It is located within the medina very close to its southern gate. There are clear signs pointing you to the right direction from the gate that it would be ridiculous to get lost. In any event, either the taxi driver or someone from the riad could assist you. Once you are accustomed to its orientation, you would appreciate how perfect the location really is.It is practically next to the American legation Museum. It is within walking distance to the port and the wide promenades along the beach, as well as the Grand and Petite Succo, where you would invariably gravitate to for people watching as well as suprising great shopping.
The rooms of the riad is of a generous size and is very well appointed. The interior decor is pleasantly moroccan as to be expected from a riad. It has a beautiful brass lamp above the king sized bed which is very comfortable.There is a day bed near the window of my room for you to rest and enjoy the view of the market scene nearby or where you could park your luggage. There are also sofas and a coffee table in front of the small TV which has a satellie connection. This is in fact the only riad that I have stayed at which provides such in-room entertainment facility (not that you need any when you are in Maroc).
The attached bathroom is quite spacious and they provide you with toiletries. Unlike other reviewers here, I had absolutely no problems with the water heater. The management must have rectified whatever problem it was.
Do not miss the dinner at the charming restaurant at the riad. The restaurant is regarded as one of the best in Tanger and rightly so. The chef is somewhat of a maverick, trained in the culinary art of the french in the Continent but he has returned home to inject vigour and update the classic moroccan dishes. The result is not a fusion experiment but an enhancement of and a most refreshing take on the richness and variety that the Moroccan kitchen has to offer. Dinner here comes in a set of courses and it will most certainly delight the connoissuer in you. The quality compares well with the best of Fes or Casablanca. Dont forget to tip the solitary oud player who provides you with soothing background music while you dine. He would greatly appreciate it.
The restaurant has a charming ambiance both in the day and the evening. I agree with the other reviewer here that even breakfast is wonderful. You get a spread of delicious jams and a selection of pastries as well as moroccan bread. The soft boiled egg comes with the yolk a perfect orange and semi hard. Even the yoghurt (which appears to be made in-house in a petite glass container) is delicious.
But what makes this riad shines and sets it apart from many is the exemplary service that you get from the staff. Service is warm and always with a smile. You will notice this from the minute you step into the riad. English is spoken and the attitude is always can do. They will deliver a generous plate of fruit to your room and offer you mint tea. I had a special request to wrap some zuellige tiles I bought in the medina with plastic bubbles. A member of the staff went out of his way to purchase them for me and provided me with all the necessary paraphernalia to help me with the packing. He even gave me a receipt and returned me the change. I am sure he would have helped me with the packing if I asked! You will notice that in the evenings, the staff/manager also doubles as the waiters at the restaurant. The dedication of the staff to ensure that your stay is enjoyable and perfect clearly shows. In fact a number of them have been working with the riad owner for years. Kudos to the management!
I recommend this riad highly. I believe there is no better place to stay in Tanger than Riad Tanja. I will most definitely return."
- Travel date: Mon 25th of September 2006
Rock the kasbah . . .
"A lovely riad and one of the best stays we experienced in Maroc. With all the new sounds, smells, & sights Maroc has to offer this is a little gem of a place. Sweet hospitality and just an overall pleasant experience. Nice ambiance! Hosts tended to all our needs. Highly recommended. Booked at: [--]"
- Travel date: Thu 24th of August 2006
"This was the most amazing hotel I have ever stayed in! The hotel is just a short walk from the port. You don't need to take a taxi but if you aren't familiar with the area I would suggest it because it is a tad confusing. We were the only ones staying in the hotel that night and the service was amazing. A hotel like this in the US would have cost well over $500 a night! The rooms were absolutely beautiful and the restaurant was amazing. They served us a five course meal that was perhaps one of the best I have ever had and I believe it was only about 30 euros a person. After the meal we had tea and wine on the restaurant balcony and listened to the sounds of Morocco at night. It was truly a magical experience and I recommend it to anyone and everyone!
Only bad part was the water for the tub didn't stay hot very long. But the beauty of the hotel outweighs this minor imperfection."
- Travel date: Mon 24th of July 2006
"Not easy to find, its up an alleyway near the American Legation museum. Service of this standard is not available in the UK - honest, I mean it! The rooms are huge, the furniture authentic, the views from some rooms amazing. Eat in the restaurant and be stunned. A mixture of local colour, colonial french style and not a wiff of tourist exploitation ( except that the service of tea and cakes that arrives in your room 10 minutes after you do is charged for).
Several minor faults, the hotel runs out of hot water if ever resident uses their huge bath at the same time, there are no prices on the menu so you don't know how fantastic the value is, their were no direction offered from the port (easy when you know how)and ................... thats it. No offers of guides to take you to the shops so you can be set up, or any of the other rubish.
We honestly believed we could have asked the staff to do anything, if we could have thought of anything they had not already done."
- Travel date: Mon 1st of May 2006
A marvellous discovery!
"Checking many websites for accommodation for 3 nights in Tangier, we decided not to go for the western-style hotels and instead chose the Riad Tanja - one of the smaller, converted mansions in the city. What a great decision that proved to be: this beautiful place was the highlight of our three-week (mostly European) holiday.
The staff were welcoming, helpful and communicated well in English. The riad was beautifully decorated and furnished, from the fountain filled with flowers in the entry hall to the splendid Moorish tiles on floors and walls. The room we had was extremely spacious, as was the bathroom that opened off it, and we were very comfortable. Appreciated the extra touches like the tray of mint tea and bowl of fruit brought to the room shortly after our arrival.
One of the special features was the dining room, beautifully decorated like the rest of the house, but most striking at night with all tables lit by candles and views of the lights of the city from the large windows. The food served in that room was absolutely gourmet-class Moroccan cuisine - so good that we ate there every night of our stay. (In company with numbers of elegant Tangier residents who obviously regarded Riad Tanja as a top restaurant.) By the way, the substantial breakfast served each morninig was also of high quality.
The only problem we had was with the hot water tap in our bathroom, but this was quickly resolved by the staff moving our things into another room, or rather suite - positively palatial, even larger than our first room.
Riad Tanja is an experience not to be missed. We certainly hope to make a return visit!"
- Travel date: Thu 20th of April 2006