Tangier is a city rich in architecture with a fascinating history and culture. There are a plethora of accommodation options in this area of Morocco, from traditional houses with indoor courtyards and fountains, to the city’s more contemporary hotel offerings. Here are the best hotels in Tangier, a city with history in its DNA.
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Constructed in the early 20th century, Villa Josephine has had several renowned owners over the years, including Walter Burton Harris, the British explorer and real life inspiration behind Indiana Jones. One of Tangier’s famous ‘maisons d’hôtes’ of Morocco, this prestigious house has an innate old world charm and ten guest rooms, all artfully decorated in a traditional french style. The hotel offers guest an authentic aristocratic experience, with cocktails by the poolside, a lounge area in the wood panelled library and a dining room that feels more Downton Abbey than Moroccan Medina.
Found in the Medina, one of Tangier’s oldest districts, Palais Zahia takes its inspirations from the city’s amazing blending of culture and tradition. Each of Palais Zahia’s rooms is individually designed with a unique personality and named after some of the city’s most famous residents, including the artist Matisse, the explorer Ibn Battouta and writer Mohamed Choukri. On top of its expertly designs suites, the Palais Zahia has a host of amazing activities available to book, including quad bike tours, yoga retreats and guided city trips.
An independently run boutique Riad in central Tangier, Riad Dar Saba gives guests a taste of moroccan luxury during their time in the city. The rooms themselves, named after people who have helped shape Tangier, are a lavish mix of classic design with modern amenities, with each room featuring a private jacuzzi, Nespresso coffee machine and Opulent toiletries. The guest house’s interior is carefully curated, furnished with a mix of decorative pieces by ‘Roya Art’, the owner of the Riad’s own company, specializing in up-market handmade works and a fascinating private collection of paintings from artists around the world.
Opened as a guest house in 2003 and run by a small but passionate team, Dar Sultan is a vibrant mix of Franco-Moroccan design, with picturesque views across the serene Gibraltar strait. Each of the seven guest rooms are named after Tangier’s different districts and feature a plethora of contemporary comforts, including free Wi-Fi, HD TV’s and a complimentary breakfast included in the price. For guests looking for some true R&R during their stay in the city, Dar Sultan has a range of massages and therapies available to book from their in-house treatment room, sure to get you relaxed in no time.
Built by European architects just over 150 years ago, the Mimi Calpe exudes the same architectural beauty you’d find along the French Riviera but with all the trappings of a contemporary Moroccan stay. Putting a personal attention into their guest rooms that’s sometimes missed in larger hotels, the Mimi Calpe has six carefully crafted rooms and two suites available to book, each individually furnished and with a plethora of thoughtful amenities. A great choice for first time visitors to the city, the Mimi Calpe’s personal service includes a 24 hour concierge, who is more than happy to help connect you with the best tour guides, restaurants and day trips the city has to offer.
Perched above the city’s historic ramparts, Dar Nour offers guests a stay in a traditional moroccan guest house, filled with character and the same energetic atmosphere that makes Tangier so popular. Touted as the oldest guesthouse in the city, it’s easy to see that rich heritage exude through everything the house has to offer, from the natural ingredients gone into its construction, the furnishings sourced from Tangiers souks and the showcasing of original works created by a selection of the world renowned artists, known to have stayed through the years. Make sure to try one of Dar Nour’s extraordinary breakfasts, served every morning with most of the dishes sourced locally, and a select few prepared on site such as the jams, yoghurts, semolina puddings and crème caramels.
Nicholas Grantham contributed additional reporting to this article.
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