Funky Cool Medina: Hilton Tanger City Center Hotel & Residences in Morocco
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To The Point
This hotel in Tangier is conveniently located in the heart of the city, offering modern conveniences in an ancient part of the world. Pros: comfortable bed, good service, food and pleasant decor. Cons: We had too short of a stay.
The Moroccan port city of Tangier, famous for an ancient medina where travelers have been getting lost for centuries, has always beckoned to me for its mix of old and new. But because I didn’t have much time in the city during a recent trip, I wanted to stay somewhere that was conveniently located but that also had a trendy, modern vibe.
The Hilton Tanger City Center Hotel & Residences was the answer. This hotel seemed to check all the boxes: It was new and modern, attached to the Tanger City Mall, provided great views of the beach and hills surrounding the city and was right by the marina, the city’s cruise port and, of course, the train station. Here’s what it was like to stay in this modern Moroccan property.
For my stay, rooms were going for either $116 or 25,000 Hilton Honors points. I ended up paying for the $232 stay with my Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card, which I had because my former Citi Hilton Honors Reserve card was transitioned to the Amex product earlier this year. I earned a total of 2,784 Hilton Honors points for my stay, which are worth a paltry $17 according to TPG’s latest valuations.
The Hilton Tanger City Center Hotel and Residences was less than 10 miles away from Tangier Ibn Battouta Airport (TNG), which meant it was about a 20-minute drive to the airport with light to moderate traffic. A taxi from the airport to hotel cost around 150 Moroccan dirhams (about $15).
The train station was just across the street, which was perfect for my wife and me, as we had a train to Marrakech to catch. Avenue Mohammad VI, a trendy spot for dining and shopping, was just a block away from the hotel.
I arrived at the hotel around 1:00pm and was immediately taken aback by an overwhelming scent of oranges. The lobby itself was bright and inviting and featured Moroccan flourishes and fresh floral arrangements. Once the check-in agents realized I had Gold status with Hilton Honors, we were escorted to the executive lounge on the 13th floor to complete check-in.
The agent at the executive check-in was patient and professional. She offered us mint tea and Moroccan sweets to nibble on while we waited.
I entered my room to find a bright and large space. A king bed fitted with white sheets and a beige headboard was the centerpiece of the room. Overall, the room sported modern décor in earth tones. The furniture included a turquoise bench at the foot of the bed, two bedside tables, a chair and ottoman and, my favorite, a marble desk adorned with a fresh flower arrangement. It made me feel at home right away.
After a night out on the town, I was delighted to find the that the bed was incredibly soft and comfortable. We definitely got good use out of the blackout shades — we both slept like babies.
Housekeeping left a fresh fruit basket as a welcome gift.
The minibar was loaded with the standard selection of soft drinks and alcoholic choices, and the closet was equipped with a safe.
The bathroom was sleek with gray marble. It featured a large soaking tub and walk-in rainfall shower that was heavenly! The toiletries were from Peter Thomas Roth, which can be found in other Hilton properties as well.
Food and Beverage
One of the highlights of our stay was access to the executive lounge, which is available to Honors Gold and Diamond members. Breakfast was served between 6:30am and 10:30am, and there was an evening cocktail hour with hors d’oeuvres.
The hotel restaurant, Kasbah, was on the 15th floor. It’s there that we enjoyed our complimentary breakfast (a perk of Honors Gold status).
It was truly one of the best breakfast spreads I’d ever seen and tasted! It had everything from fresh breads to fruits, yogurts, nuts and juices, and everything was laid out beautifully. During our stay, we got to sample the Sunday brunch spread, which would have normally cost $39 per person. We also tried French and Moroccan fusion items as well as lamb chops and seafood, which were my favorite part of the meal.
The rooftop was closed for repairs during our stay, which meant we couldn’t use the pool and restaurant up there. The fitness center was open 24 hours a day. It was of a decent size and featured a great selection of new machines, including stretching equipment. There was also a sauna and steam room, though I didn’t use either during my stay.
I found the Wi-Fi to be fast and reliable throughout my stay, and the lobby and business center had iMac computers for guests.
The staff at the hotel went above and beyond to make us feel welcome at the hotel — everyone we encountered smiled at us and greeted us politely. And, they were all fluent in Arabic, English, French and Spanish.
The Hilton is an excellent base for exploring bustling and cosmopolitan Tangier, thanks to its modern design and amenities and its convenient location. I loved pretty much everything about this hotel, including the wonderful staff we encountered and the delicious food we ate, though I wish the rooftop pool had been open. I wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again if visiting Tangier for business or pleasure, and I’d certainly recommend it to anyone considering a trip to this storied city.
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