When we arrived at El Minzah, our room was not yet clean. So, the staff recommended we take a walking tour with a tour guide. At first, the tour was nice: he took us around the Medina and we went to lunch at a very nice, although expensive, restaurant. After walking around a bit, we were taken into a carpet shop.
The owner took us up the roof to show us his view, gave us mint tea, took pictures of us--then started pushing his carpets on us. The rest of our "tour" consisted of going around to various other shops where we were pressured into buying things we did not want and had never asked to see. It ended soon after it became apparent we wouldn't be shelling out any more money, but the guide then tried to pressure us into taking another tour the next day.
I have some experience traveling in Africa and the Middle East and never before have I had a tour guide put me in such a situation. On the contrary, all my previous guides had always warned me if someone was trying to rip me off and had told me how to protect myself. I have never had a tour that consisted of being taken to a shop and goaded into spending hundreds of dollars on carpets.
I thought the guide/hotel's behavior was unprofessional and broke the bond of trust I've come to expect in those situations, and it cast a shadow over our stay at El Minzah.
By all means, stay at El Minzah: the rooms are clean and comfortable, the pool is nice, and the hotel is very pretty. But avoid the guided tour: or at the very least, remember that the guide is NOT on your side.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Traditional Moorish Hotel situated in heart of town, overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- El Minzah Tangier
- Hotel El Minzah