Morocco's Grand Hotel Villa de France reopens after two decades
The Grand Hotel Villa de France, the one time hotel of choice for French painter Henri Matisse during his holidays in Tangier, has recently been reopened. After being closed for two decades, this luxury boutique hotel has been fully refurbished and has once again opened its doors to holidaymakers heading to Morocco.
After being closed for two decades, the Grand Hotel Villa de France, one of Morocco’s best loved luxury boutique hotels, has been reopened. Despite the historical significance of the hotel, which was once a favourite haunt of Europe’s elite while on their travels to Tangier, the Villa de France was threatened with demolition during the 1990s. The fact that its future was unclear not too long ago; makes the news of its reopening an even sweeter victory for those who have fought for its preservation and those hoping to one day book a stay at this historical building. Today, the hotel has been refurbished with its original Moorish architecture restored and a total of 58 luxury rooms and suites.
Morocco’s Tangier has long served as inspiration to some of the world’s most creative and artistic minds including William S Burroughs, Jean Genet, Tennessee Williams and of course Henri Matisse. Fans of the great French painter Henri Matisse may know that the Grand Hotel Villa de France was the artist’s favourite hotel to stay at during his visits to Morocco. Matisse would frequent the hotel during some of his most creative years - 1912 and 1913- a period in which he produced more than 20 paintings along with numerous sketches. Most notably, his piece Window at Tangier was painted in what was then Room 35 at the Grand Villa de France.
The combination of beautiful beaches, rich culture, cuisine and music has made Morocco one of the top holiday destinations in Africa. According to a report by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Morocco was the most visited country in Africa in 2014 with nearly 10 million arrivals. The tourism sector is currently the second largest contributor to Morocco’s GDP.
With a couple of international promotion agreements recently signed, including one with the French Travellers Union, in an effort to push further arrivals from key source markets like the U.S. and France, Morocco’s tourism industry is gearing up for even stronger growth in 2015 and the next few coming years.
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