Hotel Dar Said
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- Hotel Dar SaidMember ofOutdoor EnthusiastsLocal CultureFoodies+ 4First to ReviewJul 04, 2012
This is a very special property. The architecture and design of the hotel are quintessential Sidi Bou Said -- white washed walls, turquoise blue doors and windows, and liberal usage of lovely tile. The hotel also offers unmatched views of the sea and mountains on the opposite shore and is right in the heart of one of the more attractive areas of Sidi Bou Said.
I read through some of the other reviews and was surprised to see that some guests are disappointed and don't consider this to be a luxury property. I definitely disagree. This isn't large scale US-style luxury. Dar Al Said offers an experience that is similar to many rural European luxury properties -- i.e., smaller and more intimate but very elegant. Breakfasts are also Continental European in style (pastries, yoghurt, juice and coffee) so the portions may seem small vs. a breakfast buffet or American / English breakfast.
A property offering similar atmosphere on the continent would be much more expensive. At just over $200 USD this property offers exceptional value. If you are looking for a mega resort, this is not for you. If you are looking for a one-of-a-kind experience and an opportunity to stay in Sidi Bou Said, this is an excellent choice.
Despite the pluses, this property does have a few hitches which is why I didn't give it the highest rating:
- service is adequate but not exceptional. Staff are a bit slow and guests that only speak English may find some of the staff to be a bit more difficult to work with due to their limited English capabilities. A little French is very helpful
- rooms are very comfortable but not well shielded from hallway noise. If you are a light sleeper, you may want to bring a pair of ear plugs
- we were very disappointed that the hotel was not a better advocate for guests when dealing with local taxis. A taxi fare to the airport should run 15 Dinar by the meter; however, the hotel pushes a fix fee of 30 Dinar with a driver that has a relationship with the property
- wireless internet service is free but very slow (we found this to be true throughout Tunisia)
- our bill was incorrect at check out and we also had one billing problem with the poolside restaurant. Double check your bill to be safe. I don't think the errors were intentional and they were promptly corrected; however, I expected better.
As mentioned in other reviews, offerings from the in-house kitchen are somewhat limited; however, the property has the same owner as Dar Zarouk (next door) and charges at Dar Zarouk may be posted to your room. Dar Zarouk has a nice view and the food is adequate but a bit pricey for the quality level. We much preferred Bon Vieux Temps which is also very close.
Finally, the pool is small and the number of lounge chairs is limited. The pool is great for atmosphere and a dip to cool off but will not be satisfying if you are looking for an in-town alternative to a beach resort.