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“Passed all our expectations” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Dar El Medina

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Dar El Medina
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   64, Rue Sidi Ben Arous, Tunis 1006, Tunisia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #19 of 48 Hotels in Tunis
New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Passed all our expectations”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2008

This hotel is a haven of peace and tranquility. The three of us occupied 2 rooms. Both were wonderful with carpets and fabrics of the country . Even the lack of a lift didnt seem to matter and was anyway quite understandable given the general layout of all these old houses.
We could look over the street or just recover on a comfort able bed after sightseeing. We had a TV but never bothered to watch it. Internet access was available via the hotel's computer and was free.
We visited Tunisia during Ramadan which wasn't a good time to choose as meals were not always easy to find. The hotel staff were wonderful and got us into restaurants that had said they were fully booked when we knocked on the door. And what restaurants they were! Both were in converted houses and were worth the visit just for the architecture and ambience.

  • Liked — Ambience and location
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed September 2008
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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105 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
161 reviews 161 reviews
87 hotel reviews
Reviews in 71 cities Reviews in 71 cities
372 helpful votes 372 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2008

I did, as usual alot of research as to where to stay in Tunis. Dar El Medina is quite unique and the only boutique type hotel and the location is perfect as you are in the ancient medina and that was the highlight of Tunis for us. I contacted the hotel long before our stay and actually booked the Douja suite which clearly is the most beautiful room. When we arrived we were met at the front desk by Mr. Med Ali SOULA. He was the person with whom I communicated in advance and he really was our person to go to for just anything while we were there. He speaks good English and is very helpful. Douja turned out not to have the bedding we needed so we took a room on the second floor with view of inner courtyard. Most of the rooms I saw were rather spartan but I think for the most part in keeping with the ambiance of the medina. Our room was Nour and it was very nice. Only complaint I would have is that the inner courtyard to which most rooms face is en echo chamber and guests as well as staff's voices carry throughout. To be honest staff were pretty noisy and of course you could hear the phone at the front desk etc. Not a major deal but it does break the quiet in such an atomospheric part of Tunis. You can climb to the roof to see the view and we spent some time up there at night listening to the call to prayer. Breakfast was excellent and served whenever and whereever you want it and included alot of good fresh items. We loved staying there and cannot imagine staying anywhere else in Tunis. Medina area is great for wandering and after 4 nights we felt right a home. If you stay in the area for lunch basically only palace restaurants or snack bars on the street (I was not comfortable with those). We ate in all the famous palace restaurants i.e. Dar el Belj... Dar bel Hajj( the other Dar owned by hotel)...and another on our first night when Mr.Soula actually walked with us to the restaurant where another guy then lead us by candle. All were good but probably the actual best meal was Chez Shah in new town with very fresh seafood and interesting clientele. Felt very safe and comfortable wandering any streets even after dinner. In summary I would highly recommend a stay at this hotel...just book their transfer as he takes you right to the door as opposed to taxi who will get lost and has to leave you a few blocks away...not good with luggage. I would recommend the larger rooms as the small ones were pretty small and bare bones I would;however do all research in advance and know where you want to go as front desk is limited in language and sightseeing suggestions. Have a guide book and actually many people just leave theirs there so check their small library in the breakfast room...some good ones but do come prepared for an adventure. This hotel is not for everyone...you are going to having an interesting cultural experience as you are not just walking behind some guy with a sign showing you the highlights of the medina you will be living there...big difference...The restoration on this historic house is very very good and you are transported to another time...the medina is gradually shaping up with more boutique hotels etc. but it will be quite a while before it becomes like Sidi bou Said (see report on Dar Said).

  • Liked — location and general ambiance
  • Disliked — noisey courtyard
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2008

I don't normally write reviews for hotels, but I feel compelled to gush about this wonderful property in the Tunis medina. Everything about this place exceeded both mine and my wife's expectations. Our room, Douja, was beautiful, and it opened to the pretty courtyard. The easily accessible rooftop was a perfect place to get our bearings after arriving, and the kind staff showed it to us after we settled in with bottled water and fresh fruit. Also, there is a nice tea salon behind the front desk where guests can enjoy delicious mint tea and Tunisian sweets. Finally, the breakfast area in the hotel's dining room was very comfortable, and the breakfasts were tasty and filling (and very fresh).

The location is perfect for exploring the medina, and our room was completely quiet. We were treated like family by the staff, our every question answered.

I cannot say enough good things about this hotel. I don't normally repeat trips (too much of the world to see), but I definitely plan to return to Tunis, and to this hotel. Wonderful.

  • Liked — I loved the staff and the rooms (and everything else, actually)
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, TX
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2008

My husband and I really enjoyed this hotel, but it is not for everyone. Those wanting large rooms, bathrobes, multiple restaurants and swimming pools (and have the figures for bikinis) will be happier at the Golden Tulip or La Residencia, but they are located some distance from the central city. We stayed at both before moving to Dar El Medina, which is in a more interesting location, and considerably lower priced.

We agree with the positive comments and will just clarify some of the more negative remarks. Each room is different. In our "standard" room, Zazia, the bed was on a second level loft. For people not wanting to climb stairs, there are other rooms you can request that have everything on one floor.

There is a TV in the sitting room, although not in the bedrooms. There is also a computer with free access to the Internet in a room off the sitting room. The abundant breakfast is in a very pleasant room on the ground floor.

We found the staff to be very friendly and responsive to our mangled mix of French and English. For example, they reserved restaurants for us and got us an English-speaking driver and car for a day's trip to Oudna (A wonderful Roman site!!) at a reasonable price.

I loved the roof terrace, which in May was a lovely place to sit and read or meet guests from other countries.

  • Liked — Small size, location, friendly staff, price
  • Disliked — No place for luggage, stairs to loft bed.
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Diamond Springs, California
Top Contributor
108 reviews 108 reviews
52 hotel reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
110 helpful votes 110 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2008

We stayed 3 nights at this small hotel. It is a beautiful property elegant in every way. The staff is extremely helpful and friendly. Its medina location makes walking around the medina easy. Taxis are not allowed to drive in the medina, but this hotel is located an easy 3-block walk from the taxi stand drop off point. The hotel has a public computer for free internet access. There are several beautiful terraces including one on the a roof-top.

  • Liked — The location
  • Disliked — We were in the front room called Beya. It is too noisy for an afternoon nap, but the nights were quiet.
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, England
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2008

Negative reviews about staff etc. are, we believe, quite wrong. Staff were very pleasant - it is easier if you speak some French but can easily be understood. However, I suspect some travellers who write these reviews expect staff to fawn over them and respond to every whim - in this case, it is more like staying in a family home.

We stayed over a Sunday night - Tunis is dead on Sundays - beware! When the medina shops are closed it is very dark and a bit threatening. Given the hotel facilities - and its cost, we felt that more could have been done in the way of catering - a rudimentary room service was offered, but no meals apart from breakfast, despite the fact that hotel has a lovely dining room.

Our room was lovely but a few little extra touches would have been nice - bathrobes etc. Hotel is not cheap, especially considering low cost of living in country, so would have expected a tiny bit more - but overall, would recommend.

Stayed March 2008
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
159 helpful votes 159 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2008

My husband and I stayed at the Dar El Medina for nine nights, influenced by the enthusiastic reviews, and used it as a base for our holiday in northern Tunisia. (I only read the few negative reviews after we returned to the UK!)

We enjoyed our stay overall but felt that the service could have been more professional for the advertised quality and price of the hotel. The staff were always polite, though unforthcoming unless one had a specific request which they usually – but not always – met. For example, they booked a restaurant table for us and found out whether the Bardo Museum was open on New Year’s Day, but the burnt-out bulb in the main light fitting in our room had still not been replaced after nine days.

While we could fortunately ‘get by’ in French (we only encountered one staff member who could speak a bit of English), there was none of the basic hotel information that one normally finds in one’s room: a folder or at least a printed sheet on everything from breakfast, ‘café’ and other opening hours to the availability of services including laundry (and prices) and telephone information. I climbed up to the roof terrace one day, only to discover that the entrance door was locked, and a couple arrived in the café/breakfast room one evening only to find it would shut five minutes later - at 8 pm.

Our ‘superior’ room (Founa), located on the top floor up 46 stairs, had a bit of character and a nice view, but it was neither spacious nor very practical. The room was minimally decorated, with cheap-looking drapes and bedcover, and with no mirror or bedside tables. The lighting was inadequate for reading (important with no TV), not just because of the burnt-out bulb in the central light fitting but because the bedside lamps, which were placed on small blocks of stone, hardly reached the level of the bed.

The ‘ensuite’ bathroom was a grey ‘character’ (?) dungeon-like room reached by nine stone steps down from the bedroom, and the shower was placed over a high antique-style bath. To avoid flooding the bathroom, one balanced in the centre of the curved bath and completely surrounded oneself with a flapping shower-curtain.

While the ‘character’ shortcomings might have been a novelty for one or two nights, they did pall a bit as the days went by! And although we did enjoy the hotel and its location overall, the room prices were much the same as those we have paid for similar (or even better) accommodation in expensive European cities such as Paris, Vienna and Venice. In low-cost Tunis, the prices just might be acceptable - though even this is questionable - if the Dar El Medina was indeed as brilliant as the advertisements and some of the reviews suggest.

  • Liked — The general hotel ambiance, not the room.
  • Disliked — The bathroom - nine stone steps down from the bedroom!
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dar El Medina

Address: 64, Rue Sidi Ben Arous, Tunis 1006, Tunisia
Location: Tunisia > Tunis Governorate > Tunis
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
#12 Luxury Hotel in Tunis
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Dar El Medina 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Dar El Medina Tunis, Tunisia, Africa
Dar El Medina Hotel Tunis

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