9 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"My sister and I have just returned from an whirlwind holiday to Tunisia. I sourced the Dar El Medina from your site and all our expectations were met. We loved everything about this small boutique hotel.
The location is perfect for meandering the medina and absorbing the culture of 'the friendliest country in North Africa'.
Each of the individually styled rooms (we stayed in 2) are a blend of modern and traditional Tunisian style and are designed for both comfort and ambience. I am told the house has been in the family since 1825 and is full of treasures from the sunny courtyards, beautifully tiled interiors to the elaborately painted ceiling of the sitting room.
The staff are absolutely charming, attentive and most helpful. Having also stayed in larger 5* hotels around Tunisia, the Dar El Medina stands well above the rest."
- Travel date: Thu 14th of June 2007
Excellent small hotel in the Medina
"The Dar El Medina is a great base to explore Tunis. Located in the Medina, close to the souks. It is an old house converted into a small hotel, with great service. While it is not for everyone, if you are looking for satelite TV to keep on top of the news, this is not the place for you. It is a place to relax and explore old Tunis.
We stayed in the 'Yasime' room. Very nice, after we got used to the raised bed. The roof terace is a great place to relax at the end of the day. It gives you some excellent views over the Medina.
We tried the Restaurant Dar Belhaj in the Medina. I would not recommend it. We found the food to be average, as was the service, while it was the most expensive meal we had during our trip. If you get up to Sidi Bou Said, try the Le Pirate in the marina. It has some great fresh fish."
- Travel date: Mon 28th of May 2007
Romantic Medina Hotel
"As stated. Wonderful hotel in the heart of the Medina. We had a top floor room and the feel was very romantic. We were there during Ramadan and we are catholics who like cocktais and wine -- not the best time to go to Tunisia.... However they had such nice music and festivities at the hotel and in the Medina that I can say that with our duty free wine we had a great time!!
The family that runs the hotel could not have been more wonderful, and same with the Tunisian people -- so warm and friendly.
FYI - to me I prefer the Medina of Tunis to that of Marrekech - no scooters and great souks!!!"
- Travel date: Fri 11th of May 2007
Disappointing - an atmospheric two star hotel
"I was booked into the Sheraton and found myself sent to the Golden Tulip half an hour outside of Tunis because a government delegation had taken over the hotel. I looked for a more central hotel in Tripadvisor and was enchanted by all the things that previous visitors had written. about the Dar El Medina so I went there with high expectations. But I was disappointed. The location is certainly atmospheric but it is no four star hotel as four stars are understood
in Europe. I had a "pleasant" room with a dreary view of the courtyard; there was no television or minibar...This is an atmospheric two star hotel. Perhaps if you are in Tunis for love instead of business...."
- Travel date: Wed 9th of May 2007
"This hotel is a wonderful place to spend a holiday, giving you an introduction to the culture and people of Tunis that you would be highly unlikely to find in other places outside of the old city. The most difficult part of our holiday was finding the hotel, as it is a fair distance up the rue de Kasbah and "Dar el Medina" translates as "House of Medina" in Arabic! Once past the souks (we found asking for Sidi Ben Arous to be more useful) and at Sidi Ben Arous (the street before the government square), we discovered a first class hotel in a truly beautiful setting.
All facilities were excellent, and the staff are truly exceptional. We became good friends with Mouhamed, Aladin, Hatem, Basma, Refka and Salwa over the course of our stay, and would recommend the hotel purely on their courtesy and friendliness towards us. The medina itself is also very well policed and therefore the whole area around the hotel is probably the safest in Tunisia!! This contradicts information we had from guide books saying it wasn't safe at night, and would ask that you keep this in mind when considering a stay within the old city walls.
Everything of interest is easily reached from Tunis centre, and once you realise that the souks only want you to buy (and hence will take very good care of you as you pass through) the markets become entertaining rather than uncomfortable. We also found the guide book notions of harassment of women to be completely false (and hence insulting to the Tunisian character) although we did travel as an obvious couple which would perhaps appeal to the very strong sense of family and community we found during our stay. Our impression was of a city with a lot more dignity and self-respect than any city we have found in Europe, and women are very much a central part of this wonderfully friendly culture.
In summary, this was our first holiday outside of Europe and easily our best. The dignity, warmth and cultural depth of the Tunisian people is an embarrassment to our perceived notions of African countries, and the staff of the Dar el Medina are a particularly good example of the spirit of Tunisia :-)"
- Travel date: Sat 13th of January 2007
Go to the right place !
"We stayed here for 4 nights in one of the large rooms and it could not be faulted. It was like staying in a beautiful home and wonderful to return there after the chaos of the medina and the main streets of the new part of Tunis.The only problem we had was that the taxi from the airport dropped us at the other end of the medina and we had to walk through the medina to the hotel. Luckily, it was Sunday and everything in the medina was closed so our walk was easy.Make sure you take a taxi to the Place du Government which is only a few minutes from the hotel.Carthage is great and easy to access on the train."
- Travel date: Tue 5th of December 2006
Perfection in the Medina
"Our three night stay in "Beya" was perfect. We had one of the larger rooms, beautifully decorated with a separate romantic sitting area. The room was on multi levels, which made it even more interesting. It was immaculate. The bed was quite firm, that was fine, but we would have enjoyed softer pillows. On arrival, we were shown our room immediately, then bottled water and a lovely fruit basket were delivered. The staff was attentive and always available. They took care of reserving our dinners each night at Dar el haj - excellent, Essaraya - excellent, Dar hammouda pasha- just OK. All were very close to the hotel in converted mansions. The cleanliness of the medina is a problem, but not once you are inside the walls of this lovely hotel, or at the restaurants mentioned. The area was silent at night for good sleeping. We were only a minute from a main taxi stand, and it was so inexpensive to travel to other towns nearby. The Bardo Museum is a must. A walk along Habib Bourgiba is worthwhile to enjoy the New Town area. A walk north of hotel brings you to an old town area that is very residential and worth a look. The staff prepared a breakfast of breads, eggs and cakes each morning, and even rose early to serve us at 6:30 the morning we had to leave. We were so pleased to be staying in the Medina, and this was certainly the place to stay."
- Travel date: Wed 15th of November 2006
"The Dar El Medina is a beautifully renovated boutique hotel. No two rooms are the same and the hotel is a maze of terraces and courtyards with plenty of space to sit and relax or to gaze out over the Tunis roof tops.
It's a stone's throw from the bustle of the Souk and easy to find - just a 5 minute walk from the Place du Gouvernment. Don't be put off by the slightly grubby road the Dar El Medina stands on. We had no problems day or night and even the stray cats looked well fed.
We stayed in the Douja room and loved the Tunisian architecture. Nothing was too much trouble for the lovely staff, everything was spotless and the breakfast was delicious - especially the homemade hazlenut torte.
The hotel was a haven of peace and quiet and although it's not cheap by Tunisian standards it's well worth every penny. Go for a large room if you can.
If you love mosaics, visit the Bardo museum - they are stunning. Carthage is also worth a trip although you need to use bit of imagination as you'll mostly be looking at foundations. Sidi bou Said is quite pretty but very touristy and not worth a special visit - tack it onto a Carthage trip.
Where to eat? Nearby:
Essaraya - great food, great service, fabulous building.
Dar El Jeld - to be avoided, over priced and underwhelming.
We loved the Dar El Medina and will be back one day....."
- Travel date: Thu 9th of November 2006
A fairy tale kind of place
"An enchanting Orientalist's dream of a room. Staff very helpful and friendly, and it's well situated: yes, it's technically in the Medina, but just on the edge near the Place du Government, so it's not as if you have to feel locked in at night."
- Travel date: Sun 5th of November 2006