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Courtyard of the Sidi Bou Fares Hotel, Sidi Bou Said

Flowering Courtyard in Sidi Bou Said

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Courtyard of traditional home, now a hotel, Sid Bou Fares. More information about accommodation below.
Courtyards, Sidi Bou Said, Tunis, Tunisia

Courtyard of Hotel Sidi Bou Fares, Sidi Bou Said

© Anouk Zijlma
Sidi Bou Said is a great town to base yourself when visiting Tunis and Carthage. It offers some excellent accommodation and it's much quieter than anywhere in Tunis. The best perk is you get to enjoy the town without the crowds of tourists early in the morning and at night.

I stayed at the Dar Said for three nights, it's reputation as one of the best boutique hotels in Tunisia is not entirely accurate. The grounds are certainly lovely, the pool overlooking the Gulf of Tunis and the sparkling blue Mediterranean is the perfect place to eat breakfast. Its location is also fantastic, right in the heart of the old part of Sidi Bou Said and steps away from two world class restaurants. But the hotel looks like it needs an update and the breakfast could certainly be improved.

The Dar Said has 24 rooms each furnished with traditional Tunisian crafts and tastefully done but somewhat sparse. As with many traditional homes converted into hotels, (like Riads in Morocco) the rooms can be a little small and dark since they're built for keeping cool, rather than letting sunlight in. Opt for a room with a view and you'll feel like royalty. If you get a smaller room off one of the little internal courtyards you may be disappointed considering the rates are quite steep, starting at $300.00 per night.

If you can't afford the Dar Said, Sidi Bou Said has a wonderful mid-range option with a similar feel -- the Hotel Sidi Bou Fares. The rooms are small but gorgeously tiled and all face a courtyard that is blooming with flowers surrounding a huge fig tree. A beautiful place to start your day and with more character than anything you'd find in Tunis.

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