The outside and inside of this classic hotel are impressive and the location is hard to beat. The rooms on the other hand were as the LP book described it. This was one where we used our shower shoes to walk on the floor and at night had to use some mosquito spray to keep the buggers away. That being said, if you consider the location and the price it is hard to beat and the staff is friendly...just not overly as I think they are used to the local crowd doing business here.
We stayed here on the strength of it being listed in our Lonely Planet guide and because it was very close to the train station.
Firstly, the bad news. The room we stayed in was very small with a very small shower room; you needed to manoeuvre around the toilet bowl to get to the sink! The shower was more like a tap in how the water came out, and the shower curtain may as well not have been there for how wet the floor was after you used the shower. You will also need to bring your own (or buy from one of Tunis' shops, as we did) towel and toilet paper.
The good news is that it takes literally one minute to get to the station and not much longer to get to the medina or Ave Habib Bourguiba. There are also a lot of food joints around (but they had closed by 9pm and we ended up eating at the station). Staff are also friendly and you get breakfast (baguette and coffee) in the cost of your stay. We paid 35TD per night.
The hotel is in the Ville Nouvelle, so the architecture visible from your balcony (assuming you get a street facing room) is pleasing in the morning. The high ceilings do make up slightly for the small floor space.
This is all I would expect from a budget hotel. Convenient location, spotless and decent-sized rooms, some overlooking a courtyard, friendly and efficient staff and a very fair price, which includes breakfast. No hesitation in staying here again.
my plane was meant to arrive late as it was 11 pm but got delayed and then we took forever at the visa desk - not one at a time but waiting for the system of process everyone of the 20 or 30 persons needing one all at once!! and then we had to pay in tunisian dinar which we didnt have so had to go all the way out through customs to the ATM and then back behind the doors to the visa desk!! so it was like 1230 or 1am before i got out to a taxi!!
Maison Doree knew i was arriving late but not this late - i got a taxi who said he also recommended Hotel Olympic, handier to the airport and would haggle a lower price, i did manage to haggle 60 TD for 2 nights instead of 35 TD for one night, the hotel was a modern one with marble floors and walls and my room was large and had air conditioning and huge bed and TV and ensuite etc. it was satisfactory for a weary from recent workload and arduous travel from home!!
but the next morning to have breakfast - yuk, fairly dirty dining room, chairs still up on the unused tables, crumbs still on the table cloths from previous diners, the juice was cordial, and breakfast of bread jam and egg and strong coffee. the serving girl was rather slow to serve and no milk left so had to wait for her to come back with more milk.
safe and facility laden enough, but not worth the character less of the modernity of it, especially compared to lovely maison doree closer to town, and had to walk further than i did staying in hotel closer to town for the same price.
Handy to centre of Tunis, good spot to walk and roam around the streets of Tunis and easy to get to by taxi from the airport. A good hotel for a single female to stay at - nice staff with reception area providing security.
Its an older hotel and has character - i unfortunately got talked into staying at the Olympic which was a newer hotel with little character at all.
The maison doree has tv and ensuite and the comforts you want for a good budget price , only 33 TD for a single and includes breakfast.
Nice staff, rather protective and respectful. In a handy area in the centre of town so if you are like me and are maximising your time and out and about seeing the sights till late at night returning in the late hours you still feel safe.
We stayed in Tunis at the start and end of our trip and on both occasions we stayed at Hotel Transatlantique. We paid 30 Dinar for a double room with shower (bathrooms were shared). A very standard breakfast was included in the price.
Our room was basic and could have been a bit cleaner. It faced on to the busy Avenue de Carthage below and as the tram went along this street we were woken up early every morning.
The best thing about this hotel is its location. It's right in the heart of the Ville Nouvelle and thus very near the main station and the cafes and restaurants of Avenue Bourguiba. The medina is about 5-10 minutes walk away.
We stayed in much nicer (and cheaper!) places during the rest of our trip around Tunisia. However, budget hotels are hard to find in Tunis and there are probably worse places you could choose than this hotel.
Returning to Tunis, I faced the same difficulty as the first time around, although had the advantage of daylight. Failing to find a room in the two hotels on place de la Victoire, I remembered seeing a tiny hotel not mentioned in any guidebook in one of the smaller alleyways off the square, inside the Medina. In the alley which used to contain European embassies, I found the Hotel Milano in a renovated old city house, rooms based around a central courtyard on three floors.
Even cheaper than the Hotel Qatar, the Milano charged 7TD (1TD = about 50p) for a room to myself. Some rooms are better than others, with windows facing onto the street...mine looked out onto a derelict house and a patch of wasteground inhabited by noisy dogs, and also had the misfortune to share a wall with the communal toilet...walls may well be thick enough to keep out bad smells, but they were certainly not soundproof! If offered room 11, politely decline.
A hot shower cost an extra 1TD. No electricity points in rooms, although reception can charge batteries and mobiles for you if you ask nicely.
At this price, you'd expect it to be dirty and crowded, or even to rent rooms just for the hour, but the Milano is quite a respectable hotel and family run. Most of the guests were Tunisians from other towns working in Tunis, but there were also a couple of headscarved Tunisian women who found this hotel good enough for them...so no problem for female travellers.
Arriving late at night with no reservations, I was a bit surprised and unnerved to find the first few hotels I tried all full. The streets became emptier and darker, the shadows more menacing, the barking dogs braver, every passer-by a potential mugger. I wouldn't go as far as to say i was panicking, but state of emergency was not far off in my head.
Turning down a side street just outside the Medina, I found the basic Hotel Qatar and was relieved when the owner nodded instead of shaking his head apologetically. I was shown a clean triple room, the only room left unoccupied that night, for 18TD (1TD = about 50p), with a spotless hot shower down the corridor. The following night, I was given a twin room for 12TD.
The hotel is in a quiet street, conveniently located close to Avenue Bourguiba and Place de la Victoire without suffering from traffic noise. The female cleaning staff were friendly, although be warned they start their rather noisy cleaning routine as soon as the sun comes up.
Unlike many budget hotels in this city, both the Qatar and the next-door al-Quds are safe for women travelling alone as they employ female staff.
This hotel is located on the hill of Gammarth (a good 30min away from Tunis in taxi) but this location actually makes it helpful to visit Carthagen as well as the cute village of Sidi Bou Said.
They have a great gym, swimming pool, bowling alley and spa center where you can get an excellent massage...
Their $10 continental breakfast is amazing and the room gives you a wonderful view of the outdoor swimming pools as well as the beach!!!
The only thing I disliked was that they didn't have any free WI FI and that their business center covered expensive charges...
There are only a couple of hotels in Tamerza. Stay at the one at the bottom of the hill. The first one you will see (made of stone) is the more expensive one.
This hotel is cheaper but right in the oasis for a much better atmosphere. I don't remember the actual price but it is around 15 Dinar. The accomodations are small huts made of (I believe) bamboo. There are Western beds inside. Showers and a restaurant are on site. Every meal comes with fresh dates hand picked by a daring man from the tree outside. It overlooks a stream and waterfall that has a couple vendors selling unique minerals from the area & other wares. The hotel found some local musicians to come play traditional Berber and Arabian music while one of the hotel employees taught dancing.
we Stayed at Dominics house in the port area at Sousse. we had a maid who cam in every day and slung the matteresses over the balcony and hosed the rooms with a water hose, I found this a strage practice. Also we had a blackboard outside the bedrrom with a chart on it to record who had killed most cockroaches overnight :-(. As clean as the house was we could never get rid of them :-(
It was free :-)
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