With its orange walls, ochre bricks, and Hispano-Moorish facade, the Sarra has the potential to really impress. Located on the hillside in the tourist zone, it enjoys one of the finest views of the palm grove and golf course. However, when you enter the park and its unkempt garden, you might well find yourself wondering if the place is still in business, which is a real pity. The hotel manager extends a relaxed welcome in the reception area in an attempt to inject a sense of warmth into the establishment, which once enjoyed a certain prestige. It is well suited to backpackers, and although it claims a 3 star rating, 2 stars would be a more realistic assessment.
This hotel, along with the Palmyre, is the highest up in the tourist area and is only 5 minutes from both the airport and the town centre by taxi. If you are on foot, you'll find it a bit out of the way.
This best thing about this very cheap hotel is its large, smart, and brightly lit guest rooms with a small terrace, all of which have views over the desert and Tozeur. It is due to undergo small-scale renovations, just like the rest of the establishments of its kind in Tozeur. Indeed, a major tourist project in the capital of the Djerid region has just been approved by the authorities, who require that small hotels no longer meeting industry standards take adequate measures in the immediate future. To be continued...
The hotel is a large building with architecture, brickwork, and archways typical of Tozeur. Inside, the decor is a combination of Art Deco features, arabesques, and souvenirs from the Djebel Edough mountain range. The swimming pool offers fine views of the desert and has a bar sheltered from the sun by a polished wooden canopy. The deckchairs and parasols are nicely arranged, but the space gets noisy as soon as groups of visitors arrive. The lobby bar has an appealing old fashioned appearance, with its piano bar ambience and pretty terrace with panoramic views over the 'chott' (shore). The meeting room, which is sometimes transformed into a cinema, is rather depressing and the shop is barely any better.
The 70 guest rooms (including 2 junior suites) are a really nice surprise. They are generously sized for this kind of hotel and their blue-green woodwork and matching fabrics make them look quite smart. The bathrooms are a little more old fashioned, but are somewhat redeemed by their pretty earthenware tiling. The facilities are basic but you can ask for a television and a telephone at reception. All of the rooms have a large balcony with a table and chairs, and most of them overlook the swimming pool and have views over the palm grove.
The rather sorry restaurant is a characterless canteen-like dining room and is only opened when groups are staying, so most of the time guests staying in small numbers will have to eat out. The cuisine is traditional and features basic local specialities, such as Tunisian salad, mechouia, and couscous. It is very disappointing but we are, after all, in a hotel that only deserves two stars. It helps make up for this with its themed barbecue nights during the school holidays, but all in all we recommend you steer well clear of the Sarra restaurant. Having said this, it is a real pleasure to enjoy a drink next to the swimming pool at sunset, when the views are amazing.