Set in a peaceful green oasis on the outskirts of an otherwise dusty and drab working town, you can walk from the hotel into the desert wastes and wonder at a sunset that bathes the bare rocks of the nearby mountains in a luminous orange light.
Beyond the hotel's impressive and highly decorated entrance hall, the bedrooms are fairly typical of a resort hotel other than the gaudy paintwork and kitsch furnishings. The quality of finish was not good and the standard of maintenance seemed poor. Everything seemed just a little tatty. In our room, a flower was left on the dressing table in an attempt to disguise a ragged hole in the MDF surface beneath. The corner of a glass table was sharp and cracked, and a door handle fell off in the hand. Elsewhere throughout the building, paint was scuffed and marked. The garden seemed neglected with smashed light fittings, missing slabs and mysterious holes. Building work taking place within the hotel grounds gave the impression of having been in progress for some considerable time.
We received an efficient if hurried welcome on arrival, but did not feel "cared for" in the way that we did at all other hotels we stayed at during our visit to Tunisia. Dinner was from a fixed menu and was very much canteen fodder served hurriedly in a characterless environment. Breakfast was little better. We visited in December, at which time most other guests seemed to be young and boisterous Tunisian men, that we guessed might be taking part in a sports event?
The Jugurtha Palace website advertises a programme of daily excursions to surrounding towns and attractions therefore we booked to stay five nights using the hotel as a base for exploring the area. When we enquired about these excursions we were met with nothing more than the shake of a head and the shrug of the shoulders. We made a pre-dawn departure after the second night, after resisting prolonged attempts to charge us full rack rate rather than the pre-booked discount rate that we had secured via an agency.
The hotel promotes itself as five star facility and charges five star rates. On the basis of other excellent hotels that we stayed at in Tunisia, I would suggest a three star rating to be more appropriate.
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- Also Known As:
- Jugurtha Palace Tozeur