Ta-Dar! Escape to the Dar HI Eco Lodge, Tunisia

Heard of a ‘dar’? It could be your new Tunisian eco escape…

Tourism in Tunisia is slowly on the increase again as independent travellers seek out the vibrancy and exoticism of northern Africa. And stylish eco hotels and lodges are popping up all over the area, many in the form of ‘dars’ – boutique hotels converted from townhouses and mansions.

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One such dar, which proudly proclaims its eco credentials (and is therefore a safe bet for any ‘Goodtripper’), is the Dar HI Eco Lodge and Spa located in the historic Nefta town, southwest of Tunis, on the edge of the Chott El Jerid desert (a location that has played backdrop to the Star Wars films to name but a few). The lodge area includes date tree gardens and shaded terraces in which to relax.

Dar HI is super stylish with contemporary design throughout using a mix of natural materials, Arabian inspiration and zingy, uplifting colours. It even houses a ‘laboratory’ for PalmLab – a network dedicated to researching modern uses of the palm tree, whether in cooking, skincare, architecture and design. Dar HI displays many of the project’s pilot designs in its interiors.

Accommodation:Dar HI Pill house

The 17 rooms are based around four concepts: The Pill Rooms (high above ground with exceptional views); The Troglodytes (reminisent of the traditional troglodyte homes of Matmata, each room has a private terrace and is linked to the others by a circular communal space); The Dunes (at sand level these rooms are inspired by bivouacs and the natural, cave-like spaces the wind creates in sand dunes); Dar Malika (a traditional house in the village, perfect for families who still wish to use the hotel facilities).


The natural source of hot water beneath Dar HI means the available hammam and swimming pool remain warm with no need for additional energy to be used in heating. The on-site spa offers the usual range of treatments you’d expect alongside some Arabic specialities including Arabic massage and warm sand scrubs (using sand from the nearby desert).


Organic food is served in the restaurant which is housed in a lovely caven-like space where diners can watch the chefs at work in the open-plan kitchen. They also grow and cook their own vegetables on-site.

‘Good’ credentials:

  • Sustainable design and interiors throughout (including hosting PalmLab)
  • Natural hot water source used for pools and hammam
  • Organic food served in the restaurant (using homegrown produce)


For more information, including prices and booking, visit www.dar-hi.net/en

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