— What’s the concept of the Dar HI hotel? How would you describe the overall philosophy?
— Dar HI
— Is the architecture with the big wall surrounding the estate typical of the area?
The main thing for us was to use contemporary design but at the same time to remain very close to the people in town. The craftsmen there do a fantastic job, so we decided to have them build the hotel and everything that’s in it and not to import anything.
The second thing was the ecology. We really wanted to create an ecological retreat, so e grow our own fruit and vegetables. The concept was to show the locals that they can do something nice and be proud of it, to understand that ecology is important and that this attracts other types of tourists than the ones in Djerba for example.”
— Dar HI patio
— Speaking of growing your own fruit and vegetables, what role does food play in the Dar HI experience?
We only hire local people from Nafta to do the cooking. Every day they create a different menu. I know Tunisian and North African food but at Dar HI, I tasted things I wasn’t used to. They mix influences from Europe with local ingredients so it’s really amazing food. And you can watch them prepare it for you too.”
— What are some typical Tunisian dishes?
— Pilotis room
— I read that it’s all about being healthy and feeling well...
We also organize yoga retreats, so for 3-4 days you can go and have a teacher who will do a program with you. We also offer meditation, which already happens even if you’re not that type of person... it happens automatically when you arrive here.
At Dar HI, the Hammam and the pool are both heated naturally with thermal water. So the pool is not a typical blue pool with chlorine in it, but it’s actually more like a river. And because it’s thermal water, it’s very good for arthritis.
We have a large relaxation area with a nice view as well. There we offer massages, facial treatments, pedicures, manicures, waxing etc. It’s all based on aesthetics and wellness.”
— Dar HI pool
— Tell us a bit about the different room concepts at Dar HI.
The second type of room is called Troglodyte. Troglodytes are found in the desert in areas where it’s very hot. Troglodyte rooms are very big, much bigger than the Pilotis and you can have a full family staying there.
Then we have the Dune concept — rooms that are at ground level making you feel a part of the desert. They’re also very large and have different levels within the room.
Finally we have the Dar Malika, a traditional house you can rent for 4-5 people.
So if you want a panorama and a beautiful view, you can have that in the Pilotis. If you want a larger room, you’ve got the Troglodytes, which are really fun. The kids love them. With each room, it’s as if you’re in a different hotel.”