Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas makes its debut this month in North Africa with the opening of Anantara Tozeur Resort in the southwest of Tunisia. Offering a luxury gateway to ancient cultural and desert wonders, the new-build resort showcases exquisite Arabian and North African design, surrounded by the majestic desert, towering palms and endless salt lake views. World-class facilities include 93 luxurious accommodation options, five dining outlets including an Arabian Cultural Village, an Anantara Spa, a Kids Club, floodlit tennis courts and a fitness club with yoga studio.
Commenting on the launch, Dillip Rajakarier, CEO of Anantara's parent company, Minor Hotels, said, "We are so proud to debut our luxury Anantara brand in North Africa with the launch of this spectacular resort in the desert in Tunisia. Anantara Tozeur is truly a world-class resort and will bring new levels of Arabian hospitality and luxury to this stunning country."
Located on the edge of Tozeur, just 15-minutes' drive from the city's international airport, Anantara Tozeur Resort is the ultimate in refined luxury. The spacious modern lobby is a splendid tribute to Moorish architecture with a series of keyhole archway spaces, a mosaic infinity water feature and a deconstructed chandelier dominating the reception area. The veranda looks out over the resort's meandering swimming pools with the backdrop of the Chott El Djerid salt flats.
Set in clusters along weaving pathways and amongst landscaped courtyards, the 93 guest rooms and villas include Deluxe Sahara View Rooms, One- and Two-Bedroom Villas and Pool Villas. The interiors boast extraordinary attention to detail with a subtle interweaving of Berber patterns, North African furnishings, materials, textures and desert colours – warm and inviting with spacious bedrooms and spa-like bathrooms, complete with rain shower and separate bathtub and outdoor terraces. Every detail, from marble floor patterns, to inlaid timber screens and traditional fret-cut lighting, highlights Tunisia's rich heritage.
Providing spacious indulgence, two private three-bedroom Royal Villas welcome families, friends and groups to regal exclusivity. Each grand entrance leads to more than 800 square metres of indoor living space with an open-plan lounge, sunken dining room and private majlis, all with an opulent interior design. The impressive outdoor terrace with an infinity pool and dining area is perfect for alfresco meals, with endless panoramas of the region's famed Chott el Djerid.
Immersing travellers in the rich heritage of Tunisia, the Arabian Cultural Village features a traditional souk and open-air tent housing the Arabian Nights Restaurant. Diners can enjoy local flavours including brik à l'oeuf, camel steaks, Golla and other national delicacies prepared traditionally on an open fire. Visitors can also appreciate the rich aromas and tastes of Arabic coffees and mint tea as they relax on cushioned seats, enjoying authentic local entertainment.
Oasis Poolside Bar and Restaurant offers Mediterranean cuisine, chilled refreshments and cocktails, with hunger cravings satisfied by woodfire pizzas, fresh pasta and risotto dishes. At Whiskeypedia there is an impressive global whiskey menu, accompanied by mezza and some of the world's finest cigars.
Market life and chef tips stir culinary passions in a Spice Spoons cooking class and guests can indulge in private movable feasts with Dining by Design, Anantara's signature private dining concept. Enjoy a romantic candlelight dinner for two deep in the desert, created within Antonio Banderas' Black Gold movie set, or family and friends can feast on a secluded barbeque in a Berber tent amidst the sands of the Sahara.
World-class leisure facilities make resort life a pleasure. Quiet time with a coffee and a book can be enjoyed in a peaceful nook of the lobby. Families can unwind at the pool, while adults can enjoy the serenity of the pool near the fitness centre. Those keen to stay in shape can partake in early morning yoga and gym workouts or enjoy an evening game of tennis on one of the two floodlit courts. For business guests, there is a ballroom accommodating up to 120 guests for a banquet as well as two meeting rooms.
The resort's Anantara Spa is home to six treatment rooms and a Hammam, with signature experiences and spa journeys rooted in the healing traditions of the region's rich culture. Guests can also choose from a menu of exotic Thai rituals, ancient therapies from across Asia and western spa wisdom, with therapeutic treatments including traditional massage therapies, detox treatments and hammam rituals.
The Dunes Kids Club has its own pool and is especially for kids younger than 12 years of age, offering a complimentary daily supervised programme and special menu. Activities include cooking and mocktail classes, swimming, entertainment and arts and crafts. Kids will also enjoy indoor and outdoor sports and games.
The resort puts travellers in touch with local culture and history with tailored excursions to Tozeur's Medina. The old town is filled with unique brick-pattern architecture and shops selling baskets, ceramics and kilim carpets. Take a traditional horse and carriage to one of the verdant palm groves to taste the queen of all dates, Deglet Nour. Travel out of the city to the abandoned 14th century Berber villages of Chebika, Tamerza and Mides north of Tozeur. The picturesque villages, built out of stone and mud, were abandoned during torrential flooding in 1967. The Mides Canyon is particularly dramatic and the mountain oasis of Tamerza is the perfect place for a cool dip in the clear water rock pool.
Discover the surreal landscapes of the Sahara Desert in 4x4 luxury. Professional drivers take Anantara guests safely through the undulating dunes and stark savannas. Driving through expansive desert scenery on a guided quad bike adventure to Chott el Djerid, the largest salt lake in the Sahara Desert, is a photographer's dream. Go camel trekking, meandering slowly through desert plains and palm oases, stopping for mint tea and dates. For fans of Star Wars, Tozeur is home to numerous scenes from the original trilogy and prequels, with special programmes available for guests to explore a galaxy far, far away.
Anantara Tozeur Resort offers a luxury chauffeur service from and to Nefta International Airport. Room rates start at USD 350 for Deluxe Sahara Rooms and USD 1,000 for Villas.