I’m not sure where I’ve been for my entire life but I only recently discovered that Luke Skywalker’s home on Tatooine is actually a real life hotel that you can stay at for $10 a NIGHT. TEN DOLLARS A NIGHT to run wild in Luke’s old stomping grounds and pretend you’re looking for Sand people and Jawas, guys! Of course… you have to get to the village of Matmâta in Tunisia first, but what’s a little thing like airfare?
According to Atlas Obscura the settlement dates back to sometime between 264 and 146 BC, and the region was almost totally unknown until 1967. George Lucas strolled through ten years later which brought a certain degree of attention to the hotel, until everyone kind of forgot about it. In 1995 Philip Vanni restored one of the rooms, and Star Wars came back (complete with their decorations) to film parts of Attack of the Clones there.
All of this basically translates to: HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS.
TripAdvisor offers up mixed reviews, but this one from September 2011 is telling:
The accommodations at the Hôtel Sidi Driss are basically just caves that have been dug out from the ground and then plastered and painted over in white. The overall look is actually pretty chic and reminiscent of the Hôtel Ksar Hedada, a property that at one time had also featured interiors full of groovy alcoves and built-in furniture, yet had not been quite fully realized to its fullest potential.
Wooden doors that are secured by simple chains and padlocks are just some of the innate drawbacks at the Hôtel Sidi Driss. Amenities are scare at best with communal bathrooms and showers your only option! (Have no fear, while the contents of the toilets no doubt head downward, the bathrooms feature “natural” ventilation shafts which reach upward to the ground level above.) Aside from the oddly placed “Popeye” and “Olive Oyl” welcome mat, the funniest thing about our room was the official tariff sheet attached to the door, something we never would have expected to see out here in this remote underground location.
Most recently Star Wars fan Matt Cox (who also got married at the site) has taken on the task of restoring the hotel to its A New Hope glory — meaning it’ll soon be refurbished, fabulous, and (I hope) all ready for a new wave of Star Wars enthusiast tourism.
And AGAIN: only $10 to sleep where various Star Warsians once stood? I’ll take it.
Comments on I just found out Luke Skywalker’s Tatooine home is actually a real-life hotel and now I need to go there
How are people not flocking there in droves?? I know where I’m taking my next vacation!
check out our visit to “Tatooine” on our YouTube channel – http://youtu.be/0w6l1nSJf5Q
Yup, I’ve been there. Highlight of my life. 🙂 We didn’t actually stay there, but we stopped for lunch. There’s a cafe at the hotel where meals are served to guests and visitors, but there was a lonely table in the cove where the breakfast scene from Episode IV was filmed, where Luke tells his aunt and uncle that he wants to join the academy… and we asked the staff if we could eat there. They were like “ehh… ok, sure”, totally didn’t know the significance of the spot. It was a most surreal experience. We have photos from that lunch with the biggest grins on our faces.
There are other Star Wars sets in Tunisia too, as most Tatooine scenes were filmed there. Some, like Mos Eisley from for Ep1, were just left in the middle of the desert, and are now a tourist pit stop, with kids running around selling bracelets. There’s also Tataouine, a town for which Tatooine was named. Not much to do there but stop and take a picture in front of the sign. Tunisia is a Star Wars geek’s paradise!!
I’d love to see those photos! As a fellow Wars geek, I’m totally jealous and happy for you 🙂
hey Amy, here’s some pics of Sidi Driss and the Mos Eisley set:
The settlement dates back that far? I would have loved to see photos of what it looked like before it was turned into Tatooine.
If I’m not mistaken, Ewan MacGregor himself visited it during his “Long Way Down” documentary, walked right past a mural depicting, among other things, an image of him as Obi-Wan, and no one recognized him.
I was just coming in here to say the same thing. 🙂
Long Way Down and Long Way Around are both great documentaries.
That’s only $300 a month. Guess where I’m moving too 🙂
THIS EXISTS AND I HAVEN’T BEEN THERE? FUUUUU—-
Due to lack of amenities I’m not sure I’d want to stay there, but its definitely on my list of places to visit if I ever go to tunisia.
um I’ve known about it for a while, but can’t remember how I found out about it.
Been trying to think about a big vacation to take after graduating with my Master’s next spring. This has been added to the list of possibilities. Thank you.
As Liz Lemon once wisely said, “I want to go to there.”
No love for the cantina
I’ve stayed there – on a school trip when I was 12 (um… 18 years ago…). At the time there were still native troglodytes living there. Food hall was very rustic, toilets were claustrophobic, and the dorms had scorpions in, but it was all totally awesome. The strongest memory is all the bottle caps that had been pressed into the ground outside from a combination of the heat and the jeeps. Recommended without question!
This is so cool!