Arriving in Matmata, we stayed at the hotel which was also the main reason we were there – the Sidi Driss Hotel. This was the hotel seen in the first Star Wars Movie. The interior shots of the Mos Esley (Mos Eisley) Cantina
were filmed here, as well as several other scenes (Lars Farmstead on Tatooine). The hotel isn’t very expensive, and consists of several underground cave rooms. The traditional homes in the area are actually built into the ground like this, because of the desert extremes of temperature. Most rooms are set up in a sharing arrangement and have quite a few beds in them – we got one of the only ones with only two single beds. The only thing in the cave was a bed (with no bedding, as such). There was no lock on the door, although if you had your own you could lock it. To get to the restroom, we had to cross a few courtyards to get to some very claustrophobic stalls. The whole bathroom / shower situation was pretty much a disaster, with water leaking everywhere, nowhere clean to put things when you take a shower, etc. It was definitely a no-shower evening for us. We would have been more excited to stay in a cave room had we not done so a year and a half earlier, in absolute comfort, in Capadoccia, Turkey (en-suite restroom with shower), for the same price. All that being said, however, we still got to stay at the Star Wars Hotel. And we got our obligatory pictures with the parts of the place that are decorated with Star Wars movie set items.
Besides wandering around the hotel, we had a walk out of the town to get a view of the pretty surrounding landscape. There really isn’t that much else to do, except to spend money perpetuating a growing industry of locals pimping out tours of their ‘authentic troglodytic living’ homes.