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A Tunisian Gem Opens Up an Intriguing Part of the World

It’s easy to miss this desert structure altogether, its earth tones blending entirely with the surroundings in a trompe l’oeil effect. A 93-room spread wedged in the Sahara, the long-awaited Anantara Tozeur—marking the Thai group’s first step into North Africa—overlooks the sweeping Chott el Djerid salt pan at the fringes of a historic oasis town that’s never before played host to digs of this scale. And it is upping the stakes. While this Mediterranean-facing country has long been popular with sun-seeking Europeans and adventurous backpackers, a different kind of traveler is now checking in here. The type who spends two days shopping in Tunis before holing up at the sandstone-hued villas; who goes riding through palm groves or dune-bashing in the windswept dust bowls before returning to unwind in the spa’s hammam.