Where to stay in Algeria
In general, good hotel accommodation in Algeria is limited. The business centres, and in particular Algiers, tend to have either expensive but not particularly high-standard top end hotels or cheaper hotels primarily suited at locals or backpackers. Cheaper hotels tend to be crowded and difficult to get into, even with a confirmed booking.
The hotels in the resorts along the Mediterranean coast have increased in number, and many are of a reasonably high standard. Often, the good hotels in these resorts run their own nightclubs. Winter rates for coastal resorts apply from 1 October to 31 May.
Good hotels in the gateway oases of the mid-south (such as Ghardaia and Ouargla) are few and far between, and during the season (any time other than high summer, which runs from late June to early September), it is vital to book well in advance.
Hotels in the very far south are extremely limited. In Tamanrasset there are a few high-standard hotels but room availability remains limited. Many tour agencies run their own Tamanrasset guesthouses, however, so if you book a tour overnight accommodation in one of these will usually be included.
Grading: All hotels are subject to government regulations and are classified by a star rating: deluxe (5-star), second class (4/3-star) and tourist class (2/1-star).
Camping is free on common land or on the beaches but permission from the local authorities is necessary. Any visitor lucky enough to travel in the Sahara will usually sleep in a sleeping bag under the stars, or during colder snaps, in tents pitched on the sand.
There is a good network of (single sex) youth hostels throughout the country offering accommodation at budget rates. For more information, contact the Fédération Algérienne des Auberges de Jeunesse.