7 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
My boyfriend and I passed 2 weeks in Mel...
"My boyfriend and I passed 2 weeks in Melia Palm Azur in the August 2008. We travel a lot for business and pleasure and I can frankly say that it was the worst holiday experience that we have ever had.
We chose this hotel as we already knew hotel chain Sol Melia and were delighted with their hotels. Now I wonder how come that Palm Azur belongs to Melia chain, and do they guess what actually is happening in the hotel of their chain and how it is undermining their image.
So I will try to be short and factual.
30 minutes from airport. Nearest city Midoun â not attractive dirty place with no restaurants or any other places interest.
Big standing a little bit old, but in ok shape. Reception is spacey with a lot of marble and even water fountains (these do not work however).
Rooms are ok. Old, but ok. Room service is regular but negligent. No mini bar or bottled water in the room. There are big water systems in the hall. So if you lucky and saved your plastic bottle from the trip â keep it as a treasure, otherwise you will be running with a lot of little plastic cups in order to drink enough after sun exposure.
Relatively big territory with sad and dry plants. A lot of objects (umbrellas, benches) are rusty â so keep an eye on everything if tetanus is not your holiday dream.
Restaurants and food:
Awful! These 2 weeks were real gastronomical torture for us. All the menu consists of the cheapest products possible, with no variations. Breakfast: Uncut frozen or broken fruits ( and this is in august (!)), yesterdayâs leftovers vegetables, 1 type of cheese, 1 type of ham (the cheapest one with milled bones), 1-2 types of bread, 1 type home made yoghurt, some low quality hot vegetables and dishes. Everyday for 2 weeks the same, not even slight change. Constant shortage of bowls and glasses.
Lunch and dinner the same low quality food. Maximum 2 types of meat. All the time cheap with a lot of bones ( doggy dream!). I have even seen marvelous goulash ( 85% of bones). 2 types of pasta ( yes, even past can be badly cooked). Choice of cut and rapped tomatoes, carrots and cucumbers. The most simple and cheap way. No composed salads or something like that.
Dirty plates with big stains from morning Nutella. I spoke 3-5 times with restaurant management â no change. Glasses full of soap â looks like cappuccino when you put water inside!
Wine is reused and leftovers are gently put in the used bottle.
During your stay you can once reserve a la carte restaurant in order to try authentic Tunisian cuisine. On practice you get the same food as in buffet restaurant and the saddest couscous that I have ever tried.
There are 2 of them: small for kids and big for adults. Main big swimming pool is beautiful, however not safe. There is a water intake filtration system that is rather big. However the grids that were supposed to cover it were permanently missing. There is a lot of children playing around and the area is deep. Parents spoke to the lifeguard near the pool and they received advice to âswim aroundâ (!). The result is that on the 23rd August in front of all the tourists a 14-years old French girl was sucked down. Lifeguard did not find how to switch the system off and they did not have any oxygen bottles, however they had fire extinguishers. So girl was removed 20 minutes after dead. Shock for everybodyâ¦.. Spoiled vocations, constant stress and nightmares.
Sandy beach with sufficient number of sun beds. Impossible to enter to the sea because of huge sharp stones that go for about 20 meters on the shore line. So no swimming for children and cut legs and feet for adults.
We also choose this hotel as the propose in the all inclusive system wind surfing. Well yes, officially they have it, but all the boards are missing parts and sail have holes = canât be used. So we were forced to rent the equipment from the hotel near by for 20 EUR per hour.
Making water sport activities is simply not safe as the hotel do not even have safety motorized boat. So when tourists from Melia Palm Azur had a hole in their kayak and started to drown water sport guys rushed to the neighbors hotel in order to ask them for a boat.
So to conclude, this is the most horrible holiday ever, waist of money and unsafe ambiance.
- Travel date: Tue 9th of September 2008
What can I say! It was the most amazing...
"What can I say! It was the most amazing holiday. The hotel if fantastic, the staff, food and cleanliness are second to none.
We arrived at the hotel at 12.30 am after a long trip from home. It was an absolute pleasure to find the reception staff had kept the restaurant open for us, serving us with chicken salad and very welcome bottles of water! There was no queuing to check-in either. They checked us all in, in the restaurant while eating our food which was great!
On our last day, you have to vacate your room by mid-day, but there is a luggage hold in the main reception to store all your stuff. Also if you have en evening flight, as we did, they will give you a room at tea time free of charge to have a shower and get changed ready for your trip home. That way you can spend the day by the pool or on the beach and still enjoy your last few hours. Also your all inclusive is still available till the minute you leave!
It is peaceful, quiet and most of all relaxing. The hotel is bursting with stuff to do. It has a huge outdoor pool, which is well maintained and very clean. A good sized indoor pool, perfect in bad weather, less than 5 minute walk to the hotels private beach, which can I add had free loungers and parasols! There is three fabulous lunchtime restaurants to choose from and the choice of foods is top banana so there's something for everyone. The all inclusive feature is also top notch. There is very little that isn't in your all inclusive. There is always drinks and snacks available and all unlimited!
If youâre looking for an English family holiday with a busy nightlife, then it's probably not the place for you. This is purely because the Tunisian's first language is French, so although they do endeavor to try to involve the English people, the evening entertainment I would say is 85% French. Me and my husband traveled alone, we do however have 3 children ages 12, 10 and 8. Although the holiday would have been perfect for them, I feel the evenings would have been rather boring for them.
We did the 'tourist' day trip through our travel rep also. We went into Matmata then on to Douz for a camel ride in the Sahara desert. The trip was very well organised, great value for money and an overall fantastic experience not to be missed.
I would highly recommend the Palm Azur and Djerba and would definitely go back again, not just to Djerba but also the same hotel. It's a tropical paradise 3 hours from Manchester. You must try it, you won't regret it."
- Travel date: Tue 17th of October 2006
Palm Azur. average, average, average!
"We have just returned from 14days at the Palm Azur. There were 2 adults and 2 late teenage boys in our party. Our overall opinion of this hotel is average.
Food, very average, it got to the stage where we could predict what was going to be on the menu before we had entered the dining room. At lunchtime we ate mostly at the Barbeque restaurant, not bad but you had to fight over the food with the flies and the sparrows, yes the birds were hopping about on the tops of the food, lovely! The Sidi Bou Restaurant was a waste of time, you were served exactly the same as the dining room but in smaller quantities (the food is not even cooked there, it is wheeled over in a trolley from the main dining room). In fact we went into the main dining room after to get something to eat as we were still hungry. They have proper Coca Cola, Fanta ect but having tried quite a few of the cocktails I thought they were awful but hey someone else may really like them but I didn't see many people with them. The local wine is not bad though. When you are beside the pool they will only give you a plastic cup of water but if you go to the bar inside you can get plastic bottles of chilled water to take around with you.
Rooms, again average. We did have sea view rooms on the top floor which was great apart from you could hear the guy on the keyboard droaning on until late. Early one morning(1am) we had a firework dispaly right outside our window. Lucky we didn't have little ones as it was very loud. We probably would have appreciated a little more if we had known about it and hadn't been asleep ready to get up at 6am for our sunbeds. No fridge in rooms and the TV has only one English channel, BBC News. The boys were disappointed, they thought there may be Eurosport as we have had previously had in Tunisia and Egypt. Fun though to watch CSI in German! Do not leave out any money as we caught our maid pocketing money off our dressing table. She gave it back and apologised. Get the safe in the room, 2 TD a day. The rooms are clean and clean towels are given every day. Leave your key fob in the AC when you go out though is a good tip. Pillows are best described as a bag of tennis balls. When we asked the maid to change them she just had a blank expression as if they were supposed to be like that.
Staff. I found the staff very helpful if you spoke French to them, then they couldn't do enough for you. We had a couple of problems with our room, a blocked loo and a dead lightbulb on the balcony and both of those were fixed by the time we had come back from the pool.
Entertainment, what entertainment? As has been said there is a guy sitting on a keyboard droaning some song or other, difficult to tell what they were.
Beach, we spent most of our time on the beach at the end of the holiday because we got so fed up with having to get up early. The sand is lovely, however be aware that under the water is concrete and very large rocks, lots of scraped knees etc. if you walk to the right of the beach the sea is much nicer. There are lots of vendors walking up and down selling sarongs, shells, bananas, jewellery, horse and camel rides.They are not allowed over the blue rope on the front of the beach so you are not hasseled. I did buy quite a few bits from them, the necklaces are lovely (only 1 TD), sarongs also beautiful colours. It is entirely up to you if you want to buy anything, if you do just call hello and they will stop. Barter though, do not accept the 1st price.
Pool,yes you do have to get up at 6am for beds beside the pool. We were beginning to think that people were putting their towels on the night before because even at 6am so many beds had already been reserved. The most annoying thing is that people reserved beds and then didn't appear until 5pm. this happened on the beds next to us for a whole week. The pool is very clean and everything is cleaned evry night, beds, parasols etc. they put the big fountains on a couple of time a day. Lots of games and aerobics in the pool. I went to the Arabic lessons at the side of the pool which was fun.
In conclusion we had a good time but were ready to come home after about 10 days. You will do well if you have some French. For entertainment we went quadbiking a couple of times, this was really good and jetskiing. One thing though, we went to play golf as shown in the Panorama brochure. We lugged our clubs etc out there but the course is really dissappointing. Some of the greens were good but some of the others were not even made!
If you have any questions you can email me on the Palm Azur forum page."
- Travel date: Wed 19th of July 2006
a mixed bag
"what a strange place?!! the hotel seemed amazing on the first night, food ready for us at 11.30pm when we arrived, nice touch, quick check in. room was a good size but none of sea views are that good as lots of trees and buildings between the hotel and sea. the building is generally clean, quite cool and well decorated by some standards. the rooms wereok sized, bit basic, no fridge, hotel staff thought my suggestion that i may rent one was an absurd idea even though literature in room stated we could for 7 dinar a day! the staff here are strange! some are brilliant, most aren't. had 1 run in with one of head waiters whose attitude was awful. pool staff are a joke, if they run out of sunbeds, and you happen to be french, and happen to have a few dinars spare, sunbeds happen to appear, many times i saw the guy at the pool find unattended beds then remove the towels and give them to his 'friends'. on our 1st morning by the pool he woke us and asked if we would move as his 'friends' (french, with dinars) wouldlike our sunbeds. little tip, to get a sunbed you have to get up early, well before 7. there is a pile of sponge mats by the bar. go into the a la carte restaurant sidi boud and there is a pile of much thicker, better quality sponge mats, he can also find these for the french, i wondered why he kept going there at six am so one moring i followed him! he caught me though, and after that i noticed a few appearing from below the swimming pool in the maintenace area, again, always for french guests though, must be a coincidence. there were a few battles of wills between the french and british, i had a few when the french seemed horrified when i suggested that they may not like to squeeze into the 1cm gap between me and the bar. many thanks to the brits who cheered me on if you are reading this! its ashame these minor things happened, i can understand a lot of faults but when i have paid to be in a place i expect service, maybe i am in a minority or something. the food was very up and down. some of the basic stuff, chicken (make sure it is cooked though), burgers, omelettes etc are actually very good, the tunisian food is amazing, but the rest is better left for someone else to eat. there is a good pizza place, turn left outside of hotel 100yards on the right. beach is beautiful, soft white sand, soft discarded cigarette ends and packets too, pity. sea has a strong current and a lot of hidden rocks, a lot of injuries and cuts. the flights with mytravel were good, smoothest flights i've ever had, and the bangers and mash on the flight home was best plane food i've ever had! the cleaners are friendly and make an effort, the bar staff prioritise who they serve based on nationality/tipping history and the reception staff are very much 'yes men' nothing seems a problem, but in reality nothing really gets done, and when it gets complicated they suddenly lose english from their list of languages. if you want snacks/drinks the shops outside hotel are much cheaper. there is a jewellery shop in hotel, they imply prices are fixed, i jokingly tried to haggle and succeeded so persevere with them. we were told that on our last day we could have a room until 8 when we left. what they forgot to say was that we could stay in our room until 2pm, then evicted, but could have a room for 20 mins to have a shower. i could live with this. the 20 minute room though was filthy, stank and the showers were filthy, they didn't change the towels between uses either. it would actually have been cleaner not to have showered, within 2 minutes of us leaving the room another couple were in there, but no cleaners! if you go on the shopping trip, only a couple of quid and worth doing, they take you to a fixed price shop. do not buy!!! go to the shops outside, if you haggle hard you can get stuff for about half the price of the fixed shop, the shopkeepers are not great hagglers!, egyptians etc are much better and harder to deal with so you can always get a good price, about 5-10% of what they 1st quote is very achievable, when they say no cheaper, walk away, they WILL follow with a lower price. Djerba airport is small but immaculate and tidy. do not change over too much sterling into dinar, as at the airport they could only refund our dinar into euro's!! if you want a break in the sun doin nothing then this is the holiday for you. it is generally ok but i would only rate it as a 3 star. if you want fine food, great people, entertainment etc then go elsewhere! any questions please email us, no problem answering. anyone at the palm azur at the same time feel free to email and say hi"
- Travel date: Sun 16th of July 2006
Couldn't fault this hotel! Ignore the bad reviews!
"Donât take any notice of the bad reviews! We just got back from a week at Melia Palm Azur in Djerba and we couldnât fault the hotel! Talk about the British being full of complaints or what!
We arrived quite late at night and were very impressed with the hotel. We were offered some food and water in the restaurant before being showed to our room. Our room was on the ground floor and had a balcony which overlooked the gardens, tennis courts and the sea in the distance, which was pleasant as it was quite quiet.
The rooms and the whole hotel was very clean, all cleaned on a daily basis and clean towels every day, etc. The service from all the staff was brilliant and we were amazed at the variety of languages they all spoke, most of them spoke at least 4 languages! I found as soon as I revealed I was half Italian half English they were overjoyed to speak in Italian as they are not so used to many English only speakers. Even making an effort to say please, thanks, bottle of red wine / water in French or Italian makes all the difference when on holiday!
We found all the food to be very pleasant. You have to expect a bit of repetition with all inclusive holidays. Breakfast was the same everyday with fresh fruit, freshly made pancakes (yum), yoghurt, cereal, eggs, meat, pastries and bread. Then at lunch there is a good selection so you can pick and choose which restaurant to go to out of the 3, one day we even when to 2 restaurants at lunch time â I know, greedy!! Then for dinner there was a themed night each night in the main restaurant, Tunisian / Spanish / Italian / Seafood, etc. We found it difficult to remember to leave some space for the delicious variety of desserts! The a la carte restaurant was more or less the same food but with a waiter service and change of scenery!
Ok the hotel wasnât nightlife central, but we only went for the relaxing days. So after our evening meal we would go for a few drinks at the bar (donât bother with the cocktails) and then go to a separate building called the Theatre and they would have different entertainment on â the comedy sketch nights were good and everything is done in 4 or 5 languages so keeps everyone entertained! Then after they have a small disco on which we didnât really stay for â but it might be your cup of tea!
During the day we went to the beach as we prefer to swim in the sea and thereâs a nice breeze and there is a small bar right on the beach which serves cold drinks. We didnât have any difficulty finding any seats or umbrellas in the late morning or afternoon. The last few days we spent by the pool and that had a great atmosphere with the games for kids and adults!
So if you have booked to go to Melia Palm Azur I hope this puts your mind at rest. Obviously anywhere you go on holiday you are gonna miss your home comforts, but just enjoy the break away! We did!"
- Travel date: Tue 11th of July 2006
"We returned from a week in Djerba, staying at the Melia Palm Azur Hotel on 2nd July. We feel we made the right decision to change our hotel prior to travel because of tripadvisor reports - we were initially booked to stay at the Melia Djerba Menzel. Unfortunately our tour operator did not inform us that all visitors to the country must complete visitor cards for entry into Djerba but forms are available in Djerba airport arrivals hall to be completed. The long queues in searing heat at 11pm waiting to pass through passport control is quite frustrating - especially if you have small children. The bus journey to the hotel took us through the capital - Hamt Souk - which in my opinion was quite frightening as hoards of young men were gathered along the newly built pier front watching the bus drive by - an immediate conscious decision was made not to venture out on unplanned excursions.
On a more positive note - The hotel is clean, rooms tidied daily, sheets changed twice during our stay and towels changed on a daily basis. We were on 3rd floor with fabulous view of pool and beach. We took on board a great tip from another tripadvisor member which is to detach your room key from fob which activates air conditioning and elecricity and leave it insitu during the day - your room will be lovely and cool on return.
Staff were overall very friendly - some speak quite good English, others make good attempts to understand what you require.
As in previous reports food is variable and becomes a bit repetitive as the week goes on.
Entertainment is abysmal - fortunately having to be up at 5am to get good sunbeds at the pool esured that we were tired out by 9.30pm anyway!!
The pool is spectacular and the pool staff provide a great variety of daily entertainment for those wishing to participate - they are all very friendly too.
The beach - alas - another matter - if you can find a safe spot to enter the water it is lovely - however, rocks and seaweed make it difficult to negotiate in places. Therefore do pack flip flops to enter the water. There is nothing outside the hotel complex - therefore, if you are wanting a chill out break by the pool - this is fine. Anything more active?? Hmmm!"
- Travel date: Mon 10th of July 2006
Well what else did you expect for a cheap all inclusive in Tunisia!
"So, you've read the reviews good and bad. You are nervous about making the call to go to this hotel. You are unsure - like we were. Well don't be.
We went for a week (just back today) and had a good time. When you book an all inclusive to Tunisia what do you expect? If you want english food, english entertainment, an all round "Med" experience - then go to the Med. You are just off the coast of Africa so that's the way you should think about this one.
Hotel - its very clean, quite quiet and cool when it's very hot outside. Our room (3rd floor) was clean, large and pretty basic. Cleaned every day and new towels. Def keep your air con on at night as it does get warm (didn't drop below 80 degrees at night).
Food - not great but you don't expect restaurant food at an all inclusive hotel. A bit bland and carb heavy but you could always find something. Watch out for the less that hot food at dinner as I think this caused us some "issues". Breakfast is the usual continental affair (reasonable), lunch is either in the main restaurant, tunisian cafe place or a seaside fish bbq (okay - but a bit tiresome after 3/4 days). Dinner is a bit repetative and def forgettable apart from the puddings (bland). Disappointed there was no evening bbqs or alfreso eating. Also - no sugar free drinks apart from water and if you are a non smoker beware it's constant during dinner.
Staff - vey friendly. They speak French so don't expect the full chat, but their English is good (this is the 1st year that Brits have been at the hotel). As the hotel is mainly French/German don't expect to queue its everyman for themselves as they do in Europe.
Entertainment - none really of any note. Chap with a keyboard murdering Kenny Rodger hit after hit. Did not bother to go to the evening entertainment as this sounded to be as cringeworthy as the keyboard fella.
Location - there is nothing outside the hotel. Midoun is forgettable but worth a trip on Friday to the market.
Pool/Beach - if you want to get up at 5am to get a poolside lounger then this is your kind of place. At one count at 5.10am there were 42 towels down at the pool. Go to the beach it is cooler with the sea breeze, quieter and you get away from the constant dance music and smokers.
Weather - very hot, take lots of high factor sun cream. Saw lots of people very burnt and not looking too well. make sure you take block as you will at somepoint get caught out. Great weather though did not falter for 1min.
In general, not as bad as some of the reviews said but not great. It's cheap and cheerful and not one for the party animals amongst us. We had a nice time, but were away purely for the weather and to reacharge the batteries. In a nutshell - hotel is good, food is pretty average, staff are very friendly."
- Travel date: Sat 1st of July 2006