SunConnect Djerba Aqua Resort
20 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"We were really looking forward to a nice relaxing holdiay in a 4* hotel situated on the beach. However, we were very disappointed.
On arrival we were told the porter would bring our suitcases to our rooms, we were not allowed to take them ourselves. There is no lift in the hotel, which was not a problem for us, but as it is a large, sprawling complex, a lot of walking could be involved from your room to the amenities. The porter took us to the wrong floor then told us to find our own room, which took ages due to the complexity of the layout and the terrible direction signs.
The room was large, nicely decorated and had a balcony, it overlooked the hotel "garden". The bathroom was clean but dated and the separate toilet wasn't very nice at all.
If you are English, and can't speak French, don't bother going to this hotel. The entertainments team all spoke French and all the evening entertainment was aimed at the French. There is nothing else to do in the evenings unless you sit in the large reception area, on your own.
The entertainments team completely ignored English people and did nothing to make them feel welcome - this was a complaint from the majority of English at the hotel.
The French guests were all inclusive, and the English were half board, we felt like second class guests.
The bar staff were really friendly and could speak limited English. They were cheerful and helpful, as were the majority of the hotel staff.
The food is buffet style - all in French so we didn't really know what we were eating. Fish is the main ingredient in almost all the meals - and beware that some food served the previous night is also served the following night!
There are loads of flies and a terrible "drain" smell which seems to waft over the island several times during the day.
There isn't much to see or do and Djerba is sold as the "jewel of Tunisia". I wouldn't like to see the rest of Tunisia if this is the case!
Don't bother going onto the beach - the area is like a war zone - derelict, run down buildings, loads of rubbish and virtually impossible to get into the sea for the mountains (and I mean mountains) of seaweed. If you do brave the seaweed and manage to get into the sea (which is quite warm) it's dirty! You can't see your feet and the seaweed actually makes the sea look black!
Further down the beach is a waste drain - God knows what goes into the sea!
The Tunisian men outside the complex bother you constantly and beware of the ones who approach you and say they are from your hotel, they will say they are a security guard, or chef, and that you don't recognise them as they aren't in uniform. They get chatting to you and then say they will show you around - this usually means to a carpet shop/jewellery shop/leather shop. Tell them to get lost! If you go anywhere in a taxi they sometimes tell these men which hotel they have picked you up from, which gives them more credability when they come over to you and say "hi, I work at the Djerba Palace Hotel as a security guard, are you enjoying your holiday? You probably don't recognise me as it's my day off and I'm not in my uniform!!!!!!"
I couldn't wait to get home. The only good thing about the hotel was the company of my partner, and the 3 days out of 7, good weather!!!
Never, ever again!"
- Travel date: Fri 10th of June 2011
"This resort is awful! I would rather not go on holiday than go to this resort again.
The rooms are old. The bathrooms are disgusting (we had a bird living in the toilet and when we came back from the beach, which is full of rubbish and pervs, the bird was happy floating in the water of the loo. When we told reception the bird had gone back up the pipe and maintenance said to just wait till it came back down. So for the next 5 nights all we could here was flapping and bird noises from the 'on suite' if you can call it that!
The pools are dirty (camels walking and pooing around the side of pool!)
And the restaurant!!!!! if you like fly's with your dinner then your grand! If the smell of sick when walking into the restaurant doesn't do it for you then wait till you see the buffet that has been out for hours.
This is the worst holiday i have ever been on and you couldn't pay me to go back! "
- Travel date: Mon 18th of April 2011
These comments are based on extensive tr...
"These comments are based on extensive travel throughout Europe, Scandinavia, (Oslo and Stockholm) USA and Canada, and many more besides.
The Djerba Palace Hotel is excellent, Five Star luxury in a beautiful setting, what makes it even more so, is the complete lack of drunken idiots normally associated with Spain and Greece. Itâs a destination for grown ups. Flying time from the UK is just Three hours, and transfer time is approx 40 minutes from the Airport. Although French is widely spoken in Djerba, (always helps to have a couple of words that can be spoken) Arabic is almost a second language, ( Same applies ).
Please and thank you spring to mind. Make no mistake, all the staff are highly professional, and they never stop smiling, the food is excellent, and served "Buffet Style" ( both Breakfast and Evening meal) the choice is varied, fresh, and HOT. Waiter service for drinks is sharp, snappy, and very helpful, and the prices are excellent.
The rooms are immaculately clean, and there is a constant supply of very hot water for washing and showering, towels are changed daily, and each room is controlled my your own Air conditioning, the evenings can be chilly. Thereâs no pressure to join the evening entertainment, but if you do, its first class, - alternatively take advantage of the Turkish style coffee bar, this is coffee served the right way, served by a gentleman who loves to serve you, and loves his job, - and it shows.
The Hotel pool is huge, and the pool side coffee bar/restaurant serves excellent freshly prepared food all day long, and itâs reasonable. We traveled to Djerba close behind a tropical storm so the beach was untidy, not the fault of the hotel, we have little control over the weather!
Djerba is an Island of Islam, Jews, and Arabs and the little known Berbers, immensely rich in history, culture and tradition, itâs an "Eye opening" experience, get used to bartering in the local shops, and accept that the local shopkeepers will jump out of every doorway to entice you in - on the other hand, they have to earn a living, and a simple "NO" or No thanks usually does the trick, its al part of the "Djerba Experience"
You cannot deny the hospitality or the friendliness of these wonderful people."
- Travel date: Tue 20th of March 2007
Well were do you start! This is not a pl...
"Well were do you start! This is not a place to visit if you are English - you are simply not welcome (every other country's flag is flown around the island apart from the Union Jack).
We arrived at Djerba airport 10 minutes ahead of schedule, then spent 1 1/2 hours in a line waiting to get through immigration - all custom officers seemed to only be able to type with one finger and then had to stop and chat to friends, smoke a cigarette or look around in between each word they typed. (one lady had a broken ankle and was forced to sit on the floor and shuffle along as it took 3/4 hour for her wheel chair to be brought through). Once through customs it then took a further hour for the luggage to be put on the conveyor belt.
When we finally did get on the coach we had to wait another 1/2 hour whilst they looked for 2 passengers who it turned out had not even got on the flight. We were given more forms to fill out to hand in at reception - no help offered even though every one struggled to understand them. We were promised that water and snacks would be in our room when we arrived due to the delay (still waiting for them).
We finally arrived at the hotel at 2.00 am (having landed at 10.30pm. At the hotel we were given our keys very abruptly no explanation as to where our room was, just follow that porter (the one doing about 20mph with a large group of people struggling to follow him and carry their luggage!!)
After a wild goose chase round a very large and complicated hotel we were told - that room there (as he pointed up some stairs and held his hand out for a tip!). The room was wonderful (if you didn't mind a 1" gap around your front door and 1/2" around the balcony door) very large with a domed roof to keep it cool, large bathroom and separate toilet.
The next morning we tried to find the restaurant for breakfast and ended up eating in the Ceasers Palace restaurant (both on same complex). At the welcome meeting we were told off by the rep "you shouldn't eat there that's for the 5* guests only (1 person had been directed there by reception).
The Rep was only interested about telling you about the tour company tours, and seemed to have very basic knowledge of the immediate local area (even though she and her husband lived at the hotel). We ended telling her about where the local 10 pin bowling alley was (15 min walk along the beach), what the local shop was like etc
We spent the rest of the day in our room trying to get warm and reading (none of the plugs apart from the fridge in the main room and the hairdryer in the bathroom would accept travel plug adaptors).
All the entertainment is aimed at and run by the French - the entertainment team heard you were English and walked right around you (apart from 1 night when it turned out to be French change over day when they were all over us like a rash!)
The waiters in the bars seemed to be blind and deaf when it came to us Brits - it took one of us jumping up in front of them to get served and then drinks were ridiculously expensive.
If you like fish then you would be ok with regard to the food - every thing seemed to come with fish in it even the pastries for dessert were fish shaped. All food is labled in French. The Brits are stuck in the corner and the waiters can't do enough for the French who are all inclusive. This has to be the first holiday where I have only put on 1lb.
We were woken nearly every morning at around 6am by builders crashing, drilling and generally making a lot of noise (when I spoke to the rep I was told it was minor refurbishment and it didn't start till 8.30am - sorry my mistake must learn to tell the time!) Then every night we were kept awake till 1.30am - 2.00 am by the thumping music coming from the Disco.
On every trip you went on there was the hard sell carpet making demonstration. On one of the trips myself and a friend were told not to touch the coach window as it would fall out!
I would not advise any female visitors to go out on their own - the male population mentally undress you and will not talk business with you - I was trying to buy a childâs belly dancer outfit and the man would only talk to my friendâs husband not me!
This hotel is by no means a 4* at most it is a 3*
When you travel home - do not listen to the rep about changing all your money before going in to the departure lounge - we did then brought a round of coffee, sandwiches and crisps paid for it in sterling and got Dinar's back including notes!
I think I can safely say that 90% of the passengers on our return flight will never set foot in Djerba again."
- Travel date: Mon 19th of March 2007
Upon arrival at the Miramar Djerba palac...
"Upon arrival at the Miramar Djerba palace I was really quite impressed by the exterior of the hotel, it appeared clean and well taken care of.
Our rep was very friendly, helpful and had plenty of local knowledge having lived on the island for 25 years.
We were helped from the coach by porters and our luggage taken to the lobby, room keys were allocated promptly and we were told the bar and the bank had remained open should we require refreshment and to change some money to dinar (as you cannot get currency outside the country).
The pictures from the brochure must have been taken from some really impossible angles to make it appear a lot larger than it actually was, though it was very nice.
A porter then helped us to our room with our bags. We arrived at the room and again the porter helped us in with our luggage.
Again the rooms pictured in the brochure were brightly decorated and furnishings colour coordinated, not the case now.
To be truthful though, my view of hotel roomâs is - it's somewhere to sleep so this didnât bother me or my wife too much, they are ample for these requirements.
That night we just jumped into bed to discover that we had single beds. Not to worry we thought, we can sort it in the morning.
The next morning we rose, opened the curtains to survey our sea view only to discover some rather healthy looking bushes and plants, so down to reception it was to discuss the sleeping arrangements and the sea view!
We were to discover that there where no double beds (they just pushed 2 singles together), not a problem but no rooms in the hotel had a sea view!
From there on we encountered very few problems, the gentleman in the bank was very friendly and they provide safety deposit boxes for valuables which I recommend are used; the staff are also accommodating and friendly.
There is very little to actually do on the island, so it really is a place to go if you want to do very little and relax. There is a fair selection of food on offer though if you are particular about what you eat, beware.
As we went in February any of the activities mentioned by the rep werenât really worth doing as the weather was a little unpredictable.
Coaches into the nearby town of Midun aren't really worth the 10 dinar that the company charges, as you can get a taxi from the gates of the hotel for 2.5 dinar.
Over all the week we spent in The Miramar Djerba Palace was okay, though I really don't think the star rating given in the brochure is totally truthful and I certainly would not recommend a holiday in Djerba.
I truly feel that we were misled by the travel agent that sold us the holiday and will think twice before using them, who said that we would have white sands, clear blue sea and in February hot sunny weather, if you were to choose Djerba in February take a coat!"
- Travel date: Sun 4th of March 2007
We decided to visit Tunisia for the firs...
"We decided to visit Tunisia for the first time instead of the usual suspects of Canaries etc. And boy were we pleasantly delighted!
We arrived at the Djerba airport to be informed that we were upgraded to this hotel as the Miramar Djerba Hotel was not ready. This was at almost 10pm on a Saturday night.
As you know it is impossible to obtain Tunisian dinar outside Tunisia and I was a little worried when I discovered that the money exchange at the airport was closed.
Upon arrival at the hotel we were informed that the money exchange in the hotel had remained open to satisfy our needs. In addition the cafe bar stayed open serving food.
Our luggage was whisked away by a porter who carried our cases upstairs for us and refused a tip!
The room was magnificent being actually in the Cesarâs palace area of accommodation. A lovely big bed made from 2 three quarter size singles, spacious bathroom and all extremely clean. We also slept very well in the comfy bed.
The breakfasts were ample with an egg chef making omelettes, scrambled egg or fried eggs and a crepe chef making lovely crepes. The selection of meats could have been better but the abundance of cereals, cheeses, jams, honeys etc more than made up.
Even the coffee was of a high standard. The evening meals were no different. Lots of variety and all labelled (albeit in French) but easily identifiable.
I found that the wine list was quite good and the quality of the Tunisian reds was very good especially the Magon and the St Augustine.
I found that after such good food that the mint tea supplied by Hidi in the tea room soothed the tummy aches that we occasionally suffered. The hubble bubble pipes were quite a novelty.
My only criticisms of the hotel were the All Inclusive option and the Animation programme. We were quite satisfied with the half board option because snacks were available at lunchtime by the poolside.
Anyone who went AI were given half measure tumblers of beer or small shorts and were told where they could drink. They could only obtain drinks from the cafe bar and not from the bar American.
Therefore they were not allowed to sit with fellow guests while drinking their 'free drinks'. This is the only place I have experienced such stringent conditions.
The animation team were all French. All announcements were in French despite at that time the Brits outnumbering the French by 2-1!
The few young kids that were English couldn't join in because the team members would march off singing and chanting in French.
The flavour of the evening entertainment was French and we refused to participate and were given a hard time by the team who always asked why we chose to sit in the bars talking instead of watching their antics! They got their answer straight from me!
Everything about the hotel was excellent. Everyday our beds were changed and fresh towels left on top of the bed in a variety of shapes.
On Valentines Day the towels were arranged in a heart, sprinkled with petals from the flowers on the veranda and a lovely message written. Other days featured swan designs and floral designs.
We could not fault the friendly attitude of all the staff whether they were a maid, a gardener or restaurant/reception staff. Everyone had a smile on their faces.
One word of warning though. There is a little bazaar shop in the hotel. The friendly owner puts on a free bus into Houmt Souk everyday. Catch the taxi instead for TD7 each way.
The free bus will take you into town but to a carpet outlet where the hard sell is on for you to buy a carpet. Beautiful as they were, we weren't tempted but all of us (10 Brits) felt under great pressure and words of disdain were muttered albeit in Arabic.
The weather in February was excellent always between 80 & 85 degrees and we both got a decent tan. All the locals said that July & August it is over 100 degrees and more.
We will return. Not next year but soon."
- Travel date: Mon 19th of February 2007
Having read some very bad reviews about...
"Having read some very bad reviews about this hotel, myself and my friend were very apprehensive about what we would find on arrival. We were however very surprised! Having been told there was no help with your suitcases, we found a lovely porter who whisked them away from us and to our room. The bar was kept open for us to buy refreshments on arrival to take to our room and the hotel staff at reception spoke good English. On entering the room, we found it was clean and smelling very fresh, no sign of any rogue animals (much to my friends disappointment!).
The rest of the holiday continued to surprise as we found all the staff to be most friendly and helpful, they seemed to like practicing their English on us - and being rude about the French guests, much to our amusement! They also helped us to practice our French and corrected us when we got it wrong, we even learnt a few words of Arabic! We decided to upgrade to All Inclusive at reception for a very reasonable price and found it much easier and cheaper to do this for the week (although you can do it daily also).
The animation (entertainment) team were fantastic, they put on a really good programme of daytime sports activities and evening cabaret style shows - in both English and French, then escorted guests to the on-site disco, some of the moves left me with a smile for the rest of the week!
The only down side would be the selection of food, excellent if you like fish! Catered mainly for the French, but when abroad, try something different I think? If you're looking for "little England" then this place isn't for you, no noisy bars, lager swilling youths or fish and chips. If however, you like to try something a little different and integrate with other cultures then this place is a must!
All in all, we wished we'd stayed for 2 weeks, not just one. We certainly had an amazing holiday and are already looking at the website for dates for next year!! Can't wait to get back!"
- Travel date: Wed 25th of October 2006
I have just read one of the reviews belo...
"I have just read one of the reviews below and can't believe it was concerning the same hotel! My boyfriend and I returned from Djerba last week after spending a week at the Djerba Palace. We were really pleased with the hotel, it is joined with two other Miramar hotels you are allowed to use their facilities which meant we had 4 gorgeous swimming pools to choose from (including the indoor pool). The outdoor pools include one huge main pool, a smaller quieter pool and a pool with water slides (our favourite!) As we went in September the hotel was quite quiet and there was always a sunbed next to the pool for us and the pools were never crowded, it was lovely!
The beach was also very impressive, amazing white sand and deep blue sea with free sunbeds and parasols provided by the hotel. The only bad thing I could say about the beach is the men that walk along the seashore selling things, they don't come to your sunbed and pester you but they do shout out to you every now and again. Other than that, being at the beach was really nice and peaceful.
It is true that all of the entertainment is in French but to be honest after a day out in the sun we were happy to have an early night. The staff there are reasonably friendly but due to the language barrier (only the odd waiter speaks English) they could come across as a bit unhelpful. Also the men there do tend to stare a bit but they aren't intimidating its just unusual for them to be surrounded by white women with swimwear on I suppose!!!
Our room looked exactly as it had in the brochure and the air conditioning was really powerful and kept the room cool constantly and you need that because it is scorching out there! The housekeeping staff were really good, they cleaned the rooms and changed sheets and towels everyday, they also do this really nice thing where they make swans out of the bathroom towels which I thought was a really nice touch!
The food was as good as can be expected, there is alot of choice and although itâs not haute cuisine its better than most canteens in England. There is plenty of veg and fruit and they serve a big selection of meat and fish. You have to be a bit adventurous and try a bit of everything - we were pleasantly surprised!
All in all we had a really nice time, I would recommend this holiday for couples who enjoy just lounging by the pool or beach soaking up the sun. Don't come here if you want to do alot of sightseeing as there isn't much to see. Also I would recommend going towards the end of the season as it was quiet and on a few occasions we had a whole pool to ourselves! It was heaven.
Please don't be put off by the bad reviews, we loved it and would definitely go back again!
And finally it was dirt cheap, we only spent Â£100 between us the whole time we were there!!!
- Travel date: Fri 22nd of September 2006
Where can we start, this was our second...
"Where can we start, this was our second time at the Djerba Palace Hotel and we had
a really good time yet again. We have made some great friends and have always been treated very well.
Our room was lovely and every time we went in after a day around the beautiful pool we had flowers and swan shaped towels on our beds. Every evening we went to the coffee lounge and had drinks and light refreshments and yet again we were treated politely and always made to feel welcome.
Every meal we had was extremely nice and very well presented. Yes the majority of the guests were French or German but in all honesty we were made to feel very special and didn't feel left out of any activities at all.
Would we recommend the Derba Palace Hotel you bet we would every time. We would like to say a great big thank you to all the staff at the Djerba Palace Hotel for making our holidays very special and we look forward to going back again in the near future.
- Travel date: Thu 21st of September 2006
This is not a hotel for the British. Eve...
"This is not a hotel for the British. Everything about this hotel is aimed at the French (all inclusive) bit like a French Butlins, with all the games in the pool and evening entertainment and menu in French.
Nice hotel and room, (few cockroaches) private beach (clean) but nothing to do being a Muslim country you can't go down the pub (none) taxi's are cheap but not many places of interest on the island. Sorry but we'd not go again."
- Travel date: Tue 19th of September 2006
Me and my family went to Djerba in late...
"Me and my family went to Djerba in late may it was a late deal and we was very pleased with it the staff were so friendly they spoke mainly French but most spoke a little English.
I have been on many holidays in my life to places all over the world but I must say that Djerbe palace was the best, I hope to go back in the very near future to return my thanks to Hatem and all the others entertainers. I definitely recommend this holiday to any one any age its is definitely at the top with beautiful scenes Djerba is the place to be.
- Travel date: Sat 9th of September 2006
Dear oh dear, where do I start? My boyf...
"Dear oh dear, where do I start?
My boyfriend and I booked a 2 week holiday at this 'palace' from the 19th august until the 2nd September costing us Â£640 each. I'm pregnant and we wanted it to be a lovely relaxing last holiday as a two before the baby is born. We live in Cornwall so having to drive 8 hours up to Gatwick before taking off was obviously quite tiring and uncomfortable. When we'd checked in we were quickly put onto a bus and the tour operator explained what was to be expected and she was very friendly. We arrived at about 1:30am.
It all went downhill from there. We got into the lobby/reception and were immediately put off by the old, stale smell of smoke and sweat and we expected air conditioning at least - but I'll come to that. We queued with the rest of the visitors for about ten minutes and began to realise that most had disappeared, we wondered what we should do about getting our room key and reception couldn't care less, they just carried on talking to each other in French.
Eventually (after having to use a forceful tone of voice) one of the men behind reception got onto his phone and called a colleague to show us our room. The man arrived some ten minutes later and showed us and a few more guests where our rooms were. He rushed us around on a wild goose chase and we couldnât keep up with the rest of the pack (as I said before, tiring, long journey). We were the last to be shown to our room, where he pointed up a flight of marble steps in the dark and expected me to carry my (slightly too over packed) suitcase up to the room but after he saw my blank expression he muttered something under his breath and took it up for me.
He gave us our key (Room 4180) and we opened the door. "Poorrrrr!!" - it stunk of smoke and again the same sweaty smell we had smelt in reception. The bathroom was simple, not very impressive and the toilet with the wonky toilet seat was, shall I say 'bog standard'. Then we got into the bedroom.
The picture we had seen in the brochure was completely different; it actually looked nice and modern. This was shab; two single mattresses pushed together to make a double bed (painful on our backs), dated, old and dangerous decor (I found out as I cut my hand on a bit of badly made cupboard). The sheets and colour-coordination of the seats and furniture was pitiful and really lacked imagination. The light switch cover came off in my boyfriend's hand as he switched the light on. All of the furniture looked hand-made and about ten years old. The balcony didn't look too bad though. Anyway, as we were tired we thought that maybe things would seem better tomorrow.
How wrong we were! We were rudely woken up a little while after ten (we didnât attend the meeting as we needed to catch up on sleep) by loud, booming French dance music, children blowing whistles in the pool, building works and screaming kids - we were told there were no kids allowed in this resort. This music went on until mid-day where we just wanted to relax and soak up some sun, but the sun was simply too hot at this time and every time we came in from the balcony we would black out and have to put the air conditioning on.
Now, I don't know about here, but surely leaking air conditioning is not a good thing? As we heard drips landing on the tiles outside the toilet we then noticed a hole in the ceiling. The occasional drip then turned into a frequent dripping and within no time the floor was flooded. We let house keeping know, who then mopped it up, made a couple of 'ooooh's and aahhhh's' and that was the last we heard from them. As they had not provided us with a bucket we decided to use our initiative and try to block the leak with something - at first we tried tissue but then it soaked through. Then we laid a towel on the floor as well and it soaked through that. So my boyfriend stuck a towel in the ceiling to soak up the liquid, only to find the hole size increase dramatically as the plaster was falling apart. (By the end of the holiday a large part of the ceiling was about to collapse).
We stayed in our room for most of the first day as the music then started again just after 2pm. And not only was there French cheesy music coming from the pool, we then discovered we had been situated in between another hotel making equal amounts of noise on the karaoke the other side of our balcony. We also wondered down to the hotel bank to exchange our travellerâs cheques. The man there was very efficient and very tight on security (I had to show him 3 documents with my signature on). But all in all he was friendly.
Then came the food. We went down to the buffet at about half 7 (open 7-9pm). We were amazed how hot it was in the dining room as there were air conditioning slats in the roof but they obviously prefer not to use them (I wonder why)? We skimmed around the food trying to find something that looked appetising, but sadly enough nothing did as every dish, hot or cold was absolutely swarmed with flies. Now I've heard that flies are sick/poo on food as soon as they land on it so I didn't want to risk making myself ill during my pregnancy - so I went with hardly any food that evening. I was glad that they had Fanta though, as every other beverage we tried had a funny taste to it (including the milk).
As for this matter, we asked our favourite waiter (Adel) what the policies are in Djerba when it comes to flies and food, as my boyfriend used to be a chef and he explained that if this was in England the restaurant would be shut down. He told us that in Tunisia it is normal to have flies around food and then went on to tell us that the French don't really appreciate them. But who do the French appreciate?
All the Tunisian staff speak French and very little are able to string an English sentence together. We tried our best to find out French phrases and practiced them on the staff and were polite and friendly to everyone. But they didnât seem to appreciate our efforts, instead we were slagged off in a shop by the shopkeeper and his friend as we were buying some food from him, and he thought we couldn't understand? We were laughed at constantly by room service and ignored by reception.
We then went onto the jewellers shop as all of the jewellery was beautiful and I wanted to buy a few things and a few presents. We started by speaking to the younger of the two members of staff, who began trying his hardest to flog me everything that I had said to my boyfriend looked nice. I spent 100dinars in the shop that night, as everything he was saying was a 'good price' - how gullible I was. He told us to come back tomorrow so I could get my boyfriend a necklace as part of the 'good deal'. We went back again and I chose my mother a perfect necklace. My boyfriend chose one he liked and I got them both for a 'good price' again of another 120dinars.
I then had to go back to the shop as I needed to get my friend a birthday present (I have a rubbish memory). I picked out some earrings I wanted to get her and they tried to flog me a necklace (by forcefully putting it on around my neck "100 dinar"!). I told them that all I could buy was a present for my friend. After I'd bought the present they told me to come back and they'd give me a 'good price' for the necklace. I didn't even want it! My boyfriend and I then realised that the necklace I had bought him was a little too long so we had to go back to see if we could get a shorter one. We gave them the necklace back, he said he would solder it and have it back to him by the evening. We went back that evening and he said it would be ready the next day ("oh and we could give you a good price for the necklace!").
You have to be aware as this is an obvious selling technique to get the customer to come back so they can pressure you some more. The more I turned the necklace down, the more stressed the shopkeepers seemed to become.
As for room service - everything hot we had ordered was cold by the time it reached our room. On two occasions we waited for over 2 hours to receive a hot chocolate night cap, even after we'd followed it up and he'd assured us '5 minutes'.
Sleeping at this hotel was horrible. The music would carry on until past midnight, really loud so it wasn't even possible to sit outside on the balcony with a puzzle book because you couldn't think straight. When we'd eventually start to get to sleep we would start to hear pigeons. These pigeons had come in through the roof and got trapped above our (damp) ceiling.
My boyfriend hadn't had much sleep and he found a member of housekeeping who came up to our room (I wasn't even dressed properly so I had to hide behind the sheets) and my boyfriend explained about the pigeons. The man was saying 'okay sir' constantly and spending more time perving on me with a big smile. I was freaked out!
And of course, nothing came of us telling him about the problem. Mark (my boyfriend) took the matter into his own hands. He lifted up the slat in the ceiling and tried to see where the pigeon was. He then realised as he pushed the slat out more that there were lots of big holes in the roof, caused by the tunisians' bad building techniques of trying to push the pipes through. He also discovered that their pipes and electrics are outside of the building and not covered. They had built a wall around these so that it could not be seen. All around the air conditioning in the ceiling there was a damp black felt material - must have been previously caused by the leaking air conditioning, with old towels wrapped around it (so the hotel were already aware of the problem - dodgy!!)
Every time we had a shower, water would go ALL over the bathroom floor as the shower curtain they have isnât waterproof and it just seeps through (may as well not be there). It is dangerous and if you slip you could really hurt yourself. I had to use the hair dryer on a few occasions (which is plugged into an electrical socket in the bathroom - not allowed in England) and it overheated and burnt my hand.
The beach isn't anything special, there are random bits of rubbish laid all around and it looks scabby. We managed to find a secluded little spot where we could lay our towels, but as I was sunbathing Tunisian men would walk past and look me up and down. They seem to be amazed by white women and it can make you feel really uncomfortable and inadequate at times.
We spoke to our holiday rep and explained everything that had gone wrong. He couldn't seem to understand why we would say this about the hotel as it has such a 'good' reputation. Well, if it's so good then why, on the way home was the entire plane talking of complaining to Panorama? There was also a rumour that he is going to resign as he has had so many complaints.
I apologise for the long essay but I really needed to get this off my chest as we left a week early, returned today and apparently cant claim any of our money back (even though we booked under false pretences). If you're going to book a holiday to this dump, I would strongly advise you only go for a week to avoid disappointment and loss of money like us. We finally managed to get flight details of returns to the UK - only to find that if we were to leave a week early we would have to catch a plane to Manchester, arriving at 2am and then check onto the BA flight to Gatwick (costing Â£118 each) at 8:10am. We had to stay for 6 hours in Manchester airport in the middle of the night, catch an hour flight to Gatwick and then drive 8 hours home.
But I can tell you what, the biggest relief I've had in a long time was to arrive home today after having such a terrible holiday experience. I forgot to say - not only did the hotel leave me with bad holiday memories and a serious hole in my pocket, it also gave me a large case of sickness and the runs. I threw up constantly on the way home and could not stop running to the toilet (thatâs what kept us awake through the night at Manchester) due to food poisoning.
If you really want to still go to this hotel, I wish you luck, but I can definitely say that we will never ever return here, it was more stressful and problematic than if we'd stayed at home and gone to work.
- Travel date: Mon 28th of August 2006