16 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Hmmm. Not a place that I would recommend...
"Hmmm. Not a place that I would recommend to anyone. Where to start... The rooms were basic but well maintained (as long as you could keep the cleaners on your side). The place as a whole was rather run down as well.
The pool was, whilst we were there, maintained to a reasonable standard (we had heard stories from guests who had been there for a while that the pool had been very dirty and only just tended to.) There weren't enough sunbeds to go around and you had to get up very early to bag one.
The entertainment was rather in your face. I don't mean to sound old and grouchy but they were noisy, persistent in not letting you rest and to be rather honest, poor entertainers who spoke very little English.
The food was also poor. The resort, with a majority of Polish tourists turned into a battlefield when it came to queuing. Numerous times you would turn up at the beginning of dinner to find huge queues already.
When you reached the front of the queue you would get a cold horrible gristly cut of meat. Breakfast was even worse with a choice of only bran flakes, or ,eggs served in more ways that you thought was possible. One of our children barely ate anything at all on holiday as it was so badly cooked.
Tunisia itself isn't even that much better. The market at the castle is quite novel to start with, but the constant 'attention' to my blonde haired daughter got rather straining to say the least. Haggling was fun but expect no peace to explore around yourself.
One thing that I would recommend is the tour of Tunisia organised by the reception. It takes you everywhere including the Troglodyte caves, vineyards, markets and the Sahara for a camel ride in authentic Tunisian dress- all led by a helpful man fluent in English.
- Travel date: Wed 19th of September 2007
This hotel was great. There was a really...
"This hotel was great. There was a really friendly air to the hotel and staff.
The waiters show a great deal of loyalty, dedicating every evening waiting specific tables and generally being helpful.
Of course these young men are expecting a tip but this tip is well earned as they will wait on you hand and foot.
The entertainers were amazing, every day there is a routine which have some varied aspects but some very routine. Like the morning aerobics and the darts and water polo games.
The entertainment is amazing and caters to people of all backgrounds and ages.
Everyone is very welcoming and there are great services including a resident photographer and a sun bed maintainer.
The food is fantastic providing a wide range of Tunisian cultured food and also English food.
There were some Brits staying there when I was there, giving us a bad name by begging for chips and battered fish. They are abroad, do they expect the british food to follow them to this beautiful country.
I recommend this hotel to everybody."
- Travel date: Wed 21st of February 2007
Clean Hotel with friendly staff
"My fiance and I found the hotel to be of slightly above average for a 3 star resort. The food was OK for me but my partner did struggle to find something he liked but then again he is a chef and they are the hardest to please. The staff were all very friendly without exception. The hotel was cleaned and the beds were dressed every day sometimes with flowers as is the custom in this part of the world. We stayed half board and found the hotel a little expensive in the bars and we were not allowed to use some bars as they were for the all inclusive guests. Instead we drank at the bar next door Le Safari which was cheaper and the staff here were excellent, the bar shows sports and so there was entertainment for the men as well as music for the ladies.
Having been moved here because our 4 or 5 star accomodation was fully booked I have to say I was not expecting much but was pleasantly surprised. A lot of people moaned about the food and service but I did not find it any worse than other hotels where meals are buffet style. If you want bacon with your breakfast you will be disappointed but the Las Palmas bar ten minutes away served a mean bacon sandwich and a full English Breakfast. On the whole we really enjoyed our relaxing break in Tunisia and would return but perhaps we would try a 4 or 5 star next time."
- Travel date: Tue 16th of August 2005
"As someone who has travelled alot to many and varied places I wont be going back here.
1. The hotel was clean and the rooms were basic but very clean and the maid was lovely she even put lovely red lowers on our beds.
2. The staff would not serve us drinks by the pool as we were all inclusive they work for tips so we were treated like second class citizens. You could only get a drink for yourself at the poolside bar unless you were prepared to get engaged in an argument with the barman which my wife did on a couple of occaisions. There were never enough glasses and every drink regardless of wether you were in the bar or by the pool or anywhere else came in a plastic tumbler.
3. The food was something you would expect to see in a 1950s military field kitchen. No variety, same things every day, flies keep attacking you then the hotplate.
4. We had a large queue of people complaining at the reception desk to the management and our rep. The next day the food improved and was covered from flies.
5. A week there was plenty. Many people had been for a fortnight but I don't know how they kept so calm.
To summarize the hotel was clean and tidy. 60% of the staff were friendly and professional. Food was at time nearly unedible. If i ha dto give a mark out of ten for the whole holiday then it would be 5 out of 10."
- Travel date: Sun 14th of August 2005
"My 12 year old son and I stayed at this Hotel for 2 weeks, and found all the staff to be very friendly, we were always greeted with a smile. There were several activities during the day, such as volley ball, water polo and excersize classes. The food was very nice, and plentiful. The beach is a short walk from the hotel, and the pubs and clubs a 5 minute walk up the road. Yasmine, Hammamet is a short taxi ride away, and well worth a visit! I felt safe at all times but as there was entertainment on every night, and several bars in the hotel complex, we did not need to venture out every night.
I will definately be going back next year."
- Travel date: Sat 6th of August 2005
"The pool was clean and just at the right temperature, the weather brilliant even though we had lightning at night whilst eating.
The entertainment was good on some nights, the animation team put on great dances, but i have to admit the magic show was the worst i have ever seen. Also bingo was long and boring, it took 20 mins for one game, bingo was meant to start at 9 but ended up at 9.40 and then the show started at after 10 when it was supposed to begin at 9.30.
The food was horrible. I basically lived on a pizza, chips and melon diet! The food wasnt labelled so no one had a clue what they were eating. Also many people pushed in the food line after guests had waited for at leat 10-15 mins to get their food.
Our waiter was very nice, he chatted and joked with us even though he didnt know much english, he even invited our family out for a drink!
The bar kept running out of coke and beer, not very good when you are on a all inclusive!
Our rooms were cleaned well with little flowers and our sheets folded nicely!
I would say go to le saphir and hammamet, but watch out as the men can be very forward to women! I had a amazing holiday and would definately go back next year."
- Travel date: Sat 6th of August 2005
What a relaxing holiday
"We have received nothing but fantastic service from the very friendly staff at this hotel. It is situated in a quiet region so is great to get away from it all. If you do want night life it is just a short walk away down the road to some excellent bars. One of the best nights out we had involved a quick taxi ride to nearby Yasmin Hammamet - the marina is beautiful and worth a look. The food at the hotel was enjoyable and we certainly did not go hungry, it does become a little repetative by the end of the fortnight but that's no real complaint. If you want excellent service then all you need to do is smile!!! Besides you should be smiling anyway, you're on holiday!"
- Travel date: Fri 5th of August 2005
Avoid this Hotel !
"I do not often write reviews on here but I feel that I have to on this occasion.
I have extensive knowladge of the hotel and restaurant trade and as we came back yesterday I will relay what I saw.
The property has a mixture of nationalities English, Polish, German, Russian and French.
1. The property itself is impressive with two large pools three tennis courts ( only one had a net) a disco and a few bars.
At peak times and when the hotel is full to capacity the pool area can not accommodate all 700 guests so your alternative is to go to the hotel beech which has no facilities and looks rather run down.
A bed there will cost you 3 dinars so we went to the hotel Paradise next door, there we found the beds for 1.5 dinars each and there were showers and such like.
Hotel rooms are basic but in line with the 3 star rating and are clean.
The hotel was advertised as having air con, this was not available for the first five days as it had broken down.
There is a seperate A La Carte Restaurant and in the 14 days we were there I did not see a single guest eating there.
2. The food: if you have children you will have problems with finding something to eat for them, there are two reaturants and when filled to capacity can not cope with the volume of guests.
The menu is rotated over seven days but I have to say that the Exec Chef has no imagination even operating under a limited food cost it could have been better, there were no local dishes served and it was rather bland.
There is a BBQ one of the entertainment people cook things like chicken and as they have no food prep knowladge the dishes were often undercooked presenting everyone with possible food born bacteria problems.
3. The food servicestaff were very rude, in fourteen days not one waiter came to my table to ask how my meal was. In my opinion they have no or little customer service skills and do not even try to earn a tip.
4. The beverage service staff were again similar bar two, but in general were unfreindly and cold.
They serve local drinks such as Gin, Vodka and Beer and to be frank were of poor quality, you always had to ask for ice and the lines for the bar were quite long at peek times.
5. The General Manager who I spoke with twice does not really care, when there were clearly problems in the dining room he just walzed by without a care in the world.
6. The location of the hotel is pretty good, there are some shops to buy water and such like and there are a few bars in the surrounding area.
There is a small shop in the hotel but it sells post cards, toy camels and nik knacks.
7. Entertainment: it doesnt really exist, if you have a family there are some activities fir the children but not many. If you are a couple you will have to find other things to do at night as by 10:30 pm the hotel is in semi darkness.
The night club called Havana looks rather tired and is need of a renewal.
To sum up the Hotel is ok but it has challenges to overcome to provide guests with a value for money holiday, if you have children I think there could be better alternatives as this property does not cater for them.
If you are in a couple you will need to find entertainment in the evenings.
I would like to say that Mondi who worked in the main bar was very good and knows his trade well and also the man who gives out the cushions for the chairs was nice as well.
The rest however need to shape up and that includes the General Manager.
I have been quite lucky and have been able to travel all over the world and seen many place but in my life I have never seen such rude staff.
In my opinion this is not an All Inclusive Hotel as the concept would make you beleive and is more like Full Board with Drinks.
I have included my email address at the footof this comment and you are welcome to email me for any other information."
- Travel date: Thu 30th of June 2005
"Just returned from a fortnight in the Hammemet Village. Not the greatest holiday as there is nothing to do outside the complex. The days were spent sun worshipping but once the sun had gone there was nothing else. The hotel is now run by the Tunisians and not Airtours and many people who had stayed there before we very very disappointed with it. The entertainment team for the complex were so bad its hard to discribe so after dinner at about 8pm we had nothing to do, so take your own entertainment.( you have been told)
Grounds are excellent as are the pools but the rooms were disappointing, very basic (like Greece)and shabby, in definate need of a make-over, and the terrace not big enough for the family. However they are clean but still not what we expected from a 3/4 star hotel. Staff are very friendly but they are always looking to score a tip. Food was bland and often repeated so in the second week hardly had breakfast and ate out some evenings. We were on a HB basis and to upgrade to All Inc it would be Â£96 pp per week. We didn't, best decission we made all fortnight. Drinks are Â£1.50 for a bottle of beer, 80p for a small coke and about Â£2 for a vodka and coke. Beaches are nice but were hassled by the lookey,lookey men so much that we didn't go in the second week. Within walking distance of the hotel are a few bars but there were so many locals hanging around that the kids felt a little intimidated walking the streets which also limited our options.
However a short taxi ride is Yasmine Hammamet and this is the place to be. It is purpose built for tourism and a much more pleasant enviroment. You can stroll along the beach and around the new medina without too much hassle - so I recommend this resort if you have the option.
All in all I wont be rushing back, if I do go back it would be for a week and I would stay in Yassmine Hammamet and I would choose my Hotel with great precision. Tunisia for me is a hotel based holiday and if you get it wrong, you will suffer so choose wisely and I would avoid the Hammamet Village/Le Saphir as it has definately had its day."
- Travel date: Tue 21st of June 2005
"The first time I ever went to Tunisia was last year on a late deal and I couldn't have loved it more.......
The staff were absolutely wonderfull and the hotel was spotless. The Saphir is perfect if you just want to go on holiday to relax and sunbathe, but you can easily go into Hammamet Town for shopping.
It's got to be good, am hoping to go back later in the year"
- Travel date: Tue 3rd of May 2005
If your going in Summer 2005, donât be...
"If your going in Summer 2005, donât be put off by the bad reports you may have read about this hotel. The whole complex has been refurbished, and I believe there are new owners for 2005.
The facilities are generally very good. The rooms are clean, but fairly basic. The food is absolutely fine. Plenty of choice every day, with a nice combination of western and African food. Thereâs enough to keep the fussiest kid happy.
Staff are generally very helpful and friendly, but the entertainments team are a bit in your face if you have kids who are not interested in their activities.
Tunisia itself is OK, but not particularly exciting. People are generally OK, but you will get hassle in the markets. Some people enjoy the haggling, but others find it intimidating. Its up to you.
Overall the holiday far exceeded our expectations, and given the price compared to most Med resorts, is great value for money."
- Travel date: Sat 30th of April 2005
first time in tunisia and probably last! stayed 01/09/04
"we stayed for a week at the saphir and by the thursday we wanted to go home! it is clean but very basic. we were all inclusive but soon learnt that if you dont tip the waiters then they wont come to your table and ask if you want a drink, this is fine if you dont mind getting up and walking to the bar for each drink. the entertainment is just a kids disco and then bingo, mohamed who does the bingo is funny but it is the same EVERY night!there is one disco on the complex and we were the only people in there but if you walk off the hotel complex there is a night club called Latino and that stays open all night but the drinks are very expensive, it seems that is the only life in Tunisia though!the pool is good and there is a nice little man that gives you a comfy cushion for your sunbed no charge.there is a small shop in the hotel lobby where you can buy bottled water but it doesnt sell much else.the rooms are basic but nice and the maids are lovely.the buffet was nice and as long as your not scared to try different food then it is fine, the Pizza place serves bugers which look more like big meat balls in stale buns that are probably left over from the all inclusive buffet,we thought the buffet food was nice though. generally not a young persons holiday unless your into playing bingo every night and then watching the reps put on some dodgy cabaret act??"
- Travel date: Tue 5th of October 2004