39 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Hotel staff wonderful, Medina a nightmare.
"Greetings from Cork, Eire. After weeks, and I mean weeks of checking internet sites for last minute value we finally decided on Tunisia, never been there before and always open to new experiences. Got great deal from Thomas Cook so bags packed for me and my son Ben, aged 12, and we headed off for a week in the Bel Azur, Hammemet, from 18th of July this year. I cant say enough for the staff in the Bel Azur. The pool guy and lifeguard were exceptional, and took care of me, with sunbeds every morning, umbrella for my son if he needed to lie in the shade and my ashtray, an unfortunate habit I picked up many years ago. But cigarettes, for those of you that do smoke, are CHEAP.....A plus for us with the habit! Our room was basic, but came with fruit basket, porter who gladly carried my bags as lift was out of order. Dont worry, it did work again a couple of days later, We were on the second floor so was happy when life back in order as the buffet in the evening was wonderful, with a range of food to suit everyone, my son Ben made numourous trips for extras which sais alot, believe me. I never made breakfast!!! I do have to have a cup of Tea in the morning, so being a good Irish lass from Cork I cam equiped with my 80 box of Barry's Tea. A couple a Dinar and I had a cup, teapot of boiling water, when I needed it in the morning.
The local beer was a bit strange, maybe something to do with the chemicals, I had bloody nightmares until I smitched to Sangria, which is a meal in itself! foreign beer, Amereto with a coffee after dinner was fab, sitting in the gardens chilling with the lovely people we happen to meet, despite the languare barrier. May i recommend you take up french! its very handy to have a few words. In the restaurant we had our own table ever night, slip the waiter a couple of Dinar and I can guarantee you fresh flowers on your table every meal during your stay, really lovely. My ventured out of the hotel on a couple of occasions and both were unpleasant. Across the road from the hotel and to the left there was a shop that sold water among other things,a little girl about 10 conned me into putting Henna ink on my hand and made me pay for this even though I didnt want it. Again language barrier can be a problem. The pressure of the shop owners was terrible. My son and I visited the Medina for a shopping trip. We took taxi from hotel which was very cheap. Within ten minutes of entering the Medina, as a blond female travelling without a male companion it was unbearable. I so wanted to buy some bags, purses, maybe shoes, all girls love shoes, in other words I had money to spend but the pressure from every corner was awfull. On one little street a shop owner stood in front of me and when I wouldnt go in his shop he hit me in the arm, I was so horrified that my son, who was begging to get out of there, hopped into the nearest taxi and back to hotel. We didnt go outside much after that, we really had everything we needed within the hotel itself. We could use any pool we wished. the beach was a stroll through the garden, fabulous restaurant overlooking the sea with huge portions and brilliant sunshine. Great pancake stall, Oh and you must try the delicious sugar donut rings brought around the pool about 3pm, yummy. We had a lovely week together, the sunshine was fantastic, company wonderful, hotel staff exceptional (it just costs a couple of dinar)I must say, the Rep, Marian, took over from our original Rep at very short notice, she was lovely. We wont go back again but it was an experience that we were glad we had. "
- Travel date: Sun 9th of August 2009
A lovely holiday but!!!
"i recently retuned from a holiday in Hammamet, i would say that i had a lovely time and would definatley go back but probably not to the bel azur. on arrival we were kept waiting over half and hour before we were allowed to go to our rooms as we had to waite for a porter to take us there although i had asked on a number of occassions if reception could just give me directions as we were tired and just wanted to get settled. the food was horrible and although i mainly ate salads i came back to england with a very upset stomach. the evening entertainment was rubbish and we were constantly being harrased by staff during the day and night. the reception staff were the rudest i have ever met, on the day of check out we were left a note in our room to say we could have a room later in the day to shower in as we were getting picked up late, when i asked where we could shower they told us we had to use the outside shower by the pool! i was disgusted and when we asked to use a towel they accused us of trying to steal it and they were shouting at me from accross reception, i was completely embarrassed. the room was lovely though and the hotel nice to but its just the staff that let it down. "
- Travel date: Thu 23rd of July 2009
New Year 2008
"New Year Holiday 2008 review
I had waited all my life for a New Year's Eve like the one at the Bel Azur Hotel, Hammamet.
What a fantastic night the Bel Azur Hotel provided for their guests. The staff worked so hard to serve up a delicious 8-9 course meal blessed by the hand of Fatima, with belly dancing entertainment, live music, salsa and latin dancing. The atmosphere really was electric.
The Animation team provide the opportunity to experience the Tunisian way of life, with a different show every night and ensuring that the guests are included in every way by a friendly, hard working and dedicated team of entertainers.
Although the hotel is in need of re-furbishment, the situate of the hotel, which overlooks a beautiful multi-coloured deep blue sea and a golden mile of soft, undulating sand, and all of the above, seems to overlook the need for a make over.
Star rating *****
- Travel date: Fri 16th of January 2009
"we stayed at the bel azur and enjoyed it very much the staff there are very friendly and cant do enough for you,the entertainment is very good.the animation guys are brilliant keeping holiday makers entertained day and night. we had an apartment there which was right on the beach it was very clean with maid service every day who are very good again thy cant do enough for you.yes the dineing room is always busy but fun thats the whole fun of the holiday, if people are not prepared to try the food then i would say for them to go to spain,greece,or turkey where they can get all english food, also to go to these other countrys if they want the night life, but if your looking for a good holiday away from the hussle and bussle then tunisia is ideal. i give this hotel ten out of ten as the staff deserve it.we holiday in tunisia every year and have made many tunisian friends, and am looking forward to next year as we are staying there again and cant wait."
- Travel date: Thu 6th of November 2008
Have just come back from our second time...
"Have just come back from our second time at this hotel, staff remebered us from 2 years ago. We had a great 2 weeks, weather was fab and would like to go again in a couple of years. Our 31year old daughter/11year old grand daughter are going out there again in October, this will be their 4th time.
It is a safe hotel, everyone if friendly and staff can't do enough for you. The only reason we have given a 9 is the hotel could do with a lick of paint in some places other than that a very clean hotel.
Animation Team are brillant, good fun and will try to sell you their CD/T-Shirts as it's part of their jobe but just say NO in a friendly way and they leave you be. The entertainment in the eveings is great and good fun.
It is very cheap out there and it is expected to give a small tip, which staff are very grateful for as wages are very low.
Would recommend this as a all round holiday."
- Travel date: Sat 28th of June 2008
Had a great time again at the bel azur,a...
"Had a great time again at the bel azur,after all what you see and pay for is what you get with the bel azur,the rooms are ok,we had a sea view to die for, after all do you want to stay in you're room all day??.
Ok the food is a bit samey but the service was great,(tip ) lunch time pop up to the local sandwich place just outside the gates 4dinars for 2 people and drinks!!and bagettes down the road 100m then a right to Mirage local cafe, again they both cook fresh meats as you wait,really cheap again.
We had 2wks there and we did'nt have a nite without good company which says a lot these days,geordees,devon, irish,norfolk and many more....
We also went on the 2 day trip into the sahara...it was brill,if you go to tunisia you must try and go on the trip it was well worth it(about 70 pounds) yes it is 2 long days but it is something you will never forget,the highlight for me was going through the sahara in a sandstorm on a camel,stands along side swimming with the dophins.
all in all if you are going to the bel azur you will have a good time if you relax and try to chill out x"
- Travel date: Fri 13th of June 2008
This hotel is in desperate need of new m...
"This hotel is in desperate need of new management and refurbishment. It looks like the hotel has not had a lick of paint since the 70's. The carpets are sticky, rooms are shabby and the bathrooms are just too gross to use they are covered in mould and tiles falling off the walls.
The Food was ok but nothing special and watch the cooked meats as a few people came down with food poisoning.
The entertainment was really bad and consisted of a few young men pestering you for money to buy CD's and T shirts while they danced about trying to impress you with some salsa moves. They were really overbearing and even annoyed you all day around the pool too, they really did spoil our holiday.
All in all I would not return to this hotel."
- Travel date: Fri 7th of March 2008
This has to be the worst hotel we have e...
"This has to be the worst hotel we have ever stayed had the misfortune to stay in. The hotel is no way a 3 star, I would not rate it at all. The reception area, restaurant and pool are in dire need of a good clean, it really was disgusting. The rooms were truly awful, our bedding was covered in blood stains, the bathroom was shocking, the bath was covered in horrible dirty marks and there was mould all over the tiles and tiles falling off, the air con did not work. We complained but got no where as the staff simply could not be bothered helping you in anyway, they just slagged us off in French which I happen to speak french very well so I knew what they were saying and they were calling us stupid westerners. They were quite happy to take our money though! The food was awful and was always cold so we stuck to salads and even then a few of landed up sick, obviously their hygiene is not what it should be. The entertainment was really bad it was worse than Butlins. You were constant annoyed by the "animation team" for money and drinks and they were always trying to come out with you at night, for a free ride. We also had a number of things stolen, do not leave your phone or camera on the table or it will disappear and keep hold of your hand bag at all times. The night life is not great and you are being ripped off all the time, one day the charge you one amount the next day it has went up 20 Dinar. Be careful in the British bar as the guys in our group were harassed by local working girls and even the girls were being propositioned by the young local men If we were after that kind of thing we would have went to Amsterdam. We would never return to this hotel or Hammamet as you get treated appallingly they are just after you money and they con you at every opportunity. All in all the worst holiday we have ever had."
- Travel date: Sat 16th of February 2008
The rooms were tatty to say the least, s...
"The rooms were tatty to say the least, shower room disgusting, toilets un-flushable, no hot water, only cold tap worked, stained walls and floors. Four large bolts with nuts went through either side of the shower room walls these held the TV brackets in our and next doors room. Carpets were covered in paint from when rooms were last decorated probably (1950 circa). The highlight of the bedroom was brown threadbare under blankets on the beds.
The food well that was just about bearable if you stuck to salad and bread, even then we had dodgy tums. The entertainment staff or should I say the hired gigolos are just out to dance with the women and show them a good time for a few bucks, classy!! Donât worry boys if you need to buy attention there are plenty offers either in the hotel by the Working Russian girls, or if you fancy a local head up to the British bar where you can pick up an 18 year old Tunisian girl foe 150 Dinar. All good if thatâs what youâre in too. It is not what we had expected of Hammamet and was quite disgusted by it all.
You may think I am being harsh but try it and put it down to one of the Ten Worst places to visit before you pass away. The lesson to be learned is book somewhere else or sleep in a garbage bin as you would be more comfortable there than you would in the Bel Azur. "
- Travel date: Sat 5th of January 2008
I thought this holiday was brilliant the...
"I thought this holiday was brilliant there wasn't one thing I didn't like about it!
But I loved the animation team they was so friendly and treated you like family I could always have a laugh with them.
I must recommend this hotel or I will feel terrible, you have to go to this hotel its great I have no words to say how good it is!
The beach is on the hotel where there's lots of activity's to do there's that many that you wouldn't be bored.
- Travel date: Thu 22nd of November 2007
This hotel is really nice, itâs only a...
"This hotel is really nice, itâs only a 3 star but the hotel itself is more like a 5 star. The only problem was the food, it doesnât seem to cater much for the English, but if you walk out of the hotel and turn right there is a cafe which sells English food which is really nice.
The staff are all very helpful, 6 of us went, which included a 2 year old and they loved her. The animation team were brilliant, always talking to us and having us up to dance. The weather was very hot. The rooms in the hotel are very clean and the maids come in 3 times a week which is good!
Hammamet medina is very busy, we got stopped lots, but if you politely say "no thank-you" they leave you alone, remember they are trying to make a living out there, Yasmine Hammamet is a lovely place to go as is Nabeul market although that is also very busy.
Taxi's are very cheap, you can go a long way for about 4 dinars, the only complaint we had was the airport, it was crowded and you have to fill in Immigration cards which First Choice were supposed to give us on the plane but they didnât, so we had to ask for pens etc when we got there, it was very hot.
We only went on 1 excursion as we were only there for a week and we wanted to see more of the sights so we went on the "zoo and zulu" excursion. Itâs brilliant. The Zoo is fab and then you go and watch Zulu dancers and have a 5 course meal which was lovely.
Bel Azur is part of a complex. There is a nightclub called Jimmy's in Sol Azur which is next door, the decor is fab, its a must see!
Again we couldnât fault the animation team they are so friendly, it was sad to leave.
- Travel date: Sun 30th of September 2007
I have just returned from staying at the...
"I have just returned from staying at the Bel Azur hotel for a week. The hotel is quite dated with an 80s decor. When we arrived they took us to a room that had not yet been cleaned. We returned to reception to complain and after about an hour and a half we were given an upgraded room with a sea view.
The room was basic (we were expecting this considering what we paid), but it was very clean, including the bathroom. The chambermaids were very friendly and helpful and always cleaned our room thoroughly after we left. When we returned the room always smelt lovely.
We booked half board, however, only ate dinner and breakfast once in the hotel. The buffet was very basic, and the eating area was slightly depressing. There are plenty of good restaurants near the Medina in Hammamet and Yasmine Hammamet. I would recommend going self catering if you like to have good food!
The outside of the hotel was very nice, with a lot of palm trees and greenery. The pool was nice too. Walking around the grounds of the hotel was very pleasant. You can also use the facilities of the neighbouring hotel, The Royal Azur. The beach next to the hotel was also very clean with a lot of watersports going on.
This hotel seems to be popular with the French and Russian/Eastern European. So expect rudeness and staring! One woman actually slammed a door in my face.
The resort is quiet and clean. I would recommend visiting the Medina in Hammamet. There is a nice pizzeria next to the Medina called Dolce Vita which we visited every day. They do fantastic pizzas and you can sit outside with a view of the Medina and beach. The waiters are very helpful and friendly. I bought my tea bags and they were more than happy to supply me with hot water and cold milk so I could have a nice cup of tea!
Also, try and visit the Medina in Yasmine Hammamet in the evening. They do fantastic free shows and you can get your picture taken with all kinds of wonderful animals like a camel or baby tiger!
We had wonderful weather and I must say that the locals were very friendly and couldn't do enough for us. In regards to men staring; I didn't witness this, they seemed very respectful, however, if you walk around the town half naked, expect people to stare as they would in any country. The men definitely aren't as bad as in Italy (my friend got her bum pinched in Italy by a man in front of her boyfriend!).
Overall, we loved our holiday and will be returning again to Tunisia. We loved the friendliness of the locals and the culture of Tunisia. We hired a car for the duration and I would recommend this to anyone who likes to do their own thing instead of going on pre-arranged excursions. We visited Sousse, El Djem, Tunis and Sidi Bou Zaid to name a few.
We asked countless locals for directions when we got lost and they were all very helpful. No-one *ever* asked us for tips for anything they did for us. Most of Tunisians speak English.
There were also police everywhere in Tunisia and we felt safer than we do in England."
- Travel date: Wed 12th of September 2007