11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
We have just arrived home from the Shali...
"We have just arrived home from the Shalimar hotel.
If anybody out there is thinking about booking this hotel please think again, there are far better hotels in Tunisia to go to.
The hotel caters for French people and are not interested in English guests at all. The whole entertainment is in French. Only 3 members of staff could speak broken English.
Although the hotel is kept clean it is looking very tired and could do with a revamp.
This hotel is also advertised as Yasmine Hammamet, but itâs a 25 min walk along the beach to get to the centre of Yasmine Hammamet.
The ONLY plus side to this holiday was that the food was very good."
- Travel date: Tue 18th of December 2007
Just got back today. I was travelling al...
"Just got back today. I was travelling alone for 2 weeks peace and relaxation. I was a bit scared after reading other reviews; however my fears were totally unfounded, I have had the best holiday.
The hotel is clean, the food is fantastic, and ALL the staff at the hotel are wonderful. Some guests complained about the huge French influence there is, and I have to agree, the Fram (entertainment) tried hard to get an equal balance, however it must have been difficult as they themselves were French/Tunisian and at times struggled to communicate. There is also very little entertainment for young children/people.
There are a couple of Brit owned bars a couple of mins away in a taxi for a couple of Dinar, and it costs 3 dinar to get into Yasmine or 5 Dinar to get into Hammammet. For the cost of two weeks all inclusive it really is spot on. My personal criticism is that I was last to be dropped off which was a little un- nerving as there was no rep on the transfer, and I was alone with a total stranger in a country I had never visited before, I felt slightly abandoned to say the least!
We had little contact with the rep at the hotel as he chose not to arrive at the agreed times. Any criticism from the Brit guests were not aimed at the hotel/staff, but at Thomson.
- Travel date: Mon 26th of November 2007
I WILL NOT RECOMMEND THIS HOTEL TO ANY E...
"I WILL NOT RECOMMEND THIS HOTEL TO ANY ENGLISH PEOPLE. The entire hotel is for the French people; the food, entertainment e.t.c. There was 6 of us 4 adults and 2 children under the age of two and we were that bored and fed up we could not wait until we got home.
The entertainment was in French, the kids club is in French, they do not cater for the kids, the food just bearable to eat if you like fish, salad and meat that contains a lot of fat. Also the trips out if you have children under the age of two do not get fed so we had to find some where to feed them.
We even had to go out and find a supermarket to feed us and the children cause we couldn't eat the food. Most of our money went on food.
The workers within the hotel were constantly touching our children and they will walk off with them as well, so you cant leave them out of your sight for one second, not that you would anyway. The english bar is like a seedy strip joint tiny bit of light you couldn't take your kids in there, also it don't serve beer. The all inclusive is crap you have to pay for drinks before 10 in the morning and after 11 on the night. There are no snacks for you through the day either. Also everything on the beach is closed. Due to the lack of information on the internet when we booked our holiday we just went on the say so of the brochure and Thomson's but do not believe any of it believe me. I will be complaining we are not happy at all. Please listen to what we are saying if you have a booking change it DON'T GO. "
- Travel date: Mon 12th of November 2007
I took my wife and 4yr old daughter to t...
"I took my wife and 4yr old daughter to the Shalimar and we had a great time.
The people were great and they speak as much English as any other country I have visited. They were very friendly and helpful.
The food was well laid out and so much of it.
The pool was great and the kidâs pool very good and safe for our 4 yr old.
We would definitely go again. The weather was fantastic.
I would recommend this hotel to everybody and very good place to visit."
- Travel date: Mon 14th of May 2007
We had a great time at the Shalimar whic...
"We had a great time at the Shalimar which we booked as a last minute winter sun escape.
Unfortunately, the weather wasnât the best but we were able to be outside and not freeze like here in the UK.
The service in the hotel was impeccable. The waiters and reception staff were very obliging and friendly.
We were not impressed by our Thomson rep who gave out some very dubious, incorrect local information and even failed to give us the correct time for a trip that we booked so we missed it! If you need any info in this hotel, the reception staff are definitely more reliable.
The food was great especially the Tunisian cuisine: excellent variety of locally sourced, traditional food. We had everything from Wild Boar to Quail and Guinea Fowl.
European dishes are also available as are very British dishes such as shepherds pie and Cornish pasties - I have to say that these were the least appetizing items on offer as the quality of the Tunisian cuisine was so high!
There was not a great deal of entertainment provided in the evening which suited me fine; however, you can smoke a Chica pipe in the lobby bar whilst sipping your delicious Tunisian mint tea! Note that after 11pm alcohol is not available in the all inclusive package.
The hotel is located quite far from the centre of Hammamet but a taxi will only cost a couple of quid. It is worth going to the Medina for some bargains and some haggling!
Good for couples wanting a quiet break but I bet it would be a very different place in the height of summer i.e. no where near as quiet and relaxing!"
- Travel date: Tue 6th of February 2007
Just returned today from a week's holida...
"Just returned today from a week's holiday in the Shalimar Hotel. We had read earlier reviews and found that the hotel had obviously acted on some of the comments.
The hotel staff have tried to accommodate their English speaking visitors through the inclusion of English-type cuisine, using dual language notices (French / English), and very proficient English speaking reception staff.
The entertainment team went out of their way to explain things in English and to mix with English visitors. The entertainment during our stay was largely geared to the older generation, so not very lively for younger visitors.
Their evening shows, however, were great fun and suitable for all ages.
Unfortunately the all-inclusive drinks were still served in very small glasses which seemed to be in short supply at peak times.
We found the food attractively set out and there was plenty of choice as far as we were concerned."
- Travel date: Mon 5th of February 2007
I had a fantastic holiday at this resort...
"I had a fantastic holiday at this resort and I would definitely go back there again!
The hotel staff were very polite, although not all spoke English it was easy to have a conversation with all of the staff.
There was a great variety of food on offer and also drinks. We arrived on Christmas eve and left on New Year's eve, and Christmas was very thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Our party consisted of 12 people with varying ages the youngest being 11 and the eldest being in there 70's. Guests at the hotel were of differing nationalities but out party got talking to a lot of the people and none of us spoke french or Arabic.
The medinas were great fun and so was the entertainment in the hotel and there were always something to do. The reps were great fun and did all they could to make the holiday the very best it could be. The hotel was immaculately clean.
We went on the Sahara explorer was really fun and we saw many great sights and did some great things during the 2 day trip, the only bad thing about the Sahara trip was the amount of travelling on bus.
All in all a fantastic holiday and I would definitely go back there and recommend it to anyone. Tunisia is a fabulous place with lots to do, the people are all very friendly and the hotel was great."
- Travel date: Tue 2nd of January 2007
On having read the reviews before we wen...
"On having read the reviews before we went, we was very worried but there really was no need to be as the hotel was nice the pool area nice.
The only problem at this time of year is that it was absolutely freezing but no need to worry as the indoor pool is nice and warm. The staff are all lovely but there main language they speak is French but they do speak some English especially the animation staff make special effort to enjoy your holiday.
The English bar on a evening if you like to party and dance is only a few minutes in a taxi costing just over a pound. Overall we enjoyed are holiday."
- Travel date: Thu 7th of December 2006
Having read other reviews of this hotel...
"Having read other reviews of this hotel I was concerned that I had a made a grave mistake on our first visit to Tunisia. Turns out my concerns were groundless. Despite what others may have said the Shalimar is a perfect blend of European and North African cultures. The hotel is away from the commercialised Blackpool-esque main resort and has a more local feel about it.
There are a lot of French guests and the Tunisians national language is French, but all the hotel staff will speak English and many of the waiters told us they prefer the English guests. Our two children had a fantastic time swimming every day in the pools that were never over-crowded. The range of food was incredible and the fussy eaters could always ask for a pizza to be cooked for them. The accommodation is definitely 4* and the service always came with a smile and a joke (especially playing with for the children). Shopping in the souks is an experience not to be missed.
The only complaint is Thomson's "Zulu evening" is very poor and all over, including the meal, in about an hour so don't bother with it. My advice is if you don't like sharing your hotel with people from other countries and aren't prepared to try the fantastic food offerings or don't want to savour the culture, then book a holiday in England or the Spanish Costa! "
- Travel date: Fri 8th of September 2006
Just returned from the Shalimar, what we...
"Just returned from the Shalimar, what we found was a very nice hotel and good grounds, food in restaurants also very good but not enough choice for kids. That is where it ends, the English pub does not serve beer at all it only serves spirits, the lobby bar serves beer and wine but not spirits! strange but true.
ALL the entertainment is FRENCH as are the kids clubs and all daily activities, this spoils a holiday for any English family, unless they speak fluent french! Before anymore bookings are taken the hotel must employ some English speaking staff and change the situation with regards to going to two bars to get your drinks!
If you have booked and not yet been change your booking now! unless you like going to bed early as it is obviously boring when you cant understand the entertainment, and the only option is the live music of chaz and dave in the lobby bar, every night. Bless them they tried (honest)!
- Travel date: Thu 17th of August 2006
The hotel is overwhelmingly French and r...
"The hotel is overwhelmingly French and recently Eastern European and this is reflected in the entertainment. The all inclusive offer is made up of a self service restaurant that was beyond the limits of most British stomachs and none too appetising.
It is better to eat out if you have to stay there but would suggest any British family who has already booked to ask for a change before going. Not really suitable for children who get bored.
The bars serve drinks in tiny glasses (no beer in the pub!) and you spend more time wandering to get to know what to get where in the first few days.
It reminded me of holidaying in Bulgaria in the 1980's. Best avoided for your holiday's sake. "
- Travel date: Mon 3rd of July 2006