Saphir Palace & Spa
14 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Stolen jewellery. No safe. Staff do nothing.
"I have reviewed this hotel many times and given it 5 stars however after I have had jewellery stolen from my room I would say NEVER STAY AT THIS HOTEL.
I stayed Saphir palace 1 week 30/11/2014 - 07/12/2014
We have stayed hotel 5 times. 2011, 2012, 2013, summer 2014 and winter 2014.
On arrival we stayed room 309 on 30/11/2014. We moved room 01/12/2013 to room 330. One floor in operation as hotel is quiet.
On holiday I noticed some jewellery had went missing from my room but wanted to look at home first Maybe I did not take on holiday. Now I look at home and it is missing.
Someone at hotel has stolen my jewellery. I am upset as we have many friends in hotel and look forward to new refurbishment in 2015 but I want answers. Who stole from me? I think the staff steal because they are losing their jobs and take chances.
The first night we ask for safe but nobody came, we did not get safe until 02/12/2014 this is not our problem as we ask for safe.
I have wrote email to Iberostar and I want answer. They did not reply. So I email another 5 times and still no reply. They just don't care. Do not stay at this hotel as your belongings will go missing."
- Travel date: Tue 9th of December 2014
Not worthy of 5 stars
Dreadful staff and Hotel
This was not a holiday but an endurance test. The streets just smelt of horse urine that was left fermenting in the pavements in the midday heat. That you had to avoid stepping in as you crossed the roads. Or the strong stench of gone off eggs/open sewage was so overpowering near the beach front, I am amazed people wanted to sunbathe there. Many things let this hotel down badly, too many to list here. So I will stick to key points of major disappointment.
- Only five hangers in the wardrobe. Requested more hangers from reception this took over 24 hours for them to get us more hangers. The woman at reception (no name tag) very rude muttering under her breath ignoring me to serve another customer, disgusting behaviour from her. Subsequently our clothes were badly creased. There is no iron available to guests, only the hotel's laundry service offering an ironing service. The safe did not work properly had to enter the digits three times to open the safe. The safe kept jamming and the batteries were exposed at the front.
Bathroom towels were in limited supply and changed at odd times throughout the day. The bedroom and bathroom would be cleaned (am). But no fresh towels supplied until midday or even later. The maid came knocking with fresh towels on two occasions when I was in the bathroom my travel companion opened the door, to her tell her I was in the bathroom the maid still walked passed her and entered the bathroom were I was getting undressed. I was so annoyed and embarrassed. This is a deliberate tactic of bringing towels later so they can be tipped to go away. I have never ever seen this practice used in any hotel. The sad thing is the maids would have been tipped generously at the end of our stay but demanding tips on a day to day basis is a travel concept I have not seen been used before by any hotel establishment. I have worked in the hotel industry from an early age. Even as a member of staff and your having a bad day you still l have to smile at guests and acknowledge them in a positive way, not because the managers is stood at the side of you and your say good morning. It's just so false and fake !!!
Waiters in the restaurant were incredible rude many of them not wearing name badges, so it was difficult at first to identify staff. I walked up to one man at breakfast asking for milk thinking he was manager of the restaurant only to be told politely he was a guest but he did request milk on my behalf. I agree with previous guests that the waiters are selectively attentive to some people who have been tipping them generously and completely ignoring other guests. When we did get attention it was overly attentive to the point of aggression, over familiarity asking my companion if she wanted to go for a coffee later. The waiters walk a fine line between downright rudeness and unprofessionalism.
On the second night we went down for evening meal several waiters descended on us all at same time four to five of them wanting us to sit in their proffered seating area. It was just ridiculous. We had established at check-in that we would settle the bill for drinks at the end of our stay. But the waiter on the second night challenged us after our meal demanding that we pay the bill for a bottle of Rose 32.000 right there and then. other diners were looking on it was extremely aggressive behaviour by the waiter and embarrassing for us. I could not wait to leave the dinning room area. He only wanted us to settle the bill so he could be tipped. I do not tip rude staff on demand. I found by the third night the food to be repetitive and of very poor quality the restaurant is same restaurant used for breakfast lunch and evening meal so the same ambience was monotonous and boring. Breakfast was simply appalling just unacceptable for a five star rated hotel. Flies hovering and sitting amongst open food displayed. One guest just put her whole hand in a big dish of cereal to serve herself, disgusting other guest will eat from that same dish. The fruit was inaudible passed its used by date. Not fresh at all !!! poor selection of fruit NO bananas, water melon, strawberry kiwi fruit. vending machine to dispense orange juice, pineapple juice and water yuk !!! This is not five star hotel more a very low four star rating at best.
We had paid half board. But I had enough of the poor food selection and overall atmosphere of the restaurant. So I stopped eating there all together. We ate a local restaurant and cafes. Had a meal at restaurant at the Medina it was of exceptional high standard and the wine was of good quality, I had asked for the same wine at the hotel verre vin blanc and definitely was inferior quality. There is an endless lists of issues with this hotel to many to list here, I have spoken with the manager in person as I want a resolution to this dreadful stay. To be offered to come and stay at another date is not an option I would choose as a resolution.
I asked one of the reception staff to write down the managers name. Mr Bel Hoy, only to find put he has not worked for this hotel in over three years. So the hotel reception staff are deceitful or they do not even know the name of their own hotel manager. The staff on whole from waiters to the reception staff all need to be re trained on giving good customer care to all guests not selectively picking who they choose to be friendly with. The biggest problem for this hotel is the staff very negative energy radiating throughout the hotel which they have created themselves. A letter of complaint has gone off to Ibersostar head office.
- Travel date: Mon 3rd of November 2014
"I had a lovely time. The reception, cleaning, and waiters were all excellent. Even the doormen had a smile and a kind word.
The food is good with plenty of choice. The rooms are spacious and clean.
It's a idea to tip the staff a couple of dinar and you will get special service. Renumber Tunisian wages are low so a small tip means a lot.
Really liked the hotel shop next to the hotel . Run by a Tunisian gentleman and his English partner. They have some great gifts and clothes at reasonable prices.
Nice swimming pool.
Well located for the achievements and just a short stroll from the marina."
- Travel date: Thu 3rd of April 2014
"after 2 days moved out and into averoes hotel. saphir freezing cold .manager wont put heating on till 20 dec. when you go onholiday you dont want to go bed at 8.30 to get warm.the actual hotel looks great but then standards drop.menu poor for all inclusive.staff very helpful.beach very dirty....bottles and litter "
- Travel date: Wed 21st of December 2011
"ItÂ´s a amazing Hotel! Have all necessary to a 5stars. In this hotel you can relax, rest... The personal is very nice and the food is fabulous. I simply recomend it for a grate holliday or honeymoon."
- Travel date: Sat 20th of September 2008
We loved it
"This is a superb hotel. Food at its restaurants is delicious. Room service is very efficient and prices for the room service are very affordable. Staff are friendly and well mannered. The area around the hotel (Yasmine) is too touristic and uninteresting but hammamet centre is not far by taxi and cabs are very cheap. We used to go by taxi also to a nearby town called Nebul and not paid more than 7 or 8 euros per trip. Nabeul is more "authentic" if you wish, and there are lovely cafeterias where you can enjoy delicious cakes with your coffee or relax while smoking a shisha. Tunisian people are very friendly in general and enjoy talking to tourists."
- Travel date: Fri 18th of July 2008
loved this 5 star hotel
"i loved this friendly & ideally located hotel
the service was very good & the amenities were excellent
i had several treatments in the lovely relaxing spa.
nearby - turn right out of the hotel & a few metres down the road is a very good & helpful car rental
we used their services for many local trips & they were very helpful ..
one driver called wassim spoke excellent english & provided individual trips to where ever we wanted
altogether this is a 1st class hotel - very conveniently located for the historical sites & the lovely sandy beach.
i highly reccommend this hotel."
- Travel date: Sun 13th of July 2008
"We stayed at this hotel in July 2007 for three nights. The service was good and the room was very clean. The breakfast was included in your room in either the form of room service or a breakfast buffet. The pools were very clean and the air conditioning was fully functional. The only negative point of the hotel is that the internet in the business center is slow, but on the other hand we did not come to Tunisia to surf the internet. The hotel was on the water and was about an hour ride from the airport in Tunis."
- Travel date: Sat 20th of October 2007
"This is a very badly managed hotel. They rarely deliver on their promises. The staff are very offhand. For a Sofitel, it's a real disappointment. I would never stay there again."
- Travel date: Mon 30th of July 2007
Great location, service was top notch!!
"We recently stayed at the Sofitel Saphir Palace, June 28 - July 3rd. My husband and I arrived and was immediately greeted, our bags were taken aside. The reception met us as we were seated, offered tea, and promptly check us in to our jr. suite. We were given suite 441 on the 4th floor, amazing spacious room with a sea view. The room was very clean and nicely decorated with a king bed, 1/2 circle couch, beautiful bath with separate glass enclosed shower, 1/2 wall so that you can view the sea while in the bathroom, and a separate toilet room.
The beach is across the street and is sectioned off for hotel guests. There's also a beach restaurant on site along with companies offering all types of water activities. Pool is spacious and deep enough in areas for diving, another restaurant is near along with a swim up bar. Both pool and beach restaurants offered reasonably priced meals that were very good. We ate at both a couple of times and everything tasted great. We had the buffet breakfast every morning and it was wonderful. Everything is offered for breakfast, omelet station, crepe station, fruit, cereal.. etc.
This hotel is in a great location, within walking distance to the Marina and the Medina. The Marina offers many different wonderful restaurants. Shopping is everywhere, all you need is to walk outside of the hotel, don't forget to bargain when shopping.
Our stay at the Sofitel was excellent and would return the next time we are in Hammamet. Staff were great and very helpful also."
- Travel date: Mon 9th of July 2007
Limited time, dubious thoughts
"I thought that the hotel, on arrival was quite tired and run down looking, no atmosphere. Unpacked and went to meet the Thomson rep, Anthony, for the Welcome and Whats On meeting to find him surrounded by angry holiday makers, their reason was that the pool had been emptied ( 2 days prior to our arrival) we had not been informed of this by our tour operator. Anthony soon calmed everbody down by telling us that we were to be moved to the Thalassa Sousse. Overall the time spent there was brief, we thought the hotel was a four star, but we would not class it as this, more a three star at a push!"
- Travel date: Wed 4th of April 2007
Plenty of Staff Seeking Tips
"This is a splendid "five star" recently-built hotel in the newest part of Hammamet, Jasmine. Our sea side rooms had a lovely view across the dual carriage way to the beach and sea. Noise was not a problem in winter but could be very disturbing in summer. The pleasant rooms (some 220) had duvets on the beds and when we asked the Manageress for sheets, we were told that there were none.
We arrived in the evening and had some difficulty in finding our rooms as lights were extinguished on our floor for economy. This fault was later rectified. We ate in the "show case" Jasmine Ã la carte restaurant. It was a below standard meal but what really annoyed me was the fact that the waiter demanded payment in cash. We were well dressed and explained to him that we were guests of the hotel. I refused and he relented with poor grace.
Continental breakfast in the rooms was quite good on alternate days but, on each second day, the bread and pastries were stale. The coffee throughout the hotel was almost undrinkable.
The staff were either morose or over familiar, my adult daughter was asked her age at a preliminary encounter. A servant came to my room and turned down the corner of my duvet at around 1600. Three hours later, as I had not been present, he returned seeking a tip. Doormen were too engrossed in their own conversations to open the main hotel door.
Simply, the architecture and appointments could make this an excellent hotel. Staff and service render it anything but."
- Travel date: Sun 11th of February 2007