11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"i spent a 6 days vacation in this hotel in july ... i honestly have no idea how these guys managed to stay in the tourisme business for this long , the staff were lazy , rude and greedy . Here are some of what happened to me while there.
-the room service would not clean your room unless you tip them
-the reception stuff were not there to help you but to tell you about the rules ( felt like i'm in the army again )
-prices were outrages compare to anywhere else i have been to in africa , south america or even europe .
-food was discusting :("
- Travel date: Thu 27th of September 2012
"This hotel had some good reviews so were more than happy to book it.
It is a very nice hotel, clean, friendly, thought the rooms were a good size not huge but then enough wardrobe space etc etc for a holiday.
The breakfast I thought had good choice however, the flies did put me off but then we were in Tunisia in October and that isn't the hotel's fault that the wildlife wants to eat too!! Good choices though for all. The hotel did do it's best to keep the flies away.
The location of the hotel - well we liked it as it was situated 20 minutes walk from Hammamet so a really nice walk along the road and then you can walk right back along the beach which was lovely. Yasmine Hammamet was a fair walk on the beach I think it took us two hours but that's stopping for drinks and paddling and sightseeing etc! Don't like walking no problem the taxis are really cheap and you just wave your hand and they stop. A little advise there might be someone who shares your taxi this is normal and we never found it a problem where they ripped us off, it just didn't happen, to us anyway. There is a tourist "road train" that goes past the hotel but to be honest this was more expensive than the taxi and god know's what timetable it worked from as we never worked it out. :-)
So for us this hotel was excellent for the location the beach was fab and looking at the other hotels along the way we were really pleased with what we had, it was clean and tidy and slightly out the way which was lovely.
Hammamet it's self - well before we went we read that bars and shops etc stay at Hammamet as Yasmine Hammamet was quiet. Wrong way round. There really isn't a lot at Hammamet at all and slightly disappointed with the town. Well not disappointed as you can't be, but there wasn't the choice as Yasmine. We loved Yasmine, yes tourist place, but the marina was really lovely and the hotels were fabulous.
On the whole we loved this holiday and would go back. The weather unfortunatly wasn't kind to us but it was just a freak storm that rode through, normally in October the weather is beautiful we were just unluckily.
Careful with the jewellry you wear. I would advise that engagement rings etc not be worn out of the hotel complex. I have a strong feeling that a girl wanted mine and it was a little unnerving however, I managed to get back to my partner with nothing more than a stronger heartbeat!!! So just be aware and maybe keep jewellry to a minium.
Would recommend the place and the hotel. Enjoy."
- Travel date: Wed 24th of October 2007
Fantastic relaxing break
"Have just returned from a very relaxing five night stay at the Sinbad. My girlfriend and I went in July so it was very hot nearly 45 degrees - too hot for some but I was very happy ! We booked half board with Expedia. After arriving In Tunis we took a taxi to Hammamet which takes about an hour. The taxi was expensive (50 Euros) So I would recommend booking transferrs with the hotel in advance (140 TDN both ways I think). Check in was easy even with the reception staff's limited English (only one member of staff at 02.30 am !). The room's are clean and comfortable with seperate sitting room and patio area overlooking beautifull gardens - one of the hotels best features. As with anything at the Sinbad the staff are excellent - we had a water leak one morning and the maid had called a plumber to fix it before we even had a chance ! The flower petals arrranged in a different way on the bed each day are a nice touch. Tip If you don't want to play a game of hunt your swimming costume don't leave your stuff on the towel rail outside ! That said it was quite amusing retrieving my shorts found hanging from a lamp post - this is a family resort and kids will be kids ! Food at the Sinbad is very good - Breakfast is continental served buffet style in the restaurant or in your room at no extra charge. There is more choice at the buffet, bread, pastries, fruit etc but it was very nice to have it delivered to the room ! Dinner as mentioned in other reviews is from a selected menu which can be a bit hit and miss. The last two nights we chose to eat at the hotels other restaurants. The beach restaraunt - very relaxing table for two on the beach and the Al a Carte by the pool, three course meal with a bottle of wine for 80 TDN - about 30 quid !! The food is a mixture of Tunisian and Mediteranean but pizza and chips etc is there if you want it. I'm now a convert to olives and the hot sauce served on the tapas style plate you get with most meals - not for the faint of heart ! Seafood and fish is highly recommended. The beach is the Sinbad's main selling point, it consists of well cared for white sands with a designated, fairly shallow swimming area. As with the pool area waiter service is provided to your table - food, drinks, sunbeds even a packet of a cigarettes ! Tipping definitely helps to get priority service - especially usefull when it is as busy as it was in July with mainly French and German families staying. The hotel also offers a Spa, indoor pool (although the advertised jacuzzi appears to have gone ?) and watersports are available on the beach (I'm not sure if these are provided by the hotel ?). The reception desk offers excursions and a bureau de change service which will change Euro's and GBP. This is essential as the Tunisian Dinar is a soft currency which means it is not truly convertible and the exchage rates are set by the government - no need to shop around for the best rate ! Because of this it is illegal to import or export TDN's. You must keep all receipts as you may only convert back 1/3 of the currency you initially exchange up to a maximum of 100 TDN. A must at the SInbad is to relax on the beach of a night with a shisha pipe. Traditional live arabic music is performed acccompanied by a highly recommended mint tea or coffee all for 8 TDN ! The language predominantly spoken is French but most of the staff speak good English which puts my French to shame ! Worth a mention is the hotel photographer who wouldn't leave us alone ! He took loads of photo's and in the end we bought a few, we were glad we did though as they were very good. Much like when visiting the Medina (3 TDN by taxi), Tunisians are quite into the hard sell which can be a little daunting, literally dragging you into their shops - you have been warned ! It's fair to say the Sinbad is not 5 star by european standards more like a 3.5 - 4, but the friendliness of the staff, the local culture and beautifull surroundings more than make up for that. If you decide to go - which you must - have a Celtia (the local beer) for me !!"
- Travel date: Tue 31st of July 2007
"This hotel far exceeded our expectations. Don't expect too much from your room, but then again, apart from sleeping you won't be in it. The beach on site is beautiful, the staff remember you, what you order for your meals, and really go the extra mile to make you feel special. They are all mutlilingual and very helpful. Had an amazing time."
- Travel date: Mon 4th of June 2007
Top spot in Hammamet
"The Sindbad is advertised on some sites as being a five-star hotel but, as other reviewers have noted, it is more like a three-star. That said, it is a great place to stay. The rooms are fine, clean and ours was quite. The beds are comfy too. We had half board. The breakfast was a buffet-style and was what you would expect - but they also offered crepes and omelettes. Dinner on one night â "tunisian night" was also buffet and quite good, but the other nights were set menus (choice of three of four dishes for entree, main and dessert) and were surprisingly good. The local wine and beer were also fine. The staff are friendly and helpful and the beach is particluarly good and clean. The sand is fine and white and the sea calm (though a little chilly in November). The are two swimming pools as well -one heated, and two bars. It wasn't the livelist of places, which is good actually, but it can be a little dull - especially as Hammamet is a cultural wasteland. You can easily walk to old Hammamet town centre - a 2km pleasant walk along the beach or on the roads. The medina is disappointing. A maze of tatty souvenir shops that don't sell anything of interest or quality, with overly pushy shopowners (worse than anything marrakech could throw at you), without any of the atmosphere of the Moroccan souks. The best restaurants were average. We were advised to visit the "lovely" Hammamet Sud, which turned out to be a nightmare-ish collection of enormous hotel complexes with an absurd fake new medina, built in disneyland style, stuck in the middle of it all, filled with the same tatty shops and aggressive vendors. I was so happy I was staying at the Sindbad!!!!!! the hotel was a little oasis in a sea of tackiness. Sad, as I imagine Tunisia really has a lot to offer."
- Travel date: Thu 23rd of November 2006
OK stay at Sinbad
"We had a two week stay in the middle of July at Sinbad and it was a nice holiday. The Hotel has an indoor and an outdoor pool, spa, three restaurants (one on the beach, one thai?!! and one a la carte), lovely beach, tennis court and an English style pub.
The downside with our stay at Sinbad was: My spa visit on my birthday turned was not a very pleasant experience. The massuse did not speak english and during my massage she started to talk on a cellphone and giving me a footmassage with only one hand???!!!!! I was shocked but could not communicate with her, how rude!!!
I would not recommend this Hotel for families with children, and the majority of residents were Tunisians on honeymoons since travel outside Tunisia is is hard to get permit/visa for."
- Travel date: Tue 24th of October 2006
A comfortable and underrated hotel
"I have just returned home after a week at the Sindbad, and I have to say that I am full of praise for the hotel, and the staff who run it.
Before I went, I had read some reviews that were not terribly complimentary, and yep, I would agree that against European standards maybe it doesn't quite come up to our "normal" expectation of the 5 star rating, but for all of that, the staff were polite and helpful, the rooms clean, and the position of the hotel ideal for a relaxing beach-side holiday. It gets my vote !!"
- Travel date: Sun 1st of October 2006
A fabulous place to stay, who cares about stars?
"The Sinbad is a fabulous hotel and having returned just last night, I have nothing but good things to say about the staff and the whole experience.
Other reviewers have already mentioned that it's not a world class 5 star hotel. But, to complain about this, you're missing the whole charm and point of the Sinbad. This is a hotel full of personality and the atmosphere is driven by the culture of the people that make it - the guests and staff.
The hotel is immaculately clean and kept that way pretty much 24 hours a day. The rooms are on either ground floor or first floor level (no high rise here) and are well furnished and very comfortable. The upstiars rooms have a balconies, the downstairs have verandahs and the way they are laid out gives a lot of privacy to both. There is a minibar in each each room and a colour TV that shows mainly German and French programming. For english guests there is CNN and supposedly a BBC channel, but the reception wasn't great.
It's important to relax when arriving and get into the pace of life in Tunisia to avoid frustration. The staff all speak many languages, but sometimes the reception staff can seem brusque if they don't wholly understand what you are saying. Be patient with them and explain your issue in another way and you'll find them most helpful.
It seemed to us that most of the guests were on half board packages like us which includes breakfast and dinner. Breakfast is great and there's a very wide selection on offer including bread and pastries, fressh and dried fruits, cereals, cold meats and cheeses, a few hot dishes and delicious omelettes, waffles and crepes which are made to order.
Lunch is served at a beach side restaurant and there's a huge menu stuffed with fresh fish, pizza and pasta. Lunch is not included and a good sized lunch for two will cost between Â£15 and Â£25 depending on what you order. It really is great value and the fish is very very highly recommneded.
Dinner is served in the same room as breakfast and is the hotel's only achilles heel. Included in the half board package, you get a choice of five starters, five main courses and five desserts. The quality of food at dinner is hit and miss and my advice is to keep it simple and choose what you know you're going to like. Dinner is not the time to be adventurous. I suspect that the hotel is producing food for dinner according to their perception of what the guests want - simple, stewed and plentiful. There is an a la carte restaurant too, that is very reasonable if your budget stretches to eating "out" twice a day.
The local wine is delicious and staggeringly good value. Our favourite was the simple Magon (red) which cost around Â£8 a bottle in the restaurants.
The hotel has its own private beach which is raked daily before 8am and getting a sun lounger is not difficult at any time of day. There are beach attendants there at all times of day to set up your sun lounger and bring you drinks if you wish.
They are also the key to beach activities if that's what you're looking for. They can organise jet skiing, parascending, waterskiiing... you name it. And, if they can't, they will know someone who can! If you feel like being pampered, there's a spa in the hotel grounds offering very very good value massages and facials too.
It's a great swimming beach and when the weather is calm the water is crystal clear and full of fish! When it's windy, the sand gets churned up, so it's not as clear, but still great fun to swim in.
Each night after dinner, the pool area is floodlit and a local musician entertains with slightly pub-singeresque renditions of old favourites. Slightly grating, but great fun.
The guest mix when we were there was about 80% german, and 20% everything else. This is clearly a hotel that does a lot of business with German travel agents - all the staff speak the language fluently!
Finally, the thing that makes this hotel such a star venue is the staff. They are all extremely friendly and engaging and this really is a case of you getting out what you put in. The hotel might not really be worthy of five stars, but if you treat the staff well, they'll give you five star treatment round the clock."
- Travel date: Sat 23rd of September 2006
Gets better with each day
"Our initial reaction to the hotel was one of slight dissappointment only because the room we had received was not up to 5 star standards, but our feelings change over the course of our stay. The resort itself is very nice and quiet and with it's own beach access. The food was hit and miss, on somedays it was very good and other days it was quite an adventure. Although I felt the pizza at the restaurant down on the beach was excellent. As far as the service goes I give this hotel an A+, they didn't miss a beat and went out of their way to insure your stay was a good one. If you go there make sure you ask for Celime, he's the waiter at the pool side bar in the evenings, he's very nice and understands english very well. The only other negative thing I could say about this resort is it's location, it's located closer to the Old Hammamet which is dirty opposed to Yasmine which is newer and cleaner, but once your inside the walls of the resort itself it is very nice.
Bob & Stephanie
- Travel date: Wed 13th of September 2006
Sinbad experience not the best
"Though the Sindbad is rated as a 5-star hotel, it is realistically, as the other reviewers mentioned, a 3.5-4 start hotel. The gardens are beautiful, and the beach is clean, and the rooms were bright and cheery. The rooms are a bit worn, and the bedspreads and decorative pillows in our room were a bit dirty, but everything that touched our skin was clean (towels, sheets, etc.). The service in the dining room was excellent, and the food was fine. It was not exceptional in any way, but it was pleasant and fresh and there were a lot of options.
The aspect of our stay that was the least enjoyable was our interaction with the front desk staff. We entered our room and used the toilet, and realized that the bathroom reeked of urine. We immediately went to the front desk and asked if they could do something about it. They indirectly accused us of being over sensitive, without having visited our room, and were told that since we were only staying 2 nights, we shouldn't care. Eventually they sent housecleaning and they mopped the floor and sprayed air conditioner in the bathroom. Later that evening before dinner, we took showers and discovered that our shower leaked. There was a crack in the tub and much of the water, instead of going down the drain, ran onto the bathroom floor. It was quite slippery and my husband and I, after near falls, returned once again to the front desk where they informed us that they were full, but would move our rooms the next morning. The next morning we returned, and the front desk manager told us he would move us, but that we would need to wait until noon to do so (instead of coming to our room and collecting our luggage) he told us that we would have to wait in our room until he came to get us as that was just how things worked. After an hour, he came to our room and told us that he had talked to the maid (who we had watched from our patio clean the two rooms next to us for the past hour), and she had told him that most of the rooms flooded and we would just have to be more careful. My impression was that he had never intended to move us.
Overall, I would never return to this hotel. I stayed a number of places in Tunisia that were much better and of equal price or less, and I just wouldn't risk being put in a position like ours for the view of their pretty gardens."
- Travel date: Fri 14th of July 2006
"Stayed at The Sindbad in the first week of July.
Room was fine if a little outdated and the bathroom was ready for a refit. Nicely cleaned and the cleaner looked after our bears (cuddly toys).
Breakfast was a nice Tunisian buffet with a chef to cook eggs as required and a crepe man.
Beach was great as was the sea. Sindbad has a beach club so that locals use the beach facilities as well. This adds to the atmosphere but on the Sunday the beach area was crowded. The beach restaurant was fine - good service, reasonable food.
Hotel bar was fine, friendly and efficient.
Food was not the strong point of the hotel - the table d'hote restaurant was barn like and service was rushed whilst we had a disappointing meal in the a la carte restaurant where we chose wrong - foie de veau was not calves liver and the sauce on the Tournedos Romanov was Beefeater like.
Generally Fish seems the best option.
Went to Hammamet Yasmine but hated it - big nasty tourist hotel area - food was good in the restaurant we eat in in the strip near the marina (Fish).
Went to the Medina area of Hammamet four times - good vibe of tourists and locals - 20 minutes walk - less than Â£3 in a taxi. Recomended restaurant Les 3 Moutons in the Centre Commercial.
Didn't find the guys in the Souks a particular problem - certainly no worse than Marakech or Istanbul."
- Travel date: Sun 9th of July 2006