14 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"The place was a disgrace. The evening meal was similar to lunchtime with long waits and dirty tables, there were also birds in the dining room that the staff appeared to make no attempt to remove ( the chairs cover that had bird droppings on it that were still there 3 days later). The lift serving our end of the Hotel was not working. When we found our room we discovered it was thick in dust everywhere and spent the first 20 minutes cleaning a layer of dust off the bedhead dressing table e.t.c. The indoor pool filthy and no one was using it, When we looked around the hotel and spoke to staff they were surprised we were from England and told us they did not normally have English guests as they took Russian and other eastern European guests. We discovered we were the only English guests in the hotel!!"
- Travel date: Tue 12th of August 2014
Decent hotel, great staff
This is really a four-star hotel with decent and helpful staff. Our room was spacious and comfortable, and there were no ants or flies as mentioned in other reviews. The room was cleaned properly every day, the towels and bedclothes were changed, the chambermaid was a very nice person.
The noise of the airport and the train was nothing as compared with the loud disco music which is constantly played in a hotel like this, but the balcony door was well insulated, so you could just close it to get rid of any noise.
There is air conditioning in the rooms, but we didn't really need it in September. The TV has two Tunisian channels, one in Arabic, one in French, BBC and CNN, and several other channels (Russian, Polish, Spanish, French, and Italian). There is no minibar or fridge, but you can get wireless internet connection for a small fee.
The restaurant was good with a reasonable variety of food, the waiters were clever and fast. Of course the food was different from what we are accustomed to in Europe, but after 2-3 days you knew what to eat and what you shouldn't. E.g. you should never eat chicken or pork in this hotel, because they are undercooked, and some of the salads and other things are too raw and tasteless, too, and their spaghetti and cous-cous are really terrible. But the fish was fine if you put some sauce or mustard or ketchup on it, they had some lovely cakes, very good pancakes, and especially the variety of breakfast things was great. And nobody cared if you took some cheese, a piece of meat or anything to your room for lunch if you were only on half board like us.
Drinks are, of course, very expensive in the hotel, and there is no shopping possibility nearby. But there is a train stop about 150 metres from the hotel, trains come almost every half an hour, and they take you to the centre of Monastir or Sousse very fast, and there you can get food and drinks in a supermarket much cheaper than in Europe. The ticket for the train is ridiculously cheap.
The hotel has a very narrow beach with a crowd of people taking all the deckchairs much earlier in the morning than we ever went there, but if you walk off a bit, you find plenty of space with almost no people around, and if you're friendly to the beach guy and speak just a bit of funny nothing to him and give him half a dinar, he will get you a deckchair even at noon or any time.
The beach is cleaned every day, and the sea is fairly clean, too. The water is shallow, so you must walk at least 50 metres into the sea if you want to swim. And there are motorboats, jet skis, bananas, etc. to disturb you, so you always have to watch out carefully when swimming.
The swimming-pools of the hotel are just like those found anywhere: I would never use them. But tennis, mini golf (this mini golf course is in very poor condition, however) and table tennis can be played free of charge, and there is even an archery court - and amazingly enough, we could always play when we wished.
So in one word, I was satisfied with the comfort of this hotel. I especially liked its location with the easy train service to other places all down the coast.
- Travel date: Sun 12th of October 2008
I stayed here just over a week ago. This...
"I stayed here just over a week ago. This is not a bad hotel at all. My only gripe was the lack of sunbeds around the pool and beach. I was getting up at 7am just to try and bag one and even then I was not always successful! However, the rooms and public areas were spotless and the rooms were cleaned every day, with all hotel staff very friendly.
The food was good and the drinks service was perfectly adequate. With regard to plastic cups in the evening, the reason that you could not take glasses out of the restaurant was because many people sat outside and around the pool in the evening. Broken glass is always dangerous and in the low lighting it could be trodden on or end up in the pool. The drive leading up to the hotel is all of 100M. (Though you would think it was a mile judging from the other review on this site!)If you do book a holiday here, DO NOT BOOK A TRANSFER!!!! The hotel is only 300m from the Airport terminal, but aircraft noise is not a problem at all. With regard to the entertainment not being in English, this is a good thing as it's not very good anyway!! Overall, I had an enjoyable holiday here, and if you want a beach-based holiday, Vime Helya is a good place."
- Travel date: Tue 23rd of September 2008
WARNING ALL BRITS- DO NOT STAY AT THIS H...
"WARNING ALL BRITS- DO NOT STAY AT THIS HOTEL!!
Brits are a massive minority at this hotel- therefore all the entertainment is catered for in other languages...so you wont know what going on!!
but before i get started with the negatives i will say that the hotel was very clean, a lovely building with friendly reception staff!!
now on to what was wrong with the place.... the rules for the bars are very extreme and the times they are open are very strict!! we were served drinks in very small plastic cups all day (which we could understand when by the pool!!) but then the drinks in the evening were still served to is these small PLASTIC cups!! we were all constantly thirsty even though we were all inclusive!! the ques for the bar were always long with people who have no manners just pusing to the front the whole time...the poor staff obviously being used to being treated badly by other guests were less then happy with their jobs- however we did find they they apreciated a smile and please & thankyou and so they were kind to us! during the day there was an half an hour gap where you couldnt get a drink...if there was we certainly didnt know about it!! the rules on where you could take your drink were so silly as well...you couldn't take your drink from the dining area through to the bar (most likely due to the fact that you could enjoy your drink in a glass in this area and they just couldn't wait to give us those inadequate plastic bloody cups again!!) the food was ok...however there were alot of flies about which could be quite off putting especially if you went through later in the serving times! sometimes there was limited tables, mostly due to not enough staff in there to clear tables etc.
bottled water wasn't included in the AI so we had to purchase these from the bar...which bar?? well depends what time of day it was!! so so confusing!!
snacks during the day were a joke...dried cake mmm...no thanks!!
i know this sounds like a trivial rant but it really stressed us out- we had to go to other hotels to get a decent bit of entertainment which meant spending money on taxi's and drinks...we went AI to cut back on having to do this.
speaking of taxi's....the drive down to the front of the hotel is quite long and on a couple of occasions the security wouldn't let the taxi's come down...which was just the icing on the cake really!!
RULES...RULES...RULES!! Thats all there was, which wasn't our idea of a relaxing holiday! we just wanted to chill out, have a few relaxing drinks on a night (in a tall glass with ice!!) and abit of a dance....but not here!! seriously i would recommend looking at staying in Saadia, Liberty or Neptunia they are 3* (Helya is 4*) but the staff at the other hotels are friendly, fun and the entertainment is good with proper drinks!!"
- Travel date: Mon 16th of June 2008
Mixed review for family of 6
Dont get a taxi to the hotel as it is a five minute walk opposite the airport, and if you do, pay only 1 dinar.
Arrived, greeted with a sandwhich, fruit and drink. entered the room, airconditioning was poor, needed to open balcony window to cool down, telephone did not work. You are not able to buty international phone cards and nearest pay phone is in the airport which is a 5 minute walk. As you know making phone calls from hotels are expensive.
Activities at hotel
However this hotel will keep you busy, they have a team of show people who organise activities throughout the day and at night show time for kids at 8.30pm and another at 9.30pm, this ranges from dancers, comedy to folklore. Then at 11pm you have the option to go to the disco at Disco le pela which is within the hotel at the entrance. You will also be met by reps selling day trips/activites, they will always hassle you, never settle for the price they suggest always half them and haggle for a good price.
If you are half board try to avoid the expensive costs of the hotel and eat out for lunch, there is a nearby supermarket.
The hotel is within a complex of other hotels and the nearset cities are 5 to 10 miles so you will have to either get a train or taxi.
Nearby is a go karting track, pay no more then 2 dinars for taxi, and it should cost you between 15 to 25 dinars for go karting, and then next to the karting is a great mexican restaurant and a good price.
Nearby towns such as sousse where you can see medina and fort and monastir where there is great mosque and fort, which are worth a trip to, and the El jem collisieum, you can hire a driver for the day to El Jem, cost is roughly 50-70 dinar. Entrance to sites are no more then 5 dinar each.
Taxi to monastir 7 dinar
Taxi to sousse 8 dinar to the medina, evening prices may cost no more then 10 dinars
Train is very cheap only 1 dinar return to monastir and abit more to sousse.
At the markets they will try to rip you of, you will need to bargain but average cost as follows:
T-shirts 7 dinar
Sunglasses 5 dinar
Jeans - between 20 to 35 dinar max
Pottery no more then 10 dinar
Drinks no more then 1 to 2 dinar
Remember when eating out avoid restaurants that will need to go to other businesses to get there goods hence they will charge you more. A 2-3 course meal for 6 should cost on average 40 dinar and no more then 50 dinar.
Advice and summary
People are pushy always trying to sell you something, and i mean the locals to, for example they will say they have got a day off and are willing to take you out for the day to see this and that, obviously for a cost.
You need to hold your nerve with the people, if you are calm you will be ok, but if you have a short fuse you maybe in for a torrid time. Although overall i would say i had a great holiday and the people are friendly and the number of activities will keep you busy (on the beach you have the option of many watersports too).
Tunisia is worth a trip just for the experience, warm weather and the lovely lemon juice!!"
- Travel date: Mon 9th of June 2008
Rap, plastic on the beach and the smell of burning garbage
"We (retired couple) couldn't resist a week's holiday for 599 Swiss Francs half board and including flight. There are a number of reasons why this was not such a good deal and why we would not go back there. Most important is waking up in the night to the smell of burning garbage - we never found out the source but there certainly was no shortage of loose plastic and dumped garbage in the area. When we got there, the beach was disgusting - bits of plastic, bottles and all sorts of trash at the water's edge. After three or four days, they had cleaned this up but knowing that this came from the ocean, imagine how appetizing to swim. The grounds, the buildings and the pool areas were clean and were cleaned daily. However, the animation team felt the need to "entertain" the guests with a loud barrage of the most obnoxious rap and cheap rock I've experienced in some time. This was so bad we largely avoided the pool area for most of the day and had no desire to spend time in the spacious and comfortable lobby after dinner. What a shame that the efforts of a friendly and otherwise skilled staff are negated by crummy management that seems to not understand the preferences of a Western European clientele."
- Travel date: Sat 12th of April 2008
"absolutely loved this hotel!!!!! a couple of reviews further down have slated this property for reasons we did not find to be the case, so it just goes to show you have to view everything with an open mind :) anyway..... don't get a taxi from the airport, no exaggeration, it is a five minute walk from the airport and you can see the hotel as soon as you exit the airport doors.
being so close to the airport could be a problem for light sleepers, and the train station is just across the road as well however, i didn't hear anything after the first night and the proximity of them both is well worth skipping the usual 90 minute transfer which is the part of every other holiday that i HATE!!!
rooms are clean and lovely, no frills but you only sleep there at the end of the day. maid service is everyday including sundays which surprised me
the pools are really nice and for the beach lovers (not me) there is a stretch of beach right at the bottom of the property which is quite exclusive and feels a bit posh :)
there was plenty of variety in the food each day and i can fully recommend the chocolate mousse...yummy!!
the service is top notch and i commented to my husband how hard every seemed to work all day
one minor irritation for me was the "look at the girlies" culture. being a size eighteen and nothing special to look at i didn't expect this but it bugged the life out of me,,,ladies be aware, the boys there will not be subtle about the staring :(
all in all the holiday was lovely, we had a really good time and the hotel was an absolute treat......would definately go back there :) :)"
- Travel date: Fri 7th of March 2008
Vime Helya Beach for a Fantastic Hoilday
"My Husband and I , and our close friends, really enjoyed our Hoilday in Vime Helya Beach.
We had a week there from the 30th of January
The Hotel was out of this world, the staff could not do enough for us (so helpful and friendly ) nothing was to much trouble.
The food was first class you had a choice of what you wanted to eat, and plenty to drink Alcohol, tea and coffee or soft drinks.
The rooms were everything you needed in them and very clean and the view from the rooms were wonderful.
The weather was great to.
It was our first time in Tunisia but we will be going back to Vime Helya Beach.
Being so close to the airport it was not a problem yo could hardly hear the aeroplanes or see them.
We will recommend this hotel to any one who is thinging of going to Tunisia.
Once again THANK YOU VIME HELYA BEACH FOR A FANTASTIC HOILDAY.
I have put some photo's to show you how much we enjoyed it."
- Travel date: Mon 11th of February 2008
Very nice hotel!
"We, Helena, Rolf ,Maja, Aron, Bodil and Clara had a very nice holiday at Vime. Very helpful and kind stuff at the hotel. The food and drinks was very good. The rooms are clean and very fresch!
We will come back, we miss Vime! I must say that I really like Vime Helya Beach Hotel! Thank you for your kindness!
Sincerally Helena and Rolf from Sweden
Ps! We are planning for a new trip to Monastir at 2008!"
- Travel date: Tue 15th of January 2008
Not what we were expecting
"We arrived at the airport in the dark so took a taxi to the hotel which took all of 3 minutes and cost Â£10! On our return we walked. It is an easy walk less than 10 mins with suitcases. Our first impressions of the Vime Helya were good. We were offered a welcome drink and checked in quickly and efficiently. We were shown to our room on the second floor. The room was clean but basic however the bathrooom was totally unacceptable, certainly not what you would expect in a 4* hotel. It was very shabby and needed a complete refurbishment. To flush the toilet you had to put your full body weight on the button and then water came out of the flush button and ran down your arm - not at all pleasant. The water in the basin and shower was red hot and would be dangerous for small children. The cold water running into the basin was brown on several occasions. The shower over the bath would not stay in place when in use. It came off the wall, spraying water everywhere and causing the curtain and rail to collapse around me. I would advise bringing your own toilitries. We were prvided with 2 small bars of cheap soap and shower gel/shampoo in a dispenser on the wall. No shower cap or conditioner as you wouod expect to get in a 4* hotel. When we went down to dinner on the first evening there was nothing we could eat. We put this down to our late arrival but soon realised that this was the norm. Throughout our stay the food was cold and completly tasteless apart from soup and beetroot which was more or less edible. We asked if we could eat in the al a carte restaurant instead of the buffet even if we had to pay. We booked it for the following evining but were then told that it was not open. We did mamage to have 2 meals in there. You are allowed one free during your stay and we paid for the other one. The first meal in there was good but the second one was of the same standard as the buffet. The all inclusive drinks are very limited. The only spirits available were whisky, gin and vodka and of very poor quality. No brandy or bacardi. The wine was practically undrinkable, the red being marginally better than the white but was unavailable towards the end of our stay. The beer was ok.
My massage in the so called spa was the worst I have ever experienced. I was taken into a very basic room and had a bright light shining in my face as I laid on the bed. The massage itself was very amaturish and only lasted 35 mins when I had paid for 50. I was offered a free session in the Hammam as compensation but it was closed.
On the plus side. The heated indoor pool was warm and ok. The entertainment staff were excellent. We enjoyed the stretch class in a morning and there was always some entertainment in the evening. The public areas of the hotel and grounds were well maintained and kept clean."
- Travel date: Tue 4th of December 2007
"Well what can I say, the photos that they show you on the web are the best of what is available. The indoor pool was out of order. Two of the other 3 pools had tiles missing. The gym was closed for most of the time that we were there and when it was open it was filthy as they were renovating. None of which was mentioned on the wedsite. The food was pretty bad we had a bad stomach for most of the holiday and 3 weeks after we got back we still aren't back to normal. We were lucky to get nice food about 3 times in the two weeks we were there. If you like continental breakfast then that is the best part of the meals so if the hotel was in a better location you could eat out, but unfortunatly there isnt much arround. It is not British friendly they had tv in the bedrooms with 15 channels, but not one in English. The all inclusive is not good at all, it basically consists of your unlimited food, but your times are restricted there is one snack in the afternoon which tended to be pizza and nothing else. and your local drink which stops at midnight and well the beer was extremely gassy and the wine was acidic.The juice in the morning was never fresh, it was like diluting juice. The fruit was always apples, pears, plums and melon. No bananas, or oranges wich Tunisia are suposed to be famous for!! The rooms were basic the bathrooms weren't the cleanest the bottom of our shower curtain was orange and mouldy and stunk. They made the beds and gave you clean towels, made creations out of your towels, which was quiet nice, and brushed the floor but that was about it. The floor was never washed while we were there, and the balcony window was thick with salt from the sea by the time we left we could hardly see out of the window. The best part of the hotel was the animation team, if it hadn't been for them the holiday would have been terible. As much as we enjoyed the animation team their acts were basic and their props poor, but that wasn't there fault. If you are quite happy sitting by the pool or beach and dont mind sitting in "the lobby" at night then this place is ok, but would not give it 4 stars. If you want a bit more to do I would sugest Port el Kantoui or Hamamet. We tried to complain to the "public relations manager" but he just went on about how wonderful the hotel was and what they were going to do with the hotel, wich was no good to us on our holiday. They basically didn't want to know. Words of warning .... Dont go on the trip that they offer for free to take photo's of how they make rugs, it is just a ploy to get you to buy a rug! Dont take a taxi from the airport, you can walk and I have heard that people were being charged 12-15 dinar when you should be paying 3! But honestly its about 300 meters and we were glad of the walk after being on the plane. They kind of have you stuck with the all inclusive as there is no where to eat out at night.
Tunisia its self is a lovely place with lots to see and do, if you are in the right part with the right tour guide. We did see some wonderful things. We met some lovely tunisia people to who we shall stay in touch with. It was just ashame the hotel let us down."
- Travel date: Wed 14th of November 2007
Not as good as it looks
"cWe had a party of six. The first surprise was how close to the airport 10 minute walk. The railway station was between the airport and hotel and then the dual carriageway. Surprisingly we didnt hear much noise from all three.
Travelled to Sousse by rail which was agreat experience and very cheap. Beware of strangers standing on corners of Sousse they will show you the way to the Medina (Market) if you appear lost. They will take you to their friends shop. I paid the guy 2 Dinars but he demaned at least 5 which he didnt get. He had to be told forcefully to go away. We then travelled to Port El Kantui which was very nice. I would stay there if I went again. The people in the Medina are very persuasive to try and get you in their shops and will stand in your way. Dont try and move them out of the way as they dont like to be touched. Monastir is very nice and can be reached by taxi or bus. Barter for the best price in a taxi. We paid 10 Dinars.
The staff at the hotel are very friendly and get friendlier the more you tip. Ali the guy who books the Gullet trips was very funny guy who always greeted me with "MY BROTHER FROM ANOTHER MOTHER" he got my trainers for his trouble as he had weighed up I had the same size feet.
The hotel is tired and needs to be refurbished but was clean. The aircon didnt work which would be unbearable in the height of summerThe food wasnt exciting as the same things were served most days. The outskirts of Monastir are very dirty and has lots of rubbish. We saw two dead dogs and a dead cat on our walk into the town.
The entertainment at the hotel was dreadful although some of the nationalities thought it was funny.
We made our own entertainment which some fellow guests joined in. The beach was cleaned daily and the sand was a powdery white.
On leaving the departure hall at the airport was jam packed with people and no one could move without upsetting someone.
Would I go again to Tunisia that would be a definite no"
- Travel date: Wed 10th of October 2007