Royal Thalassa Monastir
12 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
a big let down
"Just returned from hotel Thalassa and what a complete let down.We booked with Thomsons on line where it states that the hotel has 5 bars , a beach bar serving snacks, beatiful beach with parasols and sunbeds and childrens activitys.When we arrived we found that none of these were actually open as the season does not start untill the 1st of April.We did complain to the thomsons rep but she was not at all helpful.We could not even take are 2 year old son on the beach as it was covered in camel poo! The out door pool was unusable as it was just too cold.This hotel is not one to use during the winter , I dont know why it is in the Thomsons winter sun brochure , it may be better during the summer when the hotel is actually fully open.On the plus side the hotel staff are really good and the waiters really look after you, shame the animation team are terrible!Go to egypt if you want a good winter destination and a decent hotel."
- Travel date: Mon 6th of April 2009
23.07.2008 to 06.08.2008 The Thalassa M...
"23.07.2008 to 06.08.2008
The Thalassa Monastir is a great hotel for a relaxing holiday. It sits right on the beach and is only a matter of 5 to 7 minutes transfer from the airport. Aircraft noise is absolutely minimal, considering itâs proximity..in fact itâs fun watching the take-offs. Our party consisted of 3 adults, one girl aged 15 and another girl aged 8. We were accommodated in adjoining rooms, on the ground floor, at pool level. Rooms were of more than adequate size with air conditioning and a small balcony. Beds were the most comfortable we have slept in. Rooms were cleaned and tidied dailyâ¦towels constantly changed for fresh. Hotel staff are very friendly and accommodating, especially in the buffet restaurant, which offered quite a varied menu, both for adults and children. The pool area was large with differing types of pool for all ages and capability. There was generally no problem in obtaining sun beds or umbrellasâ¦the âpoolside boysâ will gladly seek one or two out if asked (be sure to offer them a couple of Dinars as a tip).The beach and sea are fabulous. The water is so shallow and warmâ¦you can walk out as far as the roped off area and the water is still just up to your chest (if you are 5â8â like me!!)â¦Let the children look for little hermit crabs in the shallow water.
There are NO local shops, should you need toiletries, crisps or etcâ¦There is a VERY small room, beyond the piano bar, run by âAbdulâ, which is an excuse for a shop, within the hotel. The nearest place for shopping, is in fact the airportâ¦a 20 min. leisurely stroll from the hotelâ¦better done in the evening, when itâs cooler. Monastir is the nearest town to the hotel, with Sousse being a bit further in the opposite directionâ¦and much better in our opinion.
Both can be reached by taxi, from the main gate. (approx 8 Dinar and 12 Dinar respectively)â¦â¦.Port El Kantaui, is a little further up from Sousse (20 Dinar from the Thalassaâ¦or 5 Dinar from Sousse in the âNoddy Trainâ at the seafront). The Port is a small purpose built marina, with a range of shops and restaurants. (Pirate ships included, both here and in Sousse)
When shopping, paying taxiâs, etc. you MUST haggleâ¦donât be afraidâ¦
itâs expectedâ¦and great funâ¦just donât pay over the odds!...there are only a few shops showing fixed prices. There is a nice souvenir shop with 3 floors, on a corner, close to the Medina, in Sousse where you can shop with fixed prices.
The one real complaint we had, was with the plastic grills surrounding the pools. They are loose and of varying sizes and easily broken. On our first day there, I fell through a section, into the drainage channel that is approx.18â deepâ¦my 8 yr old Granddaughter also fell into this on our second last day.
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the recently refurbished Thalassa Monastir and can thoroughly recommend this hotel for holidaymakers of ALL agesâ¦.enjoy!
- Travel date: Fri 15th of August 2008
"Having just returned from Thalassa and having read the reviews before I went I thought I would write my feelings on the hotel. Firstly we went as a family with young children and was very apprehensive about Tunisia. There was no need, the hotel and people were very friendly.
The hotel is situated in a resort called Skanes, although this is not a resort as we imagine a resort. There is only hotels there and it is about 4 miles to Monastir. This is easily reachable by the local train, which is very cheap and the timetable is on display in the reception. We found the train to be very prompt despite its appearance. A taxi (which are always available) will cost around 5 Dinars.
As for the hotel itself it is set against the beach in an almost idyllic surround. The view from the terrace is marvellous. The pool is large but very cold, however once youve braved the initial shock it is clean and useable. The hotel entertainment (Animators) are tirelessly working to keep visitors occupied with beach games, quizes, volleyball, football, darts, boules, tennis, table tennis etc but will quite happily leave you alone if you just wish to chill. We found the animators very likeable and friendly people whose language skills were incredible. They could talk fluently in English, French, German, Arabic and even Polish.
The children were constantly entertained and even produced a show over Easter with the animators. The beach is raked and cleaned daily (only on the hotels bit however) and the sea is very shallow and warmer than the pool. There are a few water sports to be had if you are so inclined.
Food was varied daily and well presented in buffet style. Most tastes were catered for, there was even a Sunday roast with yorkshire puddings. The breakfast did get a bit monotonous but you are ok if you like eggs. A chef is on hand to cook omelettes and pancakes (which the children couldnt believe their luck, pancakes and chocolate sauce for breakfast!). Lunch time is a problem however. We were Ok because we ate well at breakfast but there is only the hotels Cafe serving food which is confined to Pizza, chips or sandwiches. These are quite expensive and you have to wait a while. In the absence of any shops or supermarkets I would recommend stocking up at the Monoprix in Monastir with snacks and keeping them in your mini bar fridge (which the hotel turns a blind eye to). The price of drink in the hotel is quite expensive but a bottle of wine is only 16 Dinar (about Â£7) which is not bad.
Overall a wonderful holiday in a great hotel with friendly and helpful staff. We also made some great friends. The only down side was the absence of a convenience store."
- Travel date: Fri 21st of April 2006
"This was our first holiday in Tunisia and we weren't sure what to expect from this hotel. It was also our first package tour in ten years (we normally travel independently). We booked with Thomsons, with accommodation to be allocated on arrival from their Platinum Collection, and stayed from 12 - 19 March 2006.
Arriving at Monastir airport, we queued for ages at passport control as too many people filled out the green 'entry' cards that had been distributed on the plane (nice of them to hold everyone else up because they couldn;t be bothered to complete these on the plane, eh?!)
Once through customs, our bags were quick to arrive. These were taken out to the coach, where we waited a further twenty minutes before everyone had cleared the airport. The Thalassa proved to be literally two minutes drive from the airport (and could have been walked in ten minutes). I was worried that this location would mean it suffered from aircraft noise, but the surprising thing was that it didn't - but then this wasn't peak season.
The hotel is large, and caters for a wide range of Eurotravellers... French, German and Italian, although you'll find the majority are Brits. We stayed half board, and the food at breakfast and dinner was always fresh and widely-varied across the week. Wish we hadn't bothered with the option of eating for one night in the A La Carte restaurant (offered to Thomson customers only). The only plus of this was that tables were waited on - and staff were courteous and attentive - but the food was actually worse than we'd had on all other nights in the buffet. Probably worth a miss!
The staff at the hotel were invariably friendly and helpful, whether portering luggage, serving drinks, offering advice at reception, setting up sunbeds, cleaning or running the small leisure suite. Couldn't fault them.
The outdoor pool at the hotel wasn't really warm enough to swim in just yet, although the Med proved tempting for brief dips to cool down on a couple of days during our stay.
The hotel is located about 5 or 6 miles from Monastir town, on a decent beach where the sea is shallow for some distance. A taxi fare into Monastir is anything the driver feels they can get away with. We were charged 6 dinars on our first trip there, but on other trips negotiated the same journey for 4 dinars. On one occasion, when we took a metered cab back to the hotel, the fare was just 3.2 dinars, so 4 seemed a reasonable deal.
Monastir has a Monoprix supermarket - not massive, but offering a reasonable range of drink and food. The Tunisian white wines were excellent (shame they can;t be picked up here in the UK), and could be picked up at the supermarket for as little as 4 dinars (or bought in the hotel for between 16 and 23 dinars).
We didn't take any of the excursions offered by Thomsons, and were glad we didn't. They wanted to charge Â£35 each for a trip to the Roman Colliseum at El Jem, although there was a visit to another place plus Monastir town, and a lunch, included. We later found that this trip departed at 6.20am, and didn't return until around 5pm! Looking at the map, I found El Jem didn't look too inaccessible, and we decided instead to take a train from the airport to Madhia (about an hour and a quarter)- fare just 5 dinars return. We had lunch there for around 30 dinars including drinks, then negotiated a taxi from Madhia to El Jem: about 45 minutes, with the driver waiting an hour and a half while we looked around, then taking us back to Madhia - the fare was 40 dinars. So, our self-organised trip out, including lunch, came out at just Â£32 (less than half we'd have had to pay for the bus excursion). In fact, we could have had a taxi straight from the hotel for maybe 60 dinars return, if we'd wanted to save even more time.
In a nutshell: a large, reasonably-featured hotel, probably equating to a high 3 / low 4 star hotel in the UK. A good value break (Â£250 each, booked 3 weeks before travel). I'd certainly return to Tunisia, and would have no problem stopping again at the Thalassa."
- Travel date: Tue 21st of March 2006
Shoudn't be a Thompson Platinum
"Have just returned from a week in Hotel Thalassa, Skanes. To begin, we chose it due to the cheap online deal for what is reported to be a 4T+ "Platinum" hotel by Thompson, combined with a decent chance of sunshine in March. Before I start on the negatives, please be aware that we had a reasonable time but have no desire to go back, and we judged the hotel on it's advertised standard, which I expect regardless of how much I pay.
Quick point, there was a significant delay on arrival at Monastir with baggage, some people waited over an hour for their bag, others were on the coach waiting for them. If you find yourself in this situation I suggest you get off the coach, walk out of the airport, turn right and walk for about 10 mins, the hotel is right round the corner, don't waste your money on transfers, if you do want a "private taxi transfer", use the local taxis for about 2 pounds... The hotel looks quite nice, a greek theme to the decor and room names such as Athena and Poseidon. Obviously, the porters will want a tip, they will take any currency if you don't have your dinars yet (the hotel currency exchange only accepts cash, there are 2 ATMs in the airport). Rooms are relatively basic, bed, TV with lots of foreign language channels, CNN and BBC World (charge extra for the remote control!), minibar which inexplicably got emptied halfway through our stay, aircon (temperamental), hairdryer, basic but adequate bathroom. The hotel advertises a range of bars, the buffet restaurant, an a la carte restaurant, a moorish cafe and a nightclub. When we were the moorish cafe was closed and only one bar was ever open. Those of us on half-board (most of the brits) therefore had only one place to get food for lunch, which became a little repetative after a couple of days, and the quality was poor, the choice of 3 sandwiches (cheese, chicken, tuna) isn't advertised and needs to be requested by those in the know. Dinner in the buffet was varied, but there is usually something for everyone, they even have roasts with yorkshire pudding and mash for the less adventurous. The general opinion was that for a hotel which was 1/2 hr walk to the nearest shop, with no bars/cafes/restaurants nearby, the facilities were inadequate. The outdoor pool area looks fantastic, the pool is large and freeform, with 3 smaller pools . However, as mentioned by others, it is absolutely freezing and completely unusable.The management were asked to heat it but refused because the hotel wasn't full, which i suspect also explains the limited cafe/bar choice. There is also a charge for a mattress to go on the sunbeds, which is necessary for comfort, despite the brochure saying they are free. Drinks vary in price but a pint of beer will set you back 7.5 DT (Â£3.25) which is ridiculous. The final comment I have to make about the hotel is the apparent lack of communication or common sense with the cleaning staff. On our last day, with check-out at 12 noon, the cleaner tried to come in at 8.30 (still in bed, asked to come back after 12), 10am (asked to come back after 12) and 11.30 (less polite this time...) Other people reported the same thing.
On a more positive note, the staff were generally friendly and helpful, especially if tipped. The reps did well, and the atmosphere in the hotel was good (and very smoky, lots of French tourists...) I suspect that the hotel performs better in high season with everything open and a heated pool, but as it is I do not feel that it merits the Platinum rating, and is considerably worse than other, lower rated Thompson hotels I have stayed at."
- Travel date: Mon 20th of March 2006
Good, but not that good
"Hotel is imposing but a little tatty round the edges. Food good, varied and international (not much fish). Cleaning erratic. Staff very friendly, even those who weren't likely to get a tip, and really seemed to love the children. Indoor pool super, wellbeing centre recommended.
We did ask for a room change (didn't want a ground floor balcony with the children), but were told that the ground floor rooms are larger than the others, while in fact the floor plans are exactly the same so were obviously spun a line there.
Nothing special in the summer I imagine, the white sandy beach is fine but very narrow, so not much space."
- Travel date: Mon 27th of February 2006
When Hotels get greedy
"Lovely hotel, very clean all the amenities you need, good food friendly and attentive staff, we were staying at the Thalassa for Christmas and enjoyed it, even though the weather was a little cooler than we expected there was still plenty of sunshine. This is a high standard four star but not a Platinum.
The waiters are very attentive and happy but they do try and keep the change for tips without asking you.
The only disapointment we had was New Years Eve, the Gala dinner lasted for 7 hours, with an hours wait between each course at which they served drinks which were double the price they had been for the rest of the week. The A la Carte restaurant was also closed so that guests had no choice.
That said I would return to the Thalassa as it is on a beatiful stretch of beach and has a wonderful pool area."
- Travel date: Wed 4th of January 2006
Unfortunately, not a Platinum
"We have recently returned from a one weeks break from this hotel.
It was "Ok", defintely not a 4* Platinum, we stopped at a 4* platinum at Rhodes in June and there was no comparison! Hotel looks grand from the outside but as a previous review commented (rooms & bathroom's are very tatty) and in desperate need of attention.
We was only there one week so the food was ok, and a great bonus for us was the sun was shining!
The a la carte restaurant was absolutely rubbish and I couldn't believe it was the same menu as the daytime grill bar. We got it in with our Half Board, but if you have to pay, do not bother wasting your money, I personally thought the daily restaurant was better.
The daytime snack bar was expensive with a very small choice, but if you like pizza you'll be ok. I got stocked with some scubbies to munch on for when we got back to your room after the beach, so I would highly recommend you do that, especially if you have children as it could work out quite expensive. Also, make sure you have the correct money to pay your bill, a couple of cases of where the bill was probably 26 my partner would give them 30, and the nice man would just put it in his pocket give us a smile and offer no change! Most times we did make an effort to tip, but I didn't like how they were so presumptious!! We would never dare do it in England!
Be carefull at the airport, the porters grab your suitcase to take (even in our case of about 10ft walking distance to the bus) and they stand there until you give them a tip, which is fair due, but make sure you have some small change. A couple in our hotel had no change and he would not go until they gave him something so they hand to hand over a fiver!! (made his day)!
We went into Monastir one evening, but I would recommend you visit places in the day, as they can be somewhat intimidating with groups of tunisian lads walking past commenting.
Didn't like how I was surrounded by cats at the grill in the daytime on one occasion when we ate there, at one point, I was surrounded by 5 cats, sat begging at the side of me!
Defintely take duty free with you so you can have a tipple in your room, as you are provided with a fridge so make the most of it. Drink prices are somewhat more expensive, from example, Â£6 for a baileys. I am not tight when I go on holiday and I go to enjoy, but I won't be ripped off either! Also take a small rucksack so if you go out and call at a supermarket you can stock up a lot cheaper, and the guards can't tell that you have done.
Sounds like all I have done is complain, but in fairness we did enjoy the hotel but it just wasn't a 4* platinum, and if we was to go back to Tunisia, I would either pick somewhere all inclusive or somewhere where you could go within walking distance to other restaurants."
- Travel date: Fri 18th of November 2005
Great hotel, great weather ...
"...and great price for a Platinum hotel in October....
Thalassa hotel was by far one of the nicest hotels we saw in Tunisia and we really enjoyed the hotel. The pools were very nice (although they were quite cold when first got in but soon warmed up in the sun). Very good weather for mid-October and good value for money for a 4* hotel. Food was ok - as a vegetarian I was able to have a full plate of buffet food but I had to grab a chef and ask them to point out which dishes had no meat - tended to stick to things like pasta and vegetables though. My husband tried something different every day and there was plenty of choice. Although breakfast was pretty much the same every day.
We both had a massage which was very good and reasonably priced (30 dinar for 30 minutes). Drinks were not too badly priced - about what you would expect to pay in a 4* hotel.
Location did not bother us one bit as we only wanted to go for a relaxing holiday and were not looking for a busy resort. It was actually very handy having the airport nearby as we could wander there in about 15 minutes to use the cashpoint and look around the shops (good tip - look round the shops at the airport first to get a good feel for the sort of price you should expect to pay and then look round the medinas and markets for more variety and haggle down - if you dont like the haggling, the prices at the airport were very reasonable and fixed pricees). Noise from the airport was not a problem either.
We went on the Sahara Explorer excursion with Thomson which was a great way of seeing a huge part of Southern Tunisia - the one thing they did not tell us before this excursion was how much time you spend on a coach and the 2 days were very tiring but worth it as there was loads crammed in. Camel ride in Sahara to see the sunset was spectacular but camels are a bit of an uncomfortable mode of transport! Atlas mountains and the salt lake were a real feature of the holiday and we took some stunning pictures here.
The only thing we did not like about Tunisia as a country was the fact that the locals were out to make a quick buck at every opportunity and would charge a dinar just to say hello!! It got a bit tiring haggling all the time but we got loads of bargains as a result - on a Saturday morning there was a market in Monastir and the amount of money they start off asking for was ridiculous. We picked up 6 shawls (beautiful fabrics) and the stall holder started at 500 dinars - we got them for 40 dinars!
All in all, we would recommend the Thalassa hotel to those seeking one or two weeks in the sun in lovely surroundings for a good price."
- Travel date: Tue 25th of October 2005
Good hotel, poor location
"Don't be fooled by the look of the hotel, the location really let's it down. The hotel has a monopoly on drinks (including water) which are very expensive. If you're a beer lover, then stay clear as only one kind on tap. Food was generally very repetitive but desserts were amazing. Breakfast was ok, but bacon was awful and you had to queue for fried eggs. The pool is outstanding and was still warm (tail end of the summer). The towns are quite a distance away (15 min taxi/bus ride to monastir) and there's nothing in between. If you head into town, be prepared for the locals, as they love to drag you in their shops and won't let you leave until you buy something (We were low on cash and one shopkeeper made me buy a pair of trainers before he would walk me to a bank that accepted debit cards). Whilst funny at first, this became a real nuisance and we ended up staying in the hotel. The area between the towns is like a landfill site, dirty and unsightly and this only encouraged us to stay in the hotel even more. You're expected to pay for everything (We were chased down the street for money after taking a picture of someone's camel). Not a place I would recommend, we won't be returning."
- Travel date: Sun 9th of October 2005
"My family and I have just got back from spending an amazing 2 weeks at the Hotel Thalassa.
I must admit I had my doubts about the hotel and Tunisia before the holiday (other peoples comments and reviews) and after having an 8 hour delay at Gatwick and arriving at The Thalassa at 3am I was still very uneasy.
But from the time we woke up in the morning till the time we went home I was blown away by the hotel itself, the food, the friendly staff and the amazing time we all had.
The food in the hotel was excellent with so much time and effort put into every dish...the displays were amazing (excusing the flies that couldnt be helped) and the food even better. Twice during the holiday they set up the buffet outside by the pool....I must admit it was very busy and a bit of a nightmare getting your food but everything you could want was there and always hot. My son is only 5 and loved all the food from the chips to the fresh shrimps...he loved being able to choose whatever he wanted. My husband and parents loved all the sea food and local Tunisian dishes.
For breakfast you could have anything from a fry up to fresh crepes cooked in front of you, bread, salads, cereal......the variety was excellent.
The entertainment around the pool in the daytime was good and kept my son entertained throughout the 2 weeks. The hotel itself and beach felt very safe and you knew at all times that your children were safe with the lifegaurds and security everywhere. The animation team were fun and yes, they do hassle you to join in but a simple no will suffice and they leave you alone.
My one downside to the hotel would be the Barbeque Cafe by the pool...it didnt offer much of a selection for lunch and could work out quite expensive if you were'nt careful.
Throughout the day staff would walk round offering milkshakes, drinks, crepes, big sugar dougnuts..........you didnt have to move!
The evening entertainment was good for the children with shows and beach parties but apart from that there isnt much to do. The BBQ bar in the evening by the pool was great and Zeid the barman was lovely. My son loved playing with him and they got on like a house of fire....Zeid let him help out behind the bar and looked after him really well.
All the staff at the hotel were extremely friendly and I could not say a bad word about them at all. The rooms were kept very clean, beds made, towels changed.......cleaning staff very friendly.
The diving school on the beach was excellent, I completed 3 dives myself and my husband passed 2 instructor course......the guy that owns the school, Sam and the receptionist were all lovely. They even got a wetsuit out for my son, goggles and helped him with his swimming whilst my husband and I were diving.
We went on 2 trips, the zoo and camel riding which was fab and the waterpark which was ok.....don't plan a day there, a few hours is fine.
The Thalassa was far superior to all the other hotels we stopped at picking up other people.........its right next to the airport but you can barely hear any noise.
All in all this is one of the best holidays ive ever had and we barely left the hotel. Every aspect of the holiday was great and I have no complaints whatsoever.
I would recommend this hotel to familys with children and people looking to relax in the evenings.
We will definately look at going back next year.........."
- Travel date: Mon 22nd of August 2005
"We have 14 lovely days at this super hotel. With my husband, daughter, son-in-law and 5 year old grandson. We quickly recovered from the 7 hour flight delay by the beautiful pools. The food was plentiful and varied and we had the choice of eating inside or out. All of the bar staff and waiters were very friendly and little Lewis had a great time at the beach bars. The entertainers were not overly persistent when it came to joining in. We found the drinks expensive but hey - we were on holiday!! The rooms were large and clean. The airconditioning was good and quiet. The surroundings were well kept with plenty of space, sunbeds and umbrellas. This was perfect if you do not necessarily want to shop or walk around much - just chill (roast) out all day by the pool or on the lovely beach. If you want to visit the local town there are cabs or buses to take you. Although the airport is literally just across the road we were not disturbed by the noise (we live 10 mins from Heathrow!) No long airport transfers!
All in all I would recommend this particular hotel to anyone who wants a really relaxing holiday with or without children."
- Travel date: Mon 22nd of August 2005