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“An unusual experience....” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel La Gondole

Hotel La Gondole
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Hotel La Gondole
3.0 of 5 Small Hotel   |   Boulevard Hedi Chaker, Sousse 4000, Tunisia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 12 Sousse B&B and Inns
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“An unusual experience....”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2013

Please note that my review has been written about a year after I and my breathtaking beautiful wife stayed here (June, 2012), so some of what I write might already out of date. My experience at La Gondale is quite unusual as we ended up staying there without an advanced booking.

Upon arrival into Sousse, we found that our hotel that we had book via an extremely popular internet based travel site to be closed for renovation. We pulled out our travel books and started searching for something near by. One of our books mentioned La Gondale and seeing we were close to it at the time, we decided to check with the staff regarding the availability of a room for a five night stay. Luckily, they had one for us. We initially got into our room and the manager felt it wasn’t nice enough for us, so he moved us a different one overlooking the sea.

Overall, I would say my feelings on the hotel are mixed. It seemed to us that we were two of no more than four or six guests at the hotel. The staff was happy to have us stay there but given that our trip was only 18 months after the Jasmine Revolution, it was hard to determine if the hotel was the problem or tourism was suffering as a result of the political uncertainty of the country. Regardless, the staff went out of their way to make us feel welcomed and enjoy our stay there. Everyone was extremely friendly and truly pleasant.

The best part of the hotel is Location, Location, Location! The hotel is directly across the main street from the beach, and not far from the Medina and train stations (to other places within the country and intercity train to Monastir) and there are many great little places to eat everywhere near by. There is also a small general store down the street with a reasonably good selection of Tunisian wines. The rooms were well furnished but a bit small and very basic. Note on the beach – the hotel has not connection to those who work on the beach.

On the other hand, there we so many small “issues” with the building that as a whole, they would have tested the patience of even the most hardy of travelers. The air conditioner did not work, which was not much of a problem as the cool breezes off the sea kept our room reasonably cool. Lights in the hallways were non-existent or burned out. We had to notify the front desk when we we’re in the restaurant, which was more of a storage area, for breakfast. Then, we would have to wait for 20-30 minutes before it was served to us and was the most basic of food – two eggs, bread, and croissants. The main street ran right below our room, which was very noisy all night. Beach partiers stated out until just about dawn, both of which made it difficult for a good night rest. The manager was looking for a tip for anything he did for us, even if it would be expected to be his job. I saw absolutely no evidence of a pool or gym, or other amenities.

Despite our experience, we nonetheless had a reasonable stay here and enjoyed our experience in Sousse.

Room Tip: Overlooking the sea and bring the ear plugs for sleeping if you do!
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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12 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    3
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

We have just returned from a week at La Gondole in Sousse. We were really very happy with this hotel. The people on reception were great and went out of their way to help us when required. We especially enjoyed our chats with Foued, the night receptionist.

We felt that the location of the hotel was perfect. It was directly opposite the beautiful beach which we had a stunning view of from our room. It felt like a very local, as opposed to touristy, part of Sousse which we liked. Good people watching and very friendly people all round.

It was just a short walk to the Medina where there were some lovely restaurants, wonderful (and extremely cheap!) markets (souks) and two fantastic museums which are definitely worth a visit.

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2012

A hotel that may have seen better days, but they are going all out to bring you in and keep you happy. The staff was all absolutely first-class, friendly, and all speaking English. I paid 30 dinar per night (US $20) in mid-April for a huge double room, used as a single, right across the street from the beach and the sea. Stunning views at sunrise and sunset. The room had a large desk and chair, a comfortable easy chair, plus a small table with chairs for eating (although no refrigerator). A small drawback: the shower curtain didn't reach all the way down, so the bathroom floor had to be wiped dry every time (they were generous with extra towels). . . Lonely Planet gives it a strange write-up, and claims high season is overpriced; I asked, and was told my room would run 35 to 40 dinar during the summer, still a steal.

Room Tip: If you face the beach and leave the window open, you will get some traffic noises, but the people tr...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
xxx
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2010

Nice hotel , nice resteurant , the owner and all the stuff great and kind people. Whoever goes to Sousse I recommend this Hotel that it doesn't also cost very and it is situated next to the sea. Thank you .

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coventry, United Kingdom
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2010

La Gondole Hotel Suisse,

August 2010,

Just returned from a weeks stay in what was described as a four star hotel but was really a low budget hostel. In fact we have stayed in nicer hostels on weekend breaks and definitely far better four star hotels.

Restaurant
The restaurant was not busy and the first morning despite arriving 45 minutes before breakfast was due to finish we were told by another guest that they were clearing away. We wrongly assumed that there would be a greater selection on following mornings. Breakfast was the same every day Croissants. Pan au chocolat coffee, tea (if you asked for it) two cold drinks one which was red and the other light green but no recognizable flavour.

Evening meal was four courses and was the same every night in that it was soup then salad then a meat course and melon 5 nights and cake the other two for dessert. The choice was take it or leave it.
The staff were pleasant but there was no attempt to help with bags or even let us know when our taxi arrived to take us to the airport. Some confusion at the start of the stay as the receptionist did not understand that we had already paid and was insisting on being paid again. This was resolved after phone calls and the director coming from somewhere else reading our receipt and saying it was OK we could stay at which point the receptionist told us we were welcome but as this was midnight and we had been sitting in reception for about half an hour while this was sorted out we were too tired to care luckily we had the proof with us that we had paid. Make sure you take all paper work with you and not just booking references..
The hotel was basic not close to other four star hotels we have stayed in at best probably a 2 star and over priced for what was on offer. Much of the amenities advertised did not exist eg internet in the room, pool, bar, satellite TV currency exchange private beach is actually a misnomer as it is a poorly maintained section of the main beach and the adjacent section is better in every respect for the same charge .Other guests complained but there was no explanation.
The room was quiet and given a basic clean each day with towels being changed but rugs were not cleaned during our stay.

  • Stayed August 2010
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
copenhagen
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2010

I spent almost 2 weeks in "La Gondole" - end enjoyed it. The hotel is placed right at the beach - and a really great beach too. The director of the hotel is kind and very focused on helping you enjoy yr stay at the hotel. which I really did (enjoy it)

The view from the hotel is absolutely wonderful - overlooking the beautiful ocean. and the rooms are clean & large. The beds / matresses are of "western" quality (not the supersoft "hammocks" you find sometimes).

The staff is kind and lobby is watched 24/7 - I had all my stuff - as well as cash lying in the room and every penny stayed where i left it. I even enjoyed a few late and very nice dialogues with the manager in the lobby of tunesian culture vs eu culture :o)

You cannot escape a bit of noise from the beach promenade in front of hotel - but the aircondition will take most of that. Bring ear plugs, as I always do

This hotel is placed in the zone where most non-european tourists come, which means you do not find and super-drunk youngsters, no mega neon signs (which I find great)

The beach in front of the hotel is watched (you pay appr 3-5 dinars / day for parasol & sunbed) - and a really great beach - where also kids can enjoy themselves

There is Wi-Fi in the lobby

All in all - it was a really nice hotel - and I recommend it a lot.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel La Gondole

Address: Boulevard Hedi Chaker, Sousse 4000, Tunisia
Location: Tunisia > Sousse Governorate > Sousse
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 12 B&Bs / Inns in Sousse
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel La Gondole 3*
Number of rooms: 15
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