The Hasdrubal Hotel turned out to be a great choice without any regret. The hotel is rated 5-star for the local standard, and the service can indeed be rated 5-star according to the western standard, although the furnishing of the room is less than a 5-star western standard.
First of all the check-in procedure was first-class. As soon as we arrived, we were greeted at the entrance and the luggage was picked up. We were then chauffeured to the sitting area and served with refreshing juice as the check-in being taken care of by the bell man. However, I have to add that after we checked into our room, we waited for quite some time (20 min) for our luggage and it never came. Having arrived after midnight, we were pretty eager to rest early. In the end we had to go down to the reception to find out the whereabouts of our luggage. Turned out, the staffs were very occupied due to another big group of tourists who had just arrived. However, after being reminded that we needed it asap, they were kind enough to send the luggage to our room within the next few minutes. The staffs were very friendly and helpful throughout the stay. Aside from the daily room service, there was also an evening room service. Someone came in the early evening to make sure we were not short of towels or anything.
The room was very spacious, furnished in Arabic style. Aside from the bedding area, there was a small sitting area, and balcony/terrace. In addition to the standard towels, we were also provided with sandals and bath robes, which one could use when going to the spa.
The beach was of top quality! The sea was very nice, the sand very white and soft. The surrounding was very quiet, one can truly feel relaxed there. Directly across from the hotel was a shopping center, where one could shop for souvenirs. There was also tennis court, beach volley ball, etc. There were several swimming pools. Two unheated outdoor pools, one heated outdoor pool, and one heated in-door pool. I never tried, but I suspected the pool directly outside of the additional heated sea-water pool in the spa was also filled with sea water.
Another thing to be noted is that the people who stayed at the hotel were very elegant and well mannered-people, a big contrast to the previous hotels we stayed in. Here there were almost no loud people, and we (in early 30s) could easily be one of the few youngest there. That really helped in creating a quiet dining/pool/beach area. No loud partying or getting-drunk crowd here. All the guests were very friendly and greeted each other politely whenever they met. It’s perfect if you want a relaxing vacation not surrounded by loud/drunk people.
The food was acceptable. You get live piano music every night at dinner. There are usually two appetizers, 3 main dishes, and two desserts to choose from. For the appetizers and desserts you can choose from the buffet or the menu, which were always soups and mixed ice cream. Overall the food was acceptable. Occasionally, you get one of those “typical Tunisian appetizers” at the buffet and they were much better. At the bottom of the menu it also mentioned that there was one or two “local dishes of the day”, which was unfortunately written only in French and partially in German. We missed that small section and did not have a chance to order the local specialties until the last day of our stay. They turned out to be much tastier than the “western food” available there.
The spa was not operated by the hotel. Overall the spa experience was good. It was clean and heavily staffed. However, if you don’t speak French or German, then expect to have a bit of hard time there. At the receptionist there’ll be people who could speak French/German/English, but the people who worked at the spa generally speak only French (in addition to Arabic or course) and very little German or English. Overall the service could be improved. Sometimes you feel that you’re being rushed from one treatment to the other without giving you sufficient time in between. They were also not doing very well in terms of providing you with information, explaining you what you’re getting, and what it does for you, and why it is good. The first day I went from one treatment to the other without really knowing what I was getting myself into. The second day was more or less the “repeated version” of the first day so it was better. But overall, they didn’t do a good job (partially due to the language barrier, I do not speak French and they speak very limited English or German) in explaining me what I got. I finished the 3-day treatment without knowing much more about the treatment than before. During the treatment period the spa clients also have full access to their indoor aromatherapy room and salted-swimming pool, unfortunately this was also not explained to us by the staffs and we had to discover it ourselves from the booklet.
The massages we received were good, although I couldn’t say the same for the facial/beauty care. The first day their schedule was full I was rushed in, being wiped some tonic on my face, put on some mask and left alone there for 10 minutes, later someone came to cleaned it away and in 15 minutes I was done. The second day the facial was started at least with a proper cleaning procedure.
All the tour companies offer more or less the same version of extra trips. We took a trip to the south of Tunisia through the desserts, to Tataouine and the Berber villages. At the price we paid, the trip was very well worth. Do not do the trip to the Flamingo Island! It’s one of the biggest tourist traps I’ve ever seen. Basically, the idea was to put bunch of tourists in a so-called pirate ships, sailed across to an abandoned island and served them lunch and then bring them back. The island has absolutely nothing (really, absolutely nothing, just one flat island, no trees, buildings, nothing), and rather dirty with abandoned bottles and stuffs here and there. The quality of the beach at Hasdrubal was much better and view was much nicer that we wondered why we wasted our time there. Upon arrival at the island, we were given 1 hr to wonder around before lunch, since there was absolutely nothing to see on the island, most people gathered close to the lunch location after 30 min. What came with the trip was waste of a day of our limited time in Tunisia. Plus I should add that there’s no bath room on the island (again there was absolutely nothing there), so one has to use the so called “5-star” bathroom on the ships, which stink like hell and had no flushing water. A better trip would be to take a day to wonder around the Djerba island, which has much more sights and activities to offer than the Flamingo island, which has absolutely neither flamingo nor dolphin like what they claimed.
Finally, I was pleasantly pleased that the Tunisian (at least those in the touristic industry) were very punctual, we were always picked up punctually and they usually arrive punctually at the appointment.
Overall, the stay at Hasdrubal was wonderful, for the price we paid, it really set the standards high. We definitely recommend it and will definitely consider going there again!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.