I read all the reviews on this place before we went so I felt well prepared to get the best out of it and to not be too disappointed by the worst. The hotel looks great when you arrive but please please don't prejudge the hotel by any little negatives on your arrival with regard to how they organize the main change over day here.
We did feel a tiny bit lost and uncared for when we turned up because our flight was extremely early, so we arrived late morning. However they don't check the rooms out till after midday and they need cleaning, so no rooms are ready before 2pm. We made the mistake of being still dressed for our 3am check in in the UK and in hindsight I would have made sure I had my swim wear/ towels etc handy in my hand luggage to change into, so I could have made the most out of our first day.
As it was, the staff were all flat out and even though the Lovely Marc ( the hotels English Liaison manager ) did his best to get round to everyone and try and get us all orientated and give us the info we needed, without a room to land in and freshen up and with all the staff flat out sorting check outs and in's, you can feel a bit at a loss. Marc did say to just go a get ourselves some lunch and he'd get us into our room as soon as it was ready. However we went to the English restaurant downstairs and were a bit disappointed with the lunch on offer as they only have a small selection down there and not much for the veggies like me- but I had the lentil soup which was delicious, but my husbands chicken cordon blue had gone a bit soggy.
That being said- that is the only negatives you'll hear from me in this review, and it's all stuff that can be overcome, so take the benefit of my hindsight- so you don't get this issue if your flight gets u there before 2pm: take a cool change of clothes/ swim wear etc in your hand luggage. All your luggage is kept outside the lobby, ready for the porters to take to your room, so you can get to it any time. There's toilets on the far right of the lobby so get changed in there and freshen up and my advice is to head straight into the big main restaurant just off the right of the lobby if its lunch time, as they have the biggest choice of food there and there is something for all tastes available. If lunch isn't ready just get your swim wear on and head straight for the pools, grab a lifeguard ( in red ) and they will find you a sun lounger and show you around.
Please, Please always tip everyone that serves you, even if its just a few dinars. You'll find as the holiday goes on that it's the staff team here that really will make your holiday that extra bit special and they work so damn hard, so don't be tight, tip/tip/tip you won't be disappointed by the wonderful service you receive from these lovely friendly staff. My husband and I nicknamed our favorite little team of staff who seemed to adopt us- as our "professional locals"- and I kid you not - they made our holiday!!!
So once the lunch and slight delay getting into our rooms was done with, everything else from then on was great. We'd emailed ahead in French ( great free app called Babylon will translate anything you write into any language) to ask for a bungalow with a pool or sea view as advised by other reviews on here. However a lot of those reviews said don't get one round the main pool 'cos of the music and animation team noise starting at 10am. Well ours was right behind the animation team hut and we loved it there. If you're a bit of an old fuddy duddy who doesn't like fun and a bit of music then by all means go the the quiet bit closer to the sea. But I loved being close to the action and the hotel bars etc. All the french doors on the bungalows are double glazed so the sound is barely heard anyway, and they've only got one fairly small speaker so it's not overpowering anyway.
Do take the time to meet your chamber maid and ask her name. We had the delectable Mme Fouzier, (our bungalow was 304) she was one of the staff who made our holiday. My husband is not an early riser so she had to always do an afternoon run to clean our room; but she never once stinted on the beautiful towel art and what I called Bed'jazzlin, (sheets arranged with flowers etc), It was always such a lovely surprise every day to come back to our room to see how prettily she'd done it, We got into a habit of doing a little tip art in return,where we'd use the flowers to rearrange a little decoration around her tip every day. We only usually left 2-3 dn a day or 5 if she'd really excelled herself, but left her 20dns and a thank you note on our last day, she always had a laugh with us if we every came back while she was cleaning our room. A little bit of interest and respect for the staff team is so appreciated by them they will go above and beyond to look after you, so take the time to get to know them and always be nice and friendly because they deserve it.
They tell you at the airport transfer to please tip as people don't stop or take breaks over there and work really hard and Tunisian pay is minuscule as they don't seem to have the same protection and labor laws as we do here.
You barely need to think you fancy a drink or something and one of the waiters will be there anticipating it.
Our favorite waiters ( our A-team professional locals):~ Agmed ( pool bar), Nassedine ( whose usually doing the 6 o'clock cocktails and does a really mean Mojito) and of course the lovely Haikel, who can be found manning the Moorish cafe and does the Hubble-bubble hookahs and peppermint tea, are all absolute stars and deserve medals for going above and beyond.
For example, my hubby and I got into a lovely little ritual of having one (or several) of Nassedine's yummy cocktails on the terrace at six, then going into the main restaurant for dinner, then down to the Moorish Cafe (below the terrace and outside the English restaurant for a hookah and tea. Even though I don't smoke and am usually a very vocal anti-smoker, I did love the hubble bubble, as it doesn't taste of tobacco and didn't make me cough even a tiny bit, and just seemed the perfect civilized way to sit out in the warm twilight- sometimes watching the electrical storms flickering lightning out to sea, letting dinner go down and just chillin'. Well Nassedine and Agmed were very, very good at making sure we always had a drink, and would come and find us where ever we were. One time we were in our usual spot enjoying our evening smoke and tea and Nassedine came to find us as usual and we ordered our drinks, but before he came back with them we got scooped up by Mamadou -one of the animation guys to come and watch their Grease rendition show at the animation amphitheater. We were sat right at the top and the back but bless him.. Nassedine had hunted for us high and low with our drinks and came and found us there. Now thats what you call good service!!!
The pools and water slides are so much fun, kept my hubby happy- he's such a big kid at heart.
The second day we both had the couples Turkish bath and massage in the hotel spa- which is only 200 dn ( about £80) bloody bargain! I'm a massage therapist and we paid a bit more to extend the 1/2 massage that comes with that package to an hr and glad we did because it was very good - if u like a deep massage just ask them. For those that don't know whats involved in a Turkish bath- or hammanet ( not sure if thats how u spell it ) it's like a glorified sauna with extras. You have a shower then still wet you get put on these lovely heated beds in the vaulted sauna type room, which opens all yours pores. Then the lovely lady there comes in and gives you a good all over rub with an ex-foliating hand mit ( great to do at the beginning of your hols as it gets all the dead skin off so you'll tan evenly) then another shower off then covered all over with mineral mud to condition the skin, then another spell on the heated beds, another shower off, then out to the relax room for a herbal type tea, and then your massage. You literally float out 2 hours later. Great way to start the holiday, so good in fact we had another one to finish it too.
I didn't do any of the excursions even though I wanted too as we just had so much stuff we wanted to do at the hotel- next year we'll do 2 weeks as one's simply not long enough, but my husband did the quad biking and had a good time but felt they should have split the group up into people with more experience and less, as he felt held up by total novices in the group.
We spent one day fully on the beach doing the water sports. My husband did the jet skiing, and had a blast, we did the paragliding in tandem and thats well worth doing as it's just so relaxing and the view is great, but I wish they gave you a bit longer up there - and the giant inflatable sofa you get towed in behind the speed boat is insane ( well it is when you have a husband that tells the boat driver to floor it ) great fun, but my forearms ached for 2 days from hanging on so tight. But if you don't like it too fast don't worry, I think they normally go quite gently. Well worth getting the photo montage CD from the beach photographers only 35 dns.and if you do all of the sports they'll put it all together on the same cd for you.
Now to the food: I have to say there are a lot of reviews on here that say negative stuff about the food and eating experience at the restaurants at Thalassa. Now our first meal in the English restaurant was a bit disappointing and to be fair once we'd been up to the main restaurant we only really ate there, except for the odd lunch at the beach cafe which is pasta and pizza with the Italian Chef, and if you want to stay by the pool the 2 snack bars under the big water slide towers do a mean sandwich for a packed lunch. You can also book into the A la carte restaurants either the beach one which does a big meat grill at night, the Tunisian ( which we did) this is a fixed meal of soup / cous cous etc, which I liked but my husband didn't cos he didn't like tomatoes and everything had tomatoes in and no other choices. But the place was beautiful and was one of the nicest evenings we had and even my husband enjoyed it as he had my meat and I ate his tomato stuff so he liked some bits. And finally the Mediterranean restaurant, which we didn't try. But you do need to get up before 9am as you have to book these places the day before at 9am outside the main restaurant in the lobby and they are popular so get there in good time or they book up.
Overall I'm a total foody and did put on weight on this holiday because I enjoyed the food and there's plenty of it. But I wouldn't be totally honest if I didn't say that the food is the one thing that needs improving and is the reason that I did um and ah a bit over whether to give the full 5 rating for this hotel. There are plenty of comments on here about how the food is samey, and how they reuse stuff and up to a point that is true. However there is a lot of choice. Big salad bar for starters, a grill where they do the nights choice of grilled meat, a pizza/ pasta bar which also does the croissants and danish for breakfast, a big stir fry area with a couple of giant paella pots ( now these are where u can find the veg from the day befores' salad eg: the tomatoes etc reused in a big pasta or cous cous dish, but so what? Like you wouldn't do that at home? I always had a big dolop of the wok food as it was often a big veggie mix and always tasted yummy. I didn't get an upset tummy all week. I can't vouch for the meat and neither can my husband cos he's a pizza and chips kind of guy. It is mass, all inclusive catering so its not going to earn any Michelin stars, but it was ok and I found plenty of stuff as a veggie to eat every night. But could it be better - then Yes absolutely. But I decided that the hotel overall deserved the full 5 rating for 2 main reasons - the staff and the fact that it was one of the best holidays I had in years, Tunisia really grows on you and if you are respectful to them they are generally really nice back.
Even in the Sousse Medina I didn't get hassled as a western woman and the shop keepers didn't hassle us, Don't get me wrong they'll try and get you into their shops but at no point did any of them make a nuisance of themselves - with one exception ~ a guy trying to sell my husband a watch in a shop on the corner of the fountain courtyard in port el Kantoui who was very rude to me when we'd had enough of his haggling and walked away, but that was the only time. Whether it was because my husband is 6'10" i don't know, but we found them all to be lovely, friendly and helpful, My hubby had a proper cut throat shave in a traditional barbers and they even threaded my eyebrows for me which was done brilliantly and I wished I'd done at the start of the week as I'd forgotten my tweezers. One shoe shop keeper tried so hard to find my husband a pair of shoes to fit his size 17 feet, and only gave up grudgingly, but then came and found us 10 mins later in the barbers and said he had arranged to get us a pair of leather flipflops made for us in this little back street tiny leather workshop. Bless them they turned him out a pair in an hour for only £40. Not bad for a bespoke pair of XXXXl shoes.
So all in all a fab time, To the hotel staff a huge thank you.
To the hotel management some hints at possible improvements: the pool bar would be great as a full time cocktail bar with proper western alcohol which people could buy as a change from the local booze, which is ok, but I would have loved to have a real Jack Daniels or be able to buy a good bottle of Proscecco. Even in all inclusives, having the option to buy an even better quality should be available. The central hut bit the animation crew use in the middle of the pool would be awesome if you lowered the inside and made that the pool bar with under water bar stools so you could swim up to and sit in the pool for a cool drink. The food could be a bit better. Finally, although we didn't really get involved with the animation team as that sort of thing doesn't interest us, I do think there was a bit of a lack of things to do in the evening. We enjoyed our night out with Mo-Mo and the animation guys at the Metalica nightclub so much it was a shame the hotel disco bar is under used and could be made into a great hotel nightclub. Most people had their hookahs outside so I never saw anyone in the inside bit of the moorish cafe, so that area could be incorporated into the nightclub bit which would just give the hotel that real extra wow factor and drinks could again be sold there as an extra if u want better quality wine etc, I also think the tables outside used for the hookahs pipes would be great if they had some board games inlaid eg: chess or backgammon, I would have loved to have my relaxed evening ritual of smoke and coffee in the Moorish cafe enhanced by a good game of backgammon. Like I said these are not criticisms just some constructive advice on possible improvements. I will be back and would be delighted if any of these ideas are taken up.
And finally: to our special crew of professional locals and to Marc a huge thank you- you made our holiday very wonderful and hopefully we'll be back with all our mates next year if we can persuade them all. Cheers !
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Boasting an unbeatable situation on a golden sandy beach along the Mediterranean Sea, just a few steps from the vibrant city of Sousse, this luxurious hotel offers the perfect choice for holidaymakers eager to explore something out of the ordinary and spice up their sun holidays with a range of outstanding services. Close to El Kantaoui Marina and just a 30-minute drive from the Monastir International Aiport, the comfortable rooms are spread over 3 floors. Those travellers wishing to enjoy full privacy may prefer the comfortable bungalows overlooking the pools or the beach and providing its own terrace. Guests staying at this establishment may find a wide range of dining options including international cuisine, Tunisian specialities and different bars offering the best place to share moments with the family or friends. The magnificent water park offers the young ones the best place to have a great time. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz and Cheap Tickets so you can book your Thalassa Sousse Resort & Aquapark reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Lti Thalassa Sousse Hotel Sousse
- Lti Thalassa Hotel Sousse
- Sousse Lti Thalassa Hotel
- Thalassa Sousse