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“Could not have been better”

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Saphir Palace & Spa
Ranked #44 of 119 Hotels in Hammamet
Reviewed July 25, 2012

saphir palace is a great holiday my family have just came back after 14 nights and we could not have had a better break, the staff were excellent from the maids to the waiters right up to the manager who was chatty and polite and could not have done more for you, the entertainment team were fantastic great shows and very sociable.
Just a really good hotel and i will be going back.
on top of all that it was a great price.

Room Tip: We faced the beach great views
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Stephen W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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326 - 332 of 1,153 reviews

Reviewed July 22, 2012

Stayed at this hotel last month for a week. Quite impressed with the interior just a pity the outside was'nt as welcoming, distinct lack of sun loungers(most of which were in a poor condition)and also umbrellas, which in high season must be a nightmare, also the cleanliness outside left a lot to be desired.....same could not be said for rooms which were large and very comfortable and also kept spotlessly clean.
Food in restaurant was ok, the one thing I would say is it could be hotter, at best of times only warm.
All in all I have to say our party enjoyed our stay at this hotel, staff were very friendly and most helpful and could not do enough for you(except for one member of the reception staff), for a weeks rest and relaxation one could do a lot worse.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank salf0rdian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2012

Me and my boyfreind got back on Thursday from spending one week at this hotel. We had a brilliant time. As for reviews that people have written about the air con I have no idea what they are talking about as the hotel DOES have air con and it was very good. Regarding bad reviews about getting sun loungers around the pool we never had any issues. We noticed if people could not find a sun lounger then the life guard there would help you try and get one. We got one everyday without any problems around the pool. The entertainment staff are lovely and they try hard to get everyone involved. Our rooms were cleaned with fresh towels everyday and you also get a new beach towel everyday if you pay a small deposit of 20 dinar which you get back at the end of your stay. I only had one issue with this hotel.......which was the food all I could eat was pasta and chips but I am very fussy. If you like a mixture of all foods and lots of salad and fish you will be fine. Reception are brilliant, we booked an excursion through our rep and she gave us the wrong time which we was not happy about. We spoke to reception about it and they were brilliant they helped us as much as they can, they sorted out another way that we could get to the excursion for a cheaper price. Also you have to check out at midday and our transfer was not due until 7pm in the evening, the hotel let us check out, keep our bags in a luggage room all day and then before our transfer they let us use one of the free hotel rooms to have a shower and get changed all free of charge.Me and my boyfriend had a brilliant stay at this hotel and we would defintely go back there. If you are having any doubts you really shouldnt be. We had a great holiday!!!

Room Tip: We did not have breakfast or use the spa so cannot comment on them.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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4  Thank Steph H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2012

Flight.......
The flight to Tunisia was only 3hrs which was great, the flight itself was great, all staff were very professional and courteous.

Arrival in Tunisia......
Arrived at 03:00 in the morning, passport control was fine, we were only stood there for about 10 minutes but then again, we were warned to get to the front of the que, others were less fortunate and it took them over an hour to get through, few more staff if they want more visitors

Arrival at the Hotel......
We arrived at the hotel after a short 20 minute drive, upon arrival the staff were excellent, they treated us with a smile, when we got to the room we soon realised they had put us into the Honeymoon Suite, despite the fact that we had been married for 25 years??????

The Room..........It was the Honeymoon Suite though!!!
The room was excellent, Sea view which we did ask for, bathroom was massive and the bed was enormous, it was that big I didn't see the wife for a week. The room service was immaculate, nothing was too much effort for our maid, she was immense, at the end of our stay we tipped her 20 Dinar, (£8) the smile on her face made it all worth while! The following morning we met a couple who were on honeymoon, surprise, surprise, they did not have the honeymoon suite although they informed the travel agent it was their honeymoon, Thomas Cook or the Hotel?

Inside Bar.......
Not much to say about these guys, very rude, ignored the English but pampered the Russia's and Germans! Ask for a drink or a bottle of water 1 minute before 10am, forget it, it took an age to get served!

Pool Bar......
Slow start but once they got to know you, could not do enough for you, some were happy to get involved, some were too scared to just in case "the big Boss was looking" The Lifeguard was in charge of sunbeds, we asked him each day to reserve us a couple of beds, he did and was excellent, some people on here say that he was taking money for this, we never saw any of this and tipped him at the end of our holiday for being so helpful and friendly, come on guys, without tips, these guys would not be able to live

Restaurant.......
Same old, same old!!!!!! Food was good but very repetitive, breakfast, lunch, dinner same every day! Dont think the Chef had heard of an "English Breakfast". As for the staff, very rude, very slow, cleared people's plates before rest of us had finished, seemed they wanted us in and out as fast as possible! The restaurant is self service but the drinks are not, fact is, if they want to get us in and out as fast as possible, they should get the drinks to you before you finish your meal?????? On the one occasion we complained about the slow service to the restaurant manager, he was Useless to say the least

Snack Bar.....
We were told and the hotel itinerary stated that there was one??? We were there a week and could not find it, when we asked, it was a cabinet on the inside bar with a few pastries in..... Pooooooooor

Evening Entertainment.....
Possibly the worst I have ever encountered, The entertainment staff were very professional, but working with very few resources and even less money! The staff tried to get people involved but with the clientele being 90% Russia / German, it was left to the English to help them make a night of it. The serving staff outside on an evening were very slow, maybe down to the fact that 2 waiters were trying to serve 60+people

The hotel itself was Well maintained, looked new, excellent rooms, our A/C was excellent, very well positioned in the centre of Hammermet, with improvements to the attitude of the staff and especially the management, the hotel could be amazing but until then, try the RIU hotels, they are true 5 Star Hotels.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Alyson P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IberostarHoteles, Online Reputation Manager at Saphir Palace & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 9, 2012

Dear Alyson,

First of all we would like to express our gratitude for your visit and for dedicating your time and effort to describe with so much details our complete services and facilities. We are glad to may learn from your experience in order to take your vision into account and achieve maximum adaption to your needs.

Please receive our most sincere apologies for not fulfilling your expectations related to the variety of the food and the professionalism of the service. We will certainly take in consideration all your comments in order to improve. The responsible persons of the gastronomic department and the maitre are informed that the quality was good but the variety and service were improvable. They are now revising the procedures so that they will be completely in accordance to our demanding quality standards.

On the other hand we would like to thank you for your kind words towards part of our staff, especially regarding the maid, the entertainment staff, the lifeguard and the reception. As all of them work very hard, striving to surpass guest expectations, we will definitely pass on your satisfaction with their services. They will surely celebrate that you wrote that nothing was too much effort, that they were very professional, helpful and friendly and that they treated you excellent and with a smile.

Further it is very enjoyable to read that our impressive and new looking hotel as also the large and functional rooms were of your liking and you find that the Iberostar Saphir Palace is very well maintained and positioned.

In name of all of the staff we thank you again for your visit, we were all delighted to have you among us, and we would be honored if in the not too distant future we have the pleasure to welcome you back in the Iberostar Saphir Palace.

Kindest regards,

Online Reputation Manager
Iberostar Hotels & Resorts

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2012

We stayed at the saphir palace at the end of june 2012! We became friends with the group writing the previous statement, and i will carry on with a few things they missed out!

The food, as was said in the previous review was not all that great we found that it was fairly good quality but very limited choice! No body understood what half of the food was and one meal we even ended up stuck with a juicy steak of camel which to be honest is not nice! The incident with the 10 of us at the table was blown out of proportion by the waiter we told him we wanted a table for 10 he said no! Clearly the russians and germans could get what they want but not english. So we moved the tables ourselves the waiter was not happy by this and stormedoff after we called him rude!

The pool and the life guard first of all were brilliant and i know we all left an impact because our main man rizzle kicks cried as we all left! The doctor( lifeguard) brilliant guy take care of u ur whole stay!!! Just tip him a tiny amount you will be looked after! To start the russians and germans always got priority over the bar eventually they all realised we planned on staying in that bar for a while so they left us too it once the bar was less crowded we took the opportunity to chat with the staff where they told us they prefered the english due to our polite nature and we are not rude!

Entertainment and bar! Mario u made the entertainment and we know how much u will miss your man alexis. The bar were very biased towards these other nationalitys in the end we decided the only thing we could do was sit back and get our selves noticed by having a good time! The waiter who said " orgasm in my mouth" was very innapropriate at all times with the females in our group then through the days became more and more innapropriate with the males.

Plenty of funny stories to remember from this holiday had a fantastic time due to the amazing people we met but iberostar sort your lives out no 5 star in my eyes!!

  • Stayed: June 2012
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1  Thank Matkirspaulfran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IberostarHoteles, Online Reputation Manager at Saphir Palace & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 19, 2012

Dear guest,

We would like to express our gratitude for the comments you made about your recent visit. They help us to understand how our guests experience their stay with us. It is always our goal to achieve maximum customer satisfaction and we are delighted to hear that your holiday at Iberostar Saphir Palace was an enjoyable one that left plenty of funny stories to remember.

We continuously strive to deliver high standards and to ensure that all our guests leave with beautiful vacation memories. Thanks to commentaries like yours and Alexis´ we detected a serious problem within our hotel. In Iberostar it is one of the prime pillars to offer a personalized and near service that leaves an incorrigible impression. The unacceptable conduct of a staff member ruins the possibility to achieve total satisfaction among our guests.

Yet we believe that the inappropriate incidents were punctual, of course, we took strict and immediate measures. The unsuitable behavior was punished with immediate cessation of functions. We also warned all our staff to ensure that such occurrences will not be repeated.

We hope you had a nice journey back home, and we can´t wait to may welcome you back among us to thank you personally for your encouraging review.

Yours sincerely,

Online Reputation Manager
Iberostar Hotels & Resorts

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2012

Bedrooms and Cleaners: Cleaners very good probably the best point of this hotel..Rooms were in good condition and the showers were very good and large. Aircon extremely bad..2 nights on the trot we had no aircon and once I complained they sent someone to our room to fix...nothing was fixed...2nd time i complained they sent someone again...still not fixed...i wasnt informed i had to find this out for myself..3rd time ( at 1 in the morning and 40 degrees ) i had enough and we were moved...with no help whatsoever and only after we were told it was fixed again! Thankfully we got some sleep in new room and all was sorted.

Indoor Bar: Always favouring the russians and germans and seemed to take forever to get a drink. Extremely hot and you never knew if you were getting served. 1st night i saw one of the waiters relieve himself in the bushes! i informed the manager who just laughed...2nd night a waiter was saying to my wife " i orgasm you with my mouth! "...once I threatened him he behaved...not good.

Pool Bar: Brilliant staff, and cannot fault the outside pool areas, staff and the lifeguard...I can see from the previous review that people were unhappy about the amount of sunbeds which is true but you just have to tip the lifeguard and he looks after you. we have been to tunisia twice and to be honest this is what we expected. The lifeguard was also superb...a lovely man who attended to mine and my wifes bits and our friends who we met on holiday. We ended up calling him" doctor " and he was brilliant. everyday lookig after us.

Restaraunt: Very boring and repetitive.. so long as you like chicken ( dry ), rice and salad and you will be fine. Restaurant manager told my wife at lunch that her and her friend were dressed inappropriately despite wearing a sarong! Upset both of them with his attitude which didnt improve when I told him he was rude. a lot of people noticed he was favouring german and russians. one night ten of us wanted to sit together but they created a terrible atmosphere when they said we couldnt so we moved the tables ourselves. Funnily enough it was only because we spotted a lot of russians the night before pushing tables together that we thought it was a nice idea.....Outside snack bar not open at all so very disappointing.

Entertainments Team: Mario and his team were brilliant. Obviously working with no budget they did the best they could and were always smiling and happy. Mario was the man!!! Absolutely brilliant and really was great fun..! We loved him.

Airport: Shocking!!! and huge queues..terrible both ways waiting over an hour and a half. going in and going out. If they want more visitors they need to sort this out as this has put off a lot of people.

I love tunisia because of the weather and we came back because of the experience we had last year...but one piece of advice...return and go to a RIU hotel and not IBEROSTAR...Iberostar can learn a lot from RIU with regards to airconditioning, service, snacks, drinks, food quality... different class...we will go back but as I say with a RIU hotel as the 90 percent of tunisians great people..especially MARIO!

Room Tip: Room 232 was large, clean and aircon good. A little noisy but a good choice
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank alexis m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2012

Hmm lots to say about this hotel! My wife and I stayed here on our honeymoon and we chose this place as it had great reviews (back when we booked in March!) and Thomas Cook rated it as 5 star. Well I would give it a 2. I'll start with the good points as that won't take too much time:

We received a warm welcome from the staff, welcome cocktails, detailed explanations about food times etc. Our room was just perfect; sea view and very spacious with a lovely balcony. The cleaner came in everyday and left lovely displays on the bed with flowers etc. The pool was nice and clean, good size and temperature.

Now for everything else; no Air Conditioning in the hotel at all!! It was awful to come into the hotel from the heat outside into a humid and sticky environment! The AC in the room was minimal also, full power didn't give much relief! The spa was closed for the majority of our stay for refurbishment. We were told on arrival that we get a free Hammam (Turkish Bath) but when the spa finally opened, we were told that we have to pay £60 for two! The website states that there is a beauty salon which is not true, also we had no minibar or safe in the room. The porter said he would get one but he didn't, even after we reminded him. Wifi was unpredictable. The food was OK but not always as hot as it could be. The waiters were strange. Some of them were very nice and helpful and some of them were quite rude. The bar waiters were very pushy and kept asking for our numbers and to meet us outside. Once we said we were not interested, they hardly spoke to us and ignored us when we asked for drinks! The all-inclusive drinks started at 10am and when I asked for a soft drink at 0945 I was told to wait 15 mins. I asked if I could pay for it and they said no.

To summarise: I would not go back to this hotel unless they made some serious improvements!

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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4  Thank KateWade
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Saphir Palace & Spa

Address: Boulevard 7 Novembre | Yasmine, Hammamet 8050, Tunisia (Formerly Iberostar Saphir Palace)
Location: Tunisia > Nabeul Governorate > Hammamet
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#32 Spa Hotel in Hammamet
#36 On the Beach Hotel in Hammamet
#38 Luxury Hotel in Hammamet
Price Range: $47 - $181 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Saphir Palace & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 236
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The IBEROSTAR Saphir Palace Hotel offers 5-star hotel accommodations just steps from Yasmine-Hammamet Beach. Our hotel is a perfect spot for travellers in search of a peaceful, enchanting Tunisian holiday. During your stay, enjoy our tasteful and fully-equipped guestrooms, deluxe gastronomic selections, and entertainment options that will exceed your expectations. Enjoy an unforgettable Hammamet experience any time of the year - only at the IBEROSTAR Saphir Palace Hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Iberostar Saphir Palace Hotel Hammamet
Accor Saphir Palace Hammamet
Sofitel Hammamet
Hammamet Sofitel

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