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“Very friendly staff and a very good holiday”

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Safira Palms Hotel & Spa
Ranked #6 of 11 Hotels in Zarzis
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Very friendly staff and a very good holiday”
Reviewed August 10, 2013

I stayed at this hotel for 2 weeks with my family. We were given a relatively nice welcome and the men working at reception were polite. The room was exceptionally clean although the beds were hard and uncomfortable, causing a bit of a back ache... The food was okay there was a lot of choice and the waiting staff / chefs in particular were very friendly. The daytime actives were engaging and my daughter above all liked to get involved eventually. They were things such as darts, aqua gym, aerobics, beach volleyball, pool games etcetera... I have to thank the animation team above all, they were incredibly friendly and made you feel welcome. They got to know you and this made all the difference I'd say, without them the holiday wouldn't have been as good. A special thanks to Sam and , he was great with my son and I know my daughter will miss him. Dali is also a very friendly animatior with a huge personality, we will remember him. Additionally, Hajji who was very talented with his language thanks again to him. The night entertainment was very funny and we enjoyed the animation teams performances. I would definitely recommend this hotel for a good, relaxing break, for all ages.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mandy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
London, England, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 7, 2013

I went to Safira Palms part of a group of 5, we stayed for 2 weeks 20th July - 3rd August. To start with, between us we had 2 rooms one pool facing and one sea facing which were on the same floor adjacent to each other, the rooms were sparking clean and the hairdryer and shower were both good and powerful. The beds were a little uncomfortable but we got used to it, air conditioning in the room was a plus. Moving on, the food was 'good/okay' there was plenty of variety; fish, chicken, beef, pizza, soup, pasta, salad, lamb etc... you wouldn't go hungry I can tell you that. If anything as we were there for 2 weeks we did become a little bit 'ugh' as it was the same thing literally every night, morning, lunch... Ice cream and pancakes were always available in between meals though it was nice. I took full advantage of the free bar :') The daytime activities consisted of from what i can remember, darts, aqua gym, aerobics, water polo, beach volleyball and also numerous pool games which were fun to take part in or watch.The best part of the holiday in my opinion were the animation team, without them it would have been no where near as good they really made the holiday. They are fun, quirky, shameless and so friendly. One i'd like to comment on in particular goes by the name of Sam. He was so friendly and I really will miss him above all. He makes everyone feel welcome and tries to get everyone involved. The nighttime entertainment was a kiddie disco from 8:30-9pm and then there was a show put on by the animation team, 9:30 - around 10:30 usually a dance number which was good, I enjoyed that as well as the beach parties the put on weekly i think. The only bad aspects of the holiday were how there were always people trying to sell you excursions and were very persistent and the language barrier in that the majority of staff spoke very little english but that was to be expected it just left you feeling a tad... alienated in a way from everyone else there, also the hotel was remote so you couldnt travel outside the hotel to your own accord unless on a booked excursion to the market or to the beach, a stones throw from the hotel. Overall I had a very good time and would most definitely visit again and would recommend it to people looking for a good, relaxing break!

Room Tip: Paying for a pool/ sea view is nice but you hardly spend anytime in your room so i'd say it isn...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Tayla B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ashford kent
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 2, 2013

i went to safira palms with my daughters(17/16yrs) on arrival we was not pleased with our room as it was small.so in the morning complained and was moved to a bigger room no charge,lovely location if your happy to stay on site..animation team were good very friendly/funny,i enjoyed every minute,sunrise was amazing directly oppersite hotel just popped out of the sea,food was very good lots of choice lamb beef chicken veal fish pizza pasta chips potatoes rice etc never went hungry,lots of activities during the day. evening time i feel ended to early 10.30pm although the beach party was later, i would go back so would my daughters.nino haji josef rico cheeko dali and mo the life gaurd were fantasic i will miss them

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank suechloetiffany
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brightlingsea, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed July 31, 2013

I stayed at this hotel for 2 weeks with my boyfriend (i am 21, he is 24) on 6th July 2013 - 20th July 2013. We were looking for a relaxing holiday but with great day time and evening entertainment and food.

The food was very nice and there was a wide variety of food. There was no bacon or sausages for breakfast and no pork at all due to it being a muslim country. For breakfast there was pancakes, fried eggs, boiled eggs, cheeses and hams, omelettes (cooked to order with a variety of optional ingredients), pastries, tea, orange, apple and various other juices and fruit. For lunch and dinner there was always a variety but common things such as rice, chips, pizza, pasta, salad appeared everyday with other alternatives such as Tunisian specialities, veal, and various other meats. Pancakes were on offer during the afternoons. There was the option of going to the restaurant downstairs once per week/once per stay which we did and the cuisine was sea food but this does change. It was okay but I'm not a great fan of seafood and would therefore not bother again, I would have liked to try the other cuisines there like oriental and Mexican but it was fully booked. The selection was good, however it did get slightly repetitive after 2 weeks but I think it would anywhere!

The rooms were very good, bedding and towels changed whenever requested (putting a sign on the bed, putting the towels in the bath). When we arrived it was midnight and there was bottled water and salad in our rooms waiting for us. Room is spacious and nice powerful shower, fridge, TV and powerful hair-dryer. We however had two single beds pushed together rather than a double which was a bit annoying as it meant a gap kept appearing between the two mattresses which became uncomfortable but other than that the beds were comfortable.

The swimming pool and beach are lovely and the beach is literally a 30 second walk from the pool and pool bar (where you need to go to get drinks if you are on the beach). The first week we stayed here we never struggled to get good sunbeds even by 8.30 - 9. However, in the second week we had to wake up early (around 5am) to reserve sunbeds due to the hotel admitting themselves that they had full capacity at the hotel and they had 650 people and only 500 sunbeds across the pool and the beach! A couple of days this left us sharing 1 sunbed or not having any at all. Some people sunbathe on the floor because of this but I was not happy about this considering you pay to go to the hotel and I don't wish to lay on the floor all day. I'm unsure of how this situation would be now it is school holidays as we visited the 2 weeks before school holidays.

The service in the restaurant for us was always good apart from on the odd occasion in the second busy week where we had to queue for tables and wait ages for drinks etc. but I think this was also due to the staff being on Ramadam which meant that at around 7.30pm ish many of the staff went to go and eat which is understandable, however meant slower service.

The day time entertainment was good, water polo, vollyball, aqua aerobics, archery, pool games, darts, bowls, etc and also a crazy golf course, pool and air hockey tables. The evening entertainment was ok, I have had better though. We had 7 good nights of entertainment out of the 14 which we were there. The bad nights were boring, ungaging and not entertaining. However, the good nights were things such as beach parties, couple games, miss safira palms, comedy nights e.t.c and were good. The entertainment started at 9.30pm and finished at 10.30pm which I feel was too early, it should have carried on for longer.

We booked a couple of trips through hotel - very good and cheap compared to booking them through Thomas Cook, even the Thomas Cook recommended we book our trips through hotel if they did the same one due to them being cheaper and not involving getting a coach trip either side. We did the quad biking trip and the jet ski one - both of which were very good!

The staff speak many languages, English generally being the majority of their last, least known language, this is because in Zarzis they are not taught it at school, they are taught French, however in places such as Hamammet they are taught English at school so think it's due to the area of the hotel. However they did try and they knew enough English to hold a small conversation.

Overall, a very good holiday! No really bad points really - evening entertainment could be improved and also location of hotel is in the middle of nowhere but we knew this before arriving.

Room Tip: We did not request a pool view room due to not wanting to spend anymore, we didn't have the best...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank C0die
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scarborough, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2013 via mobile

just got back from a family holiday we stay for a week and from the min we got there we were made welcome. we didn't get there till 1am on Sunday and after check in we're shown to our rooms and waiting for us was a plate of salad and big bottle of water. the rooms are a good size we had a shower and bath and the room over looked the pool. the staff even if they didn't talk English still try to help and would find some1 who could talk English. we sat outside for our meals and our waiter couldn't do more for us. as always in these hotels the food does get a bit the same but was still nice. I would back again nice hotel and nice staff

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank playboy190744
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
turnhout
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 18, 2013

We were on holliday in this hotel and everything is great.
Everyone works hard to give you a great vacation.
To bad that some people have to talk bad about some annimators while this is not true. They are verry professional and don't drink. The show's are also verry nice and funny. For everyone who wants to go there. Don't be afraid, you will have a nice vacation. By the way, fun you have to make by yourself.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank myriam b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed June 6, 2013 via mobile

Negatives: 2 large cockroaches in 2 separate room on 2 different floors = a problem! The food in the dining room is all uncovered and for some unintelligible reason the dining room doors are left wide open, consequently the food & crockery have flies all over them!! On 2 occasions I saw a woman 'hygienist' taking thermometer readings where food had flies on it, I suggested that the doors be closed to the General Manager & the following morning they were but at lunchtime they were open again. Both my Mother & I had stomach upsets. The food choice was repetitive, poor quality (apart from the 36 hours the 'big' bosses were at the hotel), if you have an infant the choice is virtually nil & the highchairs are ancient, food is luke warm & greasy.
The mini disco is at 8.30pm? Even the entertainment team acknowledged that this was too late for smaller children & all the songs are in French. The pianist in the lobby area sings in French too.
The rooms are very dated & the wiring probably the worst I've ever seen, the towels have a yellowish tinge & are threadbare. The corridors are dingy, the carpet stained, again threadbare & in parts taped over.
A waiter (who's name we were unable to obtain) was very rude & obnoxious towards my Mother when she asked what time the restaurant closed one lunchtime. The information sheet said 2.30pm but the staff started to take the food away at 1.55!!!
Hardly anyone speaks English & even with the French I remembered from years ago I got the feeling we were 3rd class (steerage).
There is an area near the kids club which has turtles, ducks & pigeons which are all kept in appalling conditions, the water disgusting (if they have any) & the food mouldy. Hardly a sight for youngsters or anyone else that cares about animals.
There were a couple of waiters in the dining room who did try very hard to be accommodating (a decent tip works wonders) but the pool bar staff need a shake up & refused to serve me as I didn't have an All Inclusive band on, we hadn't be given bands when we arrived late Saturday night & had no trouble until the Monday afternoon when it was made crystal clear by the pool bar staff "no bands no drinks". Sorry our telepathy failed us!!!
The hotel does have an indoor pool which is probably , along with a new outdoor pool, is how this pig sty got its 4* status. The indoor pool however does not have a hand rail into it so if you aren't very mobile you will have problems with the steps.
The sunbeds are as old as the rooms & the carpets & other fixtures & fittings.
Now a note for Thomas Cook passengers: Nouvelair are on a par with Easyjet, except the latter speak English & accept that the English are paid in UK Sterling not Euro's. If you pay for drinks/duty free your change will be in Euro's & it's worked out £1 = 1 Euro. 1 cabin crew demanded we get off the plane to get to the bus on the Tarmac, not an easy task with a 2 year old who is fast asleep, a lady with mobility problems & 3 pieces of hand luggage. On the way home the buggy wasn't taken away until we'd gone down 5 flights of stairs (no lift option) on a bus & across the Tarmac.
The Thomas Cook representative Rachid...Who are you? I came twice to see you, well within the allotted time & you had gone! 12/12.30pm Tues & Thurs...gone by 12.20?? Also, we didn't attended the Welcome Meeting as we had not received information as to when it was. So the Sorry you didn't get chance to attend memo was pointless.
I'd like to wish the General Manager all the luck in the world at trying to turn this hotel around, he will certainly have his work cut out. The head barman told us 'he has tried to make many changes but the staff don't like it & we like to do things our way' well that's why I'd No Way, Never, Not on your life suggest this place to anyone.
I apologise if this review has been rather long winded but if you are considering this hotel then just go & have a lie down & take a deep breath & find somewhere else. Preferably where the British are welcome.

Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Annette10001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IberostarHoteles, Online Reputation Manager at Safira Palms Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, June 10, 2013
Dear Guest,

We would like to thank you for the opportunity you have given us by choosing our IBEROSTAR Safira Palms hotel for your holiday. We regret profoundly the failure to meet your expectations, and we are grateful that you shared your experience, as this will guide us to adapt our services to achieve maximum customer satisfaction.

First of all, for IBEROSTAR thorough cleaning is an absolute must and we want to apologize for not fulfilling your expectations. We have protocols and procedures to guarantee satisfying results regarding hygiene and cleanliness. For future occasions we strongly encourage you to contact our reception in case you find any shortage as to us it is of prime importance to offer total confidence in this area, we will be enchanted to adjust any situation which is not in accordance with our established standards; especially when traveling with young children we understand that this is an absolute must to be able to enjoy carefree of a well-deserved holiday.
Further we would like to point out that despite the fact that our hotel was built a few years ago, we do our utmost to take good care of it, maintaining all of the installations the best we can. Even so we took good note of your comments and we commit to revise if we can renovate some of the areas.

In addition, we are sorry to hear that you weren’t able to enjoy the efforts of our gastronomy team as we do our best to offer our guests the opportunity to enjoy the rich and traditional recipes from Tunisia in several of our restaurants which are run by chefs of great recognition who only use products of prime quality. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon that European tourists need a while of adaptation after the sudden change in their diet and water consume.

Moreover, we would like to apologize for the inconvenience caused by the exceptional difficulties with the cockroaches. However, we would like to inform you that we do have in place an established infestation treatment plan. Given the vast expanse of gardens which provides our guests with a huge internal open space and the climatology of Tunisia, the presence of insects is unavoidable. In the punctual event of localizing an infestation in a room, our housekeeping department undertakes an in-depth cleaning in conjunction with an adequate treatment to minimalize the inconvenience.

Finally, we understand that for you Tunisia might not be the best location for your dream holiday. Therefore we would like to point out that we have a wide range of hotels and destinations at disposal and for coming occasions, we would like to offer you a very personal booking guidance through our call center to make sure you book the kind of hotel that fulfills all your wishes and desires. We also invite you to visit our web page as it can orient you when planning your next holiday.
Best Regards,

Online Reputation Manager
IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Safira Palms Hotel & Spa

Property: Safira Palms Hotel & Spa
Address: Route touristique Zone Lella Meriem | Hessi Jerbi, Zarzis 4170, Tunisia
Location: Tunisia > Medenine Governorate > Zarzis
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Zarzis
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Zarzis
#4 Spa Hotel in Zarzis
#5 Luxury Hotel in Zarzis
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Zarzis
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Safira Palms Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 300
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Safira Palms is an All-Inclusive hotel in Zarzis, opposite the beautiful Ras Marmour beach, on the Tunisian coast. Sun, beach, tranquillity and luxury are the main features of this resort primarily designed for couples and families with children. The top Iberostar Safira Palms hotel is an excellent choice for an unforgettable holiday in Tunisia with the beautiful Ras Marmour beach to accompany it all. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Iberostar Safira Palms Hotel Zarzis
Iberostar Hotel Zarzis
Iberostar Hotel Safira Palms

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