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“Sahara Beach, ideal for families”

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Sahara Beach Aquapark Resort
Ranked #6 of 43 Hotels in Monastir
Liversedge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Sahara Beach, ideal for families”
Reviewed November 7, 2011

Booked an All Inclusive late deal to the Sahara Beach resort, just outside Monastir in Tunisia so here is my review.

I try and keep these realistic as so many people moan about many pretty irrelevant things.

We flew into Enfidha Airport which was about 45 mins to an hour coach ride, Monastir airport however is very close so if you have the choice of that that one for the same cost, id take it.

Enfidha however is larger and quite a modern new airport. As soon as you come out of the airport, porters are very quick to grab your trolly and cases, they are very pushy even when you try to say no and of course they expect paying for this, as everyone seems to out there.

On your return to the airport, they are lying in wait and have your cases off the coach onto trollies before you know it and if you have no money left or wish to do this yourself, you do have to be very assertive.

Anyway, onto the resort itself, first impressions were very pleasing, a long drive with a security control, very large grounds with lots of facilities including Tennis courts, archery, cycle hire.

The checking into the hotel was bit of a pain, with quite a long form however once done, we are taken to the rooms (for a small fee of course!)

Rooms were pretty small, we had a family adjoining room and both were pretty small and basic. There was no kettle, TV, fridge or anything in the room however the main thing we look for is cleanliness and you tend only to sleep there and yes they both were.

The cleaners came each day and did a lovely job on the rooms. It is customary to give them a tip for their efforts. All the staff will make it known to you when they are not there, I guess to make sure that you if you are going to tip them, you know when they will or wont be there.

All rooms have a small balcony, there are 3 blocks to this complex, each with around 300 rooms over 7 floors so you can imagine its a pretty large complex.

The aircon was pretty pants to be honest, we went late october when to be honest, the weather wasnt too great (lot of rain) so it didnt really matter but perhaps in the hight of summer, I imagine the rooms maybe quite hot.

The food in my view was excellent. Plenty of choice and lots of it, always omlets available to make on top of an array of other breakfast food as well as cereals with milk and choice of different coffee.

Lunch and evening meal was the same, lots of choice and the chips were excellent! Think i got my moneys worth in them! They had pizza making too which were very popular and of course pancakes all the time!

They also did food at the beach bar which was also great and ideal if you are on the beach.

Talking of the beach, was pretty large and loads of sun loungers and the chap who brought you cushions for them (expecting to give a small also tip for this). There are beach boys trying to sell you things but they arent allowed to encroach to the sunbathing area and do keep their distance but will try and get you to go to them. Polite NO thankyou's generally work.

The pools were lovely but cold, but there were plenty to choose from including a water park with some pretty big slides although time restrictions do apply on this. The main pool has music and entertainment around it so if you want a quiet time, find an alternative or hit the beach.

Towels do get put on the loungers (as ever), not just by the Germans but by many which is annoying but seems par the course these days. (out of order IMO).

There is a heated indoor pool as well which is a god send if the weather isnt great, we spent a lot of time in there when it rained and there is a very shallow small pool for very young children also.

Be wary of the beauty and massage salon though within the indoor pool area, someone we spoke to booked a session in there, were advised by the staff they didnt need to use the lockers as their bags would be safe and there fleeced of their money! On confronting them, they were laughed at and complained, got their money back but the thieves were not removed. There is Gymm available if you wish to purchase some time in there.

The rooms dont have a safe however you can get a safety deposit box in the cashier room for a small fee and a 30DN refundable deposit, I would recommend you use this unless you keep all your valuables with you. Please dont be tempted to leave valuables in the room. There are warning stickers in the room. The cashier will exchange your English money. Its recommended that you only exchange what you need as and when as you are NOT allowed to take money out of the country and you will be charged a premium to exchange it back. Despite what you are told, you can use the the local money in the airport after passport control.

There is a lovely coffee bar in the complex near reception, as is the entertainment lounge and games room which has pool tables and an array of video games as well as a large TV lounge with a projection screen which showed lots of English Premier league football, all be it with French commentary. There are Internet Kiosks and wifi available for a cost. (not free unlike one review I read). Wifi is only available in the reception area however it is quite large with lots of seating.

There is a cocktail bar as well which you can have some made up, I noticed a small tip tends to get you a larger measure!

In Tunisia, Arabic and French are the 2 main languages spoken, English is the 3rd language however most who are serving can speak English but if you know a little Arabic or French, they do appreciate you making the effort.

Some of the staff can appear a little off hand, certainly no where near as friendly as Egypt where our last holiday was but the entrainment staff were always very chatty

Part of our holiday, included what was a free meal at the a la carte restaurant which is a pizzeria/ Italian however when you try and book, you are told, they are fully booked. Speak to you your rep and they get you in. Our Rep Natalie was very helpful getting us a table for my wifes birthday. Not surprisingly, the restaurant was no where near full so they obviously try to put people off.

Your rep will tell you about the trips on offer, I would avoid the free trip to a local town as you will be taken to a carpet factory and given a very hard sell to buy their local produce. Also free when you are AI is an hours sailing and canoe hire if you wish, ask on the beach for this.

If you walk to the exit gates, there are lots of taxis who will hound you for business, you must negotiate your price on where you want to go before getting in, be tough, be cheeky and get a good price, dont be scared of offending. As with any purchase, just think of it as a game and you wont upset anyone. Be wary of other taxis trying to get you on the way back saying their friend has asked them to pick you up and they know where you are staying, given away by your blue band around your wrist! Always meet your taxi where you agree and you will be fine.

There is a little train (noddy train) which goes to Monastir for 7DN return (twice daily), a nice town, spoilt for us by the heavy rain but worth a trip. If you want to buy things, go to the shopping centre and there is huge shop in there which sells tons of stuff, really nice, all fixed price and No hassle what so ever, unlike every other shop.

The staff and locals are somewhat fascinated by blonde hair children, our little girl got so much attention, sometimes I felt a little too much but in the resort, they are harmless enough, just be aware but its very child friendly and there are lots.

Overall, despite lots of rain, we had a nice break and for what we paid for 7 nights all inclusive, it was fantastic value for money.

if you want or expect European 4 or 5*, then this inst the place, if you want value for money in a huge complex with lots to do then it is and I would certainly recommend it to you.

If I was to go back, I think the time of year may be a consideration but hey, you cant control the weather! but I still got a tan, ate and drank loads and enjoyed it.

Happy to answer any other questions but just remember, this is a North African Muslim country and if you are not prepared for that or willing to accept the culture of such a place, then perhaps stick to Benidorm.

Local currency is Tunisian Dina, (DN), roughly around 44p per DN was the rate, but easier to work on 2DN per pound. for tipping, a couple of DN is ok, perhaps a little more if you get good service. I tipped our cleaner 6DN and he was very very happy!

Best regards
Mark

Room Tip: If you are a family, get an inter connecting room, was ideal for us, Me and the wife, 3 year old, 14...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
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15 Thank Marko2807
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed November 6, 2011

My family and I stayed at the Sahara Beach at the end of March 2011.The reception staff were polite and helpful as were the waiters and bar staff.
The room was clean and comfortable with a lovely sea view.
There was variety of food we all liked particularly the deserts.There was n't really the option of a full English breakfast but the ommlettes made a tasty alternative.
The tunisian beer was suprisingly good.
We tried to venture out of the hotel on a couple of occasions but were pounced on by the taxi drivers waiting at the hotel entrance which we found uncomfortable.When we went onto the beach we were acosted by locals trying to hard sell their wares.In fairness to the hotel,their security staff try to keep these people at a distance from their guests which gave some reassurance.The organised trips we went on were hassle free.
Overall a great hotel for the money.but would have liked to have seen more of the local area.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Chris107
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hsbqt, Quality Manager at Sahara Beach Aquapark Resort, responded to this review, November 10, 2011
Dear Guest Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with other travellers. We are pleased to read that you enjoyed your stay. With regards to your comments about the locals ,
Thank you again and we look forward to welcoming you in the future

Kind Regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
west mids
Level Contributor
24 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2011

came back from her last weekend 31st oct,had a lovely week with my 25yr old daughter,met some lovely people,the food was really good and the room were basic but very clean.this hotel has everything for the family with kids,i took my daughter here when she was 2 and when she was 10 and now she is 25,it gets better every time,more improvements since iberostar took over,now thomas cook has it i hope they have better wages for the staff who are very poorly paid.about a pound an hour or less,they rely on tips, witch they deserve,a very brilliant holiday in a great location on the beach,

Room Tip: all rooms are good,have sea views
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank westmidsgirl7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hsbqt, Quality Manager at Sahara Beach Aquapark Resort, responded to this review, November 10, 2011
Dear Guest

Thank you for your kind words. I will be sure to share your comments with our team as everyone here works so hard to provide the best service .
Thank you once again and we look forward to welcoming you next time

Regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed November 4, 2011

My boyfriend and I went here on a last minute holiday, the room was basic with an en suite - it was all we needed really, it also had a little balcony which was nice. It was ok for what we wanted, just somewhere to sleep!

The food in the hotel was good, we were all inclusive so we had breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks and drinks throughout the day at the beach bar etc. This was great because you never had to worry about food or spending too much on food you always had more than enough! There was quite a good selection and variety - we were there 7 days and didn't really get bored of it. There is a chef there that cooks to order what you want in front of you, so you pick the pasta and the sauce and you can add things in, like different spices etc. We added Garlic to ours (because we were told that it helps repel mosquitos... we went in April time and got plenty of bites!)

The hotel had a good reception and staff were friendly, there was night time entertainment (nothing too crazy but great if you have kids) there were plenty of pools and right on the beach with lots of sun beds laid out and a beach cafe. There are water sports on the beach (banana boats etc) which were so fun!! but a bit overpriced, probably why not many people were using them.

The hotel did have canoes that you could use for free and they had tennis for about 2 dinars - with plenty of decent courts, we also had a go at archery which was great and the teacher was excellent!

overall the hotel was just what we wanted - very basic with plenty of food! The only negative really (and it is a pretty big one) is that the staff are annoying, they literally wouldn't let my boyfriend carry our bag up to the room! About 5 other members off staff came over to us arguing with us and telling us to let him carry our bags... but basically no one will do anything nice for you because they want to ... it is all about tips there (not just the hotel but the location in general)

I would recommend you vistit:

El Jem's amphitheatre (Just like Rome's colosseum but better preserved and much much quieter!) It's between Sousse and Sfax and the hotel organised day trips there but we found it was cheaper to get a Taxi - we paid him 80 TD for and he was basically our chauffeur for the day - it was great! Whilst at El Jem there is a good museum with lots of mosaics etc.

Room Tip: We were facing away from the sea - but I suppose if you ask for a sea view there would be plenty of...
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rachel N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Workington, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed November 3, 2011

Just returned after a week and was a little worried about some of the negative reviews about the food and tipping. First, the food. never found a problem, always something that both my wife and i liked, in fact it was sometimes meat overload! The food was always piping hot and replenished regularly. even for fussy eaters there is a wide choice. What kind of food do the whingers want? maybe they should stay at home and shut up! Tipping, was never pestered to tip with the exception of at the relaxation pool. we were asked if we wanted mattresses for the sunbeds which we said yes. after the attendant brought them he hung about then said cheekily "you pay later". We did'nt, and went to the other pools after that where we were not hassled. At the end of the holiday we tipped both our room attendant and restaurant waiter who both provided an excellent service.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank kevin s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hull, England
Level Contributor
35 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed November 3, 2011

Stayed at the Sahara Beach hotel back in May this year with my husband, mother-in-law and her 14 year old son. Got a good price for this holiday ( 1 week all inclusive) on direct holidays website, just under £1100 for all for of us, so i thought id check out the reviews for the place on here first. Majority were good and i can see why. Wasnt expecting much for the price but was chuffed to bits with it for what we paid. The hotel is a 3 star all inclusive, and its the better end....iv stayed in much worse 3 star all inclusive hotels. Flew with Thomas Cook to Enfidha airport, no problems, ....about an hours transfer to the resort. Used to Fly to Monastir which is much closer, dont know why its now changed to Enfidha. On arrival greeted with some sort of lemon drink, i didnt like it really bitter, but a nice welcome all the same. Shown to our rooms me and hubby in one, and mother-in-law and brother-in-law in the next. Our room no probs, but mother-in-law had to change room owing to a really bad leak from the ceiling, This was blamed on really bad rainstorms a couple of days before we arrived. Rooms are basic, but clean....we did see a few ants about but nothing to cause us any bother, room we had was on the small side, and there is no tv.....but we see it as its just somewere to sleep and we dont go on holiday to watch tv....this will maybe bother some folk, but to us no trouble, we hardley spend any time in the room anyway. When we stayed they were in the middle of building what was billed in the brochure as some sort of awesome waterpark, but to me it just looked like 2/3 medium sized waterslides into a average retangular shaped pool.....nothing to write home about in my opinion, but young kids would probs enjoy it. There are two decent sized pool....one had pool games and more adults spent time around it.....the other pool, not as deep, sloping edges for easy access and lots more sun loungers around it.....this ppol was more for familes with younger kids.....in the middle of the two pools there is a large hut with serves beers, soft drinks, ect. I asked for a coffee and was served it in a plastic cup, barman said it was for safety around the pool, which i understand but i saw several men carrying glass tankards of beer around and also a man sat on the table next to me had a glass of beer...i pointed this out to the barman and told him i would like my coffee in a cup, especially as i was seated at a table in the hut and would not be venturing down to either pool. He insisted that i keep my plastic cup of coffee, until i placed a tip on the bar and asked again. This time no problem, and from then on i when i went to the pool hut i got my coffee in a cup lol. The usual tip is one dinar ( around 50p ). You dont have to tip, but if you do, you tend to get better looked after.....bigger measures, served quicker ect.....Food good variety and quality, suprising for a 3 star. Pizza made to order while you wait, fresh omelettes at breakfast while you wait ect. Entertainment poor....thats my only gripe about this place.....it really was dire. Nothing outside the complex, so a couple of nights got a taxi to Port el Kantanoui and had a meal by the marina, nice little place. There is a mexican outside the hotel complex, but to be honest a bit on the expensive side and not up to much. We spent the nights paying cards and drinking! Beach was nice, but unfortunately could not go into the sea as all along the beach as far as you could see, there was about 10 foot of seaweed washed up. We went out on the little boat trip provided free by the hotel, and we had to wade through the seaweed to get onto the little sailing boat....lovely trip out on the water, but truely horrible having to wade through the seaweed. The guy on the boat said it had all washed up due to the previous week's bad weather and the hotel didnt have the facilities or machinery to drag the beach and clean it all up. Shame. Windsurfing, para-sailing, jet skis all available on the beach at reasonable prices...i went on a jet ski, was around £10 for 16 mins. Went on a couple of trips which the reps advertise...cannot recommend the trip african dreams highly enough...amazing day out to a safari park, lions, tigers, meercats, hippos, croc....all animals, puts Knowsley to shame... included is a 3 course meal and all inclusive soft drinks and wine....you are seated in a massive theatre and while you have your meal, are entertained by real zulu warriors dancing and musicians....really super super day out, brilliant value for money, if you only do one trip make sure this is it!... All in all, good value family holiday, food good for a 3 star property, there is always something for you to eat, even if your fussy....drinks huge measures and strong, good coffee.....would recommend.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Donna79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Middlesbrough, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 31, 2011

Just got back today, hotel was reasonable, a la carte restaurant(el campo) abyssmal, complained to waiter and told them meal was rubbish, and was told , oh really? Tried to pass minute steak off as prime sirloinl, stick to the buffet in the restaurant, another guest said the food was brilliant in the summer but they changed chef a couple of months ago and not as good as it was.Water park brilliant for my kids (13 and 10), but the two biggest pests were mossies and looky looky men on beach. The police move them on but hotel security dont. We also got tortured by flies in beach snack bar around food- hygiene terrible.Keep a load of dinars in change as a tip here and there works wonders , we were told the staff only get about TD150 per month(about £75) wages. Hotel was built in 1975 and in desperate need of T.L.C..

Room Tip: check your shower , one of our rooms was like a power shower , the other , asthmatic.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Tony L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hsbqt, Quality Manager at Sahara Beach Aquapark Resort, responded to this review, November 3, 2011
Dear Guest Thank you very much for your feedback. Your comments are very appreciated as they help us to constantly improve the quality of our products and services.We have discussed your experience and concerns with our staff
We look forward to the possibility of welcoming you back in the future.
best regards
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 Sahara Beach Aquapark Resort

Property: Sahara Beach Aquapark Resort
Address: Route Touristique Dkhila, Monastir 5000, Tunisia (Formerly Sahara Beach Hotel)
Location: Tunisia > Monastir Governorate > Monastir
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Monastir
#4 Best Value Hotel in Monastir
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Monastir
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Monastir
#6 Family Hotel in Monastir
#6 Romantic Hotel in Monastir
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Sahara Beach Aquapark Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 1042
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Near to Monastir and approx 12 km from Sousse (Skanes - Tunisia). Broad, fine sandy beach. 22.000 sq m of gardens. A childrens paradise. Short transfer. Plenty of action and entertainment. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sahara Beach Hotel Monastir
Iberostar Hotel Sahara Beach
Iberostar Hotel Monastir
Sahara Beach Hotel Tunisia

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