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“Never Again !”

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Sahara Beach Aquapark Resort
Ranked #6 of 43 Hotels in Monastir
Oxford UK
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Never Again !”
Reviewed April 8, 2007

My Husband and I together with our two children aged 15 and 12 have just returned from the Iberostar Sahara Beach after what was supposed to be a fun, relaxing weeks break. We stayed there from 1st - 8th April.

We booked over the internet with 1st choice, the whole process was trouble free, the flight out was only 20 minutes late, and again trouble free.

We arrived at in Tunisia at around 10am and our transfer to the hotel was good, good start to our holiday we thought.

The booking in process at the hotel was a bit lengthy, more forms to fill in, had to have a photo taken and given an id card as we were staying All Inclusive. The weather on that Sunday was good.

We were taken to our rooms (2 adjoining), we found the rooms small, but clean, though there were no towels, we really could have done with a shower after such an early morning start in the UK, apparently the towels are brought to your room in the afternoon?

We then went to explore the hotel, it is large, three tower blocks with shops, restaurant, Pizzaria (not on the all inclusive), and some bars. We ventured outside and the pool areas were really nice, as was the beach, plenty of sunbeds to choose from, there is always someone there ready to get the sunbeds and cushions for you, but they do seem to expect a tip even if they have just moved your sunbed a few inches! Don't get me wrong, I know they rely on tips, and I don't have a problem with tipping, provided they have actually done something!

Hotel in itself was ok, but the service was awful ! We were allocated a table and a waiter for the duration on our visit, he appeared very friendly, perhaps too friendly sometimes, but customer service was not one of his talents. Most days we had to clear our own plates away before getting dessert, we waited ages before getting the drinks we ordered on arrival. Somedays we only had three place settings instead of four, on two occasions someone had eaten at our table before us, and the table had not been cleared. With regard to the food, I am not a fussy eater at all, but I really struggled to find something interesting to eat every day. The menu was almost identical each and every day, with chips, pizza, omlettes, beef stew or beef curry, turkey cooked in various ways, stewed vegetables etc, etc. Our kids were ok, they lived on pizza, chips or pasta. My husband is a vegetarian, and at times he really struggled to find food that he was able to eat, other than pizza, chips or pasta. We have holidayed All Inclusive a number of times now, and I can honestly say this was the worst buffet selection we have come across.

The bars were no different as far as customer service was concerned. The bar staff were very impatient with people who did not order their drinks straight away, if you were still trying to decied what to drink they got very agitated, hurrying you along and snatching your cards out of your hands. The beer taps were on the opposite side of the bar to where you ordered your drinks, therefore when you ordered a beer with soft drinks or spirits, your soft drinks / spirits were placed in front of you, then you had to go down the other end of the bar to fetch your beer, fighting your way through the line of customers, because thats where they left it , they never brought it to you. We are a landlady and landlord of a pub, so customer service is extremely important to us, this just frustrated us every time, and was so unnecessary. The tables in the bars were never wiped clean, just had the empty glasses cleared away.

Our daughter was the only one who used the indoor pool, and she said it was grubby, I cannot comment on it because we didn't venture in there.

The games room was an accident waiting to happen, sure it had lots of things for the kids to do, but there were lots of wires on the floors around the machines, not tucked away out of sight, potential trip hazzards with the dozens of kids running around, my daugter got an electric shock from one machine on two occasions.

The public toilets in the hotel were an absolute disgrace, for two days in one of the ladies, there was a toilet seat missing, for the whole 7 days there was a cistern top missing, so you had to flush the toilet by putting your hand onto a piece of plastic in the cistern and pulling it. They smelt awful, one block in particular opposite the games room, smelt of raw sewage every day. It wasn't a pleasant experience.

We did a few trips during our stay, we did the camel caravan, that was good fun, the zoo and zulu night, again very good afternoon, (except for the thunder storm) and night entertainment.

We also visited the amphitheatre at El Djem, this was a facinating place to visit and well worth it.

Other things that spoilt the holiday for us, were ignorant English people, taking over a bar area where we were watching the BBC world news, they just came in took over a load of seats and changed the TV channel looking for football, without even asking if we minded! The parents who let their children run riot, climbing over tables, running around screaming all the time, knocking into tables and spilling drinks. People smoking in areas where no smoking signs are evident. All in all, not a pleasant experience. It didn't help that the weather was pretty bad for 3 days of our holiday, freezing cold gale force winds, heavy rain, thunder storms. Role on the next holiday, need another one to get over this.

  • Liked — Pool Area
  • Disliked — Customer Service
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Teeaay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
ireland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed April 2, 2007

hi just back last sat night after one week all inclusive my husband and 2 kids 9 and 4 gained loads of weight as pancakes are served with
every meal. weather too cold to swim outdoors but indoor pool nice. kids had a great time my little guy adored the music which stopped at 11, the market sellers by the restauant are very pushy but very nice to my kids always called them by name some people might find them to friendly. if you have money and want good jewlery go to the gold shop in hotel and ask to see spin rings we got them as wedding bands as i had lost mine but also got them for the boys. to change from half board to allinclusive is 25 dinar perperson per day. all inclusive finishes at 12 at night but rememer u dont have to drink just coffee the hot choclate was to beautiful. entertainment was very good they practice every day for show at night..weather was sunny but a bit windy. to change money in hotel was easy. we all got tatoos but have got itch and sore since comeing home. kids got sick on last night but i wouldnt blame the food the youngest has been sick with a viral infection since coming home. hope u find this helpful email me if you have question enjoy your hoilday.

  • Liked — rooms cleaned everyday towels,linen,interconecting doors for kids
  • Disliked — no coffee or tea making in room and had to pay after 12.
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank dena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, England
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 26, 2007

I went to this hotel with my family a while ago now, the hotel itself
is wonderful and there is definately never a dull moment with loads of activities. This hotel is simply huge, and for once it works! The only complaint i have was the food. Not only was it kept warm for unhealthy amounts of time, it smelt wierd and was awfully repetitive.
On arrival back in england two members of my family went to the doctors to be told they had very serious cases of food poisoning! I would advise people that if they are staying at this hotel, take pot noodles! you'll be glad of them by the end of your holiday.

Stayed September 2004
Helpful?
1 Thank jlstewart789
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Monastir hotels

uk
Level Contributor
36 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2007

we have just returned from staying at this hotel for 1 week half board. the hotel is very big and was only 1/3 full,not sure how service would be affected when full to capacity.
the grounds are wonderful with 3 pools and plenty of sunbeds. it is situated almost on the beach.
the hotel is very clean and rooms are cleaned daily, with fresh towels / sheets,only hand held shower & bath is very high to get in/out of.
weather was very changeable with only a few days sunshine, make sure you bring something warm to wear. (if going soon)
-not much to do at hotel if weather is bad
- the guided tour of the hotel with the reception manager is worth while
- there were a lot of german holidaymakers there who had their own quarter in dining room and had a bar area reserved for themselves (this may not be so in high season)
-if room has adjoining doors check to see if this locks, we had a visitor from room next door in middle of night,(i think they were trying to find the bathroom).
- a trip on fun train was worth the experience
-you do get hassled badly from shop owners in towns- it was a bit much for us
-staff very helpful & friendly,reception staff very professional
-we took cash (sterling) & changed this in hotel , very easy &straightforward
-entertainment was mostly for children 'til after 10pm
- your table in the dining room is allocated to you for you stay, this didn't always work for us so played musical tables some nights,not sure if this was due to all inclusive/half board divide

Stayed March 2007
Helpful?
9 Thank globesetters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkshire
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed March 10, 2007

This was our third visit to this hotel. We both love this hotel with a passion. There is in my opinion something special about it. Do go there with an open mind. We have stayed in 5 star hotels, and there is obviously a big difference, but for what you pay for this hotel, it is undoubtedly value for money. We stay there all inclusive, and I have to say, we had missed going there 2006, so our previous vist had been Jan 2005. The improvements made are huge. Now you have full entertainment, freshly cooked omlettes, smoothies and a tunisian night on Friday.

Now we definately will be going back, its a very special place to us, basic, but clean and the staff make such an effort to be friendly. The staff are warm and welcoming, although becuse of their nature this could be considered a little too friendly by our standards. Do not forget you are in an African country and their ways are different, I was not troubled by this at all. In a few words, fantastic, superb, wonderful all together brilliant.

  • Liked — everything
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
12 Thank ida7263
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
uk
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2007

We returned yesterday after a week with Thomson half board- overall a great holiday but I felt it would be a good idea to give you some practical tips for your visit there. We were there is LOW season so it was quiet, and I would think some of the prices I will incude here would go up in the summer etc.

1. Rooms
The room we had was basic but fine. We decided to treat ourselves to an upgrade to a room on the 7th floor- this had 2 balconies and fridge, tv and large bathroom and it was well worth it. It was 20Dr per couple to upgrade and we paid on visa. we don't smoke but this is a quite smokey hotel so we had our baconies open a lot. We took a travel kettle and 2 pin adaptor which was great- there will not be on in your room and you won't get room service or anythng like that. We took our own 2 bath towels as I read they didn't have any- this isn;t true but the ones they have are not very absorbent. Rooms cleaned every day and lovely and sunny. We could only bet BBC world and some football on out TV so not amazing- but fine.

2. Hotel
Is really big! The staff were fine- we didn't encounter any rudeness there but we are a married couple- maybe young/ single people might experience a bit of attention. My most inportant point is PLEASE take enough UK money to last your week- we didn't spent much but you have to change money once you are there (it is a closed currency) and there is not access to a cash point at all in the hotel (but you can change money there)- you would have to take a cab to the airport for nearest ATM. You can't charge things to your visa card in the hotel either unless you are paying for an upgrade etc. There are lots of bars (very smokey) and there is a shop in the hotel- they sell 1.5 litre water bottles for 2Dr each- there is a shop called miami store about 30 mins walk where you can buy 6 x 1.5 litre bottles for about 3Dr- worth the walk! Don't drink the tap water in the hotel.

3. Food etc
We felt the food was fine but a bit limited- we didn't expect anything amazing- none the less it was lovely and the staff were great. Typical meals: Breakfast- cereal, fruit (not tropical but stuff like oranges), boiled eggs, ommelettes, tomatoes, cheese , lovely fresh bread, tea and coffee, juice (like squash) - they don't have sausages and bacon like the uk style ones so don't expect that, they have fried potatoes etc.

Lunch (if included or you can buy) - they will make pizzas for you , lots of pasta with basic tomato sauces, chips chips chips and salad etc.

Dinner- again pizzas and pastas available, soup, chips, potatoes, things like lasagne. chicken, fish, vegetable dishes like ratatouille etc. Some nice cakes/ ice cream

You can buy wine for 10.5 Dr- it is 11.5% and like thin table wine from france- it is ok but nothing special! Beer is 3.9Dr a pint in Bar and a small wine (100ml ish) is 1.8Dr. We tipped our waiter 1.5Dr a day and he was great. They do not make much money and are appreciative.

There were a few straying cats around the place but don't be put off-they won't come close unless you signal for them to and most waiters chase them off!

Facilities
We couldn't swim outdoors (too cold) but there was a good size indoor pool. We played tennis 3 times (it is 5Dr for the court and 4 dr for the raquets and balls) and you book this. We were advised to avoiud the camel caravan sales man on the way to the restaurant- you will not be covered by UK insurance with him and his rides of 3 hours last only an hour apparently.

There is a sort of basic wildlife park a the hotel for 3 dr addmision and that was quite fun for the chidren we saw in there. Archery is free and you can hire bikes etc there. The beach was nice- occasional sellers but a firm no seemed to work- I got to the point where I would just say 'I am not buying anything from you!!!' (not nastily!) before they even said anything and they would go!

Upgrades?
We decided to upgrade to all inclusive for 25DPP pper day and we got our money's worth- it meant we didn't have to pay for tennis, wine, water, food etc. We only did this for 2 days but enjoyed it.

Other stuff
When buying a bag (haggling) the sales man asked if we had any toiletries to use as payment! It seems that things like lynx/ shampoo/ shower gel anything like that is worth something out there becasue they have really basic stuff- so you could take some stuff like that out if you wanted or leave it for the maid.

Monastir is limited there was not much to do there but we were not bored here at all and enjoyed it. We enjoyed our room upgrade and our all inclusive upgrade and we would go again

I hope this helps and enjoy!

  • Liked — our upgraded room
  • Disliked — smokey bars
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
26 Thank dearlicious48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
penzance cornwall
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
Reviewed February 22, 2007

We stayed at this hotel in may 2004 for two weeks.
The hotel room was very clean. I went with my two children and a friend and her little girl.
The staff were very friendly and helpfull.
My little girl was taken very ill while we stayed at the hotel had to have the Dr at 3am she was later taken to hospitail by taxi at 9am as she was getting worse. I was worried sick for my little girl. The taxi driver charged me double of what he should have I found out later he was taking advantage of a very worried mum and I even gave him a tip because he got us to the hospital quick.
My girl was in hospital for a few days it was nothing to do with the hotel.
The hotel even phoned to find out how she was doing. When we got back they were genuinely concerned for us. My little girl recovered quickly and a a fab 2nd week in the sunshine and getting better.
The resturant opened at 7am for breakfast but some mornings they would let me early with my little girl as she needed to eat as she was diabetic.
All in all we had a good time considering everything that went on.
The only thing that I did not like was the smoking in the hotel outside of the restaurants it was like a smoke screen.
The pools were very good very good for a 3.5 hotel. Beter that some 5 stars that I have stayed at. Its a reasoable priced hotel and the food was better than average.
Have a good holiday?

  • Liked — swimming pools
  • Disliked — smoking out side of the restaurants
  • Stayed May 2004, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank jowarren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 On the Beach Hotel in Monastir
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Monastir
#6 Romantic Hotel in Monastir
#6 Family 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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