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.
- 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