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“3 rooms, 2 hotels, 1 holiday from hell”

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Sahara Beach Aquapark Resort
Ranked #6 of 43 Hotels in Monastir
Reviewed 23 April 2012 via mobile

Arrived at this hotel in October 2011 with my partner and 11 month old son. Reading mixed reviews on here we were slightly dubious as to what to expect but seriously if you are after Buttlins in Warmer climents this is possibly the holiday for you (may be doing a slight injustice to Buttlins there).
We arrived at the airport and waited around 1.5 hours to get through passport control.
When arriving at our hotel we had upgraded to a larger room, with a kettle and a fridge (as we needed somewhere to boil water/keep baby food cool etc). The fridge was barely cool, as for room size yes it was fairly large, but we were situated right near the lift's and was very noisey with passing holiday makers at ALL times of the day and night and often a place where inconsiderate, bored, drunken teenagers deceided to congregate and cause major disruption!

We went down to the canteen (sorry restaurant) where we were allocated a table for our weeks stay, we was also allocated a high chair (which smelt, was dirty, ohh and broken no harness and my son could just slide underneath the 'tray') but our waiter 'califee' was really nice and would do any thing to help you :)
By the time lunch time came we didn't fancy braving the cattle market again so went to the beach snack bar the food was ok but very repetitive they only serve food 12.00-4 so if you want a snack between breakfast and 12 you are stuck (yes difficult with a toddler) like if you are up in the early in the morning which let me assure you not many people are as most haven't bounced off walls/others doors to there rooms till 4/5am you can only get a coffee/soft drink in the lobby bar if you pay (yes even if you are all inclusive).
The staff are ignorant and abusive, one particular day I had to get a Thomas cook rep to ask for a bottle of water for me as the bar staff were point blank ignoring me! Staff were smoking in our room when cleaning......and were expecting tips all the time! We are used to tipping and have stayed in many hotels in all different parts of the world Cuba being one of them where tips are there main source of income!
The best place to get a drink was the gallon bar on the beach, yes you had to pay for the beverages, but service was good and got you away from the crowds of 'drink as much as you can all inclusive holiday makers' by day 3 we were that upset/fed up/annoyed/agrivated we took it upon ourselves to move to a different hotel! This is the most stressfull holiday I have ever been on and I have NEVER wanted to come home from some where so much in my life! Complete waste of money...

After reading this I don't want you to think that I'm some sort of older mother who wants 5* treatment! Not at all I'm 22, want my family to have a good time on holiday, considering this is one of Thomas cook exclusive family hotels it's a shambles! And if I see crepe with chocolate sauce ever again in my life seriously it will be too soon! Please never stay here!!!! Still thinking I'm the winging mother it was A guy from the spa on site that aided us to beable to move hotels and arranged with the manager of the 2nd hotel for us to stay there, he felt that sorry for us!

  • Stayed: October 2011
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15  Thank Stimblin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,125 - 2,129 of 4,058 reviews

Reviewed 23 April 2012

we stayed at the Sahara Beach Hotel from 15 April to 22 April we were a bit weary looking at all the run down poor buildings around the area but was very surprised when we arrived.It was very clean had complementary drinks on arrival while filling in paperwork and then cases were taken by porters to our room.Well worth it with 7 of us and all the luggage we had, we gave a small tip for this service.All staff were very friendly. My kids 14 and 20 and also grandaughter age 6 enjoyed the games room and played pool against the lovely young man who worked there.The food was lovely but we did get slightly fed up of eggs for breakfast on toast but there was also freshly cooked omelettes which were fab and pancakes too to chose from. We started off with salem the mad waiter who made us laugh but they then change around on a monday. We then had manuel the same waiter every breakfast time and then another waiter every lunch and evening meal.They were always very nice polite and getting more drinks for us before we finished the previous one.The water park was open 10am-12 noon then 3pm to 5pm which was very quiet when we went. All outdoor pools were way to cold to swim in which was disappointing but did manage to paddle feet in the pools which is all we could tolerate.We used the indoor pool which was heated to swim in.The spa room is very good from massages to facials,manicures/pedicures, hairbraiding,sauna etc horseriding was very good we booked at the stables at the top of the hotel drive but you can also book on a stand on the way to the restaurant.Sarah shop staff were very good selling anything from bags purses wallets belts shoes and 'Ali Baba' as we called him was such a laugh. The shop was in uproar when we went in there. Excellent service plus good discounts in there when you buy a few items.Ahmed was very nice and friendly he is in the corridor leading to the restaurant, he does free trips into the local town but unless you want to buy rugs i wouldnt recommend going, i didnt like the very small town with meat hanging up in doorways to buy and live chickens to chose which one you wanted killed for dinner!!Rugs were very nice but too expensive.You have to pay and wait approx 4 months for delivery to your home address!!Bar waiter was mad, he sat watching parts of the shows by the side of us on times.I must say the entertainment could be better the shows were not very good but i did like the magic show :) i went on the beach once as i was hounded by salesman wanting me to buy a headscarf, when i told him i had one he asked for money for a drink and cigerettes i said i had no money! we stayed around the pool when we could. We booked 1 excursion to the animal zoo which cost 45 dina for adults and 21 for children, it is meant to be half day.We got picked up at 7.20am and arrived at zoo at 9.15am to find the tour guide saying we had to be back on bus by 11.15am we had 2 hours in the park.We tried to quickly watch 10 minutes of the dolphin show to find we couldnt go in as we had to pay extra for that! disgusting prices cost us well over £120.00 for the family to spend a measley 2 hrs there!! we made a complaint to the thomas cook rep and he said he would look into it but he never got back to us! what a complete waste of money!! we didnt venture out to sousse or monistir towns as i hate being hounded so we just shopped at the few shops in the complex.Photoshoots were good you book a day and time and they will take professional pics of your family for 6 Dinar each (£3.00) then you pick which photos you like to buy.We had a low floor which i requested.I didnt request a pool view so we just had a concrete roof to stare out of on our patio.Son had a lovely view from his room1216 with views of all the pools.We had 3 days of cold winds and rain but we did manage to get some tan on 3 of the other days thankfully.Best to take some hoodies/jackets for April has it gets quite chilly.It wasnt until 5 days into our holiday that we started getting biten by mosquitoes even though we had a plug in mosquitoe killler, wrist bands,wipes and spray none of it actually worked so we are all looking like we have chicken pox all over us.We found lots of french people there and we found them quite rude,very loud,over running the indoor pool playing with a football, pushing my daughter and grandaughter out of the way without an 'excuse me'. My son got accidentally hit in the face while they were overunning the pool like they owned it.Very loud going back to there rooms at night too!They also like to push in while queuing for food! most of the time there was no queues for food but there was a queue on one of the nights.Myself and grandughter joined in tunisian night (friday) The jeweller provides a gown and a pile of people all walk up to the restaurant friday night dressed up holding flags and candles and dancing round the restaurant to the musicians leading the way.It is only about 15 minutes but it was fun.Passport control on landing at Enfidha airport was horrendous 1 1/2 hours queuing.If you can pay to jump the queue definately worth the money,i wont be queuing again! We would definately stay again but think i would go later on when the weather is at its best August 59 degrees.Looking to book for next year.

Room Tip: 1216 is a good view to look out from on floor 2 , avoid 1102 and 1103 floor 1 if you want a view as...
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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30  Thank lisaevans365
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2012

my family and i stayed at this hotel for 14 nights from 1st april 2012 with thomas cook. Check in was done quickly and they took us to the show bar and gave everybody a drink of lemon that was nice. within 10 mins we had our registration forms filled in and all had our all inclusive wrist bands attached to our wrists the luggage porters took our cases up to our allocated rooms for us we gave them a dinar tip which is about 40p and they seemed more than happy.We had two inter connecting rooms as there were six of us including our 1yr old baby girl.Rooms were nice and clean not overly large but more that adequate two bathrooms was very handy for our family. The cleaner came every day and cleaned rooms very well with nice clean sheets put on our beds whenever you wanted nice clean towels daily you couldnt fault the cleaning at all. The grounds and swimming pools areas were 1st class and i would rate them more of a 5 star asset to this hotel to be honest they are stunning beautiful plants and landscaping there is hardly a leaf out of place. There was a nice poolside bar serving all the usual hot and cold drinks a large quiet pool at the top with the water cascading down over rocks into a larger pool below with a cave waterfall feature gently sloping pool and lovely relaxing garden areas the pool attendant will bring you mattresses for your sunbeds as soon as he sees you they are free but he always expects a dinar no problem at all as they all work hard to try make your holiday as nice as possible.Theres a nice pool with music where the animation team are and various activities go on all day inc pol games french bowls table tennis etc there is a kids club and the girl who runs it is very nice There is a great snackbar on the private beach serving beer spirits soft drinks and from 12pm snacks inc fresh pizzas cooked in front of you spagetti bolognase burgers chips nice fresh rolls icecream etc which were all excellent and all included in the price you payed the waiters and chefs here were really friendly and more than helpful.There is also a bar in the shape of a gallion on the beach which is not included in the all inc package but drinks are cheap and it made a change having the odd drink there.There was a reception bar a show bar the piano bar that were all very nice and again part of the all inc There was a disco in the hotel adult only that opened at 11pm til late but drinks are not part of the all inc deal but again not expensive.There are various shops and stalls selling various things on the way to the main restaurant the guys have a laugh and a good banter with you. there is a photographer who takes quality snaps for £3 each. There is a spa in the hotel with very reasonable prices eg full body massage 40 dinar for half hr. there is also a nice indoor heated pool with loungers which is free to use. The food in the main restaurant is lovely with loads of choices at all meals too much to write about the waiters are lovely and friendly you have your own table and waiter for the duration of your stay a nice touch. fresh flowers and candle also a nice touch. The entertainment is quite good with kids disco bingo then the main feature like karaoke i sang my way to raptious applause much to the embarassment of my kids lion king grease micheal jackson tribute etc.This is a very well run hotel excellent friendly staff who take pride in their jobs and are a credit.yes there are areas of the hotel that need tlc but for a hotel that was built in the 1970s its mostly gorgeous we met many people there who go back year after year because of the great service and facilities very well done sahara beach and thanks very much for such a lovely holiday it was our little girl kayla 1st holiday abroad and she loved it too especially all the fuss people made of her

Room Tip: you can upgrade to superiour rooms that have fridge tv etc for £10 nite per room
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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26  Thank h0lidaymad1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2012

Just returned from the Sahara Beach in Skanes. Myself wife and 22 year old daughter. This is the second time we have been there, this time was a very very last minute decision and the sahara beach was one of the very few hotels with spaces left. We didnt search it out specifically.

The hotel itself was opened in 1975 and is showing its age although its not overly run down or tatty, just mature. Rooms are basic and could do with a bit of updating but for a quick week away they are acceptable. No luxuries, TV's, teamaking facilities etc but clean and functional.

Grounds and pools are nice and there is a good indoor pool if the weather isnt good or too good even.Plenty of sunbeds although there is not a pool towel facility, take your own thats a downside with the lower luggage weights on offer.

Food, well everyone has totally different opinions. Your allocated a table for the duration of your stay and your own waiter. A small tip £2 say at the begining of your stay gets you excellent service from day one. As for the food i would rate it acceptable, every meal there was something i liked, a few strange choices for the british palette but i was happy with what was on offer, as was the rest of my party.

Bars were OK and service good, staff in the main were polite and eager to please especially Mr Happy Happy a waiter in the main bar......what a character!!!! The entertainment in the evening, hmmmmmmm very very amature, but they do put a lot of effort in and really do try.

There is a kids club and mini entertainment in the earlier evening, cant vouch for the kids club, couldnt get my daughter to go.

We had a good time, had value for money for what we paid, but you get what you pay for. If you want the very best this isnt for you, but for a low cost family trip away with plenty of food and drink in reasonable surroundings and some entertainment its fine.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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11  Thank kjgood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2012

A fantastic hotel with extremely friendly staff. Our previous waiters from earlier visits remebered us and made it so special for our 3 children by going above the normal level of service, for example,using napkins to make different animals and telling jokes to keep them entertained. The kids club was once again well organised with a wide range of activities from go karting to pottery painting. Our room was always cleaned to a high standard with friendly staff who go out of their way to say good morning etc.

Room Tip: Higher floors offer more of a view across the swimming areas and beach
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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11  Thank kf7438
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

Address: Route Touristique Dkhila, Monastir 5000, Tunisia (Formerly Sahara Beach Hotel)
Region: Tunisia > Monastir Governorate > Monastir
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre 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
#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: ₹ 4,475 - ₹ 17,359 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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