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Travel Blogs from Monastir
I didn't intend to come to Al Monastir. I thought I was staying in Sousse, but Booking.com's map was wrong and screwed me up, so I arrived at the train station in Sousse to be told by my cab driver that my aparthotel was in Monastir. C'est le vie. Sousse is a beach resort town south east of Tunis, i.e. towards Libya. It also is a UNESCO World Heritage site for its architecture, ancient rabat (fort), and medina/souk. Monastir is about 25 kilometers ...
... that sells refreshing mint tea, so we are forced to quench our thirst from a can.
We're flying back to London Gatwick on a charter flight TOM 353 which is scheduled to depart at 12:05 and arrive at 15:10. Insha'Allah.
... ve not had bad service, it's just that the reaturant is self-service, with guests helping themselves from the buffet and waiters relegated to clearing away. It can't give them much job satisfaction, just clearing away dirty dishes, no opportunity to tell people about what is on the menu and what they'd recommend.
Occasionally there is a florusih of activity, helping people to carry ...
... Josh and Grace headed into the Medina to do some shopping and buy refreshments.
The ribat, whilst built as a fortification, also became a religious centre and was for some time a place of pilgrimage.
It was erected in 796 AD and has been enlarged several times making it probably one of the largest surviving ribats in North Africa. It was enlarged on the north side ...
... the camera battery and have the opportunity to take some photos when we return next week.
Our guide provides an overview of the history of the amphitheatre: its design and construction; how it operated and the events it hosted in Roman times.
The amphitheatre at El Jem was built by the Romans under proconsul Gordian, who was acclaimed Emperor at Thysdrus, around 238. It was never completed, because of political rivalries and lack of funds ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
- Continental Breakfast
- Swimming pool
- Fitness/Health center
Historical Traveler Reviews Sahara Beach Monastir
Holiday for 8
We are the Coopers and our ages range from 61 down to 4 yrs.
After reading some offputting reviews on the Sahara Beach we all were pleasently surprised with everything. After a very pleasent flight from Bristol we arrived to be greeted with free drinks and very soon our photos were taken and then we were able to go to our rooms. My son and daughterinlaw and baby were in one room which connected to the three other children. My husband and I were just along the corridor. The rooms were very clean not overly large but more than adequate. We also had good views over the pools. The next day we all went for breakfast and met our waiters who were very welcoming and friendly, and yes we did tip them but we all thought they were worth it. In fact my 4yr old grandaughter fell in love with two of them and they all became great pals. The food was pretty good and everyone found something that suited them. The pools were great and the access to the beach was good too. We also made friends with the beach sellers without having to buy very much! The only downside was the shopping outside, I,m afraid the Tunsians shoot themselves in the foot by being too forceful so in the end you tend not to buy anything. The best place for shopping is the purpose built tourist shop. We would recommend the Gocart track our kids had a really good time and our 12 yrold grandson was presented with a cup!
We have just returned from a week at the Sahara beach, 7-14 November and we loved it. I was a little apprehensive as there is some bad feedback about the hotel, and until we had kids (now ages 2&4) we only stayed in 5* hotels, so a 3* was a new experience for us. But it turned out well. The reasons we chose this hotel were that Tunisia is only a two and a half hour flight from London. The hotel is 5 minutes from the airport (but not on the flight path). Its on the beach, it has interconnecting rooms for no extra cost, an indoor pool, a kids club and its very cheap for all inclusive. For a family, its brilliant. Just bear in mind the value for money. If you pay for 3* - don't expect 5*.
We were delayed on our flight out and arrived at the hotel at 1.30am instead of 5pm as arranged. The receptionist was so helpful and didn't insist on keeping us up to sort out AI details - just gave us the keys and sent us to bed. The rooms were excellent. Yes a little small, but as we had 2 rooms interconnecting, it worked out brilliantly. They have recently painted and its all very fresh. And spotlessly clean. The bathrooms are functional, there is a little mould on some of the grout, but you can see that they have tried to clean it (and if anyone out there has a failsafe way of getting rid of it, please let me know)! It would be nice if they had hooks for the shower attachment, but as it is, they are just handheld. The balcony's are small but do have furniture and they way they are situated, everyone can see the sea and you cannot see any neighbours. So very private, quite a brilliant concept, shame more hotels don't use that shape. Overall we were very impressed with the accommodation. The bar areas were quite smoky, but we tended not to use them. You have to live and let live.
The dining room was in the middle block (we were in block 3 rooms 3537 and 3538) and you walked through a little alleyway of shops and some stalls to get to it. There have been some complaints about these vendors, but we found them very friendly, not pushy and it gave the hotel a little buzz of life. I did buy a fake Louis Vuitton bag, but you really don't have to buy anything. The dining room was huge, but only half full because of the time of year. I should imagine it would get very busy in August. The food was great. Not a LOT of variety, but it is only 3 star. Every night there were soups, salads, vegetables, pasta, fish and meat dishes, sometimes chicken. Everyone is right about the lasagne and the Tunisian night - both fabulous. There were never any flies in the dining room and we were never sick (and we did drink the Marwa water and the orange squash). Every night we had a caraf of wine (which was surprisingly good - we've paid for a lot worse) and then we took one up to the room to drink on the balcony while the kids slept. Brilliant. We ate lunches on the beach, at the beach bar and in the restaurant - all equally good. The kids loved the pizzas, the burgers and chips are some of the best ever and the ice cream is out of this world. Again - no flies on anything.
The grounds are superb. Always someone cleaning and pruning and just generally keeping order. The pools were fabulous, but cold. Even so the kids loved the shallow beach style lagoon pool and mostly splashed around. The indoor pool was cold when we first got there, but 2 days in they heated it. I'm not sure if they turn on the heating on the 10th NOvember or whether its dependent on the number of guests. But once on the kids wouldn't stay out of it. We actually swam in the sea one day and it was lovely and warm. There is also a sandy playground with a castle climbing frame, swings and a seasaw, so the kids played in there with other kids everyday. They also went to the kids club for a couple of hours (when we played tennis or walked along the beach). The kids club could do with a revamp. Its a bit damp and dingy, but the staff were very nice and the kids wanted to go, so we took advantage of that. I would say that the Kidzone club which is run by Thomson was a much nicer kids club, but you have to be with Thomson to use it. They also did an evening service from 5-7 which is a nice idea, but awful timing. Its no use for adults to have dinner alone, the kids are just getting hungry by then, pointless.
The entertainment I can't comment on. Our kids are still young and I didn't feel I wanted to leave them sleeping in the room alone to go to the disco or cabaret. So we didn't. I heard from other people that the kids disco at 8.30 was good for the kids. I'm ashamed to say we also didn't do any trips out of the hotel (we've been before as a couple and done all the tours). It was just a week of sun, sea and relaxation. And we had that. A week of not having to make beds, think about what's for dinner or do any washing and ironing is just paradise for me and the Sahara beach exceeded all my expectations. I would thoroughly recommend it for families, especially with toddlers. If you want to ask any specific questions, I would be happy to receive emails - email@example.com.
The Poison Palace!
Me and my partner went there 26 sept 04 for 1 week and were both really looking forward to it as the majority of reviews were positive.............. but on arrival we were shunted like cattle to our rooms. The rooms were basic but clean and pleasant. From there on in it was downhill, my partner got poisoned from the fly infested food, which they forgot to cover, the food was re-engineered between sittings to look like something difffrent which it never managed. Eating from the snack bars is a case of taking your life in your hands. Pay for your food in the Pizzeria, at least you know its cooked. The reps were even worse stating that the poisoning was due to the weather.... hmmmm . The rep forgot to tell us that over half of the hotel was down with the same type of food poisoning! I think it was best summed up when every one cheered when the plane took off for Manchester. I would never ever return to this pit and would advise anyone thinking of Tunisia to head to the Port or Monastir, actually anywhere except Skanes sahara Beach Hotel.
Great hol shame about the whingeing brits
The hotel itself is good, comfortable and great amenities, most of the staff are friendly and helpful and the one or two who are not change their attitude when a tip comes their way. The worst part for us was the food which was poor but when you go to a 3 star hotel that holds 3000 people you can't expect gourmet food (especially at AI prices)
by far the most annoying thing was the amount of whingeing brits who did nothing but moan, why don't they stay in england,also we purposely went when the schools were back but this didn't stop people from taking their kids away with them be warned. I think its a shame that this hotel which was once the best in the area has been spoiled by offering the AI option
Thought it was great
My wife and I (who are both in our mid fifties) have just returned from our first holiday in Tunisia. Before setting off we checked out the reviews of the hotel and spirits fell slightly, but never the less we set off with an open mind.
The hotel was much bigger than we thought, with 1024 rooms. Transfer times from the airport only took 15 minutes as the hotel is only 4 Kms from the airport. Our room was on the airport side of the hotel, and from the balcony we could watch the planes arrive and leave daily - with very little noise as the rooms are double glazed. A wee tip though, the rooms are basic with a double bed, fitted wardrobe and a dressing table which has no drawers - but they are kept very clean, with bedding changed every other day. So if you are like me, and like a bit of noise of a morning - take a radio with you - cos there is neither a radio or television in the room (that was the only downside to the holiday).Staff are very pleasant and cannot do enough for you. Service in the bars is good as well. Plenty of activities for both adults and kids alike all of which start at 10am. so if your the active type, you won't get bored
If you get fed up with the main restaurant there is a small pizzeria in the hotel which is not part of the all-inclusive package. My wife and I went there and had a nice steak dinner with a couple of soft drinks and the total bill only came to 15 dinar (£7-50p)
My wife and I would certainly go back as we had a really good time
Sahara beach hotel is exccellent
My holiday to Sahara beach hotel in Tunisia is by far the best holiday i have ever been on. The hotel is out of this world, and the weather is beautiful.
Me and my family went to Sahara beach for the first time in august 2000. We loved it and never wanted to leave. The day we arrived back in England, we booked to go to Sahara beach in august 2001. The second time was just as excellent. But the following year, we thought we would go somewhere different for a change, but it just didnt compare to Tunisia, so we went back the year after that. We have recently been to hotel sahara beach, we arrived back two weeks ago, and we have booked to go back next august! we cant wait.
Anyway, the hotel is huge! We went all inclusive but you can go half board. It works out cheaper all inclusive. The rooms are clean, and the cleaners work very hard. You can leave anything in your room, money, mobile phones, you can trust the cleaners. But there are safety deposit boxes if you want one. The rooms are air conditioned and all the balconys have a sea and pool view. There is an indoor pool, and 4 outdoor pools, including a childrens splash pool. There is a play area for childred but the metal gets too hot in the day but its good at night. The best pool is the one with a swim through water fall. Also there is no worry about having to get up at 5 am to get a sun bed. If you put a towel on a sun bed and leave it before 7:30, it gets taken off and put in a room where you have to go and collect it. But if you want to get up early and stay with your towels till 7:30, you can. But theres no need. The animation team are really friendly, they come round in the day asking you to join in the games, such as darts, bowles, beach games, pool games ect. Also they like to involve people in the evening entertainment. Such as miss sahara beach, and mr sahara beach. They have a fahsion show, and they had my dad and some other people dancing in the show greece. The food is great, there is a resteraunt on the beach were you can get snacks durning the day like pizzas, chips, burgers, hot dogs, ice cream, and sandwiches. And the hotel is on the beach so its not much of a walk. There are also two pool bars, and lots of bars inside, and 1 where children arent allowed, called the piano bar. The asfar bar is open 24 hours but you have to pay if its past 12:00am. All inclusive starts at 8:00am but breakfast starts at 6:00am - 10:00am. Its all you can eat buffet style in the resteraunt. You get your own table when you arrive, and all the waiters are very friendly. When you arrive, you have you picture taken and it gets printed onto a card. You have to use this card to get a drink or a snack. Its 1 drink per card, but if theres a group of you 1 person can take all of the cards to the bar and get the drinks if thats what you want to do. There is a camel trip, and a market trip to sousse, also theres a noddy train that comes outside the hotel and takes you to monastir, then picks you up a couple of hours later. I dont recomend the monastir trip, theres not much to do and its very hot with no where to cool down. If you go out of the hotel gates, and turn left, there is a go carting place. 10 denar each which is £5.00 for 15 mins. Theres a smaller track for children and a big one for the adults and older children. Its not far to walk and its quite good. Its better going at night becasue its quite hot in the day. In the hotel, there is a shop, where you can buy gifts, and other things. Theres always a few stalls selling things near the resteraunt, but every tuesday, a bigger market comes to the hotel. Also, when you get on the coach when you arrive there, your only on it 5 minutes, sahara beach is the first stop.
So if you are thinking of going to hotel sahara beach, you will love it. I would recommend it to anybody.
Great for children
this was our second time staying at this hotel. It is fab for children as there is so much for them to do, from early morning to late evening. I would go back again and again. It is a hotel for all the family to enjoy.
Nice place to stay
The Sahara beach is a nice three star all inclusive hotel. THe rooms are standard and have a bathroom and 2 twin beds. They also have a balcony where you can sit and watch every thing go by. I thought it is quite a big hotel with plenty to do or you could just relax. The food is good with plenty of choice at lunch and dinner in the main restaurant. Breakfast is ok but consists of mainly dry croissants and frankfurts mainly catered for europeans. When sunbathing you did not have to go far for something to eat as a few of the outdoor bars do chips or sandwiches. I loved the crepes ate them all the time. There are three out door swimming pools and a small child pool. One tradition of being on holiday is making sure one person gets up early to reserve your sunbeds or you miss the good spots and end up being cooked. The entertainment is great there was always something to do such as aqua aerobics or water polo. The staff really worked hard. There are plenty of tennis courts a small mini golf and a small zoo. You can also get some free water sports with the all inclusive deal. Night time is fun as the outdoor shows are greatly mimed which makes it entertaining such as the musical grease. One night this really good magician was there and my boyfriend got to participate he was so embarrased. Out waiter was good and we tipped him as he was so attentive and pleasant. If you want a holiday that is hotel based but with places to visit on the odd day i would reccomend tunisia to anyone. Beware of the sellers in Tunisia can put pressure on you to buy something that you don't want and always haggle never accept the price on the lable. Happy holidays
Very clean, busy hotel
My husband and I stayed at Sahara Beach July 2003. Room on 5th floor but no problem getting into one of the many lifts. Staff friendly, especially our waiter in dining room. Food was good, always something that we would eat - we don't expect to find English food when we travel abroad, the hotel catered for many nationalities, not just English and German. Tables were allocated and we shared with another couple - becoming good friends and spending many evenings drinking together into the early hours. Evening outdoor shows were excellent, all performed by animation staff. There were three bars open near entertainment, sometimes queues were long. Inside hotel there were several bars, one stayed open 24hours (pay for drinks after 1am). Three outside snack bars and creperie. Pools and grounds were excellent, unfortunately it was impossible to get sun bed near pool after 8.30am. Although, you were not supposed to reserve them before 7.30am many guests (mainly British!!!) either got up very early (5 - 6 am) to put towel on bed or paid security guard to reserve bed for them. Beds were always available on beach with plenty of shade. You were not hassled by beach sellers as they were not allowed on hotel beach. Camel rides could be taken from next hotel beach. We didn't leave hotel, but that was our choice, although many guests took bus to nearby resorts to shop. We enjoyed stay at this hotel.
High rise smokey hotel
We stayed at the Sahara Beach (unable to use) hotel over Christmas last year. We had high hopes for a great xmas in the sun, we could not have been so wrong. We arrived on our first evening and were made to sit in a foyer and complete forms and have photos taken for our all inclusive cards (why)? We went and walked round the grounds and all looked great (they have 3 great big free form pools) we were really looking forward to using them the next day..... The next day we woke to really bad rain and wind which meant that everyone has to sit in the hotel (which meant that there was a very smokey atmosphere). They have one bar and a room where they put on shows which also has a small bar as well. All inclusive drinks consisted of one beer one wine and spirits that did not taste right. Also all food is buffet and as we went there as a couple we were told that we had to share our table with two others, that made it quite uncomfortable when choosing when to eat. The food was disgusting as loads of germans go there. For breakfast they have german style breakfast so we just stuck to bread. The other meal times werent to bad but be prepared for no english food its lucky that we dont really mind currys etc. Anyway I would recommend this hotel if you are a famaily but not to couples. Also dont go there in the winter as Tunisia is not as hot as they make out in December at all. Ps the room walls are paper thin so make sure you dont get put in a room next to noisy neighbours.