Royal Miramar Thalassa
Travel Blogs from Monastir
... He seems to be almost venerated by the people & his times are seen as a kind of golden age. We wandered in the medina with narrow passages between the houses & enjoyed seeing the range of products available.
After lunch, back in Sousse, we went to the ribat to see the recently re-opened museum of 2nd century AD mosaics & artefacts taken from villas in the area, in its courtyard. These were truly stunning, in size, ...
... 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.
... refilling drinks, but it is sporadic and seems to happen when the fancy takes them or when guests are about to depart.
Finally the time comes, our meal is over and it's time for the tip. We give some notes to Gracie to give to the waiter. He seems to appreciate the gesture. Slipping the notes into his pocket he disappears into the kitchen and presumably home for the evening.
... 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 ...
... is plain and simple which shows off the mosaics to best effect. The museum is also well laid out and easy to navigate and above all the exhibits are clearly signed and described.
Unlike the market all of the historical sites: the Ribat, the Mosque, the Kasbah and the museum ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
- Room service
- Swimming pool
- Fitness/Health center
Historical Traveler Reviews Royal Miramar Thalassa Monastir
Great for a cheap weekend break for £99!
My friend and I went here for a 3 night break, on a last minute deal for £99.
We were not expecting a lot to be honest, but were pleasantly surprised by the hotel. It was just what we wanted- somewhere to rest our heads at night, as we were out and about most of the time.
On some websites, this hotel is classed as 4*, which it certainly is not. There are no lifts, so don't pack too much as you have to carry your suitcase up a few flights of stairs. The corridors to the rooms are grotty, with dirty astro-turf looking carpet. However, once inside the rooms, we were pleasantly surprised.
Our room was on 2 levels with marble floors- we had sat. TV, air con, a lovely view of the beach and ocean, hairdryer and everything we needed. You can purchase bottled water behind the bar- as there are no mini bars in the rooms.
The pool is quite small and you have to get out early if you want a lounger right next to it- remember we went in April, so I'd imagine it gets even busier in peak season. The indoor pool is lovely and warm, great for kids on rainy days. Shame that it was only open until about 6pm?
The hotel is on a lovely white sand beach, but beware, as soon as you step onto it, you will be hassled by locals trying to sell you things. It is a shame it is not private.
We went self catering and found out that you can pay for breakfast at the hotel when you get there and in fact, it's cheaper than booking it in the UK. It works out to be 7 dinar per person, so about £3 each. It consists of a lot of pastries, eggs, meats, juices, tea and coffee.
There are two snack bars there that serve pizza, sandwiches, chips, etc. (A margharita pizza was 5 dinar (about £2.50) so not bad at all. We did not try the dinner buffet as we decided to eat outside of the hotel in the evenings.
Service from staff varied. Reception were very helpful- gave good advice about the local area. However, one staff member we encountered at the snack bar by the pool had a bad attitude and we witnessed them trying to scam some money from a couple by saying they had not paid when they had- so when paying for meals, possibly ask for a receipt?
The hotel is quite isolated and a lot of people tend to sit around in the lobby in the evening playing cards. That's not really my style, so we took to exploring the area.
A taxi ride to Sousse, the local town, was about 7 dinar and always agree the price with the driver before you get in the cab. There you can find lots of restaurants serving couscous, etc... Plus there is a camel market on Sundays.
We also went to the markets at Port El Kantoui which was about 15 dinar taxi ride- well worth a visit. Remember to haggle for everything. A tip: when looking around the shops, don't pick anything up unless you are considering buying it. Us British like to pick things up to look at before we buy. To Tunisians, this seems to be a sure sign that you want the item and they will not leave you alone until you buy it, trust me.
Overall, adequate accomodation for the weekend- however, I did only pay £99- if I had paid full price, I would have been disappointed...
We have just returned from a very nice stay at the Miramar Thalassa....staying half board for 2 weeks.....2 adults and 2 children....
The 1st points we want people to be aware of is the picture of the hotel and pool in the Thompsons brochure is incorrect....and the details of the hotel under this picture states there are 2 lifts....THERE ARE NO LIFTS!...so if you are elderly/disabled etc you might struggle.We witnessed a very unhappy middle aged man who had taken his elderly mother on holiday....only to find their room on the 2nd floor and no lifts(no spare rooms).So not a good start for some.We tried contacting first choice and Thompsons who want these points in writing before they will amend things.
Rooms great....we had a sea view/balcony....Well maintained and cleaned daily.Lots to do at the hotel....they really try to do something for all age groups during the day....you can join in or just sun bathe....totally up to you.
Our children spent a few days with us and then they discovered kids club,which they enjoyed so much that we had to drag them off to see other parts of the area.
The food was buffet style.....we don't eat meat so the choice was limited but still ok....the kids eat meat and ate like kings.
The hotel is spotlessly cleaned everyday....it has its own bank for changing currency....
it really is a nice place.
We did come across several bad/poor points which frustrated us a little.
1.be prepared to be hassled as soon as you step foot outside the gates of the hotel or on the beach....from taxis,fag sellers,souvenier sellers etc....they don't like NO for an answer....so be strong.
2.Monastir has a few sites to look at but you could not call it picturesque....in fact we thougt it was a dangerous dump.
3.Take everything you will need....and more....because you will struggle to find a shop.The hotel shop is tiny and very expensive....so is the one across the road from the hotel....and it has very little stock.
4.our cleaner asked if she could have one of our mobile phones!!!! "you give me?" she asked in broken English....they think we are all rich....i'm sure this was an isolated incident but keep everything shut away.
5.Get a price on EVERTHING you do/buy/eat....in Sousse we popped into a small busy resteraunt and had a coke each and a chip batch....the bill started at 40 dinars(£20) and we had to really work to get it down to something normal.Not very nice going out for the day with the family and being forced to argue over everything you do.
There is not much more to add really.....
Don't bother with the water park next door....it consists of 4 slides of which 2 are in poor condition.
Be prepared to be frightened when travelling in a taxi....most are in poor condition....just like the roads....and the standard of driving.
drop me a line if ther is anything you want to know....i will be only too pleased to try and give you an honest answer.
Beware!!! Tourist trap
First of all, the hotel is not exactly located in Monastir: it is based in the middle of nowhere between Sousse (7km) and Monastir (10km) which can be accessed by taxi (a total rip off, be ready to bargain hard, and confirm the price PRIOR to getting into the cab) or by the unreliable but cheap local buses. Personally Monastir was much friendlier, cleaner and interesting than Sousse, and you can find excellent coucous restaurants at every corner.
The hotel itself is rather family-orientated, rather than for the raging 18-30, which is great is you want to relax. Their thalassotherapy centre remains their strong point, with treatments ranging from seaweed wrapping to cryotherapy and lymphatic massages. Make sure you opt for a half or full board at the resort, because importing any external food or drinks is prohibited by the hotel! The a la carte restaurant was decent although a bit pricey (London prices), but the canteen's food was of very poor quality (apart from the desserts). Some of was particularly rude despite all our efforts, while others made it clear that to obtain a smile or a decent service, you had better leave a large tip. Tiping is almost compulsory, so fill your pockets with small change, as "une petite piece" is always expected (e.g for carrying your luggage, bringing you towels, or even for taking a picture!).
The rooms are large and bright, but extremely damp. If you want to catch SKIN MITES then this is the place. I initially thought they were mosquito bites, but a medical examination confirmed this was due to... the mites' presence in my bed! All in all, a very disappointing experience...
Perfect for a relaxing holiday
I booked this holiday as a 'last minute' deal a week before departure. I was feeling tired, stressed-out and desperate for a break somewhere warm, quiet and relaxing, (and preferably with a bit of sun!). I came home after our seven night stay feeling de-stressed and with a reasonable tan. I thoroughly recommend this hotel and would certainly stay there again if I returned to this area of Tunisia.
Our room was in one of the two-storey buildings in the gardens. The room was designed in a traditional Moorish style - the base of the bed was stone - and was really pretty. It was fairly basic (no safe, for example, although these are available in Reception) but was of a good size and extremely clean. Housekeeping was of a very high standard. On the first day we returned to our room to find a small vase of flowers. We had a balcony which was very private and proved to be a real sun-trap during the day.
We noticed that some rooms in the same building were occupied by families - 2 parents and 4 children in one case - although I do not think that the rooms are large enough to make this a comfortable arrangement. Also, the floors of the rooms and corridors appear to be made of stone and so footsteps (or children running to breakfast!) tend to echo quite loudly throughout the rest of the building. This was not a big problem, however, and in fact many of the rooms in the hotel are actually individual 'bungalows' in the grounds, (some looking straight on to the beach).
It is important to realise that this hotel is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, (in fact I chose this hotel because of this), and if you want to explore you do need to catch cabs to the nearest towns (8 Dinar to both Monastir and Sousse, 12 Dinar to Port El Kantaoui). There are always cabs outside the hotel gates so this is never a problem. In the hotel itself, there was enough to do during the day, such as sunbathing and relaxing by the pool or on the beach (NB - there is a charge for sunbeds). It was quiet at night (but bear in mind that this was March/April and the hotel still seemed to be in 'low season'). Also, to be fair, we are not the sort to really get involved with hotel entertainment. My impression was that there were things to do if you wanted to participate.
The Thalassotherapy Centre at the hotel was excellent. On our first day, we each had a session in the 'Hammam' (Turkish Bath) followed by an 'exfoliation' (quite a scary experience of being rubbed vigorously- all over(!) - with what felt like a scouring pad). We were then coated with a green seaweed mask and sent back into the Hammam for a bit longer. This cost 20 Dinar each (around £10) - a bargain! On another day, I paid 70 Dinar for a massage package made up of three different treatments - again a bargain compared to prices in the UK.
As regards food, I would echo the views of the vegetarian reviewer below as it was difficult to tell which dishes were suitable for a non-meat/fish eater. (Watch out for the salads as some of them contain tiny pieces of ham!) That said, I never went hungry with my combinations of salad, vegetables and pasta (prepared to order by one of the chefs). Anyway, it's always going to be tricky being vegetarian in a country where meat eating is very much the norm. In many ways, I preferred breakfast when one of the chefs prepared omelettes. That said, I would strongly recommend staying here on a half-board basis as there really isn't anyway else in the area to eat, unless you want to take a taxi to one of the towns every evening.
Overall, we had a great week at the Royal Miramar and it's ideal if you want a relaxing holiday with no pressures. The hotel is impressive and certainly met my expectations of a 4-Star hotel.
My husband and I enjoyed our stay in this luxury hotel; the staff were pleasant and helpful, the entertainment "quaint" but enjoyable. My husband is a devout carnivore and enjoyed the buffet meals immensely but I had difficulty finding a well balanced plate of food because I am a vegetarian. It would have been so very useful to have foods labelled with a "V" as appropriate. Despite making this suggestion, no action was taken by the catering staff so I had to ask if certain dishes were suitable for me. I got wrong information so often that I gave up and lived on salads - goods for my figure but rather boring day after day.
Went there on honeymoon just before Christmas and it couldn't have been nicer. Food was great, staff were fantastic and couldn't have been more helpful. Entertainment team were a joy to be around and all in all it was a wonderful holiday, even though it rained!! Look forward to returning when the weather gets better ;)
The benefit of our experience...
My boyfriend and I visited Tunisia in November 2004. It was our first trip there and overall we were very happy with our stay. The hotel was lovely, really impressive, and we had a massive room. The rooms were cleaned every day and our bedspread shaped into a little pattern. Overall the staff were very nice and helpful, one or two of the waiters were actually quite rude however. We stayed half board and the food was ok but not brilliant - this seemed to vary day to day. There was long life milk for cereal, tea and coffee. There was a guy cooking omelettes every morning which were really good, as was the bread - huge selection and all fresh. There was a lot of choice for dinner as well, but again this varied - some days there were more dishes than others. Usually there would be some traditional Tunisian meals, alongside some pasta, meat and salad dishes. Plenty of desserts as well, fresh fruit, cakes and sweets. Personally I would avoid salad and fruit unless you wash it in bottled water first. There are 2 other restaurants in the hotel but we didn't try these, as well as a Moorish cafe which looked nice but there was never anyone in there.
To the beach - it may have been the time of year, but there was a LOT of seaweed floating round the shore, and the water was so churned up snorkelling was pointless! There is a bar on a jetty which was really nice to sit on and look along the coastline. There are usually some guys hanging around trying to sell cigarettes, jewellery or scarves. I found it helped to say I had no money!
The location was a bit remote for my liking, as it was about 7km from Monastir and 5-6km to Sousse. However, it's very quiet and peaceful and there is a golf course across the street. There are always cabs outside the hotel gates - you should pay about 6TD from Sousse and about 7TD from Monastir. We hired a car for 2 days, expensive and somewhat terrifying - we'll leave it to a louage driver next time.
We also went to the therapy pool, the first time we have done anything like that and it was wonderful! They have special deals on a board outside and we got a full spa, steam and massage for 60TD - about £30, I think we would have paid over £100 in the UK. They also do beauty treatments which are extremely reasonable, so I wouldn't bother waxing before you go!
Overall we had a great time and I would recommend this hotel, although I would probably revisit at a different time of year.
Two families went together. The hotel was clean and grateful that we could get rooms next door to each other.
By far the best bit of the holiday was the beach. It kept the kids occupied. Kidsclub was the same every day. Food was not served in the evening until 6.30 too late for children. The service was not great until last day when people were expecting tips.
The biggest disadvantage was that there was no babysitting service provided and therefore by the time we had got the kids to bed the food had been standing around for 2 hrs.
We still managed to have a great holiday.
The Miramar is probably not a 4 star but this is Africa ! It is clean and comfortable with air con in all the rooms. The food was of a high standard with pleanty of choice! Of course if you pile everything on your plate every night then you may become a little bored!
The beach is superb, although the jelly fish can be worrysome, the watersports are a bargain and very well managed. The outdoor pool is salt water,(not sure why) and this is disappointing for the kids. The indoor pool however is normally quiet, warm and a relaxing swim.
You do have to pay for sunbeds and this goes towards replacing them each year. It is about £1 per day and you only pay once if you go between beach and poolside, it is not the fault of the man who collects the money so deal with it (this is commmon practice throughout Tunisia).
The thalassatherapy unit is stunning and the treatments are all very reasonable, give it a go, you won't regret it.
The evening entertainment leaves a lot to be desired so it may be worth considering taking some games etc. with you to pass away the balmy evenings. The hotel staff are all very pleasant and cannot do enough for you, the kids daytime entertainment was first class and fun packed, infact there were times we would have liked to see more of them.
There's not much to do near by but taxis are cheap, the water park in the hotel next door is also very reasonable but remember to take drinks with you, it is a good half days fun for the kids. If you venture to the Souks, it is stressful and hard work, but good fun, bargain hard and you will get some very good deals!
Overall this was a good value holiday for us, although we did book last minute - I may not have been quite so impressed paying full price!!
This hotel is supposed to be a 4 star but i think it should have been down graded to a two star.
the place is awful. the rooms are dreadful. Food was no good either.