Palm Beach Palace Djerba
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Historical Traveler Reviews Bulgaru Hostel Kazan
Adequate in every way, excellent in some
The place is lovely & clean, and despite its age, it is kept in generally fine condition. The central pool is the highlight, although the beach (yes, with camels) is well groomed and pleasant. Rooms could use a bit of updating; they're not dilapidated, just showing their age.
3 restaurants on-site, and even the buffet-style one produced quite tasty meals. Tip the waiters a bit and they'll do anything for you. Try Tunisian wine - it's good! Be sure to try the mint tea and "shee-sha" smoking by the pool in the evenings.
Little English spoken. No on-site internet access. Hotel can arrange tours into the desert. Overall, a pleasant, safe little piece of North African paradise.
Superbe hôtel dont la nourriture est excellente. Le personnel est très compétent et gentil. Les chambres spacieuses et propres mais un peu en dessous du hall d'entrée et des parties communes. La plage est très propre et la piscine aussi. Le sevice de sécurité est discret et efficace. Il y fait aussi très calme surtout la nuit. Petit bémol : des "rabatteurs" omni présents dans le hall d'entrée qui ne cessent de vous harceler quant à une navette gratuite vers Hount Souk ( où en fait vous êtes littéralement pris en otage et le seul moyen de vous libérer est d'acheter un tapis) et quant au magasin à la piscine où les prix sont à la tête du client ( et sont plus chers que la petite boutique Haroun située à 100 m de l'hôtel ). En résumé : un très bon hôtel propre aux chambres spacieuses et à la cuisine excellente mais où il ne faut pas se laisser "arnaquer" par les "rabatteurs" présents dans le hall d'entrée ( qui vous abordent au départ très gentillement mais vous découvrirez, hélas, par la suite leur motivation intéressée...). N.B. Une excursion à faire absolument : Les villages berbères ( à faire avec votre agence de voyages...°.
Un bel établissement mais...
Un bel établissement de la gamme des SOFITEL...De l'extérieur rien d'extraordinaire. Le charme arrive dés la réception : Superbes salons, pierre et marbre dans des couloirs lumineux ou tout est rutilant, impeccable ! Une superbe décoration toute en modestie, en discrétion...On s'attend à une chambre du même registre et là, c'est la déception ! Des chambres spacieuses mais tristounettes, avec des meubles contemporains de bois clair ; c'est joli mais ce n'est pas la déco des parties communes de l'hôtel. Petits incidents de nettoyage vite réglés à la réception... (Couvertures sableuses). Un superbe restaurant avec variété et qualité. Le chef est un as, c'est un vrai bonheur ! C'est rare à Djerba ! (Voir les autres hôtels voisins...)
Ce qui gache l' instant magique ? Les grilles de la climatisation de la chambre, couvertes de moisi - La lamentable terrasse avec vue sur rien, garnie d'une table et de deux chaises miteuses sur un sol cimenté, nu - Certains occupants des chambres voisines qui tentent un fil sur leur terrasse et y font sécher leur petite lessive ...de grands slips en coton blanc ! Incompréhensible que la direction tolère ce genre de manifestation !
Un bel hôtel tout de même, très au dessus de la moyenne de DJERBA. Allez y pour la plage, le restaurant et les parties communes. Ca vaut la peine de ne pas regarder les grandes culottes qui sèchent sur votre itinéraire !
We loved it!
My partner and I stayed at the Sofitel Palm Beach, Djerba at the beginning of October, just for a week, which wasn't long enough! The weather was still gorgeous and the hotel wasn't crowded at all. The rooms were huge, we were upgraded to a suite, without even asking, which gave us even more space for us and our 5 year old daughter.
We went for a full board option, which I was worried about, incase we didn't like the food, I needn't have been concerned, the food was excellent and with so much choice, it catered for all tastes. We particularly liked the traditional Tunisian food and the seafood.
The pool area and the beach were kept spotless, and the sunbeds weren't packed closely together, so there was plenty of space, unlike the Movenpick further up the beach, where they were crammed in like sardines!
The staff were charming and helpful, nothing was too much trouble. They speak Arabic, French and a small amount of German, but little or no English, this was ok for us as we all speak French, but might be a problem for others!
We had such a lovely time, and were very sad to be leaving, a fortnight would have been ideal.
We have been to Morocco and Sharm el Sheikh in the last 12 months, but this beats them both!
Will we be back? Definately!!!
Tout était parfait
Je recommande cet hotel sans aucune hésitation .......tout est parfait de A à Z.
J'ai choisi une formule en 1/2 pension avec 3 jours de soins au SPA de l'hotel.........que du bonheur.
Les massages orientaux sont extras (un peu moins professionnel que ce que l'on peut attendre d'un SPA en France) mais quelle gentillesse.
La plage est très belle,le sable très fin (c'est assez inattendu) et la mer propre.
Cet un emplacement N°1 à Djerba.
$45 to use the hotel's indoor pool
There were some staggering problems with this hotel from my finace and my experience. We were completely exasperated by our treatment at the "Spa", and then our subsequent treatment by the hotel's manager (and the only person we knew working at the hotel who spoke intelligible English. Before I start on my rant, I shall say that Djerba is a beauiful place, the hotel is plush, and looks like a 5 star hotel.
Perhaps our biggest failing was our inability to speak French, Arabic, German or Italian (Spanish and English didn't cut it) We were there in Winter, but we were keen to use the indoor pool to relax etc. When we first went to the Spa for a swim, we were told that the cost of swimming in the pool -- which was considered by resort a "treatment" -- was $45AUD. The pool looked beautiful -- replete with bubbling spas and nice deck chairs.
We were told that there was a period each day where guests could use the pool for free, which we understood at that time was before 1pm. It was past 1pm so we resolved to go back the next day -- which we did at 12pm. However, this time, we were once again informed that we were too late, and the period for which guests could use the pool was before 11am. Again disappointed we resolved to try again the following day!
On our third attempt (and our third of 4 days at the resort) we finally got it right, and arrived at the pool during the designated free time for guests. However, all the spa jets were turned off, the tranquil music was not playing and there were no towels available for the guests. My fiance asked for the jets to be turned on, but the staff refused, because the spa jets were part of the "treatment"(?). Undeterred I finally got to swim and it was glorious. However, having finished, I went to the spa reception and asked for a towell. Despite being able to see a bundle of towels and robes, the reception refused to give me a towel, and told me to get one from the main, outdoor pool (which happened to be a 200metre walk on the other side of the resort). Dripping wet, I walked the 200metres on a very cold day (quickly forgetting the glory of the pool). I froze.
I complained to management about the spa's policy on towels. A very suave French manager apologised and invited my fiance and me to use the pool in the afternoon without having to pay the fee of $45AUD each. We went back to the spa that afternoon, but the Spa employees had not heard of the French managers generous offer to us, and sniggering, told us that we could not use the pool. For a 4th time we were unsuccessful. This time, we were embaressed.
How disappointing. It felt like our holiday in Djerba was a crusade to get into that bloody pool. After another round of complaints, the Manager gave us our last night for free. It was all a bit too late, and very disappointing.
We stayed the Sofitel Djerba thinking that as it was a Sofitel everything would be of a high standard. We decided to book a spa treatment for three days. Boy did we make a mistake.
In the spa we were treated like cattle.
- They forgot us in the hamam all three days we went in there. So instead of spending 20 minutes we often spent up to 50 minutes in there.
- When we had the 'relaxing hydro bath' my partner had my bath water. God only knows if the person after him had his!! When my partner's time was almost finished in the bath the person who came to get him put her elbows on the bath with her arms crossed and looked as bored as hell. VERY RELAXING!!
- We had an algae mask and had to apply the algae ourselves. We may as well have done it at home.
- The staff were very unpleasant. We met one waiter the whole time we were there who was vaguely kind
- One evening my partner discovered some creepy crawlies hanging around the hot food. Needless to say we lost our appetite
- The one good thing were the tennis courts
In conclusion we counted the days until we could leave. And I really would not recommend this hotel to anyone.
We recently booked a short 7 night trip (long enough) to Jerba having not known much about the place. Because of the reviews I read before booking I was swayed to book something along the lines of 4 or 5 star. I would say the Sofitel is 4 star, although the rooms were palatial in size the food was repetative, the beach was described as white and sandy but I fear this is not the case, it is in fact very dirty, I wouldn't allow the children to swim there. The Children's club is quite a walk away and the facilities are of a poor standard, although the staff were very friendly and helpful.
I suggest that you slip a waiter you prefer a tenner and you will find he will reserve a nice table for you, away from the BBQ smoke. There was also the problem of securing a sunlounge, when are hotels going to deal with this issue, we were having to run down early in the morning before breakfast to grab one. We were one of the only non french families, which was great for us because we could practise our french. Overall I give it a 7/10.
Fantastic, just what the doctor ordered
Went there for a honeymoon and thoroughly enjoyed every minute. As a 32-year old, my wife and I went there for a week and I was very pleasantly surprised. I was not that keen on going to Tunisia beforehand or going to a Sofitel but thoroughly enjoyed both.
The hotel frontage has the "wow" factor, the interior is very attractive, the rooms are spacious, bright, lovely and the staff generally attentive.
Morning breakfast was extensive and freshly cooked while the evening buffet was very good. If I were to compare the buffet, it is not as good as, for example, the Michelin-starred "Grand" in Stockholm but as good as I would expect in a "normal" five-star hotel and left me very happy indeed.
We were lucky in that we went just before the hotel started filling up which meant that the staff always remembered us, were attentive and is perhaps a reminder that I tip too much!
The hotel beach was instantly accessible (we could virtually walk out of our room onto the beach), impeccably clean and reasonably private in that chaps in straw hats moved non-guests off it with impeccable politeness. Watersports were provided and the only downside was the amount of seaweed in the sea (doh! where else is it likely to be).
Djerba itself is pretty dull but we took a four-wheel drive excursion into the magnificent Sahara desert and did the usual camel riding, visiting the troglodyte caves, sleeping in tents in the desert, going where Star Wars was shot etc... Note that this can be absolutely exhausting but is well worth it. Oh and if anyone offers you whisky in the desert - don't touch it!
During the trip, I was ill and had to call a doctor who arrived within the hour, treated me to a very high standard and spoke impeccable English and French. Most of the holidaymakers were French with the occasional Belgium and German and I spoke in French for the entire trip so cannot comment on the level of English spoken. I was the only Englishman in the entire hotel but I believe this is changing and that more English are going there.
Southern Tunisia is a reasonably relaxed Muslim state although out of politeness, my wife covered up a bit and there were no PDAs.
The two downsides are that Djerba itself is small with nothing to do except the market with its usual pain-in-the butt haggling customs and the beach has too much seaweed for my liking (in the water itself and not on the impeccably clean, white-sand beach. However, with trips into the beautiful but exhausting Sahara and good, five-star luxury at a reasonable price, I was very happy. The only difficulty is it has ruined any other 5* holidays as it is now impossible to find anywhere else this good for the same price!
Among the best in Djerba
I stayed here end September 2004. My first choice of hotel was actually the Mövenpick Ulysse Palace and Thalasso. Nevertheless, many people said that the Sofitel was a better option. I think that the Mövenpick is the best choice if you want to do a Thalasso therapy, because they have great facilities. Sofitel has also a Thalasso Center, but rather disappointing.
The advantages of Sofitel:
- beautiful beach, much wider that the one at the Mövenpick, and NOT crowded. A lot of space between the sunbeds, and that's also the case at the swiming pool.
- Very big swimming pool, gradually desecending in depth, so ideal for children and adults afraid of depths.
- teak wood sunbeds
- beatiful architecture and decoration
- big bedrooms with double wardrobe, spacious bathroom with bathrobes, 2 sinks, and tiled bath/shower. Seperate toilet. Free safe, minibar, TV, 2 phones. Nicely decorated.
- Excellent food (French management)
- if you have full board, drinks during the meals are included (recommended, because drinks at the Sofitel are rather expensive for Tunesian standards)
- animation NOT in the hotel, but next doors in the Coralia club, which also belongs to the Accor group and is managed by the same manager as the Sofitel. So, if you want animation, it is available, but you don't have to escape from it if you want peace and calm.
Book through the major tour operators, such as Thomas Cook, because they have good value deals. I paid for 12 days approx 900€ in a double room for single use (full board drinks incl.) and rack rate is normally 150€ B&B per night per room.
I can surely recommend. Perhaps not worth its 5*, but good value and definitely a good 4* superior hotel.
TripAdvisor Reviews Bulgaru Hostel Kazan
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