Travel Blogs from Hammamet
... This didn't surprise me ...
-----"It's not one particular government that's the problem, but governments in general. It makes no sense for revolutionaries to say, 'We need freedom! We need to be governed by SOMEONE ELSE." The aim of any revolution should be anarchy." - J.Breen philosophy
-----Some people claimed we needed governments to protect us from terrorism. Since 2001, governments had been taking away our freedom, in order to fight ...
... and more phone numbers followed by the same warnings today to avoid any political unrest within Tunisia you have to start feeling that you are on a NATO exercise instead of a cruise. Anyway we ventured ashore on a short excursion which took us around Roman ruins which were more interesting than temples but not as interesting as ale houses, you can start to sense the desire for us to return home ...
... and doors. And of course shops and stalls selling tourist stuff but it was a pleasant walk and there was a nice breeze. Next we went to the remains of the Antonine Baths which are on a large site in Carthage overlooking the gulf of Tunis and must have been magnificent in their day . Only the ground level still stands and they have restored one or two columns but it is easy to imagine the Romans enjoying the baths and sunbathing on the colonnaded ...
... they loved.
-----I felt relieved when I returned from Kerouan to my Dreedy family and Sminja. The only thing I needed to make my relationship with Sminja perfect was a girlfriend. Somehow, to my great surprise, I had found one.
-----In mid-March, this unmarried women whispered to me: "Nti besh turgud ma-aya?" (Do you want to sleep with me?) I quickly nodded. "Niheb." (Yes, I'd like to.) Her brown eyes widened and she swallowed ...
... ladies in Switzerland. This short, gray-moustached man wore a navy suit.
-----She wore bright lipstick, whitening make-up, and a pink dress. She looked uncomfortable. For the first time ever, she looked sad.
-----She joined Hatem, and they sat on a couch on a stage in front of everyone. Large and intelligent-looking Hatem wore a fuzzy black trenchcoat. His face resembled Semia's: smooth with baby fat, and ...
How has this resort rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Iberostar Averroes Hammamet
Lovely Hotel, Not so lovely food!
Me and my girlfriend stayed at averroes in July of this year and the hotel had good sides and bad sides.
First impressions were good the reception is very nice and the staff friendly and helpful. The room was of good decor, clean, spacious and had a nice balcony over looking the gardens (sea view rooms were fully booked as it was high season).
The pool area was very nice , the pool was big and had a small lazy river and a jacuzzi. There was lots of umbrellas and beds although people took to putting towels out very early which can be very annoying. We went Allinclusive which was great during the day, we could sit in the pool at the poolside bar allday and the barman chady was very friendly.
The hotels major let down was the buffet restraunt (the only place you could eat on allinclusive). The selection of food did not cater for english people and didnt vary much. Some food also was not cooked to the standard we expect (eg fish, kebabs). Even though we were allinclusive we only ate at the buffet restraunt for the first week of our two weeks there and this made us ill. We both had upset stomachs for the majority of the holiday however we still managed to enjoy ourselves.
As for the surrounding area i would recommend Hammamet Yasmine as it is good for tourist with bars and restraunts along the front and in the Medina and the Marina.
Nice hotel - worth a punt
Just returned (two weeks ago) from the Hotel Averroes and can recommend it . Went with my wife - our kids are a bit past coming with us - However, I will say that some of our friends would hate it there. so it won't suit everybody , more of that later.
Booked with First Choice and everything went smoothly, no problems with the flights or the transfers.
Only ourselves and another family got off at hotel and so no big delay at check in. Room was big enough, on the corner of the hotel so our balcony overlooked a side road , but at least we could see the sea and the beach. We had a top floor room (only has 4 floors) and we could get to the pool or garden area wihin a minute or two of leaving the room. Air conditioning struggled to cope with temperatures in the high 30s/ low 40s.
Didn't get involved in sunbed wars as we are happier on the beach than the pool. We also spent two days on the loungers in the lawned area - again no problem getting a bed or parasol, but it is noisy as it is right next to the public beach with DJs playing what I call boom boom music all afternoon.
Why won't it suit everybody ? My wife and I are frequent travellers, especially in Europe and have spent lots of time in Germany and France. we both can get by in either language and so having to talk to some of the waiters in German is not a problem for us. I noticed some fellow Brits struggling to make themsleves understood, but this could be an accent problem. The food is definately prepared to suit the continental tastes and given the large numbers of French , Belgian and German guests, this is totally understandable. We always found something different to eat and didn't have to have the same thing everyday.
So if you want full English for breakfast and burger and chips in the evenings you will be disappointed.
We found the service Ok, we always follow the rule..."tip large early" and had no waits at all for drinks...and we were told the hotel was full. Getting water was never a problem either.
Entertainment - can't comment as we didn't go to any of the shows. Every evening after dinner we took a stroll up to the local medina to get hassled by the traders, then returned for a nightcap. I mention the hassle because it can be really intimidating, just avoid eye contact and pretend to be deaf.
Its worse when you go on a trip 'cos then you have to deal with the toilet mafia.
Back to the hotel....nice and clean, reasonable food, friendly enough staff and in a very good spot...close to the beach.
Give it a go.
As good as 4* gets in Tunisia
I stayed at the Averroes for two weeks, (04. to 18. July 2006) with my wife, and our four year old son. In general, we liked it very much. Especially if we compare it to our other Tunisian experiences (this has been our fourth time). The service and the hotel staff are all very helpful and kind. Unless you want to explain something unusual and complicated, English language is no problem to them.
The location of the hotel is great. There are not so many hotels in Yasmine Hammamet that are right on the beach. Of all of those that have direct access to their own beach (you do not have to cross the street or walk a couple of blocks); Averroes is closest to the main promenade. It is actually at the square where main Yasmine area starts. To the Medina, where it all happens, you have 10 min of slow walk.
During our stay we investigated other hotels that lie on the beach and realized that Averroes has the best pool and beach area. The pool has a very nice Jacuzzi and lazy river. The animation team is quite O.K. and if you don't want to participate in all of the activities they have, you will be left alone. The restaurant is also on the level as all the rest. The rooms are quite large with separate toilet area. Bathroom is also big with a full size bath tub. There is enough space for clothing and balconies are nice and big with a non plastic chairs and table. Balcony doors are huge sliding glass type, so when you open the curtains, the view is magnificent. If you can, our advice is to book a sea view room. It will pay off. There is a non electronic safety box in the room and the key to use it costs 2 Dinars per day.
The sun beds are free of charge, but at the beach you will have to pay for the mattress 2 Dinars (about 1.2€). This goes only for the mattress. As the guest of the hotel you get the sun beds and the umbrellas for free. At the pool area (steps away) all is free. All inclusive guests have the privilege not to pay for the mattresses at the beach. Upon arrival you will need to give a deposit for a beach towel card. You exchange the cards for new clean beach towels every day at the pool area. Deposit for one towel is 20 Dinars, which you get back at the check out.
Are there any down sides? Yes. Some have to do with the hotel it self some do not, but here it goes:
It is absolutely necessary to get up early in the morning if you want to participate in the towel sun bed game. The best time to be downstairs by the pool is 7.am. Then you will be able to choose a location of your umbrella and the sun beds. From 7.30 to 8.00am you will get what is left, but after 8am you will end up with no place in the shade (or maybe no place at all) at the pool area. On the other hand, it is nice to know that this problem does not exist at the beach area.
The sea water is not very clean and we saw jelly fish (real big ones) quite often. Still people swim a lot. It is not that bad.
It is extremely slippery around the swimming poll. They have put some kind of blue rubber mats around, but not enough.
The walls are very thin, and (among all other things) you can hear people checking in and out of the rooms in the middle of the night all the time.
There were lot of mosquitoes. On our second week of stay they have, however, mysteriously disappeared.
Be aware of the fact that the air conditioning works only during the high season (July, August) as in most of the hotels in Tunisia.
They do not have big king size beds but two single ones put beside one another. The bad news for couples is that there is quite a big gap between the two mattresses and hard wood bed construction in the middle.
If you plan any trips or excursions, the best days are Saturdays and Sundays, because the locals flood the beaches during the weekends and it gets very busy at the pool area, as all the guests of the hotel avoid the big crowd on the sand. Many of the hotels allow locals to even use the pool area. This is, however, not the case here.
Having in mind that our experience with Averroes is based on our stay during the high season when the hotel is full, it is a very smart pick if your destination is Yasmine Hammamet.
The hotel is very nice and clean, the probleme there are terrible customer service, no english, not much help, poor communication, complicating things, terrible food, we had diarria all our stay wich ruin our holiday, no responsible person available, (avoiding customers).the list continue. never returne again.
It has been a week since we returned from the Hotel Averroes. Would we go again ? No.
Upon arrival everything looks lovely, great big chandeliers, Marble floors all the four star recomendations, However i'm not sure i would rate this a three star.
we had to pay £25 for a sea view because we were situated over a roof which we think were staff quarters. This was worth the extra as the sea view is quite breath taking. On the whole the rooms were fine. Spacious, clean and tidy. With no air conditioning... Fine on the four and a half days we had rain and cloud but not on the days when the temp reached on average 35 degress. We were promised this would be working on the thursday, we left on Sunday and it was still not switched on.
The engligh are definatly the minority in this hotel and the food reflects because of this.
There is no engligh breakfast but last nights leftovers like carrots and brussel sprouts are as is ham, cheese, salad and fruit. The evening meals were berable, Beef, Lamb, Pork etc. Our waiter was however fantastic so sweet and so hardworking (not like the bar staff) We did tip him as he did not expect it. ( unlike the Bell boys) We felt his service was excellent, always had a smile, always busy.
Do not be fooled when they say this hotel has entertainment it is basically the animation team the ones you see around the pool doing volleyball etc. Thankgoodness we were all inclusive we just drank. ( Big thanks also to Steve and Sarah not only for taking us under their wing but for keeping us company and for making things seem not that bad after all.)
Yasmine Hammamet is a very beautiful place and the beach is one of the best in Tunisia
and credit to the Averroes it is directly on the beach (not Like most) but this Hotel is not for those wanting that bit more.
Good but not Great
We stayed at the Averroes in Yasimin Hamment for a week at the end of May 2006.
Our plane arrived at the airport at the same time as 3 other flights from the uk and therefore there were approx 600 peolple trying to get through 4 customs desks at the same time. It therefore took us 1.5 hrs to get throught customes which was not a great welcome to Tunisia and a not a great start to the holiday.
Also make sure that you complete your immigration forms on the plan as you have to have these to pass throught customes. Currently the Tour Operatoes are having trouble getting these to give them to passengers on the plane and so you may have to do them at the airport.
The trip from the airport takes about 1.5hrs on a coach which is not too bad but theres is not much to look at on the way, but do not be put off too much by this, Yasmin Hammanet is much better.
The hotel is very nice, and the staff are very welcomining but there was only 5 people that got off from out coach at our hotel. This should have raised the alarm bells in our heads but it did not. Also the fact that there have been no reviews of the Hotel Averroes should have been a warning to us!!!!
The Hotel only had about 30 english couples in it when we were there, the rest of the holiday makers being Germany, French, Spanish etc. The Hotel is therefore does not cater for english people and all the music round the pool, menus etc are not in english. Some of the staff do not speak English and I had to speak to out waiter on French which is the only language that we both spoke. Not an easy thing to do when I only did O Level french and this was some 20 yrs ago.
The accommadation is very nice, bright and airy and clean. We paid the optional extra for a balcony which I would highly reccomend unless you want to look over a street and other hotels. You can however pay to upgrade your room when you get to the hotel providing that they have room with a room with a balcony free which is cheaper than paying for it in advance in the uk. Also be advised that the air conditioning is not turned on until mid June no matter how hot it gets. When we were there it was very hot at the start of the week but the hotel would not budge and turn tha air conditioning on early.
In view of all the Germans in the Hotel you need to be prepared to play the Sun bed game with your towel. The first morning we got up at 7.30am and all the sun beds had towels on them. There were only a couple left spare. So the following morning I was up at 7.30 down by the pool to reserve my sunbed with my towel. So be prapared!!!
The food in the Hotel leaves a lot to be desired. My husband is a full english man but the Hotel is definatly not designed for us. Breakfast is mainly aimed at the Germany with boiled cabbage, spicy sausages and carrot omlet. All of which I would suggest that you give a miss to. I would recommend the freshly made coissants and also the omlettes if you can make the omlette making woman understand what you want in it.
The lunch time and dinner menus are not so bad, especially if you want to eat salad every day. We did however have liver and keybabs and roast rabbit both of which I would not recommend. Also be careful as some of the things on the menus appear on following days. For example we had mussles on night and then they appeared the next night in a rice dish.
On the day before we came home we went to Hammanet on the Noddy Train which goes from just outside the hotel and went to Hamannet for the afternoon. I can really recommend this and it was a nice change to get out of the hotel and go somewhere else.
I was glad that we only stayed for a week, as I fel that a week was enough and also because that I understand that the menus and evening entertainment are repeated on a weekly basis and I could not face the rabbit or the liver keybabs twice!!!!!
Averroes-A very Good Beach Hotel
Me and my boyfriend were in holidays in Averroes, and we loved it!
The hotel was very clean, the rooms big and comfortable, with a nice balcony, the food was good (tunisian and europeean dishes, local fruits, ice creams, salads, cheese, vegetables,...) and the service and people were very nice. I did a 3 day program at the spa, and I trully recommend a full massage (with the sound of the sea as background...).
The service at the pool and beach is good, you have music and the animators are always inviting the people for the activities (football, volleyball, aerobics,...).
The water is warm, sometimes with some seaweeds (it's nature!), and there are some watersports that you can use (and pay) on the beach: banana boat, 'parachute' rides, water-moto, matress ride,...
We went in all inclusive and we recomend it.
You can walk on the streets safely until late hours, there are a lot of magazines, restaurants (italian!), coffee-shops, discos, were you can eat and bargain lots of products, since the most traditional 'sheesha' to the moore unusual Nike shoes! Offer at least half of the price they offer you, at least!!
We stayed for a week and we felt like staying there another 7 days!
We recommend it!
All that glitters...
We went to this hotel on the strength of reviews I read on various websites. We, the public, are the only people who can give unbiased reviews as to whether a hotel is worth visiting or not. I therefore went to this hotel expecting something near holiday perfection, so some of my comments may seem slightly picky. However I want others to know exactly what they may get.
I will come to what I am talking about in a second, but first a word about Thomson and our flight package. We were made to panic in Monastir airport because no-one seemed to think we had booked a transfer (despite the fact it said so on our ticket). We were pushed from pillar to post in the arrivals lounge until we found a rep who knew that we were supposed to be there. I think this is really bad. My wife was still stressed as it takes her a while to come down after flying, if you know what I mean, and this was all we needed. The rep took us to our coach (with the baggage guy trailing after us) and then proceeded to leave us waiting on the tarmac because she had never heard of the hotel we said we were going to (it is not a Thomson hotel). The plan was to drop us off at the Bel Azur, which was North of Hammamet centre (Hammamet Yasmine is to the South) and about 6 miles from our hotel. This was clearly no good to us as we had a family plus luggage and baby travel system. I had to argue our case to get her and the coach driver to drop us off at the same hotel as one of their other drops (which turned out to be about 100m away from our hotel). Why they weren't immediately willing to this is beyond me. Be warned, don't risk taking your transfer with a flight only package, always try to book it with the accommodation supplier, that way you guarantee at least to get to the hotel you booked at. More on Thomson later...
Two hours later (we were the last drop) we were dropped off at Hotel Mehari in Yasmine Hammamet with no Dinars (TD from now on) and a smattering of French to get by with. This is OK, most of the Tunisians do speak some English. We asked the Thomson rep to arrange it so we could exchange some English money into TD, then we had to get two taxis (no such thing as a large taxi in Tunisia) to get all our precious cargo to the Averroes Hotel. Imagine our embarrassment when 100 yards round the corner the taxis pulled into our hotel. I gave the taxi drivers 5TD to fight over and we went to settle in, just relieved to have got there.
First impressions were good. Friendly greeting, drinks on arrival, funny bell-boy who thought we were Italian (my wife and son are quite dark), large reception area, marble floors, big windows, high ceiling, big chandeliers, you get the idea. Our room was a decent size with separate rooms for toilet and bathroom (great when someone is in the bath). We had an extra bed for our son and a travel type cot for our baby and still had room to swing the hotel cat! The TV had a host of Channels, but only CNN in English. BBC World was listed, but not available whilst I was there. With some lucky flicking, I managed to catch the Six-Nations rugby action on a French channel and my wife was able to watch the Grand -Prix likewise. The England football game was also screened, but we were catching some rays at the time, so sport lovers don't despair. Try and get a sea view, it's worth the extra as the land side isn't very inspiring.
The food at the hotel I thought was very good as I have been to a lot worse. The food was always fresh and mostly good quality. There were omelettes, crepes and doughnuts for breakfast as a change from the usual British fare that we are used to, a large selection of teas (not so good for coffee), plenty of savouries (cake for breakfast!?), there were things that passed for sausages, scrambled eggs, choice of cereals and bread which you cut yourself (of the fresh variety). However, two slight moans would be the absence of toast or a toaster and the grapefruits disappeared after day two (I think I must have eaten them all).
Dinner was a decent variety of foods. The local specialities are well worth a try. Basically lots of variation on Couscous and something called Brick. There was always grilled/fried fish if that's your poison, plus a variety of meats on the carvery every day. The salads were fresh and well made (with a reassuring absence of flies). My wife also developed a taste for Artichoke which she had never tried before (couldn't see it myself). I always ate well at dinner, my wife and son were a little more cautious, but always found enough to get by on. We discovered they had Ice Cream about four days in and his highness (my son) was happy from then on. The head chef, on finding out it was my wife's 30th birthday, baked us a special cake, complete with birthday message on top.
The March weather was mostly good. We were quite lucky. The week before had been overcast and our first day was similar (we were worried), however, from day two it was great. Day one was quite comical, people sunbathing round the pool with the bed blankets wrapped around them, just their faces showing. There were red faces in the restaurant that night. Warm enough to sunbathe, sunny enough to get a tan (or burn if you prefer), cool enough for the children not to get too ratty. I enjoyed playing Volleyball everyday with the friendly Germans. It became tradition to say 'Guten Morgan Deutschland', to receive the reply of 'Good Morning Great Britain' every morning, it was like Eurovision. I have heard a lot of bad things about Germans on holiday (I'm sure we Brits come across as far worse) but I can't say a bad word about the ones I met. There was none of the sun-lounger-reserving antics you hear of, or the queue jumping...
The daily entertainment for Adults consisted of Volleyball every day at 11am and sometimes at 3pm. There would occasionally be Boules tournaments (which I won for Britain twice). There was even a darts tournament, but this was on the day we went to the local 'theme park' Carthage Land, which the locals all think is wonderful, but is OK for about two hours, then you get sick of the pushy kids none of whom have time for queuing (not just the kids as well). Plus you will have already been on all the decent rides. On arrival, we were given an 'animation' timetable, but this wasn't really followed. I can only deduce that they didn't have the full quota of entertainment staff, as it was still really off-season. In the evenings, they ran various shows in various languages. English was catered for! The highlight for us was a quiz on flags which our son (who they affectionately called Mr Bean) won, astounding everyone with his knowledge.
The entertainment for kids, however, was superb. Fatima, the hotel children's entertainer was superb with the children and would take the children away for two hours, twice a day. She was brilliant with the kids and looks like she loves her job. Only problem was, our son considered himself too old to engage in the kind of things that Fatima was doing with the children (most of the children were younger, but not all). In the evenings there was the mini-disco at 8.30 (with Fatima), which our baby daughter really enjoyed. She loved bouncing up and down and clapping to the songs. The Tunisians in general are brilliant with babies. They all adored ours and she loved always being the centre of attention.
So what might you ask wasn't excellent about the resort/hotel. Well, we were there in March and the resort was a bit of a ghost town, so we are only saying what we experienced. We never felt threatened or anything like that, it was just really quiet and there was not a lot going on outside of the hotel. Yasmine Hammamet is clearly a very new resort, and therefore it all looks very clean and tidy, but there is not much character. It is just a concrete jungle of Hotels, the medina, Carthage Land and the marina.
The hotel itself had, we felt, certain issues. Now we know the workers get paid very little and they have to make as much as they can from 'extras', we always tip as it guarantees better service, but there were some worrying 'practices' that went on. These 'practices' I have notified to Iberostar themselves so they can choose whether they want to take action. However, these practices made us feel quite awkward every evening and spoiled what could have been a perfect vacation. I can't really say what they were, but they weren't honest. On top of this, my wife fell down a badly lit staircase (the light bulb was out) and damaged her ankle. We reported this to reception who apologised and said it would be repaired and on leaving six days later, it still hadn't been. My wife also received bruises from one of the animation team when he dragged her up to take part in a beauty contest that turned out to be quite demeaning to the women participating. We also befriended an English couple who had their camcorder stolen from their room whilst partying out with some of the waiters (someone knew they were out). You just constantly get the feeling you have got to be extremely careful with your money and possessions. We hired a safe for 2TD per day for the entire duration of the holiday. Now I'm not saying that this is the norm at the Averroes, but we caught a glimpse of a slightly seedy underside to this hotel. Hopefully now I have voiced my concerns to Iberostar, these issues will have been dealt with and all will be well. We are going to Iberostar Phenicia in Hammamet in September, so we will be able to see if there is any difference.
Lastly, Thomson messed up on the way home as well. We had rung them to confirm where we were going to be picked up from for the transfer going home and again with a bit of negotiating we got it moved to a nearer Hotel (the Phenicia as it happened). This was confirmed three days before we were due to be leaving. Dutifully, on our leaving date, we turned up at the Phenicia half an hour before rendezvous (we caught the biggest taxi possible and were still crushed like sardines) and waited for Abbi, the rep, and her coach to turn up. When she did turn up she saw what she thought were her only two customers and disappeared through a door. I waited outside this door for her to come out, but she never did. It turned out it was another way out to the driveway and the coach was ready to leave. I rushed out and managed to stop the coach and introduced myself to Abbi, and she had no idea that we were supposed to be on her coach. This was another example of flight-only customers being treated as second class and very disappointing. Added to this, our flight was then delayed three hours and we were taken to a five-star near the airport hotel to wait in the lobby (our third hotel that day). Needless to say, the receptionist there, on requesting some Tunisian Dinar was very reluctant to give me a receipt. This was because he had tried to short change me by five Dinar. Not much, I know, but this was a bout par for the course. We have reported this and other issues to Thomson also. We eventually got taken to the airport and arrived in Manchester at 2.30am with two very tired children, just glad to be home.
I hope this helps you in choosing your holiday. I would recommend the Averroes from the point of view of facilities, food, rooms and kids club, but it fell slightly short on the service in the bar and the constant feeling of trying to avoid being done. This has left us with a slightly sour taste from our Tunisian experience, although we are going back there (to the Phenicia). I will review that experience when I come back.
Very pleasant hotel
Me and my husband stayed at the Averroes in 2002, and we enjoyed it very much. The hotel had just been built then.
The rooms were big, confortable and always very clean. The view over the Mediterranean and Hammamet bay is wonderful.
We enjoyed very much the pool, had lots of sunbeds, never felt crowded. But the best about this hotel was the access to the beach. One can easily bath at the pool, then at the sea, back to the pool, and so on: The pool is practically on the beach.
The downsides are, for sure, the poor evening animation and the buffett service. The restaurant serves various kinds of food, but it gets too crowded and confuse.
The staff is friendly enough, but always too busy.
Overall, its a nice hotel, in a good location, with a service probably above average wehn in Tunisia.