Travel Blogs from Hammamet
... had ever met a terrorist, nor been threatened by one.
-----"In reality, terrorism isn't a big problem. But, if you talk about something twenty-four hours a day, it becomes a big problem." - a TunisAir employee
-----Were Muslims terrorists?
-----I never met one.
-----Occasionally, young men joked that they'd like to make "jihad" in Syria or fight against America. They were joking, but I believed there was a hint of truth to their jokes. ...
Easter Monday and sporting a fine chocolate egg courtesy of P&O we arrive in LaGoulette Tunisia which has been slotted into our itinerary due to the unrest within Egypt. Having spent two days in Israel and traveling within close proximity of the Gaza Strip and also the border of Syria with a leaflet warning us of possible unrest and phone numbers of embassies, another warning upon entering Athens of ...
Another place that far exceeded our expectations. When we heard that our Egyptian ports had been replaced by this visit we were disappointed as we have been to Tunisia before to Sousse and didn't enjoy our stay very much. However this day trip was fantastic. As the ship berthed we were met by traditional drummers and pipe players and a man on a camel which was very jolly - they even played God Save The Queen! Also the sun shone yet again - we can't believe ...
... waist up, and I agreed. She asked, "Weqt-ash?" (When?) and "Ween?" (Where?) These were important questions. Our intimacy had to remain secret. She had once suggested that, if she and I were ever just alone in the same room together, her male family members would kill us.
-----I didn't fear these small and friendly men. And "Sneaky" was my middle name - a middle name so sneaky that neither my own mother nor the F.B.I. knew I had it. When ...
... Mwassan. (Many Muslims considered it too provocative for a single woman to dance in public.)
-----I did Arabic moves with a young shepherd. I danced with Zohayr, Sminja's crazy guy with a Hitler moustache and superiority complex, and a mute boy who was mentally handicapped.
-----Haikl Dreedy, who had been drinking beer since noon, smiled and celebrated. He grabbed Hanen, Ferhanny Hamimi, and Oommy Fatma and made them dance. He gave me ...
How has this resort rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Solaria Hammamet
Hotel très agréable
Sejour d'une semaine à 4 en demi pension pendant les vacances scolaires. Hotel très agréable et très bien entretenu.
Personnel très sympa. Animation réduite à cette saison.
Avons eu gracieusement des chambres coté mer non prevu initialement ( merci à la réception). Les chambres sont relativement grandes et la SDB agréable. Ménage fait tous les jours. Le cadre est satisfaisant et la route passant à coté de l'hotel ne nous a pas dérangé. La restauration est très bonne et très bien présentée. Le choix de nourriture est plus que correct. ( Nous sommes en Tunisie) A noter jus d'orange préssé, frais tous les matins et à discretion. Piscine originale mais non chauffée ( dommage...)
Bref, enfin un hotel que l'on peut recommander en Tunisie.
No es para tanto
La verdad es que cuando contratas un viaje así lo haces con mucha ilusión. A persar de que lei todas las críticas del hotel y de Tunez en general y que la mayoría eran positivas, no puedo dejar de pensar en la decepción en general del viaje.
El avión de ida tuvo un retraso de dos horas y media, con lo que si ya salia tarde de por sí (a las 20:45), cuando llegamos al hotel y terminamos de instalarnos para que nos diesen algo de cenar, eran las 3 de la mañana.
El hotel, en cuanto a instalaciones estaban fenomenal: habitaciones muy amplias y limpias, la piscina muy bien, los restaurantes,...
El trato del personal del hotel ha dejado bastante que desear: tenías que casi enfadarte para que entendiesen lo que estabas diciendo y no hacían lo posible por hacernos pasar una estancia agradable. En el comedor éramos 10 siempre: desayuno, comida y cena. Nunca nos llegaron a preparar, tal y como aseguraban cada vez que se lo decíamos, una mesa para la siguiente comida.
La playa, otra decepción: estaba sucísima, con botellas, plásticos, papeles,... tanto en la arena como en el agua. La gente del lugar bañándose con la ropa al lado de dónde tú te metías en bañador. Y unas medusas que no las había visto así en la vida.
Tres excursiones hicimos: una a la medina de Hammamet, otra a SidiBuSaid y a las ruinas de Cartago y una tercera en un barco en el que ibamos a pasar la mañana y a ver delfines. En las tres me sentí engañada porque lo que realmente hicimos distaba mucho de lo que nos prometían antes de contratarla. En vista de eso, no contratamos ninguna más.
Debo ser la única persona que no ha comprado nada en Tunez. No entiendo lo del regateo y menos aún que me tomen por tonta, que intenten cobrarme de más por una cosa que no lo vale, que me intenten engañar incluso con las vueltas del periódico, o al montar en un taxi, cuando llevan taxímetro. No puedo comprar algo si antes no lo veo, teniendo en cuenta que el consejo del guía es que si no pensamos comprar que no miremos porque nos meten en la tienda y nos "obligan a comprar" lo que sea.
Después de esperar dos largas horas en la cola de facturación de equipaje, casi perdemos el avión de vuelta, porque la señorita que nos atendió, sin ninguna intención de entenderse con nosotros, quería darle a mi hijo de 2 años y dos meses un asiento que no había en el avión (que iba completo), con lo que se tiró como 1 hora intentando solucionar un problema inexistente (llevaba un billete infantil). Afortunadamente que, como pasó en la ida, el vuelo salió con mucho retraso.
Excellent prix pour un tres bon hotel
premier et dernier conseil : si vous trouvez un bon deal sur cet hotel n'hesitez pas : foncez !!!
ca mange bien, c'est tres pittoresque, c'est tres bien situé, demandez une chambre vue de mer et profitez du beau lever de solei....
bref, une belle experience
Incredibile rapporto qualità/prezzo
Un ampio hotel, pulito, ben attrezzato e tenuto. Un buon 4 stelle. Le camere erano spaziose e pulite. Ma il bagno era un po' deludente. La doccia era difettosa, la tendina della doccia era dozzinale e le piastrelle venivano via dalla vasca. Niente di preoccupante. La cena: ottima varietà di cibo e buona qualità. Il vino era costoso e non era poi così buono. Il personale era cordiale, soprattutto quando lasciavi qualche mancia. Non sempre capivano l'inglese e nemmeno il mio francese stentato. La piscina: molto bella, anche se l'avremmo usata di più se faceva un po' più caldo. La spiaggia: era disagevole durante il periodo del nostro soggiorno. Le alghe ricoprono il litorale in primavera e nel tardo autunno. Le immersioni: la visibilità era scarsa. Le escursioni era favolose. Non perdete il safari di due giorni e la visita al fantastico anfiteatro romano, che è stato il set cinematografico del film "Il Gladiatore". Anche la visita dei resti romani è stata interessante.
Hotel muy muy recomendable
lo unico malo que puedo decir de este hotel es que no es un cinco estrellas,pero si un cuatro cuidadisimo,muy limpio,con unsa situacion y unas vistas excelentes , con mucha animacion al rededor de el sin ser molesta en ningun momento.El buffet es muy abundante y me ha encantado todos los dias la comida.Las habitaciones son muy amplias y todo momento muy muy limpias.La piscina es preciosa y esta muy cuidada...etc..en resumen es un hotel q yo recomendaria !
Muy buen precio
Un hotel grande, limpio, bien equipado y bien cuidado. Un buen 4 estrellas superior. Habitaciones: amplias y limpias, sólo el baño las devaluaba un poco. La ducha no funcionaba bien, la cortina de ducha era barata y se caían algunos azulejos. Nada de preocuparse. Comida: muy variada y de gran calidad. El vino es caro y no tan bueno. Personal: amable, sobre todo si dejas alguna propina. No siempre entienden el inglés (ni mi mal francés). Piscina: excelente, aunque lo hubiésemos usado más si el agua estuviese un poco más calentita. Playa: mientras estuvimos allí, estaba un poco mal. En primavera y a finales del otoño la orilla se cubre de algas muertas. Buceo: no había mucha visibilidad. Las excursiones son increíbles. No os perdáis el safari de dos días, que incluye una visita alucinante a un anfiteatro que inspiró la película Gladiator. También es interesante el tour romano.
Ein großes, sauberes und gut ausgestattetes und gepflegtes Hotel. Ein gutes 4* + Haus. Zimmer: Geräumig und sauber. Nur das Bad ließ zu wünschen übrig. Die Dusche war defekt, billiger Duschvorhang und die Fliesen fielen von der Wanne. Nichts zur Beunruhigung. Abendessen: Große Auswahl an qualitativ guten Speisen. Der Wein ist teuer und nicht wirklich genießbar. Angestellte: Freundlich, besonders wenn sie Trinkgeld bekommen. Englisch und mein schlechtes Französisch wurden nur teilweise verstanden. Pool: Erstklassig, obwohl wir in wahrscheinlich öfter benutzt hätten, wenn er wärmer gewesen wäre. Strand: Das Meer war sehr unruhig während wir da waren und im Frühling und Spätherbst werden viele Algen an den Strand gespült. Tauchen: Die Sicht war schlecht. Die Ausflüge genial. Sie dürfen auf keinen Fall die zweitägige Safaritour verpassen, innerhalb welcher man auch ein Amphitheater besucht, das die Inspiration für den Film "Gladiator" war. Die römische Tour war auch sehr interessant.
A pleasant Experience!
To be frank, I wasn't expecting much of either the hotel or the area, after having spoken to a few friends and colleagues who had more or less bad experiences themselves in the region.
Iberostar's Solaria turned out to be quite a pleasant surprise and I can recommend it without hesitation, as well as the Yasmine - Hammamet area in general. Let's be clear on one thing: the entire Yasmine - Hammamet area and all hotels located there are purely designed for your typical Summer-fun vacation, be it with the family or a couple. If you are looking for a base camp for your desert-bound safaries, then Yasmine will certainly be a bad choice for you.
Back to the Solaria - it's really-really new & thus for the most part, still looks quite new, inside & out. The hotel's architectural design is actually quite impressive and the Hotel's pool is designed to match. There is a Tennis court and a "mini-club" for children. Table Tennis, Water Polo, Belly-dancing lessons and even an hour of Archery lessons a day satisfy the child in us all, so to speak.
The staff turned out to be quite friendly and I suppose my ability to speak a liitle French, Spanish and Italian didn't hurt relations any. Although English is a required language in Tunisian schools, French, the Country's second official language (Arabic being of course the first), is the alternative language of choice, make no mistake about that.
So, assuming that you can communicate with the staff and that you know that "tipping is not a city in China", you will be quite pleased with the Hotel's staff. To be fair, we had no problems and thus I cannot rate their ability (or friendliness) under stress.
We had a half-pension plan and I rarely take part in such all-inclusive trips, so I wasn't really expecting much from the dinner buffet and breakfeast. I was again pleasantly surprised because I found the food, in terms of quality and variety, to be quite satisfactory! I enjoyed local specialties such as Cous-Cous and on one occasion, was pleased to settle for a more "meat & potaotes" variation for dinner. The breakfeast buffet was also quite nice, ranging from cereals to eggs and even some local goodies. There was no bacon however and their idea of breakfeast sausages are classic hot dogs (Frankfurters, if you prefer).
On some nights the buffet was more exciting than others, but isn't that always the case, even back at home at mom's dinner table? On the flip-side, we met some very nice people from Spain who weren't all that thrilled with the food. They were however comparing the food to a 5-star restaurant, which I don't really think is all that fair.
I wouldn't even try to compare most hotels in the area with a "Western" 5-star hotel either. I spent one evening in a 5-star hotel on Miami Beach and it cost me over USD $500- for one night - so please don't go barking because the 5-star Tunisian Hotel that cost you $600 (for seven nights...) is not comparable to the Delano in Sobe or the Ritz - Place de la Concorde in Paris. I can say that the Solaria was nicer (and even a tad cheaper) than the numerous 4-star hotels I stayed at in Northern Italy (Lignano, Grado, Cervia, Rimini, etc.) or the Costa Del Sol region in Spain.
Location wise, Yasmine is not bad as it is 1) specifically designed for tourists and 2) located not to far from a few interesting Tunisian spots, such as Tunis, Carthage, popular coastal towns such as Sidi Bou Said (white squarish buildings with blue doors & window frames, etc) and Nabeul, popular for it's "Friday Market". For the safari freaks, you'd be better off farther south, such as Mahdia. Ysamine has it's own Medina (town-centre / Bazar) which is okay for an evening's walk but it's clearly a tourist trap in terms of pricing and atmosphere. The Bazars of Tunis and Nabeul are much better in both atmosphere and pricing (if you can master the art of haggling and avoid the aggressive methods of "closing the sale" that the locals employ).
Last but certainly not least, Tunisa will be very difficult if you are female, partiuclarly if your are blonde... . And I'm being as politically correct as I can be here. I was informed by my feminine companions as well as a few [female] hotel guests that the implied / verbal harrasment can become quite tiresome. I even once had a craving for a coffee in Nabeul and noted that in all three of the cafes we walked by were occupied strictly by men. I'm not sure if they were specific types of cafes but in any event, I ended up drinking my cafe solo...!
That's my two cents. Solaria is a very nice hotel and the trip as a whole was a pleasant experience, as long as you know what to expect and what not to expcect out of Hotel and the region itself. If you manage to book a trip (flight, transfer, hotel, half board) at around 100-120 per day / p.p. then you will get your money's worth!
Amazing value for money
A large, clean, well equiped and maintained hotel. A good 4* +
Rooms; spacious and clean. Only the bathroom let the room down. A faulty shower, cheap shower curtain and tiles coming away from the bath. Nothing to worry about.
Dining: great variety of food and good quality. Wine is expensive and not really enjoyable.
Staff; friendly , particularly when a few tips are left. English (and my pigeon french) not always understood.
Pool; Excellent , although we would have used it more if it was a little warmer.
Beach; It was rough during our stay. Seaweed washes up covering the shore in Spring and late autumn. Scuba diving - visibility was poor.
Excursions are amazing. Dont miss the two day safari, including an amazing ampitheatre- the inspiration for gladiator. Roman tour is also interesting.
Nice, but maybe not quite 5*
Yasmine is a fairly new but growing resort about five miles South of Hammamet. It has been created exclusively for the tourist market and seems to house four and five star hotels. There is a marina and a small selection of restaurants and cafes about five minutes walk from the hotel. If you fancy going into Hammamet there is a tourist "train" and there are always taxis available. Tunis is about one hour away by road, or you can get the train from Bir Bou Regba just outside Hammamet right into Tunis for six Dinards. It also takes about one hour.
The Solaria is part of the Spanish Iberostar travel group. It is big, but not really enormous. The hotel is constructed in a circle with a large aperture to the North East, and a long leg which runs North-South parallel to the beach. There is a six lane road between the hotel and beach, but there are hardly ever any cars on it. The rooms are either in the circle and have a "pool" view into the courtyard or in the leg with a beach view into the bay of Hammamet. We had a beach view. The finish of the hotel is impressive with lots of marble and lightly coloured walls. The public areas on the ground floor have high vaulted ceilings with chairs, tables, and sofas scattered around. Sanitary ware were largely by Spanish manufacturer Roca and German manufacturer Grohe.
My girlfriend and I visited in November 2005 for a week on a half board basis. All meals were a self service buffet arrangement. Breakfast featured cereals, charcouterie, cheeses, bread and breakfast pastries, as well as hot things. A chef was on hand to deal with omelette and pancakes. Dinner was a similar idea and always featured salads, three different soups, and a mixture of European dishes. There were Tunisian dishes too. Deserts were normally some sort of tart or mousse and there was always ice cream. To be honest the food could have been more adventurous but we ate in the hotel all week quite happily. Not sure if I'd want to eat there for a fortnight though!
It was no real surprise that the hotel was quiet when we were there and the staff were all really friendly. I honestly got the impression that they were glad to see you and rarely passed you without saying hello...But that might have been to alleviate the boredom because the hotel was just so quiet! There were activities such as aqua-fit, table tennis, and beach volleyball "organised" but there too few sufficiently motivated guests to make them practical.
In the basement of the hotel is a large Thalassotherapy centre where you can have massages, hydrotherapy, facials, and so on but with a major sea water bent. At 200 Dinards for five treatments it is not cheap, but probably compares favourably to similar establishments in Europe. We had a session in the Hammam with a thorough exfoliation afterwards, were jetted by water everywhere in the hydrotherapy pool, were massaged lying down while being showered on by hot sea water, wrapped in seaweed and baked in steam, then finally massaged again for around forty minutes. The Centre check you medically in case there are treatments that might not be suitable for you but other than that you can choose which treatments appeal to you most.
Perhaps I am being overly critical but I felt that the hotel lacked the attention to detail that I might expect in a 5* establishment, for example the changes in floor level of a few millimetres between the bathroom and bedroom tiles, or the fact that the bath had a shower curtain, or that the orange juice at breakfast time wasn't fresh but of the diluted kind.
Not wanting to sound really down on the hotel, we did have a great time. I would recommend a trip to Tunis as I felt that Hammamet was too tourist orientated. The locals selling things on the beach, in the street, and in the Medina seemed to view you as cash cows ready for the milking and it was very difficult to avoid or escape them. Plain downright rudeness seemed to be the only way to escape!
Having said that I wouldn't advise anyone not to go. The place was nice, the people largely friendly, and the hotel has a great setting. What more can you ask?