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Saphir Palace & Spa
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69 - 74 of 1,158 reviews
Reviewed 8 August 2014

I stayed there with my family and we all loved it, we hardly left the hotel because it was so good. They always had a variety of food and even snacks throughout the day. The pool was lovely and they was always activities to do at night they had a kids disco and then something for the adults and they always got people involved which we enjoyed, the staff were always so helpful and made you feel welcome. The rooms where nice and always clean. I don't understand why people would complain.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Elizabeth F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2014

We stayed at the Saphir Palace July 2014 had a great holiday. Yes I agree that areas do need to improve I believe it is due to be refurbished later this year if this is carried out well I think it would attract more guests. We found the food choice a bit poor but have been to other hotels with lots of choice maybe this is the norm in Tunisia. We were given an upgrade to a seaview room which was lovely plenty of space for 3 of us and wonderful views.
There was plenty of entertainment during the day some of which we took part in and enjoyed the animation team work hard and are very friendly we had lots of banter with Mario a credit to the hotel.The lack of parasols around the pool could be an issue I did mention this to the Thomas Cook rep and hotel management and we were sure that a few more had appeared near the end of our holiday. There is plenty of space around the pool with trees providing shade and a nice relaxing feel.
We had a issue with a somewhat overbearing lady during our stay as had other people and I can only praise the reception staff for their handling of the situation thank you very much.I would like to say a big thank you to our waiter Lotfi who was very attentive I know a tip at the beginning of your stay goes a long way but when we heard how little staff get paid in Tunisia feel it makes their life a little easier and it is a very small amount to us.
I was wary of visiting Tunisia and yes it is very poor and run down but if people avoid it they will never have the money to build it up again I would definately return and visit this hotel again especially when refurbished. People need to remember that it is an African country and will be very different. The local shop keepers are pushy but this is the way they trade a polite no thank you is all it needs if you are not interested.

Room Tip: Sea view rooms quieter than pool rooms and have lovely views over beach at front and harbour.
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Julie_mcneill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2014

No, no, no!

No, I can't recommend this hotel!
No, I'll never return!
No, you should not go there!

Our experience:

The hotel is being over-run with cockroaches, (Public areas) on two occasions we found them in our room.

My daughter (next door) complained that the room was not clean. The maid knocked at her door and told her she should come see her and not complain to the management.

We called reception to ask for two towels, the next morning the maid tells us we should not have taken towels to the pool, we should return them from the pool and we should not to call reception for towels. (We DID NOT take towels out of our room)

Should the maid knock on doors telling guests they should not complain?

The balconies in both our rooms were covered in bird droppings, the table and chairs are covered in rust and the cushions had seen better days several years before.

The air conditioning works, but only just.


The food is extremely repetitive, however I feel there is something for every taste.

The on duty "Chefs" are very slow, for example in the mornings and during busy times they can only cook for one person. They have two small omelette pans but only ever use one at a time. Queuing in the morning and take up to 5 minutes.

Similar to above, during lunch and dinner queuing for the simple things like pasta is extremely slow. Again the Chefs cook for one at a time only. :(

If you don't tip the waiting staff often, be prepared for a very poor service. In the mornings and outside the staff are not helpful in any way.

The hotel offers a "Ala carte" at two different locations, these are worth visiting but be sure to book when you arrive as they are not available every night.

The pool;

Having young children it is important to have a parasol to keep the strong sun off the kids. This hotel has 24 parasols, (24 for such a large hotel is nothing!) our first few days we could not manage to secure a sun shade for the kids. I went down early one morning. only to find the pool attendant putting towels on beds complete with parasols. The pool attendant took up in excess of 40 beds and 10 of the 24 parasols. :(

The pool itself is very good, however this is let down by a green Algae at waist height in certain areas.

There are a large number of tiles cracked and broken, (Some of which are sharp and can cut) the pool attendant spent a few hours one day grouting the broken tiles.

The pool bar is ok, only one member of staff to serve drinks, collect glasses from the large gardens and hand wash glasses. If you require a drink, be prepared to wait!

To conclude:

This FIVE STAR hotel, is no longer. Thomas Cook has it as a 4* + , I would rate it as a 3* only.

I will upload supporting pictures.

Room Tip: The hotel offers upgrades at a cost, we upgraded but not sure if we were happy. Go elsewhere!
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Andy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IberostarHoteles, Online Reputation Manager at Saphir Palace & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 19 August 2014

Dear Andy,

Thank you for your review of our IBEROSTAR Saphir Palace hotel, we appreciate you reaching out to us to notify us of your concerns related to your recent stay at our hotel.

Firstly we would like to point out that our hotel undergoes regular specific treatments on the most common insects present in Tunisia, including cockroaches; That said, it happened one day, when our management was at the hall that one cockroach entered the hotel, our housekeeping staff was immediately contacted to get the undesirable guest out of our grounds; we lament not being informed immediately that you found two in your room as we would have been able to intervene in no time, we do not seem to have received this kind of complaint from other guests neither; for future occasions we strongly encourage you to contact our reception for anything you may need to fully enjoy your holidays among us.

Regarding our housekeeping team and the comments related to one of our maids, we were very surprised as, all rooms are being cleaned daily as well as towels changed, we can only assume this has been due to a language barrier; It is true though that if a guest needs to notify that the room has not been cleaned or any service imperfection, it suffices to contact the reception desk.

We also would like to take the opportunity to point out that our pool bar counts with 3 employees on duty all day, one bar man and two waiters to take orders and collect used glasses; our pool attendant does not reserve sunbeds nor umbrellas for guests, guests do, as well as tipping our staff which is a cultural habit in Tunisia.

During high season, it can happen that guests have to queue for our show cooking stands, food being cooked to order may require a waiting time of 5 minutes at peak hours, please accept our sincerest apologies.

We are very sorry that your experience did not meet your expectations; At IBEROSTAR, we continuously strive to meet our guests’ needs and wishes; therefore your feedback is very important to us. Once more thank you very much for sharing your opinion.

Kindest Regards,
Online Reputation Manager
IBEROSTAR Saphir Palace

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2014

My Second visit to this Hotel in four years would never hesitate to return again.
From check in to check out the staff are first class my latest visit July 2014
Clean comfortable food excellent , Hotel is being refurbished at the start of next year
If you want a hotel value for money and great surrounding great staff ,book it you won't regret it.

Room Tip: Sea View sunrise will be a holiday memory you wont forget
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Charlie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2014

Arrived after an early flight, immediately seated and given our registration forms and a drink, and given and told information about the hotel, many thanks Lotfi, you are one of the best reception staff we have ever met, friendly, professional and very courteous. Top marks also to Kadesha, we didn't deal as much with her but she always spoke when we passed and we saw her deal friendly and professionally with 'awkward and difficult' guests.

Expected a long wait to get to our room as we knew that check in is officially 2.00pm, however we didn't have to wait long, which was very much appreciated after no sleep the previous night due to early hour flights.

Given our room card, and was very pleased with the sea view and 4th floor location, excellent views of beach, (and harbor with telephoto lens on camera.). Nothing better than sitting on a balcony watching the sea and the world go by!.

Room itself was a lovely size, and the bathroom was great, with bath, sink, separate toilet and large shower area.( Yes hairdriers are a bit iffy but they did the job). Although sons bed was a camp bed it did have a 'bed mattress' on it, so not uncomfortable like a camp bed usually is. Also lovely quiet room.

Food was plentiful, with soups, bread, veg, meats, pasta etc, and lovely cakes, however may not be to all tastes. You were served promptly with a drink and topped up if requested, or some were on the ball and did this automatically. As you didn't remain in the same seat it wasn't possible to build up a rapport with staff, which is a shame.

Between 3 to 5 ish to the left, is the pagoda area that has pancakes, pizzas, chips, made to order, think we were first here most days!. Many thanks to the older gent who served our drinks, (didn't catch his name).

The pool area always looked as though there were plenty of sun beds and the only difficulty would be when people want the same spot! lol. no joking this did happen!.

It was nice that the hotel had 2 cocktail meeting nights in our week from 6.30 to 7.30 ish, which made you feel welcome.

Would have given it 5 stars however we stayed at the Iberostar in Mahdia the previous year and for us this was better with regards it being more modern, and the food was more to our taste, more selection of meat etc, and the little extras like fruit around the pool, and cool towels around the pool etc. That said there is more to do in close proximity to the Saphir which Mahdia didn't have.

Didn't participate with the entertainment team however they seemed very nice and did daily water aerobics, volley ball, archery etc.

Coming out of the hotel and to the right is the Rovers Return which do a lovely Sunday lunch, (need to pre book- we did it about the hour before and it was ready when we arrived) and chicken nuggets etc.

Harbor was a short stroll away, along with many shops and the new Costa Mall ( Shoppers paradise).

Sometimes you can feel a bit pressurised by shop owners, however they are friendly, and it must be a nightmare to get sales as it was a lot quieter than I expected. In all they just want a bit of friendly banter and if you like something I am sure you will come to a 'fair price' for you and them.

When we went to the harbor area someone from one of the cafes came out and we were expecting the usual come in, have something to eat, but pleasantly surprised when he only warned us about the heat of the sun! much appreciated.

The Averroes is also worth a visit for the Italian meal as it was the nicest lasagne I have ever tasted!, drinks were also topped up without asking, perfect service.

In all had a lovely holiday, and really liked Yasmine Hammamet. Would definitely return.

Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
4  Thank Weloveholidays1967
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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