First stayed at the Barcelo (then the Miramar) in February 1996; I was attracted by the description of 'old style elegance, faded a bit around the edges' and the location. I liked it and Tunisia so much I went back in May the following year with friends. Had a week's holiday to use up this year and persuaded boyfriend to drop the idea of Iceland (cold and expensive!) and dragged him off to Hammamet instead.
Based on three stays at this hotel this is my view.
If you want hamburgers and partying into the small hours you won't get it here.
If you want peace and quiet in a convenient location and an attractive hotel I can recommend the Barcelo. The hotel is reached via a cul-de-sac on the outskirts of Hammamet, so it's quiet but not far from town. It's an eccentric, charming hotel laid out in several seperate wings and smaller bunglalows over a large plot with very mature, well-tended gardens that are fabulous in late spring and full of bird song. The hotel is maximum 2 stories high (not a modern high-rise concrete block) and is right on the beach, which you can walk along into Hammamet town. It's a good mile, but walkable. Our room had a sea view- we could (and did) throw open the french doors and doze to the sound of the waves.
Unusually the Barcelo has 3 pools, 1 indoor, 2 outdoor. The indoor pool is in a huge conservatory with a glass roof, so has plenty of sunlight for sunbathing when the wind picks up outside, and the pool has currents, water jets and jaccuzzis which are turned on every so often - we were sipping wine in the jacuzzi one afternoon (bliss!)
The hotel is in need of a touch-up here and there, but it's currently undergoing renovations by the new owners; the refurbished dining room opened while we were there. I'm not so convinced by the current replacement of the wooden balcony doors by UPVC.
The practical bits:
The food served is locally grown and freshly cooked so they're restricted to what's in season; they cook fresh omelettes, fried eggs or crepes for breakfast along with cereals, continental etc. The brik is divine (squeeze lemon on it and eat with your fingers).
Our main complaint being non-smokers was the extremely smoky bar. We ended up taking our drinks outside, which was fine.
The reception desk was very helpful and friendly.
The room was cleaned and towels changed daily, we found our bed was fine (very wide) and we had a fridge and hairdryer and enough hangers! The shower was great, strong and hot.
To visit the Villa Sebastian (Hammamet Cultural Centre) just walk out of the hotel, turn right, walk to the end of the cul-de-sac, turn right at the junction with the main road and keep walking. The villa is a little way down there on the right.
Cash point - cross the road in front of the hotel and turn left. It's little way along on the right hand side.
There's a lovely coffee shop a short walk from the hotel - cross the road in front of the hotel and turn left. Take the next right and the next right again. On the left hand side of that road, a little way down, is a corner cafe with a very large purple pottery cup and saucer and coffee pot either side of the gate! Lovely mint tea and pistachio milk shake.
Still love the hotel - we'd both go back happily.
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- Also Known As:
- Primasol Miramar Hammamet Hotel Hammamet
- Hammamet Miramar Hotel
- Hotel Miramar Hammamet
- Miramar Hammamet Hotel