Myself, my partner and his Dad stayed here from 18 September until 2 October. When we arrived we were given a drink and after filling in the necessary form we were then shown to our rooms. My partner and I had visited Skanes back in 2008 and although we didn’t stay at the Sahara Beach we did have a look around and stayed for a few drinks so we knew the basic layout of the hotel already which is one of the reasons we booked the hotel this time.
My partner and I were given a double room on the 5th floor. The room was extremely basic – double bed, a couple of built in wardrobes, a small dressing table with stool and a mirror. The bathroom obviously had the usual – basin, toilet and a really small shower and shower curtain. I dreaded using the shower every day as when you switched it on it was quite powerful and the water would hit off the shower curtain and go all over the floor so you had to make sure it was positioned right so the water wouldn’t go everywhere. We did get used to it after the first few days though. The room also had a good sized balcony but we never really used it. The only thing I would say about the rooms is that it would have been nice to have a TV for when you went up to the room early on an evening or for background noise when getting ready. We knew they didn’t have TVs so we were prepared and brought our portable DVD player. Our room was cleaned every single day with clean bedding and clean towels as long as you put them on the floor so the cleaner knows they are dirty. We had two different cleaners and tipped them both 10 Dinar at the end of each week which they seemed more than happy with as our second cleaner kept bringing us newspapers which was nice. He also made various things out of our clothes which was nice when returning to the room. My partner’s Dad was on the 2nd floor and he said that his room was just the same as ours.
Pool, beach and grounds: -
The hotel itself is absolutely massive with 3 blocks, about 5 pools, an indoor pool and spa, games room, and another pool with slides. It is right on the beach too which is gorgeous. We had a long walk along the beach on an afternoon and didn’t get hassled once. We were out at around 9.00 each morning and never had a problem with getting a lounger. We actually did tip the mattress men a couple of times but not every day as it wasn’t necessary at all and they seemed fine with it and I was concerned about this before we went! We sunbathed at the relaxation pool which is at the top next to the Telegraph Bar. Here you could get drinks from 10.00am and then food from lunch time which consisted of fresh pizzas, burgers, hotdogs and chips. We ate here most of the time but a few times we went down to the beach bar which served fresh pizzas, burgers, hotdogs, chips, pasta, salad, kebabs and much more.
Breakfast, lunch and evening meals: -
Once you go into the restaurant for the first time you are allocated a table and waiter by the head waiter, and this will be your table for the remainder of your holiday. We had wine with our evening meal and they just gave us half bottles each.
Breakfast was served from 6.00am-10.00am. I rarely eat breakfast whilst on holiday but we all made it down every morning as it was really nice. They had fried eggs, fresh omelettes and pancakes, lots of pastries, sausages (which were like hotdogs really) and some days bacon but it was quite fatty. They also served yoghurt, fresh fruit, cereal and you could make your own toast.
Lunch was served from 12.00pm-2.30pm. We only ate in the restaurant twice for lunch and they had the usual things like chips, salad, pasta, fresh bread as well as a lot of chicken and turkey dishes.
Evening meal was served from 6.30pm-10.00pm. They served mainly the same stuff as at lunch although I do recall one night they had an outside BBQ too. The desserts were amazing, the best I’ve came across in an all inclusive hotel.
Personally I have no idea how some people didn’t find anything they liked. There was always something you could have and am so surprised at the reviews on here about the food being awful.
We ate at the A la Carte restaurant one night called El Campo. You get one visit per stay. Other people who we spoke to said it was awful but again we found the food really nice. You also get your drinks included where normally in a hotel A la Carte you would have to pay for them. The only disappointment was the dry cake at the end, nothing like in the restaurant! The setting was very nice though.
Inside bars and evening entertainment: -
We varied between the Piano Bar and the bar next to reception. In our opinion the drinks were brilliant, no complaints at all as a couple of nights we cannot remember! We drank the whisky, vodka, lager and amaretto. The bar staff were really nice, again no complaints here. The only time I drank out of a plastic cup inside the bar was when I was taking a couple of drinks up to our room so I’m not sure why this happened to other guests. We did try a couple of cocktails from the cocktail bar but they just tasted as though you were drinking a glass of sugar, not good. We sat outside of the Piano Bar and the only thing I would say is that a waiter really should come round and clean those tables as they get really dirty, same with the chairs. The evening entertainment we didn’t really see. We went outside once when they were playing bingo and it looked so boring. Other than that we cannot really comment. The bars were open until 12.00am. For those who like to stay up a bit later there is a nightclub but we never went to this.
We went to the reps meeting at 10.00am the day after we arrived and my partner and I ended up booking the African Dream. We paid 70 Dinar each for this. We got picked up at 1.40pm and were one of the first on the coach. We arrived at Friguia Park (which is an animal park) at around 3.45pm so what they don’t tell you at the welcome meeting is that you are sitting on the bus for about 2 hours picking people up from Sousse and PEK before arriving at the park. Apart from that minor annoyance the park was really good as we got to see loads of different animals which was great. We then went into the restaurant at the park at 5.45 where we then had a traditional Tunisian 4 course meal with unlimited red wine, water and soft drinks whilst watching African Zulu dancers. Another downside was that when we arrived at 3.45pm we had missed all the dolphin shows and sea lion shows so it would have been nice to turn up a little bit sooner. You can book the full day trip though but you don’t get to see the dancers or have the meal.
Outside of the hotel: -
There is a strip full of shops on the way down to the restaurant in the hotel but when we went in one of the them they didn’t give us a chance to browse as they were constantly following us trying to sell us stuff so all we bought was a paper and then left which is why we ventured out a couple of days to the local shopping area. We did get hassled a few times to take taxis or horse and cart but once you say no they leave you alone and it wasn’t that bad at all. Before our holiday I read to get to the shopping area you come out of the hotel and turn left and then left again. We did this the first time and ended up walking for nearly an hour when we came to a sign pointing us in the right direction. This was a waste of our time and there seemed to be a bit of confusion. You actually come out of the hotel, turn left, walk across the road and straight on along the dirt track and when you get to the end of the dirt track it is on you right hand side. You will then be right at the shops and it would have only took around 15 minutes! Anyway, there are only a handful of shops but we did manage to bring some gifts home so it was quite good. Out of the shops that were there I would say the one that the young woman owns is the best. There is also a small café bar near the shops which we went to and the three of us had three beers each and the bill came to around £12.50 including the tip. Total bargain. The only downside was their toilet, never again!
We also went to the Mexican restaurant which is located near the hotel next to the go karts. Again come out of the hotel, turn left and its next to the dirt track – you really can’t miss it. We had a starter each, main course each, dessert each, a bottle of wine and a cocktail and the bill came to about £30 between us. The amount of food was ridiculous and we ended up taking some back to the hotel with us! It was gorgeous and would recommend this to anyone. It makes a nice change from the hotel too. The waiter was fantastic as well.
Whilst we were there it rained a couple of times but it was in the morning and did not bother us. Apart from that it was bright sunshine and red hot. I would advise to take mosquito repellent as we really did get eaten alive. I still have them now. If you do forget to take spray there is a box next to where the reps sit and when people leave they throw their unwanted lotions and sprays in there so it is worth having a look. Liz the Irish rep is brilliant, really helpful and very funny!
We would definitely return to this hotel as you really do get your moneys worth but maybe not as our main holiday the next time.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Near to Monastir and approx 12 km from Sousse (Skanes - Tunisia). Broad, fine sandy beach. 22.000 sq m of gardens. A childrens paradise. Short transfer. Plenty of action and entertainment. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sahara Beach Hotel Monastir
- Iberostar Hotel Sahara Beach
- Iberostar Hotel Monastir
- Sahara Beach Hotel Tunisia
- Sahara Beach Aquapark Resort Tunisia/Monastir