Summer,  Travel

Sunshine smiles at the Sahara Beach Aquapark Resort, Tunisia – review

A picture of the palm trees on Sahara Beach.
Palm trees at the Sahara Beach.

Introduction

Here is my honest review of our Summer holiday at the Sahara Beach Aquapark Resort near Monastir, in Tunisia. We stayed here for two weeks in August 2019. We booked this holiday last minute (so about three weeks before we actually went!) and had no idea where we wanted to go to when we booked. We wanted somewhere cheap and close by! This hotel came up for a bargain price so we booked! We had read reviews on TripAdvisor before we went and had low expectations from reading these reviews, however, we were genuinely impressed with the hotel! It exceeded our expectations!

A picture of our restaurant table decorated with flowers by our waiter.
Our waiter decorated our table for us with flowers each night!

The Hotel

The Sahara Beach Aquapark hotel itself is 3*, however I often felt it exceeded that! From the minute we walked in, we were greeted by friendly faces at the reception who took care of us and showed us to our room! We even had someone offer to take our luggage up to our room for us! One thing which is expected by all staff here is giving tips. This is certainly not mandatory and we hardly tipped anyone, except our waiter. Do not feel you have to tip! The hotel has plenty of facilities, ranging from: different restaurants, a game room, tennis courts, a gym, three outdoor pools, an indoor pool, a choice of snack bars and a spa, plus so much more! The gym is basic and costs extra (I only went once and stopped due to it being very basic with little equipment). The Pools are quite busy with families and children so we always headed to the beach which was so much more quieter! The cleanliness of the hotel is by far one of the most cleanest I have stayed at (and I have been on holiday a lot!) Our cleaner was so lovely and everyday we would come back to our towels made into hearts or swans! The beds are quite firm, however nothing I would complain at. There is also air-con in each room which is great.

The Food

A picture of the breakfast at the Sahara Beach Hotel.
Breakfast with a view

The food is what can be expected for a 3 star hotel. If you enjoy trying new foods then there is so much to choose from! All the way from Tunisian dishes down to seafood and different meats. However, ff you are fussy there is a variety of options for you such as: chicken nuggets, chips, pasta and pizza etc. There are two different restaurants, one for Thomas Cook guests and the other for non Thomas cook guests. We actually ended up eating in the Non Thomas cook guest restaurant as it was so much quieter, less queues and a completely different environment! Every night, there was someone carving fresh meat which was delicious. There are plenty of dessert options including: brownie, cheesecakes, ice-cream, cakes and fruit. Every guest gets one free meal at the Al a Carte Restaurent (called El Campo). You choose a starter, main and dessert. Breakfast was continental and there was a wide range of foods such as: omelettes, pancakes, yoghurt, cereal, toast, croissants, and a full-english! One thing I will tell you is to be prepared to see flies near the food. This didn’t put us off as we made sure to take food from the bottom and after all – we are in a third world country.

A picture of crepes made from the creperie.
Crepes from the Creperie (Served 11am -5pm)

Activities

There are plenty of activities happening each day and honestly, the animation team cannot do enough! They love what they do and always have a smile on their face. Each day they do fun games and activities around the pool as well as various sport activities: volleyball, football, Yoga, Zumba and tennis. Each evening there is a show or some form of entertainment. This is good for families with children, however we often just went to the beach bar and chilled there! There is also a waterpark which is open 10am-12pm and then 2pm-5pm. There are various slides and sun loungers to chill on here.

Tips

  • Take a hairdryer- there isn’t one in the room and I was left with wet hair each night!!
  • Take your own tumblers if you want a good sized drink
  • Take towel pegs as the wind sometimes blows your towel away!
  • The beach is quieter than the pool so if the pool has no loungers free, try the beach!
  • You don’t need to tip everyone.
  • Take cash and then you change your money in the hotel.
  • The nearest cash machine is 5 minute walk outside of the resort at a Shell garage.
A picture of the camel in the sunset on the beach.
Camels and sunsets!

Yes this is a resort holiday, so if you’re looking for a holiday where you explore outside the hotel, then this might not be for you! But if you are happy to chill by the pool and beach then it is perfect. This is a busy hotel (with over 5000 guests) so it is busy! We went end of August and we were surprised as it was generally quite quiet! Overall, we loved our stay at the Sahara Beach Aquapark Resort and we would love to go back one time again.

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