Good hotel in nice location
The hotel is located in Hammamet North, 6 km from Hammamet center, direct on a beautiful beach. The hotel consists of a main building (two floors) and three lateral buildings (one floor). It is surrounded by a very nice, well-kept park. There are two outdoor swimming pools and one indoor. Other facilities: two restaurants, outdoor barbecue, three bars, swimming pool bar, hammam, spa, disco, two shops, deckchairs and beach umbrellas for free.
The rooms are spacious, with TV, air conditioning, minibar, bathroom with separated WC. The food is quite good though sometimes it may be repetitive (especially the desserts).
All in all a good place to stay, but don't expect to find here the same characteristics that a hotel of the same category (4-stars) may have for example in Europe! That is to say: no luxury, but still a place I would recommend, especially because of its good price and nice location.
La Marsa-Gawwarth, hotel at the beach
The first time we visited our friends in la Marsa we were with three adults and two kids. So we stayed not in their house, but in the nearby hotel Abou Nawas at the beach. After breakfast it was a nice walk along the beach to the beach house of our friends, not far from the centre of la Marsa. The Abou Nawas Gammarth Hotel is situated in lovely parkland and landscaped grounds. The two main restaurants have a nice view at the white sandy beach and the sea. There is a Moorish cafe, a gift shop, a bank, swimming pools. In the meantime after our stay the hotel is renovated in 2001.
Abou Nawas Sfax Centre
This is Sfax, so the prices don't change a whole lot with the season, but a single room was 92 TND/night. Very expensive for Tunisia, I must say, but not particularly expensive by U.S. standards Hey, it's got good, high pressure hot water, which is a nice change from a lot of Tunisian hotels. Also, even if you decide to stay somewhere else while in Sfax, you should make a trip to the Cafe Africa. The picture on this page is of a couple of friends I made while we were hanging out there. It's a great place to go and have a drink, and one of a handful of bars where men and women can go together (most Tunisian bars are for men only). Drinks are expensive by Tunisian standards, but are cheap compared to US standards. Very nice decor, and an excellent place to pass the time indoors.
Five-star hotel for Business
This hotel is not cheap at all. However, I appreciated the fact that this is near my temporary office at the African Development Bank. All I had to do was cross the street. The staff was courteous and helpful, including the doorman who was dressed like the Aladdin of your basic fairy tale book, and of course, the bellboy who had been the lucky recipient of my 10USD tip. (I was too tired and jet-lagged to realize that perhaps, I had given him too much for wheeling in my bag.) The hotel has a few restaurants. The Lebanese mezze at the El Medina restaurant was fantastic, and yes, meant to be shared with at least 2 other people. The breakfast buffet (about 10TND if not included in the nightly rate) is a rather good spread. And yes, those tunisian pears are the best I've tasted. Perhaps there are other hotels in Tunisia with better facilities, or a more interesting location (like the newly-developed Berges-du-Lac area) but Hotel Abou Nawas Tunis gets a big plus point because of its proximity to la BAD. The hotel is located just 10-15 minutes away from the Tunis-Carthage Airport, a walk away from the post office, and the African Development Bank.
Room with a view
This hotel is listed as 5 star in brochures. I could see that it was once a 5 star, but wouldn't describe it as such anymore. I did think the staff were, on the whole, lovely. (and there were an awful lot of them!)
There were fierce storms the day I arrived and water did come into my room through the bottom of the glass doors, but they were quick to supply towels for mopping & having a tiled floor, damage wasn't a problem.
The rooms were clean and beds firm which are my main requirements for any hotel. A side note... toilet paper was not in abundance - there was only a part roll when I arrived, and when it ran out it was replaced with another part roll.
I was there for New Years and the hotel organised an "extravaganza" which include a dinner and various musical acts. It was a fun event, but their organisational abilities were unimpressive. It supposedly began at 8pm. We were let into the function room at about 9.30. Entree arrived at 10.45 and the main course didn't arrive until the next year! But there was music and dancing and it was all good.
I used the "Health Centre" for a massage. Going there took you past the shabbier bits of the hotel, and the health centre itself looked like it had seen better days. The staff there didn't seem particularly happy to see me, and the towel I was given was stained (though clean). My massage was ok, although not brilliantly effective.
The food in the cafe was pretty reasonable & the tea a la menthe scrummy. (for those unfamiliar with the term, scrummy is a good thing) Breakfasts were great - a wide range of options both hot and cold. There were pastries, salads, halwa, fruit both fresh and preserved, crepes, orange juice squeezed on the spot, & omelettes made on demand. Non smoking tables but not a section as such, which was a pity, but being able to gaze out over the sea at breakfast was nice.
One oddity was that after 5pm the bar does not sell coffee. Strange but true.
I know my review lists quite a few little problems, but really I would recommend this hotel. There are many many 5 star hotels in Tunisia. Most, however, go up; tall buildings, each room with a distant view of the beach. Abou Nawas Gammarth has the distinct advantage that the rooms are ground level spreading across in 3 long lines. My room had doors going straight out to the lawns beside the pools and looked directly over the sea. lovely.
There was another row of rooms in front of me, on the beachfront, but look at that view and you wouldn't know it at all! (my room was numbered in the mid 200s in case you want to request a similar spot)
The restaurants all had lovely sea views too.
la Marsa, hotel Abou Nawas
Gammarth, beach in front of the Abou Nawas hotel
best place on tunisian coast
I'm planning to go to Tunisia in the second half of august.
Which place on the tunisian coast do you think is the best: Hammamet, Port El Kantoui, Sousse, Mehdina...? I'm interested first of all in the beauty of see&beach.
Thank you in advance for your suggestions!
RE: best place on tunisian coast
I've been to Tunisia many times. I've stayed in both Port El Khantoui and Hammamet. Sousse is nice to visit, but is very built up. The Medina is definatley worth a visit. The Port is lovely, small and quiet - about 5 miles from Sousse.
Hammamet is larger and the beach is lovely. I have stayed in a couple of the hotels here and they really do differ in quality. By far the best hotel I have stayed in in Tunisia is the Iberostar Phenicia which is located in Hammamet - between Hammamet town and Hammamet Yasmine.
Hope this helps
RE: RE: best place on tunisian coast
Thank for your answer.
Yesterday I've booked a week in Hammamet at the Hotel Abou Nawas. I think I'll take a trip to Sousse and Tunis too.
Can anyone suggest a decent mid-range hotel in Sfax for 2 nights ? I'm not having too much luck searching over the usual travel booking pages.
Re: Sfax hotels
I've stayed at the Abou Nawas(www.abounawas.com), maybe a bit too expensive for "mid range" the Rough Guide lists several others:
Hotel de la Piax Tel: 74296437 Fax:74296463
Thyna Tel:74225317 Fax:74225773
Just a couple,
Re: Sfax hotels
The Hotel de la Paix is a bit...well...dingy! It's the cheapest in the new town, 14TD a room. In the same road is the Hotel Alexandre, which was being refurbished so may be worth looking at. Tel: +216 4 21911
Hotel Thyna: http://www.hotel-thyna.com/ang/index.html website says 55TD a room
More expensive is the impressive Hotel des Oliviers, which it seems can be booked online: http://www.goldenyasmin.com/oliviers-palace/en/index.htm
I suppose it depends on what you class as mid-range.
Re: Sfax hotels
You can also look into Hotel El Andalous (+216 74 406 115) and Hotel Syfax (+216 74 243 333) however it's a bit farther from downtown, but it does have a pool. Both hotels are around 40TND during low-season.