Hotel Samara

, Sousse, Tunisia
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Hotel Samara

, Sousse
4 star

Rooms: 234

Route de la Corniche - Sousse - 4001 - Tunisia Hotel Website | | +216-72226699
28 Traveller

Reviews - Hotel Samara

4/10
Hortel Samara, Sousse - 4 stars? No way!
Submitted by: Odd in 26/09/08
  • Age Group: 60 +
  • From: Denmark
  • Traveller type: Retired
I am just home again after a week at the SAMARA HOTEL in Sousse, Tunisia. It was a great week, but not on the account of the hotel...

On it's web-site the hotel boasts 4 stars. How they got them, and from whom, remains a mystery. Let it be said right away that the only 4-star thing about the SAMARA is the lobby (however marred by large posters promoting tours for the large Polish clientele, and transvestite show...) with its impressive chandelier and lots of marble everywhere. As soon as you procede beyond the lobby the stars vanish one by one.

The hotel consists of several structures grouped around two pool areas, the one for the kids and the other surrounded by tables, a stage and a bar - fine enough. The pool areas are very nice and well-kept - so are the passages and garden areas, so at first sight it all appears to be all right. That is, however, only until you enter your room, or apartment... or rather, your bathroom, because the problems seem to run together there.

The SAMARA is an old establishment with a history going back to the 1960's and at that time it surely was the last cry in (local)luxury - since then a lot of river water has run into the sea. Well, the SAMARA is still there, very much so, but such a thing as general maintenance, especially with regard to plumbing, has not in any way been the main issue. There is a lot of painting going on everywhere, however - they paint and paint, while the decay pops up underneath.

My room - 107 - was a regular twin, 1st floor just around the corner from the pool area - with a lovely balcony shaded by a majestic palm tree. Rather smallish, no drawers whatsoever, a few shelves, OK closet, a TV and, in my case, a brand-new Samsung fridge, plus sound-proofed balcony doors. All in all OK - especially for a single occupant (but I would have hated spending two weeks there with a room-mate!)

There was a nice and soft aircondition running during the day, which was switched off at midnight. Nice, as long as you could not adjust it yourself. No stiff necks or colds, thank God.

The maid service was as such OK - if not always thorough - each day new towels etc. But then there was the bath-room: 1) the toilet seat was loose and sitting on it you skidded around with a very unsafe feeling, 2) you had to pull the flush 4-5 times before everything got out, 3) there was always a puddle of water in the middle of the bathroom floor, seeping up from underneath the floor tiles (and from where?) The bath mat would soak up most of it, but then you always had a wet bath mat... 4) None of the bathrooms have showers, but tubs, whose tiled sides are very high and wide, and difficult - if not downright dangerous - to enter if you are not a relatively tall person. There was a small basket with a few shampoo bags and a soap, that's all. And yes, there was a bidet. And a closer look into the corners would reveal a thing or two to the hotel's definite disadvantage... The maids, however, did not do anything about the shortcomings by themselves.

In all fairness it should be added that some of the calamities were fixed after a friendly discussion with the front desk. But then again - all these thing should have been in order in the first place - aren't we talking about a 4-star hotel?

Other guests told of problems with their bathroom plumbings, too - I heard the one horror story after the other about no water, to much water, stuck faucets etc. Fridges not working, air-con going crazy etc.

Then - the place is an "All Inclusive" establishment concentrating on groups of young Polish people ready for action - most of them in their 20'es. And action they get - every night there is 120 dB of noise from the poolside stage where an hotel animation team is very active - the louder the better. The Polish "All inclusive" guests see to it that they get their money's worth - streams of beer and local booze galore... Get the picture?

Breakfast is included for all guests, and it was OK in every respect - there is all and everything to get the day started in a good way.

But the evening meal - the "dinner" - was something else. If you are not "All inclusive" they charge you 10 Dinars/USD 8.00 for it, and even that is a pretty high price for what you get. Mediocre is perhaps a "reasonable" word for the array of overcooked pastas, watery soups, tough "shoesole" beefs and so on. The young "All inclusive" Poles, however, who made up about 90% of the guests at the time I was there, could not care less - they ate everything in sight... just like locusts!

The SAMARA has its own section of the very fine beach, only five minutes away - again devided into non- and "All inclusive" patritions. The beach beds are, however, some ancient and all-wood things upon which they throw some very unappetizing mattresses - so bring your own towel! The charge, however, is reasonable - only 2 Dinars/USD 1.60 for the whole day. There is also an attached beach snackbar which serves the most delicious and cheap hamburgers or sandwiches or what have you for almost nothing - highly recommended!

All in all - would I return to the SAMARA? Both yes and no. If you are not too sensitive, then it is a feast, and a bargain - if not, it is a catastrophy! All said... But 4 stars? No way!

Top Local Tips for Sousse

Smelly Sousse Dont go unless you dont mind constant hassle horrible food cheap tacky souvineers

Be careful be prepared to be hassled by all the shopkeepers. Don't fall for tricks like locals pretending they work at your hotel & recognise you: They are trying to get you to shops for commission

out and about take a trip to Porta Kantouia on the little train 3.5 dinars return trip. Excellent value for money and a beautiful place to browze around. Also go to the Samara Casino to watch Changing Ladies a family drag show. Wonderful costumes and good clean entertainment.

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Other names for Hotel Samara

  • samara hotel sousse
  • hotel samara tunisia
  • Address: Route de la Corniche - Sousse - 4001 - Tunisia
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