26 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Holiday of a lifetime - we want to go back!
"What a fabulous place to stay! We have tried to book to go back but Thomas Cook have dropped their rating in next years brochure and now we can't get it booked, the woman in store told us it was to do with health and safety - I don't think so. Our first time in Tunisia and reviews had frightened us. Three stars accomodation definately, but the waiters and animators Wissem, Lodfi and Sammi were the best! Don't forget to tip them well before you go home, they deserve it. The daytime entertainment grows on you and really gets the kids occupied. The night time entertainment is similar each week, but we found that there were two versions of some shows, like the snake man and the Changing Ladies (no they are not ladies but very funny family entertainment) The animators work from about 10 am through to 2am with only a couple of hours siesta. There was supposed to be a bingo each night but at the start of the second week lots of tourists from Russia and Poland came and said it was too expensive (2 TD!) And they don't buy drinks just hog the seats. It became obvious that the staff were a little annoyed because they like to see everyone enjoying themselves. Even a bottle of water on the table and they are happy.
We did not see one insect in the restaurant (contrary to many moans on review sites) in fact the restaurant was air conditioned and the waiters made sure everyone was comfortable. We did the two day trip to Sahara, what an experience (175 TD per adult and 25 TD for camel and pony rides - half price for children booked through rep). DONOT TAKE YOUR PURSE OR WALLET OUT OF YOUR POCKET IN EL JEM. Only for the fact I wasn't knocked to the ground I would say I was mugged. Don't take the postcards off the guys who shove them in your face as you get off the bus. He told me 2TD but when I took my purse out, he stuck his hand in and took about 15 before I knew what was going on. Stay in a 4 star hotel overnight (Very posh hotel and a very large insect landed on the table next to my 6 yr old - the only person not laughing at the fuss he made was the man sat behind him then covered in ice cream - tee hee). All meals covered (4 & 5 star hotels) during the two day trip and what a view of the salt lakes, mountains, desert and oasis all in one go from Cherbika. The sunrise over the salt lakes is absolutely suberb. Coach gets a bit boring so take a DS or good book.
The sea is beautiful and such a short walk from the poolside, we were hopping between the two. You can go out a good 2-300 metres and the water is still quite shallow with little fish swimming around if you stand really still. After going in the sea go back to the pool, rinse your feet and get straight into the pool - it feels so warm although the sea is not cold! The shop on site is a rip off which I only discovered when I bought cigarettes for the tenth time only to be told by the new member of staff that I was paying 1TD too much. Inflatable Lilo and Rings and the sarongs - think of a number and double it. There is a shop over the road and everything is less than half the price. I got a 68TD sarong for 10TD by just walking away - they will be quite happy to take your money off you if you don't be careful.
Small beer is 3,300, large 6.600 (about Â£3) Cokes vary but are around 2 TD, Boga (lemonade) 2TD and large bottle of cold water 1.6TD. Pizza around 8 TD and Toasted paninis with salad and fries 5,5TD. A wide range of food each night including some basic staple of chicken, fries, pasta and salads if you aren't feeling the vibe over some of the food.
Be open minded and experience as much as possible - DH had a scorpion on his head one night! My 8 yo daughter jumped off the boat to swim in the sea and held a bird of prey, my 6 yo son learned to dive with the pool man and animators. They both rode a camel in the Sahara! We met a lovely woman teaches belly dancing (and happens to live around the corner from us - you can't take scousers anywhere!) She invited us to her show in the Miramar (next door) how brilliant! This place is fantastic and we are all totally gutted that we can't go back there. We've opted for Les Orangers with another company, and it is next door to the Miramar and Fourati so we can wander back if we fancy. You know you've had a good holidays when the kids are crying because they don't want to come home!"
- Travel date: Sat 27th of June 2009
Hotel layout Doesn't look much from the...
Doesn't look much from the outside, but once through the entrance gate it opens into a tree lined grove leading to a marble reception area.
I was told that the site covers some 6 hectares. The accomodation is set roughly like a large square of 3 storey buildings, the gardens are inside that square full of large palms, shrubs, tratoria, bars and seating areas with mosaic pathways throughout. The beach is about a minute's walk through the gardens.
Not a good start - hostile female receptionist, it was as if we were interrupting her from some other more important task.
Got to our room around 2:00pm to hear loud disco music blasting away at the pool (thoughts - oh no, not another Grand Canaria type resort) fortunately it stopped in under an hour - it was just for a water aerobics session.
Basic, perhaps even primitive but clean, which is all we wanted. Face it, if you want all the home comforts you don't book into a 3 star hotel. Every day the floor was cleaned, beds made and the towels were changed. Fantastic views fom our balcony.
3 pools, massage rooms, in house cafe, bars, beautiful gardens, etc.
I'm probably different to most here, but frankly I would have been delighted if there was no entertainment at all. I enjoy pop and disco music the same as most, but I really would like to be able to choose when I listen to it. Every day from 5:30 pm in the center of the gardens, so there was no escape, the same "entertainer" started an endless procession of karaoke backing tracks and pretend to play the keyboard. He would occasionally join in, and proceed to murder the song (my wife and I are entertainers). And nooooo, it isn't sour grapes, honestly!!! :-), but at least people can choose when to listen to us. He finishes at 10:30, then the disco, or other entertaiment would begin and often carry on into the small hours; we didn't get a lot of sleep!
Again, this aint no 5 star hotel, it was adequate. Sometimes a lot of queueing.
Table arrangements weren't explained by the rep.
For info.: you are given a blue ticket on your first day, give that to a waiter who will set aside a table for you for your whole stay; the ticket stays on the table. This applies to the evening meal only, breakfast appears to be a free for all.
We had two brilliant waiters looking after us, bearing in mind that I didn't get around to tipping them till the 3rd day.
We didn't go on any, but friends we made there said the excursion organisers tried to pack too much into the day.
They don't command our sort of income, and are all deperate to make a crust, so they do come across as rather pushy. If you're not interested in what they have, just politely refuse and keep walking.
The worst part for us is the way they treat their animals, the hotel has a few semi-feral cats (friendly) which appear to rely solely on holiday makers for food and water. Outside the hotel, there is often a carriage with two emaciated, parched horses standing in the hot sun, yet we still see people giving the owner trade! There were many other horrific instances of neglect/indifference, but this is turning into a rant, so I'll stop now.
Would I go again?
Loved the hotel and setting, but no, not unless they made a drastic cut in the noise pollution (Oops sorry, entertainment)."
- Travel date: Fri 26th of September 2008
We have been going to the Fourati since...
"We have been going to the Fourati since 2003, both with my parents and with friends. Having been to Tunisia at another hotel we found the Fourati absolutley fantastic. The staff from cleaners to management are friendly and helpful. This is a 3 star hotel and represents total value for money. The meals are varied and plentiful, my Dad is a little bit picky but even he was pleasantly surprised. Yes if you are there for 2 weeks the menu will be repeated but there is enough variety you can always choose something different. The large outdoor pool is kept really clean by Nassa the head pool attendant and anything he can do to make your stay better he wil do. He is a lovely man. The entertainment team is led by Samir and he does a fantastic job there is always something on at night and during the day the entertainment is there if you want it but if you dont there is no pressure. Samir is always on hand to help with anything you could possibly need. I would recommend this hotel to anyone wanting a relaxing or fun filled holiday in very pleasant surroundings. Yes we always tip the waiters but then that is the polite thing to do when you have had really good service but there is no need to go over the top. Anyone who does not like this hotel must either be extremly hard to please or they are expecting a 5 star hotel but only want to pay for a 3 star. ( There are people out there that expect more than they want to pay for)"
- Travel date: Fri 5th of September 2008
The following details are from my recent...
"The following details are from my recent holiday in HAMMAMET SOUTH, TUNISIA! The hotel fourati is situated about 7 kilometres from Hammamet Centre! And lies within a group of hotels,shops,cafÃ©s and bars,you could describe it as a mini village,which is just one road off the main highway,and very close to the sea! Walking in a easterly direction, you exit the main reception lobby of the hotel fourati,and steps take you down into a sunken garden,which is sea level! Continue through the landscaped garden for about 100metres,and you end up on the hotels private beach! Either side of the gardens are two Bars,a nightclub,outdoor amusments,ie table tennis ect ect! And also tennis courts!Within the confines of the garden,there are many seating areas,to relax and shelter from the sun! There are two outside swimming pools,one of them close to the reception area! The large indoor pool spills out onto the outside pool,and the larger outside pool overlooks the beach! The main restaurant overlooks the gardens on the 1st floor! We are talking about a 3 star hotel,and in my opinion,the standard of service is of a high quality! And the rooms are comfortable and spacious,the staff are very polite and friendly! To many guests,the food is most important,all i can say is,you will see various different ways the food is cooked/presented! This was my second stay in Tunisia,and ive throughly enjoyed myself each time,so much so,that ive rebooked my next trip in November 2008! "
- Travel date: Fri 29th of August 2008
I think people that rate this hotel low...
"I think people that rate this hotel low are being unfair. You get what you pay for. Do not book a 3 star hotel and expect 5 star. I stayed at the Fourati with my husband and family. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The rooms were clean and serviced properly everyday. All our facilities worked except for the remote for the TV. When I asked reception to swap it, they replaced it straight away. The food was plentiful. If you are there for two weeks then the menu is repeated however there is so much choice you dont need to eat the same menu twice. If you use the pizzeria or the fast food bar the food is also of verygood quality. Pizza's cost around Â£4.50 for a large 14inch size. You must try the Crepes for breakfast/brunch.
The staff are very helpful and very pleasant as are the locals working on a couple of stalls outside and the people in the shop over the road. We are returning again July 2008
All booked and cant wait :)
- Travel date: Wed 11th of June 2008
Loved the pool+ beach area food was boring
"We have just returned from this 7 night holiday and after reading some of the reviews were aprehensive but once we arrived these worries were unfounded. In its day I would imange it was a 5 star experience but the hotel is looking a little tired now. our room was basic but clean with towels and bedding changed daily. We found all the staff very friendly and helpful but could be a little quicker with the service although the reception staff would not win personality of the year award but were efficient in their duties. the food was basic and repetative but edible. surrounding restaraunts Cascades around the corner and all the resteraunts in Yasmine Marina are are reasonably priced with superb service and food and are worth a visit to break the stay up without breaking the bank. The pool area and the beach are superb and so long as the sun shines this hotel is great. The bars are ok and the entertainment ok perhaps a little to holiday campish. There are other bars and hotels locally that can be visited to not make your evenings boring. It is only a 3 star and that is what you get. I think some of the previous reviewers seemed to want a 5 star experience and should have gone to a 5 star. We enjoyed our holiday and so long as you dont go with 5 star expectations you should have a good time"
- Travel date: Tue 25th of March 2008
Ok if you like your holiday REALLY quiet in January
"A Hotel that grew from a villa, which during the second world war was occupied by an Italian General. It then became a site for the British and an enterprising senior officer kept it after the War ended. This from a Thomson Guide.
The Hotel was then built by the Fourati family around the original villa and is pleasant but dated.
The gardens are attractive and it is nice to walk straight out onto the beach, and then continue in either direction. Especially to Hamemet and its Medina there (though told not to visit late in the day!)
Food is ok and our room though very basic was kept clean, although the staff kept forgetting to leave soap.
At this time of year it is empty save a very few elderly people from Europe who stay there for long periods away from the cold at home. It was pleasant and warm during daylight but cold at night.
We left the Hotel to join the Tunisian safari experience for 3 days, a trip well worth taking for less than Â£100 each. Includes two nights at hotels, all meals, ride on a camel at sunset in the Sahara, 4x4 ride through the desert to a Star Wars set (circa 2000), wonder at the magnificence of the colliseum at El Djem, visit to Mamata and the people who live in caves, train ride through gorges and mountains, stop at the Atlas mountains and much more!
We enjoyed our time, even though at my age I felt very young at the Hotel, but once again during a trip to North Africa the attitude of the Arican men to white women (my wife) really angers me. White meat for their leering and drooling...if we did it to their women there would be uproar !!!! this again will stop me going back for sometime.
Try bartering, but be prepared for an angry reaction should you get the price too low or refuse to buy. They will then throw it at you in an attempt to say you have had it off them. Be strong or you you will pay far too much. I was happy with a leather jacket I bought for Â£63 when the lady first asked for Â£200. She forgot to be a lady once I had it at my price !! This was in a one price shop, where they try to tell you that there is no bartering, this changes when you go to leave !
On the whole we enjoyed our last minute booking to Tunisia, go if you want a really quiet holiday (although it was maybe a bit too quiet at the Hotel for us), dont mind being hassled to buy and your lady being drooled at."
- Travel date: Tue 29th of January 2008
What can I say? Hotel Fourati was truly...
"What can I say?
Hotel Fourati was truly amazing. A really lovely Hotel with many attractions.
A large outdoor pool and a smaller pool located on the site. The smaller being tucked away with a bar at the pool side.
The best part of this holiday was the small pool. Hidden away there was only 10 - 20 people daily around this pool whilst the bigger pool was busy.
Swim across the pool to and sit on the underwater seats whilst being served at the pool side - Very relaxing.
Clean and well kept Hotel and grounds. Staff very friendly and very helpful.
Apartment also very clean and very well kept, one of the best I have come across.
Food was extremely good and the service fantastic, help you areas with lots to choose.
Local area very nice, walk straight from the grounds onto the lovely beach. Nice relaxing holiday with good entertainment.
For a bit of excite look for water sports on the beaches, safariâs in the Tunisia Desert. Camel rides - they are fun.
A really super holiday, exceptional good value."
- Travel date: Thu 8th of November 2007
INTRODUCTION: Can I just say that I am q...
Can I just say that I am quite disappointed with the narrow minded reviews that have been written, and I refuse to believe that the people that they were written by have actually visited the hotel.
I loved the hotel, as I went with my two kids who really wanted to stay a second week.
When I first came, it was nighttime, and I was unhappy. The entrance to the hotel wasn't too charming. The front display of green lights, however, was beautiful. When we were escorted to our hotel room, I was a little disappointed, because I thought the holiday would not be what I previously thought of it. In the daytime, however it was a beautiful sight to behold. We browsed round the brilliant facilities. Here are just some:
- 2 outdoor pools
- 1 heated indoor pool
- A cold jacuzzi (to cool off from the weather)
- A Turkish bath
- A Gym
- 2 Massage rooms
- A beach
The night entertainment was so good! From belly dancers to snake enchanters, to Miss Fourati (chosen from audience & voted by audience) - You name it!
Here is where the fun came in. They had everything you could want, swimming with dolphins, pirate sea adventures, Sahara exploring, camel riding, and water skiing.
The food was...interesting and exotic. British, German, Italian, Spanish, Tunisian menus. There was also a fruit variety and salads.
Overall, I thought this was a holiday to enjoy, and that the hotel rating was well above three stars.
- Travel date: Mon 22nd of October 2007
This was our second visit to this hotel...
"This was our second visit to this hotel in as many years. We found the hotel lovely, the staff were very helpful when we arrived. We were shown our room it was not what we booked so went to reception and shown our tickets and within five minutes we were given another room which was fantastic, loads of space, big balcony with a fab view of the sea.
We have all ready booked to go back to this hotel in November 2007 and we are taking my partners parents and brother and wife in May 2008 for two weeks.
If people want posh hotels they should book five star not three star but I would give this hotel more than its three star rating we love it and hope to have many more holidays in this hotel."
- Travel date: Mon 8th of October 2007
NOT BAD NOT GOOD
"We have just returned from this hotel after two weeks stay the hotel is set in its own grounds as you can see from my photos.
The beach is great it was hot in the ninties the sea great and our room was basic but clean and was looked after vey well for the two weeks i cannot fault that. The animation team did a great job with activities throughout the day and the entertainment was not bad at night we had a different act on every night this was about it. The food was cold every night and their was no selection it was chicken every night same veg rice and cous cous and chips and sweets were melon and a piece of sponge cake every night it was bad, you are given a table when you arrive and this table is yours for your stay well it is all rush from when you walk through the resturant doors we were in and out in 40 min this included drinking a bottle of wine the out side resturants on the hotel grounds where you can have snacks and your lunch were just as bad the food arrived cold we did not get some meals we orded and did not get some drinks either. It is very bad management and untill that is sorted it will not get any better.
the water sports from the beach are their as we found out after staying their for 13 days when the beach had pedlows banana boat rids etc and a price board this was to please the visit from a manager or owner was due this was the only day these were out all the outher days the lads just sat around or whent chating up the girls i would not go back"
- Travel date: Tue 4th of September 2007
WHY SUCH A LOW RATING? When one goes on...
"WHY SUCH A LOW RATING?
When one goes on holiday the accommodation is your home and it is important that the standards are good. Regrettably not so at the Fourati which was the Hotel allocated to us 'On Arrival' basis
We unfortunately arrived on a Thomas Cook flight that had been delayed 3 1/2 hours (No fault of Cooks - mechanical problem with aircraft at Newcastle) but it meant we arrived at the Fourati about 1.30am. A sullen receptionist issued a room key but I had to ask to be shown the way. Unbelievably the man that was tasked to guide us to the room did not know where it was! It took about 15 mins of wandering around, up and down stairs and along passages until our room was located. Accommodation at the Fourati is in separate blocks of 3 floors set out in the mature grounds.
This was the first blow. Briefly the room was dirty. The towels were grey and stained. The air conditioning did not work (later mended) and the telephone did not work (or nobody wanted to answer). The shower was faulty. The paintwork and decoration was shabby. The balcony furniture was filthy. The toilet seat didn't fit. We were not the only people to find this situation. One other couple were issued with a room in which they found previously used and unmade beds!
The chef should be removed - or maybe he has - because the food was as miserable and tasteless as the accommodation. Repetitive, unimaginative, poor quality. Interestingly word of this low quality has spread outside the hotel as we received sympathetic comments from locals.
The gardens have been established over many years and in the central area are well tended and beautiful. However other parts, between the accommodation blocks, are rough, have been little cared for and look decidedly forsaken. The pitch and putt course for example is decaying and unused just adjacent to a childrenâs play area.
Superb - walk through the garden and you are on the beach. Lovely sand but getting full of 'fag' ends discarded by smokers. Even here a little housekeeping is needed.
Employees mostly very friendly in the dining room and bars. Some of the waiters were a bit grumpy.
This could be a super hotel. Itâs an old building that for the sake of ongoing maintenance has been allowed to slowly decay from its former glory. Certainly by today's standards does not warrant a three star rating. The question arises whether Thomas Cook have inspected it recently because one thing is sure The Hotel Fourati is not doing Thomas Cook any PR favours.
- Travel date: Mon 16th of July 2007