48 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Limping along - will it return to its' former glory?
"I have just returned from staying in this Hotel which was in my opinion one of the best in the world that I have stayed or contracted in and have probably stayed there over the past 20 years more that 50 times. Though sadly this time we will never return. It has slowing been going down hill since this Management of Sentido took over and this Animation Team and now with the Revolution and all the bombings there killing tourists though this did not stop this Hotel selling trips to Tunis and the Museum where it all happened. I feel sorry for the staff in general who are excellent and don't deserve this. They have more Management and Animation staff than Guests but lay off the reason why the Hotel was so great. "
- Travel date: 9th April 2015
NICE HOTEL shame about some of the staff....
"Stayed at this hotel from 7th Sept for 2 weeks.. 1st impressions.. the reception area is very clean and 96% of the staff are very pleasant.. arrived at 10.45ish at night greeted with a complimentary drink the ushered down to the restaurant where food was available.. The bar ( Oasis) in the reception area served us a drink to be told it was closing at 11.30â¦ We were told to go to the âDisco Barâ which will be serving till 2amâ¦.. THIS IS WHERE THE PROBLEMS STARTEDâ¦ The so called bar manager with the glasses on was very rude.. we ordered a drink to be told âGOODNIGHTâ thinking itâs a one off, bar closing early at 12.15.. went back for another drink where again he was very abrupt and VERY rude to his staff who were cleaning the room and tidying up. He reluctantly served myself and partner a drinkâ¦ We sat outside on the terrace. Same thing happened nearly every night even new arrivals were upset at his attitude.. The last night he would not serve us or other guest at 1.30am despite the information stating that the bar was open till 2am.. The entrance to the bar which is down some steps was NOT lit and was dangerous the lighting was not on at any time after about 12pm when the animation / shows were finished.. The actual hotel and grounds were very nice, the pool areaâs and beach were good also.. ALL the staff work so hard in all aspects of there jobâ¦â¦ The bar staff in the âdisco barâ does not deserve to be disrespected by this so called manager.. HE SHOULD BE REMOVED from his job as he is bad for customers. Other comments.. I suggest that the âOasis Barâ stay open till 2am and close the âDiscoBarâ at 11.30 as this makes sense for people sitting in the seating and outside areaâs. Will not be going back to this hotelâ¦ "
- Travel date: 22nd September 2014
"having been to Tunisia for the last 7 years .we were looking forward to another stay in this lovely country but it was not to be. the hotel is not what I expect for a 4star. not dirty but not clean,on arrival we were hearded in to what I later found out to be the bar that you had to pay for drinks (all inc?) the seats and tables had been wiped with a beer soaked cloth and were sticky (yuk)after checking in we went to the restaurant to be told we could only eat dinner at 7 or 8oclock because they were full. we had to share a table with another couple and it felt like school dinners. the staff are good but over worked. the entertainment room was far to small. those on 7oclock dinner had all the seats, maybe they should stagger the entertainment too? plus smokers be aware no smoking in this room or in reception (not heard of in Tunisia)pool" dirty black grease sticking to the side of pool. i could go on, there are a lot better hotels in Tunisia please don't be put off this fantastic country just the phenicia"
- Travel date: 23rd July 2013
a great relaxing holiday
"me and my partner stayed here for a week and couldnt ask for anymore. from the minute we got out of the taxi to leaving all the staff we very welcoming and always happy to help if you had a problem. booking in very quick, luggage was carried to your room by the very helpful porters and they even showed us how to work the safe.we arrived late on sunday evening and were hungry so hotel got the kitchen staff to make us and other late arrivals something to eat. the rooms are basic but hey your on holiday and only need them to sleep get washed in and change. the food was great from breakfast time to evening time. you would never go hungry as so much to choose from. the pools were clean and the area around both pools were very clean and well maintained so couldnt ask for anymore.the beach was well looked after and there was always an attendant on duty to get you a lounger matt once you got somewhere to relax. the animation team were always on the go and very cheerful and helpfull even though they tried to get you to do activities they had on but a simple no thankyou and they just left you alone. i found out these guys and girls worked 15hrs a day 6 day a week for 80 dinar which is about Â£32 and is an absolute insult for the amount of work they all put in. hopefully the hotel mite look at this and give them more funding to produce some even better shows than they already did. finaly to all the staff from gardeners to the managers thankyou for a brilliant first time at your hotel and first time in tunisia carnt wait to go back. p.s weather was outstanding. for anyone wanting to book this hotel please do as you wont be dissappointed. ive been to worse places and paid alot more. once again to all the people at hotel phenicia thankyou and hope to see you all again soon. cheers the raine party. "
- Travel date: 24th June 2012
Fantastic holiday-shame about the towels!
"We stayed at the Phenicia after a stay at a Sentido hotel in Turkey. We were really pleased with our stay here. We had a lovely holiday. Our stay was for 11 nights. On arrival, we were given cool towels and a refreshing lemon drink. Registering did not take too long and then it was up to our room. I was worried about the room after reading some of the reviews, but my fears were needless, it was fine. Spacious, very clean and overlooking the gardens as we had requested. The bedding and towels looked as though they were changed daily. The food was excellent. Always a huge choice of cold and hot food. Always fresh pasta with different sauces. Usually a carvery. Soup was delicious, as were the desserts. There was icecream that you served yourself. We tried the Asian Restaurant and although the food was good, it was no better than the main restaurant. There was also a charge here. The other restaurant we did not use. We asked to look at the menu, but there was nothing that we really wanted to try. Shame really, as it looked lovely, romantic too! We are an older couple who would not normally join in with activities. Because of the first 5+ days without any sunshine, Dido managed to persuade us to 'have a go' at archery. He was a very good teacher (and archer) and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. My husband managed a decent score, I was rubbish (blame it onto my age, I am!) These animation boys and girls work tirelessly to entertain. Their routines on the stage were awesome. The energy, and the remembering of countless routines leave you shaking your head in wonder. All of the staff that we had dealings with were lovely. So attentive. We felt very 'cared for'. The sun came out on the 6th day and was hot until the end of our holiday. We just laid in the sun and read our books (there is a small library of books in the Reps/wifi section). There is free wifi for laptops in the reception area. There is a fitness centre and indoor pool. A quiet pool and a large one where aerobics were carried out. And a shop for crisps, chocolate, nrewspapers, swimwear and gifts etc. We took our own travel kettle etc for the room. The only down side with the Phenicia was the situation with the pool/beach towels. We have been to many hotels that supply these and do not usually take our own. There has been a point where you hand in dirty towels and collect clean and we take full advantage of this, changing them at the end of each day. At the Phenicia the pool towels are in the bedroom on arrival. We arrived on a Wednesday for an 11 night stay. In all of this time we did not have the pool towels changed. On enquiring, well into our holiday, we were told 'the Housekeeper changes them on Tuesdays and Saturdays'. This presumably means that you have to stay in your room until the clean towels are delivered! We did not meet anyone that had clean towels!!! Sentido must surely review this state of affairs. I dread to think what it is like in the heighth of Summer, with everyone using sweaty towels full of sun lotion day after day! Other than that, we cannot fault the hotel and would have no hesitation in recommending it."
- Travel date: 16th October 2010
The worst holiday ever
"After returning from a 2 week stay at the Phenicia hotel i was very disappointed at how the standards and cleanliness of the hotel have dropped since recently changing hands from Iberostar to Sentido.I visited the hotel with my husband and 14 month old baby and was not impressed when we were served raw chicken at lunchtime in the burger bar and another thing that annoyed us were the staff taking the order clearly couldnt understand english as nearly every order we recieved was wrong and if we werent served raw meat the food was often cold.At mealtimes in the evening we found the food very boring and repetative the english werent catered for much if you like eating bread and chips everyday you will be fine.When we booked the holiday we thought it was meant to be all inclusive but we found it hard to get a drink at certain times of the day and you were limited on what types of drinks you could have for example you could only get tea at breakfast time and afternoon tea and at mealtimes if you asked for water with your dinner you got a glass and not a bottle like we received on the previous times we visited we felt like the company was cost cutting and we found that the fizzy drinks were flat so we ended up buying our own drinks from the shop.We found that some of the staff were very rude and the bar staff seem to serve men before women so my husband had to fetch the drinks everytime.As for the pool area it was disgusting there were ciggerette ends everywhere and this was the same at the beach my baby actually picked one up and when i complained nobody was interested.The room was ok very basic we had a permanant smell of sewage in our corridor as we stayed on the ground floor it was vile.We had no beach towels for the 1st 2 days of our holiday and the bath towels were never changed i had to soak mine in the bath to get the maid to change them and our bedlinen wasnt changed for 9 days how disgusting.If you want a holiday to chillout and relax this certainly isnt it if its not the animation team bothering you to play games allday its groups of unsupervised children running riot we eneded up going to the beach just to be left alone.I complained about this to the hotel and all they could do was give us a bottle of wine and a bowl of fruit that we could of got anyway as it was all inclusive we would never stop in any of there hotels again."
- Travel date: 23rd June 2010
I have just returned from 2 weeks holida...
"I have just returned from 2 weeks holiday at this hotel and it was brilliant! The weather was great and the hotel was fantasic. The staff cant do enough for you and the hotel is very clean. The rooms are basic but very clean. The staff are friendly without being over friendly. Although I must say that the food is quite repetative, the breakfast are good if you can stomach cheese, cold meats, salad and German sausage. But there is food avaiable through out the day, endles Crepes and Ice cream for all!! Dinner was great, pasta avaiable every night, Tunisian Special and something from the grill avaiable every night also. I highly recommend the massage and the horse riding, the shop is also very nice and the jewlery shop is great (got some good bargins in there!!) The reception staff are great and they really took the stress out of checking in and checking out. We were not allowed to touch our bags at all, the porters unloaded the bages from the coach and took them all in the hotel, we were all asked to go into the disco and reqister. We were give a sheet that you have to fill in with all the parties DOB and passport numbers then you are tagged!! (so you can get fed and watered lol!!) Once that has happened we were taken up to our rooms and shown in by the porter again. All in all a relaxing start to the holiday. One other thing that was a pain is the sunbed situation, my dad was getting up at 6.15am just to get 4 sunbeds (and then it was usually the last 4) people were reserving beds on the beach and by the pool and they were also paying the pool guy (who is already paid by the hotel and he should not be accepting the tip!!). We went out the Yasmine Hammamet & Hammamet Madinas and they were ok but not great. In the Old Hammament Madina the stall holders were horrid, blocking your path and touching you, feel free to swear at the esp if you are a woman!! They will be mortified....lol!!! The holiday was brilliant could have done another few days there"
- Travel date: 26th August 2008
The best holiday yet! I'm 16 and i went...
"The best holiday yet! I'm 16 and i went with my family of 5, we all LOVED IT. Anyone who complains has very little ground to go on as far as i can see, nothing was dirty or unhealthy and i believe that the staff were some of the most helpfull people i've ever met... i seriously think anyone who could say otherwise need their heads checked... and yeh ok so some people say its just so they can get tips... well to be honest at the wage of about Â£3 a day who can blame them... they aren't looking for much just the odd few dinars (Â£1) here and there... Lots of people have complained about the entertainment and i can see where they are coming from but to be fair to the animation team, they constanlty do their up most best to make you enjoy it... and are always on the go, on the nights of beach parties they dont go to bed untill atleast 1.30 then are up bright and early at 9 for the first activity everyday...i certainly wouldn't be able to do it! You will NOT be bored with the lack of activities unless you are fussy... and the evening performances where a bit dodgey at times but with the amount the animation team does during the day whether its aqua-robics, volleyball, darts, cards, bowls etc it's surprising they have time to put anything together for the evening! They constantly do their best to help make you feel involved. And they are reallllllllly friendly. The reps are brilliant.. any problems such as blinking light bulbs etc just ask the rep and it will be sorted immediatly. If you are thinking of going then a few things to bear in mind: - Take immodium as chances are you will have a bad stomach... take a few of these and you will be sorted - When on the beach sit on the second row (or back further) so the beach sellers cant hassle you - You will be hassled by shopkeepers to go into their shops if you go into the market, so wear sunglasses so you can pretend you can't see them, they'll tell you ANYTHING to get you in their shop such as :- 'I'm from your hotel'. 'theres a festival lasting 2 days this is the last day everything will be gone tomorrow' ' can you tell me what/how much...is this in english' (whilst leading you into the shop) 'i love you' ' you are beautiful' 'no hassle' (they are lieing). - When the camel goes up and down the beach stroke it and such if you want but if you don't want a go DONT sit on it, even if its just to take a picutre because as soon as you sit on it the man will get the camel to stand up and walk you down the beach on it and you will have to pay him. - Dont take first asking price in the market unless its a fix price shop, haggle! (It will have a sign saying fixed price if it is) -Take lots of cash because there is no cash machine in the hotel (its a 2 minute walk) I personaly have already started saving for next year... i think the people that have complained alot are just way too hard to please, if you are reasonably laid back you will LOVE IT. Pools - A* Beach - A* Staff - A* Cleanliness - A* Weather - A* Overall - A************"
- Travel date: 1st August 2008
Just returned from my third stay at this...
"Just returned from my third stay at this hotel. Once again everything at the hotel was excellent. Meals were very good especially dinner. A good selection of drinks were available on all inclusive. The cleanliness of rooms could not be faulted and the staff as always were very friendly. Look forward to staying again at this wonderful hotel in a beautiful setting."
- Travel date: 23rd July 2008
Lovely looking hotel with really nice sw...
"Lovely looking hotel with really nice swimming pools. Weather was fab for the week my boyfriend and I went, got a great tan, so please be warned when going in June/July etc its going to be hot, hot, hot! Bedroom we stayed in was small, but it met the basic needs and in all fairness we weren't on holidays to stay in our room. Food was nice, a bit repetitive, but that didn't matter. The beer was poor, I was drinking it ALL day and was still standing by the end of it, so I suggest you have a bottle of wine with your evening meal to get things going. Only major down-side for me was the entertainment. Its was VERY, VERY POOR! Honestly the people who go around in the day asking if you want to play volley ball, darts etc were the same people doing the evening entertainment, it was rubbish. And because there are no such bars outside the hotel we were stuck. Every other evening there would be a keyboard player in the large open reception area and everything he sang was in French (I know this is the second language of the country, but come on!)... It was like spending the night in an old peoples home, even my Nan who's 75 would have been bored, and thats no lie! The only night I enjoyed was the karaoke night, us Brits just got a bit tipsy and had a laugh, so we made our own entertainment. So please be warned, even though this is a lovely 4* hotel with great staff the evening entertainment is only 1*, thats the only thing that spoilt our holiday. Oh and yes they are very noisy corridors in the evening, very thin walls! Personally I won't be returning back to Tunisia, not enough to do for me. Thanks for reading my comments.. Clare & Stuart :O)"
- Travel date: 8th May 2008
Got home yesterday from a fantastic week...
"Got home yesterday from a fantastic week long break! The hotel and staff were brilliant. The food and drink was all really good, especially the fresh pancakes. We were a little anxious about taking our 4 year old but the staff were brilliant. The only downside was that the rooms are all off long echoing corridors, so it was a little noisy at night...but have enough wine and it's not too much of a problem!"
- Travel date: 7th April 2008
Have just come back from two weeks all i...
"Have just come back from two weeks all inclusive at the Phenicia. First of all I would say, even though this is advertised in the winter sun brochures, if it important to you to have sunny weather don't go until at least April. We had about 4 really good days and the rest of the time was cloudy some days even quite cold. The hotel itself was really nice, very clean. There was a large reception area with 3 different bars, an arab cafe, 2 pools (one heated) and a pool bar. Tennis courts, mini golf, horses and private beach. Also a shop which was well stocked with snacks, magazines, toiletries and gifts. The room was clean and had plenty of space for all our stuff. The television had 3 english channels, one of them a movie channel. The cleaning staff were trustworthy and friendly. Food was lovely, buffet style and also a different selection cooked freshly in front of you. Snacks available between meals including crepes (chocolate ones were lovely!). I would say it is definately a good idea to tip staff at the beginning of the holiday, we did that with the staff at dinner and got excellent service all the way through our stay but didn't with the bar staff and got mostly ignored when trying to get a drink! As long as the weather is good there is plenty to do at the hotel, if not it can get a bit boring. The evening entertainment was at times quite awful! Although other people did seem to enjoy it. Bingo was on every night. The only other thing about this hotel is the area that it was in, there is nothing nearby to see or do. Yasmine Hammamet however is only a few mins away in a taxi and costs about a pound to get there. Here you will find plenty of shops and places to eat. Overall the hotel was really nice but I wouldn't return here unless it was in the summer and I just wanted to relax."
- Travel date: 26th March 2008
Top traveller tips for SENTIDO Phenicia
"Staff in the bars Reception and Restaurant cannot do enough for you"
"take a pack of cards, you wont get into the disco bar for entertainment or get an outside table if you are put on the 7pm sitting for food....."
"go for a hammam,salt scrub and full body massage on day 1 and you will end up with a great tan."
"do not waste your money"
SENTIDO Phenicia is also called
- Sentido Phenicia Hotel
- Phenicia Hotel
- iberostar hotel hammamet