11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
An amazing hideaway
"I stayed at this hotel in January and it provided the most amazing short break. The flight time was less than three hours, which really surprised me. I was truly impressed by the hotel in general; the spa and restaurants were of a particularly high quality. The personal service was fantastic - they always knew my name when I came down to breakfast. The turndown service was particularly impressive; leaving jasmine flowers on the pillows created a really relaxed atmosphere in the rooms, which were beautiful. I cannot recommend this hotel to others highly enough."
- Travel date: 1st March 2008
Hated It Terrible Experinece And Extremely Poor Service
"You arrive late and there is no one to welcome you! You have to look for the receptionist and when you find him or her; he/she will refuse to speak any language other than French because -they'd tell you- "the managers are French and everyone has to adapt to the French style". The cleaners would forget to put the bathrobe and/or shampoo in your room... There is a problem with getting hot water in some days like during renovation. Renovation work in the hotel would take place early in the morning, during the day or really late in the afternoon. Whenyou complain they'd say sorry and offer you a massage in the Thalasso centre of the hotel. They'd also explain that they have miscalculated the period needed for the renovation work. I really did not enjoy staying in this hotel and did not feel welcomed at all. I personally found the staff depressed; most of the times shouted at by their managers. The hammam is another problem. The ambiance late at night is very noisy and you get the noise up to your bed; all sorts of noise; windows are not double glazed. In my opinion, this hotel should be at maximum 3stars hotel. You may ask the hotel to send you pictures of the renovation work still going on there."
- Travel date: 19th February 2008
Be careful what you wish for
"I've given this a Trip Advisor rating of "OK, But some problems" because I'm comparing it with its Sister Hotel, the absolutely perfect The Residence in Mauritius, and because we did have some problems. As a 5-star hotel, The Residence Tunis deserves much more than "OK", but in comparison to Mauritius, there are significant differences. We have stayed twice at The Residence in Mauritius, May 2003 and July 2005. It is absolutely one of the finest hotels in the world. In 2007, we decide to try its Tunisian partner, primarily because of the much shorter flight time from the UK. And we were intrigued by the attempt by the owners to clone their beautiful Mauritian resort in one of the most tolerant and advanced North African countries. When you first arrive, the layout of the vast reception space is a clear reflection of its Mauritian counterpart but the similarities end there. These were the problems: 1. At the weekends, The Residence Tunis become a sort of country club to the local well-to-do. From Friday afternoon to Sunday they just turn up with their extended families and a crate of mobile phones and take over the entire pool area. As a permanent guest, this makes you feel marginalised and you simply cannot get so much as a bottle of water from the staff because they're too busy with their favourite locals. There is nothing wrong with this but if we'd known about it, we would not have paid thousands of pounds to stay in a place that becomes about as exclusive as the local swimming pool at weekends. 2. The kids club is an afterthought. It's one of their business seminar rooms kitted out with a few toys and games, and a picture of Mickey Mouse on the wall. When Tunisian business people hold seminars in the neighbouring rooms, they spend a lot of time smoking in the corridor outside the so-called kids club. Compare this with the one in Mauritius with its own special building, dedicated staff, walled gardens, park equipment and chef. 3. The beach in Mauritius is 1km of white sand and they have every small craft known to watersports. In Tunisia, despite the claims on the web site, they have 100m of very windy beach front and no watersports facilities whatsoever. If you stay for two weeks, you will visit the beach twice. 4. It's a 5-star hotel but it has no bar. No bar you can actually sit at. 5. It's a 5-star hotel but it only serves one kind of beer. 6. It has 4 restaurants that all share one wine list with just 5 overpriced French wines on it, the rest are Tunisian or Australian. In summary, The Residence Tunis is a good hotel not a paradise resort. It probably makes more money as a luxury business stop-over than as a family-friendly holiday destination. You can be standing there in a lift with your swimming costume, a T-shirt and two chldren with buckets and spades, smiling at a foreign businessman with his wheeled carry-on luggage. It's a poor second to its inspiration in Mauritius."
- Travel date: 23rd August 2007
Great service, a bit tired and poor kids club
"We stayed at the Le Residence, Tunisia for two weeks in late August. We've stayed at Le Residence in Mauritius many times, so expectations were high. The hotel in Tunisia is much larger and was operating at a high capacity when we stayed there. It's very popular with French and Italian nationals. They tend to dominate the hotel as although all staff speak English, they clearly prefer to speak French. Lots of the French groups seem to travel as several families so dominate the poolside and restaurants. The poolside is crowded and one needs to "book" a sunbed with the poolside staff. When you know this it works well, but selecting a bed early without reference to the staff can lead to confrontations with other residents. You tend to end up having the same sun beds for the duration of your stay. The swimming pool is excellent with a consistent depth of about 1.7m throughout. It's enormous and while it might feel cold when you first get in, it's an ideal temperature for adults and children. It's very popular. The pool is mising many "mosaic" tiles and is an example of what maintenance is needed. There are four entry areas made up of several braod steps. These can be the only areas for young children or poor swimmers. There isn't a "shallow end". There are complimentary swimming lessons for children which are well run. There are few steps which are easily negotiated and would be suitable for less mobile clients. The weather was sporadic with many days of cludless skies but 3 days when there was heavy rain. The beach facility is a long some distance from the hotel along a board walk. It''s as crowded as the poolside. The worst feature from our point of view was the kids club. It was badly run with indifferent staff and no secuirty. No child is signed in nor out. Kids can wonder off on their own. No note is taken of where the adults will be nor their room numbers. Some staff were entertaining themselves rather than monitoring the children. The schedule is impressive, but nothing runs to time. The food in the restaurants is good, but no impressive. The DVD library is extensive, but we often couldn't get a copy of the films we wanted. Region 2 works on the DVD's in the rooms. Both my wife and I got tummy bugs at differnt times, which lasted for a couple of days. We only ate in the hotel so can attribute these to the hotel."
- Travel date: 19th August 2007
Fabulous holiday for all the family
"We had a wonderful 10 days in July at The Residence. The rooms are lovely and the service was excellent. Lovely large pool and clean beach. Fantastic childrens club with activities suitable to both our children aged 8 and 3, allowing us plenty of time to relax. The hotel also found a babysitter for us - we had the same one every night. This area of Tunisia is wonderfully unspoilt (mainly locals and French tourists) and close to the beautiful town of Sidi Bou Said. Food in Tunisia isn't fantastic but it is good and the hotel's food was among the best we had. We would definitely go back."
- Travel date: 13th August 2007
First Class Service and great place to relax
"We have just returned from ten days at the Residence in Tunis. The service we received at this hotel is amoungst the best we have had anywhere in the world (and we've stayed at some top hotels!). You have an expectation of service at a hotel of this quality but what made the difference is that every member of staff from the cleaners to the managers all appeared genuine in their desire to serve and did so with a willing smile. I'd love to know how they train their staff so well. We wanted a relaxing break and having ventured outside the hotel a couple of times, we decided that we would rather enjoy the excellence of the hotel and spent the days either by the pool or the beach. At both places we had attentive staff to position the sun beds, bring us cold towels, complimentary water in ice filled coolers and water mellon. Never a problem to get a sun bed and we were never too close to anyone, lots of room. We ate at all the restaurants which were of a high standard with excellent presentation. If you engage with and talk to the staff they are really friendly and good fun. The poolside bar & Grill also has a dinner menu, we thought it was just lunch at first but had several great evenings here and the evening menu is different from the lunch menu. There was a musical trio from Paraguay who were really entertaining and good fun. They brought atmosphere to the evening and had us up dancing too but we were the only one's (some people are a bit boring!) Overall I can't fault this hotel for it's first class service, it's attention to detail and relaxed atmosphere. We would definately go back and will probably look at a long weekend trip as it's less than 3 hours from London."
- Travel date: 18th July 2007
Great time - the weather a bit iffy
"We just got back from a five day stay at the Residence. There were five of us - my husband and myself, our two teenage girls and my mother-in-law. We had previously stayed at the Residence in Mauritius. We were met at the airport and the first thing that struck me when I was outside waiting for the car to pull up was how clean everything was. We were nicely greeted at the hotel and when they heard we had stayed in Mauritius the General Manager came to say hello. The check-in staff settled us in the bar with a drink and ran through what the hotel offered and then took us to our rooms - all nicely done. Our rooms were sea view with a small terrace. The bathroom was all in marble and good size (one sink only) with bath and large stall shower - the shower needed regrouting. All very clean, comfortable beds, turndown service etc. We primarily ate a late, long, lunch at the pool restaurant which was okay. It started off good and then seem to go downhill slightly - the final meal not settling well on my tummy. The breakfast was excellent with plenty of variety. The bar has live music in the evening but a bit dead. Give the 'Tunisian Evening' a miss unless you want to see a belly dancer and get a henna tatoo. But the Tunisian Restaurant was fun - the staff were great. In fact all staff were very nice and helpful. The pool was very large and even though the hotel was full it did not feel crowded - no problem getting loungers. The weather was a bit iffy on 2 days - not cold but chilly and very windy. It was great to have the use of the sauna, Turkish Baths and indoor swimming pool. Along side some reflexology, my mother in law said she felt better than she had for a long time! We made two 1/2 day private excursions - we booked them through the travel agent and I think they were a bit pricey but we decided to do it anyway - the first was to Carthage and Sidi Bou Sayed and the second was to Tunis and the souk. The guide was a very personable young woman who spoke 5 languages and had been guiding for 2 years. It worked very well and we enjoyed them a lot. All in all, we had a good break but I don't know if I will go back to Tunis - don't get me wrong - it was clean, the people were friendly but it just didn't have the WOW factor for me. I prefered Marrakech. This is a nice hotel, not in the same 5 star league as its sister hotel in Mauritius but it tries very hard to please."
- Travel date: 9th June 2007
Emperor's New Clothes
"The meet and greet driver at the airport was helpful and charming, creating an impression of Tunisia that was rapdily dispelled by the Receptionist on arrival at The Residence. My husband and I have stayed in hotels and resorts of similar prestige all over the world and this one did not stack up well beside some of the others nor even againt many less pretentious and expensive locations. Many of the advertised facilities were not availabe, for example the hotel guide in the room lists three excursions per week - only one is run now, likewise the Spa has dropped some of the treatments listed. The guide on the only available guided tour - ancient Carthage -wasted no time offering his services for other tours, to be taken privately, and at prices significantly higher than the options recommended by the concierge of taking a local taxi. Housekeeping was efficient and effective but, for the daily rate, the hotel is ungenerous to the point of parsimonious. Some restaurant staff were excellent, others a little less so. The lounge area must get very congested when the hotel is busy, likewise the pool, sun beds and other amenities. Little to do on a nice day and even less when the sun does not shine."
- Travel date: 16th April 2007
"What a peaceful surrounding! Everything in the hotel was feng shui. We visited the hotel in May, unfortunately still too cold to swim in the lovely pool. Rooms are totally 1001 night(as well as the rest of the hotel), only a shame there is nothing to see in the neighbourhood, you have to make a rather long drive to the city center and shopping area. The spa treatments are very nice and the staff too. The only bad thing is that you have to walk a long way down the dangerous stairs to get to the sauna area from the indoor pool. We ate at the Tunisian restaurant of the hotel, where there was live music and funny waiters, all dressed in traditonal clothes. Very romantic, as well as the area behind the lobby is very inviting in the evening also with live music and heavenly couches, attracting many couples in love. The choice of drinks on the menu is large and you always get some warm and cold appetizers with your drinks. We were lucky not to get sick from the food, although we even ate lamb head along the street side in the Souk in the center of Tunis."
- Travel date: 15th November 2006
loved this hotel
"This is the best hotel in all of Tunisia. The staff are very accomodating and go out of their way for you. rooms have sea views with balconies. The L' Olivier restraunt was excellent. Breakfast buffet has food for every taste. Had 2 spa services and those were excellent. The lobby/bar area has live music in the evening. I am a travel agent and wouldnt hesitate to put anyone here at all."
- Travel date: 24th February 2006
Lovely hotel with nice (but cold!!) pool...
"Lovely hotel with nice (but cold!!) pool and comfortable rooms. Restaurants were good but quite expensive. It would be an advantage to speak French as the majority of visitors seemed to be French and all the staff speak French. The only downside would be that it's kind of in the middle of nowhere, there's nowhere worth going within walking distance so you have to catch a cab. It doesn't take long to get into Tunis for some shopping in the Bazaar or go to Sidi Bou Said for the amazing views and lovely white and turquoise painted houses."
- Travel date: 29th January 2006
The Residence Tunis is also called
- The Residence Tunis Hotel
- The Residence Hotel
- residence tunis