10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"Excellent hotel, didn't want to leave. We have just returned from a very relaxing week in the sun. The hotel was amazing in loads of ways. From arriving we found the staff helpful, the reception area very clean and glam, the room was spacious and very modern and clean. It makes a nice change to be provided with a safe in the room which you don't have to pay extra for, our room was not facing the sea, but the view was interesting and especially at sun down was amazing, the traffic noise was not a problem for us at all.
I am a very fussy eater when on holiday but found plenty to eat. The food was definatley 5 star quality, plenty of choice and chefs cooking to order pasta dishes, pizza and crepes. Breakfast had everything you could possibly want and more, the lunch time menu was excellent and the doughnuts to die for (The diet starts now!!!) The waiters were very friendly although their understanding of english is quite funny, I only asked for wine and got a ugghh???? after that first day there was always a glass of Rose waiting on the table for me, a lovely touch.
The beach was just like being in the Caribbean with white sand and clear blue sea, the water was even warm!!! We took a canoe out a few times which was included in the all inc.
I would definatley recomend this hotel to anyone needing to re-charge the batteries and chillout in the sun,"
- Travel date: Thu 7th of October 2010
Your typical bog standard Tunisian five star
"I have tapped my fingers on the keyboard searching for inspiration regarding a review for the El Mansour. But my mind just goes blank.
And then I realize, itâs not my creativity which has failed, itâs the hotel. Because I can sum it up in one word: uninspiring.
Uninspiring doesnât mean bad, because really itâs very good, it just lacks that something to make it special. Itâs a little like the grounds it sits on: not an ounce of colour and thus bland.
Iâll try and break it down into relevant points:
The staff â in general very attentive and friendly. But they do have a habit of barging you out of the way. Like squeezing through the door by darting round in front of you, or cutting across your back when youâre sitting down.
The rooms â oh very nice, big, fantastic air conditioning. Beds comfortable, bathroom spacious. We had a sea view and this I would absolutely recommend. The hotel is on a busy street â literally feet away, so âland viewâ would be absolutely dismal and noisy.
Food â an absolute plus. Lots of variety, many cooking stations and a chance to sample Tunisian cuisine â not bad. We had shrimps twice during our two week stay, lots of turkey (why oh why), chips â of course! â liver, good salads.
Drinks â the waiters leave a bottle of wine on the table, which is a nice touch. Cocktail list a little limited but OK. Fresh orange juice for breakfast was simply ghastly â think rotten oranges with too much pith!
Pool â three pools, two of which are infinity. Clean, no complaints.
Gardens â as I implied there are no gardens, just grass and palms. The absolute downside of this hotel is the space â Iâm sure the whole site measures 7 acres-ish. So crowded it is. But the pool area is better than the...
Beach â beautiful sand, warm crystal clear waters but... Itâs absolutely check by jowl. If you lie in the wrong position youâre literally inches from someoneâs feet! And perhaps Iâm spoilt, but Iâm used to arriving at the beach and having a beach boy take my towels and find me a spot. Not here, I had to find my own... and make it up myself by heaving the sun loungers from their tall stack and placing them. No easy task as a woman. And while Iâm on the subject of sun loungers they are the hardest, most evil loungers ever. So uncomfortable.
Mahdia itself is a lovely town. Donât think discos, think a little spot of Tunisian life. We had a brilliant day eating lunch in a fish restaurant before shopping then going on an adventure through the little alleyways. Very memorable.
Back to the hotel, itâs a good hotel, a typical Tunisian five star, but it just lacks that je ne sais quoi to make it special.
I havenât discussed the spa because it wasnât yet finished, although they keep saying, âNext week.â"
- Travel date: Fri 1st of October 2010
Beautiful Hotel and Staff.
"This is a stunning hotel, everything is ultra modern and clean. The staff are very nice and helpfull. The hotel is not complete yet so some things are not available like the spa and the steakhouse. Sometimes food being put out in the dining room was a bit slow but as the hotel has only been open for 4 months they are still learning how to do things and get them right...we all need to start somewhere and at no time was anyone ever anything but polite. There are a lot of other nationalities at this hotel and this makes it very interesting to people watch...which I love, you really see that everybody is the same the world over.
The beach is lovely, a bit windy sometime but this is good because it gets so warm without it. The hotel provides towels, loungers and beach shades. Under each beach shade is a ceramic pot for which to put your rubbish in...some people DID NOT use these and left their cigarette ends in the sand...there was no need for this and these people should be ashamed of themselves as this did make the beach a bit shabby. As I have been to Mahdia before, about 14 years ago, I know that this has made a difference as then I would have said the beach was as good as one in the carribean...but not now..it is still nice, but not as good as it could be.
I loved this hotel and would love to go back when it is all complete...but I don't think I will be able to afford the prices then. The animation team all love to talk to you and learn more english as at the moment they don't get many english speaking customers..mainly German, Italian, French and some Russian."
- Travel date: Sat 25th of September 2010
"A magnificent Tunisian hotel right on the beach front. We had a suite with stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and the beautiful coastline. The food was outstanding and of course we ate too much! The doughnuts in the afternoon at the BBQ restaurant were naughty but nice! The staff were helpful and friendly with many speaking a little English. Take a taxi or tuk-tuk into Mahdia and enjoy the culture of a small Tunisian town. The only negative was the TV in the room did not have any English channels. We had a fabulous week and thoroughly recommend this hotel. Truly 5* in every way."
- Travel date: Sat 18th of September 2010
"We were a group of 3 couples (age 30) that stayed for a week from 16 to 23 of August and unfortunately I can say that we returned home more tried and stressed that we went.
There are a couple of things that people should know before even thinking about going to Tunisia:
1. Yes the sea water is incredibly warm and the Hotel is brand new BUT
2. The people are extremely religious and prejudiced, in particular with Portuguese and Spanish AND
3. NEVER GO TO ANY MUSLIM COUNTRY AT THE RAMADAN! The fasting messes with their poor minds and the Tunisians turn into more savages than they already are.
4. Iâve heard some say that if youâre going to Tunisia you should go with an open mind because they have a different culture and itâs a poor country. However the different culture donât give them the right to be arrogant to the tourists that give them employment and being poor itâs not equal to being filthy â youâll find trash everywhere you go.
Regarding the Hotel Iberostar Royal El Mansour at Mahdia, it is brand new and looks very fancy BUT:
1. THE STAFF HAVE NO FORMATION AND NO MANERS â As a client you should expect to be treated politely but have no surprise if they ignore you if you are a woman or disrespect you even if you are a man, talking in Arabic behind your back. And if you ever want to make a complain, there is no book to write it down.
2. If you stay at the 1st or 2nd floor you will be awaken every day at 8am with the cleaning ladies dragging the furniture over the tile floor to make the bed at the other rooms.
3. And they have a different concept of a made bed â almost every day we arrived at our room to find the top sheet folded in 4 just laying above the bed, as you can see in the photos. Itâs a short of decoration they said. The bed we had to make it ourselves.
4. Unbelievably this big hotel doesnât even have a single service elevator! All the staff with their carts full of dirty things or cleaning products take the same 4 elevators as we the clients do, and they have no shame to touch your hair (especially if you are a blonde) or have inappropriate conversations.
5. Make no mistake, FOR ITâS POOR SERVICE THIS IS NOT EVEN CLOSE TO A 5 STAR HOTEL!
6. Also be aware of the time it takes to get to the Hotel from the Airport. The international flights land at the city of Tunes and it will take about 4 hours by bus with no wc to get to Hotel, stopping at several other hotels to leave other tourists.
7. Less important is the fact that there are no Portuguese or Spanish Channels at the room and the only English Channel is BBC World News.
In sum, these were reasonably priced vacations that turned into too expensive.
Please believe me: CHOSE ANOTHER DESTINATION! STAY AWAY!"
- Travel date: Fri 3rd of September 2010
TRULY AN OASIS ON THE BEACH
"Our room was so gorgeous and well located, ocean view was divine. Loved the food lots of choices. STAFF WAS VERY KIND!!! I loved every minute of this vacation. Tunisia was a great bang for the buck!! Great tour's to take and cheap 57.00 us dollars for an all day tour with lunch. I highly would return in a second."
- Travel date: Sun 15th of August 2010
Great Hotel,once it`s finished!
"I stayed at the Royal El Mansour from the 1st to the 8th of August with my wife and teenage daughter and we were given a warm welcome even at 1.30am with a bite to eat and cold beer before being shown to our two rooms,we had originally booked a double and a single,but were upgraded to two double rooms with sea views albeit overlooking a building site.Staff were very attentive but this may have been due to us travelling with our daughter.Animation team worked really hard to entertain but mostly aimed at the Italian guests who were in the majority and to the lesser extent the French,in fact i think we were the only English guests in the hotel.Food was varied and plentiful and catered for most palettes.Great pool area-3 large and one for toddlers.Beach was constantly raked and sunbeds plentiful.The only negative comment i have to make is that iberostar website states that you can have a half hour free massage per person if your all inclusive but fail to add that the spa is half built,the nightclub is non existant and the beach restaurant is a figment of someones imagination.The rooms we had were large and airy with seperate toilet and bathroom/shower.Flat screen tv but the only english channel you can get is BBC world news all the others are either German ,Tunisian,French,or Italian.Bed was hard and pillows rough but managed to get a good nights sleep most nights but this was probably due to the large measures from the bar."
- Travel date: Fri 13th of August 2010
Memorable South Tunisia :)
I was in Royal el Mansour Mahdia during the last week of July and first of August. 15 days was a bit extended but very worth it if you want to a few excursions.
Here you have a few tips:
the hotel is in generall quite good!
swimming pool area is beautifull and interesting
beach - warm water and clean beach
the hotel is new so it looks very fancy
rooms are large and very nice
the entrance (lobby area) is memorable
food is quite good and a lot to choose (ofcouse with many local spices, but quite good)
market day every friday in the center town
animation team are very friendly, but you have to get to meet them well!
desert excursion (2days) very interesting, but many kilometres of driving
parachuting on the beach
disco and spa are not ready yet
the service in general is a bit bad (but in tunisia it's quite normal) tunisians are very calm and slow workers
animation doesnt look so professional it seems a bit amateur (but it doesnt mean that it's bad)
Be aware that south tunisia is very poor, but I really enjoyed my stay for 15 days in Royal el Mansour. I definitely recommend it.!
- Travel date: Fri 13th of August 2010
New, clean, spacious, nice hotel, great for pool/beach life. (Alpitour)
"The first week of August I stayed at this hotel with 2 friends of mine, booked through the Italian tour operator Alpitour.
The treatment was "all included" (TU flights, transfers, stay, meals, snacks, drinks).
The hotel was pretty huge and was opened on the 1st of June, so we were a bit worried about the selected village, but we had a nice surprise.
The rooms were big and clean, smell fresh, had an enormous king size bed, a desk, a table, a chair, an armchair, tv, telephone, AC, safe box, electronic keys (cards), big wardrobe, bathroom with bath and separate WC, nice balcony.
The most positive things were:
- Nice sand beach, nice sea.
- 4 Pools
- Water in room and all the time available at the bars.
- Nice Hall and hotel view.
- Proximity to Mahdia center
The most negative things were:
- No sockets in the bath or near mirrors.
- Rough/Hard pillow (only one for person).
- Not enough towels for the sea/pool
- Hugeness of the building (it contained many, many people!)
The animation staff was mainly composed by tunisian boys and had 2 italian travel assistants and 2 italian boys and 1 italian girl (for animation) from Alpitour.
A little italian, spanish, german was spoken, more english, but main languages were french and "arabic".
My overall impression is great, even because food, activities, problem-solving, assistance, reception, quietness, service, and kindness were quite good.
There are, however, two "opposite" things I'd like to stress:
1) If you go NOW, the hotel is new, so it's not finished, and it lacks of the SPA, the disco, pool towels, the restaurant on the beach, and , sometimes, ORGANIZATION, mainly in the animation programme and in the evening events, but it's clean, comfortable and almost everything is working and fine.
2) If you are planning to go there, I suggest you not to wait too much, because, you'll surely find it finished after September, but buildings in Tunisia are easy to ruin as they often lack of maintainance, andusally the quality of the materials is not like european or american, the area is still nice and with few hotels, but they're continuously constructing.
Last consideration: if I come back there, I'll try to book without Alpitour, for many reasons, like money, flight schedule or time changings, and there's not so much need of italian assistant there (even Alpitour's tours are made by a tunisian tour operator), mostly if you speak french or english!!!"
- Travel date: Tue 10th of August 2010
Too expansive for what u get
"I ve spent 1 week in the newly opened Iberostar. Nice hotel but has opened without a serious check of what is a5 stars services. No Room services, rooms has not been even cleaned every day !!. Poor equipement of the room (no waste basket), no welcome service.
Nice setup of swiming pool but mximum depth is not beyond 1m70 !!.
Excellent restaurant buffet though very poor desert and pasteries offering...
services could be improved with both increasing number of employees to cater the number of hots and also ensure good training.
In a word it could have been a nice 3/4 stars hotel but too expansive for what u get (nothing to compare to standard 5 stars)"
- Travel date: Tue 3rd of August 2010