15 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Worst hotel. Very rude security guard
"Very bad hotel. The security guard was very rude. Going in and out of the hotel was a pain. The security guard never showed any respect to anyone. He even argued with the taxi just to enter and pick me up. Very uncivilized security guard.
Hotel staff at the reception made be beg if I wanted something. And they never bothered to help.
I have been to many hotels and this is one of the worst experiences I've had.
I would never recommend this hotel to anyone. "
- Travel date: Thu 29th of September 2016
fantastic family holiday
"Food was good, something for everyone and if you wanted something that was not on show all you had to do was ask one of the chefs and they would cook it for you.
The staff were fantastic, could not do enough for you, although the weather was not good when myself and my family went we had a fantastic time.
The rooms were large and clean a little out of date but overall you could not complain,
before going myself and my partner read the reviews and were genuinly a little concerned but we could not fault this hotel, staff or food.
we would reccomend this holiday to anybody this hotel would suit all types of people."
- Travel date: Mon 4th of May 2009
quite simply the best overall hotel we h...
"quite simply the best overall hotel we have ever stayed in...from start to finish the best of everything rooms,food,beach,pools, all were great and the staff out of this world, give this one a try you will not be sorry trust me!!"
- Travel date: Wed 30th of July 2008
"My husband and I are just back from a one week stay in the Palm Marina, Port El kantaoui. It is rated 5 star but I would rate it 3star plus. The hotel is really clean, but our corridor was a little 'wiffy', as were some of the streets in the Port. The reception area and the main bar 'corail' were lovely and spacious, and well kept. The blue bar was relaxing and comfortable, and all in all the service was good, going to great once the tips started flowing. The staff are really friendly, and genuine, and work really hard. Coming from a no smoke zone in Northern Ireland, and being non smokers, it is difficult to readjust to smokey bars, and hotels, however I'm sure this is the same in all hotels - everyone seems to smoke!! The pool is lovely and big, with a pool side bar and snack bar, and the beach is right on the back store step. The food is not British, (surprise surprise), and we did struggle to eat some nights, being traditional eaters, however there was a great selection and we never went hungry - it is to our embarassment that we struggle with anything other than what we are familar with. The hotel provides one free sauna and steam room, a manicure and pedicure, and a massage - all well worth a go, and a delightfull treat. It is about a 45 minute walk from the port, which is lovely, if not a little too far away, but a taxi ride was about Â£2. Tunisia is nothing like Spain. There is little night time entertainment, and most beer is alcohol free, (the hotel entertainment is poor - not to knock the hard working reps), but the country is so relaxing and welcoming, as well as great value for money. I bought loads, and spent little! The drink in the hotel is local, and not watered down, and the bar staff will serve it weaker if desired. I had a lovely holiday, and would consider coming back to this hotel, however it is a bit too far out to explore on foot the port, but is a great location for sun worshippers. All in all I would recommend this property and Tunisia."
- Travel date: Fri 13th of June 2008
Great value for money.
"We have just come back from a weeks stay at this hotel and we all found it excellent value for money. It is not a 5star hotel if you compare it to the caribbean but is a good 3+. We had a sea view room which was excellent - very big with two double wardrobes , seperate bathroom and toilet, large bedroom and large balcony. The drinks in the fridge were replenished daily. We all found the food varied daily and a good contrast, from soup to the lovely salads and a good choice of hot food . Some reviewers have complained about the food but we found it very good ( maybe they compain because it is not english!) The pizzas in the cafe were lovely if you wanted something basic to eat. We did find the entertainment a bit boring so stayed in the piano bar instead where we were always entertained and the drink kept flowing! Tip the waiters the first night and they do look after you but in fairness to all the staff they were lovely even if they didnt get a tip. Do not go on the free trip to the village provided by the hotel- although we did see some village life we were roped in to a carpet factory for the heavy duty sell - not worth it.
If you get a good deal on this hotel then go and enjoy yourselfs because you will have a good time- plenty of good food and good drink. We would go back here again."
- Travel date: Sun 8th of June 2008
Brilliant hotel / Great holiday
"I normally hate people who fill in these reviews but it stopped me making a huge mistake with the first hotel I was thinking of visiting & found me this one!... Amazing place, excellent food, excellent (not pushy) staff, spotless inside and out (Would possibly benefit from a lick of paint in places on the outside but nothing major) - Couldn't ask for more. The all inclusive gets you any drink or food they serve (Unrestricted) & the waiters usually have another drink waiting for you before you finish the last (If you leave them a little tip the night before! - there are 2.25 dinars to the Â£1). Tip 2 or 3 dinars if you've had good service, 5 or 10 if it has been excellent. Make sure you book early for the free massage, manicure & pedicure and the 3 a la carte restaurants - all free but you can only visit the a la cartes once for each type, Italian, Asian & Morrocan - Your rep should tell you about them but ours didn't until the 2nd day & we had limited choice by then. Hired a car on one of the days - simple to do from the hotel but only do it if you have strong nerves & quick reactions - the locals rarely indicate & 3 lane roads fit 5 cars across at a push - which they do! Hotel is on the beach, you can do an array of water sports (You have to pay but it's next to nothing) & there is a kids club that thankfully stays out of the way a bit! Would recommend this hotel to anyone - it's not 5* by English standards but it's certainly a very good 4*. Feel free to get in touch with any questions"
- Travel date: Wed 4th of June 2008
Not 5 star, but great hotel
"Having gone to the travel agent and asked for a sunny destination, with good restaurants, good bars, lots of water sports and people our own age (25), but not a nasty nightclub type resort , we were recommended Tunisia! Suffice to say, it was sunny.
The first clue that this was not going to be what the travel agency told us was the average age of the people checking in... about 70!
On arrival at the hotel we had to pay an extra â¬60 to upgrade to a room that didnt have a cock-a-doodle-doo crowing outside the window. There was no problem upgrading and the staff were very helpful and friendly about it.
We ate in the Marina the second day of our trip - smoothies and a pizza. within about 4/5 hours of eating we both had serious food poisoning which lasted about 24 hours.
The food in the hotel was bland to say the least and to be quite honest, between food poisoning and not bothering to eat because the food was so awful, I lost 5 kilos in a week! I found standards of hygiene in the dining area to be quite low - i watched staff wiping their noses with gloved hands then handling food, coughing and sneezing over food and birds flying in the open window and taking food off plates..
The pool was great and the guys were always on hand to get you a mat for the sun lounger or a drink or whatever you wanted.
The activities had a distinctly Holiday Camp feel to them with people unwillingly being jollied by irritating reps into participating in activities.
My overwhelming feeling on Tunisia is that everyone there is out to make a fast buck. We got a pirate ship from the Marina promising barbeques, unlimited supply of refreshements and fresh fruit, swimming, fishing... the whole shebang! What we got was 2 sardines, some cucumber and a slice of bread. One drink of water or coke and a mouldy peach!!! We motored out in a straight line for an hour then turned around and came straight back in with the staff becoming irate and distinctly hostile when we refused to tip them!!
We did a camel trek through our tour operator which was enjoyable - but they tried to charge 3d per photo after we were quoted 2 by the rep!
All in all, Tunisia wasnt really what we were after as a holiday desination but I couldnt fault the hotel for cleanliness and friendly staff. They really do try to make your trip enjoyable - but at a cost of course!
If its designer handbags and a bit of sunshine that you're after then I cant think of a better place to go!"
- Travel date: Mon 26th of May 2008
"Just back after a week at the El Mouradi Palm Marina.
Ok so it's not 5 star compared to the Far East , London Or New York for example.
Yes the meals become a little repetitive during the week, but so would most places if you ate in the same location for a week solid.
As for drinks we had no problem,the local wine & beer were fine & you could get cocktails & spirits. We found the waiter service very good & invariably we had the next round set down in front of us before we had ordered it ( and we aren't heavy drinkers who spent all night in the bars !!)
We had a sea- view room that was excellent.
Ok the 1 hours entertainment in the evening was pretty amateur and given that it was in French any comedy was lost on us.
But hell we only paid Â£250 per person for the week, that's about Â£35 per day for all our meals, as much as we could drink of anything,use of 2 pools , access to a good sandy beach with bedchairs & mattresses provided, sleeping accomodation,a night club etc. etc.
It wasn't The Ritz, it wasn't Egon Ronay food, it wasn't Las vegas style entertainment in the evenings, it wasn't premium brand spirits & liquers------but what it was, was damned good value.
And as for hassle from the local traders,it is almost non-existant compared to places like Kenya, Egypt, Gambia, etc.
We found a polite no got the message across to any shopkeepers, hawkers etc.
Definitely somewhere to chill out for a week for a modest cost."
- Travel date: Tue 13th of May 2008
Not really 5 star but good for the money!
"Tunisia has a little to learn about 'All Inclusive' or perhaps just this hotel. The hotel as a whole was good and we would go back, but only because we now understand a little more about the hotel and country.
We upgraded our room to sea view and it was stunning, the room was large, clean, had a fridge and hairdryer. The bed was quite hard though. The balcony was generous. There is no iron, nor can you request one, so the travel iron had to suffice.
We found there was a very limited choice of alcohol and NO international drinks. The bar staff were ok but you would wait a long time to be asked what you wanted, then wait further to actually be served your drink, in very small glasses. If you asked for more than 2 drinks it was like pulling teeth! Waiter service around the pool was available but inconsistent. We arrived a week before the official season starts (1st May), which meant the beach and pool bar was closed, (also NO air con, but temprature not quite hot enough to need it at this time of year) so we had to go to the main bar to be served and you were not able to do this in swim wear.
Tipping is normal, but does not get you a better service unless you are feeling generous, we would give 1 or 2 dina for our room service or the pool bed chap and waiters, so per day I suppose we spent about Â£10 (20 to 25 dina). I would next time tip bigger at the start and end rather than dribs and drabs throughout. Or don't bother at all! :o)
The food in the hotel was actually good, on the all inclusive you get 24hour room service for food and soft drinks. We did this for breakfast most days and sat on the balcony, which was great and far better than eating in the buffet! Availability of any other room service food after breakfast would be limited to either a cheese or chicken roll! The A La Carte food was quite poor. Handy hint the pizza place opens 12-2pm and 10pm-midnight and they are fresh...really nice. Selection at buffet good but little fresh fruit!
The free massage is good and the spa was really nice and probably would class this as 5 star. However if you want other treatments these easily cost the same as Clarins in the UK! My husband (a builder!) had the pedicure and manicure, he actually enjoyed it!
The pool is lovely! It was a bit cold when we got there, but I imagine in the summer it would be more comfortable and a welcome relief!
The Marina in Port El Kantaoui is pretty and a change from the hotel. We ate at the Sultana and it was really good, and the waiters very funny and accomodating. We did then have a bad experince at the place next door (don't go there). None of the restaurants will have alcohol except beer, be aware, even if they tell you they do!
Also be aware of what you are buying in terms of jewellerry. It is not solid gold it is plated and they will happilly lie to you and cheat you of money. The silver is real but make sure you check the hallmarks carefully. The general attitude of locals is mixed but found many of them unhelpful and out right rude!
I would not have felt comfortable out of the hotel without my husband. The sheer volume of men astounded me, there were very few (if any) local women around. This leaves the men free to ogle any female tourists, and I mean ogle! I have travelled all over the world to many different cultures and have never experienced anything like it - not a destination for a 'girlie' holiday!
I suppose a mixed report, but it was cheap (Â£350 pp - All inclusive board, transfer, flight, taxes, sea view room), it is a 3 hour flight, 1 hour difference to uk time, and fabulous long beaches that you can walk along for literally miles. We will go back!"
- Travel date: Sat 3rd of May 2008
Great Hotel Good Location
"Our first visit to Tunisia, glad we chose this hotel. Everywhere was clean, bed linen & towels changed daily, nice big room with balcony and seating area. Plenty of choice of food for breakfast and dinner, all nicely presented.
Waiters and bar staff all helpful, found reception staff not so good. Reported 2 problems to reception [on different days] which were not resolved until I complained again and then waited another 2 hours.
Plenty of daytime activities but evening entertainment very amateurish.
No information in the room or displayed anywhere about facilities available in the hotel, [of which there are loads] which is a shame, although staff willingly give details when asked.
2 swimming pools, one indoor, one outdoor and hotel is right next to the beach so hotel sunbeds available on the beach [no charge].
Tipping is expected and tips are asked for in Tunisia, though this wasn't the case in the hotel. But if you are out and use a loo you can guarantee that by the time the toilet flushes there will be someone waiting with their hand extended for a tip, even if the loo is grotty!
You can walk right along the beach into Kantaoui Marina, takes about 45 minutes strolling, or you can walk along the pavements. You will get hassled at the marina to go into the shops and cafes, but a polite "no thank you" usually does the trick.
Sousse medina [short taxi or bus ride away, about 8 miles] is an experience, lots of hassle to "have a butchers" with calls of "cheaper than Asda"!! but still worth the look around with not only tourist tat but everything from leather goods to the fish market, veg market and second hand stalls [grotty], if you can put up with constant requests to "just have a look".
We did a few trips including 2 days to the Sahara which we recommend though you do spend a long time on the coach and the overnight hotel is not very good, but you get to ride a camel in the desert for an extra charge and of course have a photo taken for an extra charge ....the Tunisians are good at the extra charges, including charging a dinar to take photos at various tourist sights!!
We did enjoy our time in Tunisia and would recommend the Palm Marina hotel though it is outside the marina area."
- Travel date: Tue 18th of March 2008
'Just sunshine' is all Just sunshine travel company have to offer.
"Wanting abit of winter sun/ pampering with a twist of adventure,my wife and I booked a week in a suite at the palm marina. On arrival there was a distinct lack of information regarding anything about our hotel, facililities or excursions. our suite was certainly large with a great view, big bed and sitting area.( If rather cheap soafa's).We finally got to see our rep on day three of our trip and booked a three day 4x4 safari into the desert. The 4x4 turned up on the morning of the trip to pick us up then proceeded to another el mouradi hotel to pick up more passengers. This turned out to be a further four people, so including the guide and driver made a total of eight people for a seven seater vehicle plus luggage for three days! Quite rightly the other two couples refused to travel in the vehicle as it was unsuitable for the task, demanding another 4x4.The tour operator( VTL , is also owned by the el mouradi group and is the only tour operator in the area,) said 'that the spanish never had a problem' jamming in the 4x4 and that was supposed to appease us! After forcing the guide to phone his boss we where informed that there where no other vehicles available and with that they took us back to our hotel refusing to honour the prepaid and booked trip,advising us to contact our Just Sunshine rep.After a wasted morning chasing , repeatedly, our Just Sunshine rep he turned up and although making all the right noises and giving our money back could not convince any of his superiors to assist us to make suitable alternative plans and showed no interest in making any sort of goodwill gesture for ruining our plans. I can only describe VTL as a money grabbing company with no interest in customer relations. The hotel food was fine if somewhat German influenced, All inclusive does not mean that everyone and their dog does not expect a tip! The reception staff were worse than useless as was the evening entertainment.The bar staff and waiters were friendly and helpfull.The hotel is clean and in the summer when they have all the facilities they advertise on offer would be fine If you just want to relax. The Taxi's are cheap and honest and bargains are to be had at the medina.You certainly get hasseled when out and about but generally a firm no is sufficient. VTL tour company I do not recommend, but they have a monopoly, so do as they like.If going, go 'all inclusive' as drinks expensive. out of season not alot open anywhere in the evening. Not rushing back!"
- Travel date: Tue 11th of March 2008
My family and I love Tunis, but this hot...
"My family and I love Tunis, but this hotel blew us away. It was fantastic, the staff were so nice and polite, so very helpful.
The food was beautiful and room service was spot on. the rooms where very big just what i like.
The pool was great, just lying on the big steps was so relaxing.
The evening entertainment was a bit of a let down but that depends what your looking for.
Brillant hotel/holiday i would recommend this hotel."
- Travel date: Sat 16th of February 2008