39 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Nice hotel, good location
"Just recently returned from a holiday at this hotel. After reading some of the reviews before and after I went, thought I would share my experience with you.
My friend and I arrived at 3am, reception was friendly and we were shown to our room. It was a family room with 4 beds and quite spacious.
We had a balcony with a sea view (not paid for ), although not front on. The lights in the room was very dim and hard to see to put your make up on in the evening to be honest. The lights in the corridors were the sensor type which is good to save money etc. but I think they should have come on a few seconds earlier than when you were virtually on top of them.
The room had a TV but to get a remote you had to leave a deposit, which is the first time I have known this on holiday, and we had no mini bar as that was extra. The safe was not working in our room so we had to have one behind the reception (not too much of a problem as we have used this system before) Although the air conditioning was not an extra but after 3 nights when we had a power cut (for approx 15 mins) and water leaking from the AC unit it did not seem to work after that. We reported it to reception and they informed us that it was turned off on 1st October. So from then on we just left the balcony door open all night and it was good. We only had the one blackout in our room and there were a few power cuts in the dining room but only half the lights went off not all of them, to be honest you should expect that sort of thing abroad.
The reception staff were very friendly and helpful. In fact we found all of the staff in the restaurant and bar area were too. On our last day when we were having trouble with our pick up time, the manager there, whose name began with a T was very helpful and took over and sorted it out for us. We always find that if you are nice and polite to people, from the maid to the hotel manager, they will treat you the same.
Currency could be changed at reception, no problem with traveler cheques that we experienced in Tunisia before.
The only problem we had with staff was the animation team. We did not know who they were, they never mixed with the guests. We only found out who they were when we went to a couple of their shows. The shows we found were not at all entertaining, they just involved getting members of the audience out and getting them to do silly things. No singing, dancing or sketches.
We went to another hotel back in May in Yasmine Hamamet and the animation team were brilliant because they worked very hard and spent time talking to all the guests and because you got to know them, then you would want to join in more. They also provided a show with singing, dancing and sketches. We joined in so many of the activities because they were more like friends.
At this hotel, we were only asked to play volleyball on the last day. We only counted about 5 animation staff, definitely not enough for a hotel of this size. This area needs to be improved.
Our room was cleaned every day we did have clean sheets more than once (to be honest, I never kept a diary on that). One day they forgot to leave clean towels, so we rang reception and they sent some up to our room. Within 15 mins. We had hot water all the time and we even had a bath each and still plenty of hot water.
We never had anything stolen from our rooms but we did not leave anything of value lying around, that is what the safe is for.
A lot of complaints seem to be about the food. My friend and I like trying lots of different foods and we do not want chips and bacon and egss when we are away (we donât eat them at home anyway) One English guest told us it was burger and chips for lunch while we were eating at the pool snack bar one day, as if to say - you missed out there!. Go to Spain if that is what you like, We thought there was a good choice of food and you could always find something to eat. We were never hungry and did not have to eat outside of the hotel.
We did eat at the pool snack bar a couple of times but they mainly served pasta and pizza and dry rolls so we preferred the restaurant.
As it was a very large hotel with 800 rooms, they did the evening meal in 2 sittings which we did not like, we prefer to decide what time we want to eat so I think it will be better to choose a smaller hotel next time.
You are allowed one visit to the A La Carte restaurant during your stay which we were looking forward to. We found it very disappointing and enjoyed the restaurant food better.
There was a mixture of nationalities at the hotel and we did find that some people just piled their plates up and then left lots on it. There was always fruit on offer and one person I saw had taken 9 plums! You were not restricted and could go up as many times as you liked, so no need for that kind of greed!
Also noticed complaints about the inclusive drinks. They should read what they are getting before they go. We have been numerous All Inclusive holidays and it is always local brands of spirits. In this hotel there was an American bar for those who just could not drink the local brands but you had to pay for it.
The pool area was lovely the way it is set out and there always seemed to be empty sun beds around, although that may not be the case in high season. We did discover that people had put their towels on the beach sun beds early in the morning. We are not fans of this procedure but as there seemed to be no notices forbidding it we just did the same and put our towels down before breakfast.
The beach is private and very large as the hotel is so wide. It is roped off and there is security at the beach to keep the pedlars away, which we were pleased with as it is annoying to keep getting pestered.
We used the spa at the hotel and had a 2 day package. First day was Turkish bath (a must for pre tanning), scrub and seaweed wrap then a rainfall massage (which is you lying on a bed with warm water running down on you with a jasmine oil massage) which was wonderful, could have laid there for hours! Next day of package was Turkish bath, Facial and hydro massage - all this for 135 dinar which was Â£54! It was half price offer as near end of the season.
We visited the Medina and got a taxi there - he asked for 3 dinar (Â£1.20), wasnât miles away but too far in the heat, 5 dinar coming back (Â£2) well worth it.
There was free WiFi in the reception area which was good for checking phones etc.
All in all, good holiday - lots rest and relaxation - lovely location but maybe a bit too big for us. We wonât be returning as we like to go to different resorts, but not as bad as some of the reviews are making it seem.
- Travel date: Thu 25th of October 2012
Will return !
"Booked last minute & got good deal for 1 week from 03/06/2012. Never go AI or in big hotels as never appealled to me but this was great !.Room more 3* not 4* but good.Good choice of food. Friendly helpful staff ( never expected tips !)Nice pool, plenty sunbeds, clean, lovely garden,s, animation team had just started a week before & did an excellent job. Some people complained that vodka ran out near end of night ( midnight )....it happens as they get allocated an amount each day & you can drink from 10am ! A visit to the Spa is a must!I went 3 times as have health problems, prices are very cheap, ask for the doctor if getting massages...brill."
- Travel date: Sun 17th of June 2012
Would go back!
"Just got back yesterday!
Location perfect, close to airport (enfedha) hotel has shops, beach, currancy exchange.
The room was basic but clean and had enough space ect.
outdoor pool was freezing but the indoor pool was lovely, perfect for when the weather cooled down at about 4.30pm.
the food was nice, no one got a funny tummy although got a bit predictable.
the staff were lovely! we had read a few reviews about watching out for jimmy, in my opinion you cant find a nicer genuine person!
i wished id have stayed for 10-14days as 7 just wasnt enough! for the price this hotel is well worth it and i would defenatly go back if i wanted a cheap chilled out break.
i would have gave it a 10 but the last night one of the animation team brought a monkey to the hotel which although was on a lead it was visious! we sat on the edge of our seats the whole evening and the team got a bit funny when we asked them to take the monkey away (after the second time it swiped me!)but none of us let it dampen the holiday."
- Travel date: Mon 14th of November 2011
Good and bad points for this hotel
"GOOD POINTS....really nice hotel / staff are very friendly / food is very good with lots to choose from / very clean hotel with maids working most of the day cleaning rooms / pool is very very very cold but nice and clean with plenty of sun beds /one down point is there is not alot of entertainment only one bloke playing a keyboard on some nights so its kinda boring ,so in my view it needs a band playing or at least a disco . There is a english pub not far from there called the rose and crown that is quite good and cheap and has karaoki on fridays
BAD POINTS..... Although there is a nightclub that starts around midnight that just play dance music but might play something else only if you beg the idiot d/j who cant read the crowd and only plays what he wants to play oh and only sell one crappy beer that should be called liquid head throb! but that dont start untill after midnight but by then your so bored with nothing going on in the other bars so you dont really fancy going / beach is very nice if you can handle people trying to sell you camel rides, and others asking for money and trying to sell you head scarfs. If you do go outside the hotel be warned you will get alot of hasel when you walk past shops and people following asking for money . But saying all this i had a great holiday and would recomend the hotel as the staff make up for the very frw bad points so i would give it a 8/10"
- Travel date: Tue 16th of November 2010
Never ever. Ever.
"Riadh Palms. 4 stars. Nah. Dont think so. The beach and pool are are wonderful. Plenty of room, nice water.. Cant complain. The hotel itself, though a bit worn, was quite ok. Cepty that our AC didnt work and when we told the staff they said it would be fixed next week... And no fridge in the rooms.
The staff. Rude. They are there to get paid. Not to help out.
And the food. Horrible. They served RAW chicken. Tasteless food. Old/reused food. The hotel doesnt serve the cheap but tasty wine that Tunis is known world wide for but rather a waterd down type. The "gin", "vodka" and what not contains alcohol but other than that I think they might make it themself.
The lines to the bar are long and in the evening be prepared to elbow your way to a beer.
Thanks to this hotel I will NEVER return to Tunis. 4 stars? lol"
- Travel date: Sun 22nd of August 2010
"Hotel was clean, room cleaners were friendly, pool was nice, whether was good but thats where it ended!
Food was more or less the same every day and had no taste and i'll eat anything! Lucnhtime chips were often cold. We looked forward to breakfast as the best meal of the day although no bacon or english breakfast food.
The hotel staff with the exception of the room cleaners were rude, not very helpful, creepy around my 4 year old daughter to the extent of kissing her back and making her cry.
The hotel appeared to cater for non-english guests, other guests were rude and greedy.
Pool staff were very rude and even admitted to hating english people with threats of throwing beach towels into the pool when we were not around.
We could not leave the hotel as the street sellers were just as creepy as the hotel staff and forced goods upon us even after saying 'No' time after time.
There was a limited choice of all inclusive drinks at the bars.
The kids disco was the same routine every night.
The reception ran out of money when wanting to change travellers cheques.
The windows along the corridors open inwards and the wind blew a window into my sons face which required stitches because there was a nail sticking out the window.
We went to the Dominican Republic a few years ago for the same price and it was 10 times better, this holiday has put me off booking anywhere in northern Africa again as a holiday, would not go back "
- Travel date: Tue 17th of August 2010
Mr T Wilkins
" this is 100% truth
2 dinar to the pound and you want a lot of it .
ask for a room away from the hotel renovation work or you out of your room at 7.30 and dont go back till 1900.
5 dinar a day to get a beach chair to beach security man.
if you dont pay him your towels get taken off.
3 dinar a day for the safe.
and you have to use it or lose it.
2 dinar a day for tv control.
will work with out and only 3 stations in english.
5 dinar a day for a fridge.
dont need it you can get water every day free.
the normal day time entertainment the only night entertainment apart from the animation team a week is a 10 dinar per person to watch some snakes and a monkey.
food was hot and a good choice but same every day.
beach and sea very good no stones and not a lot of fish.
dont use the free hotel bus its not free con .use the train its cheap but pay one way only or you have to get same train back evry 90 mins but 1 runs every 30 mins.
the drinks are ok but not a lot of choice no rum - brandy . And at night use the little bar to the right outside faster and only open at night .
dont go in mid summer hotel to big and you will not get on beach or round pool .we had probs and only 60% full
and dont forget the tips tips tips "
- Travel date: Thu 3rd of June 2010
my disappointing holiday at above hotel
"I suffered an upset stomach, sickness and diarrhea, not due to the water, I used only bottled water very carefully, I can only attribute it to the food, 3 days out of my 7 days holiday were lost due to this.
For a hotel of this size I counted only 4 lifts.
I think a realistic grading for this hotel would be a 3 star at best."
- Travel date: Tue 6th of April 2010
"I know better than to read other peoples reviews, however, i did and was a bit concerned about staying at this hotel. (if u read the rest of the reviews you will understand why) I still think it's best to go and make your own mind up about the hotel, i have never left a review before but after reading the others i feel i have to.
I go to Tunisia several times a year and this is by far the best hotel i have ever stayed in......i can't think of one thing to complain about (apart from a couple of annoying guests, but thats not the hotels fault).
The pool is fantastic, you are right on the beach, the food is lush, the service is amazing. The animation team are fabulous and the holiday altogether was the best yet. You are just a short strol away from the medina or a short taxi / tuk tuk or train ride away from the marina.
I loved it so much i am going back in 8 weeks time, it was absolutely amazing, all i can say is ignore all the miserable people who have to find fault with every little thing, stay at this hotel, enjoy yourself and make your own mind up...!!!"
- Travel date: Tue 23rd of March 2010
"It seems that every one gets a road view room when you first book in to the hotel. These rooms are OK but there is a lot of traffic noise on a night and nothing much to encourage you to sit out on the balcony as there is little to see appart from the hotels opposite. I think it cost us about Â£40 to move to a sea view which was better. This hotel has seen better days and was probably a very good hotel in it's day. The rooms are OK but in need of some TLC and it seems to be nearly as far from the lift to some of the rooms as it is from the hotel to the airport. I am a very fussy eater but I found something acceptable to eat every day as did everyone else in our party. If you tip your waiter a couple of quid each evening your glass will never be empty during meals. The entertainment team work very hard and are worth watching for the effort they put in alone although it does get a bit repetitive after a while. One thing you have to put up with is the occasional smell of sewage in the entertainment area on a night. I don't know if this is always the case or whether we were just unlucky. The free bar for all inclusive is OK and we never had a problem getting served although I defy anyone to get drunk on the beer and you have to go to seperate bars for beer and spirits although the bars are next to each other it still means two queues instead of one. By far and away the best thing about this hotel is the fantastic beach which is literally a stones throw from the hotel door. If you can find a working sunlounger/chair on the beach it is beautiful and the sea is close, clear and warm which could also accurately describe the beer from the beach bar. The only real downside to the beach is the constant pestering from the guys trying to sell trips on the pirate boat (Total waste of money and seems an ideal way for them to keep you in a confined area for three hours while they try to con you into paying for pirate scarves and henna tattoos etc), camel safari (This was pretty good but haggle over the price as we paid Â£15 each but others on the same trip paid upto Â£35 each and don't expect romantic desert views as it can seem as though you're riding through a landfill site at times) and the quad bike safari (didn't manage this one as we were all ill by then). These people do not understand the word no and I bet one of them gets to you before you can cover the 40 or 50 yards from the hotel door to the beach on your 1st day. All 6 adults were extremely ill with a violent and explosive stomach bug and four of us were still as ill two weeks after returning home. Everyone we spoke to had someone in their party missing from the camel trip due to this same illness. This bug, or whatever it was, is absolutely vicious and makes venturing far from the hotel risky to say the least even when dosed up with extra strong immodium. I had read about this on other review sites so it wasn't just a one off with us and seems to have been happening on and off for a few years. We can only blame the booze as the two young kids with us were absolutely fine and the only thing we had that they didn't was the alcohol. Beware the locals!! They appear friendly enough but they will do almost anything and use every trick in the book to part you from your cash.
If you don't include the most ignorant, uninterested, sourfaced receptionist it has ever been my misfortune to clap eyes on, the staff were very friendly, polite and helpfull
Never in a million years a 4* hotel. 2* at a push.
Would I go back to this hotel ------ Absolutely not.
- Travel date: Tue 17th of November 2009
it was beautiful
"Hello everybody.....I just want to say,IT WAS BEAUTIFUL holiday in this hotel and in Tunisia,beach is goog,swimingpool,rooms,restaurants are olso good...and just want say too, thanks everybody in hotel,because peoples are very very good....and i hope that i will come again...everybody miss me soo much....by by....................."
- Travel date: Sun 21st of June 2009
Not a Winter-Sun Happy Holiday
"Firstly, may I add that I was wary after reading the posts here, but am open minded and thought I'd make my own decision based on experience - my rating is based on what was promised and I am sorry to say that the 4 star all inclusive holiday I paid for and was not as promised in the brochure. This is my complaint. Advertised with but had NO entertainment during the day NO games/Tennis NO poolside games so when the sun didn't shine (5 out of 7 days for us) there was nothing to do but sit around waiting for meal times in the bar and drink beer (not such a bad thing!) There was no bingo or such inside, no cards or boardgames to borrow, NOWT at all, not even a TV rambling with arabic waffle to watch.
The bedroom was adequate and clean BUT apart from a TV (with only CNN in english) there was nothing. No kettle, no fridge, not even a hairdryer. The bathroom was equally bare, just one hand towel and body towel per person, WHICH YOU WERE NOT ALLOWED TO USE OUTSIDE OF YOUR ROOM..... handsoap in dispensers on the wall of the bath/shower, which had cracking pressure and plenty of hot water.
The rooms were cleaned daily if you wanted - however there was a lot of petty theft and we saw a maid go into rooms without any equipment in her hands or a trolley so why???
Food was ok, breakfast was european style, NO BACON. Cereal was only choco-ish flakes and Vanilla flakes, not cornflakes more like chopped biscuit flakes. Fried eggs were prepared to order. Lunch and Dinner was much the same day in day out - I like pasta/rice/mediterranean dishes so I was quite satisfied however it was always cold, there was a microwave to pop-de-ping yer meal though. If you don't like med food, then you'll not be impressed. Not much veg options either, and most cooked veg was oily to be honest, there was a wide choice of salads and sweets/cakes and plenty of apples/oranges/tangerines. The fruit juice was NOT fruit, it was more like fruit flavoured syrup watered down.... yak!
Both me and my sister suffered from delhi belly during our stay - make of that what you will.
the pool area was clean, and supervised (unused due to the weather) and if you tipped the guy he would save you a bed in a good spot.
the entertainment - what little there was, existed in the late evening 9.30pm onwards and in a disco where there was a bar but you had to pay if you were all inclusive. The disco was HOUSE - nothing anybody wanted seeing as the majority of the residents were over 50 - german/dutch and there for 2-3 months!
THE 4 STAR RATING WAS GIVEN TO THIS HOTEL IN 1973 when i'm sure anybody visiting would have thought it was palacial - but today, it looked very dated, dusty, grotty but had it's charm. If you want a quiet holiday just sitting around drinking beer and chatting and grazing on salad then you'll be very happy, me, I wanted sun (not their fault we didn't get it of course) poolside music and lots of beer in the evening. One thing to bear in mind, when the bottles of spirit run out - that's yer lot cocker - one night a group of Spanish students hit the bar and drank it dry - they had an allocation of 3ltrs of each of Brandy/Whiskey/Vodka/Gin/Martini and a couple of others, and cocktails made using that awful syrupy fruit juice. Beer was like Amstel - quite nice actually, and the wine was the local brew and also very tasty.
MORE GOSSSS..... there were prostitutes working in the hotel, and I mean MALE who were happy to be with men and women alike - this was NOT hidden and permitted by the hotel management. They didn't take money but were expected to be "cared for" ie, they were invited to stay and in return for their "services" their stay was paid for by the guest on a daily basis - that's how we were told it worked. Even we were approached by a young guy who walked by us 3 or 4 times, attempted to make eye contact and when by mistake I looked up as he was looking across the room, took that to mean he could invite himself to interrupt our card game and ask if he could sit with us and keep us company....I don't chuffin well think so matey! This is not an exaggeration and although we were highly amused watching the obvious action - it did disgust us when we saw this old white european guy with a young dark tunisian lad following him like a puppy.
When you walk down the streets ladies cover up - it is a muslim country and you stand out like a sore thumb when you wear a brief top. They approach you on the street all the time and in addition to the shopkeepers and their staff it all gets a LOT too much and we were completely fed up to the back teeth after a couple of hours. Get used to men approaching you saying they are a security guard or waiter at your hotel (hide your AI wristband) and try to lead you to a shop where they say... i know where you can buy cheap.....blah blah blah - at times you have to be brutal give the look of death and sternly say NO. If you are polite and say no "thankyou" they take that as a way to carry on pursuing you and won't let go, they will follow you for yards and yards until you are firm or just downright nasty! Sunglasses to avoid eye contact are a must.
The internet at the hotel is not reliable - slow (like dial up) and expensive, 6 dina for 30 mins no MSN. We found PUBLINET shop 5 mins walk away - it's opposite the calypso bar entrance which has a red stick out into the street cover. left out of hotel, cross the road to the right and take the right fork in the road PUBLINET shop is the first building on a side street on the right - you can't miss it if you pay attention! 2 dina for an hour and it's broadband - you can MSN on there no problem and you don't get hastled, they were nice peeps in there - just had to endure the pestered walk there and back!
We made friends with loads of peeps, german, dutch and english, and found no problem getting along with all the age ranges - but that's a brit thing isn't it. There were plenty of laughs (and moans) and to be honest it was that aspect of the holiday that we enjoyed but this is the first time I've been happier to leave than arrive - even though it was snowing in the UK!!!!"
- Travel date: Sun 8th of February 2009