If like us you are wanting a quiet relaxing winter break, then this hotel is ideal during that period. We have just been joined by our 21 year old grandson who needed to ''chill out'' after moving into his new flat. He has been before and always says that it is worth coming just for the varied food choices!
Summer period is I am told 'perfect for everyone'' with the in house entertainment, the extensive hotel grounds -- tennis, archery, foot and hand ball, darts, boules, bowling, table tennis etc and the best beach in Tunisia.
We'll be back soon!!
Travel operator: Travel republic
The food was very good - yes it does get monotonous sometimes but always found something to eat. The breakfast you could get omelettes cooked while you wait if you wanted something hot - found sometimes if you were late for meals the food was not always hot - but it was not a real problem considering how many had to cater for.
We thought that we read of a courtesy bus to Mahdia as it was not walking distance but when asked at reception we were told there wasn't, but a taxi only cost a max of 5 dinars (about £2.50). Expected a fishing resort but it was more commercial & not that pretty! Our waiter Sami in the Restaurant was excellent when he had a day of it was chaos. Have been all inclusive to other places & for some reason generally find that the bar staff are surly & don't seem to want to serve a decent drink! They seemed watered down - no lemon offered etc. That said one of the lads waiting the tables in the bar Tom (Tohami) was great very friendly & helpful.
Was looking forward to ten pin bowling & using the Gym both advertised as part of all inclusive - the bowling was always closed & in darkness (we found out towards the end of holiday that it opened at 4pm) & the Gym was always closed - when we asked it was part of the Spa & they wanted to charge 15 dinars about £7 per visit. Not many English here - which is not a problem for us but found that English were not really catered for. All in all a good holiday the weather was good except for one bad day when it rained for most of it. Stayed in Port el Kantoui at the Rui Marhaba Palace last year & thought it was better.
The Hotel grounds & beach were excellent & if you’re looking for a relaxing break just around the beach & pool it would be ideal. If looking to see some sights suggest a visit to El Jem a Roman building in our opinion better than the Colloseum in Rome & not too far away.
Travel operator: On the Beach
If you are wanting a relaxing winter break without all the noise and stress of a busy tourist resort, I would suggest that you consider staying at the Vincci Nour Palace Hotel in sleepy Mahdia in Tunisia. It is a large Spanish owned hotel, but in winter is not too busy, so you can almost guarantee a peaceful break from your daily routine. We have stayed there every winter since the hotel opened and meet up with many other regular tourists who come year after year. We also have various personal friends who come to join us for a week or so each year. The hotel is also a popular venue for Christmas and New Year.
Nour Palace is situated right on the beautiful beach which is considered the best in Tunisia. The hotel has a beach patrol to fetch any sun loungers needed and to control the beach traders. There are beautiful gardens surrounding the large outdoor pool and literally hundreds of free sun loungers with sponge mattresses. There is a heated indoor pool of course. There is also a well-equipped gym which can be used for a small fee as can the three tennis courts and there are also other free daily activities. There is a small golf course and professional tuition is available if requested. The large indoor bowling alley is open each evening as is the indoor games room with pool and air ball tables plus weird and wonderful electronic games machines. A supervised Kiddy Club is situated at the side of the grounds. Thalasso and massage treatment can be arranged – and so can beauty treatment at the hair salon on the ground floor.
All the rooms have balconies furnished with table and chairs and are larger than the norm with either a king size bed or two singles – all have a large bathroom. Family rooms are available as are suites and assessable adjoining rooms.
The beautiful foyer is well appointed with internet access and an ATM machine. It is very much the social hub of the hotel with live music most evenings, which often results in impromptu dancing. There is also a cabaret several evenings a week, with entertainment supplied by the Animation Team.
All meals are buffet style in the main restaurant and there is always a vast array of food available – something to suit everyone. Breakfast buffet has the usual array of salads, salami, cheeses, yoghurts, and fresh fruit in season, preserves, freshly made pancakes, donuts, boiled, fried and scrambled eggs and omelettes – plus sausages and grilled tomatoes etc.. There is a selection of freshly baked bread, Danish pastries, cereals and traditional Tunisian cakes. For the more adventurous, there is a small selection of Tunisian breakfast dishes. There is also a good selection of teas, coffees and chocolate drinks.
The evening meal buffet must be the most comprehensive one possible. Once again there is a vast range of cold starters including freshly prepared salads, cheeses, fish, eggs, savoury preserves, olives etc with a large range of salad dressings. There is always a choice of two soups. For the main course, there are always pasta dishes and pizzas freshly prepared at your request– at least one chicken dish, one beef or lamb dish, one fish dish and various grills – also one plain roast for the less adventurous which is quite often a roast turkey or suckling pig! There is also a range of vegetables and vegetarian options. Tunisian food is not neglected, as there is always a choice of delicious ethnic specialties including the famous couscous. The ice cream and dessert table is irresistible as I know to my cost, as I always manage to ignore the large selection of local and imported fresh fruit despite all good intentions. Local beers, wines and soft drinks are available.
I have never eaten at lunch time, but have been told that the lunch buffet is equally as good. There are also two specialty waiter service restaurants.
I must mention the staff at Nour Palace who really are excellent. They are so friendly and work so hard and nothing is too much trouble for them – and unlike some hotels, you never feel that you are pressurized to tip – but feel that you must as appreciation for the consistent excellent service.
A few minutes walk outside of the hotel is a bank, several supermarkets and souvenir shops and half dozen or so coffee bars and small cafes. A taxi rank is directly outside of the hotel and the fare into the town centre is 3 dinars – about £1.50. The train station is 5 minutes away with regular trains to Monastir and Sousse.
We always book with Travel Republic/Med Hotels and their rep. Cheryl is a GEM. She has lived in Tunisia for 17 years, so is a mine of information. If you wish to go on any tours/excursions, she can book them for you – we have been on the Sahara Tour three times!
Travel operator: travel republic
Travel operator: First Choise
The staff were friendly and helpful.
As we went in Feb, we found the hotel is quite geared up for the summer. The location of hotel not that good, there certainly are no restaurants you could walk to, but there are a few shops about 5 minutes walk.
I would recommend the hotel but not the area. We did have a good time but glad we only went for 1 week. Also if you go in Feb, take a coat, I regret not taking one as I was cold for 3 days, no sun, no warmth!
Travel operator: Medhotels
I never had a go of the golf but the course is quiet small with a very nice view of the sea. There is two table tennis (ping pong) tables and you can bring your own equipment or hire them from reception for 5td (about £2.50) an hour, one of the is located outdoors near the pool and the other is located indoors near the gym.
The gym is not very good with only a couple of pieces of equipment. The people entertaining in the hotel called the animation team are very good and try to get you joining in lots of activities that are happening.
In the reception area there is a board telling you what activities that are taking place, I recommend you have a look because there is something for all ages!
The food in the hotel is quite nice at first but every week it repeats itself, so if you are going for a long amount of time you might get bored of it.
During the day they have several bars with food such as chips and pizza which was a favourite. If you are looking for a peaceful holiday this hotel would be perfect, but if you are looking for an action filled holiday there is nice short activities that the animation team hold.
Also there is a camel ride, a pirate ship, a train/car tour, a train, and excellent quad bikes; you can also haggle the prices on most of these activities. During the school holidays lots of children are at the hotel so and it is easy to make friends in this hotel seem as the animation team gets you so involved, but if you go when it is not the school holidays the hotel has a lot of oaps and not many families.
A holiday in this hotel would be perfect overall the hotel is very peaceful and can make a holiday perfect.
Travel operator: travel bargains
The weather was very warm when the sun came out but the wind could be cold, on the whole the weather was good for ten days out of the fourteen.
The entertainment staff were excellent with the children and did work hard to get the holiday makers involved with the entertainment. This is how my children made some lovely friends. The evening entertainment is very amateurish. The other entertainment rooms are very quiet with background music playing.
The hotel is located next to railway station, we had a train ride to Sousse this took an hour and a half costing £2.50 approx. We also took a taxi to Mahdia costing approx £4.50 return, Mahdia is not a tourist place, but there is a castle and lovely views.
The food was acceptable, but repetitive, and not a lot of choice, very disappointing for a 5* hotel.
The hotel staff are nice and friendly, there were a lot of French tourists in this hotel while we were there.
The hotel is kept clean and tidy at all times, sheets and towels changed each day. Towels for the beach and pool can be hired for £8.00 and refunded when returned, good idea saves you taking your own.
This resort and hotel is great if all you want is peace and quiet.
Travel operator: medhotels
I would say that though it is graded as a 5*, it is probably at best only a 4*plus because it is a little let down by attention to detail, and the food was not 5* (though even this did have some good features).
The hotel and resort would suit families and older couples but not young people looking for night life or British bars etc.
I have seen this hotel advertised on several bargain holiday sites; if you are taking a family it is even cheaper however, to book direct with Medhotel.com and find your own flights and transfers -this is what we did and saved about £300 and had better sea view rooms and also full board (as opposed to the normal half board and garden view of our fellow British travellers - who didn't even get these options).
Transfers can be by coach £4pp each way, a taxi will normally cost approx £15 -£18 (though we did find one willing to take us for £8! - but you must be prepared to negotiate strongly!) Or cheaper still, take the train for less than £1 pp (children are less, and very little ones free).
The station is 500yds to the right of the airport, looking out of the doors - just over the car park. Direct trains run every hour on the main Sousse - Mahdia line. You would need to get off at the station 'Mahdia Zone Tourist' 4 stops before Mahdia itself -which is a station opposite the entrance to the Vincci Nour - though you would have to be prepared to do some luggage lugging of about 500yds over flat, but open, rough ground (there is a dirt path) to reach the hotel.
Trains are very 1960's but there is plenty of room for luggage and you can upgrade to first class for 50p! I would only recommend the train for the light traveller or serious penny pincher - but we did our return transfer on the train and found it easy enough!
The hotel worst points were; firstly the lack of a written information package about facilities, times of meals, where to obtain pool towels etc. On your arrival - you would think that the receptionists would be sick of answering the same questions a thousand times a week. Most of the time we found out about things from other guests!
The second point would be the food; some dishes were cold and salads were uninspiring, possibly a little too much emphasis on local cuisine (great if you are into that sort of thing though) which being spicy, did not suit the kids, some meat dishes (but not all) you could only conclude that the animal had had a hard life! There was surprisingly little in the way of fish or fresh fruit (except oranges and figs!). It certainly wasn't 5* cuisine - we did wonder if this was just a culture thing or because most holiday makers were on out of season, bargain breaks and the food provided simply reflected this. However, there was a fair choice of food and some dishes were prepared & cooked in front of you. The good points were the freshly make bread, croissants and pancakes in the morning. The food certainly wasn't inedible but rather disappointing.
Rooms were clean & well fitted out but I would strongly recommend that you pay extra for a swimming pool/sea/tennis court view if you like sitting out on your balcony, as those looking directly out to sea or the garden views at the side were in shade most of the day.
For the budget traveller the rooms at the back facing the road - though having no real view, at least had the sun all day. Also a warning that the 'garden' views at the side of the hotel look onto a very scruffy looking football pitch and building work is on going at the adjacent hotel. A good room to have would be no.s 1028, 2028, 3028, 4028 & 5028 as these are slightly bigger than the standard, have the sun and are conveniently situated. The rooms and other areas of the hotel are slightly let down by the odd chipped or broken tile here and there, that give the hotel an appearance of being older than the 3 years that it is - such lack of attention to detail is a real shame -apart from this it had a luxurious feel.
The indoor pool was lovely and warm (though again just ever so slightly shabby with wear & tear that had not been seen to) the indoor pool was a real bonus because, though the outside pool looked lovely, it was too cold to swim in Feb. When we were there.
We did spend a pleasant afternoon on the beach and the sun beds were free. The ten pin bowling was also good - clean and reasonably priced to be able to play a game each night.
In the games room there was air hockey, pool tables and simulators (all costing 1 dinar - about 50p). There were also tennis courts, a putting green, a small gym, massage/Turkish bath etc. Which we didn't try so can't comment, other than you pay extra for these. There were also sports & activities organised by the hotel animation team but again I can't comment on them as we generally did our own things.
Travel operator: Medhotels
Firstly, on arrival, having booked a room with a sea view, we were told that we couldn't have one until the Sunday of our 1 week stay (we arrived on the Wednesday night), however, we were promised a complimentary bottle of wine and to be upgraded on the Sunday. The room which we received was on the bottom floor, and had a view of a staff corridor, with only an electric light (just a glimpse of sunlight through the window). We never received the free wine, and had to spend considerable time arguing our case for the sea view room on the sunday morning - we did manage to bargain bringing in the cheaper water and coke bottles we'd bought from Madhia, which had been confiscated at the gate though.
Aside from this, the trip was good. The hotel was very clean, apart from a dirty sock on our window sill in the first room! The food was as described in other reviews; more than edible, extensive choice, but rather repetitive - I personally wouldn't have wanted it for more than 1 week. Please note that this appears to be the case all year round, as we experienced this in the summer.
The location was fairly poor, and the lack of information regarding local amenities even more so - it was only having used this site that I was made aware of the train station, or the shops down the road. We completely relied on our 'Rough Guide' book for any venturing outside the hotel, but were able to use public transport (Louages) and taxis to get to El Gem - a roman colloseum, which comes highly recommended. The camel excersion is also good fun.
The staff were not particularly helpful - in particular with the sea view room situation, but that mainly stemmed from a lack of English speakers (my limited French was severely tested!). Didn't really get involved in the entertainment, but it seemed fairly extensive.
I wouldn't revisit this hotel, mainly because we didn't receive our sea view room, and because of the lack of provision for English speakers. However, for a one off, the holiday was enjoyable.
Travel operator: Teletext Holidays
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