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Houria Palace Hotel

15 of 17 hotels in Port el Kantaoui

3 out of 5 from 31 reviews
4 stars

31 Reviews

Traveller Rating

  • Excellent
    1
  • Very Good
    7
  • Good
    13
  • Average
    8
  • Poor
    2

Review Overview

  • Cleanliness
  • Entertainment
  • Food
  • Service
  • Location
Nigel Futter
All in all a great time
7 years 3 months ago
Excellent hotel really to all the amenities, Marina,Shops and the Beach.

Hotel was cleaned regularly and the rooms were cleaned every day to a good standard, fresh towel daily and you never run out of anything. Maids were very friendly and always having a joke.

The food was of a good standard, salads were in abundance and plentiful tried things I have never eaten before and thoroughly enjoyed everything. If you go expecting egg and chips then this holiday is not for you.

The hotel guests were primarily German and French but all guests were catered for.

The entertainment can be loud some evening but the animation team are very hard working and try their best to get everyone involved in the activities.

All in all we had a great time and would go back again.
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Recommended
Katherine Thomas
8 years 1 month ago
The location was just perfect, the beach and marina are so close and Sousse was only a short tuk tuk ride away.

The room was cleaned every day and the maids were very friendly (although they spoke little english). Only problem with the room when we arrived was that the shower head would not attach to the wall, other than that it was perfect.

Only the one receptionist was rude and inpatient, the others were very attentive. The animators were great, they would get everybody involved, perhaps they could be a little pushy at times(that may be becasue we were a group of young girls though). The waiters in the restaurant were also attentive and polite.

The entertainment in the evenings was good fun and all in english suprisingly even though is is a primarily german and french hotel.

The food was plentiful, the salads were delicious. The hot food and deserts were nothing special but absolutely nothing wrong with them. The breakfast was really good. We were half board and only stayed for a week so the food was not repetitive for us either.

The two pools are really nice and very clean. Lots of sunbeds, and they are cheap to have for the day (1 dinar -40p i think)

It was nice being in a hotel that wasn't just full of English people actually. Some people said that the germans and french were treated better but i would disagree strongly. All in all we loved the hotel and are desperate to go back again next year.
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Travel operator: Sunshine

Recommended
Eileen Barrett
8 years 2 months ago
houria palace

is very nice but the food is diabolical dining room staff insolent and rude wouldent go back if if they paid me i have eaten all over the world but this was the indescribable
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Travel operator: ihomas cook

Marie
10 years 4 months ago
This is not a 4 stars hotel, but still a lovely place to spend your holiday.

The rooms were always clean, nothing to complain about there. If something was needed, the reception would help.

The location was okay, a short walk to the marina and free transport to the beach. Still there was some noise from the aquapark nearby, but it didn't bother us.

There was little variation in the food and I`m glad we went out to eat in the evening. No problems with the breakfast, different from our traditions of course but this is Africa and a hotel with visitors from all over the world.

The entertainment was not always that good and its music was load and often disturbing until its end about 11.30 pm. A lot of repetition, but excellent for the children! The entertainment staff made sure that the children would enjoy, and so they did!

The staff are some fantastic and warm people, except some of the "important" people in the reception. One of the waiters gave my two sisters a birthday card for their birthday (!) that was celebrated on our vacation. We really miss some of them.

We spent a lot of the holiday with the pool, playing bocca, waterpolo (really fun) and taking part in the aerobic and aquagym - which never boring.

Drinking was not a problem, I went out every evening, dancing, drinking and having fun.

I will visit this hotel again, I spent my best holiday ever there. There are things to complain about, but these are details that didn`t affect my stay at all. This is a place were families and others can relax and enjoy a different but warm culture.
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Travel operator: DeTour

Recommended
Shenzy
10 years 4 months ago
Once again not a 4 star hotel, more like 3*...

The hotel was very clean and the maids were very friendly. Although they took ages to clean the room. They did do beautiful designs with the bedsheets and scattered them with roses on one occasion!

The food was quite nice but very repetitive and odd choices for the time of day we were eating. Waiters were very friendly.

The location was fantastic with the beach 10 minutes away and a playground and the market and shops and the water park right next door-and Sousse only a bus ride away!

The staff at the reception were rude and impolite-they doid not make you feel welcome.

The entertainment was not good, as it was not in english and was disturbing at night when trying to get sleep.

I would visit the place again purely because of the location-although the Vincci hotel seemed much beeter-that too was 4 star and only opposite Houria Palace.
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Travel operator: XL

Recommended
Julie And Owen
11 years 2 months ago
The chambermaids do work hard and leave rooms clean but they can be very slow, had a do not disturb sigh on out side of door yet the they still came on in.

Food was terrible, eggs at breakfast were raw and chef was cooking ravioli on one of our nights there which when given was raw. Lasagna was burnt and different dishes were not cooked properly and very bland food was more suitable for the French and Germans as this hotel is contracted to a French travel agent.

The location was very good close to beach and Marina were thank goodness has some very good restaurants.

Female receptionists very arrogant and aloof and not helpful at all. Again the entertainment was arranged for the French and Germans even for the children no music in English.
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Travel operator: panorama

Reza & Emma
11 years 3 months ago
Not a 4star by any stretch of the imagination. The rooms themselves were adequate and were kept reasonably clean. Towels were changed everyday and rooms were tidied and beds made (however we are unsure of how often the bed linen was changed). The air conditioning worked well and was a big plus.

Unfortunately that's where the good stuff ends!

Food in this hotel is horrendous. Breakfast was just about managable so long as you don't mind bread and croissants everyday. There were plenty of other dishes but we couldn't stomach pasta, grease-covered eggs or salami-type meat this early in the morning. Drinks at breakfast were weak tea or sugary apricot or strawberry juice. If you want fresh juice then the hotel charge you 1.500dinars for it!!! (The cheek of it!)
The evening meal was no better. Poor choice and hard to stomach.

During our stay we were both ill, suffering from stomach cramps and frequent visits to the toilet! After speaking with other guests it emerged that we were not alone - almost everyone we spoke to complained of the same illness.

Reception staff were rude and absolutely useless. The rep wasn't much use either.

Entertainment was geared around the French and German guests (ok if you like Celine Dion)

The location of this hotel in Port el Kantaoui is great with the beach and resort centre within 5mins walk. However, all things considered we wouldn't visit this hotel again.
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Travel operator: Panorama/MyTravel

Janet And Ian
12 years 2 months ago
This is definitely not a 4* Hotel in any country. The hotel grounds are full of cats that roam around the hotel lobby, sitting on the chairs and tables and the swimming pool areas so needless to say there was an overpowering smell of cats.

The soap and shampoo left on arrival is never replaced. The water in the bathroom stank so much that we ended up buying bleach and air freshener.

The cleaning was haphazard, the sheets and towels would be taken from the room as early as 10 O'clock but you would still be waiting for towels at 14.30.

The food in the restaurant was awful and only ever lookwarm. There were some interesting combinations at breakfast (spaghetti and cheese, chillied luncheon meat), flies crawled all over the food and we noticed that the waiters would take the unused butter swirls of used plates and put them back on the main plates in the servery. Meal time was a pantomime and you ended up queuing for every course. The British holiday makers tended to be stuck in a corner at the back of the restaurant where the air conditioning couldn't reach, if you end up there insist you are moved.

With the exception of a small number the hotel staff were largely sullen, liked taking the piss and were only interested in how much of a tip you were going to give them.

The entertainment was abysmal, the night we arrived it involved dragging poor unsuspecting holiday makers on stage and then asking them to parade up and down as if there were on a catwalk.

There is only one way in and out of the hotel to the resort. As you approach the gate take a deep breath (or cover your mouth and nose with a hankychief) because the smell of horse piss will make you retch. It is disgusting! and takes your breath away.
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Travel operator: Direct Holidays

Dan/Caroline
12 years 3 months ago
Hotel is excellent. No, it's not a 4* in the way you'd expect it to be a four-star in Britain but it's certainly a very good three-star hotel.

I'm surprised as to what people actually have said in other reviews as it occurred to us that Tunisia might not be the bells-and-whistles four-star you might get somewhere else. Hotels are designed differently here anyway because of the heat, so your balcony traps all the sunlight and heat and leaves your tiled-floor and cold-wall room cool. Anyway, it was all clean and nice and the air-conditioning worked fabulously (so much so that we were occasionally turning it off, complaining of being 'too cold' whilst the outside temperature was 49C!)

Bizarre mentions of cockroaches in other reviews. We only saw one in the whole two weeks! And only then cos it ran across our feet outside on the grass (whilst watching the cabaret) and then we looked across and had to search in the dark for this bumbling comedian of vermin trying to negotiate grass (not as quick on that particular surface, are you?)

Food at breakfast and dinner (half-board) was nice and bearable for about a week before you start getting sick of it (due to repetition rather than it being inedible). This is understandable as if you ate any of the same sort of food for two weeks you'd start to get a bit sick of it. It seems to be catered more for the German/East European market as that seemed to be where the majority of guests were from.

Take your towels down and fling them on a couple of sunloungers before going into breakfast and then go back to bed afterwards to keep your places. Places by the doors will be VERY LOUD whilst music is on. Music here is a bad thing. I have a problem with the awfulness that is "gangsta-rap" anyway, without the same rubbish being played in the same order day-after-day-after-day. In the periods where it isn't blaring out, a constant, repeating Celine Dion is screeching like a pained cat from the bar/restaurant areas which starts to mess with your head after the first week. I almost cried with happiness when I managed to drown everything out on a personal CD player with The Shining's 'Quicksilver'. If you're overlooking the pool, the music will start about 10am-ish and the waterpark will provide extra background noise music too.

'Animation' team were all very nice and tried to get and keep activities going around the pool: 'gymnastics' in the morning (more of a keep-fit warm-up), aquarobics (good fun), water polo (not good fun if you're not a particularly strong swimmer) and dancing by the pool. Terri was completely bonkers and very nice with it -- she blames her hyperactivity on the extremely strong morning coffee from the restaurant. Guy with long hair kept everyone entertained. One bloke (with a Fun Lovin' Criminals half-moustache) seems to run the evening entertainment and not appear during the day-time but he is certainly a born entertainer. And there was one lightweight bloke who didn't seem to do anything all holiday except lead the clapping.

Crepes by the pool are fab! Waiters are all nice and you can order food from the Bistro and brought to you in your sun loungers. Don't forget to tip. In fact, we never met anyone of the serving staff who was less than nice and/or polite. The reception staff seem a bit sulky at times but were never rude. Avoid 'Manuel' (watch the way he walks and you'll see what I mean) in the red hat because he couldn't understand my Yorkshire accent and kept bringing me 'cheese' instead of 'chicken'.

Doesn't mention anywhere, in any guidebooks about topless sunbathing but this didn't seem to cause a problem at all. Didn't even seem to cause any unnecessary leching from other blokes around the area.

Pool has *lots* of chlorine in it, which keeps it clean but does make your nose and throat burn if you take a lot in accidentally. We originally thought it was the cause of our tummy trouble but that was probably more due to dehydration/heatstroke.

Both experienced stomach problems and diarrhoea over the course of two weeks. Stomach cramps were quite acute and did require a swift exit to the toilet on numerous occasions. Mine lasted over a week but may have been to do with not drinking enough water as by the end of the first week you're totally sick of the taste and don't want any more. Drank bottled water all the time and not the tap water. Was informed later that the stomach cramps may just be from drinking chilled water too quickly which apparently can cause your stomach to cramp suddenly (understandably).

Marie (the hotel rep) was very nice but seemed to be preoccupied and distracted when you spoke to her. She was never impolite though and always helpful.

This hotel overlooks the only waterpark in Tunisia, so we spent a day there. Though both getting sunburned, it was an excellent day out. The slides are fab (three: a wide blue one, white wobbly one and helter skelter one) and an additional one that only runs at certain times (we think to raise the water levels in the pools again) where you get a rubber ring and then propel yourself down from pool to pool to pool. MAKE SURE YOU QUEUE UP for a while for this, as one of the most entertaining things about it is watching the balding, mustachioed hulk of a man who propels people into the air out of their rubber rings a split-second after they've landed if they've not fallen out already! Worth the entrance money (12.5 dinar) alone.

There is a big swimming-pool with an awesome wave machine (try swimming down the waves as they come do you -- great fun). Get there early though as later on when the wave machine comes on there are about 100,000 people in the pool and more or less no room left so they early runs (about 9/10-ish) are the most fun. Only problem is that a lot of the area are covered in marble which is EXTREMELY slippy. I fell off my feet and came down really hard on my bum, comedy-style. Still hurts a bit a week later! Health and Safety in Tunisia is not the same so you won't be able to sue anybody!
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Travel operator: Panorama (booked through Thomson)

Recommended
Margaret
12 years 4 months ago
This hotel is a disgrace to be called 4* a rubber hose from the taps for a shower, dirty towels, no bidet, bath needing changing. When someone flushes to toilet all the guests are wakened. No drawers in rooms curtains and bedcover needing cleaning. The Flintstones would have liked the concrete beds, no hairdryer, no tissues, no chair, no fridge unless you hire it.

The noise from the pool area and the Aqua Park horrendous all day ever day same records - give us a break.

The reception staff needing interpersonal skills course carpets in corridors filthy.

Restaurant a joke, cauliflower cheese for breakfast a cat in restaurant not on.

I have read some comments and I must have higher standards or others are easy pleased.
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Travel operator: Panorama

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