we thought our room would be a bit better but i was extremely wrong!! there was mold under the toilet seat, a bug in the shower and don't get me started on those sheets! you could barely fit a mouse in the rooms they were so small!!!
Food was ok, but the glasses had lip marks on them and fingerprints almost every time we had food which was disgusting. We rarely had drinks.
We spent one night watching the boring entertainment, it didn't appeal to us! Although you might be into chess and bingo every single night!! ....not
Trust me if you have booked to go on this holiday, don't!!!! I would highly think against it!!
Finally they shouldn't call themselves a 5 star should be a 1 star!!
Travel operator: Thomson
The room was big with two HUGE beds. Our bed (for two) at home is just a bit larger than one of the beds there! No wonder people who ask for a third bed find the room too small while in fact it is quite spacious! The maid cleaned up daily, towels and sheets were changed daily, minibar was filled up daily as well.
The food was good (not spectacular, but good) and very varied. There were a couple of unfortunate encounters with fish balls and some other stuff which tasted awful but that could very well be a matter of taste and, with it being a buffet, we could always go and pick something else. We could always find stuff that we could eat and both my partner and I are very picky eaters. For breakfast you could pick from eggs (boiled, fried, scrabmbled), bacon, cereal, fresh fruit and vegetables, yoghurt, pancakes, jam, etc. Lunch and dinner also offered a great variety of cooked foods, meats, fish, poultry, pasta, cooked and fresh vegetables. For dessert there were several sorts of cakes and fresh fruit.
As for the beverages, my partner was happy with the locally produced coca cola although it was a bit too sweet for his taste. That's true for almost anything that has sugar in it: they tend to overdo it but I guess it's allright for people with a sweet tooth. For me water and fruit were just fine. The local wine was fine, the local beer was awful.
Coffee... now that's another story. We're big coffee drinkers and we looked forward to being in a country where coffee is a way of life. Were we disappointed! The coffee tasted awful! They seem to stick to the "robusta" type of coffee whereas we prefer the more refined "arabica" taste. We had thought it was just the hotel serving the cheaper stuff but wherever we went in Tunisia we were served the same awful tasting coffee!
Entertainment was fun although some of it was only conceived to get more money off the tourists. During the day we had water aerobics, polo, dancing around the pool, stretching, darts, target practice with a bow and arrows and probably other stuff I can't recall right now. Each evening there was an event of sorts: folklore night, fakir night, snake charmer night, etc. I said that some of this animation is only done to get more money off the tourists. Take the snake charmer for instance: after the show the girl would walk around with the snake or the iguana, put them in people's laps or so and then there would come a photographer, take your picture and two hours later he would sell it to you for 2.5-3 dinars. If you don't want that then tell them you don't want your picture taken and do not buy the picture later.
Now onto the not so nice things: the shops in the hotel do not belong to the hotel but they're rented spaces in which other people sell stuff so they are NOT fixed price shops. They're very expensive but if you know the prices in town you can bargain down to that price. When you buy cigarettes be very careful and check the package so it is stamped. We bought 4 packs one evening in one of the hotel shops and we received two stamped ones and two unstamped ones (later we learned that the latter are smuggled in from Algeria, taste awful and God knows what's in them). We realized that we had been conned much too late to do anything about it.
As for language, I found it extremely helpful to know some French and even that didn't help all the time. The staff speak very little English while they all seem to have studied German extensively. Sometimes they seemed to speak better German than French and French is the second official language of the country!
Regarding safety, our travel guide said the hotel is safe but it's better to keep the money, papers and such in the hotel safe, just to make sure. The safe was another issue: in the brochure they said it's in the room but it's not, it's downstairs, near the reception! Anyway, we didn't do that, we kept everything in the room (not in plain sight, though) and we had several thousand worth of money and electronic equipment there and nothing disappeared.
Other misc stuff about the hotel: it's got 5 elevators, one of which is made of glass and you can see the lobby as you go up and down. It's got two bars in the hotel, one near the outside pool, an "a la carte" restaurant (we didn't go) and one barbecue restaurant near the pool (we did go but wished we hadn't as the buffet food was better). It's got a big pool outside, a kiddie pool, an indoor pool (very very nice), jacuzzi and sauna. There is also a fitness room but the (lifting) machines are kinda old and rusty. They have free weights but they seem to be geared either for big men or very old women. There were 2 pound weights, 4 pound and then the next ones were 20+ pounds - nothing inbetween! The bikes and other aerobic equipment were in good shape though and there were mattresses for people doing aerobics and pilates. There wasn't an instructor there and you need to know what you're doing because the girl watching the place seemed clueless.
Travel operator: Karthago Tours
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