Upon arrival at the hotel, they claimed to have not received a reservation for me or my family and ignored every request that we made for them to check all avenues, to the point where the reception staff simply ignored us or walked away when we tried to converse with them, this was repeated for over an hour and half until luckily for us an on duty manager overheard one of our attempted converstaions and assured us he would sort it out. If he had not been on duty we would have been sleeping rough as the rude, ignorant, and arrogant reception staff would not help us at all.
Whe we did finally get a room it was covered in cigarette butts, the electrics were hanging out of the walls and tables and chairs where broken, I had two young children and this is simply not acceptable, I could not complain as I was made to feel that we were lucky that they had given us a room.
On a good note the rest of the hotel staff were very friendly and pleasant, the food was good and the location of the hotel was good.
Tunisia is a lovely place, most of the people are really friendly, and I would recommend it to anyone but simply do not stay at this hotel.
You have been warned.........
Travel operator: Freedom Direct
I'll start with the good things. I arrived after midnight and was greeted with a welcoming drink and a big smile. I was asked where I wanted to be and said I would like a sea view, which I was given. A man was summoned to show me to my room on the first floor which was fairly basic but plenty of cupboard space and extremely comfortable beds. Decent bathroom with good shower and separate toilet. Small balcony and sea a few feet away - you could hear the waves all the time. Towels were changed daily and sheets a couple of times a week. There is a very nice pool with plenty of sun loungers, chairs and tables around it. Although I heard the loungers and matresses were 2 TDN a day I never saw money changing hands and everyone just helped themselves! There are a couple of snack bars round the pool and the food and drink there are fine, particularly the chicken sandwiches and fresh orange juice. A gate leads direct onto the beach, though there are better beaches a little further round.
The main bar in reception is very large but rather dark during the day as there are no windows but there are plenty of seats, arranged in small groups. Background music is rarely intrusive during the day, though in the evenings when the TV is on, plus a couple of different types of music it can be annoying.
Now for the other side of the coin. Since the last review I think perhaps the chef has changed as the food was mainly dire, although on the last evening everything was much better. Salads are very nice and there are always three sorts of icecream for desert, as well as mousses and little pastries, but the main meat and fish dishes are frequently over-cooked and even quite early they are not really hot. Breakfasts are similar to other Tunisian hotels but I am more than happy with bread and croissants with apricot jam. Take your own teabags if you want a decent cup of tea. You certainly won't starve.
The hotel has an animation team but apart from a very short children's disco they don't do much. They have bingo and the occasional Miss Sousse Palace type of thing and we had a fakir show once a week and another Arabic band and couple of young belly dancers but that was all. A bonus is that Thomsons use the hotel for their rep show, which also included the Dream Girls (transvestite show) when I was there so you can slip up and see them on Friday nights.
Very few English guests when I was there.
Sorry if this is rather a long report but I did want to paint a truthful picture. I would certainly stay there again if the price was right as you can always eat elsewhere and visit other hotels for entertainment and, as others have said, it is well placed for the Medina, train station, buses, tuktuks and everything else you may want.
Travel operator: Independent
Have nothing but praise for the hotel and staff.
The location is ideal - I should have hated to be in one of " the tourist zones ". The location was perfect- 5 mins walk from the hustle and bustle of the Medina yet the poolside behind the hotel was on oassis of calm, and the beach was only 3 paces from the hotel gate.
The food was plentiful with plenty of choice 6/7 main courses ( plus a couple of vegetarian )The salad counter was stunning and always an impressive array of pastries for dessert as well as ice creams and fresh friuts.
Staff were always pleasant and friendly. The hotal fabic was a ' little tired ' but was kept spotlessly clean.
All in all a terrific place - I would have no hesitation in returning or recomending this hotel to anyone who wanted a poolside/ beach holiday with easy access to bustle of a busy Tunisian town.
The only downside for some people might be the lack of provided evenning entertainment- to us this was not a problem.
Travel operator: low cost beds
Although the position of the hotel was perfect in relation to the beach and it being in the centre of town the reception staff were very rude. However, the staff in the restaurant were polite. The food was a bit repetitive and did not live up to the standard that we expected. One half of the hotel rooms are plagued by noise from the disco inside the hotel and goes on until 3am every morning. On one day after being on an exscursion we found that our room had been blocked and we had to spend the whole evening moving to another room. It really was Tunisia's answer to Faulty Towers.
Travel operator: lowcostbeds.com
The staff were all really helpful. Few Brits seem to stay there and so none of the excursion guides were in English but reception gave us the number for booking in English and the chap came to the hotel to take our booking. We booked half board. The food was lovely, plentiful, different every night with several choices, loads of salad, loads of pudding.
We generally would retire to the bar for mint tea afterwards, served by the special tea master. The bar staff were very friendly. It was the African cup when we were there.
The main bar was frequented by both guests and locals. It had a smart feel to it even during matches and a huge chandelier in the centre. It think there are other bars & a disco available but were shut as low season (hence 2 for entertainment).
They was some local music in the bar on some evenings. I had a massage, seaweed wrap & facial in the beauty place by the swimming pool. Facilities were basic but treatment was great & out of my budget back home. There is also another spa inside the hotel upstairs which I think is a bit posher but had already booked when discovered this.
The location was ideal. Though on the main road, our room was at the back with a balcony & view of the sea so quiet but I dont know level of pool side noise during busier times. The swimming pool with loungers is out the back with a gate leading onto the beach which is guarded to prevent just anyone wandering in. It is a 5 minute (if that) walk to the medina and the bus station. Plenty of little coffee bars and restaurants around serving both local fare and catering towards the tourist market. In the opposite direction at about the same distance, is the noddy train which we got along to Port el Kantanoui one day. After our 2 day desert safari we didn't feel the need nor had the energy to explore further afield but ideally placed should you want to.
Sousse Palace is perfect for those who are not looking for the UK abroad but prefer to indulge in some local food & culture but at the same time want the security & comfort of a quality hotel rather than roughing it in a hostel in the medina.
Travel operator: lowcostbeds
The waiters were not bothered all week apart from the last night when they seemed friendlier and asked for a tip. The receptionists were all friendly but none who would not allow us to take up bottled water which we only wanted to brush our teeth.
The food was the same all week, dry and spicey.
Travel operator: albertours
Noisy disco - Arabic - all night long.
Adult entertainment - for rednecks
Children's entertainment GOOD
Breakfast and dinner (half board- Tunisian style OK, but the hole family got sick). No bacon or ham.
Other restaurants - fair prices an nice food.
Pool and beach - very good.
Waiters - interesting if you are into chaos theory. They could barely speak any foreign languages.
In the lobby there are a carpet store. DO NOT accept any offers for sightseeing or any other offers from this store. You will be hustled and end up in a carpet store in the Medina. You must be hard to get out without buying anything.
Travel operator: Startour
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