Advantages luxury on tap
Disadvantages a remote location
|Value for Money|
|Quality of Rooms|
|Standard of Service|
|Quality of Food & Drink|
|Quality of Facilities|
As you walk into this hotel you enter a huge circular atrium which is the spectacular focal point of the hotel. From the Reception which is located here you will be taken to your room (or mini suite as it is termed) which will be located on the ground or three floors above. In this area there are two lifts, and plenty of ramps for less mobile vistors. There are staff who will take your belongings to your room so your holiday begins here.All the rooms seemed to be of a very high standard and from what I could see, similar to ours. We walked into a corridor with a huge walk through storage area on one side and a massive bathroom on the other side consisting of a bath, separate shower, separate toilet cubicle and vanity suite. the bathroom contained all the expected complimentary smellies plus bathrobes.
The main suite housed two massive twin beds, couch, table, chairs, T.V. mini bar etc and opened out onto one of the largest balconies we have experienced in 26 years of travelling. The rooms revolve around the central atrium of the hotel so all look out onto gardens (front and side) or the pool/sea at the back of the hotel. Our room was kept spotlessly clean and the ladies work tirelessly to maintain this standard. the air conditioning deserves a special mention as being the quietest I have experienced. The water was always hot and plentiful.There is one main outdoor pool and a children's pool. In the Spa area there is an indoor pool too. All pools and pool areas are well maintained. The main pool has steps and handrails into it so if mobility is an issue this could be a help. There are plently on sun loungers and as importantly, because this is Africa there is plenty of shade. We never started looking for loungers until after 9am and were never disappointed. (we went in the school holidays) Staff are always on hand to help you locate what you need. This includes a constant but discreete poolside drinks service.
The hotel maintain the beach just outside the grounds and this is also extremely clean and well maintained but 50metres either side of the hotel the real world encroaches and this beach area is perhaps less appealling. There are a lot of watersports beachside but this is the same the world over now.There are the usual holiday activities to enjoy from water gym to darts. There were Arabic lessons which I enjoyed but although the staff were energetic and welcoming, the activities were more amateurish than some other 5* hotels. Timekeeping is not top of the agenda (although you are on holiday) and I wasn't sure about some of the water gym exercises! I did not use the children's club but was told that the activites are short and that you had to pay for some advertised club activities.
Outside the hotel beachside, you can walk past other hotels towards Hammemet Yasmine but this is quite a trek and better tackled in a taxi. The other hotels seem to have security staff on their beach entrances and do not encourage visitors.
If you leave the hotel frontside be prepared for a long walk to anything touristy. This is not like Spain or Greece. Everyone is friendly but reserved. The nearest shop is a good 20 minute stroll away.
There is an A la Carte restaurant, a pool bar, a beach bar for drinks and a bar in the main atrium where the evening entertainment is held. Breakfast and dinner are buffet style and served in the main restaurant. Both breakfast and dinner menus were excellent, veering towards french influences rather than the american. The food was fresh and flavoursome, with plenty of prepared or freshly cooked choices. There was a good mix of fish and meat every day, plenty of fruits and vegetables and some of the nicest desserts that I have tasted on holiday. I did not notice any highlighted vegetarian dishes which is not to say that they were not available but just that they were not flagged up as such. The waiters are friendly and helpful. There were plenty of high chairs for mini guests. The restaurant has a non smoking rule.The hotel also contains an reasonable gym area. There are two major downfalls. There is no air conditioning in this area and more importantly there are no drinking water facilities. Using gym facilities in mid summer without cooling aids or water is reckless. Amazingly, the shop in the hotel does not sell water and the bar will only sell water in an open glass bottle. To obtain a plastic bottle to take safely into the gym, the waiter opened a plastic bottle from under the counter, tipped the contents into a jug, opened two glass bottles, tipped those contents into the now empty plastic bottle then charged us for the two glass bottles!
All the staff speak all the major languages. French and Arabic are the local languages and it is worth trying to say something in Arabic as a compliment to how well they all speak English.The local currency is the Dinar. This is a closed currency so you cannot bring it with you. Don't worry. Exchanges are easily and fairly made at Reception. Depending on the exchange rates, it is worth looking at taking dollars, euros or pounds. When you arrive you will find that you can tip in euros or pounds if you wish to.
This is a lovely hotel for a restful break. The standards are so high that you may feel disappointed once you set foot outside the hotel. I would recommend this hotel to an older traveller, extended families, or people who are less dependent on the package deal.
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