I have recently returned from 7 nights at the Royal Kenz Hotel, which I booked as part of a “Thomson Platinum” holiday.
My intention is to try and write a very objective review of this hotel, based on my stay at this hotel and then give my personal views at the end.
On arriving at our hotel, I would guess that there were approximately 40 people off our coach staying at the Royal Kenz. We arrived at the hotel at 3am approx. There was 1 man working on reception. This resulted in a very lengthy queue, and we queued for 20 – 30 minutes to check in. This was after a 60 – 90 minute wait for our suitcases to start coming through at the airport, but that’s another matter and no reflection on Thomson or indeed the Royal Kenz Hotel.
On being allocated our rooms, we understood that our rooms were on the 1st floor, so we proceeded to make our way to the 1st floor via the lift, of which there were 2 small lifts, both next to reception. On coming out of the lifts, we then went on to walk through what seemed like a maze of corridors, with no clear directions or signposting for our particular room numbers. However, somehow, after 5 minutes or so of walking, we eventually found our allocated rooms, which I’m afraid to say, was just as much about luck than judgement.
Both of our rooms were spacious, clean, and had good storage space. Bed was comfortable enough. Pillows very soft, which some people may prefer. There were lots of ants in one room, though in the other room, there were fewer ants. Because the ants were such a problem in the one room, we had to report the matter to reception, as the ants were problematic. This was dealt with satisfactorily in the short term.
After our welcome meeting at 10 am on the first morning after arrival, we were unable to get a sunbed, as they had all been taken. No sunbeds became available until 3pm. We learnt over the coming days, that for the week we were there, you really need to be on a sunbed by 0800 – 0900 hrs (at a push), if you want a bed for the morning. Very frustratingly, there is the HUGE problem of people placing towels on sunbeds either during the night, or from 5 or 6 am, in order to ‘reserve’ them. Then, people not making use of their ‘reserved’ bed until late morning or afternoon. This really is a common problem, and unfair. Sunbeds remain unoccupied for hours and hours and hours, with towels and lilo’s on them, whilst the holiday makers who ‘play fair’ and exercise ‘good pool side etiquette’, are left with either sitting on a regular hard chair near the pool, or have to lie on the grass. Essentially, you could argue there are insufficient sunbeds, or sunbeds are unfairly used, and the space around the pools becomes very very crammed because of so many sunbeds.
There’s a couple of really enthusiastic entertainment staff, out of a total of between 8 approx. The European lady (?German) who does the aqua gym twice a day is amazing. She is energetic, friendly, professional and appears passionate about her work. During the day, the vast majority of the other animation staff seem to just wander around the pool occasionally, or in the main, sit in ‘their’ hut next to the pool, doing very little. The water polo twice a day seems successful, though, cynically I felt this was because it was an opportunity for a couple of the animation staff to get in the pool themselves. Other day time activities seem sporadic and are very poorly executed. Bobbo (??) was always very friendly and personable.
Night time entertainment was poor overall. The Bingo games, which cost 10 dinar for a strip of tickets, was a great remedy for insomnia. I was always started yawning by 10 pm, having played the bingo once, using a cocktail stick as a means to punch holes in the paper, due to no pens.
Unfortunately, it struck me, that much of the humour from one of the animation staff, possibly the manager, was through humiliating some holidaymakers, with lots and lots of chauvinistic jokes, and jokes to the men about ‘being gay’!!!!
For sure, there are alternatives to watching the night time entertainment, such as sitting on the terrace, which is pleasurable, though comes at a sort of price in terms of what seems to be the obligatory tipping.
On my first day, getting my first drink, my cigarettes were on the pool bar. I was shocked, when one of the bar staff asked me for a cigarette. By all accounts, I am happy to be generous with my cigarettes, especially when abroad where cigarettes are cheaper anyhow, however, I was taken somewhat aback, when I was asked for a cigarette by a bar man who hadn’t even served me or spoken to me before.
Unfortunately, I found the customer service from all of the bar staff both indoors and outdoors to be very very poor. Rarely did they smile, or seem willing, or exercise much hospitality. I found them to be rude and inhospitable. This attitude extended to the waiters serving drinks. By all accounts, I understand they work hard, they are tired, their income is low, but equally, is it not their job to deliver customer service?
I soon learned within my first day, that this very very poor customer service could be remedied by giving a 1 – 2 dinar tip each time, or alternatively, if you are female.
I am happy to tip good customer service, but unfortunately you feel you have to tip every time, to get any type of customer service here. And whilst the occasional 1- 2 dinar tip isn’t much, when you sense it becomes expected every time, and you observe a difference in their demeanour, when they don’t get a tip, it makes for an unnecessary awkwardness and puts me ill at ease. And of course, all these tips really do add up over 7 – 14 days throughout the day and evening.
Food is your very typical all inclusive buffet. I appreciate that the hotel caters for several nationalities and for many people. I would describe the food as ‘reasonable’.
Meals are served in 2 sittings, and on the first day, the restaurant manager, will tell you what time you will eat. We found his manner to be rude and abrupt.
In my opinion, the dining room is too crowded with tables and chairs.
On our last night, we had an incident whereby my mum had left her handbag under the dining table, and gone to the buffet counter leaving her bag unattended.
On returning to the table, mum noticed her bag was missing. We reported the bag missing to reception, who suggested that mum was ‘accusing’ the restaurant staff of stealing her bag. The restaurant manager became involved. 5 minutes later, some other holiday makers, who overheard mum talking, asked if her bag was the one on a chair at another dining table. Sure enough, the bag was found. The manager advised mum, that she must have placed her bag at the wrong table, despite us sitting at the same table for the past 7 days. It seemed to us, that the bag had been moved from being on the floor under our table, to being placed on a chair at another table somehow (???)
Throughout the week, the housekeeping staff were always friendly and cleaned our rooms to a good standard.
On the last day, we gave the maid a well deserved tip. To which she proceeded to ask me if I had change in dirhams for 3 x £1 coins.
I had several dirham coins, and I offered to give her 3 dirhams for a pound coin (bearing in mind she had had a tip). I explained that I needed some dirhams myself for the rest of the day for tips!! As I counted 3 dirhams out, she said “no no no”, and proceed to take / grab several dirham coins directly out of my hand, for her one of her £1 coins!!! I had to close my hand and pull my hand away. She literally went to grab money out of my hand after I had given her a tip. I found this to be rude. I later learned that this was a ‘scam’ that a porter had tried across another holiday maker earlier in the day, whereby you get all your change in your hand, and they’ll take what they want, and some tourists tell them not to worry about the pound coin.
Water is only available by the cupful from 10am – midnight at the pool bar, or 10am – 11pm in the indoor bar. You WILL NOT be served water outside of these times, unless in your allocated breakfast time. You are expected to buy bottles of water.
You are expected to pay for sun bed mattresses, at a rate of 1 dinar a day, on a prepaid deposit card, which you have to ‘load’ at the start of your holiday. You also have to pay for drinks in the a la carte restaurant.
Overall, reception staff were hospitable and professional. Service was good.
On checking out, reception staff asked me how much money I had remaining on my prepaid deposit card (despite this all being computerised). I found this strange. Unfortunately, I had found myself to become somewhat cynical when it came to anything relate to money by now. Why would they ask me, how much I had remaining?? Are they hoping I will say “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure if there is anything left on it”.
I also returned they key to the safety deposit box I had hired, and I had to ‘remind’ staff that the 10 dinar fee I had paid for it was a refundable deposit.
Prior to going on holiday, I had emailed the Royal Kenz, to ask if I could book a late check out room, as Thomson did not have the facility to book a late check out online. The Royal Kenz had emailed me back telling me I could book a late check ‘the day before departure’.
The day before departure, I asked if I could book a late check out for the following day. I was told that I could not book a late checkout, until after breakfast the day of departure. Before breakfast, on the day of departure, I asked for a late check out, I was told to return after breakfast. After breakfast, once again, I asked for a late check out, to which I was told it was not possible, as the next group of arrivals were ‘all early arrivals’. I was very disappointed with this, and not convinced whatsoever, that any effort had been made to secure our comfort or convenience from midday to 2300hrs.
I consider this hotel to be a reasonable to good 3 star hotel. The customer service of many of the staff lets this hotel down, as well as the availability of drinking water and sunbed / pool area situation. This hotel is advertised and branded as a Thomson Platinum / First Choice Premier hotel, based on customer reviews from when I believe the hotel was half board, however, the hotel has now changed to all inclusive, and I struggle to comprehend what constitutes it whatsoever, to be a Platinum or Premier branded hotel. I would be interested to know, as I have no faith in the Platinum or Premier branding now.
Customer service from bar staff and those waiters serving drinks is very poor, unless you are female or tip, tip, tip. For sure, I am always very, very happy to tip at the end of my holiday, but I felt that staff expected it here before any type of service, in order to secure any type of customer care.
I feel that Thomson should possibly rate this hotel as a 3T hotel “Full Board plus” (perhaps), rather than 4T Platinum All Inclusive, in order to more accurately describe the hotel and to better inform customers of what to expect.
Sue, the Thomson rep was brilliant. Always very friendly, approachable and professional. She is an asset to the hotel and to Thomson. I also really liked Bobbo from the animation team and the (?) German lady who did the aqua gym (I don't know her name sorry), both of whom, in my opinion were a credit to the hotel.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC