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“A fantastic venue - if you're looking for some pure R&R”

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Hotel Palace Oceana Hammamet
Ranked #4 of 118 Hotels in Hammamet
Certificate of Excellence
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“A fantastic venue - if you're looking for some pure R&R”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 May 2014

We are just back from a week at this hotel (7th to 14th May) and have had a wonderful relaxing holiday. There were some things we weren't aware of before we went to Tunisia which I'll cover here as although not directly related to the hotel they're useful to know.

You can use sterling or euros as well as the local currency Tunisian Dinars - the local currency can only be bought once in Tunisia and you are not allowed to take any back out of the country (you must declare if you're carrying any on the way out.) What I would say is that we only withdrew some Dinars to tip some of the staff at the end of our stay (you have the same waiter every night for dinner and the same maid to clean your room every day) and apart from this we never spent any money as we spent our week relaxing in the resort and never actually went out the front door (we would if we went again - the excursions sounded worth a try). You have to complete a green card at the end of your flight into the country and you need to keep the other half for the outward journey (and have it completed when you get to the airport - otherwise you're holding everybody up).

The hotel itself is outstanding - it's really, really clean the whole time (the marble floor in the lobby is amazing), the junior suites (every room is one) are really big and spacious and air conditioned with lovely big balconies, flat screen TV's, shower, safe, bath etc - all the usual and if you're all inclusive then they will top up your fridge every day with still water, coke, fanta, some beers etc which is very welcome. The all inclusive is absolutely worth doing - the available drinks are good, the meals are nice (although I had a few occasions where I struggled to find anything I wanted - but that's just me) and the staff cannot do enough for you and are never pushy or expecting of a tip etc.

On the subject of tips we were advised staff earn roughly 20TND a day (it's £1 to 2.41TND just now) and so tipping a couple of pound coins every so often is more than fair - although we waited till the end as I mentioned and tipped a few keys staff who were central to our holiday with about £10 each - given we'd not spent anything for the whole week this was fine to us.

The pools are lovely & clean, there are loads of chairs around the gardens so it was never a problem getting a seat you wanted and they always had spares although it wasn't busy enough to need them (about 50% occupancy I believe). Speaking of this you do not need to bring towels to this hotel - you will have plenty in your room and you get towel cards for the poolside so you can get towels there every day - this saves a few KG's on your luggage :)

The gardens themselves are very well kept (a common theme here), the indoor pool is good and there are pool tables, table football, some cupboards full of books left by previous visitors if you need something to read and as a sidenote they have really good coverage for wifi throughout the hotel. Indeed I was surprised how far into the gardens we could go and still manage to pick up the wifi signal on our phones etc (wifi is free throughout) and the signal was really solid in our room.

We were on the seaview side with a spectacular view from our room - with pirate ships sailing by every morning which gave the most incredible surreal impression. Pirate ships !!! Our room was 504 which is on the 3rd (top) floor. The rooms spoke off from a central lobby which is very spacious and impressive to sit in with a great round bar where you can catch a pre-dinner drink or enjoy more than a few whilst chatting with others after dinner. Again the staff are excellent and chatty and never expectant.

The only downside which won't be a problem for everyone is that this hotel is a little further out than most others and so you have a 30 minute walk along the beach (leave gardens, turn right and walk till you get to the marina) to get to the sort of "hub" area where there are English bars, restaurants, shops etc. There's a supermarket somewhere outside the hotel about 10 minutes walk away though and if you just hanker for some crisps then there's a shop in the hotel lobby which sells them along with sweets, cigarettes etc.

One last thing not to be overlooked - this is an adults only hotel which means no kids running around screaming & shouting and it makes such a difference - we never appreciated it till we were coming home and got to the airport where we were confronted by crying/shouting/screaming kids and realised how good we'd had it for the last week :)

Overall a great, hugely relaxing holiday and we would certainly return given the quality of the surroundings and value for money overall. The temperature was on the up during our week so it's really lovely & warm now and will only get hotter - apparently it can touch 50......

Room Tip: We had 504 - that number and up should get you a seaview but really the best advice is if you want a...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank PaulR73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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825 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (186)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
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  • Spanish first
  • Turkish first
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English first
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 May 2014

My partner and I stayed in this hotel last September after a poor experience in another so were completely blown away by the May offers Thompson were offering on this holiday.

At this time of the year we were not expecting the hotel to be in full swing but besides some light maintenance and painting, which did not effect us, the hotel was fantastic. The staff remain at your service, never expecting anything in return, always asking how you are and smiling everyday! From the cleaning staff to the waiters it feels like silver service. Some people we met were happy to tip as they went or at the end as we always do.

The rooms are fantastic as they feel like home, comfortable and spacious. We had a lovely sea view and spacious balcony again. One of the great things about the rooms is a big flat screen in every room, safe, mini bar and a giant bed. If you like to relax and spend some nights in from the bar then these rooms are great. Everyday the maid cleaned them and was always friendly. One night the bed broke and it was replaced next day.

The pool area is beautiful for those who want space as there is a choice of single beds or double beds. You are always about 10 foot from someone else if you chose to have your own space. All facilities were great including the pool service. This includes the towel and sun bed staff to the waiters around the bar. Overall a beautiful setting to relax without kids and hearing other peoples conversations.

I am not a fan of the beach but there was some much needed maintenance happening whilst we were here. Although we didn't go down to it, ideally situated within a few yards, there was a beautiful beach bar but closed due to low season. Most of the camel poo and rubbish had gone within a few days of arriving ready for peak season. There are some pushy sales guys down there but didn't effect us.

There is a lovely round bar in the lobby where we spend most evenings drinking with fantastic staff who always want to help. The entertainment isn't great but caters for the clientele the hotel attracts so is to be expected. It's not the get up on stage kind of thing just some light music and the odd singer in the background. We stayed for 10 nights but I would recommend to go out maybe 2-3 nights for a change of scenery. This isn't a downer on the hotel just didn't suit us every night. The drinks are great but I think a larger choice of cocktails would be better. The local juices they use in them are a little sweeter than used to so they don't taste exactly like what us Brits are used to.

Food is varied and served in a beautiful restaurant. It is spacious again catering for the couples feel so you don't feel like your eating on top of others like alternative all inclusives. We ate out once to change things up. My best advice is to be friendly with all the staff as they make your stay so comfortable. The menu was varied throughout our stay with themed nights and a Tunisian night. The vast majority of the food is cooked in front of you which is great. The wine is local and is fairly easy to drink with your meals too.

We went on one excursion with Thompson which was the Market Fever day. This day out included a trip to a local market, ceramic teaser, golf course meal and wine tasting. The day was not for us as there was too many people on the trip, market was rubbish thing after next rubbish thing. As we wanted to get out the hotel for a day this trip sounded fairly good. The only part that was mildly amusing was the wine tasting.

Once again the holiday was fully enjoyable and relaxing. The hotel does the Riu brand well and as we came back would recommend this still to others. This is a pure relax holiday so if you want activity followed by activity then it's not for you. It's limited for a reason as the vast majority of people in the hotel are couples.

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Bentleyboy2002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Staffordshire
Level Contributor
84 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 May 2014

There is very little I can add to previous, positve reviews of this lovely hotel. We have stayed in many, many hotels around the world, and Palace Oceana is high on our list of favourites. We had 10 days "All Inclusive" here at the beginning of April. The hotel rooms are all Junior Suites, spotlessly clean, and very spacious. The beds were a little hard for us, we both have back problems, but as soon as we asked the maid was there with extra duvets to soften them. She was even waiting for us the next morning to check that we had slept better.
The Buffet Restaurant was consistantly good, yes perhaps a little repetative in the food it offers, but so much choice that there's always something to enjoy. The wine is good, Pinot Noir was our favourite, and each evening a bottle was waiting for us at our table. W\e did find the "A La Carte" restaurant disappointing, but other guests seemed to enjoy it.
The gardens and pool area are very well kept, we didn't use the outdoor pool as it was rather chilly, but swam each day in the lovely heated indoor pool. We really appreciated the fact that there were no children there. We love our grandchildren dearly, but other people's badly behaved children are not good company. This was confirmed on our coach trip back to the airport and the flight back, both made miserable by several noisy and uncontrolled children. Maybe consider the private transfer next time.
There definitely will be a "next time", we haven't done a "fly and flop" holiday for many years, and I was a bit concerned how we would cope, but no problem here. The wonderful staff, from the General Manager down made sure we had a great time.
We did go for a walk along the beach towards Hammamet, and yes, beyond the hotel it did appear dirty and derilict. Part of this was because some hotels close for the winter, part because some have closed and moved to Jasmine Hammamet, and part because of the Revolution in Tunisia a few years ago.
Yes, there is a lot of rubbish around on the streets, but this is not the UK, and we should not judge by our own standards.
The Turkish bath and massage package was amazing, we had several!!!
The guys runnng the shops were lovely, great sense of humour, and very interesting to talk to. They love to barter, but please remember they have to make a living.
Kylie, the Thomson rep, is great, and the two trips out we took, El Djem, and Tunis and Carthage were very enjoyable. Our Guide was very knowledgable, and fun to be with. The Mosaic museum is unmissable.
All in all, if you are thinking about going, do!

Room Tip: They are all good, but if you don't want to drift off to sleep listening to the music, ask for a...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kings1617
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
portsmouth
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 May 2014

Just back from a week's stay and the hotel lived up to all the previous excellent reviews. Suite was excellent, very spacious and very comfortable (enormous) bed! Food of a high standard and although occasionally repetitive it was so good we didn't bother with the a la carte restaurant. I would highly recommend all inclusive, particularly if you have more than a couple of drinks per day, as the cocktails, for example, cost £5-£7 each.
Staff really friendly, any minor issues we had were dealt with immediately and effectively.
Indoor swimming pool excellent, we used it most days even when the sun was shining as the outdoor pool was too cold for us.
Evening entertainment not great, but it's not meant to be a party hotel and the whole "vibe" was one of relaxation, good food and drink. Having stayed at several 4/5 star hotels in North Africa/Egypt this was the best.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SouthseaRog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 May 2014

We stayed here the last week in April; this is not classed as high season that does not start until May.
However I would go back again at this time of year, the hotel was only at 35° occupancy however this was a plus rather than a negative. We went with Thomson’s and although the flights were early leaving Birmingham at 06:00 it meant we had almost a full day at the hotel, when arriving we were offered drinks while sorting out our room. The room was fantastic, ok we had upgraded to a suite with full sea view on the top floor (five floors but only three stops in the elevator on our side of the hotel) The room was spotlessly clean large bedroom with separate dressing area with wardrobes and then a large bathroom with both bath and shower.
Going down to the pool there were plenty of sun beds, we thought this was because it was change over day however it was the same all week and as more people turned up more beds and umbrellas came out. The one thing that was very noticeably was that there were signs up saying you could not reserve beds, and for the first time ever people actual paid notice to this ok if you were going for breakfast or dinner it was ok to leave stuff but otherwise people did not leave beds empty all day with just a book on. There are three reasons I can think of for this 1) there was always plenty of beds and if you did require one the Pool boy went and got you one 2) The pool boy was always walking around handing out towels or moving mattresses as soon as people left so you knew which beds were empty 3) this is an adult only hotel which is not close to the main resort (20 minute slow walk down the beach)
There was always two waiters walking about the pool taking orders I believe this also happens on the beach front as well however apart from walking down the beach we stayed by the pool)
Only the main restaurant was open, apart from a midday restaurant which was le a crate which was used by people on half broad. There was one themed restaurant that did open two nights a week however we never bothered because the food in the main restaurant was fine The only down side to the food it was very much the same every day, however they did try and put on at least one / two different dishes on each meal time. Apart from the evening meal where you are given a table which you use every night for the other meals you can sit wherever you like including outside, we were a bit unsure about the idea of sitting on the same table each night, however it really worked out fine it meant that the waiter whom severed our drinks got to know what we liked and suggested wines by the end of the week as well as having them already by the table when we arrived.
Tips, before we went I had read a lot about having to tip people to get the service, NOT once did anyone at the hotel every hang around expecting a tip. Once you get over the shock of this you then make sure you have the tip ready for them so you can hand it over before they move on, trust me the service is so good that you will want to give them a tip.
Also if you like massage you really need to have one here, about £40 with the hammam beforehand however , make sure you have a good hour and half spare I promise you feel fantastic afterwards

If you want a quite week of lying around sunbathing / reading books while being brought drinks this is the place for you, however if you want places to go and things to look at yes there are trips and a new and old town close by this hotel may not be for you.
The only negative thing about the whole holiday is Enfidha airport; it is a joke from the moment you try hand over your suitcase to the moment you take off. The check in desks need to print out your boarding passes (I had already done this before we left home) then the baggage conveyor can only cope with so many bags every five minutes. When you do manage to get through this the next thing you will encounter is trying to find out your gate number, at one point it had four flights all leaving from the same gate at the same time. When you do get onto a coach to your airplane make sure it is your plane, we were very nearly put onto a Thomas Cook plane even after pointing out to the driver it was not our plane

Room Tip: Rooms around the 500 number will get afternoon sun, but rooms around 534 get full on sea view
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lakewalker91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ashby-de-la-Zouch, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 May 2014

Although the hotel was of a good standard the holiday was spoilt be the neighbourhood. The area is very 'run-down' and dirty. The beach away from the immediate area of this hotel was very poorly maintained, dirty and unhygienic (not a place I would want to take children).

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Dexter259
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Derby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 May 2014

Our first stay at a Riu hotel, and we were very Pleased .In fact we have booked for later in the year.
The hotel facilities were very good , clean and fresh
The staff in all areas were accommodating and friendly with out being to much (i'm working for a tip).
I am currently on crutches, and had no problems getting about.
Our room was lovely, even a stool in the bathroom, and the seperate shower helped. There was even a seperate dressing area.
The food was a little boring, and not much for my veggie husband although they were able to provide Gluten free bread for me!

The gardens around the pool area and beach side were imaculate
A very relaxing stay ..We did have wall to wall sunshine so I,m sure that helped , but even if it rained there would be the spa and the indoor pool to investigate.

Room Tip: All rooms aroung the antirim are prone to the entertainment noise if you decide you want an early ni...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lynn w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Palace Oceana Hammamet

Property: Hotel Palace Oceana Hammamet
Address: Barraket Essahel, B.P 58 | Hammamet Sud, Hammamet 8056, Tunisia (Formerly Hotel Riu Palace Oceana Hammamet)
Region: Tunisia > Nabeul Governorate > Hammamet
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Hammamet
#3 Spa Hotel in Hammamet
#4 Luxury Hotel in Hammamet
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Hammamet
#13 Family Hotel in Hammamet
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Palace Oceana Hammamet 5*
Number of rooms: 208
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Located in Hammamet-Jinene * Situated on the beach * Complimentary sun loungers and parasols on the beach * 4-storey building surrounded by 70,000 m2 of gardens * 8 km from Hammamet's old quarter * 2 km from various shops * 60/95 km from the Tunis/Monastir airports * 40 km from Enfidha airport * Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Amex, Visa ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Riu Palace Oceana Hammamet

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