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......
- 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