Male aged 27 stayed at Phenicia Hotel in late April 2013. I have rated the hotel Good as this was a cheap All Inc holiday (£350pp inc flights from Luton for 2 pax ) and in my opinion it appeared to be one of few hotels that had a clean and tidy beach front.
- Very good in appearance from the outside and has a lot of facilities for its guests.
- Majority of guests are either over 45 or families with little children and this felt a little like we were in the wrong place, but I guess Tunisia has not been a favourite destination for youngsters as yet. However we met with few other young groups which was good.
- Welcome drinks did not feel welcoming at all as we were rushed into the evening room which was dark with no lights and the drinks were left on a table in a tray which we had to get up to get. Lol. The receptionist then shouted out 'I need your passports', so everybody whipped them out and stood up from their seats to give them to him only to be told I 'will come to where you are seating to collect them'. Lol
- Need updating and I also felt that the cleaner simply made our beds but did not change the sheets, nor vacuum the floor during our 7 night stay.
- Be sure to use the do not disturb sign as the cleaners tend to walk straight in without knocking.
- Room TV only has 2 English Channels, BBC news and Movies channel.
- Not all rooms get free wifi, we were in the 5000 range of rooms closer to the reception and so could access the free reception wifi from our room. Funny enough the signal was stronger in the room than in the reception perhaps the router was located closer to our rooms?
- Tipping is the norm in Tunisia and I advise to tip in small amounts (1,2 or 3 Dinars 50p/£1/£1.50 ) throughout your stay as opposed to one large tip at the end of your stay. It makes sense to tip at the end of your stay in order to ensure that staff gave the best service at all times irrespective of tips earned, but this does not seem to work in this hotel.
- The staff that you tip will make sure you get all the services you need. If you don't tip they either will not come back to serve you, or they will take ages to get your order to your table or perhaps even never. - definitely not a very good all inclusive experience!
- Advice would be to try and order from the same waiter that you tipped a day ago.
- The bar staff in the evening at the entertainment room were very rude as they either chatted amongst themselves and did not serve you despite you waiting. They also had the tendency to serve people that arrived at the bar after you first, despite them blatantly seeing you waiting there to be served. This happened to my wife on numerous occasions, myself and other guests who were also complaining of the same thing.
- There are 3 restaurants, Buffet, Mediterranean, Asian (Thai)
- The Buffet is free and included for the all inclusive and the other 2 are chargeable.
- Being a Vegetarian (no fish, meat, eggs) I found the buffet menu very limited and poor in selection. Majority of the time the only thing I could eat was chips, rice and a curry. This for lunch and dinner over 7 nights would be hell, so I did tip the chef to make me something vegetarian and in his kindness he did make me a stuffed pepper, courgette and tomato which was a good change. But this was the only dish he could make I guess as I kept getting the same dish every evening. Lol
- The waiter in the buffet restaurant remains the same throughout your stay. I would recommend tipping him in small amounts throughout your stay as he will see you every day to top your drinks etc.
- I do not think the hotel caters well enough for vegetarians and neither do the guests that stay in the hotel respect this, as on numerous occasions I noticed guests using the vegetarian meal serving spoons to serve themselves with a meat curry or so, and then put the serving spoon back in the vegetarian tray. I noticed this and asked the chefs to lay out the vegetarian meals separately on one section so that mixed serving spoons would not offend anybody. My simple request was not honoured and vegetarian meals continued to served amongst and beside meat dishes.
Red dragon (Asian Thai) Restaurant ( 40 dinar for 2 pax approx £20).
- I was fed up of the main restaurant and the uneasiness in eating a meal without the full confidence of it being a vegetarian meal and so booked an evening meal at the Red dragon.
- The menu had to be tweaked to cater for vegetarians but all in all I was pleased with the food.
- Good selection and portions.
- the ambiance is much better than the buffet restaurant and a definite recommendation for at least one night.
Spa & fitness
- the spa and fitness is not free but reasonable priced.
- We did a Spa treatment which was 35 Dinar £16 each which lasted an hour involving a steam and full body exfoliation.
- The steam room looked good but the floor was filled with 2 inches of warm water and there was a constant noise of water dripping into buckets which didn't make it as relaxing as I would have preferred, but given the money paid it was ok.
- I would definitely recommend doing the exfoliation treatment as it makes your skin go super soft.
- Some guests mentioned good facilities at the next door 5* hotel Marhaba which apparently had better spa facilities.
- the hotel owns the patch of the beach and it does keep it in very good order. having walked along the beach I noticed that all other beach front either had large piles of sea weed, debris washed onshore or large mounds of camel defecation.
- Sun loungers were good and always available.
- The beach boys tend to bother you on your first few days as they are eagle eyed at spotting new faces. Don't fall for anything being offered for free. - nothing comes for free!
- The same beach boys will loiter at the beachfront everyday and once they know you're not interested they wont bother you.
- If you take a right at the beach and walk all along the beach to the end (1hr walk) you will arrive at the medina (port) which has restaurants, souvenir and other shops. I recommend to walk along beach and catch taxi back to hotel (10 min taxi drive 6 dinar approx £3).
- If you take a left at the beach you will go towards Old Hammamet. Didn't go so cannot comment.
- On your first day at the hotel as you venture from the reception towards the second pool and towards the beach you are 99% likely to be approached by 'Youseph' inside the hotel premises who sells quad biking expeditions.
- The ticket price is 70 Dinar each £28 and you can haggle him down to 65 Dinar.
- Groups go for quad biking over the hills etc either 10 am or at 2 pm leaving from the main reception by coach (20 mins) to venue where quad bikes are stored.
- They will try and sell you Arabic head gear for 5 dinar when they provide you with a helmet etc.
- Ensure you wear helmet as you will be riding the quad bike on the dual carriage way(10-15 Mins) before hitting the dirt roads.
- Total riding time approx. 1.5hrs- 2hrs, good value for money.
- I would recommend you to do quad biking but please be wary of your own health and safety.
- At the side of the hotel there are stables and the hotel owns numerous horses.
- Cost 65 Dinar £32 for two hrs along the beach.
- Heidi, the manager at the stables could arrange lessons as well for the inexperienced.
- I think they do a great job and without them the hotel would have been dull and boring.
- They host evening shows every night which are ok-ish, but during the day they hold volleyball, waterpolo, beach football, archery, darts, and salsa for the ladies which is good fun.
- I highly recommend water polo with Shaggy and Archery with Mouse! Two top blokes!
- After the evening show in the entertainment room the hotel Dj plays some music which I thought was dated and repetitive. (I heard 50 cent - candy shop atleast 4 out of the 7 nights being played). And due to this hardly anybody gets on the dancefloor. It got to the point where I gave the Dj a list of songs to play (which he did have) and made it a good night with people hitting the dancefloor. But the following night and thereafter we were back to the same routine.
- Outside the hotel there are a few bars that are within 10-15 min walk. Take a left from the hotel exit and there are two bars approx. 3 min walk, Caccoon and another which I cannot remember. both were good and had better music, branded spirits however slightly pricey 2 double drinks were 25 Dinar £12. - Expensive for Tunisia I would say.
-If you carried on walking down (5 Mins ) you would get to Latino bar, which also plays Tunisian music which was awesome. Do expect a lot more locals at this bar though.
- I must say however there are 2 young waiters that work in the Hotel bar, forgotten their names, who were super as they took us to these bars and came to the dancefloor and also escorted us back to the hotel when needed. Thanks guys you are both super!
- Please bear in mind Tunisians smoke indoors and so be prepared for passive smoking at the bars (i'm not a smoker and found this as a negative as had to get fresh air at times)
- Not entirely safe for women to walk back to hotel particularly from Latino on their own. Please be careful and take a cab or go with a group as one of the guests I met almost had her bag snatched by two guys on a moped.
Would possibly go back to the hotel but not with high expectations as I feel trip advisor is highly overrating the hotel. This is an average hotel with good facilities but still a lot of room for improvement.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Beautifully situated on the East coast of Tunisia, SENTIDO Phenicia spreads between a fine sandy beach and a garden of 11 hectares where mix generously Palm and Olive trees. For your comfort, the rooms of the hotel all endowed with balconies or terraces offer you fantastic views between the gulf and mountains of Hammamet, swimming pools, or gardens. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sentido Phenicia Hotel Hammamet
- Iberostar Hotel Hammamet
- Iberostar Hotel Phenicia
- Iberostar Phenicia Tunisia
- Iberostar Phenicia Hammamet