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“Not as good as the reviews”
Review of SENTIDO Phenicia

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SENTIDO Phenicia
Ranked #1 of 118 Hotels in Hammamet
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 August 2014

Greatly disappointed after having read so many positive reviews before selecting this as our family holiday destination. It does question the validity of the positive reviews & who is actually writing them!? Having travelled extensively & experienced real 4 star establishments, it is apparent that the standard awarded to the Phenicia is grossly exaggerated. Thomas Cook et al please go under cover & see for yourselves. This hotel should not be a premium listing in your brochures that attracts a premium price tag.

Pro's - it was sunny, the pools, the pool bar staff, the sun bed attendant (please get a trolley !)

Cons - the reception experience, lack of detail to cleanliness of bedroom, failure to restock refreshments I.e coffee, sugar, t-bags, air conditioning unit noisy, temperature control of water poor, corridors dark & poorly lit, steps leading to main restaurant dangerously long & poorly marked edges ( beware), restaurant management poor, too small for number of guests, frequent shortage of cutlery, too frequent lengthy waits for food, variation of food infrequent, average waiter service, quality of drinks poor, paper cup policy , littered grounds & beach, entertainment poor to average (try employing professionals occasionally) ,inappropriate behaviour exhibited by entertainment staff ( not all), the fluctuating prices of snacks in the shop, battle for the sun beds.

Overall very dissatisfied considering the thousands of hard earned pounds that we were relieved of by Thomas Cook!!

Room Tip: Book a room as far away from The Phenecia !
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank Clive S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sentido, Guest Relations Manager at SENTIDO Phenicia, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2014

Dear Clive S,

Thank you sharing your comment with us on TripAdvisor. We are more than disappointed to learn we couldn't meet your expectations on this occasion. We apologize if you didn't make the same good holiday experience as many other guests. Your comment will be forwarded to the concerned managers to have a look on it and to take the appropriated measures where required.
We would wish welcoming you back one day - to make up for any inconveniences you might have experienced.

Best regards
The SENTIDO Phenicia Team

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1,003 - 1,009 of 5,981 reviews

Reviewed 20 August 2014

Me and my partner stayed recently for a last minute getaway. On arrival from the airport it was getting late (around 11pm) but we were still offered refreshing drinks from the Bar. The room was clean and tidy, although it was a twin room - we wanted a double - we were given assistance pushing the beds together and the cleaners also keep it this way for us - very kind. The food here was brilliant - almost slightly dangerous if you go all-inclusive (time to go to the gym when you get home). Although the beach outside was grubby, we were off-season so can't expect wonders. Overall we had a very lovely stay, not quite 5* but excellent value for money.

Room Tip: Worth paying the extra for a sea-view room!
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Elizabeth G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sentido, Guest Relations Manager at SENTIDO Phenicia, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2014

Dear Elizabeth G,

Thank you very much writing your holiday - feedback on TripAdvior. We are pleased reading you had a very lovely stay with us, good food, great service and excellent value for money.

Best regards – we are looking forward welcoming you back.

The SENTIDO Phenicia Team

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Reviewed 20 August 2014

We have just returned after a fantastic holiday in Tunisia. The holiday was relaxing and hot; just what we wanted. On arrival to the hotel we were greeted by friendly reception staff who gave us a swift check in. Porters then delivered our bags to our rooms and we were given drinks and towels which was a nice touch. The room was clean, modern and one of the refurbished rooms on the second floor.

We found all of the staff very helpful and they went out of their way to help.The cleaner left towel art and "presents" in our room. We did not encounter any rudeness from the reception staff and found them extremely courteous and helpful whenever we went to them. It does make me wonder from reading some of the negative reviews whether perhaps they encountered "rude staff" as a result of their negative attitude towards staff members!?!as we did not encounter anyone who was not happy to go out of their way to make our holiday enjoyable. We found absolutely no pressure to tip and none of the staff members expected tips, we gave tips to gratitude the good service we had received.

The pool area was kept well and the gardeners worked tirelessly throughout the day. The animation team are great if you want an active holiday, we were happy not to be involved and once the animation team knew that, they respected the fact we just wanted to relax without joining in with the activities. The pool bar and beach bar were not far away to get drinks throughout the day, we mainly stuck with bottled water in the heat. Some people were unhappy with the paper cups but had those guests read earlier reviews, they could have taken a large plastic cup with them which some guests seemed to do and had them filled up. Bar staff were happy to fill up as many cups as you wanted. The beach always had plenty of sun loungers and we had no problem with the sellers. A simple but polite 'no thank you' and we were left alone. I found we were hassled far less than when I have been on holiday in Turkey.

We had no problems with the food and found quite a lot of choice at breakfast, lunch (beach BBQ) and dinner. Although we did hear one guest say she could only eat the "chicken nuggets" which made us chuckle! We never queued for dinner but we went with the 8.30pm dinner sitting. Our waiter was attentive, brought us our drinks and left us alone to enjoy dinner-exactly what we wanted! We tried the Chinese, at 8 pounds a real bargain and we tried the Berber tent which was a great experience! The crepe man made amazing crepes each day!

After dinner we would have drinks either in the oasis bar or outside, we always found there to be plenty of seating. We did not watch any of the entertainment as we preferred to have a quiet drink although they seemed to draw in quite a crowd each night.

The hotel is not situated in an area where you would venture out to lots of shops but we knew that before we booked to go so we weren't shocked to find very little on our morning walks. We were given a room to freshen up in before our evening flight and had there not been any guests going into our room we would have been allowed to keep our room on for no extra cost.

Overall if you want a relaxing holiday, this hotel is for you. For those people who moan, I can't help but think you pay for what you get and for the price we paid with Thomas cook, the week we had at the hotel was great!

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Tate T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sentido, Guest Relations Manager at SENTIDO Phenicia, responded to this reviewResponded 21 August 2014

Dear Tate 321,

Thank you very much describing the holiday experience you made during your stay at the SENTIDO Phenicia Hotel on TripAdvisor. We are more than delighted you enjoyed your stay with us and felt the SENTIDO Phenicia Hotel is very good value for money in every aspect.

We are looking forward welcoming you back – to spend another lovely holiday in the sunshine.

Best regards
The SENTIDO Phenicia Team

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Reviewed 20 August 2014

Had a fantastic week at the Phenicia. Great hotel, great weather and the staff were really friendly. When we arrived we were given a refreshing fruit drink at check in and were shown to our room which was very modern and comfortable.

We spent all our time at the beach so can't comment on the pool, but the beach was fantastic. Lovely golden sand and enough sun beds for all, no need to fight for somewhere to sit. The animation team even came down to the beach to do aqua aerobics.

The food in general was tasteful and there was a good variety, however some of the meat that was cooked in front of customers, I.e the barbecue, the hot grill in the main restaurant was undercooked, and was inedible. We are not fussy meat eaters and like rare meat when it is appropriate. Breakfast was lovely, with fresh croissants, crepes and omelettes.

We have rebooked for next year with our teenage daughter. Looking forward to going back!

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
4  Thank Gavin D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sentido, Guest Relations Manager at SENTIDO Phenicia, responded to this reviewResponded 22 August 2014

Dear Gavin D,

we feel honored having been the place to celebrate your honey moon. Thank you very much.
Your kind comment is highly appreciated , thank you mentionning the show cooking as well.
We have already informed our hygienist and the Chief cook to check the meat.
We are delighted reading you enjoyed the friendly staff, golden sand at the beach, tasteful food and good variety and the best - you have rebooked for next year with your daughter.

Welcome back next year - we are looking forward extending our hospitality.

Best regards
The SENTIDO Phenicia Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2014

Recently got home from Phenicia and can I say, a very good hotel. Hotel staff excellent, friendly and helpful . Food superb on a night if not a bit hectic at times, but you'll get used to it. I recommend giving a few quid to Mohammed the bed man every day and he'll sort your towels out so the other Brits (not Germans !) will have to look elsewhere , he did us proud. The animation staff (sorry super mario etc but were not our cup of tea) but if you like the darts in the pool and water polo every now and then being hassled then you'll be fine as long as you give them a heads up whether you like it or not. They still try tho and did for a week but were still humorous with it. By the way mario you still owe my wife the flip flops you knicked haha! The same team does the entertainment on the evening, well err, I've seen better, that's being kind, sorry guys.Breakfast ok especially the omelette guy who was great but don't expect bacon sausage etc coz you won't get it but plenty other stuff to suit. If you're like me I had chillies every day for 10 days, kept me regular . As for going out don't bother walking as there is nothing around unless you get a taxi to the marina which is very nice (7 dinar about 2-3 quid) well worth it. There may be quite a few armed policeman on the way there with AK47s, but I'm told they're just checking vehicle papers ,was worrying at first but you get used to it.The owners there will try to get u in their shops selling their 'real fake' stuff watches, beats etc. we bought a few. Some were great and still are. A couple failed to work so make sure they do before you leave the shop. Ps dont believe a word they say, theyre good sellers!! Be warned. Back to the hotel, I would stick to the lager as the vodka etc seemed quite weak and you needed few to hit the spot, ask for doubles which would equate to a single ! Just sayin! Beach nice ,water warm, jet skis fast , and other stuff to do, but if you get bored and like a walk around this is not the place for you . Oh and another thing the Chinese wasn't great and there was never anyone in the Italian . I guess this was because the main buffet was so good . Mixed report I suppose but in summing up, hotel great , beach great, entertainment not for me but maybe you, marina very nice, outskirts of resorts dodgy, taxis bit of a health hazard. But what do you expect it's Tunisia . The hotel and beach etc could have been anywhere in the tourist world however would I go back there, probably not. Having just re-read all this back to myself I definitely wouldn't - naaaa it wasn't that bad

Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
8  Thank johnnyh2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sentido, Guest Relations Manager at SENTIDO Phenicia, responded to this reviewResponded 20 August 2014

Dear johnnyh2010,

Thank you very much sharing your feedback after your stay at the SENTIDO Phenicia Hotel on TripAdvisor. We appreciate your statement "very nice hotel and beach" and are for sure not really happy to know we couldn't impress you with a little bit more than that on this occasion, and you felt the SENTIDO Phenicia Hotel is not representing something special. Nevertheless we are working constantly to exceed the expectations of our guests.

We would like welcoming you back one day demonstrating you made the best choice.

Best regards,

The SENTIDO Phenicia Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2014

After reading all the reviews before travelling to the Phenicia we were expecting a fantastic stay but we were bitterly disappointed.
We can only presume that people saying the hotel and food especially was amazing either shop at asda or have never been to another all inclusive resort. Judging by the reviews that say it's their 5th time back we will go with the latter.

Be prepared for a 20 minute wait for food every night which by the time you have waited for things that have ran out, is cold! I have been to all inclusive resorts all around the world and never have I received such service in a restaurant. You are also penalised for being English, we had been at our table for 15 minutes without being offered a drink, but then a table of 10 Tunisians came and sat behind us and low and behold 2 waiters rushed over to take their drinks order!! As for the head waiter, he doesn't speak to anyone unless they are French or Tunisian. There is a fish restaurant which you can pay for and in the two weeks we were there only saw one couple in, maybe if they made this part of the all inclusive or just knocked it through it would ease congestion in the main restaurant.

The evening entertainment was woeful and with drinks still being provided in paper cups you couldn't drink enough to make it seem good! You wouldn't accept a glass of wine being provided in a paper cup at even a 2* hotel in England so how people can say this hotel should be a 5* is beyond me. Also do not be fooled by the brochure saying there is a night club on site, it is just a dark, cold room with a bar in which you go to when the main one closes at 11.30. No music in there so not sure how it can be classed as a night club. We also went down to the beach party that was supposedly on until 2am at 11pm and it had finished.

As for the the entertainers they spent the whole of our first week perched on females sun beds. They wernt fussy about age, just as long as they were female. We only saw them in the second week when they wanted us to buy something from them ie. t-shirts, CDs, bingo tickets. Maybe if I was a girl I would have been invited to join in some of the activities. I can also only presume that the 3 female entertainers were mutes as I dint hear them say a word rough out the two week stay.

The room was the smallest I have stayed in at an all inclusive although to be fair it was very clean. The pool and surrounding areas were also kept very clean and tidy.

The men on reception were some of the rudest and most unhelpful I have ever come across and must be very unhappy in their jobs.

We did the quad biking trip sold to us by Ally on our first day and it was great fun, I would recommend anyone to do this!

Overall this resort is at best a 3* and we will not be returning.

Room Tip: Go with Thomas cook, if not you get one of the non refurbished rooms
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
10  Thank oliver s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sentido, Guest Relations Manager at SENTIDO Phenicia, responded to this reviewResponded 22 August 2014

Dear oliver s,

thank you having taken the time to write your detailed feedback on TripAdvisor, which is one of the worst comment about the SENTIDO Phenicia Hotel we got from over 3000 reviews. We sincerely apologize we couldn't meet your expectations at all. Your comment has been forwarded to the Management team and will be discussed during the next meeting.

Wishing welcoming you back one day
Best regards
The SENTIDO Phenicia Team

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Reviewed 19 August 2014

We have just returned from a week stay at the hotel as a couple in our early 30s. We had a good holiday and now we would like to offer our point of view.

We arrived at the hotel, tired after a delay, at about 8.40pm. We did not get a tour or towels, guess this was the time of day, but the reception was not the best. They did not know how long we were staying for and then after asking who we were booked with (Cosmos), the receptionist advised us that only Thomas Cook have refurbished rooms and other rooms were not so good. At this point we didn't care, but said 'so your first greeting is to inform us that some of your rooms are not up to 4 star standard'. We were quickly given a refurbished room on the 3rd floor with a sea view and had no faults with the room whatsoever. Our cleaner was also a happy chappy and the room was cleaned spotlessly throughout our stay.

The food in the morning was great. The omlettes are awesome as is the person who makes them, we were late but he still made us one with a smile. At night the atmosphere was a little hectic at the later sitting. Lots of local dishes, healthy options and free flowing drinks. Make sure you like turkey! It appears alot at the hotel. There is no queue to get in the restaurant at night, but you do have to queue initially for food. We hear the 7pm sitting was better. The greeting by the young lad at the door and the service from the waiters helped. A tip, there was a sign on the door to the Chinese that men needed to wear long trousers. A good alternative and a calmer atmosphere was enjoyed in the Berber Tents, five courses of Tunisian food was very nice, a little bit rushed and we shared a table with an Austrian couple. Some may not like, we found this fine. Lunch at the beach BBQ everyday was more relaxed, freshly cooked meats, pastas, salad and ice cream.

The pool area was little untidy at times and you had to get up early to reserve a sun bed, 6am. We did not expect to have to do this in a 4 star hotel, as we had never had to do this at others. We spent most days at the beach, where there was no issue with loungers and plenty to go round. We liked the beach bar, especially between 5 and 5.30pm when the sun was calming down. The guys behind the bar were great. Drinks in general were adequate, we mostly drank the beer and local spirits. In some all inclusives you may expect to be able to pull your own pint, or glass of wine, not here. A tip we followed was to take our own cups and we were glad we did!! The little cups to us, seemed to be an inefficient way of serving drinks. Generally two drinks were offered at once in the paper cups at the beach and pool areas. Oasis bar did serve in glasses.

Entertainment at night had been moved outside and due to this, there was no bar near by that served drinks in glasses. A shame really, as adults all dressed up, it would have been nice to drink out of a glass, rather than feeling as though we were at a childs birthday party. Speaking of entertainment, they do try but it was as you would as expect. The animation team were always friendly and happy. Great for kids, rather than adults. At approx 11.15pm all music and entertainment ends. It would have been nice to have some background music to enjoy for a bit longer. We found a bar just outside the hotel to the left called Le Duo (we think), which had live music and a good atmosphere. It was about 5 dinar for a bottle of beer.

We went to Yasmin Hammamet for the night, its a 10 dinar ten minute taxi drive. Lots of shops to buy your presents, these are better value than the hotel shop, also the shop assistants in Yasmin were far more welcoming and actually smiled!! We did not feel hassled at all, a simple no thanks was sufficient. We did not venture to the old medina as we were told traffic was a nightmare at night.

Football, volleyball and boules were good on the beach. The banana boat, shall we say does not have health and safety as a top priority. After taking a trip on the banana boat it was clear repairs were needed and more could have been made of the time at sea. The Pirate boat looked completely packed and we would not recommend it. We did hear the cataraman was a good choice.

We gave tips to our waiter, room cleaner, omlette man, bar staff and the lad holding the door open. A few dinar every so often went down well. The staff deserved it as they work really hard. To sum this up, we feel this is not a 4 star hotel. Its 3 stars and a bit, but would not take much more effort on little organisational things to make it a 4 star. I woudl recommend this hotel for families with younger children or couples who would like to be in bed by 11.30pm. Also, try to avoid flying with Monarch, book with Thomas Cook!!

Room Tip: Book Thomas Cook. 3rd floor refurbished room over looking sea was lovely. Sun in the morning and c...
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank HP_Wxm1864
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sentido, Guest Relations Manager at SENTIDO Phenicia, responded to this reviewResponded 20 August 2014

Dear HP_Wxm1864,

Thank you very much sharing your constructive feedback with us on TripAdvisor.
The suggestions you made and the negatives you kindly mentionned have been
forwarded to the concerned managers to have a look on it and to improve where
required and possible. Please be advised for safety reasons we are serving drinks
round the pool and the beach in paper cups, drinks are served in glasses when you
are sitting in the bars. We are pleased reading you enjoyed the Berber Restaurant,
breakfast, the service provided by the staff, a part the “welcoming information” the
first day.

Best regards – we would like welcoming you back, to exceed your expectations
during your next holiday.

The SENTIDO Phenicia Team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about SENTIDO Phenicia

Address: Avenue Moncef Bey, Hammamet 8050, Tunisia
Region: Tunisia > Nabeul Governorate > Hammamet
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach 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
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Hammamet
#1 Spa Hotel in Hammamet
#1 Luxury Hotel in Hammamet
#2 Family Hotel in Hammamet
#4 Business Hotel in Hammamet
#6 Romantic Hotel in Hammamet
Price Range: £44 - £261 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — SENTIDO Phenicia 4*
Number of rooms: 391
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

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