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“An amazing holiday.”

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El Mouradi Palm Marina
Ranked #6 of 33 Hotels in Port El Kantaoui
Reviewed 28 July 2014

I come to the hotel almost twice a year and each time it has been great. Service has been fabulous all the staff are very friendly and the entertainment just keeps getting better. Saber always has a smile on his face which cheers us all up immediately, Amel is very hard working she is great with the kids and not forgetting the rest of them, they are all great and definitely keep us entertained. We are looking forward to returning to the hotel in august to see them all again. The food is really nice, there is always something to eat and drink throughout the day.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank Cody J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 July 2014

Just returned from this hotel and we are so pleased to be back home! we could not wait for this holiday to end and I can honestly say we have never felt like this on holiday before.

Some parts of the hotel were quite nice like the lobby and the spa. The gardens and plants were quite attractive too. The hotel is definitely more like a 2/3 star certainly not a 5!!! Tunisia has very different standards to us and not what we expected at all. All the carpets in the hallways were really stained throughout and looked like they have been there for the last 50 years and had been involved in a flood. They were the first thing I noticed and were truly terrible. In general the hotel is very shabby and needs a lot of modernisation. Our room was not very clean and a couple of rugs which we think were there to cover a few cracks on the flooring looked like they had never been washed or vacuumed. We complained three times about our patio door because the lock was faulty and did not seem very secure and we were told someone would look at it. It may have been looked at but certainly not fixed!
Now onto the food at this hotel. This was the WORST FOOD we have ever experienced on all our previous holidays. I understand they have to cater for a lot of people but so do other hotels and most of them do a great job. It reminded me of an old school canteen but a lot worse. There was no atmosphere and it was dull. The salad bar never appealed but would usually. The fruit selection was very poor too and didn't look fresh at all. Everything was roughly the same everyday, soggy green beans and carrots were always there,urgh. We never saw any type of chickpeas, beans, lentils or nuts so for vegetarians this is unbelievably poor and extremely difficult to get enough protein. We had to fill up on stodgy pizza with fake cheese.
There is simply not enough to do in this area apart from walks on the beach and a walk to the marina. We were hassled enough on these walks so felt that we didn't want to go shopping in sousse to feel more pressured into buying things. None of the excursions from just sunshine appealed to us, there just isn't enough to do if you want to go and explore the area. If you want to sunbathe all day and not see any of Tunisia you might enjoy this holiday, we didn't.
The staff seemed to work hard and the folklore show was quite good, at least we saw a tiny bit of their culture. Cafe with shisha was a nice change too. It was just a break away for us and one which we will soon forget. We won't be returning to Tunisia and would never recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Sarah J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ahmed G, Responsable relations publiques at El Mouradi Palm Marina, responded to this reviewResponded 30 July 2014

Dear Mrs Sahra,

We read your review posted on Tripadvisor after your stay spent at El Mouradi Palm Marina.

We are very disappointed after reading your review posted on Tripadvisor, we apologize for not living up to your expectations.

We are working on the points mentioned by you in your feedback to revise the deficiencies.

We hope have the opportunity to welcome you during your next visit To Tunisia.

Yours

Ahmed G.
C.R.M.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2014

We had the misfortune to book this resort through Lowcostholidays,com and I can safely say without question this was the worst holiday and resort I've ever stayed at in 30+ years of holidaying abroad.
Suffice to say we found the whole experience so bad that we chose to book our own flights home after 24 hours of being in this place and experiencing the complete lack of service, quality or customer care this place had to offer.

This place is ranked as five star apparently and also Lowcostholidays.com have an "our rating" as five star. I can only assume the ratings were either gained many many years ago or the people who give these ratings have never been.

Arriving at the hotel after a very early start to the day - no meet and greet, no refreshment offered. Every hotel I have ever stayed at regardless of star rating has offered this.

Onto the next thing - the fact that our room would not be ready for some two hours after arriving but would we like to get some lunch whilst we wait. Personally, I'd rather have a room and get freshened up before eating but the El Mouradi has different ideas in this area. Not really a five star reception!

Finally we get a room allocated and are shown to this room. Leaving the somewhat opulent reception we were met by very shabby lifts and even worse state of carpets on all floors of the hotel. There was a sign in the lift indicating the carpets were new but had a manufacturing defect that the hotel were dealing with - considering I have since read a review from around 6 years ago which referred to the state of these carpets I can only assume the complaints process in Tunisia is long-winded!

However, if I thought the carpets were bad this was to be surpassed by the room we had been allocated. Considering we had chosen to upgrade to a junior suite I can only say that I'd hate to see a non-upgrade room. It bore no relation to the website pictures. It was tired, dated and not clean whatsoever - food remnants around the edges of the room, cockroach in the room, loose light fitting in bathroom, loose mirror in bathroom, no spare power outlets, old bedding discarded in corner of room, safe not working,bare wires in light fittings, no furniture on balcony. We of course complained but seemed to be met by incredulity at reception that we were disappointed (suffice to say another couple were also complaining about the same state of their room). In summary we were asked to look at two other rooms - one of which had a supplement. They were all of the same awful standard so having had a long day and now beeing some 4 hours after we'd arrived we agreed to the last room as we needed to get a little rest.

After resting we explored a little more. If I explain every detail then it would be a book but in summary and certainly not five star in our experiemce

- having to pay to hire beach towels
- even though it wasn't high season no spare sunbeds around pool and cramped on the beach. People clearly reserved sunbeds very early despite there being notices that this was prohibited
- snack bars not open or serving at times stated
- long waits at bar for any service by staff nit because of queues, because the staff weren't there!
- waiters only interested in trying to ask you to change money

Every where we looked it was not five star in our experience and given the rudeness of the reception staff and general lack of service anywhere we made the decision to book our own flights back after 24 hours in this place and left. The closing insult being the representative arguing with me on the phone and telling me that "my expectations were too high". I think that's warranted when you book a five star hotel!

The Tunisian taxi driver who took us to Tunis airport showed more five star service than the hotel.

I have since complained to Lowcostholidays.com who given their response have no interest in the mis-representation of this resort and even less interest in a dis-satisfied customer.

In summary, avoid this hotel at all costs.

Also considering a representative had indicated "my expectations were too high" then if you have low holiday expectations then by all means boook a holiday through Lowcostholidays.com. If you'd like a holiday experience which meets your expectations then book with someone else!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
8  Thank robem64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2014

We come to this hotel twice a year because we love it so much! Staff are all very friendly and will do anything for you. Always something to eat and drink throughout the day. Entertainment from early on a morning to late at night. Saber is amazing very friendly and works very hard! Always smiling! Amel is also very good! We will be back next month for another amazing holiday!

  • Stayed: March 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank KelseyJackson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ahmed G, Responsable relations publiques at El Mouradi Palm Marina, responded to this reviewResponded 26 July 2014

Dear Mrs Jackson,

We read your very nice review posted on Tripadvisor after your holiday spent at El Mouradi Palm Marina.

We are glad to know that you enjoy your stay to such extent, thank you very much indeed for your trust and we will share your joy with the entire team.

We are looking forward to welcoming you back soon during your next visit to Port El Kantaoui / Sousse.

Yours

Ahmed G.
C.R.M.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2014

Arrived at this hotel for a week's holiday on 13th July. The entrance gives a great impression and we were greeted with drinks which was very welcome after our coach trip from the airport. Don't bother with exchanging sterling for dinars at the airport - the rates were much better at the hotel reception!

I stayed in a superior room. Absolutely lovely, very spacious, and a big bottle of water placed into the fridge every day (for some reason some reviewers here seem to think fridge = mini-bar?!) but I was pleasantly surprised and very grateful as it was boiling all week! Housekeeping didn't disturb as long as I had the sign on the handle and always did a great job (I left a few dinars each day as thanks). Some people have mentioned that the carpets don't look great - this is probably true but there was a notice up in the lift that said they're being replaced. As it turns out they're not actually dirty (I saw them vacuumed every day) but the ones they have give that impression. Anyway, they're not in the room.

The pool was great. Lovely size to accommodate for all needs, whether it's water polo, reading a book on the shallow steps, playing with the kids (also a small baby/toddler pool with slide) or just floating around on your back soaking up the sun. There were always plenty of beds (an extra are stacked up), parasols, cushions and drinks (there's a pool bar or someone to bring you drinks).
There are also sunbathing beds on the beach. The sea is lovely and not too deep though I didn't spend too much time on the seafront as I personally don't love sand (I know, I know!).

Food was plentiful and very good overall. I'm a vegetarian so I always worry about how much choice I'll have but I really didn't have to worry. One point of constructive criticism for the hotel would be to label the vegetarian options with a 'V' sign or something, as sometimes it wasn't clear what was and wasn't vegetarian and I'm sure I missed out on some tasty things at some point. No, the food isn't Michelin star quality but who seriously expected it would be? It's a self-serve buffet being catered to hundreds, and given that I think it was still great. For evening meals you'll be assigned a regular table (and waiter, who is more likely to remember your preferred drinks if you're friendly and tip regularly) which means no queuing or hunting for a table. Good stuff.

The evening entertainment was probably average package-holiday standard, but it was quite funny at points nonetheless. The animation team put on tonnes of activities during the day from volleyball to Arabic lessons, and from their office you can borrow tennis rackets (nice court) or even just magazines. Word of wisdom is to probably not bother with the Friday beach party: too many people, the food wasn't as good as at the normal restaurant and the entertainment (a dance show) was talented but didn't live up to 'beach party' expectations. There is a nightclub in the hotel which is good for a laugh. Depends how many are in as to how lively it is to be honest, and watch out for the rum measurements - corrr!

The highlight of the entire holiday for me was heading over to the Moorish café in the late evening for shisha pipes and Turkish coffee. The date liqueur is very strong! But persist, I promise by day two you'll have taken to it and by day three you'll be asking for seconds! This was a lovely place to sit with the family in the outdoor evening heat and chat, laugh and play cards. Most nights we were served by Habib who really went the extra mile for us and made us feel welcome. By the end of the week we were all on first name terms and on our last night he even laid out some flowers for us! Shukran, Habib!

The only downside I could think of is not with the hotel but with some of the other guests! No one's obnoxious but it did irritate me how some people were rude to or ignored the staff. It was Ramadan while we were staying so I can only imagine how difficult it was to work all day in the heat. The hotel staff at reception are very accommodating - so if you have any issues or suggestions don't just moan about it on here when you come home, tell them and they'll be keen to sort it out! :-)

I will say the hotel isn't what you'd equate to '5 star' in the UK, but it would almost certainly be a 4 star. (In any case people seem to forget the star rating is about services, not strictly quality. Find me a 3 star hotel that offers babysitting services!)

Lastly a word on tipping. It's easy in our instrumental society of ours to assume that tipping means you're buying superior service. This is wrong. Being polite and having common courtesy will get you great service - the tipping is for thanks, which obviously gives positive feedback, shows your appreciation and tends to be reciprocated through continued good service. There were plenty of times I forgot to take dinars with me for tipping, but the staff would always say "no problem". On one occasion someone tried to give the tip back saying it was too much (to my mind £3.40 for particularly exceptional service on this occasion was perfectly justifiable). So if you want superior service, more regular refills, want to stand out from everyone else your waiter is serving, it's easy - be nice! Easy!

Thanks Palm Marina for a great holiday - would definitely recommend.

Room Tip: A superior room will be worth it. Nothing like waking up to that view!
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
9  Thank calculusaffair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ahmed G, Responsable relations publiques at El Mouradi Palm Marina, responded to this reviewResponded 29 July 2014

Dear customer,

We read your excellent review posted on Tripadvisor after your holiday spent at El Mouradi Palm Marina.

We are very pleased to know that you enjoy your stay to such extent, such like the room, the pool, the sea, the food, the service and the Moorish café.

We will share your joy with the entire team and we would like to thank you for recommending us on this forum.

We are looking forward to welcoming you back soon during your next visit to Port El Kantaoui / Sousse.

Yours

Ahmed G.
C.R.M.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2014

We love this hotel so much we have visited at least twice a year for the past three years. Rooms are very clean and spacious even though there is four of us in the same room. Food is good, there is always lots of choice and no matter what time you get up or go to bed there's always something open for food. We usually go and get a pizza to take away after the hotel night club. We were there in April this year and I have to say the animation team are the best we've had at the Palm. Saber is lovely, very polite always has a smile, he's a credit to the team. As is Amel who works tirelessly with the kids club and not forgetting Hatem and Yazeen. They all work so hard and are always happy. They made our holiday fantastic in April and we can't wait to see them again in August.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
5  Thank 530Amanda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2014

Went to this hotel on the 5th July for two weeks and had a great time the staff in the hotel where very helpful with everything that you asked them,I would like to thank the animation staff for getting me and my family to take part in most of the activites ,that they organized a big thank you to Yassine for playing bools with me and getting me and my wife to take part in the dance competion witch we won I would like to thank saber, and Mohamed,for taking time to have good fun and laughs with my family ,and not forgetting the rest of the animation team ,I would racommend the animation team and this hotel to anyone they would enjoy the full holiday with the animation team and hotel staff I would also like to thank the bar waiter Anis for giving me good service . I would go back to this hotel again no problem thanks everyone great holiday

Room Tip: Superior sea view room
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Service
8  Thank Ian C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about El Mouradi Palm Marina

Address: Zone Touristique El Kantaoui, Port El Kantaoui 4089, Tunisia
Region: Tunisia > Sousse Governorate > Port El Kantaoui
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#6 Luxury Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#6 Spa Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#8 Romantic Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#9 Family Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
Price Range: £53 - £313 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — El Mouradi Palm Marina 5*
Number of rooms: 386
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Built in Hispano-Moorish style close to the marina at Port el Kantaoui, dotted with gardens leading to a beach of fine sand, the El Mouradi Palm Marina is the ideal hotel for a relaxing holiday. For golfers, the 36-hole El Kantaoui golf course is two kilometres away. The hotel is 10 kilometres from the town of Sousse, 35 kilometres from Monastir's Habib Bourguiba airport, 40 kms from Enfidha airport, 70 kilometres from Yasmine Hammamet and 135 kilometres from the capital Tunis. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Mouradi Palm Marina Hotel Port El Kantaoui
Palm Marina
El Mouradi Palm Marina Tunisia/Port El Kantaoui

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