Stayed at the Dessole Riveria for 11 nights at the beginning of August. This was our second visit to the hotel - first time was in 2010. We were a little apprehensive to go back at first given that the hotel had been taken over by a chain and following some of the reviews on Trip Advisor. Yes things have changed, but in most respects, changes are for the better.
A form to complete upon arrival, but this can be done sat in the coffee lounge area either with a coffee or something stronger (if reception provide you with your all-inclusive wrist bands. Please be aware that if you arrive before midday, your rooms are not always available immediately and you may have an hour or two wait. We were aware of this and opted to stick a swimming costume and towel in our hand luggage so we could start enjoying the pool facilities immediately on our arrival. Bags are stored opposite reception under the closetful eye of the management team until the room is ready. Remember to save a 50p to tip the guy who carries the luggage up to your room (but be discreet about when tipping as management don't appear to encourage it)
Rooms - Rooms were serviced every day. Bath towels and beach towels are provided. Most rooms now have flat screen TV's, Safety Deposit Boxes are now free (but careful you don't lose or break the key as there is a replacement charge). Air-conditioning performance seems to depend on which room you are allocated. There's a mini-fridge which is stocked with a couple of bottles of drinking water daily by the maid. In the family rooms strangely the fridge can be turned off by a light switch next to the bed?? Plug sockets are few, so if you are a family and need to charge phones, ipads, use hair dryers and if your luggage allowance will permit, take a four-gang extension lead. Bathrooms are outdated and ready for a refurb, but who cares, I only spend four minutes in the shower!
Very large pool which is very deep even at the shallow end. Separate children's pool, and slide pool. Found it to be clean and safe. Slides were only open a couple of hours in the am and pm , but were quite fun and suitable for kids and adults alike. Sunbeds - never failed to get one, even at the height of peak season. Yes people were down at 5pm putting towels on beds, but tip the Lifeguard a couple of Dinars (70p) every couple of days and he'll magic some from his secret store . All beds are provided with mattresses (even down at the beach). Music by the pool can be very load and sometimes intrusive - but I guess it depends on what you like. Animation team are brilliant, if you want to join in, you'll have fun with pool games and daily activities. The pool bar opens from around 10am and serves a variety of soft drinks - coke, sprite, Fanta from 2Litre bottles, beer, wine, vodka, gin etc. Hot food is also served here (as an alternative to the main dining room), and a never ending supply of ice cream and fresh fruit is also available. Tip - Ask the Chef down at the pool bar to make you a hand made pizza...lush!
Wow!, what a beach. Access is either through a gate via the sister hotel or down a path which starts near to the pool bar. Less than four minutes and you are there. Again, plenty of sunbeds, just ask the Lifeguard in the cowboy hat and he'll magic some. If you are not particularly fond of sand, there a brilliant strip of wooden decked area adjacent to the pool bar where you can enjoy the view and the sound of the sea. Water sports are in abundance at very reasonable costs. There is a shower just by the pool bar if you want to cool off in fresh water rather than the sea.
Pool bar also serves food and all inclusive drinks and plays more easy listening music to that of the main pool.
Evening meal is served in the main dining area. This can get very busy and waiters sometimes struggle to clear table promptly after guests have left. My tip, eat late. 7:45 gets your usual table of choice and a much more pleasurable experience. Food is of the buffet style. There's always a wide variety to choose from and a daily grilled special. We've read complaints before about cold food, but i'm very picky and never used the provided microwave once. Again a small tip every couple of days helps get the little extra bit of customer service form you waiter, but by no means is mandatory.
There's a money exchange adjacent to the reception desk. The bank man is there every day for several hours. There appears to be pretty much a fixed exchange rate all over Tunisia. Change little and often as you can only change back to sterling at the airport and they charge you 25% commission. Get a receipt from the banker if you envisage having to change money back. Don't forget to ask for some small change (1 Dinar coins) for tipping.
The staff make this place. You will always get a warm smile and a bit of friendly banter if you choose. Hedi the main bar manager is amazing. Ask for a drink once and he'll remember your drink for the rest of the holiday. Nothing is too much trouble for the staff.
There appears to be a lot of small niggles here, but really we had the most wonderful time. Thank you to the management and staff of the Dessole Riviera - we'll be back!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The all-inclusive Hotel Riviera is located in a splendid environment, just 250 meters from the beach and features beautiful and elegant 4-star accommodation. All of the hotel's rooms and suites are well furnished, stylishly decorated and equipped with modern en suite facilities. You are sure to enjoy a view from your room of the swimming pool, the verdant garden or the sea. For meals and drinks Hotel Dessole Riviera Resort features 4 restaurants and a selection of bars. Enjoy international and local cuisine and a variety of drinks, cocktails and wines. The hotel is located in Port El Kantaoui just a short walk from marina and near a 36-hole golf course and the famous Sousse Medina. Hotel Rooms: 295 ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, TripOnline SA, 5viajes2012 S.L., Priceline, Hotels.com, Agoda, Odigeo, HRS and Cancelon so you can book your Hotel Riviera reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Hotel Caribbean Village Riviera
- Hotel Riviera Tunisia/Port El Kantaoui