I stayed here for a week at the end of June/beginning of July with my husband. We have stayed in iberostar hotels before (which is why we booked) and this definitely didn't match up. However - it was quite reasonable for what we paid.
The queues at the airport security were very long as previous reviewers have said - they seem to have all flights arriving and departing at the same time and no staff to deal with it! There are 'porters' in the airport grappling to take you suitcase - unless you need a hand - hold on tight! They're after a tip!! The transfer to the hotel is around half an hour and the rep on this bus will ask you to leave a tip for the driver. (He accepts sterling - and probably most major credit cards too lol). On arrival we were taken to the piano bar, given a cocktail and asked to fill in forms. This didn't take long and then we were shown to our room.
Room - The room was lovely and spacious if a little bit dated. It was on the ground floor overlooking a garden area and nice and quiet. There's a fridge (empty) a TV (bbc world news) and the roomy bathroom with fantastic shower and hairdryer. If like me you like a hot drink when you first wake up, take a travel kettle with you and some tea/coffee as there are no facilities for this. Air con in our room was excellent though and the nice 'safe man' will come and show you how to work the safe ( around a pound a day I think). The room was kept well by the housekeeping staff.
Pool - nice pool - not very big but adequate for the size of the property. We didn't have any problem getting a lounger although my husband was out quite early in the morning. You will get towel cards at reception which you will swap for towels at the office next to the animation area. You just go back and exchange the towels whenever you need to. On leaving you just ask for towel cards back because you need to give them back to reception, or you will be charged! The animation team will periodically come around the pool asking if you'd like to join in with archery, pool games etc. if you don't want to, they won't hassle you.
Beach - gorgeous white sand and nice clear water. Loads of activities on offer - parasailing etc. passing traders offering cheap cigarettes etc (I wouldn't!) but no hassles.
Bars - first of all the spirits are likely to strip the enamel from your teeth so beware! The beer was ok but the white wine was yuk - can't speak for the red but others thought it was drinkable. The staff in the piano bar were lovely and would always remember your favourite drink. The bar itself is quite stuffy and old fashioned though. The pool bar staff not quite so good - I only ever went there for coffee (self service) but on taking my cup away one of the bar staff actually ASKED for a tip! Now I am quite happy to hand over a tip when it's deserved but really, to be asked for a tip for no service whatsoever is a bit of a cheek! The staff at this bar were a bit odd to say the least. On our first day I stood at the bar waiting to be served for ages only to be ignored, then three men rocked up behind me and the Bar staff fell over themselves to serve them! On another, I spent ages trying to get coffee out of the machine - the staff were all there but only when I was exasperated and asked if the machine was broken did they say 'yes - there is a problem with the electricity' very obtuse and unhelpful. These were the only staff I encountered to be like this though. Beach bar staff were excellent, always courteous and polite. We went into the 'shisha
cafe' and the gentleman in there was very nice as well as the guy in the coffee bar - that's where to go for a late evening snack too. There is also a sports bar which is billed as a typical british pub. It's actually more like a typical british community centre. We were in there frequently as the World Cup was on so they were showing the matches - three Tv's playing at three different speeds wasn't too good but the staff were nice and friendly.
Food - the buffet restaurant was excellent with very nice staff and varied food - the only time we were limited was when we were quite late one evening (8.30) but otherwise there were loads of different options, fish, chicken, beef, vegetarian etc., and beautiful desserts! Noticed someone always going around checking temperature etc too.
Rep - Thomas Cook rep Jennifer was very good - gave us good local info and didn't try to flog trips - she gave us leaflets about the trips and said if we wanted any info to get in touch with her.
Out and about - went into the port one evening - taxi from outside the hotel 5 dinar. The usual white knuckle ride. The port area is very nice - some lovely yachts moored here. The staff in bars/restaurants/shops will hound you for your business so be warned, you will be hassled constantly and have to haggle for everything. That was the only time we ventured out as we were really just having a relaxing holiday. A change of scenery from the hotel though!
Shopping - there is a jewellery shop in the reception area of the hotel and a couple of shops near the pool bar. The jewellery shop is selling Michael Kors watches, pandora bracelets etc which are clearly fakes - I'm surprised iberostar allow this! There's a shop selling Pringles, coke etc - not too expensive and the pool bar shops sell souvenirs (fridge magnets etc) and leather goods. I gather going to the shopping malls along the road is no better.
All in all we went for a week of R&R which is what we had - I wouldn't have wanted to be there with kids as I think that might've been a struggle to entertain them. The hotel is definitely in need to dragging out of the 1980's and not on a par with other iberostar hotels. Their best asset is their staff! (Most of them).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The top IBEROSTAR Diar El Andalous hotel, located in the town of Sousse, is an all-inclusive Port El Kantaoui hotel, surrounded by gardens and right on the beach. This lovely hotel by the Mediterranean in Tunisia is reopening after thorough renovation of its main facilities for an upgrade to five stars. New VIP area, Star Prestige zone with exclusive services and personalised assistance, new spa with heated pool, fitness studio and three specialty restaurants. Enjoy your stay in this five-star resort offering an entertainment programme for families and the best possible service. Your perfect choice for a nice family holiday in Tunisia. Star Prestige: Learn about all the exclusive services available in this area. Make your booking in the new Star Prestige area and get a wealth of benefits: newly developed rooms on the top floor of the hotel, personalised check-in and welcome cocktail, amazing views of the hotel’s gardens or the sea, personalised service, premium amenities in the room, chill-out terrace with hammocks and Balinese beds, outdoor whirlpool tub, open bar serving drinks and (sweet and savoury) snacks during the day, free Wi-Fi, Prestige VIP lounge with flat-screen TV and late check-out at no extra charge (on request, subject to availability). Hotel with the best Tunisian gastronomy. Some of the nicest things when visiting countries such as Tunisia is tasting its cuisine, learning about its culture and investigating its customs.. At the IBEROSTAR Diar El Andalous you can try the most delicious traditional dishes from Tunisian cuisine. There are Asian and Italian restaurants too. In addition, one of the bars, with a very Tunisian setting, invites its guests to taste the famous teas while enjoying a water pipe, a custom prevalent in Tunisian society. Children have lots of fun. There’s not a moment of boredom for the youngest in the family, since there’s a huge variety of games organized for them by age, which are part of the entertainment program of the hotel’s different children's clubs. Business events in Port El Kantaoui. The IBEROSTAR Diar El Andalous has facilities in which to hold meetings, conferences or incentive trips. It has the latest audiovisual equipment and a team of professionals who ensure the events come off perfectly. Free Wi-Fi. Connect to the Internet with Iberostar for as long as you want. The hotel offers exclusive free Wi-Fi in all its facilities. Full relaxation at the spa. The IBEROSTAR Diar El Andalous is a wonderful, fully renovated hotel where you can get a fine bespoke experience in relaxation. Indoor pool, sauna, Turkish bath, beauty treatment booths and a new, well-appointed fitness studio so that you do not miss a thing during your holiday in Sousse. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Diar El Andalous Hotel Port El Kantaoui
- Mercure Hotel Sousse
- Accor Diar El Andalous
- Diar Andalous
- Iberostar Diar El Andalous Tunisia/Port El Kantaoui