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“Not suitable for teenagers”

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STEIGENBERGER Kantaoui Bay
Ranked #1 of 33 Hotels in Port El Kantaoui
Reviewed 6 August 2014

We stayed for 2weeks from 29th June this year it was our second visit as we went to this hotel 4years ago and it has been refurbed since our last visit although we did not feel apart from the rooms nothing much had changed the hotel it self is very clean and situated well , the beach restaurant at lunch times was horrendous and full of rude people , as stated by our Surrey friends Paul and Ian , Steve's partners in crime down at the sun beds by 5 am it certainly was interesting to see how many sun beds the towel man was paid to keep , we came back to this hotel as our last visit was jades memorable by the animation team but sadly this years animation team did nothing to get the teenagers mixing and on a night most tables had bored teenagers sat with parent myself included I spoke to Craig the rep about the entertainment and he said Riu are trying to keep the hotel low key , Craig the Thomson rep is outstanding at his job and never before have I seen a rep help the coach driver get luggage off the coach , overall a relaxing hotel if you have no kids and don't mind getting up early for a bed

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank lisa w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 August 2014

Matt and Kinberley. We got back 2 days ago. Stayed from 20 July to 3 August 2014

Please dont be put off by my title, this was a running joke i had with my girlfriend throughout our 2 week stay here. We would say it when something we noticed didnt measure up to a 5 star standard. For us there were a few little touches that were lacking. No kettle or tea/coffee making facillities in the room, no bath robes or slippers in the room. The room we were in, in the older part of the hotel, was, we felt, a bit dated furniture wise. I didnt see the sunbeds or tables being cleaned once in our time here. The pool terrace never had a full scrub down in 2 weeks either.The evening entertaniment on the main seated terrace was below par, i heard a singer singing 'i dont know zis line' during one of the many cover versions the band or the one man band murdered. The seating on the verandas was never changed or cleaned, you would find yourself all done up for dinner sitting in a chair that someone covered in sun lotion had been sat on during the day. One night there was a drunken lad laid out fast asleep in a chair in the bar, feet up, dribbling everywhere (The lad had been on one all day and was near paraletic when he came to play French bowles at 15.30, he swore and shouted in front of youngsters and was constantly being told by the member of the anime team to stop swearing) Other guests didnt seem to mind this. We thought it looked messy. Not something you expect to see at a 5 star establishment. The Shower/bath, such fun had with this. Now considering its a 5 star hotel I expected a standalone bath and maybe even a separate shower/wet room! But a bath with decent power shower minimum. The shower head, connected to a splitter from the bath taps was nothing to write home about, the shower had no real power and I was assaulted by a cold, wet, flimsy shower curtain every 5 seconds. Not 5 star is it? Check in was very swift, almost non existant, no site orientation or where to go for what. It was kinnda like 'figure it out for yourselves' type of check in. The only good thing about check in was that our cases were taken to the room. Something i am quite capable of myself anyway. We were issued 1 room key card that acts as a power card also. So if you leave the room the air con doesn't stay on. One day we came to the room (it had been 43 degrees) and a power card had been left in the room (not a key card) a couple of days later it was taken back after the clean. But I nabbed it back from the cleaners trolly. I shut myself out of our room twice, asking for another 1 at reception was no problem. By the end of the holiday I had 3 key/power cards and 1 power card so our room was always cooled by air con.

Do I sound like a moaner? Sorry, just little touches. Now I'll tell why I loved this hotel.

We paid the full whack for this holiday back in January 2014 and i have to say. If you want near 5 star for a 4 star price then you cant go wrong with this hotel. Great value for money.

The room (apart from the very small issues above) was great. Very spacious, seperate toilet, seperate bathroom. We had the most fantastic central location looking over the pool and the sea. The veiw was just stunning. One night we had an electrical storm that ive never seen the like of. Everyone was out on their balconeys watching it unfold. Spectacular, better than any of the laid on entertainment i saw there. Our cleaning lady was great, we tipped her well as she put the effort in. It was so nice coming back from a hard day around the pool to our clean and cool room, and it was cool to see what creations had been made with the towels and bed blankets.

We are pool people. This hotel has a very cool pool scene going on, very chilled vibe, and we found lots of other British guests in our vacinity around the pool. It was great having a mouch about and stopping to chat to so many nice couples and famillies. The guys working in the animation team will try to get you involved in games, Water Polo, Aqua Gym, Darts, French Bowles etc. They do try to pursuade you to play but a few no thank you's usually do the job if your not interested. You should try out the games though, get involved. You have a good laugh, meet other guests and it breaks the day up slightly.

The beach is great. I heard that if you tip the guy on the beach 5 dinar (about 2 quid) a day he'll reserve your chosen beds for you. I do it the old school way of going down to our spot early and sitting on them all day (between meals and beach walks that is). The heat was so intense during our stay, i could go down to our spot at 06.00 and start sunbathing in blistering heat. The guy working around the pool will bring padding for the beds over for you. But if you look behind the drinks self service bar at the pool you will see where all the padding is stored, you can help yourself to the padding. I just felt it was a nice touch that they were brought to me, and i always tipped a dinar or 2 for that service. You can exchange a card (which you are given at check in) for your towels at a little hut near the self service bar, at the end of the day you can swap your towels back for your card. You can change your towels everyday if you like. We swapped ours out every other day.

I like a sauna, so was a bit gutted when i found the Sauna at the Thalaso Spa was 40 Dinar (around 16/17 quid) for 1 hour. But if you head to the Fitness Centre, which is located on the left if you walk out the front doors you'll find a gym (free of charge) a suana and steam room. Sauna is 10 Dinar (about 4 quid) 15 if you want to use the steam room too. There didnt seem to be a time limit on how long you could stay in this spa area. I was giving the guy working there a couple of dinar every other day and he would make me up a great menthol spray to sprey over the rocks in the sauna. I'd stay in there for about an hour, but he always said I could pop back later on.

Food. Incredible, i didnt have a bad meal. If you dont like something you can go swap it for something else. I particularly loved the soaps here, just stunning (loaded them up with croutons and cheese for a soap thats more like a stew) . Great fish and meat dishes. Rabbit (which was great) Specials being finished off/cooked to order. Great desserts or fruit. My personal favourite was the pancakes (made to order) i was the guttsy one always waiting for 2. You can choose between 2 sittings, we went for the later sitting of 20.30 the sitting you choose, the table and waiter you are assigned are the same you'll have for the duration of your stay. These touches made it feel more restaurant like. Rather than School Canteen like. Our waiter was brilliant, and over the course of our stay became someone we were always so pleased to see. Waiters need a 10 dinar a week tip. They are worth every dinar, if you have a good one. We sat on table 31.

Breakfast is more chilled out and you can sit wherever you like. Continental, full English or just some fruit and juices, so much choice.

Lunch at the snack bar (down near the beach) was also a more laid back affair. tonnes of choices.

They also did a mid afternoon pancakes and cake session at the snack bar, this was done around 15.30.

The drinks aren't branded and I found it hard to find one I really liked, not being a big beer drinker. I discovered the Piña colada. But the cocktails are not proper cocktails, they're pre mixed.

The manager, Ali was always walking about the place. I've never been somewhere where you get to chat to the manager a few times a day. He was always saying hi, asking how everything was. I was taking a shower by the pool one day, cooling down, opened my eyes and Ali was there with a knowing grin and saying 'That's good yes?' To which I replied 'Wonderful Ali, Thanks'. He's the tall, slim guy, where's glasses and always looks immaculate. He takes his turn cooking up the pancakes some evenings. He was a quality touch to the whole experience.

Big shout out to Sam (Suarez) and Chris, 2 members of the animation team. I had a great laugh getting to know these guys. They do a long hard job and always have a great energy about them. It was so cool walking around the pool and hearing one of those guys shouting hi to me by my name. Sam used to come and sit and chat with us for a while. This was a great touch to the holiday.

Overall the hotel is very grand, lots of marble and glass, chandeliers and funky furniture fill the vast main lobby areas and bars.
The pool and grounds around the pool are quite compact, I thought the pool was an ok size, I never saw it overcrowded. But it's not huge. Sun beds are placed around the pool terrace between Palm trees and have tables and parasols. There are some nice secluded spots. I also saw sun beds on the grassed areas just beyond the pool.

One great thing about our experience was the lovely people we met and made friends with, there was such a great bunch of couples and families here during our stay. It was so nice to meet you all, you know who you are.

I was chatting to some serious repeat customers in week 1. This couple had similar issues as we had noticed (and a few of their own) They were saying they would not be back again. We left the same day they did and bumped into J (the guy) before we left. I said to him 'so, will you be back?' With a tear in his eye he said 'Yer'

We would too.

It was emotional.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
5  Thank Matthew C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2014

We arrived for a 7 night all inclusive stay gone midnight on the 27/7/14. On arrival we were given a cocktail by the reception staff. Check was quick & efficient. Whilst our bags were taken to our room, we were lead to the dinning area where the days left overs were there for us to enjoy(not a patch on what was to come).

The hotel lobby itself is a wifi zone, it is extremely large, marble floors, chandeliers, water features, glass lifts, it is an amazing feature of the hotel.

Room - we were to stay in 2 twin/double rooms, as our children are both teenagers the the rooms were next to each other's . Can not say that our view was fantastic, because it wasn't, we were on the 1st floor overlooking the front/side, but a walk round the landings showed the views that were on offer. Each room had a fridge which would be stocked when a request was made to reception, safe, TV, the air con is a great feature but only works when the balcony door is shut properly .

Food - Breakfast is served in the main dining room, with a fairly good selection, cereal, yogurts, fruit, pastries, and a cooked variety Buffet lunch is at the beachside restaurant, again there is a variety of hot & cold food with a special placed in the centre, sometime a BBQ. Snacks were also served in the beachside restaurant mid afternoon. Evening meals, served in the main dining room, a walk round first is best before choosing, as you always get back to your table, to find others have spotted something you would prefer(basically too much choice. The waiter you are assigned is very attentive, and will keep yours drinks topped up. There are also themed restaurants, we tried the Chinese, which was nice for a change, but the menu was not the same as the food we were served.

Drinks - from 10 am a bar is open, which serves beers, wine, cocktails and soft drinks, there are self serve areas by the pool and beach. The bars have designated smoking areas, i.e. tables on one side with ash trays and the other side with no smoking signs.

Spa - 2 of us decided to give this a go, one of us tried the seaweed wrap, whilst on a floating bed, while the other had a full body massage with swim. There is a full range of treatments for you to choose from which vary in price and time, they can be booked in the lobby(by a really helpful lady) or direct from the Spa reception.

Staff - all the staff are very helpful, the Thompson rep is extremely helpful and seems always to be working. We would go as far to say that "Craig" is the best rep we have ever encountered

Pools - There are several pools, including a paddling pool, the main outdoor pool. The indoor pool is a little cold.

Gym - was reasonably equipped, but staff member wasn't very helpful, which was unusually considering the high level of service offered to us by the rest of the hotel staff during our stay.

Beach - is accessed through a gate by the beachside cafe, there are plenty of beds with sun canopies. There are plenty of water sports available at a price, though reasonable, the guys take photos during your fun experience and will try to to sell them to you, this will range depending your bartering skills (80-20 dinar)

Shopping - There is 2 kinds of shopping, fixed price and bartering, we experienced both, bartering is not for the faint hearted or the pretty girls. There are both kinds just 5 min walk from the hotel. One is hassle free with changing rooms and helpful staff, the other over the road is stressful especially with teenage children, just did the one shop bartering.

Overall - This is a very good hotel, suitable for couples & families, would not hesitate in recommending it to our friends.

Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
Thank Gail G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2014 via mobile

Stayed here in june 2014 for 2weeks what a lovely hotel the staff were wonderful couldnt do enough for us, upgraded a sea veiw room which was nice but not much of a sea veiw ! So our second week we mentioned this ti managment and they asked if we would like to change which we did and was very happy , had a lovely holiday and would go back again

  • Stayed: June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank susan h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2014

we had a fantastic two weeks holiday here staff was very good from arriving to leaving the rooms are nice we was at the back it was quite and the sun was on balcony at nite ,i loved the lifts in the reception wi fi in room was ok at certain times food was great but was busy the only down side is the entertainment was poor and that made the night time very quite but we loved this hotel ...

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Jayne Louise G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2014

We arrived back home 16th july having stayed for a 2 week break, yes i can say the hotel is very clean and the staff are a credit to the hotel always going around with a smile on their faces, we did tip the waiters for there excellent service. we thought the swimming pool was too small for the size of the hotel and yes i did see the pool man and the gardener reserving sun beds at 4.30am, as our room overlooked the pool and also had a sea view. could not fault the room very spacious and a large double bed room 81 in the new wing, we tended to sit on the terrace in the evenings there was a singer and acts 3 times a week while we were there but to be honest they were not our cup of tea and we made our own entertainment most nights.so to sum the hotel up it was nice but probably won't go back, oh and a big hello to steve, lisa and logan from donni, had some great debates round the pool every morning with steve and a great last night with more then enough to drink, hope to meet up again you never can tell. one more thing the thomson rep CRAIG what a great guy everything was never to much trouble hope you get your post in mexico. and if anyone going is out to this hotel before the end of october could you take craig a bottle of heinz tomato ketchup and a pack of bacon he deserves them and say a big hello from the moore family.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank airliner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2014

Massive range of food, friendly staff who provide excellent service. Very clean and magnificent hotel!! Beautiful beach with white sands. Beautiful Port (wish we had set aside a whole day for this as it is so nice). 5* for everything. Would definitely go again.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
5  Thank Tessa S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about STEIGENBERGER Kantaoui Bay

Address: port el kantaoui, Port El Kantaoui 4089, Tunisia (Formerly Riu Imperial Marhaba)
Region: Tunisia > Sousse Governorate > Port El Kantaoui
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#1 Family Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#1 Spa Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#1 Luxury Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#1 Romantic Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
Price Range: £67 - £160 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — STEIGENBERGER Kantaoui Bay 5*
Number of rooms: 366
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Partially renovated in winter 2007/8 * 3 km from Port El Kantaoui * Located on the beach * Complimentary sun loungers and parasols on the beach * 5-story building * 14 km from the center of Sousse * 200 m from various shops * 23 km from Monastir airport * 200 m from a bus stop * Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Visa, Amex ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Imperial Marhaba
STEIGENBERGER Kantaoui Bay Tunisia/Port El Kantaoui

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