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“Royal Kenz left a lasting impression”

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Royal Kenz Hotel Thalasso & Spa
Ranked #3 of 33 Hotels in Port El Kantaoui
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 8 August 2014

Tunisia has now become my destination of choice after enjoying the hospitality of Greek friends in Kos twice a year for almost 20 years.

Over the last five years my wife and I, along with dear friends Adrian and Mel, have stayed at several different hotels including the Sahara Beach, the Houda Golf and Beach Club and, for the last three years Les Orangers Resort in Hammamet.

Les Orangers, we thought, offered everything my wife and I and our two friends needed – good food, fine hospitality, excellent location. That was until this year.

My daughter-in-law, extremely fussy and detailed about holiday hotels, asked us to join her in a family holiday this year and had chosen the Royal Kenz Hotel in Port El Kantaoui which had not long switched from an adults-only hotel to a family hotel.

We were always reluctant to holiday during school holidays because of the obvious reasons – dearer prices, endless queues for drinks and food, and of course noisy kids.

Prior to going I read some of the reviews and was slightly disturbed when one tourist only gave it ONE mark out of 10 and was savage about the hotel and what it offered.

Well they must have been staying in different places. The Royal Kenz, in every respect, gave me and my wife much more than Les Orangers had given. It was better for food choice, better for the animation team, superior for the nightly shows and way ahead for the standard of accommodation.

The animation team worked tirelessly day and night to provide top class entertainment. Maybe the Irish dance evening, although presented with enthusiasm and energy, was not up to the standard of the travelling Michael Flatley evening I had seen at The Houda Hotel, but for sheer effort it was extremely enjoyable.

The belly dancer evening was a disappointment because there are only so many times you can wiggle your hips, gyrate your abdomen and throw your hair back before it gets tedious. However, the supporting act, a kind of Whirling Dervish, was incredible and something I had never seen before. So too were the Kenyan acrobat team – high energy and stunning presentation.

If you don’t like the live acts then head for the piano bar where you can relax and listen to familiar and tasteful repertoire of tunes. Or just sit on the terrace and be entertained by musicians who provide a pleasing sound on the ear.

Food cannot really be faulted and I get annoyed with people who condemn and criticise all inclusive menus for being repetitive. Of course they are. Go to your local café or restaurant and you won’t find the menu changing every day – it remains the same for an eternity.

The Royal Kenz though does offer something different everyday at breakfast, lunch and dinner so that i you’re staying for a fortnight you don’t have to eat the same thing twice even though people who are less adventurous with food are the one’s likely to complain because they are frightened to try anything ‘foreign’. Me, I love the variety when I go abroad like cous-cous, spicy Tunisian soup, and traditional Tunisian dishes and dips all adding to the amazing tastes holidaymakers can enjoy.

In addition to this you can get a tasty panini at either the beach bar or pool bar all day and the snack bar offered an alternative choice of spaghetti, burgers, chicken, pancakes, fruit and ice cream – enough choice for anyone.

Most tourists are fussy about standards of cleanliness so they won’t have any problems here – spotlessly clean with an army of polite and friendly domestics making sure that there isn’t even a sweet wrapper or speck of dust to be seen on the floor. Tireless workers who tend to be taken for granted so don’t forget to tip them when you leave.

Two pools offer plenty of space for families and their children with water sports provided by the animation team and you can also enjoy the warm indoor pool if you prefer peace and quiet away from the screams of children having fun. And your wife can pop next door for a relaxing spa and beauty session – yes the Kenz has it all.

If you always buy gifts for friends and relatives then don’t bother with the shops and massive three and four level supermarkets selling traditional rubbish – poorly made fake watches including Rolex designs that don’t even exist and football shirts where logos like Nike are far from consistent and are poor quality.

We went into one ‘fixed price’ shop and their prices were no different to the hotel shop so you might as well buy all you want on site at the Royal Kenz. And if you are buying a few things don’t be frightened to ask for discount because it might only be a couple of pounds, but the owner will appreciate your business.

Overall I was very impressed with the Royal Kenz Hotel. I cannot think what else I would require on any holiday and I can imagine that in May-June time and September the hotel would be a more appealing place without the kids, but then perhaps I am being a little bit selfish.

Strange thing is that five weeks after I wrote this I was off to Les Orangers again because it had already been pre-booked. Too late now, but I know where I will be heading next year if I want a holiday experience to remember.

Room Tip: Free Wi-Fi in reception and rooms overlooking the pool are superb
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
11  Thank Peter1942
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 August 2014 via mobile

Have just returned from our holiday in Tunisia. We last went 6 years ago but stayed at the RIU Hotel Bellevue Park & we thoroughly enjoyed our holiday. Our friends had stayed at the Royal Kenz in May & enjoyed their stay. However, we were staying at high season & we have never taken our holiday at this time before & we won't be doing so again!! We have stayed at numerous All Inclusive hotels around the world & decided in June to book the Royal Kenz.
The Royal Kenz was very busy. We had read a lot of the reviews & knew of the sunbed issue. After missing out on getting sunbeds the first day, we unfortunately had to join the 'earlies', getting up at 7.30am to secure our spot in the sun. Not what we would call a relaxing wake up! The towels were not towels, but more like seersucker tablecloths, so after lying on them for a while, you turned over to have a 'cheese grater'effect all over your body! We were given tickets to be able to change the towels only once during our stay, but the Thomson rep did get us more tickets on asking.
Our room was an upgrade overlooking the pool & we were pleased with our room. We managed to even get the free WiFi in our room or on the balcony, which really was only available in the reception area. We did however have to pay for the use of the safe in our room, which we feel is wrong. This should be part of the 'All Inclusive'. Pleased to say, ours was bolted down,unlike some other reviews. Tea & coffee were supplied each day to our room along with water to our fridge. Bottled water was also available at the bars & restaurant.
On occasion we did have to queue for our drinks at the bars & we found the drinks watered down, unless you had Brandy or Whiskey on the rocks!!
Everyone working at The Royal Kenz are very friendly, smiley & eager to help. It was a pleasure to tip as they work very hard & whether you chose to tip or not,they still are eager to please.
The restaurant was always busy. One thing we noticed...so many reviews stated 'Long trousers to be worn by men on the evening in restaurant.This is policed by waiters, so a must.'. This was also stated on the Thomson web site. We went, as we always do, with smart clothes, my husband with long trousers, for the evening. Unfortunately this was not policed, and people were in shorts & T shirts, like they had just come in from the pool. The Thomson rep said they would be allowed the first night to wear shorts, but told long trousers to be worn there after. This was not the case. The same men were in shorts & not even,below the knee length, every night. Even some ladies seem to dress down. A real shame. Sometimes difficult to find a seat at the busy times in the restaurant, we were lucky after the first night. What started off as a joke with one of the Head Waiters, became a regular event. Chedly ,( I hope I have your name correct),now made a point of looking out for us & steered us always to a window table. In his eagerness one night, made the mistake,of seating us at a table already taken. Two minutes of embarrassment, but soon forgotten with laughter as another table was found. Chedly was a gentleman & looked after us very well.
We think that the hotel is trying their best, but does need to improve on things, especially at peak season. It is also a shame it is no longer a 'Couples' Hotel.

We promised Chedly we would submit a review & as Chedly said...a truthful one please. We hope we have done so.
Thanks again for looking after us.

Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
4  Thank Lorraine G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2014

I have just got back after spending a week at the royal kenz hotel in Tunisia food was really good and the entertainment were very friendly the young girl on the team was very good with the kids made every one feel very welcome an other one on the team was there last year and even remembered us from last
year as did some of the waitering staff this hotel is just a great around place to go if you are stuck on some were to go on holiday give this hotel a shot.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank helena d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2014 via mobile

After spending a week at the Royal Kenz Hotel, I certainly have to say that it was extremely enjoyable and overall a fantastic holiday. The Royal Kenz Hotel is a wonderful place with hard working and friendly staff.

The bedrooms were always clean and comfortable and the themed nights in the restaurant were brilliant. There was always a great deal of food to choose from. The waiters were helpful and friendly.

The highlight of this hotel were the great Entertainment team who are hard working, friendly and very welcoming. Omar is a great asset to the team. He was kind and friendly and always managed to say hello and chat. The team also led fun activites such as Mamadou who led French bowls. He was a great and lovely team member who always smiled. Mario presented the evening shows brilliantly. Off the microphone he was lovely also. Willy never failed to make me laugh. Yosra, Titou, Lorenzo and Nimo were also fantastic team members. Despite meeting hundreds of people each week, they still managed to remember my name, say hello and chat. They defintiely made the holiday even more special. When the Entertainment team were around I always seemed to have a smile on my face.

The group dances by the poolside and after the evening show was always something I looked forward to.

Activities, that were led with great enthusiasm by the team, were provided such as water polo and beach volleyball. There was also darts, French bowls, water aerobics and Zumba.

I went on one excursion to El Jem and it was breathtaking. The service was punctual and pleasant.

At the Royal Kenz a children's mini disco is provided and after that the evening shows begin. If the show on a particular day doesn't appeal to you then you can listen to the live music on the terrace. I thoroughly enjoyed all the shows I watched. I couldn't stop clapping!

To conclude, my experience at the Royal Kenz was one I will never forget. It was a fantastic holiday. Thanks to everyone at the Royal Kenz for making the holiday simply magical!










Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
2  Thank Amal_Sayala
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2014

We stayed from 16th to 30th July and loved this hotel - the best holiday we have had for years. The hotel is spotlessly clean, comfortable, with beautiful pool and gardens and the food is of a very high standard. All staff are very friendly and welcoming, doing everything they can to ensure guests have a happy holiday.
The entertainment team were fantastic, we loved the daily stretching, aqua aerobics and Zumba classes with the lovely Lorenzo. Special thanks to Willy for inviting my daughter to perform with the team in one of their evening shows - an experience she will never forget and Mamadou who always stopped for a chat whenever he saw us. The whole team work so hard and make every guest feel welcome, they really were the highlight of our holiday.
The beach is close by and very pretty, there is a beach bar but we didn't try it so can't comment on that. I can recommend early morning horseriding on the beach - very reasonably priced and absolute bliss.
The spa is of a high standard and treatments very cheap compared to the UK although treatments can't be charged to your room and they don't take credit cards so have cash at the ready to save having to rush to the cashpoint like I had to!
This was our first visit to Tunisia and I really can't fault our holiday, the location, hotel, food, staff and weather were all fantastic and we were very sad to come home.
Have already started looking into booking for next year!

Room Tip: Ask for a pool view room.
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
5  Thank Amanda S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2014

From start to finish was highly enjoyable. Where do I start? We, as in my two grown up daughters, husband and myself travelled to this hotel in the last week in July.

After arriving just after midnight, we was shown to our rooms with cases delivered by a porter. The room was at a clean high standard and went to bed straightaway. I will point out the mattress was very very hard and took some days, maybe all week to get use to.

Restaurant/Buffet

We found the morning/lunchtime a very enjoyable experience. Our waiter(which I do apologise, can't remember his name) looked after us very well. Making us feel very welcome! Evening, is a different matter!!! First evening was very strange, we got our first drink but with Ramadan, the waiter was a bit touchy. He was constantly hassled by I take it was his line manager, which made things a bit difficult for us and the poor waiter. The next evening, we decided to try somewhere else different and experienced the same. Rest of the week we sat outside, which was fantastic. It was stuffy which we found inside the hotel. The waiter was friendly, helpful and done a fantastic job which again the line managers made their lives hard.
We can only say the food was outstanding. There was something for everyone, but my daughter is a vegetarian and there was very little thought in dishes for veggies, she was happy but it was difficult.

Daytime

If you had not got up at some silly time, it was very difficult to find a Sun bed. To find shade was hard as well as all the best spots had been taken before 7am. On poolside I found the music ok but to be played from 9.30am to 1 then again on at 2 to 5.30 can be a little over the top. We walked down to the beach to get away from the noise to be able to rest and relax. It's around a 2 to 3 minute walk at the back of the hotel with security sitting at the gates. A lot of security on the beach so you feel very safe. I will point out that we was not informed about the jellyfish which when stung, it will last for around an hour, take some cream to put on it or take some sand and rub it over the sting.

Trips

On our first day, the family went to the welcome meeting. We were welcomed and talked through some and I'll say that again only some of the trips that Thomson offered. We went for the 3 cities, which was a very long hot day. Went to the one place we will never forget, amphitheatre, it's a must. If we were told we would have gone to the half day trip to the amphitheatre and museum as some of the places were of no interest to us. The walk to the port is long and uneven sand but stunning place. Tourist guide was out of this world, very funny with more info then you could read.

Evening

Not a great deal of evening life, sit around drinking outside of the hotel or sit listening to the kids songs which you had heard all day on pool side. Some evenings we watched the entertainment which was enjoyable, dancers were great.

Overall, yes it sounds like it was terrible but no it was a fantastic holiday at a outstanding hotel. Needs to be tweeked here and there but great time.

Room Tip: You have no say what room you get at the time we arrived as we were too tired to care. Was not asked...
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank devil6669
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2014 via mobile

Having had a far from positive experience in Tunisia 7 years ago I was quite reluctant to return. We booked the Royal Kenz on recommendation and the added bonus of a very good price. I found the hotel to be very good value we upgrade d to a poolside room, all clean and well maintained. Food was good in both italian and buffet restaurants. Location I thought very good, less than 5 mins to private section of beach. It took us about 30 mins to walk to marina which was lovely. Staff very friendly with only few exceptions! Tipping is very advisable but staff are quite grateful for this as wages very low. Entertainment not our cup of tea, but you can find quiet areas if you wish. Spa excellent and very cheap we had a few treatments.
Definitely not a couples location as many children at hotel not much for them to do here, but it is summer holidays and many be a lot different out of season. Sunbeds all gone by 8am which is slightly crazy! Some are 'reserved' and no one goes near them all day. Management should sort this problem out. All in we had a lovely time. Would return again if able to get correct deal
Just one thing airport is a complete nightmare (although this not fault of hotel of course! !)

Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
3  Thank yasmin e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Royal Kenz Hotel Thalasso & Spa

Address: Jinene El Kantaoui, Port El Kantaoui 4089, Tunisia
Region: Tunisia > Sousse Governorate > Port El Kantaoui
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#3 Family Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#3 Luxury Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#3 Spa Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#4 Romantic Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
Price Range: £91 - £185 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Royal Kenz Hotel Thalasso & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 468
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This hotel had an upgrade in 2014, so it's sporting a stylish new look. less than a ten-minute walk from a long ribbon of sand. Plus, a cab into Port EI Kantaoui takes less than five minutes. And if you want to explore a bit further out, the city of Sousse and its ancient medina are only a 15-minute drive. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Royal Kenz
Royal Kenz Hotel Tunisia
Royal Kenz Port El Kantaoui
Royal Kenz Tunisia
Royal Kenz Hotel Thalasso & Spa Tunisia/Port El Kantaoui

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