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.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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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