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“Pleasant stay”

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Royal Kenz Hotel Thalasso & Spa
Ranked #3 of 33 Hotels in Port El Kantaoui
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Pleasant stay”
Reviewed 26 August 2014

I stayed for a week in June at the Kenz and it was a very pleasant stay. The hotel is very clean and the room was lovely, my only criticism about the room being that there was no coffee in the room (only tea) but I'd read the previous reviews and took my own coffee sachets. There was plenty of seating in the public areas which was nice and the queues for drinks weren't too bad compared to other all inclusive hotels.
Food was very nice with a great deal of choice. During my stay, I felt that the dining room was understaffed and the poor waiters were over worked for the number of guests which meant piles of uncollected plates at the waiter stations or waits for drinks. Neither is what i'd call a great dining experience. I don't blame the waiters - they worked so hard but the hotel should employ more staff in the dining room, It would make it feel less canteeny. I suppose its a common issue in all inclusive hotels with many guests eating at the same time.
Lunch was best at the italian restaurant - freshly cooked food was brought to your table, and its no extra cost. I'd trade the lack of choice for the quieter more relaxed eating and the avoidance of the crowds in the canteen.
The beach is a 5 minute walk away which is fine. It was a bit busy the week I was there but I could always find a sun bed albeit quite far back as I was always late arriving. I think the issue is that the hotel only has a relatively narrow section of the beach compared to nearby beachfront hotels so you tend to be sat behind each other and further from the water edge unless you are one of those people who get up at 6am to reserve spaces (not my idea of being on holiday !)
All in all, it was a good value holiday for the price paid and the sheesha cafe was well worth visiting for a relaxing evening and a great sheesha.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Bally_Sheshaman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (370)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Czech first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
Level Contributor
21 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 August 2014

This hotel is not perfect, but it is very good - its 4* rating is accurate IMO.

Hotel grounds
The hotel itself is set out really well, with lovely marble floors and clean gardens. The toilets are kept extremely clean - even the beach toilets were always spotless! There is a main restaurant, three bars, two al la cartes, two outdoor pools, one indoor pool, a private beach, the lobby and spa. There are a lot of security men around which is good. There is free wifi in and around the lobby bar. Tip - if you cannot connect due to lots of others being on and you need to make a Skype call, go into the room where the welcome meeting is held (can't remember the name) as the signal is great and there are plenty of seats! The lights are always off but we still went in anyway.

Reps
They were both lovely (one British and the other Tunisian). They were around a lot and the welcome meeting was very informative.

Room
We were very lucky in that we were given an end room on the ground floor away from the main areas (26a). I wouldn't like to be above the pool/terrace/restaurant as can imagine you wouldn't get much peace! The room was very spacious with the decor giving it a Tunisian feel. The beds were comfy and the bathroom was big with excellent hot water pressure. The only problems we encountered were: ants on the balcony and possibly in the room (we found bite marks on our backs every morning); a strange smell possibly due to there being no extractor fan and slow working/ineffective/noisy/bug inducing air con.

Food
I always found plenty to choose from during lunch and dinner. Breakfast was ok but I usually stuck to omelettes which were made fresh to order by lovely staff with fillings of your choice. The best thing about breakfast was that hot drinks were self service, meaning you could grab a coffee straight away without waiting around. We tried the Italian for lunch which was a nice change - the pizza was lovely. The panninis were nice too from the pool/beach bars. We went to the Indian one night and really enjoyed the ambiance. The food was similar-ish to Indian we are used to - they made a pretty good effort! It's really well air conditioned. The main buffet on a night can get a bit hectic during busy times. We found early doors (7) or as late as poss (8:30) weren't too bad. A lot of the food was bland but not inedible - plenty of sauces and spices to add if you wish.

Drinks
This was probably the hotel's biggest let down for me. I wasn't keen on the 'cocktails'. They seem to make them look pretty and overlook the taste. All seemed to have a lot of acidic lemon juice in them. The vodka is like paint stripper! But the beer and wine were ok so that's what we drank all week. The soft drinks are literally watered down in some instances (saw a barman pouring water in diet coke). Every time I asked for a liter bottle of water I was given one but they were never cold. The coffees made in the lobby bar were sometimes undrinkable. As someone else commented they just weren't right!

Entertainment
This was very mixed. Some nights the hotel had dance troops/acrobats come in to put on impressive shows. Other nights the animation team tried their best but there were often technical difficulties. They tried their absolute hardest though and we always had a laugh. The activities during the day were fun if you wanted to get involved. We particularly enjoyed the aqua aerobics lead by lovely Nemo.

Pools
We only got sunbeds here once by a fluke as we were late risers. As other people have said you need to get up early in busy times as there are just not enough. It was noisy which we liked but I'm guessing others wouldn't! The temperature was great and both pools weren't too deep. We preferred using the beach until kicking out time (5ish) then going to catch late afternoon rays around the pool before going in.

Beach
This was pure bliss. No matter what time we strolled down we got sunbeds and a parasol. It was really quiet and relaxing. There was one (yes one!) guy serving this entire area taking drinks orders. Some days he forgot but to be honest he was rushed off his feet. Tipping will help him remember you more though ;)

Spa
This is a must if you enjoy being pampered. We had 1 and 1/2 hours worth of treatments for £30 each! Yes the guy is pushy but he sorted us a good package which was a lot cheaper than booking everything separately.

Service
This was extremely varied! Some staff were really friendly and hard working. Others were rude and looked at you as though you were a problem if you asked for a coffee. We had an amazing waiter (name began with A, to the left of the main restaurant as you walk in). We did tip him every night but only because he deserved it. Very friendly and the only place we ever saw ice! The barmen on the terrace bar were lovely too.

Tunisia in general
So this section has little to do with the hotel I know but...... When you first arrive expect long queues at passport control. It took ages!!! Don't let a porter take your luggage off you unless you are going to tip them. If you find a good waiter/barman tip them 2 dinar an evening (80p) and try to find them again and you will get excellent service rather than average service. I know some disagree with this but it's a Tunisian thing apparently. It is a poor country so why not spread the wealth to people who work hard.

Don't leave the hotel unless you want to be constantly hassled by people selling things. A firm 'no' and they will leave you alone but safe to say we gave the market trip a wide berth.

The three cities tour was good and I definitely felt cultured afterwards. Downside to it was we were sat on the coach for half of the trip. No exaggeration, 6 hours was spent traveling - just something to be aware of. The tour guide was amazing thought and I learnt a hell of a lot about Tunisia, which was great as it was my first time there (usually go to Turkey).

The aquapark is fun! Yes it is small in comparison to other places in the world but for £8 what do you expect? We were there for 6 hours, had a long lunch and spent most of the day dancing with the locals in the wave pool - an experience not to be missed! Some pushing and shoving but we expected that. Girls be careful around over friendly guys.

The Zulu trip was amazing - we saw lots of wild animals and I fed a giraffe! It was a lovely zoo. The meal and dancing part was great too if you get in the spirit (and drink all the wine).

Word of warning to women. Do not make eye contact with random boys whilst out or you will get shouted at/whistled at/perved on! This was particularly bad in Monastir. Also we found out that Tunisians have to learn English at school so be careful what you say - they are likely to understand you! Me and my friend were chatting about how expensive something was in England and a seller was all over us trying to get us to buy his stuff!

So a mixed review but for a 4* I think this is spot on - for the price we payed we weren't expecting perfection. I'd say the hotel itself exceeded our expectations and is perfect for a week away. Just a few improvements needed!

Room Tip: Don't get a pool view if you want to go to bed before 12:30 am.
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Kayt85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BROMLEY
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 26 August 2014

I have been to this hotel for 9 years every year and this year I done 3 weeks and i will be coming back next year. The Animation Team are amazing. The shows are amazing. The Animation Team Names are: Chief, Mamado, Nemo, Omar, Mario, Willy, Rico, Tito and Yosra The activities by the pool are very good and the Zumba and the Pool Party was really good with the ring of fire and the animaion team jumping through it and the restaurant is good and the food and the bar and cocktails is really nice and the rooms are very nice

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SarahW7008RF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 August 2014

We were recommended this holiday by Thomson as a lovely quiet destination with no children under the age of 16. Wrong! We arrived this August to find loads of young children- entertainment constantly during the day, loud party dances from 11.00 am around the pool, activities going on all day in the pool - water polo, aerobics. Evening entertainment consisted of some outside acts but mostly the entertainments teams own "dances" and sketches preceded by 1 and a half hours of children's songs. The hotel itself was lovely and the food was good however children were allowed to just do as they pleased in the dining room which made it feel like Butlins holiday camp. Many of the requested drinks were unavailable and restricted which is not ideal for an all inclusive. Be ready to get up at 5.00 am to secure a subbed. Any later and you are on a towel on the grass !!! Needless to say we won't be returning! Thomson you need to get your recommendations correct!

Room Tip: Request carefully, only upgraded rooms have views - very busy road to front and noisy stage area to...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Sharon W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow,Scotland
Level Contributor
30 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2014

Great hotel for a nice relaxing holiday. Perfect for lazing about by the pool for a week. Staff all friendly. Especially if you give them a little tip. You do have to get up early to bag a sunbed, which is a bit annoying ! We walked into the port which seemed to take a while due to the heat and having to walk in the sand.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank lorry62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2014

I stayed on a Thomson AI holiday. Short transfer, arrived about 11pm. We went to our room 1017 and found we were directly above the pool entertainment area, with loud music until 11.30 every night. took 4 days to get moved, to a much better room, with no noise. We had some ants in our room, not many, but other guests said they had to have room fumigated.
Pool area is large, with plenty of options for seating. Many refer to reserved loungers, this is forbidden, but no one enforces this. Just removed reserved towels and used the loungers. Upset some but tough luck. Very noisy by pool, with entertainment team, not a relaxing pool area. Creepy guy in white suit ( looks like a young Col Gadafi) keeps creeping around trying to sell you Spa services.
Food, glorious food. First the Indian is dreadful, or was on the night we went. Ended up in the buffet it was so poor. I have eaten better street food than this in a 4 star hotel. Italian was good, nice fish. Buffet food was varied and they had enough choice for everyone to have something. It was a shame they did not have more Tunisian options, I would have liked this. There is a microwave, the food temperature could be very varied. Waiters helpful, and no you don't have to tip to get service, though 2 or 3 dinar at the end of your meal, passed into their hand if they have been good is welcome. Do not leave on table as other waiters will pick it up.
Drinks. Did not have a problem getting drinks. Large bottles of water available without issue from bars. Beer is acceptable, and you can get more than one glass at a time. Wine at dinner is OK, drinkable. Wine in Al a Carte is chargeable. Soft drinks and cocktails are fine. Plenty of bars by pool and on beach.
Ice cream available from snack bar, and in buffet at meal times.
Tennis courts, raquets and balls free from reception. Nice grounds well maintained by gardeners. Security good. Shops outside on main road for cheap local pottery and clothing etc.
Bed rooms nice, beds comfy, loads of hot water. Had no issue with maid service, fresh towels daily, and room cleaned daily. We tipped maid 3 dinar daily when we saw her, very happy with this, i think it is appreciated. No security problems. Room safe, if it is open put in own code and it is free to use, dont pay.
Thomson did hard sell on tours, extra baggage for return flight etc.
Would i go back, possibly out of season when prices are lower, not in peak though. Nice hotel, rooms , and public areas. Food OK, though could do better. I would say this is not what 4 star or Platinum should be, maybe 3.5 star.

Room Tip: Stay away from pool area, get a room facing inwards, and away from highway. If not suitable ask to m...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank welshtraveller214
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2014 via mobile

This review is from 2006, which might not be of any use at all as it could have changed considerably between then and now.

Outstanding, A*, A+++++
The very few 'issues' we did have were clears up straight away (lightbulb and sitting with others at dinner). Not sure what more people expect? It's all down to your attitude, like anywhere in the world. Be respectful to them and they'll respect you.

  • Stayed August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Harriet P
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

Property: 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 Spa Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#3 Luxury Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#3 Family Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#4 Romantic Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
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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