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“Vanessa and Bob” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Riu Palace Royal Garden

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Hotel Riu Palace Royal Garden
5.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Zone Touristique Sidi Akkour P.B.83 | Djera, Djerba Island 04116, Tunisia   |  
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Ranked #11 of 109 Hotels in Djerba Island
Swanley,united kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Vanessa and Bob”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2012

Just got home after one week in Djerba. What a great time we had.
The hotel was excellent, the food smashing, something to suit all tastes.
My only criticism was the entertainment. It was diabolical. The hotel is very French and German orientated but that is only because this is the second year of English people going there and they are not too sure of us.I have spoken to the manager of the hotel who has assured me that things are about to change. I would definately go back there again.

Room Tip: All the rooms are good.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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645 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2012

I came here for two weeks with my partner and two mates. We wanted two weeks of sun and chill-out and that's exactly what we got. 

Our rep Jill from Thomson/First Choice met us at Djerba Airport. She was excellent and a credit to her company. It's not a long transfer to the hotel. It was evident that there wasn't much to see on the island: a lot a sand, some palm trees and dilapidated buildings. There really isn't any need to leave the hotel complex. Not even for a stroll. 

The weather was hot. One day the mercury got to 45 degrees! But mostly it hovered around 35. The pool was lovely (on the warmer days like bath water), but the ocean was more refreshing. When the sea was calm it was beautiful, but it turns very choppy and tosses a lot of seaweed onto the shore when the wind is up.

The pool is huge. Generally there were enough sunbeds, but there were a couple of days where one or two anxious guests couldn't seem to find them easily. The pool was very clean. There were a few tiles missing, but this didn't bother us. All very pleasant.

 The poolside restaurant is where you can get water, beer, soft drinks and wine, even cocktails (my friends didn’t rate the cocktails). They also serve lunch and snacks there, but we opted for the cooler main restaurant. 

The animation staff work hard doing their thing throughout the day but don't harass you - they were a friendly bunch.

Our accommodation was comfortable and clean. The lock to our patio door was broken, so I asked reception to have it repaired while we were out by the pool. When I returned later to the room my keycard packed up, so I couldn’t enter the room. I went to reception and the hotel handyman came with me to the room to firstly fix the keycard mechanism on the door. Once this was done I saw that the patio door lock hadn’t yet been seen to, so he fixed that as well while he was there. It was still a fiddly job to lock the patio door after that, so I guess this wasn’t completely resolved, but we didn’t bother calling them back in to look at it.

The aircon in the room worked a treat. Housekeeping staff were very friendly and efficient. There is a safety box in the room but no tea/coffee making facilities. Mineral water is replenished each day in the fridge. The TV reception was actually pretty lousy, but we weren't there to watch TV. 

The food was varied and on the whole delicious. The ice cream was divine! The Tunisian restaurant was good, as was the seafood restaurant on the beach, but service was slow at the latter. Restaurant staff were very friendly, and we gladly tipped them. 

We spent most evenings in Le Piano Bar. The aircon wasn't on constantly so it got a little uncomfortable at times. We had an errant guest hijack the piano and pianist on occasion, which was annoying. And one evening we were "treated" to another guest playing sing-along with the pianist. Unnecessary, and we didn't like it. The Tunisian wine and beer provided were absolutely fine. The waiter we had there on most night was a bit sullen, and didn’t say “thank you” when we tipped him. He lightened up on the last night when my friend tried to have a conversation with him.

I had a massage in the wellness centre. 70 Dinars for an hour. It was ok, nothing special. 

We didn't bother with any of the outside excursions: a) they didn't really appeal to us, and b) it was too hot. They were saying that temperatures were 10 degrees higher inland. 

There are lots of French, Belgian and German guests. Not so many Brits. French is obviously understood by all, but most staff seemed to have the English basics. 

Reception staff were sometimes moody, other times great - it just depends who you got on the day. Reception is where you get your towels each day - on more than one occasion they ran out, and could not exchange your towel with a fresh one until the next morning, which seemed a bit shortsighted. 

My partner had a couple of shirts washed and ironed by the hotel. He reckons one of the shirts shrank a little (maybe he just enjoyed the buffet too much), and they weren't ironed that well. 

We paid 50 Dinars for a week’s WiFi connection, but at times the network wasn’t available. Furthermore you can only access the WiFi network in a certain area in the hotel lobby. This was a pain, on both counts.

Our first week was blissfully child-free, but there were noticeably more in week 2. But being the start of the summer holidays, this was to be expected. 

If you're looking for guaranteed weather, good food and chilling out around the pool with a good book, then look no further; I'd thoroughly recommend this hotel. If you're looking to get out and do a fair bit of exploring, then you should really look elsewhere. I know I’ve pointed out some negatives here, but on the whole were we really impressed with the whole set up. :-)

Finally: you can only take up to 10 Dinars out of Tunisia, and they charge an eye-watering 40% commission at the airport! You can get Dinars at the reception desk but can only change back to pounds/euros at the airport.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Wales
Level Contributor
58 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2012

Stayed here recently after reading reviews of this hotel.
First impressions were of a well kept and spacious building. We arrived mid morning so had time to orientate ourselves.
The hotel mostly caters for elderly French and German clientele, so a basic knowledge of either of these languages is a must. English is not widely spoken here.
Room spacious and functional. A rather curious outlook from the balcony included some rough ground and a terracotta urn balanced on top of a pile of bare earth. The room itself was spacious and functional, as said before by others, toilet and bidet separate from the bathroom and washbasin, so weird. We had a few problems with the old shower but this was resolved fairly quickly. Bathrobes were provided in the rooms, but some people were wearing them to the beach; this isnt really allowed.
No teamaking facilities in the room, but the mini fridge is stocked daily with large bottles of still and sparkling water. In room programmable safe also.
Flat screen room TV has two English channels Russiatv (mainly business) and CNN (lightwieght news)
Ladies; I strongly suggest you take your own hairdryers, as the one in the bathroom is a throwback from the 70s. Just a hoover type hose with what looked like an upholstery attachment!! This had one speed; 2nd gear! and one heat setting: thermonuclear!!! I had to wrap a towel around my hand in order to actually hold the attachment so I didnt burn my hand.
The "Wellness" centre (payable) was tried by OH, he was disappointed as his "full body massage" consisted of a rubdown of his legs "70% of the time, whilst the girl chatted to her friend in the next room".
Food is buffet style; you can eat outside at the pool area lunchtime as well, but nicer in the restaurant due to the air conditioning and no flies!!!
You have to book your table at the beginning of your hols for evening meals. There are 2 sittings, 7pm and 9pm. The table and time are yours for the duration.
The pool bar serves drinks from 10.30am, help yourselves to soft drinks and wine from the dispensers, there were always loads of bees over the dispensers, but these were easily "shooed" away. it was funny to see them falling into your (plastic) glasses when you filled up! But if you dont like insects, I suggest you get someone else to get your drinks. The wine from the dispensers is b****y awful, but in the restaurant and bar, it's served from bottles, so is drinkable. The "Celtia" beer is OK, but again, nicer from the bottles.
The large swimming pool is naturally heated, I did notice that it needs some repair, as some of the glass tiles were loose and missing both in the pool and surrounding surfaces. A pity that the hose used to clean the pool was left in the water all the time, as this looked unsightly. These glass tiles also became extremely hot in the sun, so I strongly advise you wear your flip flops and leave them at the waters edge! A couple of days we had peace and quiet, but mostly music played around the pool area which varied from good to bad!
We tried the Tunisian restaurant a couple of times; you have to book at 5.30pm the night before, but this is part of the all-inc package. The food and service is very good. The fish restaurant (down at the beach bar) the same arrangement, with a set choice between fish or beef:and although we turned up at 7pm, it became busier, so we ended up having to wait around 30 mins between the three courses; by 9pm we were fed up of waiting for the coffee, so left to have it back in the hotel.The food was Ok only there.
The entertainment is low key; animation team try sometimes, but the evening shows not starting until 10pm (advertised on boards): we didnt fancy any of these, and watching the kiddies club wasnt our thing (unless you have kids yourselves). The UEFA cup was more inviting ( Arabic commentators are sooooo enthusiastic!!!!), and we took our drinks back to the room to enjoy the matches.
The beach has thatched parasols and loungers, the beach bar only has soft drinks served in those small plastic beakers.
With camels, horses and sellers back and forth all day, the beach is not the cleanest. The sea is clear but not clean. lots of debris and sea grass, so no sitting in the shallows...
So the poolside became the choice of many. There were plenty of loungers and parasols to go around, towels and possessions that were used to "reserve" loungers were removed after 2 hours, which ensured beds for all.
If you're prudish, be aware you will see some european elderly women letting 'em all hang out ( and down); being a muslim country I dont think it's respectful, but nothing's said.
The only thing that really spoiled our stay was that in the piano bar in the evening; some elderly French duffer saw it as his duty to accompany the pianist with his awful warbling for every song; he even brought in a songbook one time!!!!
We finally had enough when we heard the "birdie song" being played and he and his wife danced for "our entertainment" Thank goodness there was an outside bar too.
I have exhausted my repetoire now, so will stop. I'll be happy to answer any further queries if I can, just contact me via Tripadvisor.
Apart from them, a nice holiday, a nice hotel and good food. Would I go back? I'm not sure......but I may if the price was right and that French couple aren't there!!!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Molesey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2012

as you would expect from a riu and this our third the room was very clean and spacious although the bed was a bit hard,the food selection was excellent,the pool area was very clean and if you leave your sun bed for more than two hours your belongings are removed and taken to reception which i think is great it stops the people who the towels out early in the morning and don't turn up till after lunch all in all a very good week .A WORD OF WARNING IF FLY WITH THOMSON AIRWAYS EAT IN D'JERBA AIRPORT YOU'LL GET NEXT TO NOTHING ON THE RETURN FLIGHT YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2012

Recently returned from a week in the Palace Gardens and thought the hotel was great (when I eventually got to see it) which is where the warning of the title comes in. As I got off the plane and arrived in Djerba I collapsed and had to be rushed to hospital. Now the Tunisian medical system means they are very thorough and I had a lot of tests that seemed unnecessary, and the lack of staff that understood English did not help. The main problem was to do with insurance. I had a policy with AXA and the 1st clinic I was in refused to recognise them as a known company -- mainly by the horrible clinic owner with the Napoleon complex, I was then moved to a 2nd where the clinic and insurance company were locked in a battle where the clinic would not let me go as AXA couldn't guarantee payment as the clinic weren't providing the info they needed. Despite several phone calls backwards and forwards I felt like I was a hostage and the only way I could get out was to pay upfront in cash. Once I eventually got to the hotel over 36 hours after arriving we discovered that this has happened several times before. Obviously you cannot predict illness but just make sure you have insurance as you can at least claim money back and the clinics WILL do every test they can think of.
This is where the hotel comes in. The reception staff and the First Choice reps (Sandra, Jill and Sally from HQ) could not have done any more to try and help - making phonecalls, trying to translate, arranging taxis etc... If they are reading this then please accept my thanks.
The hotel was very clean (they even washed the plants in the foyer) did not see one speck of dust.
The rooms were quite large, although having the toilet and sink in seperate rooms seems a little
un-hygenic to me. The bath water takes forever to go down when you lift the plug up so found I had to remove the plug completely (makes sense when you get there). Personally found the beds far too hard and barely slept.
Food was lovely. Always plenty to fill up on. Breakfast was a little dissapointing for me, omelettes were pre-cooked so you couldn't pick what you wanted in it, no waffles/thick pancakes. We always had lunch at the pool bar and there was always pizza/chips if you don't fancy trying the more Tunisian fare. Crepes available from 3.30. At night you get assigned a table for the duration of your say and you normally have the same waiter which makes tipping easier and you will find by the 2nd day they will know what drinks you want. A very wide rnge of food, always a joint of meat freshly carved (usually quite rare), fresh pasta, and loads of other stuff Desserts were delicious and there was always ice-cream to have as well as fresh cooked crepes. Make sure you try the strawberries - so sweet and delicious. My sister is extremely fussy and she always had a full plate. We tried the Italian, you have to pre-order either chicken or fish for main (which is served in quite small portions) starters and dessert are buffet style. Glad we tried it but probably wouldn't go to the Italian again. Apparently the Tunisian was great.
Didn't sunbathe on the beach as the sea looked a little murky and there was about 2 metres of seaweed to wade through, but the pool is huge and normally quite cold which is ideal when you need to cool down. The pool guys will remove towels if the loungers are left unattended for too long which some people were not too happy about (especially the German couple behind us who "reserved" their loungers 2 days in a row first thing in the morning and never came to them until around 4 and then discovered on day 3 that they had been taken by someone else). There are plenty to go round though so there isn't really a need to, there is also 1 umbrella to about every 3 loungers too.
I was very disappointed with the Animation team, they didn't really seem to even try to motivate people to join activities and the moment they realised we were English, they just walked off mid conversation and ignored us for the rest of the week. The rest of the staff were all really friendly , just expect to be addressed in French first, then German. Trying to learn a little French will go a long way and they do appreciate it.
The only trip we booked with First Choice was the Quad bike trip. Roughly about £18 each, you can pick between 4 different times on any day and you get picked up from just outside the hotel, taken about 10 mins up the road, get helmetted up and off you go. Loads of fun, especially when you get to the sand dunes. Just make sure you have a bandana or scarf to tie around your mouth unless you enjoy the taste of sand!
All in all a great hotel, and would go back again.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
46 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2012

This was our second visit to the Riu Palace Royal Garden.

The hotel is kept spotless. Large, comfortable rooms (if slightly dated) with efficient air con. The huge swimming pool is well maintained and set in beautifully kept grounds. Two sittings at dinner (6.30 pm and 8.30 pm) and you are allocated the same table each evening (breakfast and lunch is free seating). The food in the restaurant is excellent, with a huge choice. The all inclusive wines are very acceptable. You can also take lunch at the pool restaurant and again, there is plenty of choice.

There are daytime activities organised by the energetic animation team, but you are not pressurised to take part! Cannot comment on the evening entertainment because we chose not to watch any. There are four tennis courts (red clay) which we used every evening before dinner and never had a problem getting a court.

What makes this hotel outstanding is its staff, who are friendly and efficient, and cannot do enough for you. The manager makes the effort to meet with his guests, and can be seen almost every evening during the dinner service.

We would highly recommend this hotel and will definitely return.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
50 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2012

Just returned from a weeks stay in the Palace Garden and loved it. Spotlessly clean, big rooms, comfortable beds, delicious food. Beaches in Djerba not too good as the only areas cleaned are the hotel front, they could be gorgeous if the local council cleaned up the washed up rubbish, but the sea was beautiful and crystal clear. The hotel has a huge pool and beautiful gardens, staff friendly, we would go back to this hotel.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Palace Royal Garden

Address: Zone Touristique Sidi Akkour P.B.83 | Djera, Djerba Island 04116, Tunisia
Location: Tunisia > Medenine Governorate > Djerba Island
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 109 Hotels in Djerba Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Riu Palace Royal Garden 5*
Number of rooms: 288
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Located on the island of Djerba * 3-storey building, oriental style architecture * Surrounded by 20,000 m2 of garden * Opposite the "Djerba" 27-hole golf course * 200 m from the beach * Complimentary sun loungers and parasols on the beach * 6 km from downtown Midoun * 18 km from downtown Houmt Souk * 6 km from various shops * 25 km from the Djerba airport ... more   less 
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