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“Fourth consecutive visit to Riu Royal Garden” 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 #13 of 112 hotels in Djerba Island
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Fourth consecutive visit to Riu Royal Garden”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

This is our 4th consecutive visit to this hotel, having been there once before that in 2000, making five visits in total. Since 2000 it has developed quite a bit. It is now "All Inclusive" so once you have paid for your trip, you should encounter little or no other expenses. In our case, the extra costs were for our golfing and/or small purchases. Staff are very friendly, remembered us from last year, only too willing to assist, and pleasant at all times. We saw "our" waiter from previous visits, but we were seated at a different area of the restaurant this year, so were tended to by two other, equally nice, waiters. It was my husband's birthday on our last day, and he was presented with a birthday cake and a rousing of "Happy birthday to you" from a selection of waiters!! Very nice !
For the first time this year, we heard more English being spoken (with First Choice Travel), whereas we have always travelled with Luxair (we are ex-pats living in Luxembourg). The majority of guests this year though, were Belgians, mostly Flemish speaking !! There were LOTS of them ! No-one was unruly though, just a bit loud !
Downside this year, food ..... very much the same selection every single day at the Pool Restaurant, and not such good quality in the main restaurant, which is a shame, as we have have really good food in previous years. 10 days was enough, two weeks would have been too long.
Still, it's a lovely hotel, fantastic pool, near to the beach, nice golf course and all in all a nice place to stay.
We have done excursions in previous years, but this year, just stayed in and around the hotel and golf.
One very important point to mention : the ATM Machine at the hotel only accepts VISA cards. We ended up short of cash, as we only had Mastercard with us, and had to cash in all our EUROS.

Room Tip: Ask for a room facing the pool/sea view, either on 1st or 2nd floors. 1st floor rooms are numbered...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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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468 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (10)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
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English first
London
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2012

Just returned from a week in this beautiful hotel. The rooms and indeed all the hotel were kept beautifully clean. Lovely pool with plenty of sunbeds with mattresses - this also applies to the beach area. The food was very tasty with plenty of choice, and also pancakes round the pool at 3pm were scrummy. Also the staff were very friendly and helpful. It would be difficult to find a fault with this hotel.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2012

Frankly, this review suggesting the staff were rude and unable to speak English I find very insulting. Me and my whole party made an effort to be polite and friendly and the staff were a delight back - perhaps the reason that particular party were ignored was because they were boring, rude and ignorant, there would simply be no other explanation.
The staff and locals were very excited once they had discovered you were English and pulled out all the stops to help.
The buffet was delicious and had a lot of variety every night, I especally recommend the Asian themed night and Majid particularly was an outstanding waiter.
I would also like to add announcements were made in English about the activities and every effort made to include them, perhaps the party 2 reviews below were too wrapped up in being grumpy, rude and anti-social to notice. We were on holiday at the same time as this party I believe and they were actually a disgrace in the way they treated the staff, and made me ashamed that my party may be associated with them as we were English too.
Our rep was fantastic, arranging a tailor-made trip to the Sahara for us with our own driver and guide who were exceptional - would definitely recommend inquiring about this - was unbelievable!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2012 via mobile

Never again! This hotel is far from being 5 stars. The rooms are very basic, the bed sheets were not changed a single time in the week we were there, no lift to get to the second floor (not easy being pregnant with a toddler).
The buffet restaurant is ok, nothing more. The Italian and seafood restaurants were horrible. Bad quality, tasteless and no choice...
There is constant animation around the pool and loud music all day long. The photographers are constantly present but we took better pics ourselves.
We did not join the evening "entertainment" but it heard it loud and clear from our room - bad taste and very repetitive to say the least.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2012

This is not a five star hotel and not suited for English people, as the staff are unable to understand simple words such as water. They are only able to speak French which made us feel as if we were not included. Around the pool they only made announcements about the daily activities in French which meant that we were unable to take part in any of them. The restaurant staff were quite rude and once they knew we were English they didn't attempt to make any effort to speak to us. They would collect drinks and clear plates for other guests but we always seemed to be last! This made us feel quite uncomfortable.
The main restaurant had a variety of food but the three other restaurants were poor! You have no choice of food, for example as a main meal you can have fish or beef. This is not what a five star hotel should be!
When we booked we were aware that there was a variety of entertainment and when we arrived the entertainment was live music or the animation team that couldn't dance to save their lifes! The only bar that was open in the evening was the piano bar which was lovely with comfortable chairs but only was open until 11 which is early and had live music only playing for an hour.
The rooms were basic and not very luxurious, no alarm clock, no ironing board/iron, a hair-dryer that would get to hot to hold and was impossible to dry long hair! Also what the hotel call a " free mini bar" in your room was a fridge with water in it that didn't work properly.
The photographer at the hotel took picture during your time there but he was quite pushy and when we looked at the photos after they were too dark to even see our faces properly. Again he could only speak French!
We have stayed at five star hotels before, therefore we expect it to be luxurious. This would defiantly not be our first choice!


Although the weather was lovely and couldn't have been hotter. This would be a lovely place if you want a holiday with not a lot to do as there are not a lot of trips.
The market trip we went on was good and we found some good bargains.
Also the jet skis were amazing and this was a great trip!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Swanley,united kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
16 helpful votes 16 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.

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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
Amenities:
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 Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 112 hotels in Djerba Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Riu Palace Royal Garden 5*
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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