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“Manar from Heaven?” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Holiday Village Manar

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Holiday Village Manar
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Route Touristique Mrezga, Hammamet 8050, Tunisia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 124 Hotels in Hammamet
Hove, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Manar from Heaven?”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

Just returned from a two week stay at the HV Manar with First Choice. For a hotel that is approx 30 yrs old its in good nick and well maintained. I would agree with other reviewers that the decor is not 5* but the facilities, food and service were top-notch for a holiday of this genre. So, I can see why FC might score it so. One also needs to remember that this is Tunisia and although they have had a tourist industry for over 50 years, its still a poor country. As such, the areas outside the hotel are not well maintained and this does somewhat detract from the first impression. However, this is not the hotel nor the tour operator's fault.

The children (11 & 4) had a great time and there was lots for them to do. Kids club was a big hit with the 4yr old. All the KC staff were fantastic and very patient. My youngest fell in love with Scott. Only thing we would have preferred was longer sessions - ideally whole morning or afternoon to allow us more time to relax without having to collect them every 90 mins. Not really a biggy, but having stayed at other FC locations (Aqua Nevis, Bulgaria) this is what we expected.

Daytime and Evening entertainment staff also put in lots of effort. The programme is well set-up, if a little predictable after a few days, but this is what most of the younger generation want at the end of the day. The activity programme (Aerial-Adventure, Waterpolo, Pool Quiz, Zorbs, etc) are all great and there is something for everyone. Let your hair down and go with the flow is my advice - you'll enjoy it! Sam, Dave, Flo, Karly, Sarah were all exceptional.

The pools (2 large, 1 medium, 2 paddling and 1 slide) are all well maintained with plenty of shade and loungers. The lifeguards were also very attentive and kept a close eye on safety. Stand-out individual is MOMO - we love you too - who is a real character and always happy to help with finding you a comfortable spot. The FC swimming coaches are also exceptional - see photos of Greg jumping from the crows-nest on the pirate trip!

The sandy beach (with bar) is very close and well maintained with a good variety of watersports for the more adventurous. Parascending, Jet-Skis, Banana boat and Crazy Coach were all big hits with the other residents.

The Jasmine/Buffet restaurant served a good selection of cuisine throughout the 2 week stay. Food was fresh, flavoursome and abundant. The bar-b-q was also very good every night - well done Mohammed B - always looked after us so well. I would urge you to try all the cuisine on offer - it really is very good. It did seem to me that too many of the guests just wanted to eat pizza and chips (children esp.). If this is the case, why go to Africa?

We went on the camel excursion (3/5), Pirate Ship (4/5) and Zulu Night / Zoo (5/5) and really had a great time at all of them.

The stand-out for us though was the level of service and kindness we received from the hotel staff. Pretty much without exception, we were greeted with smiles and platitudes from every dept. Considering this was also during Ramadan (where Muslim's must abstain from eating drinking and smoking during daylight hours) and in temperatures of 35+ºC I can only take my hat off to them. I doubt many Brits would be able to do the same. They all work long hours and for very little wages in comparison to what we shelled out for the holiday. Wahbi (Red), Amir, Lazhar, Mohammed (Super Chef!) were all top blokes and a credit to the hotel.

This brings me to my last point and that is tips. In short, do it. As Brits, we're not used to tipping but in Tunisia whilst its not expected, its very welcome. All of the staff (from the housekeeping to kitchen, bar staff and front of house) more than deserve it and the 5 or 10TDN (£2/5) you spend will not only be paid back in attentiveness and service the next time you see them but it can make a massive difference to their salary (which can be as little as 10TDN per day).

If you're looking for some family fun that's only 2.5hrs from LGW and offers the full gamut of activities, food and service then look no further. You'll love it. We did!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (391)
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English first
Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
1 review
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

We stayed for a week 13-20th July, with our 20 month old.

The plane trip through Thompson/First Choice took less than 3 hours, coach transfer was painless and we were greeted in the lobby with drinks and our all inclusive wrist bands.

Room:
We we extremely impressed with our room. A 'kids den' room in Manar 1 which was ideal for us. Even though we didn't make use of the bunk beds, the cot provided for our boy was easily moved in-front of the beds so that we could relax and watch TV without disturbing him. The only downside is you have to go through this room to get to the bathroom/toilet but this was no problem. The room was decorated to a high standard, had satellite tv (limited channels), a small fridge with very small frozen section (for ice cubes) and was stocked with water and milk daily. Having arrived at 2am this was a god send. We woke in the morning to find we had a gorgeous sea view, which nearly all rooms in manar 1's upper floor have.

Facilities:
This is where it gets the 5 star ratings, for Tunisia the facilities are impeccable;
3 kids/side pools, 3 larger pools and water slides. Plenty of sun loungers, though you will still need to go down prior to 10am to get a decent spot in peak season.
Outdoor Amphitheater where they do the kids entertainment, it's just had a new HUGE outdoor screen which displays music videos and kids cartoons prior to the shows. This Amphitheater has it's own 'Show Bar' too, so you can have a drink while the kids cause chaos.
5-a side and tennis courts, archery area, small kids playground. Creche for under 3's and kids club for all ages (up to 15 i think).
The grounds are kept in perfect condition, with gardeners and cleaning staff often about.
Wi-fi internet, and even available in some areas by the pool side!

Food / Restaurants:
You will only get bored with the food on offer if you're REALLY picky. The main buffet restaurant has themed nights which have plenty of extra specials for you to try each not, failing that there's always chips, pizza, burgers, spag bol, bbq etc every night. We particularly enjoyed Mexican an Indian nights and the food was always cooked and presented to a high standard. We often eat at the 'Snack Bar' outside or had a sandwich at the beach bar during the day rather than the buffet restaurant. This way you can get out the pool/off the beach for a few mins without having to get dry/changed to eat. This food wasn't exactly restaurant standard but it filled the gap between breakfast and the evening buffet. Our little boy loved the chocolate ice cream cones!

Beach:
The only reason the beach get's it's own section is because other reviews have really brought it down. People have stated it as being messy, clogged with seaweed and that you get hassled by sellers. THIS IS NOT THE CASE. Previous reviews have clearly been made after a storm has brought in rubbish and seaweed - which would be the case anywhere in the world. When we went, the beach was the best we have been to. Clean, tidy - and no sea weed! There is a beach bar serving drinks and sandwiches and there are plenty of lounges (often when there are none by the pools). The beach is sectioned off for just hotel goers and has dedicated security staff that make-sure you won't get hassled (we never saw any sellers). The reps advise not to accept camel/horse rides from people crossing through but the water sports offered are done direct through the hotel and have experienced staff on site to book through. Kayaks are also free, and a large swimming and water sports area netted off.

Staff:
Honest, genuine and helpful. I have never come across a friendlier atmosphere anywhere. The hotel staff are quick to learn your drinks orders and will go the extra mile to ensure you're happy. This is most apparent in the buffet restaurant. The waiters stick to their own sections each day, so if you sit in a similar spot each visit, the guys will really make an effort to remember your drinks, have a quick chat about your day and be around to make sure your drinks are never empty, and your plates promptly cleared. Our little boy liked a particular high-chair (which we have at home) and the guys even reserved this for us, bringing it out as they saw us enter the restaurant. We went during ramadan; These guys are fasting and serving us drinks and food for 14 hours a day and still have a smile on their face all day.

Reps:
An entire team of dedicated reps and a real credit to Thompson. Kids clubs/entertainment extremely well run. Reps always available when you have questions and are extremely helpful and knowledgeable.

Cons:
The only issue we had was that the lifts tend to get busy. Waiting with the lifts opening sometimes 5-6 times before and empty one becomes available to get us+a pushchair in.

If you've read this far, I will close with this. The staff at manar work extremely hard, you're in Tunisia where the rest of the area is tired and run down. The hotel might not be 5* luxury with bath robes and sandles but it lives up to all expectations for a family village. Everything you need is on-site, there's plenty for the kids to do and the staff and reps will do all they can to makesure you have an enjoyable holiday. No where else in Tunisia can offer this level of service and facilities for the price, period.

Room Tip: Manar one is better presented and quieter than manar two. Don't pay extra for sea view, nearly...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

Stayed here for 2 weeks in June 2014. The hotel was fantastic. Food was different every night loads to choose from. Entertainment staff and reps were so friendly and pleasant. The activities for the kids were great especially the football academy with Wallace and Joe.
We tended to go to lobby bar at night just because my kids were older and the staff there were fabulous too especially Nasadean always smiling.
The only downfall is there is nothing outside hotel if you like to get out and about. But all in I would definitely recommend this hotel for families and I will definitely return.

Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014 via mobile

I loved the holiday so much, the food was amazing, the pools were great. I5LIVE! Was brilliant and the red team are the best team ever!!!! The entertainment staff were just amazing. The pirate ship trip was very, very, very fun!!!!!! I loved it when I jumped into the sea.I WON BEST JUMP!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ollie aged 7

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

Well I was recommended this hotel and iam glad I went me and my partner went with my friend her partner and 4 year old, we loved it it has just been decorated teh staff are amazing can't do enough for you.
I have see comments on here that it isn't 5* it is for Tunisia yes you don't get bth robes and luxury toiletries but for £500 for a week you would get that for 2 night at the ritz!
Only downside is I would have liked and adults only bar, food was fab different theme every night totally loved it.

Room Tip: Manar 1 facing quiet pool
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014

Stayed for 2 weeks . flight was good.checkin hotel was quick greeted with juice and bands on as soon as through the doors not at reception desk much better.rooms was georgous mini fridge filled with water and milk , but wgen the guy comes round to fill up with tea coffee (nescafe sachets) he will give you bottles of coke/fanta.main restaurant was opened for new arrivals again great food. Key cards for room sometimes fail to work but reception said dont get them wet or near mobiles/ipads ect.great view from room overlooked pools restaurant and sea. All barstaff are ffriendly my son loved it but the best is Anis great guy !!the food is the best ive had lots of English foods .Every night had different theme lots of variety. Each station served things like joints of meat cut from bone ect:lamb/beef/turkey/chicken. Outside you must try the barbecue everynight something different steak with peppercorn sauces freshly made donuts omg really really good.water slides where really fun my son loved um.beach water sports really cheap and kayaking is free .every Saturday night there's a beach party after entertainment show our first week was foam party on beach was fun:) food served and a band singing. Drinks are good cocktails I loved black Russians brought me back to the early years lol overall a fab hol and you will enjoy it we bookin for next yr. Dont bother paying for late checkout rooms cause they give you a courtesy room to wash and change couple hrs before you leave.if you need a bank to draw money out its outside hotel grounds 5 minute walk not far or take English money and change in hotel overall a great time!!! Enjoy

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014

We traveled to Tunisia with our 4 year old and we all had a fantastic time great food with a different theme every night,give the Indian resturant a go as well as it was fantastic!! Lots for kids to do with the kids clubs and very good entertainment team our boy took a shine to Davey.the staff are very friendly and nothing was to much trouble we will defiantly visit again in the future!!!

Room Tip: Swim up rooms were very nice
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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 Holiday Village Manar

Address: Route Touristique Mrezga, Hammamet 8050, Tunisia
Location: Tunisia > Nabeul Governorate > Hammamet
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Hammamet
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Hammamet
#6 Luxury Hotel in Hammamet
#9 Romantic Hotel in Hammamet
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Holiday Village Manar 4*
Number of rooms: 333
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Holiday Village Manar Hotel Hammamet
Magic Life Manar Imperial Hammamet
Magic Life Manar Imperial Hotel

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