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“Great holiday” 4 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
Newmarket, England
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Great holiday”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

Just returned from two week holiday at HV Manar, with my wife and daughters aged 9, 10 and 11.

We had a great time and it really did what it said on the tin. We spent some time on the beach, some time by the activities pool (a bit 'Butlinesque' though!0 and by the 'relax' pool.

The room was huge - we had a two bedroom family room in Manar 2. Comfort wise it was OK, not luxury but in line with expectations.

Having honeymooned in Mexico last year, the hotel did lack a few luxuries and the local cocktails and food were OK, but nothing special, but value for money it was well worth it.

And most important of all the kids had a great time!

We went on several trips but beware because there's a lot of sitting on the bus waiting to collect guests from other hotels, but the Catamaran Trip, and the laser and lights show were both very good although the latter involved a long evening.

Finally, one real negative - the spa staff actually cut two of my wife's fingers when giving her a manicure - the hotel apologised by sending a bottle of wine which was free in the hotel anyway!

Overall, though, a great holiday was had by all and would happily recommend as a family holiday.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
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1,273 reviews from our community

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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)
Date | Rating
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English first
Exeter, United Kingdom
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

This was the second time of staying at a Holiday Village, but our first trip to Tunisia. We booked through First Choice and everything was great until our flight times were changed so we only ended up having 6 days, instead of a full week which was extremely disappointing as the convenient flight times had affected our choice. However, the holiday itself was amazing. We were greeted with drinks and allowed to have food in the dinner hall while bags taken to the room.
We stayed in Manar 2 in a family swim-up room and it was fantastic.....very comfortable, quiet and relaxing. We shared a pool with one other room and seemed to have the swim-up pool to ourselves most of the time we used it.
The local staff were lovely, very eager to serve and polite with it. The reps were amazing, they kept the kids amused and happy, with our 5 year old asking daily which sessions of kids club she could go to! The reps even kept the adults entertained with friendly banter and fun activities.....Davey was a great laugh!
We would most definitely visit this hotel again and the swim-up room is well worth paying the extra for.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Tavistock, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

We returned to H.V Manar for a second time 28/05-11/06, for two weeks after a fabulous holiday last year. This year it surpassed last years!! We chose to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary along with our two young boys & my parents & it was one of our top holidays! The staff remembered from last year & we were still treated like royalty this year. We had two amazing recently refurbished rooms in Manar 2 (2226/27) with a balcony & sea view to die for. We had a welcome basket of fruit & wine. Our table was decorated most nights but beautifully on our Anniversary with fresh flowers & greenery & a cake! You cannot fault anything with this hotel from food to cleanliness to staff to rooms to beach to gardens they have just got it so right! A few shout outs for Anis - lobby bar waiter, Riadh El Bey - Restaurant manager, Sami - head Waiter in Restaurant, the BBQ man we love but can't remember his name! Mohammad -omelette chef he is hysterical! All the beach bar staff, Momo - lifeguard, & not forgetting dear Mohammad - beach security!! Just an amazing team, all of you, which makes the Hotel it is today!! Well done, keep up the good work & THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS!

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Kilmarnock, United Kingdom
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

We returned from the hv in July after staying for a fortnight and will defo be returning.
Hotel was immaculate, staff were very pleasant and helpful and rooms were spacious with a fridge that got topped up daily with whatever you wanted - wine, water, milk, cola etc.
food was amazing ! B sure to c whats bn cooked every night on the BBQ as well. Snack bar pizzas were superb at lunch time too. Always something for kids to eat and a la carte resturants for a change.
Entertainment was great. I5live even had the adults happily involved - the reps from entertainment were so enthusiastic and did such a great job of making it for everyone. A few good adult acts eg comedians etc also. We thoroughly enjoyed the Saturday night beach and foam parties :)
Lauren at swim academy was great with our 3yr old and got him swimming without armbands within half an hour. Joe at football academy was excellent with him also.
There was always something for the kids (and adults) to do during the day from painting to canoeing, archery to ariel adventure - the list was endless.
Special thanks to the superb security man at the beach Mohammad - if u go to the beach you will know what we mean ! And look forward to meeting Momo !!!!
Out and about not loads to c or do but to b quite honest the hotel is so good you don't really need to leave the grounds.
Overall an outstanding hotel, management should be proud of their staff and we hope to c u all again soon x x x

Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hove, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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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
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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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