My boyfriend and I returned from a 2 week holiday at the Royal El Mansour last weekend.
This is the perfect hotel for relaxing, chilling out on the beach and soaking up the sunshine. If you're after an adventure or sight seeing holiday then I wouldn't recommend this hotel as there isn't a lot to do in the town of Mahdia. Any trips to see the more well known sights of Tunisia are at least an hour or two's bus journey away.
We landed at Enfidha airport and the transfer time to the hotel was almost 2 hours by the time we had dropped off other people at their respective hotels. Upon arriving at the hotel we were met by a porter who unloaded our luggage and showed us to a sofa in reception, we were then swiftly brought a non-alcoholic fruit cocktail and the reception staff took care of our check-in. We were being shown to our room within 20 minutes of arriving.
The rooms are large and modern with a separate bathroom and toilet. We had a room facing the roadside and the town of Mahdia. Other people have stated that there was some road noise, we noticed this around early evening but by the time it came to bed time it was pretty quiet and we didn't have any trouble sleeping. The rooms are equipped with a free of charge safe, a desk, sofa, flat screen tv and a large comfortable bed. I think the pillows could be of better quality. The bathroom has a bath with a shower head over it. The shower provided good water pressure although we found the water temperature to be a little temperamental and would turn from hot to cold quickly so we had to keep adjusting the temperature gauge. The hair dryer fixed to the wall in the bathroom is rubbish so any ladies wanting to style their hair in the evening I would suggest bringing your own hair dryer. The ladies cleaning our bedroom did a great job and on a few occasions we forgot to put money and phones away in the safe and they were still there when we returned. One thing the bedroom was lacking were slippers and bathrobes, at all other 5* hotels we have stayed at these have been provided and I think are a nice touch. The towels provided are too small, nobody likes getting dried using a hanky. The aircon was decent and you can have it set onto 3 different cooling settings.
One of the best things about the hotel is the beach it is situated on! The beach is cleaned every couple of days and the sea is clear and warm. Perfect for swimming, its also pretty shallow and we used to swim out a long way and then find we could still touch the floor. Some days the water was still and others would provide light waves. There are also 3 swimming pools which were clean and warm. One thing that really surprised me was the availability of sunbeds, we're used to having to get up extra early to secure a decent sunbed but you can come down to the beach at 11am and still find lots of sunbeds available.
The staff are a real credit to this hotel (apart from the animation team). Reception staff were pleasant and helpful, the waiters in the restaurants knew what we were drinking and would prepare our drinks when they saw us coming. The cleaning staff always smiled and said hello and the chefs were always very chatty with us. The animation team are a different story, they seemed lazy, the barely spoke to us, there didn't appear to be many events/games organised by them and I thought this was their job. They did put on an evening show but we heard it was pretty awful so we never bothered going to watch.
The food is some of the best all inclusive food we have ever had on a holiday. Everything was fresh, there was always a large variety of options and having spent 2 weeks there we didn't get bored of it. At breakfast you can expect freshly made pancakes and doughnuts, fruit, yogurt, cereal, freshly squeezed juice, omlettes made to order, pates, cheese and more. We had lunch daily at the outside restaurant and the evening meal was served in the main buffet style restaurant. In the evening you'll find a pasta station, fresh grilled fish of the day, a salad bar, a selection of meat dishes, a roasted meat station (duck, pork, chicken, ribs, turkey) and a great dessert selection. All guests can visit the a la carte restaurant once for every week of your stay, we didn't think it was anything special.
We visited the spa a couple of times and thought it was pretty average. We had a Hammam treatment when we first arrived which left us pretty underwhelmed. I then had a cool mint clay treatment which is supposed to be good for skin thats been in the sun but the clay was slapped on, I was left for 20 mins and then hurried into the shower. We then had a couples massage which again was average and we have had much better elsewhere. At a 5* hotel I expect a luxury spa and the Royal El Mansour doesn't provide this, I think the spa staff should also take some customer service lessons from the waiters and reception staff.
There was a real mix of nationalities and age groups at the hotel - English, French, German, Russian and Italian. Young couples, familes, older married couples and also a number of couples in their 60's and 70's.
You can get free wi-fi around the hotels reception if you bring your own laptop. If you would like to use the hotels cyber cafe it'll set you back the equivalent of £5 for an hour of £3 for half an hour.
The Tunisian government set the exchange rate so whether you change your money at the airport or at the hotel you will get the same rate.
Overall a great holiday at a very cheap price and if we ever fancy a quick sunshine break I'm sure we will return. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the hotel to a friend.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The IBEROSTAR Royal El Mansour Hotel & Thalasso is a 5-star Mahdia resort designed for couples and families with children. Sitting along Mahdia's sandy beaches, our hotel offers all-inclusive accommodation for guests wishing to take advantage of all the luxury services within the resort. The IBEROSTAR Royal El Mansour Hotel's top facilities offer ultimate comfort to satisfy all of your dining, lodging, and entertainment needs. Moreover, the hotel is enveloped by beautiful beaches and lush gardens which further enhance your family's experience in Mahdia. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Royal El Mansour Hotel Mahdia