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“Great hotel - Almost a 5*” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Iberostar Royal El Mansour & Thalasso

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Iberostar Royal El Mansour & Thalasso
5.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Route de la Corniche, Mahdia 5150, Tunisia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 21 Hotels in Mahdia
Ely, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
120 helpful votes 120 helpful votes
“Great hotel - Almost a 5*”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2011

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.

Room Tip: Tunisia is on the same time as the UK so if they tell you to change your watch when you land ignore...
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 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
    4.5 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 (229)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Slovak first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Newcastle, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
132 reviews 132 reviews
67 hotel reviews
Reviews in 75 cities Reviews in 75 cities
405 helpful votes 405 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2011

Recently returned from a one week stay. Trip was a last minute break and I was looking for a good standard all inclusive venue with decent food, good standard of accommodation and some sunshine. Delivered in the most but this hotel did not meet with my expectations on all counts. I spent ages looking at reviews and looking over the other hotels in Tunisia. seems to be a lot of deals on the go, hard to say if I made the right choice but not too bad at all.

Check in was in a word ,shocking. Not what you would expect form a major corporate brand.
We had travelled over two hours and waiting another 40 minutes while they organised our room keys, we had to ask for a drink after about 30 minutes as we were parched. The manager seemed unconcerned about our wait and carried on seeing to other clients while trying to check us in. They were not busy, with only 3 couples to check in and two other staff on reception. I have no idea what the wait was about and no mention from the manager about the delay and found myself too tired to ask, he seemed the type who would drag it out if you complained.
Rooms
Very nice, this hotel is less than 18 months old, paid 30d a day for sea view and well worth it if you like to read outside or enjoy looking at the ocean for a hour a day. service was spot on and kept very clean
Bathroom
Very nice, shower and bath and hair-dryer was a built in but threw a decent amount of heat out to enable you to dry hair OK.
Toiletries
are standard iberostar affair, which is quite limited and of poor quality but OK if you are desperate. Ladies need to take your own.
Towels
Clean and white again standard IB middle of the road quality
Pools
Very nice and grouped together, indoor pool was nice too and I used when it got to hot, it was very quiet and nice to read in if you require peace.
Food
If you are realistic and understand this a hotel that caters for the masses, not the individuals, in all aspects, there is nothing to complain about at all. Of good quality and plenty to appeal to all tastes. Be inventive with the condiments on offer to spice things up a bit if you find it bland.
Entertainment
I did not use the ampu theatre and found it more preferable to chill out in the bar.
The animation team was very unprofessional from what I observed. An example is the 'leader' would lean at the bar smoking a fag and talking on his phone, with guests actually walking around him to be served. Another observation was one of the young girls picked up the resident cat and tried to 'shove the cat into the face of her unaware colleague for a what seemed to be a 'joke'. the cat was clearly not comfortable and managed to claw her and she promptly 'threw' the cat from chest height and found this amusing. Disgusting. One evening one of the young team strolled over to our friends sleeping baby after they had walked up and down in the pushchair to 'lull' her to sleep for ages and promptly shook her leg and patted her on the head exclaiming loudly ''your baby sleeping?'' Er hello..what planet was he on.
I found it strange that they clamoured at meal times to eat platefuls of food, that they usually left uneaten, this I found out, seems to be a Tunisian pastime. It was patently aware to me they are there to amuse themselves and not the guests and I have never seen anything like this from a team before.
Bar Staff and Waiters
service is not consistent and seems to be a very personal affair insofar as if they like the looks of you, you are looked after wonderfully and if not, tough.
We had a fantastic waiter who really fussed over us and put flowers and reserved on our table even though we never asked and a wonderful bar waiter who was spot on. Other guests we sat with later on in the holiday. voiced their amazement as they had received poor or little service from the staff we dealt with? We did tip each night but it was well deserved.
Spa
Shocker.
Convinced to purchase a set of massages and first one was a hour late, another they took me to the relax room which was being cleaned out and the bleach smell so bad they put me in a little dark room until they were ready. Actual massage was fine but no music to relax with and a window was left open and I could hear the gardeners having an argument one day,I had to ask for them to shut the window. My facial was the worst I have ever had. Therapist put a muslin gauze over my face with no ' airholes' in and then put some clay on and then tried to cover my face with foil, I nearly smothered and am still having panic attacks.. she said ''you no likey?'' only if I want to breathe dear..No spa etiquette at all, so if you are used to European standard spa's forget it.
Weekend Tunisians descend and take up the pools and public places in their dozens taking out cans of soft drink from there bags. apparently a cheap deal to stay with food and they pay for their drinks. a fight on Saturday night and a guy got escorted off premises. at feeding time ( and it really is like feeding time )they grab plates of food which they cannot eat and this gets thrown out much to the disgust of the waiters
In summary not a bad hotel but serious flaws, they could be so good..it does cater for the masses but iberostar has some work to do with the hotel and staff if they wish to even consider taking merit for the five stars awarded to this hotel.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
kent
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2011

The hotel was brilliant the staff were great the accomadation you couldnt fault the food everywhere was priceless, the beach was good the manager was very helpful and couldnt do enough for you his name was lamjed and he was spot on, the things you could do here were very good a hamaman we loved this just quiet time to be by yourselves. We will be going back next year or the year after excellent place and the views were stunning the room we will always remember because the view we had was stunning .

Room Tip: just go for sea view, but not when we want to go.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Bridlington, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2011

We are 2 married couples (all senior citizens) travelled on 8th June for 2 weeks with Thomson Holidays. Transfer time from Enfidha airport was 1hr 40 mins

We were on an all inclusive board. The bar and restaraunt waiters were very hard working, polite and friendly, were fluent in 4 languages and did not expect tips all the time.The quality and variety of food was good for all meals, we always found something tasty to eat.

The pool and beach staff were also extremely attentive, would bring a lounger and parasol to the location you wanted and again did not look for tips from you.

Our room faced onto the beach, what a beautiful view, was very spacious and spotless and cleaned daily (no days off for these hard working maids).

The animation team (star friends) were as good as at most other hotels.They worked long hours 6 days a week (taking Mondays off).

At the hotel you will see men selling camel rides, quad biking, sea cruise (pirate ship type) and spa treatment. We were not pestered by them at all.

The weather was glorious the whole 2 weeks (around 30C) and sad when it was time to leave. Despite the worries about the unrest the country has gone through recently do not be put off from visiting this magical place, there is no trouble now and you are perfectly safe to walk the streets.

The exchange rate during our stay was about £1 = 2.17 TD

There were about 100 or so Brits whilst we were there.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, Scotland
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2011

We had a truly wonderful holiday. the hotel was spotless and the staff extremely attentive.

We arrived at about 10pm and were quickly shown into the dining room where a cold meal had been prepared for us.

The quality and variety of food was good for all meals, we always found something tasty to eat.

We were on an all inclusive board and found the quality and variety of drinks to be very good. The bar waiters were very polite and friendly and often had our drinks ready for us.

We have visited Tunisia several times before and this is the first hotel that we have been to where the service given by the staff did not depend on the size of tip.

We used the spa frequently and found the staff to be extremely professional, the spa is really something else, pure luxury, I really miss my massages : (

The pool and beach staff were also extremely attentive and again did not look for tips from you.

Our room faced onto the beach, what a beautiful view, it was very spacious and spotlessly clean.

We had such a lovely time that we hope to return to the hotel in September.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Kent UK
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2011

Just returned from the Iberostar Royal El Mansour, Mahdia. We all had a great time despite 2 days of not so good weather, although the kids still went swimming in the indoor pool. The food was good as was the waiter service, especially Mohammed, Jalel & Ramzi, who made sure we were well looked after. The area the hotel is located in is fairly quiet, with no problems from the main road (others have mentioned this on trip advisor, but the 10 nights we were there was fine!!).
There is a kids club, which kept our 10 year old happy so seems ok. The only downside was the quality of the hotels animation team, which was poor. But whilst we were there, we had a survey carried out, which most guests stated the animation teams poor quality, to which they had been called to a meeting and towards the end of our stay, there was an improvement to there performance.
If your after a quiet, relaxing holiday, this is an ideal place.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2011

Visited the hotel the first week in may with my husband and 2 children, 9 & 11, who loved the pools (3 adjoining outdoor as well as kiddy pool and 2 indoor pools) and felt really spoiled by the kids club as they were practically the only kids there!

Mahdia is very much a beach holiday destination as most of the day trips take place out of sousse which was a good hour and half from our hotel.

The weather was fantastic for most of our stay allowing us to fully appreciate the beachside location.

The staff are all amazing, some speaking more than 6 languages fluently and with ease! Our country could learn alot from their schooling system I think!

Staff in particular to look out for are Amed, the lunchtime waiter in the dining room who nicknamed our son James bond. Ali the bar waiter who became more like a friend as the week went on and didn't even need our orders as he knew exactly what we would want.

Due to the location I would recommend that you go for no other option than all-inclusive as anything else will see you spending far more money than you need to. The dining room is buffet style so it pays to try out a few things you might not have thought to try before. The food itself isn't necessarily going to be best suited to the uk pallet as the majority of the hotel guests at the moment come from germany and France so is a little bland or toned down in flavour. There is however a daily supply of pizza, pasta and chips at both lunch and dinner so even the kids won't go hungry.

The local alcohol is included in the all-inclusive which includes a large list of cocktails. The alcohol itself wasn't to my taste but I did really enjoy the local beer.

The rooms are imense in size, we had a family room that overlooked the road, getting the best sunshine throughout the day as the back of the hotel become shaded on the balcony by about 1pm.

The maid service is very good, with daily room cleaning and clean towels what more can you ask for?

There was only about 400 guests during our visit with a capacity of approx 1000 so it was pretty quiet and therefore the staff could be more attentive. Sun loungers were easy to come by throughout the day yet for some reason beach towels were always completely gone by 12pm on most days leaving me a little concerned by how easy they will be to get in high season.

Unless you know what you want do not go to market day on the Friday! You will quickly find yourself being parted with your cash for junk you don't want. Be prepared to haggle as there are generally no fixed prices. The tinisians will generally start with a silly high price which you must then go in at the other extreme of very low inorder to meet a good ground level price. In general pay 1/3 of what their starting price is and you know you have a good deal.

At the hotel you will probably meet a man who will want to sell you camel rides and quad biking, he is lovely. We went on a camel ride with the kids at a cost of 35 tnd each and 17.5 tnd for the kids so approx £50 for a half day trip.

In all I loved my holiday and was sad when it was time to leave. Despite the worries about the unrest the country has gone through recently do not be put off from visiting this magical place.

  • Stayed May 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Iberostar Royal El Mansour & Thalasso

Address: Route de la Corniche, Mahdia 5150, Tunisia
Location: Tunisia > Mahdia Governorate > Mahdia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach 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 Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Mahdia
#1 Luxury Hotel in Mahdia
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Mahdia
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Mahdia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Iberostar Royal El Mansour & Thalasso 5*
Number of rooms: 447
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

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