We had an initial nightmare of an introduction to Mahdia and the Nour Palace. We picked the holiday due to short flight time to Tunis and it was out first holiday with our 2 year old boy. The transfer was 3 hours out! The way back was 4.5hours with five hotel pick ups! Therefore we paid for a 7 day hol but got a 5 day one! We arrived early hours of morning in the end and given the most awful room, road facing, very basic, clean, but not maintained well with light fixings missing etc. To top it off, no cot for our baby and initially they expected us to put him on the pull out sofa! We asked specifically for a ground floor room and were put upstairs with a balcony that our little boy could definitely climb over. The next morning we arrived to a cattle market of a breakfast, there was nothing we could eat, and after having read the reviews of people getting stomach bugs etc I panicked, particularly for our little boy. I went to reception, I was sobbing, I was desperate to go home..... I was taken in by a lady called Manelle. She went through everything with me, explained there was a doctors convention hence why it was so manic in there, and after that day it would be quieter. I told her about my fear of the food after reviews, she told me that we could order anything we wanted to be made fresh and brought to our rooms if we wished, and she moved us to a lovely large ground floor room, with up to date furnishings and clean (room 1016). Everyday we were brought fresh breakfast to our room, the waiters remembered our order. Every day I saw Manelle checking the food hall before opening for guests. All the staff were wearing gloves when cooking, and food was being made fresh at every station. Beach was being maintained ever day desite being early season and not many people being there. Soft drinks were branded, alcohol not great, waiters always rembembered your drinks order at meal times. Food displayed with care and attention. Bottled water provided at all times. The only criticism was we were given little info on the workings of the hotel so found things out along the way, it would have been good to have been given a synopsis of hotel on first day. Towels had seen better days. But having stopped at so many hotels on way back to airport, I popped into each and realised that Nour Palace was by far the Tunisian interpretation of 5 star. Despite other hotels looking nice at reception, toilets were broken, decor was worn etc. Resort is very quiet so dont expect a party, busy holiday, nights are quiet. Best to go between Apr and June, not sure how they would cope high season, plus lots of Russians there that time of year. Sadly the ridiculous transfer time will out people off, although it does keep the riff raff away on a positive note!