I booked a week in a one bedroom apartment at Les Maisons de la Mer for myself and my husband for September 2012. I had read mixed reviews on TripAdvisor , but the bad reviews all seemed to be 2009 and earlier, reviews seemed more positive after 2009. I wasn’t expecting luxury, we knew that it was fairly basic, budget accommodation, but we didn’t want to be on a large all inclusive hotel complex, especially as these seemed to have had bad reviews recently. What I didn’t expect was just how bad the apartment was that we were put in.
We arrived in the early hours of the morning after a badly organised shuttle transfer with Amit Transfer Services, which took longer than the flight from Newcastle! The apartment number 639 was terrible. We have stayed in a lot of budget accommodation in the likes of Gambia and India and have never asked to be moved before. This was the worst accommodation I have ever been to. We’re not fussy people but the bathroom in the apartment was especially bad. The toilet was disgusting, the rings on the shower curtain were all rusted, there was mold and rust around the bath and sink, the plughole in the bath was dirty and rusty. In fact the whole apartment looked like it had been abandoned. The porter who took us to the room opened the patio doors to show us the balcony and the handle fell off and we then couldn’t close the doors at all, they stood ajar all night. The kitchen needed a complete overhaul.
We went straight back to reception and complained. We were told they were fully booked and could not move us that night, but to come back in the morning and ask again, so we had no option but to sleep there that night. We didn’t unpack!
The next morning I took photographs around the apartment and we took our cases to reception to complain. The man at reception wasn’t convinced at first, even when I said that the balcony doors didn’t close – he just said that, as we were on the first floor, security wouldn’t be a problem. But he couldn’t really argue with me when I showed him the pictures I’d taken of the bathroom, especially the one of the toilet. He said he didn’t have any other rooms straight away but we could leave our cases and come back later. We said we would wait in reception. I think this did the trick as he got on the phone and within the hour told us he’d found us a different apartment, but in the ‘new block’ which also had air conditioning, but was a smaller studio apartment.
Les Maisons de la Mer is the complex near the beach and mariner, Les Maisons de la Jardins are the apartments around the fountains and the fun fair across the road from the mariner. We were taken across to an apartment in the ‘de la Jardins’ area.
This second apartment number 1070, was more in keeping with what I’d expected, still basic accommodation, but a big improvement on the first apartment, plus it had air con which the first didn’t have. We would have had to hire a fan if we hadn’t had the air con as it was really hot at the time of our holiday.
My only reservation with the second apartment was that we overlooked the funfair, but I thought that this would most likely close around 11pm, so we wouldn’t be too affected by this. How wrong I was! We decided to stick with this apartment as we weren’t too sure what the alternative would be.
Friday through to Sunday they had extra entertainment at a stage area on the funfair for the Tunisians and Libyans that were holidaying in Port el Kantaoui. They must have been able to hear the female host down at the beach, it was so loud and went on until 1am in the morning. Luckily the other nights during the week we just had noise of the funfair, which was still quite loud but not as bad. Our balcony overlooked the bumper cars.
The pool at the back of our apartment was overgrown and abandoned, there was a pool across at the Maisons de la Mer complex which looked very nice but, as it was full of kids, we spent most days on the beach.
On our last day, we weren’t flying home until very late at night and had to check out of our room at 11am. We asked if there were any facilities we could use to take a shower before going to the airport. We were given the keys to another apartment that was still on the ‘de la Jardins’ part of the complex but overlooked the fountains. It was a one bedroom family apartment with a bathroom and extra toilet, plus 2 single beds in the living area. This was again an improvement on the second apartment that we stayed in but the air conditioning didn’t work. Also I noticed that there was only air con in the living area of the apartment and not in the separate bedroom.
The general location of the Maisons de la Mer and Maisons de la Jardins was really good, central to everything, but I would not recommend these apartments as it’s a lottery what standard of room you get and whether it will be in a quiet part of the complex or a very noisy location. Looking around the area you can tell from the outside of the apartment blocks that some have been recently refurbished and others are in dire need of attention. I would not stay here again!
- Also Known As:
- Les Maisons De La Mer Hotel Port El Kantaoui