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“best holiday ever”

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TUI MAGIC LIFE Penelope Beach
Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Houmt Souk
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 7, 2011

i'd been reading all the reviews from this website and they are all so true, this hotel is amazing. all the staff are so nice and friendly, always smile and say hello, a lot of them also recognize you y name if you get talking to them!
The food was brilliant, different every night & we where there for 14 nights, not complaints at all, all of the meat was cooked to perfection, better than most English restaurants! All the bar staff are frriendly and the wunderbar is open 24 hours! The shows where amazing and couldnt think of a better entertainment team!
Wes the thompson guide s probably the best guide we've ever experienced, so helpful and his swapbox is great! One person was ill in our party, think it was a small 24 hour bug, but didnt affect our holiday much.
The holiday was brlliant, especialloy how the staff are so welcoming and ven wave you off with white hankerchefs at the end, a lovely touch. :) TH only downside was the sea, it was qute dkrty and full of seaweed! But the beach s so lovely, we easil.y ut up with that, and when we went on the boat excursion to flago island the sea there made up for that!
This has ot be probably the best holiday we haave ever been on, and it will be hard to beat! thankyou!!

Room Tip: all rooms are excellnt
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  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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2  Thank emilaaaay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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391 - 397 of 944 reviews

Reviewed August 5, 2011

Any one who gives this resort any negatives is some who who would moan if they lost a penny and found a tenner.
There is nothing but good, no good is not enough there is nothing but perfect about the resort from check in to departure nothing is to much trouble not happy ask its sorted instantly.
The food just ask my expanded waistline!!
Entertainment faultless,you know what rather than me repeat what others have said all ill say is do your self a favour and BOOK IT,

I over indulged (greedy pig) and had an upset stomache for a couple of days even with that it was still the best holiday i have ever had thats how good it is.

Room Tip: Dont bother with a bungalow upgrade apart from an extra toilet they are same as normal bungalow
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  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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6  Thank karlallen21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2011

Just came back from a 2 week stay here. Having 2 kids with us, we were worried about the political situation - which simply was not an issue.
Hotel is genuinely lovely. Very clean everywhere, even poolside toilets. Had issues with interconnecting rooms on the first day, but they were sorted the next day and hotel were sorry for making the mistake. This was handled very well.
The welcome was excellent. Big smiles all round. Upbeat 'Magic Life' music, a cocktail and all the staff telling us to relax and chill out and enjoy ourselves for our stay.
We stayed in the main building.
Rooms - mostly great. Having the interconnecting rooms is an eye opener. Two rooms. supposedly identical. Only a few feet apart. Air conditioning in one was silent and efficient, the other was much louder and didn't work very well. Similar story with the showers and the fridge (fridge was great idea and initially stocked with some free soft drinks). Only telling you this as if you have issues with your room, you might not fair much better if you ask to move across the complex as rooms only a few feet apart can be fairly different even if the layout is the same.
Food-Main hall-This is a big place and took us by surprise. Lots and lots of choice. Quality was better than any other package holiday I've been on. In addition the themes change every day - so while you'll always be able to get hold of similar food each day (4-5 types of pasta, 3-4 types of potato, bread, soup etc) you'll also get to varied meats and dishes -mostly cooked in front of you. They also decorate the hall each day and go to a lot of effort in doing this.
Food-Other-The options of table service restaurants were excellent. Tunisian and Thai serve you ALL the starters with a varied menu for mains. Mediterranean is more standard in the approach. Food at all was fantastic and service great. I would point out at this stage that kids might not like the choices on offer, but this is not an issue as if they are still hungry the main hall is normally still open. These restaurants are free and can be booked the day before.
Activities-This is where they excel. They pride themselves on having somewhere in the region of 150+ activities per day. Didn't take part in many ourselves, but the effort and dedication from the staff was incredible. They will try and get you involved-but they will also take no for an answer, just tell them you want to relax and they'll leave you to it. Kids club was fantastic.
Pools-Great. If you're sitting by the main pool you are likely to get splashed and it's fairly noisy. But it wasn't an issue for us, but might be for some. Temperature in pools was perfect. Good range of depths of pools that should cater for most.
Aqua park-was fantastic for kids. Slides and sprays keeping them entertained. Floors can be slippery but staff try really hard to stop this from happening.
Sun beds-they say that they can't be reserved, but everyone is doing it. So you either join in or risk not getting one with access to shade. You'll always find spares, but maybe not in the shade, which could be an issue for you if you have kids or fair skin-sun is extreme.
Language and other guests-hotel is mostly British, German and French-almost everyone on good behaviour. Staff generally talk a few words of each language. Entertainment staff always take great care to ensure that English is catered for and work really hard at this.
However.....It has been mentioned by others on here and certainly experienced by any people staying at the same time as that the bar staff really let the hotel down. Despite the fact that we were always smiling at them, being polite, always saying thank you- they often ignored you, or once they heard you were English they stopped smiling (if they greeted you with one to begin with), then proceed to almost chuck the drinks at you. Felt like we were being treated as second-class in this respect. If was often not a nice experience and sometimes even totally rude. We weren't alone. And we weren't the only ones that felt so strongly that we mentioned it to Guest Services.
Please don't let the above put you off. The staff on the whole are very good, with fantastic service. Shame that one of the most frequently used and public facing areas let the rest of the team down.
Drinks choice-was very good. Beers, wines and spirits all free (it appears from some other guests we were talking to on the way home that this is not the case in every All Inclusive in Djerba). Cocktails were limited and simplistic - but they were free and designed with speed of service in mind.
Flights and airport-You get twilight check-in at Gatwick, which is great if you are able to make use of it. Djerba was a surprisingly nice airport. We booked Taxi's and I have to say that although th trip is fairly short it was a very small price to pay and we were glad we did. Flights were excellent and staff were very friendly (although being told on the way home that they didn't have soap in the toilets and couldn't get hold of any-all while they were trying to sell food-is a bit worrying).
Overall a great holiday. Would go back again.
Suspect that they'll sort the service issues out at the bars and it will then really deserve 5 stars.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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3  Thank FamilyG2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2011

Me, my wife and our 2 children enjoyed too much the journey in this hotel (food, animation, service, activities). We went last year, we were back this year and we will be still back next year.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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2  Thank MagicBijou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2011

We have recently returned from a week, it was really good
1. food .... excellent
2. activities ... brilliant especially the archery which my husband found great with a visit from a champion archer doing lessons
3. rooms .... lovely, so very clean
4. Staff .... really friendly and helpful

excellent value for money
only down side was having to fly from Gatwick and live up north..

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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6  Thank jlo93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2011

We stayed here from 7th - 21st july in a room that sleeps 3. Well what can we say about the hotel, location, facilities, staff apart from brilliant !
Hotel was spotless, staff were so friendly and helpful, food was excellent, rooms clean and contemporary.
We did para-sailing that was great and cheap ( £30 for two ) went to local town of Midoun several times to do the usual local shopping experience and a good haggle ( taxi fare each way was only about £1.50 each way about 2 dinos must admit always gave 4 still so cheap )
The holiday rep Wesley was great always tried to make an already great holiday even better if he could and had local knowledge which was priceless.
On day of departure he made sure everybody was checked in and safely on there way without any problems ( and i do mean everybody i must admit we have never had that before from a holiday rep ) Thanks Wesley for making our departure holiday just that little bit better. We would go back tomorrow if we could it was total value for money for us.
Have looked for next year and prices have gone up i think we were very lucky to go for the price we did.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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3  Thank sdr_designs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2011

My Family and I have just returned back from a 2 week break at the Penelope Beach with Thomson Holidays. Having read many of the reviews we were expecting a very high standard on all services. I have to say that in general they did live up to the high standards we were hoping for. However there was a few issues that we were disappointed in to say the least.
At check in we were directed to one of the reception staff; expecting to have one of their staff speak fluent English being this was our first contact with one of their members of staff. We thought this would be easy to settle in being that we had been on the go for 15 hours plus and was getting tired now. All I can say that I understood of this member of staff was “hello” and the rest we could not understand a word he was saying to us. As you could imagine we were too tired to ask for someone else so we just smiled and let him carry on.
When we got to the rooms we were allocated rooms in the main part of the hotel. Well the room was very dated and many chips on the tiled flooring and bits of rust around the part of the bath. The room was clean but we were expecting something a little better/up to date than this. We did complain and was going to be moved but they could not do this till the next day. With this in mind we decided it was too much hassle to un-pack and then pack again so we stayed where we were. The only other issue we had with the room was that we found the towels in the bathroom were also needed replacing. They were supposed to be white. The towels must have been washed hundreds of times as they were now a dirty white colour. They were clean but just were not happy using a dirty colour towel for bathing. We also found the room to be small. We had trouble with the wardrobe area which was very small. If you are bringing things to hang up then forget it we had to leave some of our things in the case, there was not much room. We spoke to a few other guests and they also commented on the wardrobe space. They really could extend this to add another part to it, especially in the larger family rooms.

As with many of the reviews they mention the entertainment team, who are all young fit and have lots of energy. They all work very hard day and night. The shows that they put on at night were very good and would rate up there with top theatre shows well done to all of them. The dancers from Brazil were my favourite they are very good. Great. My own personal preference would have liked to see a couple of travelling acts like many other hotels have. Not much happened on the entertainment’s team day off, which was a Monday. All we had was a bloke singing on the keyboard, nice Barry White songs though, who was there most days anyway. Shame they could not have used this day to bring in a travelling show. We really enjoyed the beach and pool party nights. They were fab; great time, BBQ, dancing and on the pool night bring your swim wear as they all jump into the pool. Bit cold for me to go in at night time but fun to watch.

The main restaurant was very nice. They had a wide range of different foods and different thyme nights every night. Did not try other restaurants, if however you like your chips at night. I would suggest that you fill up at lunch as they did not come out at night. However we did fill out a questionnaire few days before we left the hotel while using the restaurant and made comment about chips. The following few days they started to come out at night. It remains to be seen if this carries on. The breakfast is a normal continental one, no full English I’m afraid even though they do have pork at night you would not find a pork sausage or bacon in the morning, strange.

The hotel staff were very nice, worked hard and always said hello. My only issue was I am afraid to say was understanding English. We found it hard at bars when ordering drinks. The aqua pool bar staff was the worst. I think this should have been looked at especially as now one of the main tour operators from the UK is using this hotel.
Our personal thanks go out to Jennifer who was a member of the Mungo club for young children. Jennifer made our son very welcome and he enjoyed visiting this club. Thanks Jennifer our son still speaks about you if you read this.

Even though I have mentioned a few issues about the hotel/services it was nice and we would rate it around the 4 star mark that it has. As for the people going with Thomson our rep "Wes" was a nice bloke and we thought he was very helpful and approachable. However as Wes gets mentioned all the time on here, and so he should we would also like to say a BIG thank you to the other rep Andrew who took us back to the airport. Andrew sorted out our seats on the plane home so that we could sit together, Thanks once again for that.

Be prepared you must spend any money you change up as you are not allowed to take their currency out of their country. You have to change it back or buy something. When changing it back you do lose a lot of money so spend it. Also just to advise watch what you buy as animal ornaments are not allowed to go out of the country.
Overall we had a relaxing holiday and weather was great every day well into the 30’s.

Tips:
If you have money change up, and cannot find anything to buy, I would look to pre book your seats home as our plane was all booked with pre booked seats.

If you can, upgrade to one of the bungalows. I am not sure how much these are, but have been told by other people that it’s a lot better and possible better than the out dated main hotel part.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank symbio55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about TUI MAGIC LIFE Penelope Beach

Address: Zone Touristique B.P. 257, Houmt Souk, Djerba Island 4180, Tunisia (Formerly Club Magic Life Penelope Beach Imperial)
Location: Tunisia > Medenine Governorate > Djerba Island > Houmt Souk
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 Family Hotel in Houmt Souk
#2 Spa Hotel in Houmt Souk
#2 Luxury Hotel in Houmt Souk
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Houmt Souk
Price Range: $77 - $977 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — TUI MAGIC LIFE Penelope Beach 4*
Number of rooms: 289
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Also Known As:
Club Magic Life Penelope Beach Imperial Hotel Houmt Souk
Magic Life Hotel Djerba
TUI MAGIC LIFE Penelope Beach Djerba Island, Tunisia

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