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“Was this a test of my patience?”

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Hotel Vendome El Ksar Resort & Thalasso
Ranked #9 of 35 Hotels in Sousse
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Was this a test of my patience?”
Reviewed March 17, 2013

I read some positive reviews of this hotel in French and English. I think these people have visited either another hotel or never visited more than a 2-star hotel in their lives. When my wife and I stayed in this hotel (March 2013) it was crowded with French, German and Italians in the age category of 60-70+ years old. Which in all fairness is fine, but I could see they were treated by the hotel staff as cattle and was sad to see. The families with small children had a tough time too as the food was simply horrendous.

Let me start off by saying the Neckermann/Thomas Cook brochure looked great and that's why we selected that hotel. What a tourist trap!!!!

Room: The room smelled like a toilet. We believe it had been repainted though the painter must have been on drugs or alcohol as the paint dripped on the floor, doors and light switches - my 13 year old daughter can do a much better job. The airco made strange loud noises every 3 minutes so we had to turn it off during the night. The room was simply filthy and we risked our lives sleeping there. It is dusty, the bath room tiles broken, shower curtain is a great laboratory paradise of bacterias. The small TV was new in 1980 I think, the channels are not fine tuned and so you the TV images are full of static. The towels don't dry you off, the must have been washed with some water repellent soap or something, as they do feel soft by don't absorb water i.e. you stay wet. The toilet, well what to say....you have to use it when you have too but you wouldn't linger to read your paper as it is filthy as the rest.

The Staff: The staff is rude to say the least. Thanks to the great food (more about this later) my wife had gastro problems because of the hotel food and stayed in the room. So I went to the restaurant to get her food on a plate to bring to the room. The staff said that this was not allowed and after talking to the manager and having my voice raised he agreed if I would bring back the empty plate. Sure...not! There are plenty of Tunisian staff who try to get you booked for trips, and try to get you pay up front: The guy with his camel ride, the guy with his pirate boat and the guy with his quad bike ride. They are all quiet pushy but f you're not interested say it straight out - do not let them waste your holiday time with their shatter. They try to speak to you in broken Dutch, German and English which is funny in the beginning but tiresome after a week as they are pushy. There are also the guys on the beach who like to sell you all kinds of junk (made in China) and the hotel staff just let's them be (i guess everyone has to make a living from the stupid tourists they think). We got lured in the Camel ride. We were told it was a big group that we were going with...we ended up being only the two of us. The 3 hour camel ride which was promised was in fact only 20 min. Instead of visiting the berber family which would show us how they make local traditional bread, the wife of the camel guy just brought us the bread. Then there was a 5-min stop by car to see the ostriches. Of course the whole thing is a rip-off. And when you don't want to give these people tips because they don't deserve it then they get very angry.

The hotel services: The Gym/fitness room: I took a photo to show my friends at home as I'm sure no one would believe me. The gym was a large empty room, well almost empty as it had 3 bikes in there and that was it. I can't tell you if the bikes worked because they were so dusty and greasy that i didn't dare to sit on them. To get a hotel beach towel, you have to get up before dawn as the towels are limited and run out immediately. This meant that we had to use the towels from our rooms on the beach and at the pool. It was then a hassle to get fresh room towels as the hotel staff believed we should these towels at least a week or 2. I don't believe it was to care for the environment as you see the filth in the hotel and on the streets romantically blowing in the wind as it was more pure hotel staff laziness.

Food: ah the food. Well the food is not a gastronomical experience - it simply keeps you alive. It is great for people on a diet as the food is either uneatable or you get diarrhea. I lost 2 kg. The food is not warm, every day the same and mostly greasy. If you are a vegetarian you get lots of vegetables, but if you prefer a piece of meat or fish you better off eating outside the hotel. Breakfast, lunch or dinner - all the same food. For children there is no food unless you want to serve them every day pasta or french fries - bring your vitamin tablets. My wife got food poisoning and was stuck in the room for 3 days. Breakfast is again served as lunch, lunch is served again as dinner and dinner is saved for breakfast the next day. How interesting it was to see that the staff is snatching food while passing the buffet and stuffing their mouths full. The orange juice is water with sugar and colorized. The alcohol served in the discotheque is watered down.

Needless to say we complained about the hotel situation but we didn't get any other room as they were fully booked and other rooms were being renovated (which causes a noise from 8 AM in the morning). No money back either. The information on the document we receveid with the check-in read that there are midnight snacks (sandwiches,...) from 00:00-06:00 AM. So at around 1 AM I though let's check these snacks out. No snacks to be found. I asked the hotel staff and they said that the information paper is incorrect. Dinner is from 18:00h to 21:30h according to information paper. One evening we arrive at 20:45h eat dinner and the restaurant is closed already. I ask the hotel staff and again the paper is wrong because they close at 21h and today there were not so many people for dinner (I wonder why??) so they decided to close a bit earlier. We survived on snickers that night.
No Wifi in the rooms.
All in all - you get what you pay for but why they advertise this as a 4-star hotel is a mystery, and why you are treated without respect? If I want to book a 2-star hotel at least I know that it will be very basic and i do not expect much but it is cheap.
However, this hotel is a pure rip off. I will never ever go there again!!!!!!

PS: I know where my money goes to: Most probably to the petrol for the white Bentley V12 tuned up Brabus which is from the owner who parks it authentically in front of the hotel every day.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Arne C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (144)
Date | Rating
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English first
Bristol, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2013

My girlfriend and myself stayed here for one week. We were told before our holiday, from friends, to tip waiters etc, so you receive a better service. We decided to put this to the test.
We tipped the waiter after our first dining experience and waited until morning to see the results. We arrived in the restaurant in the morning and were shown to the same table from the night before (overlooking the pool outside). It was clean, had our usual orange juice and the waiter was pleased to see us. This continued throughout the entire week of our stay, and during the lunch and evening meals, a bottle of wine and two full glasses were ready in wait, just as we liked.
Being a young, outgoing couple (18 and 23), we got on well with the entertainment team, and regularly went to watch the Caberet shows, which had hilarious comedy sketches and dances of different cultures. The entertainment team deserve a lot of credit for what they do, and they made my holiday 10 times better than expected. I definitely gained a few friends from this trip.
If I ever get the chance to visit Tunisia again, I would more than happily return to the El Ksar Hotel. Although we visited in February, which is the quiet season, so it wasn't manic and overcrowded, as I'm sure it is in the peak season. Overall a big thumbs up, and a huge thank you to the entertainment staff....Keep up the good work guys :)

Room Tip: Rooms above the pool and overlooking the beach (we were in room 1231). You get the sun on the balcon...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Sean A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2013

When reading this you may think. Well how bad could it be? Don't take the chance! This is honestly the worst hotel we have ever stayed at! We only lasted 2 days before we moved hotel, really not one to complain but had no other choice, we spent both days in the hotel room in the end eating food we had left over from the plane!
Starting with the food and drink, limited choice - everything looked and tasted the same! Like mush! The one occasion we chose to eat in the restraunt we found hair in the food, flies In the drinks and to top it off got shouted at by the rude staff!
There was no water in the pool, all taped off and Maintence being done - obviously we had gone out of season but still think its unacceptable when you can't even lay round the pool and relax on your holiday.
No one in the hotel spoke English, and if they did were very rude and treated us as if we didn't exist!
Our room was stuck at the far end of the hotel at the bottom of a corridor, in which the lights were broken so was a struggle to even see how to get in the room.
Overall the holiday was terrible! Do not go to this hotel!!! We ended up moving to the maharba palace - much better!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank chloe b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Sousse hotels

Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 30, 2013

This hotel is average, basically you pay for what you get, the rooms are basic but nice. One problem I found was that the Maids were constantly in your room throughout the day maybe upto 3 times a day always at different times of the day. The food was good-ok after 2 weeks of staying at the hotel the food does become a bit boring but nevertheless it is nice food. The beach was very good, the watersports were very affordable and enjoyable. Overall I would reccomend to people on a budget and want a nice holiday.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Litebright2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 20, 2013

My family and I have been to Tunisia 3 times over the last 4 years and this Hotel if you can call it was by far the worst we have stayed in. Understaffed, rooms rubbish, do not get the interconnecting rooms as they overlook the animation evening so be prepared to stay awake until 1.00am almost every single night! do not stay in them if you have young kids they wont sleep! Circular saws going at 8.00 in the morning for hotel repairs - the quiet pool area has a bar area but the steps have no slip warning - beware. Tiny watered down drinks in plastic drinks if you can bear queuing for ages - food its there so long as you can get the basics like...a plate or cutlery. Noticed other reviews have same problems week in week out seems Thomas Cook not interested as they should have done something about it - They have changed the name lets hope they have changed their attitude - we work hard to go on holiday remember that Thomas Cook this place lets you down

Room Tip: higher rooms - none of interconnecting rooms with young kids
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank kIRSTY s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 9, 2013 via mobile

My friend and I stayed at the hotel in march 2012.
It was a nightmare,the first day we got there all our lights in our room blew a fuse.
The second day,was a monday.,that was ok.
We decided that afternoon we would go to port el kantoui. That was fine,and we had a good taxi driver or so we thought called hassan.
He took us to port el kantoui,and into sousse showing us the great mosque.
Afterwards,he decided to take us to some shops,which we believed must have been his friends.
And they all got extremely angry,when didnt buy anything.
The second day was okish. We decided that we would like to see the tombs,and walk around the medina.
Thats when things really spoilt our holiday,whilst walking in the medina just passed the school I got mugged.
They took everything,my bag,camera,camcorder and £300.
I then spent the whole afternoon with my friend at the police station,looking at pictures and going in an armoured car to see if I could see my bag or the mugger.

Once I got back to the hotel,i told the hotel manager what happened,because I had to ring my insurance company.
They said it was a quite common occurance.
My thomas cook rep,said only weeks before someone had been dragged to the floor and was left with cuts and grazes.
I was lucky,but I didnt think so at the time.
I was petrified,so was my friend.

To top it all,we also had heavy rain for the last 4 days we were there with high winds of 100mph or more.

So we couldnt go out.

As for the hotel,it was ok.
I have spent quite a few holidays in tunisia,and this hotel is not 4 star.
Ive stayed in the tej marharba, a few hotels from el ksar.
That was far superia,and if I remember rightly that was 3 star.

The food was the same for the full 7 days,and all the meat had bones in and was tough.

The hotel staff were lovely,i have to admit.
Except for the three people who did trips,
Mr cripps the camel ride organiser was always after the main chance.

I would dearly love to go back to tunisia,but I would be always be watching my back.

  • Stayed March 2012
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank cliffina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hereford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2013

We stayed at this hotel in April and the weather wasn't the best but good to get away from the british weather! The hotel was average and the staff were not very helpful. Everyday the cleaner went into the room and left the patio doors unlocked and open! We reported it to the reception staff everyday and nothing was done! We spent a lot of our time going back to the room to check our belongings were still there! If you travel with Thomas cook do not trust the holiday rep, we had a few complaints and she told us to write everything down and she would pass it to the travel company and when we got home she had not forwarded our complaints! You could never contact or find her when you needed her. We have since complained to Thomas cook about her but there were not Interested. The food was good and they had there own bakery in the restaurant. The rooms were ok but they could of been cleaner. Overall it was a good winter getaway.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank andream284
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Vendome El Ksar Resort & Thalasso

Property: Hotel Vendome El Ksar Resort & Thalasso
Address: Boulevard 14 Janvier | Khezama, Sousse 4051, Tunisia (Formerly Hotel El Ksar)
Location: Tunisia > Sousse Governorate > Sousse
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Spa Hotel in Sousse
#7 Luxury Hotel in Sousse
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Sousse
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Vendome El Ksar Resort & Thalasso 4*
Number of rooms: 451
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Capturing the magic and mystery of the Mediterranean Sea El Ksar Resort & Thalasso is located on a private sandy beach surrounded by generous gardens. The hotel offers plenty of activities such as mini golf, bridge, table tennis, Volleyball, tennis, shooting centre, jungle park, four outdoor pools, one indoor pool and many more. The beautiful yacht port “Port El Kantaoui” is only a few kilometers away.Featuring 552 comfortable and elegant rooms, junior suites and 1 presidential suite, inlcuding family rooms which interconnect. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Karthago El Ksar Sousse
Karthago El Ksar Hotel Sousse

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