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Hotel Palace Royal Garden
Ranked #6 of 104 Hotels in Djerba Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 4, 2012

Stayed here recently after reading reviews of this hotel.
First impressions were of a well kept and spacious building. We arrived mid morning so had time to orientate ourselves.
The hotel mostly caters for elderly French and German clientele, so a basic knowledge of either of these languages is a must. English is not widely spoken here.
Room spacious and functional. A rather curious outlook from the balcony included some rough ground and a terracotta urn balanced on top of a pile of bare earth. The room itself was spacious and functional, as said before by others, toilet and bidet separate from the bathroom and washbasin, so weird. We had a few problems with the old shower but this was resolved fairly quickly. Bathrobes were provided in the rooms, but some people were wearing them to the beach; this isnt really allowed.
No teamaking facilities in the room, but the mini fridge is stocked daily with large bottles of still and sparkling water. In room programmable safe also.
Flat screen room TV has two English channels Russiatv (mainly business) and CNN (lightwieght news)
Ladies; I strongly suggest you take your own hairdryers, as the one in the bathroom is a throwback from the 70s. Just a hoover type hose with what looked like an upholstery attachment!! This had one speed; 2nd gear! and one heat setting: thermonuclear!!! I had to wrap a towel around my hand in order to actually hold the attachment so I didnt burn my hand.
The "Wellness" centre (payable) was tried by OH, he was disappointed as his "full body massage" consisted of a rubdown of his legs "70% of the time, whilst the girl chatted to her friend in the next room".
Food is buffet style; you can eat outside at the pool area lunchtime as well, but nicer in the restaurant due to the air conditioning and no flies!!!
You have to book your table at the beginning of your hols for evening meals. There are 2 sittings, 7pm and 9pm. The table and time are yours for the duration.
The pool bar serves drinks from 10.30am, help yourselves to soft drinks and wine from the dispensers, there were always loads of bees over the dispensers, but these were easily "shooed" away. it was funny to see them falling into your (plastic) glasses when you filled up! But if you dont like insects, I suggest you get someone else to get your drinks. The wine from the dispensers is b****y awful, but in the restaurant and bar, it's served from bottles, so is drinkable. The "Celtia" beer is OK, but again, nicer from the bottles.
The large swimming pool is naturally heated, I did notice that it needs some repair, as some of the glass tiles were loose and missing both in the pool and surrounding surfaces. A pity that the hose used to clean the pool was left in the water all the time, as this looked unsightly. These glass tiles also became extremely hot in the sun, so I strongly advise you wear your flip flops and leave them at the waters edge! A couple of days we had peace and quiet, but mostly music played around the pool area which varied from good to bad!
We tried the Tunisian restaurant a couple of times; you have to book at 5.30pm the night before, but this is part of the all-inc package. The food and service is very good. The fish restaurant (down at the beach bar) the same arrangement, with a set choice between fish or beef:and although we turned up at 7pm, it became busier, so we ended up having to wait around 30 mins between the three courses; by 9pm we were fed up of waiting for the coffee, so left to have it back in the hotel.The food was Ok only there.
The entertainment is low key; animation team try sometimes, but the evening shows not starting until 10pm (advertised on boards): we didnt fancy any of these, and watching the kiddies club wasnt our thing (unless you have kids yourselves). The UEFA cup was more inviting ( Arabic commentators are sooooo enthusiastic!!!!), and we took our drinks back to the room to enjoy the matches.
The beach has thatched parasols and loungers, the beach bar only has soft drinks served in those small plastic beakers.
With camels, horses and sellers back and forth all day, the beach is not the cleanest. The sea is clear but not clean. lots of debris and sea grass, so no sitting in the shallows...
So the poolside became the choice of many. There were plenty of loungers and parasols to go around, towels and possessions that were used to "reserve" loungers were removed after 2 hours, which ensured beds for all.
If you're prudish, be aware you will see some european elderly women letting 'em all hang out ( and down); being a muslim country I dont think it's respectful, but nothing's said.
The only thing that really spoiled our stay was that in the piano bar in the evening; some elderly French duffer saw it as his duty to accompany the pianist with his awful warbling for every song; he even brought in a songbook one time!!!!
We finally had enough when we heard the "birdie song" being played and he and his wife danced for "our entertainment" Thank goodness there was an outside bar too.
I have exhausted my repetoire now, so will stop. I'll be happy to answer any further queries if I can, just contact me via Tripadvisor.
Apart from them, a nice holiday, a nice hotel and good food. Would I go back? I'm not sure......but I may if the price was right and that French couple aren't there!!!

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank JustMeSouthWales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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39 - 45 of 913 reviews

Reviewed June 22, 2012

as you would expect from a riu and this our third the room was very clean and spacious although the bed was a bit hard,the food selection was excellent,the pool area was very clean and if you leave your sun bed for more than two hours your belongings are removed and taken to reception which i think is great it stops the people who the towels out early in the morning and don't turn up till after lunch all in all a very good week .A WORD OF WARNING IF FLY WITH THOMSON AIRWAYS EAT IN D'JERBA AIRPORT YOU'LL GET NEXT TO NOTHING ON THE RETURN FLIGHT YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank malcolm c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 25, 2012

Recently returned from a week in the Palace Gardens and thought the hotel was great (when I eventually got to see it) which is where the warning of the title comes in. As I got off the plane and arrived in Djerba I collapsed and had to be rushed to hospital. Now the Tunisian medical system means they are very thorough and I had a lot of tests that seemed unnecessary, and the lack of staff that understood English did not help. The main problem was to do with insurance. I had a policy with AXA and the 1st clinic I was in refused to recognise them as a known company -- mainly by the horrible clinic owner with the Napoleon complex, I was then moved to a 2nd where the clinic and insurance company were locked in a battle where the clinic would not let me go as AXA couldn't guarantee payment as the clinic weren't providing the info they needed. Despite several phone calls backwards and forwards I felt like I was a hostage and the only way I could get out was to pay upfront in cash. Once I eventually got to the hotel over 36 hours after arriving we discovered that this has happened several times before. Obviously you cannot predict illness but just make sure you have insurance as you can at least claim money back and the clinics WILL do every test they can think of.
This is where the hotel comes in. The reception staff and the First Choice reps (Sandra, Jill and Sally from HQ) could not have done any more to try and help - making phonecalls, trying to translate, arranging taxis etc... If they are reading this then please accept my thanks.
The hotel was very clean (they even washed the plants in the foyer) did not see one speck of dust.
The rooms were quite large, although having the toilet and sink in seperate rooms seems a little
un-hygenic to me. The bath water takes forever to go down when you lift the plug up so found I had to remove the plug completely (makes sense when you get there). Personally found the beds far too hard and barely slept.
Food was lovely. Always plenty to fill up on. Breakfast was a little dissapointing for me, omelettes were pre-cooked so you couldn't pick what you wanted in it, no waffles/thick pancakes. We always had lunch at the pool bar and there was always pizza/chips if you don't fancy trying the more Tunisian fare. Crepes available from 3.30. At night you get assigned a table for the duration of your say and you normally have the same waiter which makes tipping easier and you will find by the 2nd day they will know what drinks you want. A very wide rnge of food, always a joint of meat freshly carved (usually quite rare), fresh pasta, and loads of other stuff Desserts were delicious and there was always ice-cream to have as well as fresh cooked crepes. Make sure you try the strawberries - so sweet and delicious. My sister is extremely fussy and she always had a full plate. We tried the Italian, you have to pre-order either chicken or fish for main (which is served in quite small portions) starters and dessert are buffet style. Glad we tried it but probably wouldn't go to the Italian again. Apparently the Tunisian was great.
Didn't sunbathe on the beach as the sea looked a little murky and there was about 2 metres of seaweed to wade through, but the pool is huge and normally quite cold which is ideal when you need to cool down. The pool guys will remove towels if the loungers are left unattended for too long which some people were not too happy about (especially the German couple behind us who "reserved" their loungers 2 days in a row first thing in the morning and never came to them until around 4 and then discovered on day 3 that they had been taken by someone else). There are plenty to go round though so there isn't really a need to, there is also 1 umbrella to about every 3 loungers too.
I was very disappointed with the Animation team, they didn't really seem to even try to motivate people to join activities and the moment they realised we were English, they just walked off mid conversation and ignored us for the rest of the week. The rest of the staff were all really friendly , just expect to be addressed in French first, then German. Trying to learn a little French will go a long way and they do appreciate it.
The only trip we booked with First Choice was the Quad bike trip. Roughly about £18 each, you can pick between 4 different times on any day and you get picked up from just outside the hotel, taken about 10 mins up the road, get helmetted up and off you go. Loads of fun, especially when you get to the sand dunes. Just make sure you have a bandana or scarf to tie around your mouth unless you enjoy the taste of sand!
All in all a great hotel, and would go back again.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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5  Thank SteveH77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 25, 2012

This was our second visit to the Riu Palace Royal Garden.

The hotel is kept spotless. Large, comfortable rooms (if slightly dated) with efficient air con. The huge swimming pool is well maintained and set in beautifully kept grounds. Two sittings at dinner (6.30 pm and 8.30 pm) and you are allocated the same table each evening (breakfast and lunch is free seating). The food in the restaurant is excellent, with a huge choice. The all inclusive wines are very acceptable. You can also take lunch at the pool restaurant and again, there is plenty of choice.

There are daytime activities organised by the energetic animation team, but you are not pressurised to take part! Cannot comment on the evening entertainment because we chose not to watch any. There are four tennis courts (red clay) which we used every evening before dinner and never had a problem getting a court.

What makes this hotel outstanding is its staff, who are friendly and efficient, and cannot do enough for you. The manager makes the effort to meet with his guests, and can be seen almost every evening during the dinner service.

We would highly recommend this hotel and will definitely return.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank MartSurrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 17, 2012

Just returned from a weeks stay in the Palace Garden and loved it. Spotlessly clean, big rooms, comfortable beds, delicious food. Beaches in Djerba not too good as the only areas cleaned are the hotel front, they could be gorgeous if the local council cleaned up the washed up rubbish, but the sea was beautiful and crystal clear. The hotel has a huge pool and beautiful gardens, staff friendly, we would go back to this hotel.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank macmoore007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2012

This is an all-inclusive resort. It is in a beautiful setting with pools and right on the beach. The food is very good. The one thing I would fix is the internet policy: it's rather expensive and difficult to get. This is something common to all Riu resorts, so I don't expect that to change soon. In general, it is highly recommended.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank L M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2011

This was first time we booked via tour operator Jetair in Belgium. Hotel 5* All inclusive. From the moment we arrived around 10 am, we had a welcome drink while check in was done by hotel staff.
We stayed for 1 week, and I can say that it was for me the Hotel n°1 for service and friendly and helpful staff.
All in means ALL IN, all drinks, alcohol or coffee,tea, water, (local) liquars, cocktails, soft drinks, without any limitation in restaurant, pool bar/resto, other bars, typical restaurant, thea house.
The only money we spent were tips we gave sometimes to the waiters (they didn't ask for it) but they made me feel really VIP, as well to the other guests.
Some guest we talked to, came again after several stays there over the years.
We stayed in December (low season) and we will certainly go back.
For departures for excursion or leaving before thhe usual breakfast time (7 am) was small buffet breakfast ready as from 4 am.
The rate we paid (Jetair) was VERY reasonable.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank globalphoto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Palace Royal Garden

Address: Zone Touristique Sidi Akkour P.B.83, Djerba Island 04116, Tunisia (Formerly Hotel Riu Palace Royal Garden)
Location: Tunisia > Medenine Governorate > Djerba Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge 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) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Djerba Island
#6 Spa Hotel in Djerba Island
#6 Luxury Hotel in Djerba Island
Price Range: $90 - $239 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Palace Royal Garden 5*
Number of rooms: 288
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Located on the island of Djerba * 3-storey building, oriental style architecture * Surrounded by 20,000 m2 of garden * Opposite the "Djerba" 27-hole golf course * 200 m from the beach * Complimentary sun loungers and parasols on the beach * 6 km from downtown Midoun * 18 km from downtown Houmt Souk * 6 km from various shops * 25 km from the Djerba airport ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Riu Palace Royal Garden

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