The Mehari is an impressive looking hotel when you arrive and the staff are very welcoming. We had a room overlooking the car park but the view of the mountains and nearby medina was pleasant, particularly at night. If you want a quiet break then go during Ramadan as towards the end of our holiday when Ramadan finished, the hotel rapidly filled with Tunisians and Russians, who were less than polite. The staff were very friendly, particularly the animation team, who despite their amateurish shows, were good fun and always smiling. The facilities at the poolside need an overhaul as the pool table didn't work properly and there was only one rather shabby ping-pong table that finally broke towards the end of our stay.
Our sons enjoyed the volley-ball and the ping-pong tournaments and had a go at most of the activities which were always promoted well by the animation team to the point of crawling under your sunbed to avoid them at times, although they were always good humoured if you refused. Abdullah, our pool waiter, was a lovely guy and always tried to look after us, even when he was run off his feet. It is best to tip the waiters and sunbed guys if you want to be looked after as they will guard your spot for you when others try to invade it like some of the guests who seemed happy to throw towels on the floor and take over your sunbeds when you dared to leave for lunch or activities.
The reason I wouldn't go back is the country itself. We did not feel particularly safe outside the hotel as the minute we set foot outside, we were hassled by shopkeepers and touts claiming to be chefs from your hotel. The touts can be very intimidating and aggressive making your time outside the hotel uncomfortable. We tried to visit the Medina but only made it to the third shop due to the aggressive selling tactics and constant insistence that you buy everything in their shop even if you don't want it. If only they had left us to look we would probably have bought more. The designer fakes are better in some shops than others so don't buy the first thing you see. Personally, I would stick to the fixed price shops unless your up for a fight.
We tried the watersports twice and went parachuting and went on a big mable, which was like a sofa bed that you had to hang onto for dear life, although it was great fun. Be careful when you pay for the parachuting as when you get to the parachutes you are pressured into paying more for an instructor to take you and photographs are taken that you are then pressured into buying. Make sure you get a copy of the photographs put on your memory card as the discs they give you don't always work and don't pay anymore than 25 dinars for 30 photographs or you're being ripped off.
The food was generally good although be careful what you eat, particularly the meat and fish as it can be undercooked and all of us suffered with dicky tummys throughout our stay. Whether this was due to the food or ice in drinks, I'm not sure, but it was very unpleasant at times.
The beach also needs attention as the rubbish in the water and certain parts of the beach was considerable so we spent most of our time at the pool.
We only went on one excursion which was a Zulu trip and I was dismayed to see enormous amounts of rubbish everywhere once away from the resort. I wouldn't necessarily recommend this trip as the the promised 5 course meal was not good and there was not much of it, although the zulu show was very good and when you could spot the animals in the zoo there were some lovely big cats to see. The camel ride is fun too; however, it is very hot though so make sure you have plenty of liquids with you.
Overall, it was good holiday and a very different experience and if you like Butlins in the sun, you will enjoy it, but if you looking for nightlife and varied entertainment this is not the place for you.
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