We stayed at the Iberostar Chich Khan from the 3rd Feb - 10th Feb 2013 on an all inclusive basis. Unfortunately, the weather was rather chilly and because it was the low season the hotel wasn't quite up to the standards I'm sure it is in Summer. Don't get me wrong, the hotel was lovely, aesthetically pleasing and always very clean in the reception area and our room. This was our first time in Tunisia and we won't come back again in Winter. I don't recommend the beach at this time of year, the sea stank, full of seaweed and the hotel beach isn't very well maintained.
The outside pool was full of leaves and who knows what else so we did mention it to our rep when we arrived and that was drained a day or two later. It wasn't refilled during our stay so was unable to take advantage of it. The indoor swimming pool was warm, not very deep and had nice seating areas in the inside of the pool. Then again there was also ants all along the sides of these seating areas and we found a bone floating in the pool as well, so ups and downs. We mentioned these issues to the reception, who didn't understand our English at first and thught we needed towels, so later on we told our rep and they had began sorting it out that day as we did see some powder down and a few dead ants but there was still a pretty big issue on the day before we left.
Our room was nice, spacious and had a little balcony. Everything was clean, one of the plug sockets were cracked and coming away from the wall but this wasn't too much of an issue for us as it was still working fine. The bathroom was clean, quite large and had the most amazing deep bath which me and my fiance appreciated, being quite tall. The towels were a little small, but I have abnormally large hips so this wasn't a shock to me. All the floors were tiled and became quite slippery when wet, so caution is needed if still dripping when you come out of the bath/shower.
We really liked that there was two spaces for suitcases and ample enough room for unpacking all our clothes, even though we decided against unpacking as we'd heard too many horror stories about things going missing so just lived out suitcases and remembered to lock them up everytime we went out of the room. In the cupboards there was a wonderful little sewing kit which was very handle as we did end up needing it during our time there. We had a family staying in the room next to us which were very noisy early hours of the morning, waking us up 2 nights in a row with shouting but thankfully they must have gone home after that, or we would have tried to change room. The room could have benefitted from a safe but there were boxes you could hire at reception for a few dinar a day to keep thing secure. Our things were fine all locked up in the suitcase so we saved ourselves a bit there. We did worry about people jumping over our balcony though as they were low walls with our neighbours and had to be sure the doors for that were locked too.
All the staff on reception were nice and helpful, even if occasionally there was a communication barrier. The bar staff were good, at the end more than the start being aware when we'd finished our drinks and bringing us over new ones. We then decided to start tipping them and they continued then with the good service. We tried all the alcoholic cocktails and they were all rather nice. The spirits and wine weren't of a high standard but they do have the good stuff available to buy if you're particularly fussy. If you're into hot beverages, you must have the hot chocolate, it was delicious, even without cream and marshmallows. I half expected the soft drinks to be all Tunisian brands but they did have Coca Cola and international brands.
I'm not a big breakfast person but there wasn't a lot of choice really, especially as my fiance is a 'full english' kind of guy so we went to the Steakhouse down the road one day, which is an English bar/restaurant and served us what we craved. That and we actually got a lie in, as breakfast finishes at 10am and we're usually only getting up by then. I wouldn't recommend trying the baked beans, they are more haricot beans with a tomato puree-paste. Lunch and Dinner were full of variety and you have the chance to go on two of their themed nights. We went to the Mexican and found the food and service lacking. The lasagne was really nice in the restaurant, chips were always available and they made pizza and pasta fresh in front of you.
Be aware of Thursday nights where the animation team and other staff mob you when they see you fill out the review sheets. The people on the table next to us told them their honest opinion and were surrounded by 4 staff members almost immediately, asking them why they felt that way, if they could change their mind and so on until they altered their answers on the card. We got told several staff members names and pleaded with that we put their names down on the sheet. I don't know what they get out of it but it must be good. We decided it wasn't worth the hassle so gave positive feedback with a few home truths in the suggestion parts and decided to do a more full review on here.
We didn't have a lot to do with the animation team except for the first few nights where we did a quiz, which was okay, and the other night was watching the kids dance around until half 9 when we decided to go and watch a DVD in bed. We didn't realise until the day before our last that we could get bottles of water free from the bar, big 2L ones. Mimi was nice and some of the other boys from the entertainment side of it. We did play the mini-golf one day and found that in a state of acute disrepair, the holes were filled with mucky water and we were asked to give a 20 dinar deposit on old clubs. At least I won!
All the bar staff, even though occasionally grumpy looking, were good and joked around a bit. I wanted to mention Anter, sorry if I spelt that wrong, our waiter for the majority of the time there, even through his lack of working English he still managed to make us smile and laugh. The service was slow the first few days but soon picked up once the review sheets came out and management were sniffing around.
The other thing we were rather amused by was the amount of cats around the place. They seemed well-looked after, we named the ginger one that liked to stare at us from the dining room balcony Alfredo. After the riots and our excursions being cancelled I spent a day in the spa and wasn't very impressed with the experience, there were language barriers so there were a few misunderstandings, I was in the spa for 2 hours and 40 minutes, going through the sauna and other treatments, I wasn't offered anything, a drink, a toilet break... just led from one room to another. So when I was done I rushed out of there and went straight to the bar to have a drink.
The Hubbly Bubbly bar was an experience but don't be fooled by people saying that there's no harm in it, I certainly had cravings for it after the first try, so do your research before you go and decide. The man in there was very friendly though and offered us mint tea on the house, which was delicious.
Anthony, our Thomas Cook rep, was fantastic and we were really happy with all the advice and information that he offered us. Thank you everyone at Chich Khan for our holiday, it was nice to get away from the UK and we didn't have a bad time, even though we got hassled and nearly scammed outside the hotel on several occasions. It was a good first holiday alone together and is a bit of a culture shock when you first get there. They are lovely people when you get to know them, just have a laugh, a joke and get on with it. I would advise that you have anti-bac hand gel on you at all times, there is a lot of rubbish lying around the streets. Hope if you have booked this hotel that you have a lovely time!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Approx 200 m from the hotel's own beach sector. In the centre of Yasmine, Hammamet (Tunisia). Built in Moorish style. Family–friendly complex. Elegant atmosphere. Lively entertainment program. Facilities for incentive-groups. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Chich Khan Hotel Hammamet
- Iberostar Hotel Hammamet