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“Brilliant 10 days at Phenicia”
Review of SENTIDO Phenicia

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SENTIDO Phenicia
Ranked #1 of 118 Hotels in Hammamet
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 16, 2012

We stayed at Phenicia from 4th July till the 14th, being greeted in reception by a nice cool flannel, and a very refreshing lemon juice. After being seated in reception for approx 5 mins, it was clear to see how special this hotel would be. The amount of staff running around trying to make everyone happy was unreal, and the constant cleaning taking place was a joy to see too, clearly, the staff were proud to work here. After a brief intro to the hotel by a guy from reception, (ok - the chinese isnt all inclusive, and no the gym isnt free - but this is all explained in the Thomas Cook brochere - if people actually read this before picking the hotel, they wouldnt be able to moan like they have, or they could simply go elsewhere) we were given our room key, a welcome leaflet from our rep, and we headed to our room.

We had a second floor (2039) sea view if you look right on the balcony, but the sun shone through every morning, so we had our curtains closed majority of time we was in our room, to help keep the room cool. The room had what you would expect... a decent sized, comfortable bed, air con, all the usual amenities in the en suite... tv, (definately not enough english channels for a hotel which in my opinion was majority english) and plenty of clothes space. It was perfect for what we needed...somewhere to sleep, and wash, and change...all these people moaning about basic rooms... seriously... did you pay to go to a beautiful country to just stay inside 24/7?? They were cleaned everyday, and bedding was only changed when you left the sign on the bed. Also a fridge, and a digisafe too, that was 3Dinar a day though.

The hotel itself is a family hotel, designed for sport enthuiasts, it also states this in the brochere, so those complaining about the hotel because of the kids running round, or because they were asked if they wanted to partake in sports - WHAT DO YOU EXPECT!!! Football, volleyball, aerobics, darts, peddalo, golf, tennis and archery (and others im sure) were all on offer, i did archery with Alex, (never done it before and within 5 mins, and 4 easy steps i was hitting the target everytime). Its an hour session, twice a day. He was fantastic, and very patient with everyone in the group. Id definately do archery again if i returned, or maybe find somewhere closer to home - so thanks alex :)

The pools are fantastic, one an inside/outside one, with around 50 sunbeds round it, perfect for just relaxing throughout the day, the other has a giant pool bar in the middle, this was child orientated, and the animation team looked after the kids here, as well as doing dance stuff throughout the day too. Id say in the section there was easily 200 sunbeds.

Just past this pool was the beach... Phenicias own beach. 300-400 beds here, if you want the first row, closest to sea, you have to reserve the day before for 5 dinar(£2). This didnt bother us though to be honest. Each pair of sunbeds had a parasol on the beach, so there was plenty of shade if needed. No matter what time we approached the beach or pools, we always found a sunbed for both of us, so this was good. Towels were 20dinar each as a deposit(in case you lost them etc) and could be replaced every tuesday and saturday so they didnt get too smelly (or daily, but you have to pay 1.5 dinar/60p to do that) and upon the return at the end of the holiday you get you deposit back. Pools nice and clean all the time.

Food - pretty simple really. Breakfast(6am-10am) in the brekkie room. Fresh made pancakes and omelettes to your desire. Selection of pastries, cheeses, meats and cereals. Coffee, water and juices on tap too. Lunch (12pm-2pm) in the dining hall or beach restaurant - Buffet style catering offering something for all, plenty of salad, cakes, pastries and fruit too. Pasta made fresh to your order everyday, and something always grilled, be it sausage, fish, etc. At the beach bar there was a fish BBQ daily, a fresh kebab stand, and stonebaked pizzas too. Waiter service for drinks, they look after 10-12 tables each, refilling drinks, clearing plates, and resetting for next table. They are fantastic at everything they do, just give them chance to do it before you moan, as they may already be busy with someone else first. Snacks (3pm-6pm) in the snack room opposite the brekkie room. Cold pizza, pancakes to order, icecream, cake, coffee and juices. Help yourself. Dinner(7pm-9pm) 3 options, Chinese restaurant, not all inclusive, but only £8 for a 5 course meal. La Panache a la carte, available for free for 1 night of your stay, but if you want to go again you have to pay, (relocated to the beach restaurant for outdoor dining under the sunset). Dining hall, same as lunch, but on a bigger scale, pasta and a grilled option, then at the top of the stairs, the chefs special, usually two dishes - a traditional tunisian dish(we sampled brik, stew, cous cous, stone oven baked chicken, allsorts) and then a meat or fish.... We had turkey, beef twice, lamb, fish three times, and chicken twice. Selection of salad, friut and desserts, and everynight a hot dessert too. Waiter service was spot on, ben was our waiter, table 127. We didnt tip him till our last night, but it felt like we tipped him everynight the way he looked after us Thanks Ben :)

Entertainment is important in the hotel and the team didnt fail to deliver, we atteneded Abba, Cats, 2 x comedy nights, a beach party, and kiss kiss. All the team were great, FiFi, nina and chico looked after the kids... and the rest of the team were brill too, id love to name them all but i dont think i can, they were all great though.

Book trips with your rep, your guarenteed to be safe, Yasmine was fantastic to us, we booked three trips, The welcome tour, enables you to go round Hammamet and Yasmine Hammamet with a guide, and you dont get hassled so much as you are in a group. Great opportunity to see the old medina. (35Dinars each/£14). Boat trip... four hours on a pirate boat, entertainment, swimming, fantastic views along the coast, food included, half an hour viewing dolphins, it was brill, take plenty of suncream though, it was 42 degrees when we went (35Dinars each/£14). And a trip to friguia park, a zoo. 2.5 hours round the zoo seeing all kinds of animals etc. Picture opportunities with sealions and dolphins. Followed by a traditional 5 course tunisian meal, zulu music and dancing, and tunisian belly dancing (75Dinars each/£37). All really good trips, and broke the holiday up a bit too. The sahara trips, we met two couples and only heard bad things, they didnt travel with Thomas Cook though.

All in all, the holiday was fantastic for us... Plenty of activities if we fancied it, plenty of relaxation too. Nice and hot, and the hotel exterior views are fantastic. Thanks Phenicia for looking after us, and for drumming the voice of Shakira into my head, as i fall asleep, humming along to ... "this time for africaaa!"

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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14  Thank AntFootitt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sentido, Guest Relations Manager at SENTIDO Phenicia, responded to this reviewResponded July 17, 2012

Dear Guests,

Thank you so much - just come back to have another possibility to sing "this time for africaaa"!
We will be pleased welcoming you again!
Kind regards
Yours
SENTIDO Phenicia Team

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Reviewed July 16, 2012

Absolutally loved it!! At first when we arrived me and my step sister had previously been to a hotel called Abou Sofiane in Sousse and loved it and thought nothing could live up to it, we walked in and we amazed at how big the lobby was and were quite intimidated by the size we imagined the hotel to be. However we were sat down and given a cocktail, our wristbands and then given our key card to go to our rooms, we stayed in room 2044 we were slightly dissapointed as the view wasn't as nice as in the previous hotel but then again not every room can have a nice view, we then realised that our beds were really squeeky and the tv signal was terrible, but who would want to stay in their rooms all the time in a country like that?! We arrived on the sunday and were amazed that their were no animation team there... there was nothing to do during the day and we were quickly bored, but the show on the sunday was the fakir show, me and my step sis were pulled up and after the show got talking to two of the fakir show men called nino and kimo, lovely guys! On the monday we met the animation and instantly loved them all! I ended up falling for one and came home having a new boyfriend :D My sister also got a boyfriend who is a waiter, so ladies... if you talk to a waiter and his name's Omar... he's taken and Fehri / Cuckoo is also taken ;) loved spending the night times with them, dancing and drinking! However was horrified to come home and find out that Bamboocha and Fehri (Cuckoo) had been fired! I'm pleading with Kimo (assistant chief) to give Cuckoo a second chance as Bamboocha has been given one but I am quite annoyed that this has happened for no reason... the Chief (Amine) was lovely throughout our whole stay to us but got angry quite often with the animation team and we even saw him throw a chair at Alex... not impressed... Riu set David's hair on fire... it just seems to be all the older ones picking on the younger animation... Fehri and David are only 17, same age as me and are being singled out by not only the only animators but the chief too... don't get me wrong they're all lovely to the guests but when you spend a lot of time with them its obvious which ones they are more hostile towards! Would definately go back... not sure if its for the hotel or the people though.... its just ridicules how early you must get up to put towels on sun beds... the food is quite nice, I am a fussy eater and ate pasta bolonaise most of the 2 weeks but there is a very wide selection of food and even I managed to try a tunisian dish! Everyone is super nice and we are still talking to them on facebook... if any of you happen to meet the nephew of the owner of the hotel... he is the loveliest lad ever! best english i've ever heard from a 14 year old! Overall great time and Can't wait to go back with my step sister without our parents next year :D

p.s there is sometimes some really loud music at the back of the hotel coming from somewhere unknown which is so loud it actually shook our room... its very difficult to sleep when its on.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank HelenRuth20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sentido, Guest Relations Manager at SENTIDO Phenicia, responded to this reviewResponded July 19, 2012

Dear Guests,
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on tripadvisor. We are pleased to learn that you enjoyed your stay with us.Thank you for your comment particularly regarding the entertainers.
If you would like to have another quieter room just let us know next time, please.
We are looking forward welcoming you again next year!
Kind regards
Yours
SENTIDO Phenicia Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2012

Firstly we stayed at the Phenicia July the 8th for a week as a group of 6. On arrival we entered the reception area which looked clean and contemporary, however did not have the WOW factor ( like the Riu Palace next door). We were given drinks and taken to our rooms, which we were all incredibly dissatisfied with the rooms they are basic as we expected however to look out onto a massive hole in the ground with mud and to have to walk miles down a dark corridor was not ideal. We went to reception to see if the rooms could be changed and we were told to sit down and they could "see what they could do" so we waited.. half an hour later... still nothing so we went back to reception were the "reception manager" had gone without sorting out problem .. someone else then said they would go and check the rooms.. another half an hour and still nothing.. finally we got given two new rooms.. better but still very standard and waited another half an hour for the third. All of which started the holiday very badly and as they say first impressions count.

Some good points...

Food was always great with it being replenished repeatedly and the waiters could not do enough to help and make the stay more comfortable. Mankai in the Loasis bar was SUPER and works incredibly hard (as do all the others). Drinks are ok and the choice of cocktails were brilliant. However it is clear that the hotel are cutting many corners... at breakfast there is no air con even though there are many aircon units installed.The freshly made pancakes to order however are super and a lovely touch.

ANIMATION TEAM "SEXY VOLLYBALL" DE DE made the holiday amazing and he as do all the animation team work incredibly hard and are all super at there jobs. Without DEDE and the animation team i would not have enjoyed the holiday at all.

Beach was also really good, clean and always a bed :)

However some not so good points..

Even though they call it all inclusive.. its not .. beach towels you have to give 20 dinar per towel as a deposit , the safe costs per day, gym another cost, a la carte restaurants, another cost.. £9 per person !! All of these costs add up to the "all inclusive" holiday (unlike other holidays we have been on). ALSO A WORD OF WARNING TAKE AN ALARM CLOCK TO SAVE YOUR BED AT 5AM IN THE MORNING!! You will not get a bed with an parasol unless you get up super early ... your on holiday.. why would you want to ? I feel the hotel should implement a rule that no-one can save beds. Also on the last night the hotel reception asked if we could give up one of our bedrooms because they had over booked the hotel.. cheeky considering we had paid £4000 for 3 rooms for 1 week.

Overall the holiday was enjoyable with volleyball and all what animation team have to offer. The pools and food was lovely .. the hotel is just lacking modern features, staff (major queues at bars) and aircon at breakfast! :)

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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6  Thank Katonedayone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 16, 2012

Dear Guests,

Thank you very much - reading your comment we would like to explain a few points:
the air con in the breakfast room is not working - it would be a waste of energy - there are many
doors where guests are coming and leaving - so the air con working under these conditions would not be very helpfull. Yes, we have been more than fully booked - therefore -we apologize - it needed quite a long time to "find" other rooms (guests are not always leaving on time). It would have been better not to leave you waiting - and luckily at the end it was solved. We apologize again for this first impression. The sunbeds are a never ending story all over the world - as long as the guests behavior didn't change we think we have to carry on.....
"All inclusive" is not the same in all hotels - as well as the rates - it would be helpful to read the brochures before booking to avoid dissappointings afterwards.
Kind regards
Yours
SENTIDO Phenicia Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2012

Just arrived back in England from a fantastic holiday in Hammamet, Tunisia! Before going to the Phenicia I didn't have many expectations so had an open mind as to what I was getting myself into. When we arrived our suitcases were swept out of our hands and taken straight to our rooms in no time which was a relief because when you get to your hotel you just want to be able to get everything sorted so that you can chill out as soon as possible. At first I had thought how the rooms could do with a bit of TLC but realised that I was in Tunisia with the weather at a maximum of 47 degrees celsius and therefore would be spending a minimum amount of time in the hotel room so they didn't bother me. As the week progressed I just fell in love with Tunisia as the staff at the hotel and others were incredibly friendly and welcoming! The bar staff, waiters and people at the reception desk were always smiling and asking how my day was going when they get paid absolute peanuts! So you could tell that their friendly attitude was a genuine one especially as you see them rushed off their feet all day every day.

A massive, massive thank you has to be given for the entertainment/animation team! They were all incredible and brilliant! Fefe, Rio, Nemo, Alex and all the others were all fantastic and I hope to be seeing them all on my return to Hotel Phenicia next year!

Room Tip: Pool view bedrooms have a brilliant view.
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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9  Thank Lucy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 16, 2012

Dear Guests,
Thank you so much for sharing your holiday experience with other tripadvisor members!
We are happy that you enjoyed your stay.
All the staff is looking forward to welcome you again next year.
Best regards
Yours
SENTIDO Phenicia Team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2012

stayed at the phenicia from 17/06/12 to 01/07/12. 2nd visit to this hotel, 1st time it was an iberostar hotel, travelled with thomas cooke, flights were good & on time. on arrival at hotel we were given our room after 2 to 3hrs waiting, worth waiting for room with a sea view, nice & clean. reception staff were helpful throughout our stay. as usual if you want a sunbed you have to get up early to beet the BRITS !!!. dining is an experience never to be forgot & unfortunately it spoilt our hols, the resteraunt for the want of a better name was very noisy, more like a school canteen, our waiter was abid he was a gent, looked after us great, 1st time in dining room you are allocated your table for the duration of your stay, or so you think, after 1st wk we went into the dining room & our table had been given to others, i spoke to the head waiter who was very abrupt & rude, got nowhere so saw duty manager moncef he sorted head waiter out, beware of the rude arrogant head waiter TOMMY!!!!. bar manager fraj was a gentleman, realy on the ball with his saff, our waiter we seemed to get service from most was n.mohamed again a gent, overall staff very helpfull, optional dining was dissapointing, chinese ok but you had to pay for your meal, le panache rest, was never open, if not enough room in dining room in the evening put some people in le panache for there evening meal, adults only & strict dress code ie no shorts at all. will be back to tunisia next year but will try another hotel.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank jim f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 16, 2012

Dear Guests,

Thank you to have taken the time to share your holiday impression with other tripadvisor members, also for mentionning your issues. We apologize if our Headwaiter has been rude -
that's normaly not his manner in his daily work. To organize the Main Restaurant in a better way
we decided to have two sittings: the first one at 7.00pm and the second at 8.30h -so we think the "canteen feeling" has gone in the meantime. The "Panache" is not used as long as we have wonderful summer weather - our guests enjoy the optional dining at night in the barbecue....
We feel sorry if you are not coming back - just give us another try, please.
Best regards
Yours
SENTIDO Phenicia Team

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Reviewed July 14, 2012

Stayed at hotel 24th June for 1 week had great time,family of 5 every one happy.Hotel grounds fantastic,pool was great for all ages.Booked two rooms which had adjoining doors the rooms were a let down although they were clean .Food fantastic loads of choice for every one,only one problem my son of 8 years old started with the runs day before we came home we then took him to doctors when we returned home results came back he had samonella and another bug. Asked if I would go back to this hotel yes I would just unlucky could of happened at blackpool

  • Stayed: June 2012
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5  Thank Ljgsljgs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 16, 2012

Dear Guests,

Thank you very much sharing your holiday impressions with other tripadvisor members.
We are glad you might return one day - it is imprtant to us to let you know something about
our health and safety programme: we had an audit recently to be certified again - that means we do our best to control any risks they may occur and are employing two hygienists. We feel
sorry, if your son had health troubles - it would be interesting to know if you have been somewhere outside of the SENTIDO Phenicia or on excursion?
Hopefully you are all in good health - we will be happy welcoming you again.
Best regards
Yours
SENTIDO Phenicia Team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2012

My wife and I have been back from the Phenica a week now. We stayed there last year for a fortnight on our Honeymoon which was fantastic but marred by Tunisian guests, who were loud, arrogant and downright rude, so it was with some treperdation we returned this year with my wife's sister and our daughter who is on holiday from uni.
And once again the staff pulled out all the stops, it was just like the holidays before (this was our 6th visit).......
Having read the recent reviews, I don't understand why some people expect some kinda Hollywood made holiday! This is Tunisa! Not a very rich country, but the effort that the people go to, to make your holiday as great as possible has got to be acknowledged.
The rooms.... yes, they could do with a lick of paint.. but your not in it all day!
The dark corridors.. yes they're dark... its to keep them cool!
The bar staff.. work so damned hard for peanuts, and have to smile to people that give them grief!
The front desk, yes there are occasional hiccups, but if your polite, they sort your problems without drama, we`ve always found them very helpful, and they do have a good sense of humour.
The animation team.. enthusiastic, helpful, hard working, never ask for anything except maybe to buy a raffle ticket, how dare they!! (Just a polite no thanks and a bit of banter job done) furthermore, we have never seen or heard of any of them being "over friendly" or too "touchy feely" could you do their job six days a week for £7 a day?.
The food.. never had an issue with it, that's the way they cook, no problem. No sausage!?' No bacon!?.... er? Hello? Its pork, they are Muslim!
If you want English food, if you want English speaking people go to Skegness, or bloody Benidorm!
The only truly huge problem now is that wonderful Tom Cook has changed the flight times out of the Uk for next year to stupid o'clock in the morning! This will affect the Phenicia badly.
And now I can only count down the days to the 16th Sept (this year) so we can enjoy another
visit to this wonderful hotel and its staff..
Regards
Dave and Julie

Room Tip: Upper levels, sea view.
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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7  Thank DJReyn0lds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 16, 2012

Dear Guests,

Thank you for haven taken the time to write your comment on tripadvisor.
We will be happy welcoming you again this year - in September - very soon.
Feel at home here!
Best regards
Yours
SENTIDO Phenicia Team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about SENTIDO Phenicia

Address: Avenue Moncef Bey, Hammamet 8050, Tunisia
Location: Tunisia > Nabeul Governorate > Hammamet
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 Luxury Hotel in Hammamet
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Hammamet
#1 Spa Hotel in Hammamet
#2 Family Hotel in Hammamet
#4 Business Hotel in Hammamet
#6 Romantic Hotel in Hammamet
Price Range: $60 - $355 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — SENTIDO Phenicia 4*
Number of rooms: 391
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Beautifully situated on the East coast of Tunisia, SENTIDO Phenicia spreads between a fine sandy beach and a garden of 11 hectares where mix generously Palm and Olive trees. For your comfort, the rooms of the hotel all endowed with balconies or terraces offer you fantastic views between the gulf and mountains of Hammamet, swimming pools, or gardens. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sentido Phenicia Hotel Hammamet
Iberostar Hotel Hammamet
Iberostar Hotel Phenicia
Iberostar Phenicia Tunisia
Iberostar Phenicia Hammamet

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