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“Best Holiday Ever”
Review of Hotel Manar

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Hotel Manar
Ranked #2 of 118 Hotels in Hammamet
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 10, 2011

This was a brilliant holiday, didn't want to come home.
Food - Excellant, something for everyone, couldn't of had a better choice, and I'm fussy.
Room - Excellant, very large and spotless and very quiet never heard anything, not even the neighbours.
Pools/Slides - Excellent, very clean and there was always someone around checking on cleanliness, couldn't gets my daughter or husband off them(as for them being cold, rubbish, what do people want, it was 28 - 30degrees, heated pools?, it was lovely for a cool off ).
Beach - Excellant, very quiet and not one bit of rubbish in sight ?? Not sure which beach the complainers went to?
Entertainment - Excellant, the team did an excellant job all day and night, escpecially Smithy, where does he get his energy from.
Kids Club - My daughter went to most of them (Superstars) and couldn't wait until the next one, and if she enjoys them they must be good, she loved all the staff, couldn't of been friendlier.
The only thing I agree with in other comments is that there isn't much round and about, but taxis are not expensive and we did go to Hammamet Yasmine to the Carthageland and Aqualand, however word of warning, check Aqualand is open, its wasn't when we went, but we did have a good day in Carthageland, it was very quiet so no queuing at all ( this is like a mini theme park, its has fairground rides, log flume, bumper cars etc). A good day out and not expensive.
Will certainly be booking again.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled with family
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10  Thank DUGDALE99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 7, 2011

Holiday village really do take care of every whim, we experienced a little rain whilst away and instead of calling everything off they set into action films, indoor games and quizzes. Plus the hotel put on a pianist, afternoon tea it was lovely. Overall fantastic holiday, staff are lovely rooms are modern, spacious
and clean all with cracking views.
The beach is stunning and clean. Every part of your holiday has been considered carefully and it shows.... Fab fab fab the whole family loved it! 

  • Stayed: April 2011
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6  Thank Ehuggy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2011

Rooms good size cleaned most days
all staff were very friendly and polite kids club brill pools and slides great fun beach was ideal food was out of this world a bit of same o same o at breakfast time snack bar was a good stop gap filler entertainment team tireless and keep you all active and amused . The only gripe I had was the lack of bars at night only two all Inc bars open lobby was the best of the two the other was a tempory bar at the indoor entertaient area the out door ampetheatre was not open and in need of an upgrade but over all a brilliant holiday

  • Stayed: May 2011
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4  Thank Leannemark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2011

By far the worst 5 star holiday i have been on . Rooms were ok but its a old hotel with a fresh lick of paint which doesn’t hide the problems . Like cockroaches that i was told by the rep to expect in my 5 star accommodation , Sewage smells that was so bad the hotel had to move us to another room . When i asked about the problem i was told it was naughty children that had taken the sewage downpipe vent cap off . Why they was allowed to get there may have a legal argument .. Food was ok but such a miss match, never knowing how to make a meal out of what’s on offer . It is also very heavily salted , and lots wasted its the only place i have seen peppers raw onions presented for breakfast , not that i seen anyone touch them ....
The grounds of the hotel are nice and they have enough pools for everyone although if you have very young children then you may have problems as you cant sit close enough to those pools to watch your children .. i would also point out that the pool water is not well treated and there are unpleasant things lurking in them . i had to young children who got ill and the hotel nurse pointed out to me it was the water that made them sick . so use the beach if you want to play safe ..

Kids club is useful but they are only 1 ½ hour sessions and time you sign them in and get back to whatever you are doing you only have about a hour left .. also they get booked up quick and you will be turned away ..
Entertainment was very good they have got that bit spot on always something to do around the pools , however when the rain came they was a little slow organising indoor games , but they got there in the end ..
I would recommend that if you are thinking of going here with young children them maybe best looking to go elsewhere .
If you decide to go on the camel rides then do not be taken in by the pictures they show you , that’s not where you will be going , you have been warned . And you will feel you money has been wasted .
I will never go back here and recommend you look elsewhere for your holiday ..

Room Tip: Do not go on the ground floor it isnt very nice .
  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled with family
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4  Thank Brian190727
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2011

We have just returned from our holiday at the Holiday Village Manar in the early hours of this morning.... (29 May 2011) I will start with the excellent aspects first (& I will go onto say that there are not many bad bits, but more of annoying problems that if were sorted would make this one of the best holidays we as a family have had).

This is our third holdiay village now & from an entertaininment perspective it is by far the best !!! Sean (aka Smithy) & the entertainment team are a wonderful bunch of people, they get every one in the holiday village going, without being pushy & annoying. Their day time sessions are second to none & I invite anyone to break the 1pm Pool Party of 128 bodies in the pool at any one time..... The night time entertainment is a RIOT somthing for everyone even my husband was doing the eye five live dance by the end of the fortinght... go Jester Nige. WELL DONE SMITHY (THE LEGEND THAT THIS) & TEAM YOU ARE AN ABSOLUTE CREDIT TO FIRST CHOICE.

The hotel is spotless and the cleaners work like demons to make sure that all areas are clean and presentable for everyone, in fact some of the cleaners border on OCD I think LOL.

The Resteraurant.. there is somthing for everyone.... no fry up unfortunatly but you do have to remember you are not in Britain. The puddings are yummy and the snack bar cooks everyting well and has an excellent choice..far better that another holiday village we have been to for variety The chefs who cook the food try to make sure that if there is somthing for everyone and if you want plain pasta they will do there best to cook it for you fresh (etc).

We had the large 2 bedded family room and this was huge!!!! only a couple of problems ie my sons could'nt use the second bathroom for a bath, as the plug hole did not work, & the furniture in the rooms is a bit dated (but thats just my opionion) The room was kept spotlessly clean (thanks to Fathia) and she did her upmost to ensure things were to the way we liked them. The Cleaners even try to have a daily conversation with you even though there English is poor (& I'm afraid to say our French is diabolical).

The First Choice Kids Clubs (Mega Stars & Escape staff) are second to none!! our ten year old went to nearly every session 3 times a day for 14 days, and the twelve year old who was adament was not going to any of the clubs even ended up going & enjoying them!! Both myself & my husband were wavering about doing another Holiday Village next year because of the cost, however we have decided on the kids experience that we shall be returning. The clubs activities are geared exactly to the childs age group and the guys that run them are wonderful with them. I must mention Josh Evans, Josh (aka Elvis), Marc, Allan & Tom they are absoulte Legends with the kids and deserve a medal (infact several medals) YOU ARE AN ABSOLUTE CREDIT TO FIRST CHOICE.

Now the only things that let the experience down are:

Air Conditioning - on the tickets received from First Choice it clearly states the room comes with air conditioning... dont belive it.... it is swithched on precisily on 1st June..... regardless of how hot it is. The last few days we were there it was in the upper 30's & when asked about this it was a case of a shrug of the shoulders. The hotel manager (apparently as we were led to beleive refused to relent) the hotel management needs to understand even the mid 20's is hot to us Brits and it should be on from the start of the season. It took my husband a whole week (of moaning & going to the reps, which we did not want to do) to get me a fan sorted, purley due to REPS not following up what they had requested with reception - not good enough, the fan was for me and was for a good reason.

Water - If First Choice management read this please pay attention - can you answer me why is it at the other 2 Holiday Villages we have been to do you get bottled H2O daily, yet at Manar y ou have 2 bottles free and then have to pay for the rest (except by the glass) this is not 5 star and is not good enough!!! All Inclusive shoud be just that & please remember water is a basic human right.......

Bars - Again I do not expect to go to 5 star hotel to be told I can only get spirits at one of them.... again not good enough, we know this is not procedure in other Holliday Villages.

I dont know if these problems are down to the Hotel Management or First Choice Management ,but if your selling 5 star accomodation the problems need to get sorted NOW, as you are letting the resort down including the hard working staff from both from the Hotel and First Choice with these stupid annoying problems - Come on Guys get them sorted NOW........

However now the rant is over all in all a WONDERFUL HOLIDAY and will we go back, yes we will at some point. WELL DONE to all those mentioned keep up the good work and a special THANK YOU to all those not mentioned you do an excellent job and just because your not mentioned does not mean that we dont appreciate you all.

Room Tip: Large Family Room - huge
  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled with family
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5  Thank marieb33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2011

For British package tourists (and most of the reviewers of this hotel seem to be British), this is a good hotel. The above average, rather bland food at the hotel will likely be palatable to most people used to a U.K. diet and the service, setting and amenities seem in the above average to good category. There are some "a la carte" restaurants which are still included in the overall price, but they have a set menu and the food can be of a higher quality than that available in the main dining area. These restaurants require advance "reservations" and may be intended to try to appease the guests who are more discerning regarding their cuisine. The wine served in the restaurants is higher quality (relatively) Tunisian wine and the "all-you-can-drink" bar has some basic alcoholic offerings; more complicated drink orders - like a "daiquiri" - must be purchased at a separate cash bar for an extra cost (this is if you can't explain to the free bar bartenders how to make what it is you want or their manager catches them making something off the free menu). This is not a luxury hotel but it is a high mid-range all-inclusive hotel. The guests on British package tours seem interested in finding the cheapest, most comfortable high middle-end beach experience available (the fact that it is located in Tunisia is just by coincidence). This hotel fits that niche perfectly (think of the luxury cruise spaceship in WALL-E, but on the beach). One negative point regarding the hotel, is that visitors to the children's club are first asked whether they "are from the U.K.?" If the answer is, "no," then the offending children are sent to the "International Children's Club." The difference is that the U.K.-only children's club is frequented by smiling, singing children led by British staff dressed as Spiderman, etc., with lots of activities throughout the hotel, while the "International Club" has few if any visitors and is run by a brave Tunisian staffer working one room with greatly diminished program, increased eligibility requirements, etc. This seemed very elitist and probably of questionable legality in Tunisia; I had to give the hotel a "three" in service because of this policy, although it was clear that the policy bothered the Tunisian staff as much as it did us. If having your children attend a children's club that is only available to British citizens appeals to you, this is the hotel for you.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank Robert_Louis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2011

I think your experience of the Holiday Village will very much be dependent on your expectations and experience of previous AI holidays. This was my 11th AI holiday and our 4th as a family. If you are expecting 5 star luxury along the lines of Sun and Moon Palace, or the Bahia Principe etc you will be disappointed. The hotel is very much more akin to the Fiesta Palm Beach, Ibiza.

Dont get me wrong there is nothing wrong with the hotel, but if you book it believing it to be 5 star, and having been to good 4 and 5 star AI's you are likely to be disapponted. Specifics:-

Location. The Hotel is 45 mins from the Enfidha airport, located on the beach. There is very little around the hotel, Hammamet is ten mins by taxi, Jasmin Hammamet twenty mins by taxi. There are a few touristy shops around the hotel and a market comes to the hotel once a week (beware the prices are significantly in excess of outside the hotel even after haggling). The beach is stunning, with a shallow walk into the sea. It is let down a little by litter, there are quite a few floating carrier bags and bits of rubbish but the sea is blue and clear and we had no concerns about the quality of the water.

Rooms. We had a Kids Den room. On the plus side this was clean, freshly decorated, and had a stunning view of the beach and sea. On the down side, the kids den is not a seperate room as indicated in the brochure, so those of you expecting some adult privacy will be disappointed. It is simply a partioned area with no door. You do not get a balcony with the kids den, this was not an issue for us and we were aware of that fact when we booked, there is a clothes line above the bath to dry things, or you can hang towels out of the window. The air conditioning had not yet been turned on, and there is no independent control in the room when it is. We weer told it would be turned on from the first of June.

Food and Drink. The food was standard buffet fare with themed nights in the main restaraunt, French, Italian, Tex-mex, Tunisian etc. Pasta and chips were always available for those that wanted them and there was always a Roasted Meat or fresh fish. Our opinion though was that the food suffered by being catered to the lowest common denominator. In trying to be appealing to everyone, they didnt offend anyopne but didnt thrill anyone either. There are a la carte restaraunts, but we werent offered them and ddint try them, There is a snack bar during the day that does burgers, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and the best pizza in the world, and the beach bar serves cheese or ham sandwiches for a couple of hours. In a addition the lobby serves tea and cakes at tea time. The cakes all look wonderful, but by and large are utterly tasteless.
All bars serve soft drinks and beer, white wine, red wine, and rose. However ONLY the lobby bar serves spirits. Something i have never encountered before at any AI. The quality of the spirits is exceptionally poor, my patner found the white rum and gin undrinkable. I dont expect brand names, even from a "5 star" establishment, but i do expect good qulaity and it wasnt there.

Entertainment. The childrens entertainment team were excellent, and our 6 year old was already missing "Smithy" on the coach home. Sean, Richie, Linda et al put a huge amount of effort and energy into their work and it pays off. The kids (10 and 6) loved them, and happy kids mean happy hols. Each evening their is an I5Live show, its the equivalent of a saturday morning kids show, with games, songs and the obligatory holiday dances, all carried out with an infectious enthusiasm i have rarely seen. This is a huge plus for the hotel. For the adults there are later shows, both by the entertainments team, and professionals flown in form the UK.

Pools. None are heated, and all were very cold during our visit but will no doubt heat up as the season progressses. The main pool is VERY noisy during the day as it is the base for the activities and Ents team ( you can hear the call of " Entertainments Team Assemble" throughout the complex").

Staff. I have to say that the staff at the hotel were wonderful, they were without exception pleasant, helpful, and went out of their way to assist, and were fabulous ambassadors for the Tunisian people. A special mention to our towel guy Mourad, who was part of the family by the end of the trip.

Sorry if I've been long winded but i wanted to be fair. The Holiday Village is a good hotel, but lets itself down by billing itself as something its not. I'm certain that if it was brochured as a three star there would hardly be a complaint to be had. We had a good time but wont be returning.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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4  Thank carlsreed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Manar

Address: Route Touristique Mrezga, Hammamet 8050, Tunisia
Location: Tunisia > Nabeul Governorate > Hammamet
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Hammamet
#2 Luxury Hotel in Hammamet
#4 Family Hotel in Hammamet
#14 Romantic Hotel in Hammamet
Price Range: $121 - $473 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Hotel Manar 4.5*
Number of rooms: 333
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Also Known As:
Holiday Village Manar Hotel Hammamet
Magic Life Manar Imperial Hammamet
Magic Life Manar Imperial Hotel

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