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“Decent value but definitely not a five-star experience”

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El Mouradi Palm Marina
Ranked #5 of 33 Hotels in Port El Kantaoui
Reviewed April 11, 2010

If you only measure this resort against your expectations, you are likely to be disappointed. Other than the spectacular fitness room, I can conceive of no grounds whatsoever for giving this place a five-star rating. On the other hand, if you step back and look at the value that you are actually getting for your money, it isn't bad at all. The service is decent, one disagreeable receptionist notwithstanding; the food is reasonable, if lacking in a bit of spice; and the pool area is huge and very well-maintained. What really did disappoint was the complete absence of a fresh fruit bonanza in the morning, which we assumed would be standard at a five-star establishment, as well as the archaic decor in the rooms. (We can't be the only visitors to be mystified by the "cross-sectioned table lamps stuck on the wall" motif.) As for the location, we didn't use the beach much during our stay, but that was because it just wasn't hot enough, which is hardly the hotel's fault. I imagine that the setting would be fantastic during peak season. In sum, if you are after unadulterated modern luxury, this probably isn't the place for you. But if you're looking for a nice, relaxing break at a reasonable price, and you can put up with a few imperfections, this could be an option worth looking at.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank fflwsh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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717 - 723 of 1,441 reviews

Reviewed April 11, 2010

Having read the various reports on this hotel and having just returned from a week here i wanted to share my experience with others.
Granted it is not a 5 star hotel by European standards and if you have ever stayed 5 Star in the Caribbean then prepare yourself to be a little disappointed. HOWEVER there are a lot of plus points and i total disagree with some of the negative reviews written by others.

The buffet was varied, good food but lacking in the salad and fruit department. If you enjoy carbs and are prepared to try new dishes you will be fine.
The waiters in the restaurant were very attentive and on our visit they produced a birthday cake to our complete surprise for my friends birthday which was very sweet.

The hotel is advertised as having 4 restaurant but this wasn't the case. Although they have different cuisines on different nights when we arrived and tried to book we were limited to one restaurant per week which was disappointing.

The indoor and outdoor pool were lovely and the gym is very well equipped particularly if you enjoy lifting weights. The beach is right on your doorstep if you prefer the sand to the pool.

There are 24 hour snacks available so you will never go hungry, the house wine was fine, the cocktails a little interesting, i had never had a mojito served with mint cordial before but as you soon discover this place has lots of quirks.

The entertainment staff were brilliant at getting people involved but equally werent too pushy if you cant be bothered to move from your sun lounger.

The onsite disco/nightclub can not be heard from any of the rooms as it is below ground which is great and is worth a visit if you like cheesy British music combined with euro hits!

The reception staff struggled with English and were probably the weakest staff here but we got there in the end! I was asked if i was British or English... Still not sure how you answer that one!!!

The massage and spa is well worth a visit and a definite plus point of this place. Very relaxing on a cloudy day and reasonably priced too.

The rooms are a little dated and in need of a lick of paint but on the whole very clean, spacious, ours had a separate toilet and bathroom, balcony with table and chairs, tv and the towels were changed daily.

Overall this place isn't 5 star but for what we paid is great value for money and did the job for a week.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled with friends
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Thank Kate098
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 13, 2010

had a family holiday in march 2010 eight of us including 2 teens,bottom half of hotel 5 star but a bit of a drop upstairs,needs a bit of tlc..however not to detract away from the fact we had a great time ,animation team tried their best to entertain you every night.
piano bar was nice for a quiet drink (tip the waiter early on and you will get a good beer all week long).food was excellent and varied for everyone,you could actually eat 24 hrs.a day if so inclined.would advise all inclusive or drinks could be a bit dear,about £3.80 a pint.you can walk out of the hotel gardens staight on to the beach.we had the bedrooms cleaned with fresh towels and sheets every day.take advantage of the all inclusive extras,sauna massage etc all in all was a superb week good weather also.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank davyboyCas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2010

We have just returned from a week in Tunisia. This is never a 4 star by any standard. The place was dreary and depressing. When we turned up it was dark inside and felt oppressive. The room we were allocated was dreadful so I went to reception and paid £65 to upgrade. It was marginally better but still looked as though the whole place had been built in the 70's and hadn't had any money spent on it since. The carpet was threadbear, tiles in the room were all chipped and the sofa was stained. Outside all the paint was flaking off. The food for the first night was fine. The next day I spoke to the Thomas Cook rep (Jo Kent) who was FANTASTIC. When she saw how upset I was she immediately sorted everything out for us and said she couldn't have us upset on holiday. Within half an hour she moved us to the Riu Belle Vue park next door but one. What a difference. Light,bright, fresh and happy staff! Started off as a terrible holiday and ended up great thanks to the REP. By the way weather was great.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Penyglyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2010

Do not be put off by negative reviews, these must be put on by people who are expecting 5 star treatment, even at low prices. However, if you want 5 star treatment and you can afford it, you should pay 5 star prices! We paid £440 each with Travel Republic for our flight and accommodation, which was all inclusive over New Years Eve and for that price, we were well pleased. For a holiday over New Years Eve, this price is reasonable by anyone’s standards. If you were looking at the Canary Islands over the same timeframe, it was nearly twice as much! We werent sure what to expect having heard mixed reviews about Tunisia as a whole, but it was lovely and would definitely return to the country and if so, to this hotel.

My husband and 3 year old son went from 27/2/09 to 3/1/10 and were pleased with everything, tanning weather for 4 days out of 7 and other days were about 70’F and nice for walking about. I would recommend Hannibal Park, an amusement park next to the Marina to entertain your children. Even older kids can enjoy one of the crazy (upside down) rides.

Meals – Food is served throughout the day, so if you miss one meal sitting at the main restaurant, you could eat at the coffee bar or the bar downstairs. The pool bar was closed over New Year, as it was classed as low season, but there was waiter service around the pool during pool opening hours – 8am to 6pm I think. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is buffet style in the main restaurant and there is plenty of choice to suit everyone. I must add I am a fussy eater and there was always something for me, plus if you are vegetarian, if you are nice to your dedicated waiter in the main restaurant, they will arrange to cook whatever you want to your liking. Plus, you are entitled to one free trip to the A la carte restaurant which accepts advance bookings only, but is well worth it.

New Years Eve Gala Dinner – 9 course gala dinner, which was really nice and made you feel like you were attending a special event. All of the time, you are entertained by belly dancers, a parade of drummers and a band who played throughout the night. At midnight, they did the usual countdown with balloons being dropped from the ceiling and masquerade ball type masks, which the little ones enjoyed.

Drinks - Wine/beer/cocktails/liqueurs were all available and all the bars and restaurants had waiter/table service. I would recommend the Grand Bleu Bar, which has a chic feel to it, with tiffany lamps everywhere and if you are a non smoker or have children like us, it is a non smoking bar. Plus, in your room, you get free 2L of mineral water and soft drinks in your minibar fridge everyday, which is a bonus.

Rooms - Very clean with maid service every day, who change towels and sheets every day. There is a small TV (portable size) and free safe deposit box in room. The room two large wardrobes, a toilet and separate bathroom (with hairdryer) with plenty of hot water.


Staff – The staff were lovely and most of them have good memories for the drinks you order regularly and take the time to have them ready for you when they see you walking in. We tipped them on our last day to say thank you.

Spa - The spa area is the 5 star treatment part of the holiday, with one free massage and manicure/pedicure, with as many sauna/steam room sessions as you can muster as part of the all inclusive package. You get the tickets from the PR rep in the reception area. I had two massages from Amena (the free one and another I paid for because it was so good). She is a lovely young woman, who is a trained Physiotherapist and you leave her salon feeling like you have been to the Chiropractor, totally refreshed!!

Indoor Pool and Jacuzzi – if the weather isn’t so good for one of the days you are there, you can lounge around in the indoor heated pool which has its own Jacuzzi built into it. Its very nice indeed and you get waiter service in here too for tea, coffee or alcoholic drinks.

Entertainment – its OK, probably the only part of my review that isn’t exactly positive, but not really negative either, as would hate to offend the lovely staff. A few nights was really good with shows more geared towards adults, like shows demonstrating powers of endurance to pain and belly dancers. The mini club for kids consisted of them running about the stage and did serve to tire them out, so you were guaranteed a good night’s sleep, so not all bad!!

Location – Right on the beach, with their own private beach with free sunbeds and sumptuous mats. Its about a half hour walk to main centre of Port El Kantaoui and its Marina or five minutes in a taxi at a cost of about 5 dinars. The staff at these shops and shops at centres on the way to the marina do their best to haggle for a sale, but do accept a polite “no” if you do not want anything. There is a golf club and golfing community scene nearby and if this is your 'thing', this would be an ideal location for you.

Tours - Cannot comment on the tours, because we didn’t do any of them, but heard that the capital, Tunis was worth visiting and you could get there on the train from the train station next to the Marina a lot cheaper than the tour operators at the hotel were offering.

Shops – the Hawaii Shopping Centre nearby is good for souvenirs, as is the Miami Shopping Centre on the main street. If you go into Sousse, there is the Soula Centre (Dept Store of 4 floors) and the local market, which has a variety of souvenirs and most things you wish to buy on holiday. You have to be tenacious with your haggling skills here and if you are, you will get what you want.

Value - This place is excellent value for money. It is probably more 4* than 5*, apart from the spa which was more 5* and in my opinion, give better service at their salons than the Clarins Spas I am used to at John Lewis and Fenwick.

All round – nice staff, good variety of food and drinks available, excellent spa but above all, excellent value for money!! Why not give it a whirl?

Stayed: January 2010, traveled with family
7  Thank WeloveSiamese
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2010

Great value in June, friendly attentive staff, good facilities all clean and working. Would recommend as a 4*. Could use a lick of paint and entertainment not all that but for a week around the pool and on the beach it's ideal. Popular with Europeans.

Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
Thank CLG1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2010

I was worried about going to this hotel after reading the reviews here but the food was excellent, lots of choices, service great and so friendly, nothing was a problem. Being all inclusive I was also entitled to a free massage, manicure and pedicure. Indoor pool was lovely and warm. Would reccommend this hotel to anyone and although some refurbishing wouldn't go amiss it does not detract from your comfort.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank keljad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Mouradi Palm Marina

Address: Zone Touristique El Kantaoui, Port El Kantaoui 4089, Tunisia
Location: Tunisia > Sousse Governorate > Port El Kantaoui
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Luxury Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#5 Spa Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#8 Romantic Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#9 Family Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
Price Range: $71 - $420 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — El Mouradi Palm Marina 5*
Number of rooms: 386
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Built in Hispano-Moorish style close to the marina at Port el Kantaoui, dotted with gardens leading to a beach of fine sand, the El Mouradi Palm Marina is the ideal hotel for a relaxing holiday. For golfers, the 36-hole El Kantaoui golf course is two kilometres away. The hotel is 10 kilometres from the town of Sousse, 35 kilometres from Monastir's Habib Bourguiba airport, 40 kms from Enfidha airport, 70 kilometres from Yasmine Hammamet and 135 kilometres from the capital Tunis. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Mouradi Palm Marina Hotel Port El Kantaoui
Palm Marina

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