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Reviewed April 18, 2012

My family and I went to this hotel twice and enjoyed both stays plenty enough... but I wouldn't return. thats just a personal opinion because we have been twice I want to explore other options. The location is good and you can walk along the beach about Fifteen minutes to reach the Port... At the port you do get hassled as in any of these Tunisian resorts but a firm ( and I mean firm) No does the job. The food at the hotel was better than other food I have had at all inclusive in Tunisia. The beach was nice enough. All in all not a bad family holiday both times

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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5  Thank kitten1117
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2012

Spent two weeks in this hotel from the 1/4/12. The hotel is advertised as an AI 4 star? It definitely is NOT, I would put it at a 2 star working up to a 3 star. The whole place is very very tired and drab. Although the reception area initially looked nice, on closer inspection I discovered much of the furniture was in poor condition, rattan chairs with arms missing stained cushions and many of the tables were scratched and very few of them were actually stable, The glass windows were filthy, you could hardly see through them(they did attempt to clean them and made a great job of spreading the dirt and streaks around even more). The glass topped tables had chips in them and although they were frequently wiped over they were dirty on the underside of the glass. The male toilets in reception obviously had a drainage problem as they constantly smelt awful and cleaning staff were forever trying to mask it by spraying air freshener in there. Many of the male guests stopped using them and used the dissabled toilet instead. I had asked for a room with either a pool view or a sea view, I got a room overlooking a disused courtyard complete with building rubble, rusty iron structures and a large amount of rubbish. To get to my room I had to walk down a long dismal corridor in semi darkness as half the bulbs were missing (or maybe it was done on purpose to hide the dirty well worn carpets). All the fire doors were propped open with large metal ashtrays because they were either hanging off or made a terrible racket when they swung to and fro. On entering my room, which took quite some time due to a dodgy door lock I discovered the room contained no fridge? As I read through the very tatty information pack I discovered that I could have a fridge- if I paid extra, I could also have use of a safe-if I paid extra and it was the same for the tv remote and for a card that allowed me to have a pool towel. There were only two usable socketsin the room, one for the tv and one in the bathroom also two of the lights had bulbs missing, Again from the tatty information pack I discovered that I was allowed one 2ltr bottle of water per day per ROOM and there was nowhere to top your bottle up (although you could get extra bottles of water by slipping the waiters a couple of dnr).
The bathroom though shabby was clean. There was a soap dispenser provided, however this remained empty during my 2-week stay. The bathroom did contain two miniscule bottles one of shampoo and one of bubble bath, which again were not replaced. The shower curtain was positioned in such away that whilst showering it had a habit of either sticking to you or throwing itself out of the bath thus allowing water to run on the floor. the plugs did not fit properly there fore i had to leave the tap running whilst shaving. The room was cleaned every day and the towels replaced however the bed linen was only changed once during the whole of my stay.
Now to the food!! I am a seasoned traveller and I am neither picky nor faddy when it comes to eating, however whilst there were a variety of dishes on offer it always came in the form of a stew or a casserole. You should also be aware that they use an awful lot of offal in their cooking and most of the dishes contained either liver or kidney or sometimes both. If a dish contains chicken, beef or lamb it comes complete with bones, fat and gristle attached. Although I like both liver and kidney and even meat with fat, two weeks of it is enough for any one. Only on two occasions was a carvery presented one was chicken and one was a large joint of beef however this soon went and was not refilled. The same happened with seafood, a large tray was presented but if it went in the first half hour (which it usually did to avoid the offal) then it was not refilled. There was a distinct lack of vegetables on offer and at most meals we got one or occasionally two offerings. The salad bar whilst offering a larger selection of green stuff was still poor. One couple who were vegetarians had to move to another hotel as this hotel just couldn’t cater for them and the poor woman had hardly eaten for a couple of days. The dining room has a pasta bar which I tried on 2 occasions but for some reason the meat always tasted gritty. The snack bar by the pool for some reason seemed to offer better quality food and also contained a pizza bar so most days I would skip the buffet lunch and have a pizza an salad from the snack bar.
The floor area around the pool was in a bad state of repair with broken and cracked tiles and in many places even had complete tiles missing. The toilets by the pool were dirty and smelly and never a toilet roll in sight. To get to the beach you had to walk through an area full of building rubble, broken water sport equipment and old broken parasols and sun beds etc. The beach was dirty with lots of flotsam, seaweed plastic bottles and bags etc (to be fair the second week they did attempt to clear it up by having staff rake up the stuff) these piles were then bulldozed into a nice big smelly heap further down the beach. Although there was supposed to be a beach bar there was a tacky old shack at the entrance to the beach, fortunately this remained closed for the duration of my stay, but this did mean that if you were on the beach then you had to walk back to the pool bar for a drink. The sea was absolutely freezing as was the pool, an indoor heated pool is provided but this was always packed due the temp of the outdoor pool. This is the first holiday I have taken in 20 years where I have not even got my trunks wet.
I am fully aware of the recent troubles in Tunisia and therefore that much of the tourist trade was decimated; however to let standards fall this much is not good for business. The hotel was obviously trying to tidy the place up a bit as whilst eating by the pool you had the additional company of painters plying their trade around you. Joiners were trying to construct a pergola roofed seating area and so as well as their constant knocking, banging and frequent squabbles we were also entertained by a joiner using an electric chop saw about 3 meters from the pool! No points for guessing where all the sawdust went. I went on three trips one called African dream the first part was to an animal park and the second part was to watch traditional Zulu dancers. The animal park was a disgrace only about 30% of the animals could be seen and the condition of the pens was terrible with plastic bottles cans and carrier bags in them. I am not an animal rights activist in any way shape or form but I did feel sorry for the animals I did see. As for the Zulus! the opening dance was set to the tune of “Oh when the saints go marching in” ? The food provided on this trip was very good especially as theer was no offal involved. The second outing was the Medina ramble again- not as expected as we were in a very very large group and were basically hurried around being pulled from pillar to post. Also be aware that the so called pukka shops the guides take you to are not so pukka I was ripped of to the tune of 20 dnr and speaking with other guests they had had a similar experience. The Third trip was the Sahara 2 day trip. this is worth the money paid up front but some parts of the trip ie the camel ride you are asked for further cash and if you tried to say no you were vertually brow beaten into taking part. The overnight accomodation on this trip was fansastic as was the food. The hotel was a real 4/5 star the only little niggle was the price of the drinks which were hellishly expensive. Whilst on this trip you have to be prepared to spend up to 3 to 4 hours at a time sitting on coach on each separate leg of the journey of which there are many, with the second day having an early start time of 4am.

The most outstanding part of the Abou Sofaine is the staff who were brilliant and full credit should be given to them for all their hard work. Even the animation team worked really hard although some of the performances were amaturish and on occasion OTT. Not forgetting the Rep Sarah who was brill. Overall I would just put this holiday down to a poor experience not to be repeated. I would not reccomend this hotel to friends or family.

Room Tip: try to avoid first floor rooms
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled solo
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4  Thank cheesetherabbit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2012

+ All hotel staff friendly and hard working to provide a wonderful holiday experience especially the waiting staff, pool-side bar staff and games equipment/poolside towel equipment guy and reception staff. The animation team are highly motivated and enthusiastic encouraging participation in various activities including "Show time" which we mimicked in the appropriate accent - all taken in good humour.
+ Excellent variety of food and drink (including cocktails) in the all-inclusive package served from 6.30am to 2am (yes, 2am!)
- Not all beds in our party were made up cleanly and we often ran out of toilet paper. However, we complained and this was promptly put right.
- Of no connection to the hotel but should mention a couple of problems with market sellers in Sousse - who actually hit two of our party members when they refused to buy an item they were hassled into viewing! However, our experience at Port el Kantaoui somehow made up for that and the 'Africa Center' staff particularly helpful and kind.
+/- Smoking is allowed inside the hotel and only a small area sectioned off for non-smokers so if a non smoker may be best to drink and chat outside in the beautifully lit garden.

Room Tip: Even numbered rooms have sea, games court or pool view, some linked rooms (for families) available. If noise is a problem, ask for a room away from the discotheque which goes on until 2am (although this was not a big problem for most of our group). No rooms have tea or coffee making facilities but drinks readily available in reception.
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Yvieda5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2012

Stayed fort week April 12. TC and flight delayed 1 hr out and 1.5 hr back so not overjoyed with TC. Also understand for others from other airports same time they were also delayed the same so TC need to get that one sorted. It was also a 325 seat job so ages boarding be prepared! Other end Airport is great very nice only 2 yrs old great check in on return trip fast, and you can change your money at the airport back into £ and a good rate, good quick service at the airport so well done Elfidia.
Hotel about 1.5 hrs with the usual pick up drop off 1hr job ! So arrive at hotel first impression was a little disappointed did not quite seem to be as glam as all the photos in reception, in some places around the hotel I felt it would be a 2* because of the silly bits of poor paint jobs or finishing. Other places no problem with the 4*. Over all if you consider where you are I would say the 4* out rank the 2* no problem.
Room > >
Good furniture nice balcony, bathroom all working fine great hot water every time. Clean towels every 2 days. Beds made each day. Bed very very hard and pillows the same. Be prepared for a hard bed ! If anything i would say the beds or the mattresses need to be changed urgently to more comfortable ones. All was clean enough but just hard. Plenty of storage space for 2
General hotel areas > >
Very clean and tidy, did not find one problem with the condition of the furniture at all, very comfortable inside and out. They where regularly cleaning in and out. Pool is great pool bar great, toilets very clean and tidy in all areas. Beach towel available just pick them up and drop them off. The beach sun beds where great very very comfortable better than the room beds. When you walk on the beach the guy will clock you and you just pick you spot and he will bring you the bed and mattress and brush it and you’re ready to enjoy!
Drinks and bar > >
Coffee. Tea. Cakes and many other things available through the day and no problem with service. Beer ok, wine ok, and I think a reasonable selection of sprits to satisfy all.

Dinning & Food > >
Absolutely fantastic, no one thing and we tried it all! We could say was poor at all. 100% 6* . Lovely food and something for all. Love the cakes, ice cream, the lot. Staff where great, friendly, and helpful, work hard. If you cannot find anything to tickle your taste buds hear you’re fussy and need to have your own personal cook in tow !!
So a bit on some everyday things
Tips > >
We did from about 2 DN (86p) to 5dn up to you. We tipped in the restaurant each meal but some just gave a bigger tip now and again. They get paid very little and tips are very very gratefully received. We did not have to ask for our wine glasses to be filled up at all. We drank red wine and they were waiting for us on our table and where just filled and filled without us raising a hand !! Those who don’t tip will need to ask each and every time ! You can tip at the bar as and when you wish, and we left 5 dn for the room maid mid week and 5dn when we left. Also tipped the beach guy who did not ask or even wait for one, we tipped him when we left the beach.
Language > >
French and Arabic. Go the extra mile learn some Arabic they do appreciate it and when you go to the shops it does help you a great deal to get rid of them quicker. So simple no, thank you, bye, etc can go a long way especially shopping.
Money > >
Can change when you get to the hotel we got 2.35 dn to the £ and you can get more in Sousse.
Getting around Locally> You can walk to the Marina along the beach about 20 – 30 min. Or the main road good pavement all the way in about 20-30min. Taxi to marina from outside the hotel gate. Always one or 3 waiting. Ask how much first you bargen for everything. They will say 5dn, you say 3dn agree 4dn. We did get a couple 3dn trips so we tipped him 1dn. From hotel to Sousse do the same we got this for 7dn, but this was a best deal we were told other did it for 9dn or 11dn. Taxi to marina about 5 min, to sousse about 15 min. Drivers are great friendly, and chat just general conversation. They will offer you there service for the day, and this can be a good thing if you want to get out and about to see the local places, and may be some shopping of the beaten track. They are genuine and will do a good deal.
Local places,
Shopping > >
The Marina is lovely walk or Taxi from the hotel. Shops, pleasant restaurants, and lovely marina where you can get fishing trips, or catamaran trips or tourist pirate boat trips. They are all available. A couple of supermarkets you will have to look closely at the signs to find them. The biggest is on a corner opposite the main gate to the marina adjacent to the tower shop. This supermarket has the best prises for take home bits and bobs. The tower shopping centre is fixed price shop. Most you have to bargain enjoy this, if you don’t like to then you may find it a little intimidating as they are on your most of the time. If you get into a shop!! Then just don’t but if you don’t want to. Simple really. Start rock bottom and have a laugh about it we did. They can seem serious but it’s all part of the game!! So enjoy the game! The prices are not high in the fixed price shops so if you don’t want the dealing games go there they will leave you alone to shop. If you get an approx price from one shop a near deal walk away tell them you will come back if his is the best price. Then you have a price to use for the next shop. We got 2 things rock bottom doing this, all good fun!!
They seem to enjoy the dealing and the harder it is the more fun! We did have a great laugh if you play the game to the fullest!!
Sousse, and the medina. If you get a taxi again it deal deal deal. But well worth seeing the Medina, the fish market and veg market a must, it s hive of activity and noise locals. There is lots of junk, but you will see this, and you will need to focus on what you want and consider good value for what it is. If you don’t believe a word they say and just judge for yourself on the quality, etc then you will do what your happy with I guess.

Safety > >
Now I think we are scared into thinking we will go to places never to be seen again !! You will have to remember your way in and out of the Medina, but I would not worry about not ever getting out ! Defiantly secure all your valuables as you would do in any place. Watch out in crowds, keep hand bags in front of you not over the shoulder. Cameral tucked away not just hanging around your neck for all to see! We felt fine there and took all the precautions we take in any foreign place. Just keep aware of who is around you.

The people we came in touch with where fine, friendly, and in many cases funny especially dealing. They can look scary, and there are quite a few just sitting about in the Marina, people watching so it does get you thinking. Generally do what you need to do if you feel uncomfortable to move to more comfortable surroundings.

Trips > >
1/2 Day camel ride was fantastic well worth every min. a must do ! We did not do the 2 day job, but where told by some who did never again, long long time on the coach, very early start and lat getting to hotel. The Medina 1/2 day trip, dont bother not enough time, rushed around and 1hr pick ups for a 15 min road trip.

Great hotel, fantastic food, lovely staff, clean tidy, great location, would recommend. Hotel Animation team fantastic, and great shows in the evening don’t miss them.

Room Tip: 2nd floor beach view.
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank 50Patrik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2012

My first time in tunisia and it definitely won't be the last. i had the most amazing time and my full 10 days there was full of laughter. the staff at the hotel bend over backwards to help you, it is lovely and clean with 2 great pools and is situated right on a gorgeous beach. The animation team made my holiday perfect so a massive thank you to them! i could not have asked for anything more on this holiday it was perfect.

Room Tip: sea view was perfect
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Nataliejade91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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