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Reviewed March 23, 2014

Just back from the 'Abou Sofiane' and had a great holiday. I was looking for a cheap, last minute all inclusive holiday to anywhere in the sun, and this one came up. After reading the reviews, I started to wonder what sort of holiday I was in for.... but after the winter months in England, I was looking forward to it regardless.
So, let me try to put your mind at ease...The hotel itself, like a lot of others in Tunisia, is only 3 floors high, and stretches over a wide complex. Set in beautiful well kept gardens, it has indoor and outdoor pools, 2 x tennis courts, basket ball/football courts, beach volley ball court, crazy golf, fitness gym and saunas, and a kids club.
This is a 'beach location' hotel, so just walk through the gardens and you will find yourself on a beautiful white sand beach with plenty of sun loungers, and proper thatched parasols.(not the ones that blow away in the wind) There you will also find the water sports and other attractions i.e, Jet ski hire, para gliding, camel / horse riding or just relax in the shade of the beach bar and watch it all go by.
A member of the hotel staff will be on hand to get you a mattress for your lounger, another will be working the bar, and together they will stop anyone from trying to sell you anything on the beach. The beach sellers have to stay at the waters edge, however, you are allowed to approach them should you wish to do so.
The entertainment team in this hotel are fantastic! They have one goal, to make your stay as happy as possible. I can't remember all their names, but they will remember yours! Together, they will put a show on every night, (and not taking part isn't an option!) activities all throughout the day, like zumba, archery, beach volleyball, French bowls, and yoga with the lovely Taynya, are just a few of the things to do, or just have a laugh and a joke with them.
I thought the food was great! buffet style, plenty of it and different choices daily. There's breakfast, late breakfast, dinner, evening meal, late meal, snacks, you wont go hungry! with excellent waiter service. The hotel has a large bar in the lobby, one in the garden, one by the pool, and one on the beach, so you don't have to walk too far to get a drink, there's also free coffee/tea all day and night in the lobby area.
The rooms have air-con, t.v, and fridge all as standard, mine had a fantastic sea view across the beach from its balcony, what a lovely way to wake up of a morning. Ok, it's a little dated in its décor, but it's very clean and comfortable, besides, I didn't plan to spend all day in the hotel! Maids will clean the rooms daily, and its usually done while you're at breakfast, and your towels will be changed twice a week. There always seemed to be somebody cleaning something everywhere I went, they really work very hard, as do all the staff at this hotel.
There's free Wi-Fi in the lobby area, free safety deposit box in your rooms, free beach towels(changed twice a week) and a complementary bottle of water left in your room every day. I found all the staff at this hotel to be the most helpful and friendly people you could wish to meet, nothing seemed too much trouble, and every conversation always ended up with a smile and a hand shake.
If you venture out, yes you will get hassled, but there's no malice in it, haggling is their culture whilst trying to get you to buy their items, it's just what they do! Smile, be polite and say no thank you and keep walking and take it all in as part of the experience of your holiday. If history's your thing, then 'EL JEM' is worth a visit, a magnificent Roman amphitheatre is only a short coach journey away and was used in the 'Gladiator' movie and a fantastic day out amongst others.
I had a fantastic holiday here, and some of the guests I spoke with at dinner were there on their 3rd or 4th return visit. You've got the beach, the sea, the pools, the entertainment, and of course you've got the sun! all inclusive! and it doesn't cost a fortune to get there! would I go back again....? you bet!

Room Tip: I had sea view, beautiful way to wake up of a morning.
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
14  Thank richard b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 12, 2014 via mobile

We booked this because we could not face night flights to Turkey again.
Read very mixed reviews before we went but kept an open mind.
Room was fine, once we got it-waited about 4 hours but free food and drink,
so not the end of the world.
Food was edible and lots of it.
Beach was really nice once all the staff had cleared all the plastic carrier bags on the second day.
Middle of the holiday was spoilt by the arrival of hundreds of russians from Kazakstan. Thomson had evidently sold off a load of rooms.
It became a case of going to breakfast before they got up and letting them vacate the restaurant before going to dinner in the evening.
I have never seen so much food wasted-they would pile up several plates each and then leave most of it.
Fortunately we had a few days of civilised guests before we came home.
We will go back one day, possibly early or late in the season.

  • Stayed: June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank DeanMonkey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2014 via mobile

after reading reviews on this hotel and Tunisia itself, myself and my family were skeptical about visiting this place. At one point we even considered changing hotels... Thank god we didn't! As soon as we arrived at the hotel we were told to leave our suitcases by the door (could still see it) and we were told to fill out a form, quick and easy. Then a lovely member of staff who was very friendly and funny took us to our room and took our suitcases himself. Unfortunately there were only 2 beds for the 3 of us, but we informed them and they let us know it would be sorted asap. In the meantime we took a trip down to the port to see the sights and shop, yeah the locals hassled a little bit however that's not seen as rude in their culture and once getting to know them and actually talking to them you would realise they're lovely, genuine people. The marina itself was beautiful and we walked back along the beach which was gorgeous, filled with locals and tourists and people jet skiing, parasailing (which was an amazing experience!) and swimming. Back at the hotel our 3rd bed was put in place and we decided to go for dinner. Incredible, hot traditional Tunisian cuisine as well as pizza, pasta and chips were to offer. Outside even had a BBQ area with fresh BBQ food. One night a light was accidentally knocked down by a tourist however the staff didn't complain and cleaned it up straight away, telling the tourists not to worry. the staff waited on us hand and foot, helped us to get a taxi down to sousse and told us how to get to the local shops. The animation team were the highlight! AMAZING SHOWS each night and day time entertainment which were fun and involved as many people as possible. There was never a boring moment. By the end of the holiday the animation team felt like friends and I still miss them now. so a massive thank you to them for an amazing holiday. sun loungers by the pool and on the beach were there 24/7 and food by the beach and by the pool was served all day. I can't fault anything about this holiday. The staff were the kindest people I've come across and this is definitely one of the most amazing countries I've ever visited. Not to mention how beautiful the beach was, the travel agent mentioned this was the closest to the Caribbean without actually going and she wasn't wrong. As well as the amazing guaranteed weather. Thank you abou sofiane!

Stayed: August 2013
11  Thank SarahCroft1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2014

My partner and I stayed here at the end of Sept. 2013, tempted by the value, and the optimism that often tripadvisor reviews can't be that bad, can they?
Let me tell you... All the bad reviews? TRUE TRUE TRUE
The dining room is too small for the number of guests, which means queuing for tables, and endless searches for glassware and cutlery. Leave your glasses, knives or forks untended, and they WILL be taken by someone else. Meal times became a necessity rather than a pleasure, and it was like feeding time at the zoo. By the end, we didn't bother and we paid the extra to go out. On day 1 my partner had a really bad case of food poisoning, was up all night 2 nights on the trot (pardon the pun) and didn't recover really all holiday.
We tried the 'al a carte', but left after a course: the food was awful, the service terrible and the ambience even worse: it was kiddy disco night at the romantic adults only beach side restaurant. After the waiter threw next doors' food all over me, and my partner demanded and apology which was not forthcoming, I had decided enough was enough. Unfortunately, we had 4 days of holiday to go, though I can tell you that my bags were packed that night.
The public areas of the hotel are way way too small: the beach is no bigger than a postage stamp, and there are no where near enough loungers or enough space, and the roped off swimming area is smaller than most public swimming pools. The water is too busy with water sports, the beach full of hawkers, and the beach was not fun.
Most customers are eastern / Northern European, and a lot of UK reviewers have commented on this here. Before we went, we thought they were just small minded British bigots, but no more. Most of the other customers (Russian, Eastern euro trash) were just plain rude and nasty, no manners or social graces.
Now I was made for all inclusive. I have no boredom threshold. But this was Hotel Hell. It really was the worst holiday of our lives: terrible service, dirty food, the worst excuse for a beach, inadequate hotel, horrid people.
DO
NOT
FLY
OR
STAY
HERE
FROM
THE
UK.
Please please please don't underestimate these words. If you stay here you will have the worst holiday EVER, and I am willing to bet that you have worked hard to save the money for your holiday, and frankly, you deserve better.
If I was allowed to swear in this review, I would have. A lot.

Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
18  Thank DunkBob B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2014 via mobile

We stayed here in August 2013. It was a last minute booking and our first visit to Tunisia. The hotel lobby is impressive, clean, welcoming and busy but as soon as you pass reception, the glamour is gone. The hotel room we stayed in was dirty...hair in the bath, on the floor, bed covers and even on the balcony. The hair dryer..well, neither my husband or I dare touch it for fear of being electrocuted! We had trouble getting a drink before 10am, and I dont mean alcohol. .water! The bars do not open until 10am and they will not serve you one minute before!
The food was the same each breakfast, lunvh and evening meal....at times we weren't sure what was actually in some of the dishes! This is the first all inclusive holiday we have been on and lost weight!!! I'm not a fussy eater, but couldn't find any meals during my stay.
The entertainment was boring, and way too loud around the pool. The drinks served during the day were in very small plastic cups and warm!
Despite everything we did have a relaxing holiday and met some lovely people. It was just a shame the food was awful, the drinks were warm and the entertainment not the best. The hotel staff at times were very rude and be careful if you have a night flight home....they don't let you keep your room on. Wouldn't go back here or recommend it to anyone....needs a lot of improving and a ban on the Russians! !!

Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
7  Thank milestovisit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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