We stayed here as the hotel had a good name previously and my parents had a great visit a few years back but I wish we had spent our money somewhere else. The staff clearly don’t like Russians who make up maybe 50-60% of their guests and need to remember that they are working in tourism and these guests are paying their wages and continued to keep their hotel open when other nationalities didn’t visit. If they want the Brits back they really need to up their game. Other reviews talk of great welcomes from the staff but we were lucky to get a hello out of people the whole time we stayed, they all look stretched workwise and unhappy (not exactly what you expect for a hotel that relies on tourists). I can deal with a hotel in need of refurbishment when no money has been invested in tourism for a few years but that’s normally because the staff more than make up for it. I find the experience and how staff make you feel is what makes a holiday and unfortunately the staff here broke mine. It’s terrible that they spoke to me and looked at me like crap when they thought I was Russian and then quickly changed when finding out I wasn’t. I’m a paying guest who was polite and respectful to them and expect the same level of respect back. I work hard all year...We stayed here as the hotel had a good name previously and my parents had a great visit a few years back but I wish we had spent our money somewhere else. The staff clearly don’t like Russians who make up maybe 50-60% of their guests and need to remember that they are working in tourism and these guests are paying their wages and continued to keep their hotel open when other nationalities didn’t visit. If they want the Brits back they really need to up their game. Other reviews talk of great welcomes from the staff but we were lucky to get a hello out of people the whole time we stayed, they all look stretched workwise and unhappy (not exactly what you expect for a hotel that relies on tourists). I can deal with a hotel in need of refurbishment when no money has been invested in tourism for a few years but that’s normally because the staff more than make up for it. I find the experience and how staff make you feel is what makes a holiday and unfortunately the staff here broke mine. It’s terrible that they spoke to me and looked at me like crap when they thought I was Russian and then quickly changed when finding out I wasn’t. I’m a paying guest who was polite and respectful to them and expect the same level of respect back. I work hard all year to pay for my summer holiday and like to enjoy it and relax, if it wasn’t for my daughters loving the swimming pool we would have left.
I’ll start with the plus points as there only was one. The man at the pool who did the towels etc was very friendly and nice. From experience, we gave him a tip on the first day and found that we could get a spot by the pool where we wanted every day which helps when trying to look after 2 young girls. He chatted and smiled to everyone and is the Tunisian hospitality that I remember and would expect.
Upon checking in the girls behind reception were a little stressed. We waited 20 mins just to be given the paperwork to fill out and join the queue again. My husband was then told to sit down and wait with no reason why or timeline. When I went to enquire about this the girl just kept quoting the two Russian holiday companies at me to see which one I was with and couldn’t seem to grasp that I was with neither, even when I showed her the paperwork we had filled out, she continued to look for it and call me by the wrong name. It took me 10 minutes and an intervention to find out our room wasn’t ready and we would be 30 minutes. I had to then ask for access to facilities so that my 2 year old daughter could get a drink in the 35 degree heat. The girls were then overheard saying “at least we can understand the Algerians” Unfortunately it took us until around quarter to 5 to get into our room from just after 2. The last excuse we got when we asked them just to cancel if they couldn’t get us a room was that someone had taken the key, however it’s bogstandard keycards that the hotel programme themselves. We had 2 adjoining rooms and were given a key for 1 and so had to ask for another to get air con to work in the other room. Instead they sent maintenance to amend the system to keep everything on in the other room. The floors were still wet which suggests housekeeping had been our delay. I made the mistake of looking under the bed when leaving and there were cobwebs and filthy floors so despite what appeared to be a clean room, don’t look further gab the surface or you may be put off. The girls on the desk need to learn how to communicate better as we would have been less frustrated had they simply told us why we were waiting, how long for and proactively told us to use the facilities. Had we known we would have to wait 2.5 hours we could have got drinks and let the kids into the pool to cool down.
The man at the pool bar is the rudest man I have met in my life and actually one day I didn’t go ask for a drink all day as was scared of the reaction. He would stand shouting and swearing in Arabic at the guests (half the guests are Algerian so know what he’s saying). It is clearly a big deal for him that guests ask for a drink in temperatures reaching mid 30s. Heaven forbid you ask for a glass for water as (like most things at the hotel) there aren’t enough glasses and it’s again a big deal with much shouting from him. I honestly wish I had recorded him as his behaviour is unacceptable. An Algerian family complained about him while we were there and the manager came down however his wife works for the hotel and clearly had some power as he is let to do what he pleases and this continued the 5 days we were there. On one occasion my 8 year old joined a long queue to ask for a glass for water (on our last day they provided plastic glasses for the dispenser) and he completely ignored her and proceeded to serve all of the adults in the queue behind her until I stepped in. I was just glad that for our short stay he had a day off and we got someone who despite having to serve, collect glasses and wash them all at the same time could at least be polite.
The animation team only engaged with us as my husband spoke to them. My husband was told by one of the team that the animation boss had a pump for our inflatable and he was rude and arrogant, perhaps because his girlfriend was sitting with him. At first he said he didn’t have one and when my husband said the other guy said he did he said (in Tunisian obv) “I only have a small one so why don’t you go ask him then”. A small one would have done thanks but you just added to our crap experience. He commanded his team to come to him through the mic and was quite rude about it, as did his sidekick. Obviously as nice to his staff Ashe is to the guests.
Food choices are terrible and despite only staying 4 nights we went out for dinner 1 night to ensure our kids would eat. Catering for the Russians who along with the Algerians have been their main supply in recent years but if they want other nationalities back they will need to improve their choices, as other reviews have also said. The restaurants including the pool bar never have enough plates and by the time you find one you’ll find the food you were after has run out and you have no idea if it will be stocked back up. Yesterday the pool bar had run out of pizza by 12:00 and they never produced any more. In the dining hall the staff are too busy clearing plates to acknowledge staff (clearly because they need the plates to wash as they don’t have enough) and they pay no attention to who is where. Twice I went to get more drinks and came back to find our table had been cleared of the food we hadn’t finished, despite leaving our bag there. Wouldn’t normally be a problem except that our 8 year old didn’t appreciate the poor offerings and so when they cleared away the only bit of turkey she would eat at brekkie and it had emptied and no more was forthcoming then it’s not so good. I got into trouble for taking coffee cups for juice despite the fact that there were no glasses available and so very abruptly told him I needed a drink for my daughter so what did he expect me to do. Quickly changed tune when realised I was British. At this point I had a bit of a complaint to the manager but judging by his responses he didn’t understand a word of my worked up Scottish rant (or didn’t care which I also suspect). On the last day I was also asked not to take a plate from the pool “restaurant” to my lounger, despite having done so the preceeding 3 days and always returned them myself. I asked were my children and I expected to stand and eat without a table or a seat and again when he heard me speaking he changed his tune.
Evening entertainment, it could be a struggle to get a seat on the small terrace and so with tired kids we opted out most nights when none were available.
Guest relations have a constant queue when opened and I’m not surprised. What does surprise me is that the Russians continue to visit this hotel. For anyone considering a first time visit, I would definitely avoid at all costs. Had we been staying longer than 4 nights we would definitely have asked for our money back and went elsewhere but with 2 young kids in the heat we just needed a swimming pool. Management need to invest in the basics, more plates and cups, might enable the staff to lift their heads from the task and say good morning or hello from time to time and acknowledge the guests. Simple acknowledgement and communication skills go a long way. Probably also understaffed for the time of year. It’s summer, being busy is good for a hotel but you can’t let guests have an impact as a result. You see plenty management walking around the hotel but that’s all you see them doing. This hotel once had a brilliant reputation and unless the management get the basics right and ensure the staff are more friendly and welcoming then guests will not come back. Already my parent who were considering coming back have changed their mind.More
- Free Parking
- Breakfast included