We stayed for a week at the beginning of June. Had a lovely time :-)
Late arrival at hotel (circa 11.30pm) check in fairly efficient after filling out guest cards. Bar still open and serving and the restaurant was serving late night snacks (chips etc)
Dated, but clean. Rooms do need updating - but as not much time is actually spent in the rooms, this aspect didn't bother me so much. Bedding and towels changed daily and always spotless. Bottle of water left in the room each day which we chose to take to the pool, again - this was a nice aspect. Bathrooms need retiling, beds need an upgrade and the rusty toilet roll holder are what make me say the room needs to be updated - but very minor niggles and this didn't bother me in the slightest. Always managed a warm shower - so cannot grumble!
Food - this is why the hotel gets 4 rather than 5 stars. I am not a person who goes on holiday to eat english food - so that isn't my gripe! Heard so many people complaining about lack of english food it made me crazy!! Plenty of choice - but the quality can be lacking. It is bland.. (i had a sandwich when i arrived back at gatwick and found it incredibly salty as no seasoning for a week unless i added it lol!)
Breakfast - choice of omelette/fried eggs or crepes with a choice of fillings made to order - lovely! However if you're going there looking for a full english you won't find one. No bacon and no sausages (they do serve cut up frankfurters at breakfast) Scrambled eggs are powdered eggs - the continental cheeses etc are poor quality and tasteless. However, the croissants and pastries were nice (hunt the choccy in the pain au chocolat but tasty nonetheless) Yogurt and porridge, toaster, breads and jams - so you shouldn't go hungry if you're fussy. What annoyed me one morning was them clearly putting out carrots and aubergines that were leftovers from dinner - Just leave the section empty rather than putting that out..
Lunch - star of the show - Tagines, stews, spitroast chickens, rice etc.. always enjoyed lunch - and the cakes and desserts in the main are absolutely to die for! (choccy tart a favourite!)
Dinner - poor - looked like same stews from lunch and less choice - lot of the stuff was bland.. but again - plenty to choose from
(we ate out at le mediteranee in the port one night as i fancied a change - about 35 pounds for two lovely steaks, dessert and a bottle of cold wine!)
Late night snacks - mainly chips - but i think the fact they put on snacks at this time is great and if you're going in to soak up the booze then it is ideal!
Drinks - Anyone who says you can't get tipsy clearly didn't try hard enough! I managed it and im not a lightweight! White wine can be served a little warm - but if you're nice then you only need to ask if they have a cold bottle they could refil your glass with - the staff are so friendly they will help if they can! Spirits all tasted fine - and I saw no evidence of them scrimping on the measures. Bar servies until 12 and then you can use the nightclub at the Abou Sofaine. Definitely worth a visit - was full of Russians when we went but the comedy value is worth a trip!!
Pool - The pool area is lovely - tip the pool guy well on first day and he will save you beds. We always managed to get beds and a parasol. Addressing the music around the pool which some people have complained about.. well.. yes the animation team do play music from 10am - starting off with movie theme tunes, then some 80s and 90s mix tapes.. CHEESE! Personally didn't bother me - go to the other end of the pool or the beach if you cant stand music.. Never interrupted me reading my book or snoozing on the lounger. Can't see how it is a problem. Animation team will ask if you want to join in with aqua aerobics, yoga, water polo, boules - so you can do as little or as much as you fancy. Even when these are in progress there's plenty of room left in the pool to swim if you're not taking part.
Entertainment. Animation team work their socks off! People have moaned its not up to scratch - well i don't know what you expect - a west end show? Watching a bunch of tunisian men do riverdance badly is far better in my book! Its only there to break up the evening. We saw a couple of the shows, played bingo - a bit of karaoke - all in all i think they do a cracking job. Zizou is the life and soul of the team who we spoke to most - but they're all great (aside from the team leader or compare who came across to me as mean!)
Beach - 2 min walk down side pathway.. lovely warm soft sand - warm sea and lovely beach bar serving snacks and drinks - went there most afternoons for shade and a little cold beer!
Smoking - its allowed in hotel - I am a non smoker and have asthma so was a little worried- neednt have been - outside most of the day and night so didn't notice anything. Whilst in the bar and reception, yes you can smell people are smoking but never did i see it 'thick with smoke' like some people have said. Perhaps i was just lucky - but don't let it put you off if you're a non smoker.
Tipping - we tipped little and often as we saw fit - waitress at lunchtimes was so helpful and lovely as were all the barmen and a few of the waiters.. good people who will try to help - and they dont hang around for tips
All in all for the money we paid i think the experience was amazing! With a little effort the hotel could be spectacular. Gardens were so beautifully tended.. Bit of upgrading of the rooms and could be spot on! If they sorted the rooms and the food - i'd happily pay more!
Think your holiday is what you make it! Go with the flow of any niggles and make the most of the gorgeous weather - free drinks - sorbets in the pool snack bar and enjoy!
Would definitely go back. Good value, friendly staff, clean and short flight from UK!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The all-inclusive Hotel Riviera is located in a splendid environment, just 250 meters from the beach and features beautiful and elegant 4-star accommodation. All of the hotel's rooms and suites are well furnished, stylishly decorated and equipped with modern en suite facilities. You are sure to enjoy a view from your room of the swimming pool, the verdant garden or the sea. For meals and drinks Hotel Dessole Riviera Resort features 4 restaurants and a selection of bars. Enjoy international and local cuisine and a variety of drinks, cocktails and wines. The hotel is located in Port El Kantaoui just a short walk from marina and near a 36-hole golf course and the famous Sousse Medina. Hotel Rooms: 295 ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Caribbean Village Riviera