This is the third time we have stayed in this hotel, which says a lot about it's location, quirkiness and the friendly, helpful staff.
Last year it's decaying grandeur was being elbowed out by new management that had taken control and every afternoon we were serenaded by chain saws trying to keep the vegetation in check. This year the gardens looked a lot better but the indoor pool was out of bounds as the decor was being refreshed, but then the outdoor pool was available and the sea (from a Brits view) was warm enough for swimming.
There has been a lot of work done on the communal areas and one of the wings has had a lot of renovation. Despite this we decided to upgrade to the 'Palace', the old building on the sea front. Again, a renovation is scheduled for this grand building in the near future, fingers crossed they leave the enormous crystal chandelier alone as it is stunning in artificial and sun light.
So the Palace. Up sweeping marble steps to a grand ballroom, all guests can access this but very few do, a great pity. The marble balcony facing the sea has a wonderful breeze, you can sit there with a glass of something cool fantasising that you are the sole occupant of this wonderful place.
Food. We stayed on a half board basis that really was value for money. Breakfast is the normal hot and cold buffet but some of the Tunisian dishes were excellent. A bread a butter pudding type dish (without the currants), eggy toast and battered sweet things. ( I was on holiday, it's my right to pig out.) Also a chef on the hot plate so you can have fried eggs to your liking and fresh omelettes every morning.
We didn't find the food cold at dinner (apart from the salad which is acceptable) and even though my partner is vegetarian we always had sufficient choice. One thing I ate in the hotel a lot was chicken. Tasteless in the UK but it actually tastes of chicken in Tunisia. Again a hot plate in the evening with a chef making pancakes - you choose what ice cream, sauce you want. Us, we are traditionalists and our faves were cinnamon sugar and fresh lemon or lime juice.
The staff are friendly and helpful, an off hand query about sourcing Tunisian honey, it arrived the next day. I was appalled by the attitude of some of the hotel's guests. Why do the middle classes have to act as if hotel staff are their personal slaves and act so rudely?
Finally, this is the sort of hotel to visit if you want a quiet time. It does not offer entertainment it's a place to read, play cards, look out over the blue sea, relax and recharge your batteries.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Hana Palace
- El Hana Palace Hotel
- Hana Palace Port El Kantaoui
- El Hana Palace Tunisia