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“Disappointing”

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El Hana Palace Caruso Hotel
Ranked #18 of 33 Hotels in Port El Kantaoui
Callington, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Disappointing”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 28, 2013

We have just returned from the Hannibal Palace after ten days and we were very disappointed that both pools were not in use, no sunbeds were available and the "private" beach was dirty and covered with litter.The spa was closed, as was the shop.
The staff were helpful and friendly, with a view to a tip!!. The room was clean and serviced every day. The food was ok but there was no great variety.
In years gone by it was a 5 star but it struggles to merit 3. There were no more than 15 guests on average the whole time apart from the weekend when about 50 locals arrived for a cheap weekend deal.With so few guests there no reps to be seen at all.
I recommend Port El Kantoui but please choose another Hotel.

Room Tip: Higher floors are a must as a disco is open every evening.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank slimboyfat69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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322 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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manchester
Level Contributor
21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 28, 2013

Initially very disappointed and wondered what we would do for 10 days but the hotel grew on us. As others have indicated, it must have once been a very grand place with lots of marble decor. There were 3 Tunisian weddings on during our stay so it must still have a quality reputation. It's large and spacious but needs an update. Rooms are very spacious but dark wood and furnishings suck all the light. Plenty of hanging space, mirrors and 'getting ready' space. Huge bath with over shower. Fightings were a bit dodgy but a bit of messing got the perfect shower angle. Anyone with limited mobility would struggle getting in and out of the bath as it requires some climbing over marble surfaces.
All hotel staff were great and very helpful. Leaking fridge was resolved before we'd even returned from reception, extra blankets arrived as requested and the tip for a local wet shave barber was excellent- hairdressers about 200 yards past the hotel for £2.50. Nice to stay somewhere where staff chat and are genuinely happy to have you stay. It's very clean- don't try and understand the housekeeping approach as everytime we returned to our room she was there with towels or toilet roll.
Food was fresh with a good choice. Salad's were amazing- don't know where the holiday spare tyre has come from. Partner is vegitarian and the hotel choice was better than anywhere else.
Entertainment was poor- dodgy Tunisian dance show resulting in some elderly fellow with his shirt off and a singer on piaon in the bar every night.
Plenty of sunloungers and staff are quick to bring mattresses and towels.
Indoor pool was welcomed on the windy days. A large heated pool and jacuzzi, tiles need some repair work but it was a nice relaxing space with sunloungers.
Wasn't as impressed as others with massage- think I got the trainee as she seemed to be following the lead of my partners therapist. The steam room was a lesson in dodgy health & safety with bare pipes steaming the heat. Good value though and certainly others were impressed at time.
We did a couple of trips- highly recommend the Sahara 2 day trip. Amazing and you get to see so much of the country. Guide Hedi made the trip as he gave such insightful information as the coach travelled along. We stayed in the Sahara hotel which was lovely- very contemporary decor with fantastic outside space.

Vegitarian options are limited- main course on one of the trips was rice and chips which was disappointing despite assurances from the rep.

African Dream trip- entertainment was good but the safari trip was rubbish, not worth the 15 min walk around.

Hotel location is a bit rubbish, there is very little going on. I like to take a wander but you are straight on a dual carriage way with little to look at. The Marina is not great. Couple of good meals at El Durade and Le Mediteranian but nothing else really.

Didn't feel hassled at all, firm no thanks and walking off did the trick. Haggling is part of the experience and if you don't want to take part go to a fixed price shop for your holiday tat.

Only time I felt uncomfortable was during a trip to Tunis and museum waering shorts. I was stared at a lot and had a group of school children taking pictures- guide assured me it wasn't offensive. Following a chat with hotel chef I can only conclude it's because it is still winter in Tunisia and locals are walking around in scarfs, heavy coats and boots. They think we are mad wearing summer gear and sunbathing.
If you go to Sousse visit the museum and see a merchant's house in its original state. We had the services of a local guide which was great and told us so much about the house, family and culture. Also really helpful when in the medina, we weren't approached by anyone and Leila was able to take us straight to places of interest. Cost about £20 for over 2 hrs- well worth it.
Travel agent told us this was a child free hotel- wasn't the case on arrival. Not that much of an issue as it was term time (UK) but could get busier in holid
This was our first trip to Tunisia and I don't think we would rush back. The people were great but I can't say it is an attractive country. The rubbish piles at every roadside is a real shame and alongside the amount of empty and half built buildings don't make for a welcoming environment. However for a cheap package holiday with the aim of doing very little but relaxing and reading it did the job.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank clarebear1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newtown, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 26, 2013

confusing as now called Caruso Palace not Hana Palace.Hotel clean, staff very welcoming and friendly, certainly not begging for money as other traveller has reported. Our room 204 a little dated(hotel being refurbished at present) but clean, spacious bed little too firm but that's my own personal moan. Food good, Fantastic weather -we went between 17-24 March. Nice relaxing holiday with a taste of Arabic culture thrown in. Just a couple of things to be aware when in the local town,if ordering drinks, ask price and clarify what size eg small coffee as the waitress suddenly lost her ability to speak English when we queried the high cost.Be aware of the 'official' hotel photographer who lurks outside the villa demanding you pose for his photos and proceeds to charge you high prices the following day and gets pushy if you do not buy, we complained re; his attitude and were given the pic which were awful. Would recommend this hotel for adults, very little for children. Highly recommend the massage facilities.

Room Tip: room on north wing seemed to have more sunshine.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank swinbrookhuw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern Ireland
Level Contributor
36 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 25, 2013

The hotel is nice but a bit dated. I was there to relax but I like the heat so was a bit disappointed that the weather was not great. That said the staff were great, very pleasant but not over familiar. The rooms were cleaned thoroughly every day, clean towels every morning and bed linen changed twice during week. We were on the fourth floor and I must say that there was no noise at night whatsoever. The rooms were large with the large round bath in adjoining ensuite. Beds a bit hard, I know it may not be custom but a kettle and tea making facilities in the rooms would be such an improvement. Jenna our Thomas Cook rep actually lent us one for the duration of our stay, Thanks Jenna. Fifi the entertainments manager is a pleasant wee girl who does her best to provide someway of entertaining the guests. We enoyed the break but found with the lack of sunshine its gets boring after a while. Didn't like Sousse at all they practically pushing you into the shops in the medina. Taxi's are cheap. The marina is just a short walk away and is a nice wee area but again they hassle you all the time. The food in the Hotel which is now the CAruso Palace is ok but a bit repetitive, the crepes for dessert in the evening were great as was all the different flavours of ice cream. Cereals weren't great but there was plenty of bread, fried eggs ommelettes etc The wee restuarant across the road THe Fashion house was nice for a snack and calorific desserts. THe wee porter was very helful as well. Don't plan to return again but would stay there again if was in the area.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank June S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Somerton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 24, 2013

We have just returned from two very relaxing and enjoyable weeks at this hotel. The weather was very mixed (not surprising for the first two weeks in March) with some rain, some cold windy days and several very hot sunny days! There is plenty of space for guests to relax in comfort in this hotel, either in the Reception Bar, the Moroccan Room, the Palace Bar or by the pool. All very well maintained and the decor is quirky/amazing/brilliant/fantastic! Our rooms were cleaned every day to a high standard. Food was excellent with lots of choice at every meal of freshly cooked meats, fish and vegetables, salads, desserts - don't miss the egg chef in the mornings (fried eggs, omlettes, whatever you want) and the panacake chef in the evening (choice of lots of fillings accompanied by a wide and tasty range of ice creams). All the staff were absolutely brilliant. Friendly, genuinely helpful, professional and above all keen that you should enjoy your holiday. Too cold to swim in the sea or the hotel outdoor pool but the pool guy found sunbeds, cushions, tables etc., for everyone. The indoor pool was a real bonus - warm, like swimming in a bath! Bit crowded at times but if you pop in there before showering and dressing for dinner, you can enjoy a pleasant swim with very few other people. Try the jacuzzi too! If you want to chillax for a couple of weeks, this really is the place to do it. You are secluded from the outside world and if you don't fancy the hassle of the markets, souks and the nearby marina, then you will find everything you need within the hotel itself.
A few tips on going out :- if you go to nearby Sousse, there are pickpockets all over the place. Go there on the bus but spend a few extra dinar and get a taxi back to your hotel as the tourists stick out like sore thumbs at the bus station and you are likely to be targeted for your purse, bag, mobile phone, etc. I am sorry to say it is not a nice, tourist friendly place but worth a visit if you want to see the city. Go to Sousse to get the metro train down to Monastir for some historic attractions - worth a day out if you like castles and mausoleums (!!). The organised trips are well worth going on to see the real Tunisia - not expensive and take you safely there and back. Our Thomas Cook rep, Jenna, was abslolutely brilliant and very knowledgeable. We went to Berber Villages, an African Evening, the mosaics and colosseum at El Jem and some Roman remains. All very well organised.
It was the satff at the hotel that really made this holiday special and I would not hesitate to book this hotel again.

Room Tip: Room 123 gets sun most of the day on the balcony!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank pinguicula
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 23, 2013

We have just returned from two weeks at the Caruso (El Hana) Palace which was made special for us by the staff of the hotel. Everyone was friendly and helpful but special thanks to Mohamed our waiter, Mo the Palace barman, Fifi the entertainments organiser, our chefs, cleaners, concierge, Jenna our rep. and those behind the scenes that quietly achieve and Habebe the beach front excursion salesman, they all made our holiday very special. The hotel is a little 'tired' due to its age but all the staff were most helpful and the accommodation very clean and comfortable. Excursions were value for money and not hampered by the constant haggling. Open your heart and mind and enjoy the Caruso to its fullest . (Russ and Norma, room 214)

Room Tip: Don't expect a sea view, there are none, other than in the palace which is worth an upgrade for...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Russ G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
midlands uk
Level Contributor
20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 23, 2013

Just had a week at the beginning of march in this hotel which is now called the Caruso palace. It is a great hotel to stay in if you are looking for a quiet time. We loved it. The staff are very helpful and friendly and can,t do enough for you. The hotel is clean and for the most part well maintained. It can best be described as faded grandure. The food is well prepared and plentiful with something to suit all tastes. Some vegans we were talking to said the chef prepared food especially for them when he found out they were struggling to get a meal together without meat or dairy. The poolside area is nice and calm. No music playing which for me is great as I can,t bear to listen to loud music of other people's choice whilst trying to relax or read. The gardens are well cultivated. There is a little beach to the side of the hotel but it,s not always accessible when the tide is in.
Out and about it is a 15 minute stroll to the marina and fountain area in Port el Kantaoui and a 5 -7 dinar taxi ride to Sousse. Sousse has a great medina( covered market) and some good museums. One not to miss that is not on the reps list of places to visit is the Dar Essid museum just up the side of the market . It is the house of the last bey and shows how folks used to live in the 1800,s Also the archeological museum has some truly amazing mosaics. Before you book on expensive trips look into seeing sights such as El Jem, Carthage, sidi bou said, Tunis and Monastir by train and metro as the trains are cheap, clean and on time.

Room Tip: In winter /spring ask for a high level room on the left hand side of the reception overlooking the f...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank minajarrow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Hana Palace Caruso Hotel

Property: El Hana Palace Caruso Hotel
Address: 4089 Blv 14 Janvier, Port El Kantaoui 4089, Tunisia
Location: Tunisia > Sousse Governorate > Port El Kantaoui
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#14 Spa Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
Number of rooms: 123
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel Hana Palace
El Hana Palace Hotel
Hana Palace Port El Kantaoui
El Hana Palace Tunisia

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