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“Value for money”

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STEIGENBERGER Kantaoui Bay
Ranked #1 of 33 Hotels in Port El Kantaoui
Wales
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Value for money”
Reviewed January 23, 2012

We spent eleven nights here for a fraction of the cost of a canary island deal for the same dates. Weather was a mixed bag, a couple of days with light rainfall sunshine until early afternoon and lasting longer towards the end of our stay. We arrived at the new Enfidia airport and were swiftly through passport control with our visas which we filled out on the plane (don,t forget to have a pen handy). Transfer was very quick ,around forty minutes, the 2 Riu hotels being the first drop offs. We were greeted with a handshake, seated with drinks and asked to fill out our details on check in forms, given our room keys and whisked away to our rooms. We had requested a high floor and quiet room, which is exactly what we got, overlooking the front of the hotel and due to the time of year got afternoon sunshine, which the rooms overlooking the pool did not. There were only around 150 guests being the weeks after Xmas and New Year, so the staff were not so rushed and had time to chat and get to know everyone. We found the food good, we never had any problems finding something tasty to eat, breakfast finished at 10a.m. but if you fancy a lie in, a continental breakfast starts, lunch around about 12noon, afternoon cakes and pancakes at 3p.m. evening meal 6.30 although during high season they have two sittings. Meal times were pleasant as the staff were all very attentive, wine topped up without asking, and plates removed as soon as they became empty. The animation team were busy all day, and showtime was around 9p.m. we only went the once, as we preferred to sit and chat in the evenings. All areas in and around the hotel were very well kept. The port itself looked tired compared to when we last visited, probably due to the time of year and the lack of tourists, we were not bothered unduly by the shop owners , a polite no thank you is all that is needed. All the staff at the hotel were very good but we felt that our breakfast waitress, evening meal waiter were excellent, our table ready, drinks waiting and nothing too much trouble, special mention also to Letifa the day waitress who served drinks all day and never stopped smiling and saying "have a nice coffe" etc. We tipped little and often, as we would at home for good service. The building work noise, we felt was minimal, but it would depend on each individuals tolerance levels, towards the end of the week the pool was being emptied possibly to be enlarged, but this shouldn,t be a great hardship as it was far too cold to swim in, and should anyone fancy a swim there is a lovely warm inside pool. The hotel is right on the beach, camel rides, horse rides available, and it is also possible to hire fishing rods. We had a lovely relaxing holiday, and may return again but feel that a week would be ample time to recharge our batteries.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
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18 Thank luvitalywales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Ashton-under-Lyne, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 21, 2012

Just had a fantastic week in this beautiful hotel, on our arrival we were given cocktails whilst we checked in, the entrance really is something else, our cases were then taken to our room which was just as described in the brochure. The room like everywhere else in the hotel was spotlessly clean. Wasn't sure what to expect from the restaurant but we needn't have worried as the food was really 5 stars, the staff were very friendly from the manager to the cleaning ladies, the entertainment wasnt too, bad the animation team tried very hard to create a good atmosphere, I would certainly reccommend this hotel and would certainly holiday in tunisia again. Please be careful if you are thinking to buy expensive items, they are not what they appear!!!!!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank sharongr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
78 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 235 helpful votes
Reviewed January 16, 2012

Arrived at this hotel New years day for a week on a cheap Thomson getaway for two.
Not too bad getting through the airport, took about 30 minutes (last time I was in Tunisia it was almost 2 hours!). Transfer took about 30 minutes.

Check-in easy as. We were offered a welcome drink and a room key :-)
Lobby is huge with plenty of seating dotted about. There is a very comfortable lobby bar with smoking and non-smoking areas available. Waiters serve you at the table but you can go to the bar yourself if you prefer. Alcoholic drinks are local, but they didnt taste watered down. If you ask for a strong drink, you get one! Can't say enough good things about the waiters, they were all really friendly and attentive.

Our room 328; a room with a fantastic seaview . The huge balcony was always in the shade , but still worth paying the upgrade just for that view. The huge bed was extremely comfortable. The bathroom has an overbath shower which worked great, but the old-fashioned fabric shower curtain needs to go!. There is a separate room for the toilet.
The room was kept immaculately clean.

We thought that BBC World & CNN were the only t.v. channels in English, that is until we stumbled across an arab channel continually showing subtitled American movies. That came in very handy!

The food in the AI restaurant was generally really good, sometimes the soup was a little roapy, other times absolutely delicious. There is plenty of variety though; there is a dedicated pasta station, a Tunisian table, a grill, and plenty of salad. Waiters/waitresses here are great, they work really hard, and nothing is too much trouble. There's a small on-site shop which sells chocolate, crisps etc, oh and 3 day old newspapers ;-)

The weather was lovely and sunny but not warm enough to use the outdoor pool. The indoor pool is huge and free to use, just ask for a towel at reception. There is a gym! well, there's a room with a couple of running machines in! Honest, such a waste of space the gym is huge but the sparse equipment is older than I am, this could really do with an overhaul! There is a gym in the spa attached to the hotel, but it's very expensive (i.e. 60 dinar per hour?) so I didn't even contemplate using it. The building work on the new block is almost finished, we weren't disturbed by it at all.

Took a walk into Port el Kantaoui, it's about 40 minutes, but is completely flat so do-able for anyone, it's a very nice walk. Some of theThomson trips sound great, and looked good value but we'd come for a chill-out week so didn't do them.

As we had a late flight we went to reception to keep the room until 6pm, this cost 40 dinar, very reasonable (about 20 pounds!). I think Thomson charge more if you do this with them.

Transfer to the airport went ok, fortunately we were the first coach to arrive, because there were only 2 check-in desks open and they were incredibly slow.

Through security ( this was a nice surprise, walked straight through without a long queue)
there is a cafe (of sorts) where you can buy hot snacks and a drink. And you CAN use dinar!
There is also a smoking area in the cafe- don't see that very often!

So, we had a great relaxing week. The hotel isn't 5 star as you'd expect in a U.K. hotel, it lacks the finer touches, but would be considered a good 4 star, and the service is really good. If I needed a week away to relax and do nothing for not much money I would definitely stay here again. A.I really is A.I., we changed money to Dinar, and all we really spent were for tips, there's almost nothing else to spend your money on!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
14 Thank geosu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peterborough
Level Contributor
40 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2012

This is our 3rd stay in Port El Kantaoui, 1st time at the Imperial. Stayed for a week arriving Christmas day and leaving New Years Day. Beautiful hotel with large well kept rooms and lots of marble and chandeliers!
The atrium overlooking the reception area was beautiful, on each floor there is an area with large panoramic windows and seating overlooking the sea at the back of the hotel and into the hill at the front, an ideal area for relaxing, reading or picking up the free WiFi.
Service was fantastic at all bars and through to the restaurant. A table was assigned to us on the first night which you keep for the entire stay for dinner only. A special thanks to our waiter Ben who looked after us extremely well throughout our stay.
New Years Gala Night
This was indeed a night to remember, the whole management team and staff joined us in the bar for speeches and cocktails and they had worked extremely hard to set up for night festivities. The Gala meal in the restaurant was absolutely fabulous with a wide range of different foods. Went back into the party area where pre-ordered bottle of wine was waiting for us. The live band was in full swing, great party atmosphere up to New Year being rung in!

Weather not fantastic but did have a couple of occasions sitting around the pool in just a pair of shorts. Walked to the shops and the port on several occasions, one night having a meal in the Mediterranean, lovely food!
Don’t know if it was the time of year but the animation team was pretty elusive throughout and a female member who I was not quite sure what her role was but spent most of the time socialising with a certain group/party.
Would I use this hotel again, yes.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
15 Thank SteveChapman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DOUGLAS
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2012

Best hotel ever... first class, rooms are lovely, spotless,setting delightful, staff amazing, where all inclusive MEANS all in! Went with Thomsons and if they don't do it - then don't. Stephen our rep was so nice, so helpful, nothing was a problem. Will deffo be going back.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
13 Thank Elaineodea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coventry, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2012

We (Wife and myself) went to Bellevue in May 2011 we were booked to go to Imperial Marhaba , but as they were still in the revamp stage we were transferred to Bellevue (BV), as we had stayed at the Imperial twice before we naturally started to compare the two. Receptions on arrival were on par but the BV won hands down on after service always done with a smile we even had them dancing and singing.

Rooms were both spotless BV was slightly larger and room service was equal.

We went for the evening meal to be greeted at the door by the hotel manager and all waiters, this didn't happen at the IMP in fact we have now been to the Imp three times and still don't know who the manager is. Although the welcome to restaurant was the same minus the manager. Food at the the BV was adequate but all meats were in sauces whereas the IMP had a carvery counter with turkey off the bone,beef,pork and tuna once a week. But to be true we were comparing the BV a 4 star with the IMP a 5 star as the restuarant manager pointed out.

Evening entertainment the BV once again won hands down with a pianist and organist on alternate nights with the manager giving us some songs. I went to the room one night and got my trilbey hat he put it on and for the night he was Frank Sinartra. At the IMP they had the piano in the main bar and one night one of the guests was a concert pianist he started to play the piano but was told that he couldn't for fear of keeping the other guests awake, so that was the end of our entertainment in the main bar.

For the youngsters there was more for them with a large reading room / card and chess games, and 2 games rooms one either end of ground floor with pool tables and machines, outside there was a table tennis table comical when there was a wind. At the IMP a small games room and a pool table.

Pool at the BV was larger with the pool attendants being younger they were more helpful and entertaining all day at the IMP once they had got your tip you didn't see them again until the next day.

In July we returned to the IMP with our son, daughter-in-law and grandson. Whilst there was building work going on it didn't spoil our holiday. There were a few changes in the staff but those who were there in 2010 recognised us and really made us welcome again.

We had adjacent rooms but our sons room was a huge family room with a double and single bed.
There was a new piano room that was very well furnished, the pianist and organist that we had seen at the BV had been recruited, but they had a lot better atmosphere at the BV. It was because of this we found that you met a lot more people and had a lot more laughs.

My son and myself visited the BV and was made welcome by the staff and manager. We had a drink in the main bar as this was July it was a lot warmer and with no airconditioning we found it very uncomfortable.

Unfotunately with Thomson flights from Birmingham you cannot book 2 weeks holiday at the IMP if you want to fly out on a Sunday you can only get 10 days holiday returning on a Wednesday.

To sum it up, the BV is the better of the two with more entertainment for both young and old. As our grandson can have no sauces with his food we will be returning to the IMP only if Thomson have a rethink.
If the BV sorted out the airconditioning and the meat problem then we will go there.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank Jevs68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Exmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2012

We stayed in the Riu Imperial for seven days in December 2011 and had a wonderful time. It was an all inclusive deal, something we had not done before but would definitely do again. The hotel is really lovely and spotlessly clean. We spent most days by the pool as this was a holiday to regain our energies after a trying few months. The sun shone and although the pool was too cold to swim in it was great to be able to sunbathe in the middle of December. Our room was on the third floor and was a sea facing one with a balcony. It was a very good size and like the public spaces in the hotel was kept spotlessly clean by housekeeping. The food was very good and there was something different every day. In fact one was spoilt for choice. Also the staff in the dining room were very attentive. We enjoyed some evenings watching and listening to the animation team and met some lovely people there. All in all we were sad to leave and would definitely like to return later on this year if at all possible.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank hopingone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about STEIGENBERGER Kantaoui Bay

Property: STEIGENBERGER Kantaoui Bay
Address: port el kantaoui, Port El Kantaoui 4089, Tunisia (Formerly Riu Imperial Marhaba)
Location: Tunisia > Sousse Governorate > Port El Kantaoui
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#1 Romantic Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#1 Family Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#1 Luxury Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — STEIGENBERGER Kantaoui Bay 5*
Number of rooms: 366
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
* Partially renovated in winter 2007/8 * 3 km from Port El Kantaoui * Located on the beach * Complimentary sun loungers and parasols on the beach * 5-story building * 14 km from the center of Sousse * 200 m from various shops * 23 km from Monastir airport * 200 m from a bus stop * Credit cards accepted: MasterCard, Visa, Amex ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Imperial Marhaba

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