Iberostar Phenicia Reviews

MONCEF BEY

Reviews for Iberostar Phenicia, Hammamet, Tunisia, Africa

LOCATION

4 out of 5
4 Stars

ACCOMMODATION

5 out of 5
5 Stars

KIDS FACILITIES

5 out of 5
5 Stars

OVERALL RATING

4.6 out of 5
4.6 Stars
This hotel in tunisia is located in a large well kept landscaped area right beside a sandy beach and only 5 km from the centre of hammamet.
"We have just returned from a two-week all-inclusive stay in this lovely hotel & wanted t..."

We have just returned from a two-week all-inclusive stay in this lovely hotel & wanted to share our experiences with anyone who might be thinking of going.

Firstly we will mention that during our two-week stay we travelled over 1000 miles on various trips around the country & therefore believe we are in a good position to reassure anyone who intends on visiting this beautiful country that we saw no signs of any trouble at all.

The civil unrest has hit the tourism industry quite hard but they intend to elect a new government in a few months and hopefully this will result in a bright future for the locals.

Hotel & surroundings

The hotel is situated half way between Hammamet & the purpose built resort of Yasmine Hammamet. The transfer from the airport is currently 75 minutes but this will be reduced by 20-30 minutes in the coming weeks when the new airport at Enfidha is opened.

The hotel is set away from the main road & has its own private beach (you can walk along the beach to Hammamet or to Yasmine Hammamet from the hotel in under an hour).

The hotel has two swimming pools (one being partially indoors which is heated & a larger one nearer the beach). The hotel is surrounded by vegetation which is very picturesque.

We were slightly disappointed that we were not given a room overlooking the pools & beach, but the view from the other end is fantastic when the sun is setting.

Staff

From the moment we reached the hotel to the early hours in the morning when we left, the staff always went out of their way to help your every need.

We need not feel obliged to continually tip & continued to receive excellent service from the waiters & dining staff on the occasions when we did not tip.

We must make a special point of mentioning the animation team who work tirelessly from 9am until 11.30pm every day. On the rare times when they are not organising games/lessons or entertaining at night, they are perfecting their dances routines & practising.

We won?t mention everyone but our personal favourites were Rio, Shaggy, Jesus, Bibel, Mimo & Momo.

Each day we enjoyed playing archery, French boules, darts, beach volleyball, golf & the occasional game of football on the beach. In the high season they also do games in the pool.

Food

We had read some reviews indicating that there was not a good choice of food. This in our view is completely false. For breakfast there was always a good selection of hot food (scrambled egg, tomatoes, sausages), for cold food there were fresh croissants, croissants with chocolate inside, cake, selection of cereals, fresh fruit & dates, selection of drinks including freshly squeezed lemon & orange juice, coffee or juice from the machine.

There was always a chef on the live cooking stand who would cook omelettes, fried eggs & pancakes to order.

In the dining room, lunch (12noon ? 2pm) consisted of a good selection of cold foods (many salad dishes, fresh hams, freshly baked bread, cheeses, selection of desserts & fruit) & a good variety of hot foods which changed every day (consisting of different meat, fish, rice, pasta, rice, potatoes, two types of soup, vegetables & two live cooking stands).

Dinner was served from 7pm & as with lunch, there was always a good variety of quality food to choose from. We tried rabbit & wild boar during our stay along with many types of fresh fish.

You sat on the same table throughout your stay but this was good as the waiter would quickly remember your drinks and ours would very often have ours on the table ready for us.

Trips

Some people like to go away to chill for two weeks by the pool, but we always like to mix our holidays up with time set aside to recharge the batteries together with days out to discover the country or surroundings.

There are a number of trips on offer (and all at very good prices we might add) both through your reps or directly with some of the local reps who sometimes come into the hotel.

The organised trips we went on via the rep were-

?Carthage, Sidi Bou Said & Bardo Museum?. This day out was made very informative by our guide as we headed north around the capital Tunis & onto Carthage & Sidi Bou Said.

This includes a three-course lunch & a trip to a museum to take in dozens and dozens of mosaics which have been found & collected over the years. Full day trip, 75D per person.

?African Dream?. This is a half day trip (we were collected from the Phenicia at 2.30pm) & was 65D per person. You are given between 60-90 minutes of free time when you arrive to go around Friguia Animal Park which was well worth the visit itself (we would have liked to have spent slightly longer there).

There are some excellent vantage points for photographs and for much of the time you are actually looking down into the enclosures. Just before 5pm we then met back at the restaurant with the rest of our group for a three-course meal with an evening of live entertainment consisting of Zulu & folklore dances and live music.

?Sahara Explorer?. We were collected from our hotel at 6am and returned the following day around 6pm. Although this trip is very tiring (750 mile round trip), it is a must for anyone who wants to discover the parts of the country away from your resort & is very rewarding. It is also excellent value for money at 175d per person.

The trips includes, three-course lunches on both days, evening meal & overnight stay in 3/4* hotel on the edge of the Sahara desert, horse & carriage ride, ride in 4x4 jeeps into the rocky parts of the desert & coach travel.

The only extras which are not covered are - drinks for all three meals & camel ride in Sahara (this is only 25d per person & you are given your own camel each & the ride lasts a good 45 minutes).

We won?t list everything we did but we have the itinerary which we can email if required, but you will see many camels, an oasis, gorgeous scenery, third largest amphitheatre (and best kept one) in the world, sunrise over the salt lakes to name a few highlights.

The days out we arranged ourselves or did on our ?own steam? were-

?Sousse?. We got a local taxi (5D) to Bir Bou Regba & then got a train to the third largest city in Tunisia called Sousse. This was approximately 5D per person but you can upgrade (as we did) to first class for an extra dinar or so.

The trains are comfortable, quite quick & reliable (ours was ten minutes or so late ? nothing that would be out of the ordinary in England!).

You can pay for your return ticket at Bir Bou Regba but when you return, make sure you go to the ticket counter who will issue you with a new ticket when you show them your original one.

This was one of our most enjoyable days out as we did it on our own and were able to see the sights, smells, noise & colour of the big medina together with the various meat, fish, fruit & veg markets.

?Hammamet?. We went to local town one morning to collect a few gifts to bring home & had some fun bartering with some of the local shop keepers in the Medina.

?Nabeul?. Friday is the best day to come here & it was 12D there via a taxi (takes 20-25 minutes). The streets are quite wide with shops either side. It is very popular with tourists & locals alike.

On a Friday they have a large weekly market which is the opposite end of the main town from where the taxi will drop you off (however it?s only a ten minute walk away).

If you?re not into the bartering there are a few ?fixed price? shops.

?Pirate ship?. We arranged this half day trip via a local rep who we met in the hotel. We were collected around 9am & set off on the ?Sultan 2? around 10am from Yasmine Hammamet.

We went up the coast past Hammamet & towards Nabeul before returning home via a break to let people swim in the sea. Lunch (fish, meat, bread & salad) were included.

However, the best thing about this trip were the animation team who danced on the deck & climbed up the rigging on the ship several times which was very entertaining.

The only negative aspects of our holiday were a) returning home & b) needlessly ?worrying? before our holiday about the civil unrest when in hindsight there was no signs of this whatsoever.

We felt safe at all times (both when we were in organised groups & when we ventured out into local taxis or went further a field and mixed with the locals.

Sorry for the long review but we didn?t want this to be another ?it was great & we?ll go back again soon? review. Instead we wanted to show why we would jump at the chance of returning to the Phenicia and spending time with the lovely Tunisian people again soon.

LOCATION:
5 Stars
ACCOM:
5 Stars
KIDS:
0 Stars
OVERALL:
5.0 Stars
"We stayed at the Phenicia after a stay at a Sentido hotel in Turkey.
We were really ..."

We stayed at the Phenicia after a stay at a Sentido hotel in Turkey.
We were really pleased with our stay here. We had a lovely holiday. Our stay was for 11 nights.

On arrival, we were given cool towels and a refreshing lemon drink. Registering did not take too long and then it was up to our room. I was worried about the room after reading some of the reviews, but my fears were needless, it was fine. Spacious, very clean and overlooking the gardens as we had requested. The bedding and towels looked as though they were changed daily.
The food was excellent. Always a huge choice of cold and hot food. Always fresh pasta with different sauces. Usually a carvery. Soup was delicious, as were the desserts. There was icecream that you served yourself.

We tried the Asian Restaurant and although the food was good, it was no better than the main restaurant. There was also a charge here.
The other restaurant we did not use. We asked to look at the menu, but there was nothing that we really wanted to try. Shame really, as it looked lovely, romantic too!
We are an older couple who would not normally join in with activities. Because of the first 5+ days without any sunshine, Dido managed to persuade us to 'have a go' at archery. He was a very good teacher (and archer) and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. My husband managed a decent score, I was rubbish (blame it onto my age, I am!)
These animation boys and girls work tirelessly to entertain. Their routines on the stage were awesome. The energy, and the remembering of countless routines leave you shaking your head in wonder.
All of the staff that we had dealings with were lovely. So attentive. We felt very 'cared for'.
The sun came out on the 6th day and was hot until the end of our holiday. We just laid in the sun and read our books (there is a small library of books in the Reps/wifi section). There is free wifi for laptops in the reception area. There is a fitness centre and indoor pool. A quiet pool and a large one where aerobics were carried out. And a shop for crisps, chocolate, nrewspapers, swimwear and gifts etc. We took our own travel kettle etc for the room.
The only down side with the Phenicia was the situation with the pool/beach towels. We have been to many hotels that supply these and do not usually take our own. There has been a point where you hand in dirty towels and collect clean and we take full advantage of this, changing them at the end of each day. At the Phenicia the pool towels are in the bedroom on arrival. We arrived on a Wednesday for an 11 night stay. In all of this time we did not have the pool towels changed. On enquiring, well into our holiday, we were told 'the Housekeeper changes them on Tuesdays and Saturdays'. This presumably means that you have to stay in your room until the clean towels are delivered! We did not meet anyone that had clean towels!!! Sentido must surely review this state of affairs. I dread to think what it is like in the heighth of Summer, with everyone using sweaty towels full of sun lotion day after day!
Other than that, we cannot fault the hotel and would have no hesitation in recommending it.

Gravesend

LOCATION:
5 Stars
ACCOM:
5 Stars
KIDS:
0 Stars
OVERALL:
5.0 Stars
"This is one of the bests holidays I have been on. Although there isnt much to do in the surr..."

This is one of the bests holidays I have been on. Although there isnt much to do in the surrounding area, it didnt bother us as we wanted a relaxing holiday. If you did want to venture out the there are a few madina's near by and only a short tazi ride away.

The hotel is forever being cleaned and all the staff are very friendly and will do anything for you. The animation team are great and are good at getting you involved in things, although they will leave you alone if you are not interested!!!!

The food was good and there was always plenty of it regardless of what time you went to eat. You have to share a table at dinner/lunch time but we just always went at a different time from the couple at our table so it wasnt a problem.

I will definitely go back to this hotel and would recommend it to anyone.

Coatbridge

LOCATION:
5 Stars
ACCOM:
5 Stars
KIDS:
5 Stars
OVERALL:
5.0 Stars
"I would reccommend this hotel to anyone who likes good food, good service and good facilitie..."

I would reccommend this hotel to anyone who likes good food, good service and good facilities. The only let down is the evening entertainment, it did not spoil my holiday but if this had been a family holiday my children aged 18 and 21 would not have been impressed.
the food although not fine dining, is very good and there is always lots of choice, It is customery to tip the staff and 1 dina is the usual amount= 40p.
Tunisia has closed currency which means you cannot exchange money outside of the country. You can exchange money at the airport but you will be charged a high commission. You can exchange Sterling into Dina at the hotel without paying a commission however you cannot exchange you money back into Sterling.
The hotel room has hanging space for clothes but does not have any shelving or drawer space.
There is a fridge for your use, a hairdryer but no kettle or iron.
You cannot dry your towels on the balcony but you can hire them for a deposit of £20.00, this is a great idea, saves on packing, you can change your towel for a clean one every day and they are long enough to cover the sunbeds which get very hot. At the end of your stay you will get your money refunded! You can get the hire card from the cashier at reception. Safe hire is also available here at a cost of £3.50 per week.
There are lots of trips organised by both the hotel and the tour operators and details of these are displayed in an area of the foyer near to the pool tables.
Extra monies are required for the Hamman(like a Turkish bath) Spa treatments, golf and tennis tuition and horseriding. However, you may want to stay in the hotel and be dragged up by the entertainment team for boules, darts, aerobics etc and these are all good fun. If you wish though you can just relax in the lovely surroundings either by the pools or on the beach.
Very good value for money, would definately return.

LOCATION:
5 Stars
ACCOM:
5 Stars
KIDS:
0 Stars
OVERALL:
5.0 Stars
"Myself, husband, teenaged daughter plus our neighbour and her young daughter spent New Year ..."

Myself, husband, teenaged daughter plus our neighbour and her young daughter spent New Year 2005 at the Phenicia and we were all so impressed by the high standards of cleanliness, hotel facilities and and overall quality of the food served in the restaurants that we have already booked to come back for a week in May 2006 along with several other friends. We had no hesitation in recommending the Phenicia - we were really impressed by all aspects of this hotel and the surrounding gardens and beach that we can't wait to see it again in the sunshine! The staff are all extremely helpful, very smart and nothing was too much trouble for them. They made us feel very welcome. It's a pity other so called 4* hotels in Europe can't meet the high standards we found at the Phenicia. The final icing on the cake was the superb mixture of nationalities staying at the hotel - French, English, German, Spanish and Russian - so much nicer than being an 'all English' hotel. (Eastleigh)

LOCATION:
5 Stars
ACCOM:
5 Stars
KIDS:
0 Stars
OVERALL:
5.0 Stars
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