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STEIGENBERGER Kantaoui Bay
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Reviewed 14 July 2011

We have just returned from a wonderful week at the Riu Imperial Marhaba. Some of the reviews of this hotel are confusing mainly because of the bulding work and the refurbishment.

Let us put your minds at rest. It was all you would expect from a Riu Hotel - very clean, friendly, lots of good food and drink, well tended gardens and right on the beach.

Management and staff were very helpful and the service in the restaurants and bars was very efficient. The building work is only a minor inconvenience and does provide some amusing moments - no hard hats, safety gear or work boots for these guys! The refurbishment is finished, but there is still work going on in the extension. There is some noise around the pool, but it didn't bother us.

If you want a change of routine during your holiday, then we would recommend a thirty minute evening stroll into Port el Kantaoui. Start at 6pm and walk along the beach stopping at the Marina for a cold beer then sit in a bar and watch the world go by. Beware if you want a beer that some bars are juice bars only and do not sell alchohol. Then walk into the town square a few minutes away and wander round the shops before enjoying a meal at one of the many restaurants and watch the coloured fountains and listen to the music. Then back to the hotel by taxi at a cost of approximately £5. Well worth doing.

We can see problems for this hotel in the future as the number of guests increase. The main pool will need to be much bigger and more sun loungers. The childrens pool wil also need to be enlarged and made to look more intresting and attractive. The childrens playground is also very minimal - a couple of swings and a slide tucked away in a corner. Teenagers are not very well catered for with table tennis, pool and three old video games.

But for adults who want a relaxing, peaceful, friendly holiday this is definately worth a visit and we would go back any time.

Just a mention that when you change your money into dinars (you can do this at the hotel) get receipts. You will need them at the airport for any money you are changing back. Also they will not exchange coins at the airport only notes.

Note to management - we would also liked to have see a plan of what the hotel will look like in the future. How many rooms, extra facilities, etc.

We did love Tunisia though - the people, the weather and only 2.5 hour flight!

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank traveltwosome004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 July 2011

just make sure all building work is completed, service and food is spot on, rooms are great, if you have a late flight all inclusive stops at 1400hrs which for a 5*platinum is poor, tends to be a lot of sand fly's on beach take spray. staff are very good the hotel is spotless, we booked again as soon as we got back it was that good, entertainment team are not super stars, but what fantastic fun and nice people.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank johnb63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2011

Hotel great, staff hard working from the main manager to the guy who polished the floor everyday nothing to much trouble, everything was cleaned to a high standard.The restaurents where very good with lots of choice.Only gripe was the flys at lunch which due to it being served out side were unavoidable.the evening entertainment IF YOU COULD CALL IT WAS RUBBISH ,but overall the hotel staff and the hotel wre very good .

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank seaviewrequired
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2011

We booked this hotel on the recommendation of friends. We received a letter e week before we were due to go to advise there was some building work still going on but this should not affect our holiday. Well it did!!
First the good points: the hotel itself was lovely and the rooms were very nice, the restaurtant was very nice always found something to eat and the same at the beach/pool snack bar. The staff were always very friendly and welcoming.
The not so good points: the pool was not particualrly large for this size hotel it wasn't a problem when we were there as the hotel was no overly busy, but i can imagine it being very crowded in high season. The entertainment was poor was, for a 5* hotel I expected better!
I would just say to check the progress of the building work if you decide to book. Thomson said the buidling work would no affect our holiday it did as the building work was right by the pool, the main building work has been done but they are still doing the internal stuff, the builders were angle grinding some days, banging most days, also the builders start at 7.30am every morning I had to complain to the rep as they were shouting to each other rather loudly before 8.00am (afterall we went on holiday to relax and lay in) I would say the building is likely to go until the end of the year.
We woulds go back as the hotel was very nice but we would wait until next year when the building work has finished.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank speedy93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2011

Stayed at this hotel 29/06/11 to 06/07/11. First the good points. The hotel itself is fantastic with a beautiful reception-lobby area, great and "posh" buffet dining ( but not nice bacon and sausages for breakfast but nice scrambled eggs and loads of other choices) lovely grounds surrounding the pool where beds were always available no matter what time we arrived but this may be different at busier times of day. The beach is just about 100mtrs from pool with plenty of beds available and lots of water sports available, we did paragliding ( 35 dinars for 2 of us ) and jet skiing which we paid 35 for 2 then 25 dinar for 1.
Now the bad points.
In all the 30 years we have been travelling abroad the evening entertainment program is the worst I have ever seen and included an absolutely ridiculous and disgusting performance where two men one of who apparently could'nt speak standing behind a box which was supposed to be a urinal ushering the other one over.... do not let your kids see this.
The building work is still going on and judging by the way it looks will be going on for a long time yet . From around the pool not too much of this work can be seen as they have obviously done the front (pool) bit first but the back of this (which we saw twice while paragliding) looks way off being finished and when work is being done this causes noise around the pool area which they try to drown out by putting the music volume up. Dont know what is worse.
Daytime entertainment was also truly embarrassing. The crazy golf was crazy whereby a bath towel length green similar in length to a sunbed was laid down on one of the gardens ..... see for yourselves.
Before we went here I did read reviews and was concerned about the buildind work mentioned. I did contact Thomson and ask if we could change hotel because of the building work but was told it was in the terms and conditions the costs would all have to met by us if changes were made.
I hope this information has helped you as other reviews have helped us

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank maximus191
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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