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“Shame about the gym...”

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STEIGENBERGER Kantaoui Bay
Ranked #1 of 33 Hotels in Port El Kantaoui
Reviewed 17 April 2012

Just enjoyed a weeks stay at the Riu Imperial Marhaba on our first trip to Tunisia.
The hotel was very clean, the service from the staff was very good and the food was excellent, both in terms of choice and preparation. The hotel did let itself down in two main areas however - 1. The wifi internet access was none existant for most of the stay and very, very slow when it was available. 2. The equipment in the hotel gym is extremely old and in places dangerously so. In addition, the gym is NOT air conditioned, so be sure to take plenty of drinking water with you.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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10  Thank Stefanski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,066 - 1,070 of 1,763 reviews

Reviewed 12 April 2012

Really enjoyed week at riu imperial mahaba. As everyone has said staff really friendly and helpful.hotel and rooms immaculate.food very good always enjoyed my meals,always found something to our taste.only downside as others have said was the invasion at weekends of families with unruly children.they had no respect for other people,guests or staff. Was really pleases when Sunday evening came and most had returned home.good point though they didn't take over the sun beds

Stayed: April 2012
5  Thank MARILYN S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2012

hi we've just returned. this was our second time to tunisia and port el kantaoui. this was our first stay at the imperial, first impressions are great very nice clean hotel. we were given a room upgrade to a suite for no extra cost which was the nicest room we've ever stopped in it was massive and the maid did a brill job. the mini bar was always stocked up. the stretch of beach at the hotel was nice.
the hotel itself was very well maintained throughout and always spotless the waiters in the bar were all very pleasant and always took time to say hi, they always remembered what you drank but think the tips helped with that.
the food was the only let down with the hotel, not much choice and not very nice definitly not 5star food more like 3 and thats being fair, plus point from the restaurant was the staff they were great always smiling and made you feel so welcome, watch out for the little guy he's such a nice guy.
the hotel might be a bit of a way from the harbour but dont let that put you off, takes 5min in taxi or a nice relaxing walk only takes 25min.
the entertainment team in the hotel are not very good so dont expect much they just spend most of the time around the women.
the hotel manager was quite rude also, he was the manager in one we stay in last year and he had'nt changed.
all in all would i stop here again? yes the hotel was lovely and and the staff did it proud, only down side was the food.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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6  Thank Lawrence e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2012

The staff make the hotel. Nothing is too much trouble. Polite and attentive. Rooms were clean and well maintained. If you want a holiday chilling out in the holiday grounds then this hotel is for you. Waiters remember what your tipple is - how you like your coffee, which wine you prefer and what kind of cocktail you like. Food in general was good. Good varied choice. General facilities are good - pool, gym etc. The animation team work hard and deserve a 'C' for effort. Watch out for the small guy - very rude and arrogant.
Once you leave the boundries of the hotel - its dirty, rubbish everywhere. Groups of young men hanging about on the corners. We didn't feel safe going out at night.
The ZULU night organised by Thompson - don't waste your money. Food and drink was appalling - inedible.
Some large and intimidating demonstrations were happening in Sousse and in the airport coming home. So be aware that the political situation is still rumbling.
Would I go back to Tunisia - no. Would I go back to this hotel - Yes

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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5  Thank Horaceo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2012

We arrived at the hotel full of anticipation as we had read reviews (some negative, some very positive) before booking. The hotel is certainly one of the better looking hotels in the area , although there the five star rating ends.
I will deal with the negatives first and then the positives.
Our biggest criticism of this hotel is the food. Not very good to start with it took a big dive when the Tunisians took over the hotel at the weekends (and I do mean took over). We found the food luke warm, poor quality and dull. One of the main issues was when we requested an early breakfast as we had booked several tours. When we arrived at the "continental breakfast room" at 6-45 there was nothing; no rolls, no fruit, nothing. I went to reception to ask if we could have a breakfast and the most rude receptionist snapped "it's all out" - as I am diabetic and had already taken insulin by this time I was beginning to feel very ill indeed. Had it not been for the food and beverage manager allowing us to eat in the main buffet dining area I would have required hospitalisation. We complained and were assured this would never happen again-not convinced we made sure we had provision the next time and sure enough we needed it. In a hotel rated five star this is just unacceptable (it's not acceptable in a three star). I tried to speak to the general manager but he was clearly disinterested in his guests welfare.
As I have said the food just kept getting worse as the week went along.
The noise at night when the Tunisians invade is unrelenting with children screaming until one in the morning. On the morning of our departure we couldn't get to sleep until one thirty because of the screams and crying even though we were on the fourth floor. We awoke at 5-30 only to be greeted with a cold shower as the system in the hotel had gone down (oh joy). No food left out again for breakfast and no coffee and sour milk this time!
The lifts was out of action for most of the time we stayed as was the beach bar as the manager decided NOT TO OPEN IT as the hotel was so quiet (which was true with only about 150 people midweek and a total capacity of over 900 it should worry Riu management)
And then we come to the "entertainment" we never hold out too many expectations but please this was dire. As the hotel is quite a distance from the port it's just not possible to walk unless you have a taxi (around £5 return). The pianist in the lobby bar provided much entertainment as we brought to life that wonderful game "I'll name that tune in 24"! (i kid you not).
The whole place felt lacklustre and depressing.
On a positive note the bar staff are so hard working and pleasant they made up for the lack of entertainment. Tunisia is a tipping culture and we calculated on about £6-£10 per day which, smoothed our holiday to at least a bearable standard.
We have no desire to re-visit this hotel or Tunisia as the holiday felt like hard work and as regards five star - Thomson Holidays shame on you if you believe this is an acceptable standard for your customers.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank nig14
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

Address: port el kantaoui, Port El Kantaoui 4089, Tunisia (Formerly Riu Imperial Marhaba)
Region: Tunisia > Sousse Governorate > Port El Kantaoui
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#1 Luxury Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#1 Spa Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#1 Family Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
Price Range: $84 - $189 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 
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Also Known As:
Imperial Marhaba

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