Trying to write an honest review as we have come back very relaxed and the location by the beach was fantastic.
When you get to the Airport you may get approached by a Porter who will take your suitcases to your transfer vehicle, but he will expect a tip, so be aware or just take your own cases - the porters accept any currency by the way. After we got on the coach a rep came on and asked a young couple near us if they would like some water for the journey. One said yes - he then gave her a bottle of water and said £1 please. We were giggling at the cheek, but if you get offered anything expect to pay for it.
We arrived at the hotel a bit late but no problem there, the guy at reception came out to meet us with our luggage, very friendly and welcoming.
At check-in we were allocated a room but receptionist told us he thought it was a king-size bed (2 friends, not a couple) and we could go and see the room first.
We were shown the room, it did have a kingsize bed but it also overlooked the dome of a building below, which partly would have blocked our sea view. We asked for a twin room on the 2nd floor and there was no problem with that - just seemed curious that they would offer the first room when the hotel was practically empty. It happened to other guests too, so if you're not happy with your first allocated room just ask for another.
We couldn't believe how few guests there were, which obviously impacted on the entertainment (the Showbar was not open at all), the entertainment happened in the small Piano bar and included a saxophonist, a karaoke (oh dear) and the young animation team doing their best to play the songs the guests liked and get people to join in dancing. Have to say here that we enjoyed a few great nights dancing with Franco, Danny and Mayar, a lovely group of young people who work hard all day.
The lack of guests might also have impacted on the food, which became quite repetitive - lamb stew, beef stew, chicken stew, roast chicken, rice, potatoes, vegetables (mainly cauliflower, aubergine and spinach). Not a great choice if you are vegetarian but there was usually something to choose from for the meat-eaters. Having said that, in the morning you could have freshly made omelettes, churro-type doughnuts with honey, as well as cereals, fruit, meats, salad, tea, coffee etc. Just watch out for the small birds flying round the restaurant and make sure they haven't been nibbling at the bread and food as they were not being chased away often enough! The cakes and pastries are probably the best thing you will eat and there is also a choice of ice cream. The chefs serving the omelettes and pancakes like to engage with you and practice their English, inlcuding the young boy who makes the fresh fruit juices just inside the door, what a lovely young man. The waiters are very friendly and will save your favourite table and get your drinks for you.
Also there is a beachfront snack bar which serves salad, pizzas, burgers, grilled chicken, etc so you can enjoy a wonderful view whilst having lunch. The children's playground was being finalised so everything was brand new, it will be great for young children.
The hotel is right on the beach, beautiful, clear, warm water which is safe to swim in with little or no seaweed around. If you're approached by men selling jewellery, towels or cigarettes just say no thank you if you don't want to buy anything, they will try and engage you in conversation and then you're hooked! They will even tell you they work in your hotel. They don't.
Although we booked all inclusive, the mini fridge in our room had soft drinks which you had to pay for. They leave a list on top of the fridge for you to tick off and hand in to reception. Ridiculous when you get the same drinks downstairs for free.
Alcoholic drinks - the bar staff are lovely and usually remember your favourite drink. Only thing is you only get "local" drinks with your all inclusive rate and if you want a named spirit you pay extra, which we did when we ordered a Cointreau. We thought the cocktails were watery but this could just have been the local spirits. The local Tunisian beer was very nice.
The outdoor pool was lovely, it's not heated but a few more guests were using it as the week went by. And lots of sun loungers with fixed umbrellas. There's a great indoor, heated pool near the Spa which we used every day, very relaxing.
We both had a massage at the spa, there are lots of choices so speak to the lovely lady at the Spa desk and she will explain all the options. They start at around £20 and are well worth it.
There are beach activities if you fancy, parasailing, banana boat, boat rides and you can also book a quad safari. There is a guy who rides his camel along the beach every day (camel's name is Ali Baba) and he is very friendly - we saw a young dad with his little girl having a ride on the camel but there is no pressure from the owner to sell you a ride.
In the immediate area there were no cafes or shops open, which could have been due to Ramadan so make sure you pack everything you need.
Our biggest issue was the total lack of Air Conditioning in the hotel - this was not due to be turned on until 1st July and there were no fans for hire at reception. The nights in May were very hot and will only get warmer in the next few weeks. There are mosquitoes around too, so don't open your window at night if they are fond of you.
The room was kept spotlessly clean, the lady who cleaned ours was lovely and every day we were greeted with a cheery bonjour or good morning. We got a big hug as we were leaving and she appreciated the (small to us) tip we left.
If you've booked this hotel you will have a great time, just be aware of certain things that might not come up to your expectations. We were lucky to meet some lovely guests there,who we got on really with, but it would have been eerily quiet without them! The staff will go out of their way for you and they do appreciate your custom, they are very happy that British people are starting to return.
Free wi-fi is great too, I even got a signal in the beach snack bar.
There were no sockets by the bed in our room just one near the balcony, so if you want to charge your phones and tablets you will have to jiggle around the kettle, fridge and light sockets, or bring a multiple adapter/extension lead.
Also, there are tea and coffee making facilities but no milk, and our tea and coffee did not get replaced when we ran out, so ask at Reception for some.
Beach towels are available for a returnable deposit (we paid 20 dinar for two) and they are exchanged when you need fresh ones - or you can bring your own.