ClubHotel Riu Palm Azur
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Could have been so much better...
Where do I begin.. First of all I'll try to give to be objective and give you the basic facts so that you can draw your own conclusions, then I'll add my opinion.
The hotel itself is quite large and has a a large swimming pool and a smaller pool for kiddies.
The rooms are fine, beds, tv, bath/shower, hair dryer, wardrobe - usual stuff.
There are 3 restaurants the main large one is indoor, there are then 2 further restaurants outside, the barbeque and the pirate restaurant - plus an alacart'e restaurant which you can use once during your stay - by reservation only.
The pirate restaurant is on the beach and serves mostly bbq'd fish and salads, the BBQ restaurant servers similar food to the main restaurant of a lunch time (the pirate and bbq restaurant are only open at lunch time) which seem to mainly consist of potatoes (either sautéed, mashed, boiled or chips) veg (carrots, green beans) spaghetti, salad, pizza, bread, salad and a grilled meat (chicken / pork), with sweets.
Of an evening only the main indoor restaurant is open, which serves salads, fish, potatoes, veg, spaghetti, beef stew, rice, cous cous, paella, lots of fruit and lots of sweets.
Entertainment in the evening in the main bar is mainly a guy on a keyboard singing - this goes on for most of the evening.
Between about 20:30 - 21:00 they have kids entertainment in the Theatre, on some evening this is then followed by a show at about 21:30 for about half an hour. The shows I saw advertised were the folklore, mister macho and bingo.
OK now for my opinion;
When we arrived the hotel seemed quite impressive and we were pleased, the room was fine and clean. We didn't get the sea view we paid for- though I could see about a square inch of the sea if I stood on the wall outside the balcony. However the view could have been much worse. As I wandered around the hotel some of the rooms on the left of the hotel overlooked a kind of dirty ally way and the next hotel - I would have been quite upset to get one of those. A tip here would be to ask for a sea view room on a high floor - because some of these had really nice views.
Our room was down near the kiddie's pool and the tennis courts and the whole block on the ground floor smelt damp and the carpets in the hall ways were, to put it mildly filthy.
The food in the restaurants seemed ok for the first 5 days or so, but it was more or less the same thing every day with the odd 'themed' meal thrown in. EG the one night they had a spanish night, though the only difference I could see was that they had pealla.
As I mentioned earlier you can only eat in the main restaurant at night - which toward the end of the first week got to be a real drag. After a week we got really fed up of some of the food. It was quite bland and the quality of the meat was questionable.
In the daytime the pirate and BBQ restaurants were OK, except again the served more or less the same things day in, day out and they were swamped with flies - especially the pirate restaurant. It wasn't so much that the flies were flying around (as flies tend to do) but that they were all over the food.
The entertainment in the evening was just bloody awful and there wasn't really much to do at night at all. We went with out 18 mnth daughter and after taking her to the kids disco for 30 mins at 8.30 we were stuck for what to do for the rest of the evening. As you looked around the bar area you could see the look of boredom on peoples faces.
The pools were nice but my god you had to get up early to get a sun bed. We got there on the 17th June and if you didn't get up at 6 - yes SIX AM, you would be stuck for a sun bed.
After a week there were hardly any left after about 6.15 - not nice to have to get up at that time when you are on holiday.
The one day we got up a bit late and couldn't find a seat or parasol around the pool or beach - If we had been on our own this wouldn't have been a problem but with a young child we needed some shade for her from the sun (around 38c) so my wife complained to the reception and was told that she would need to get up at 6 with all the other guests. Nice eh!
I found the beach to be quite nice and you can get a deck chair down there until about 8am if you are lucky. You can get in the sea though it is a bit stony - you just need to try down the right hand side of the beach.
Nothing much going on outside the hotel or on the island really. We went to Houmt Souk and Midoun which are the market towns, but these were really just made up of stall after stall selling the same old tat.
A couple we spoke to went on the Sahara trip (2 days) and they said it was ok, but really long days and the temp was unbearable (50c in the shade). It seems that most people who do this trip go before July.
All in all if we had gone for a week I think it would have been ok, but after 10 days I was really looking forward to going home. We spoke to quite a few other English couples who felt the same, in fact a couple of people paid to come home early.
If they just had better more varied food, some decent entertainment and more sun beds then this would be a much better hotel.
Oh one more thing, the a'lacarte restaurant was a real joke. We were really looking forward to this as a change to eating in the main indoor restaurant but it served exactly the same food, just in a slightly better setting!
I wouldn't go back to this hotel or Djerba as there are so many other places to go, however if you are in a foursome for a week away without kids and just want to have a good drink every night with a guy palying a keyboard and you don't mind the same food night and day and lying on a towel on the beach without a parasol you'll be ok :-)
Not at all bad
We flew out of gatwick on 3rd of June for a fortnight at this hotel. We arrived to find friendly staff at the reception and a bottle of water waiting for us in our room. First impressions were very good. You may want to put the do not disturb sign on your door for the first night as we had someone knocking at fine to nine on the sunday morning. Not good as we didn't get to our rooms til 1am the previous night.
There were no faults to be found with the cleaniness of the rooms or the hotel. Fresh towels were brought everyday and the room was made up daily too. Not sure how often the beds were actually changed, but often enough for us not to notice that they were.
Generally we found the staff pleasant, although a lot of them didn't speak much English when we first arrived, they soon seemed to pick it up during our stay. Anyone going later in the summer shouldn't have too much of a problem. On tip though: If you're getting slow service in the bar of an evening, tip the waiters. A dinar here or there (about 40p) makes all the difference - the speed of service goes up, and it seems to help with their memory, as they know what drink you like :-)
Also in the bar were two televisions, not huge, but big enough to see the football on. There was also a theate which has a show on everynight. There were also tennis courts, archery lessons and boules areas. The entertaiment team also put on a water aerobics class everyday and a pool game with the base of a windsurf board - which was mainly just different ways to get people to fall into the pool so the rest could laugh at them :-)
Food wise it was a mixed bag. The fresh salads and fruit available every lunch time and evening were lovely, and the Pirate restaurant barbecues fresh fish at lunchtime and it's gorgeous. However, the evening meals soon seem to get repetitive - especially if you are there for two weeks. Although they have different theme nights, Tunisian, Seafood, Spanish, Italian etc there seems to be a lot of similarities between the nights with chips, potatoes and rice every night. Having said that, we always found something every night and managed to polish off platefuls of food.
As for the beach - we found it difficult to get into the sea due to the very rough nature of the seabed. Infact when we were on the beach we saw hardly anyone in the sea so we weren't the only ones with difficulties. Just along the beach there is a place to have a go at jet-skiing, water skiing etc which were great fun.
Around the pool there simply aren't enough sunbeds for the hotel. At the start of the holiday when we got up at 7am to put some towels down there were over half the beds available, by the end of the two weeks, at the same time there were nearly 3/4 already taken. The pool however is really good. It's a fair size and seemed to be completely clean. Nice and shallow at one end for those with kids it deepens up nicely as you go towards the back.
Outside of the hotel there isn't much to see or do. We went on a couple of half day trips organised by Panorama which were a nice way to get out of the bubble that was the resort. We also took a cab up to the crocodile farm. It took about 5 mins and cost 3 dinars each way. Found the park very good although we missed feeding time which is sunday, wednesday and friday at 5pm.
All in all it was a good holiday. Nice and relaxing. The only partial downsides are that you need to get up early to get by the pool (which I would recommend over the beach) and the food, while plentiful and reasonably varied, is also quite bland.
Don't believe the negative reviews!!
I am staggered by the negative feedback left by a couple of this year's guests at the Melia Palm Azur!
Let's try and begin somewhere. To complain that the other guests are French and German and that they are rude is incorrect on a couple of counts. Apart from the Brits the tourists at this hotel are French, Belgian and Swiss (hence the German language). As for other nationalities being rude, each nation has its fair share of charming people and fair share of misery guts, so let's not sling mud eh? People who live in glass houses etc etc. I daresay your average Frenchman would not enjoy the stereotypical Brit in Benidorm or Magaluf!
The food at this hotel is good, there is just no argument with this plain and simple fact. It is not and does not purport to be cordon bleu, but if you cannot find something to eat that suits you at any time of your waking hours, stay at home - please!
Food highlights -
Breakfast - divine scrambled eggs, made to order Berber bread griddled in front of you, crepes, fresh fruit, cereals (local granted), eggs fried or boiled to order, vegetables and salads for those who liked them, cooked meats and cheeses and the star of the show, the most delightful fried confection, a cross between a pancake and a doughnut, again cooked to order.
Lunch - beautiful bbq'd fresh fish at the beachside eatery. Salads, grilled meat and vegetables, pastas, pizzas, stews, fresh fruit and dates and delightful pastries at the poolside restaurant
Dinner - themed evenings (Tunisian, Italian and Spanish amongst others). Grilled meat and fish, paellas, couscous, tahinis, casseroles, salads to die for, the most delicious soups. Again as at breakfast the grill chef cooks certain things before your eyes (one night the highlight was the biggest pile of fresh prawns I've ever seen!)
This wonderful fare is all supplemented by pastries and coffee during the morning and afternoon. Plus, the coffee is not cold!
The rooms are basic but spotlessly clean
The adverse comments regarding the staff really astonish me. True the restaurant staff tend to change from one evening to the next so it is hard to build up a rapport. But the waiters in the lounge could not have been nicer. Accepted that their main language is French, they all tried their damndest to communicate. The 'head waiter' Kamel took the time and trouble to have a detailed conversation about the merits of the local brew, although I admit he could keep it for me! Oh, by the way they DO NOT serve drinks in the lounge in plastic cups, this is untrue except for those who drink around the pool for obvious reasons.
The reception staff were efficient, the entertainment staff were boisterous but good fun, even the maids and the porter were warm and friendly.
I accept the points that the beach is basic. To the left there is nowehere to walk to speak of
I have to say that we are not normally lovers of Tunisia. We have enjoyed holidays in many places but this hotel is one that we shall be returning to soon
DO NOT BE PUT OFF THIS HOTEL. It is spotlessly clean, friendly and very good value for money
Fabulous holiday, no probs!!!
My cousin and I departed for Djerba, with an open mind, as (we thought) we knew that the british were not the best favoured in Tunisia. (The French are. I think!!) We do not speak French or German at all, but we found every person that we met at the hotel to be polite, friendly and anxious to please. If they could not speak English, they tried very hard to understand what we wanted........and they were all willing to learn a bit of English as they went along, even the porters and maids. A lot of the staff speak excellent English.....especially the entertainment crew, who went out of their way to make us all very welcome!
The food, I thought, was lovely. Similar each day in each restaurant, but enough choice in each of the three places to eat.....and an a la carte restaurant too! Not bad eh?
We had no children with us, but I noticed that the play facilities were not much at all, and not much was done for youngsters. However there is a childrens pool, which I thought was really nice.
Two women travelling on our own in Tunisia!!!!!! Problems, you would think! But, apart from the odd grope (whilst on the mainland!!) we had no problems at all. (All gropes were dealt with accordingly!! ) Ha! Ha!
All the shopkeepers on Djerba were good natured and we had a laugh with them about Liverpool and Manchester United football teams and we bartered in a friendly way. All part of the fun!
All in all it was a very good holiday, and, because there were not many English people there, we made lasting friends of all ages, too.
We are planning to go back in Oct this year. What better recommendation than that!
Got back yesterday and couldn't have been sooner........ Where do I begin? The staff at the hotel are rude, unfriendly and unhelpful. Even if you do try to converse in French, they just don't want to know. The food reminded me of very badly cooked school dinners and was served the same at both lunch and dinner. All inclusive in this hotel means 10am untill midnight and then all lights in the bar are switched off and even if you are still drinking your drink you are sent to bed. ( I thought that I left school more than 10 years ago???). If you like to be served your drink in the main bar in the evening in a plastic cup well..........mmmm plastic tasting lager..... We were utterly disgusted by the state of this run down, less than 2 star very badly run hotel. I would not recommend this hotel to anyone, so please save your money and stay at home.
Very Nearly a Holiday from Hell.
Booked an all inlc holiday with Panoram departing from Manchester 20th May 2006 for 14 nights. at an approximate cost of £1700.00
Described in the panorama brochure as "in the heart of an Oasis, surrounded by a spectacular Beach"
The Hotel pool and beach area had approx 390 sunbeds altogether, with 326 rooms most acc 2 people and usualy with 1 or 2 children,
We never had the pleaseure of beds around the pol as the FRENCH tipped the pool attendants who reserved the beds at approx 6am when they out them out. Wonderful>>>>
The beach had the small *U* shaped chairs so uncomfortable buth nothing else to sit on.
The spectacular beach was only at the back of this hotel, on either side it was rock.... which was covered with muck and seaweed at the low tide., which being the med is only about 18 inches., so no walking,
The large hotel on one side has ben closed for some time and is due to be pulled down glad we are not there when that happens.
The Hotel staff are rude.. and if you are British not much chance of getting served at the bar. there ar drinks, both alcohlic and soft all day long, but the coffee is always cold., and you have to pay for expresso or capuchino or even fresh orange juice. we complained to the Manager who basically, couldn't give a fig.
The meals are boring plain and badly cooked., Breakfast was achoice of Tunisian Flakes plain or chocoate with the usual eggs,tomatoes and hopefully the things that looked like a sausge were, plus break, NO TOAST MAKING FACILITIES.
The French tourists have absolutely no manners what so ever, and hate bothe the UK and German and any other tourists as they still think of Tunisia as being belonging to France.
the rooms are well,, OK., could do with being re painted and new beds and curstains and rugs, but are changed very two days and clean towels each day.
We booked for 1 days all incl but cut the holiday short and flew home yesterday, saturday 27th, which cost another £180 but it was worth it to get out of there
I would NOT RECOMMEND this Hotel to anyone, and we will certainly not go back and are sending a strong letter of complaint to Sol Melia in Palma
Not as good as thought
Where to begin!! the flight over to Djerba was ok apart from the cabin crew manners or should i say lack of!!, got to the hotel very late the kids were very tired and hungry and the first downer was the hotel had no food for anyone so had to go hungry til morning, Rooms were a good size and cleaned daily with funny little folding designs on the beds. Had a few probs with my room door ie not locking from outside or inside. The pool was nice, clean and big, the beach was lovely best place i thought if you can see past all the topless people.
The food on the other hand was :( and there was no kids selection whatsoever and what was there was very limited and didnt look very edible most of the time, i agree with the other review about the so called kids play area!!! it consisted of 3 things all which were rusted and didnt work so needs to be re-done to be classed as a kids play area. The staff were pretty much friendly and the entertainment team worked their little behinds off all day everyday and we become very chatty over the week. if you have young kids as my youngest was 7yrs this hotel is not the best place im affraid as there is nothing for them to do, but older teens is fine as my 15yr old stayed in the pool most of the time. if you go with an open mind i feel that is the best way.
the Bailey family, Portsmouth
We have just returned back from Melia Palm Azur hotel on 21 May 2006 for 1 week. The hotel in general is clean and most of the staff are friendly but more to the French which is really who they cater for.
The pool area is clean and tidy but beware you need to be out of bed early to get a sunbed and umbrella, as there is not much left by 9am. The pool was very cold but once you were in you warmed up for abit. The pool its self needs to be upgraded as there is moss growing between the tiles and a tide mark all the way round were it is deep. We never actually saw them cleaning it throughout the week.
Restaurant food was ok. You seemed to have a very good day then the following day was not as good. We had 2 children with us one being 4 years and the other 17 months and it was very hard to find food for them to eat, as there was not a childrens buffet as it state in the Airtours brochure.
Childrens park really needs to be knocked down and rebuilt to safety and working order. Normally my daughter loves going to the kids club but most of the time she was the only one going and they did not seem to do anything.
We originally had booked to stay at the Melia Menzal but it had been overbooked and we ended up here. Upon reports by people on the airplane we had made the right decision.
On the whole we would go back but would stay in 5 star accommodation and would try the main land as there is nothing to do outside the hotel.
Lovely hotel at great rates
We went for a week of better weather in March and were pleasantly surprised. It was our first time in Tunisia and we had had reports from others of dirty hotels and dodgy food.
The hotel was very clean and although some of the food was unusual (not english) it tasted fine. We were all inclusive and there was never a problem getting a drink either in the dining room or the bar.
There was virtually nothing outside the hotel but for a week of chill out who needs to move much. There was a huge (but cold) outdoor pool plus a warm indoor pool, tennis, archery and petanque. Plenty of sunbeds.
FIRST TIME IN TUNISIA 18.2.06 - 25.2.06
Having been unable to find any reviews about this hotel, we went with some trepidation. We'd never been to Tunisia before so didn't know what to expect. The photos we found on the web looked really nice so I went ahead and booked us in for a week - a last minute break.
Flight over was with Nouvelair and was only 20 minutes late taking off. Not much leg room but then - is there ever? The food was very much an acquired taste but when you're hungry, you eat pretty much anything.
The airport was very clean and new. The transfer time to the hotel was approx 45 mins and the coach was decent UK standard except no seatbelts.
The lobby and reception were very clean and the staff were very friendly and helpful. Also spoke fairly good English.
As we arrived late, the hotel had laid on a light buffet for us which filled a little gap til breakfast.
We had a twin room for us and one for the girls - both identical in layout. The room key was on a big fob which you put into a slot in the wall to turn all the facilities on ie: TV, heating/ aircon, lights etc. TIP: Take the key off the fob so you can leave the heating/aircon on while you're out so it's ready for when you get in.
The room was very clean and well kept although it was slightly less '4*' than we anticipated. Try to remember Tunisian star rating are not the same as UK. And certain things will remain unfixed even if you report them - like the extractor fan in the bathroom!
Leave your door hanger on the handle each morning and the maid (male or female) will come and tidy your room, make the beds & clean the bathroom. Towels are changed almost every day. But are not always of very good quality.
TV is limited to French & German channels except for 2 English news channels which get very boring - but you don't go on holiday to watch telly!
The hotel is very much geared up for mainly French guests (also some Germans), and is reflected in the buffet menu. Please don't expect any English food at all. The nearest was soggy chips once during the week. And scrambled egg at breakfast. There is no McD's or BK on the island so be prepared. If you are willing to try new food then you'll enjoy it. By the way - donkey curry was on the menu on one day - I did not partake!! The snacks inbetween meals consist of croissants & brioches. Don't forget your teabags as they only have mint or other noxious flavours. Our rep saved us by going and getting local 'Ceylon' teabags from the souk! Be warned there are no tea/coffee making facilities in rooms.
You can book at the a la carte restaurant 'Sidi Bou Said' once during your stay for free. You will get a taste of Tunisian food - mainly fish and couscous. There is also a fish restaurant on the beach, 100 yds away. The beach is clean except for where the camels live!
The waiters are pleasant on the whole and like to try out their English on you as they don't get many English visitors. They do appreciate it if you try to speak Arabic though - 'Shukran' means thankyou.
Taxis are very cheap and very plentiful. Bright yellow - you can't miss them although they vary in quality. Try to go for a newer car as the suspension on older cars is non existant. Just stand outside the gates and one will pop along in no time.
The swimming pools are very good. As we went in Feb - the outdoor one was hardly used as it was too cold. The seating area is ample but get your towels on the sunbeds before the French/ German!! You can hire towels for a deposit of TD10 each but as they all look the same, be careful no-one nicks them like someone nicked one of ours as you will lose your deposit. The indoor pool is nice although smaller than it looks on the pics. There are changing rooms with great showers. Be warned that there are NO lifeguards so please don't leave your kids unattended unless they are very good swimmers as it is a deep pool.
Daytime entertainment is quite basic: tennis (again a deposit is required on racquets & balls), archery, boules, darts, aerobics (French love this!) and a kids club for under 12's.
Evening entertainment is good. Kids club disco from 8.30pm-9pm. Then some quite old fashioned music which the continentals love and lots of ballroom dancing goes on til 9.30pm. The inhouse team then provide shows til 10.30pm - these are very good - they are so versatile! I won't tell you about the shows as it would spoil it for you but try not to miss a night. After 10.30 there is a disco til midnight. All the team are great English speakers (as well as every other language you can imagine!) and are very friendly - always smiling. One exception to this is one woman we called Grimace.
As this is an all-inclusive hotel you would expect all drinks to be included. Only local spirits are - but the local vodka is okay. Fresh fruit juice is not included for some reason.
The whole hotel has a look of a 70's film set although it was built in 1997. But is very clean.
You can smoke anywhere so I don't recommend it if you are a non smoker. The French are very heavy smokers and even smoke in the restaurant.
There are shops in the hotel lobby but are fairly expensive so if you need to do any souvenir shopping, go into Midoun or the island capital Houmt Souk. But be prepared for a bit of hassle. It wasn't too bad - not like Egypt, but the shop keepers will try to get you in their shops by saying hello and asking if you are French, German, Polish, Dutch - English is very low down as they hardly ever see any English people on Djerba. Again, they all like to try out their knowledge of the English language on you. And again, a few words in Arabic go a long way.
There is a security man on the gate at the front and there are security patrols around the perimeter although we never could understand why as it is a safe place.
You can hire the safe in your room for TD2 a day - payable at the end of your stay.
Take extra coathangers.
The hotel is made mainly of marble and therefore is very echoey. If you're a light sleeper this may be a problem - take earplugs - I wish I had.
All in all - we had a lovely time at this hotel and I would recommend it but go with an open mind - if you want England with sun this is not for you.
Hope this helps.
TripAdvisor Reviews ClubHotel Riu Palm Azur Djerba
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