Royal Kenz Hotel
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Historical Traveler Reviews Royal Kenz Hotel Port El Kantaoui
We stayed at the hotel Kenz in Dec 04,an excellent Hotel, good food good service, but not a lot too do, or see, outside of the Hotel! with the exception of the Bardo museum.
Great if you like to sit around the pool all day ,even in our winter
4 Star ?????
From a distance, the hotel looked good. Up close, massive amounts of paint were peeling off the walls. The carpet in the dining room was ripped in a few places. The buffet food was cold, and always egg shells in the scrambled egg for breakfast. The waiter service for tea and coffee was very slow. I complained several times about my TV not working in my room, and eventually I gave up, because nothing was done about it.
The lighting seemed very dark in the bars, which suffered terribly from lack of atmosphere.
Staff were friendly, chamber maids cheerful, my room was comfortable, and the brilliant weather made up for everything.
just home from the kenz october november had a great holiday this is my 3rd time there and i have always had a great time i do feel that the kenz could do with a face lift a lick of paint and curtains washed and a few new sofas for the lounge area would not go a miss food is good and always pleanty to choose from having been in the new wing and then in the main hotel i think i would always ask for the new part as this is lovelly and light bed rooms altho it is a bit of a treck from the main reception but the rooms are so much nicer all staff are very freindly and helpfull and can not do enough for you we always go with our freinds and family so there is always lots of us and the dinning room always has a table for us even if its for 8 people i have heard lots off complaints about couples having to share a table with strangers not a thing i would like to do myself the pool area is lovelly and clean and pleanty of sun beds to be had altho you always get the moaners who complain that they can not get a sun bed to them i say get out of your bed sooner and there is no problem i would go back to the kenz a good holiday and a great price
Lovely hotel and staff
Me and my boyfriend went for 1 week in oct, we had never been to Tunisia before, but are definately considering returning. Not only to Tunisia but back to the Royal Kenz. We had a lovely room and the staff were too helpful at times. The food was good to, however we did find sitting with others a bit strange, although it didnt matter to us. The entertainment was ok it was a mixture for all ages but as long as we had some booze we had a good laugh.
No complaints at all
Not having visited Tunisia for 13 years my wife and I did not know what changes there had been so having read Trip Advisor reports we chose to stay for two weeks at The Royal Kenz Hotel.
Well what can I say, this hotel is unbeatable in every way.There was a wide, well prepared food selection,superior bedroom facilities and as a person with mobility disabilities the hotel was well designed with the staff understanding disabled peoples requirements.
Shall we visit again?yes as soon as possible.
Some good points - some very bad points - give it a miss
Just returned from the Royal Kenz (29 Sept 2004 - Oct 7th 004). Travelled with Thomson stayed for one week, we are a couple aged between 41 and 50.
When we landed in Monastir there was a huge queue to get thru customs, each passenger was taking 5/10 minutes to get thru. Eventually one of the very surly immigration officers notified us all that we needed to complete a card to get into the country. (these should have been handed out on the plane but weren't - good ole' Thomsons) so there was mad dash for the 3 pens and 2 tables while everyone filled in a pointless little card giving our passport details etc. Not a great start!!
Having successfully got thru customs we were left floundering around the airport as there weren't any staff to collect us - eventually a sour faced rep shouted as us to go into the car park and find bus P.
Bus P was parked round the back of all the other buses (those in use and those just parked up for the night) so we couldn't immediately find it until one of the arab porters pointed vaguely in the right direction.
Airport porters - stay well clear . They really hassle you for your bags - at first you assume they are airport staff as they have on unifoms but they are not trying to help you they just want to take your bags 50 yards to the bus and then demand money.
A ride on the bus thru, what can only be described as the ugliest bulding site I've ever seen, and we reached the hotel. Check in was OK - pretty quick. Bags were forcibly taken from you as you get off the bus.
As Tunisia has a closed currency you cannot take tunisian dinar in or out of the country. This means that when you land at midnight, as we did, you'll have no money to spend to get a drink - also there was no food to be had anywhere in the hotel either. What the rep on the bus doesn't tell you though is that you just ask the waiter to put the bill on your room number. Sign the receipt and write your room number on it.
Getting to our room was a trial in itself. This is a very big hotel. Our room was number 812. A basement room with no view and no sun and a long trek from reception needing 2 lifts and several staircases.
The bags were eventually brought to the room and the porter waved a £10 note in my face and asked for a tip. Needless to say he didn't get one.
Breakfast next morning was in the Grand Restuarant - but there aint much thats grand about it. As other reviewers have said, unless you get there pretty quick you'll get a table for 4 and end up sharing your whole stay with another couple. We got on well with the couple we shared with (Hi Julia & Tom) but that's not guarenteed.
Food in the buffet restaurant is OK-ish although I still have a bad case of delhi belly - and our table companions saw a cockroach walking along the serving tables - so make your own decisions about that. No fresh juice for breakfast - some kind of Kia Ora type fake rubbish, not even as good as Britvic, the pineapple is the least offensive. Don't eat the "bacon" and the toasters are so slow you'll need to be there for 2 weeks to get any.
The hotel has a shortage of coffee and tea pots so as soon as you look like you've finished they take the pots away. Most of the crockery is cracked and chipped - nice!!!! Staff are OK but you get the impression that they just want the tips - smilley to your face and sarcastic behind your back.
Dinner in the buffet was OK but again - vegatables not cooked thru, plenty of choice but nothing to write home about. The main problem was that there wasn't any air con and they make the men wear long trousers so decidedly on the hot side, also it's really cramped (tables are packed in - they have extended the hotel but not the size of the restuarant) so it's a pain to get thru to the food and then back to your table.
We ate at the 2 a la carte - very pretty but the food was total rubbish - I ordered chicken and it was like hot pork sausage - yuk -
The rooms look fab when you first rrive (although ours was very poorly positioned) we couldn't dry our swimming stuff and the temps were in the 30's during the day - thats how little sun we got on our terrace.
BIG BAD POINT - THE BEDS - the beds we had were the hardest I have ever slept on. We'd have been better off sleeping on the dinning room table. When we asked to move we were told the beds are new and they are all the same so moving was not an option and anyway we're full and there's no spare rooms. Great! thank god we were only there for a week.
Sun loungers are all reserved well before 9am. Get out there and get yours - you can't beat them so you'll have to join them. The pools are very nice if a little cold but there isn't enough sun terrace to go around or enough umbrellas. There is an area of grass (shown in the brochure photos as very nice) - the pic was obviously taken many years ago as now the trees have really grown up and it's all mostly shade - no sunbathing down there.
The sunbeds are the usual white pastic variety and you'll have to pay a dinar for a cushion (horrible orange plastic types) the guy in charge of the beds may carry it for you but mostly he'll just point at it and let you take it yourself.
Thre is a poolside snack bar for lunch - OK but again give the burgers a miss - raw in the middle and one day our change never returned after we paid. Also wasps are a big problem - dont order coke.
Don't bother going to the Thomson welcome meeting - it's held in the ballroom (holds about 500) - with a flip chart thats 10 inches square - so unles your are in the front row you wont see any of the pics. All they want to do anyway is give you the hard sell for the trips - no good info on the hotel - we didn't find that pool towels were available until the last day. Also. all the people who went on the trips we spoke to got really badly burnt - no shade on the boat trip - no shade on the camel trip etc etc
Don't bother going to the marina - hideous. No shade, all the shops have exactly the same stuff - fake designer t-shirts & sunglasses, enormous beaded jewellery and handbags that smell of cat ----.
If you decide to take the chance - you'll be hassled from the moment you step out of the cab and when you go into every shop - don't pick anything up or you'll have a 15 minute conversation about how fab it is and why you should buy it. Tunisians don't really understand the concept of browsing.
There are some horse carriages which ply up and down the main road - disgraceful condition of the horses made me weep. I've never seen such poor creatures outside of an rspca advert. Please don't use them.
Watch out for the 2 guys who get you straight out of the cab - the first is an old guy - he pours some nuts into your hand (if you let him) - goes on about how he dislikes the scotiish - keeps putting nuts into your pockets - chats away then asks for 7 dinars (£5) for 2 bags of nuts and some hideous wovan bags.
The next guy is young - he'll tell you he's from your hotel "I'm your waiter remember me?" Of course all the Brits are too polite to admit that they dont recognise him and when they agree and start shaking hands he's dragging them off to see his brothers shop.
The brochure says the hotel is a 50m stroll to the beach - the road has no shade so beware if you are walking when it's hot. Beach bar is OK but the waiter there is very sour. Sand is lovely - white and soft - sea is nice but some seaweed. They have water ski-ing, jet ski and parascending on the beach and you do get bothered to buy.
Also, we saw a couple fall from about 50 feet up on the parascending, they landed very heavily then they were dragged 20 yards down the beach - the rope broke as they got them up to maxmum height - could have been very bad as they fly them over the parasols (permanent thatched variety) and if they had come down on them they would have been skewered. Wouldn't say the safety standards are up to much.
Leaving the country is a pain in the rear as well - as you can't take money out of the country and you you can only change notes at the airport - with your receipt - they practically mug you as you walk thru to the departure lounge.
The rep wants you to give the driver your spare change when you get off the bus (so he can feed his 2 wives and 12 children) - not to mention the rep no doubt. The shops in the airport have very high prices for water etc so make sure you take what you need. Also remember you need your exit card to leave the country - so don't loose it!!!!
All in all we hated Tunisia, the Kenz was OK for lounging around the pool, as long as you get there early enough - mostly very old couples (a lot disabled) so it's very quiet but the food was very poor, the entertainment was crap and the beds were uterly dreadful. Only go here if you have a back problem that can be cured by lying on a wooden board. Also, we were not keen on the Tunisians - bit too overly-friendly to seem really genuine. Never again!!! Give me Greece anytime - they might lock you up for looking at their planes but at least you can eat the food and look around the shops.
Great hotel better since thompson gold left
I first started to go to the Royal Kenz in 1999, i have been to Tunisia a few times and stayed at other hotels both in Skanes, Hammamet and in Port el Kantaoui. The Royal Kenz is the only hotel i would go back to again and again and again.
It did loose a bit during the last 12 months when the clients dropped, however since thompson gold pulled out its got even better. The staff are always friendly and are most helpful. If you want a activity hoilday with things going on all the time and plenty of night life then dont go u will not get it. If you want a holiday which is relaxing, comfortable, quiet (even during the day round the pool), and no kids running around,then the kenz is the place to go.
The Kenz is like a second home to me and i go to relax and thats what i do. When im relaxed iits called being Kenzed. Try it you wont regret it.
The beach is only a small walk and its a nice walk into the port along the beach in both summer and winter, it takes about half an hour. If you want a change in the evening try the mediterainion restraunt in the port u wont regret it.
But the starlight room band or american bar pianist will entertain you .
My girlfriend and I stayed at the Royal Kenz for two weeks at the beginning of August 2004. The hotel, which is huge, is located on the outskirts of Port El Kantaoui, about a 25 minute walk from the town. Taxis are however readily available from outside the hotel and relatively cheap (equivalent to £2-£3 for taxi ride into the Port). We really enjoyed our stay. The hotel has magnificant gardens with an adequate amount of sun beds, several bars, a snack bar and two swimming pools. It is a five minute walk from the back of the hotel, down onto the beach (the Royal Kenz has its own section). We however walked a bit further down the beach, and used another hotel's sun beds - we found the water to be a bit nicer there (less seaweed).
The food at the hotel was very good. We stayed on a half board basis. The meals are buffet style and the choice of different foods, especially in the evening, was excellent. You also have the option, for each week of your stay, to dine in the French restaurant at the hotel for one evening, and the Italian restaurant for one evening. Both were good - the setting was quite romantic.
The hotel lays on some entertainment for guests. Most nights a band plays outside on the terrace, or at the bar. Saturday evening was karaoke evening. There was also a drag queen show on one of the nights which was quite funny and a traditional Tunisian dance show on another. We got the impression that a lot of people stayed at the hotel in the evening and did not venture into town. It would have been very easy to do that - the hotel has basically everything you need (a shop selling snacks, refreshments and souvenirs, a chichia pipe smoking shop where you can hire a chichia pipe, if you fancy giving it a go!, plenty of bars and even a hairdresser). We however spent most evenings in the Port or travelled across to Sousse, as the in-house entertainment was not really our kind of thing.
All in all, we had a great stay. If forced to mention some of the hotel's negative features we would have to say:
- The hotel is quite a long walk from the Port, although taxis are cheap
- There is a rule that men wear long trousers to dinner. If you are male, make sure that you pack a few pairs. I brought lots of shorts on hoiday but only one pair of long trousers!
- The hotel is very large and some of the rooms are located quite a walk from reception.
- You may have to share a table with another couple at dinner/breakfast. I didn't have a problem with this, but I understand how some people might.
- The Royal Kenz's stretch of beach is not as nice as some other hotels (try walking down the beach, away from the Port)
We booked through First Choice Holidays and got a good deal on our break. I thoroughly recommend this hotel, especially if you get it at a good price. I have stayed in a lot of hotels throughout the world, and although this is not a 5* hotel, it exceeded our expectations. We were very happy with our choice and our stay was very comfortable.
Royal kenz should be a 3 ***
the royal kenz is i nice hotal but in need of a good touch paint.I was surprised when my wife and i had to share a dining table with complete strangers.
Great Value for money!!!!
Managed to get a good deal a couple of summers ago and once we arrived you certainly cant fault the place. The hotel was clean throughout and the two pools were large and normally not too packed.
Only downside was a bit of a fight for sunloungers in the morning and the food did get a bit repetitive over the evenings but certainly nothing worth complaining about.
The beach was a 5 minute walk out the back of the hotel and whenever we were there it wasnt too busy.
The hotel is slightly away from things but the town seems to have more taxis than london!
Overall impression of the resort was good, certainly not the liveliest place but certainly a great place to wind down for a week!
TripAdvisor Reviews Royal Kenz Hotel Port El Kantaoui
Travel Blogs from Port El Kantaoui
... got a little teint. They had many cats living on the property and one little cat really liked our room, therefore she spent the night a couple times, She just came through the window at night, when we were sleeping.
One day we went to the next big city Sousse. The medina (historic city center) was amazing, all those little alleyways and ...
... that sells refreshing mint tea, so we are forced to quench our thirst from a can.
We're flying back to London Gatwick on a charter flight TOM 353 which is scheduled to depart at 12:05 and arrive at 15:10. Insha'Allah.
Tonight is our last dinner at the Marhaba Palace and so not unexpectedly we receive exceptional service this evening. It's a ritual - which sometimes descends to pantomine - we've seen acted out a few times now. Waiters rushing round guests at their last meal, presumably to ensure that they get a good tip.
So we play our part and let our waiter go through the ritual. ...
After a walk back in time we decide that a journey back to the hotel by cab would be preferable to the land train. We don't have any problem finding a cab, sitting just outside the medina under the shade of a tree seems to be a sign that you need a cab!
It's interesting ...
... mosque as well as the stunning views of the medina and port.
Like the mosque, the ribat is also well preserved, and in the absence of any other visitors we are able to walk around freely and really imagine what it must have been like when this was a fortress-monastery.
In the market we can smell the fresh bread which always looks appetising and the pottery laid out on the floor is so colourful against the white sugar cube shops.