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Review: Tamerza Palace Hotel

Accommodation - Hotel

Nr Tozeur, Tunisia

Doesn’t live up to the hype

  • By SilverTraveller ESW

    2378 reviews

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  • Apr 2012
  • Husband
  • Culture / Sightseeing

102 people found this review helpful

Tamerza Palace Hotel is a large and impressive building on edge of the new village. It oozes money. It is rather a strange looking building covered with deep red brown plaster built above a deep oued. ??



We were greeted with cold damp towels and mint tea. However a request for mint tea with no sugar met with a blank look and failed.



There is a huge foyer area with reception desk (staff had limited English and even less small change) and small shop which was rarely open. The restaurant is up steps beyond with views across the oued of the old town which was destroyed by torrential rain in 1969. More steps lead down into the sitting area with canned, intrusive music. From this more steps lead to the pool area surrounded by tables with palm leaf tops for shade and chairs and also loungers. Swimming pool lit from underneath at night and glows green. There is more canned music. Spa is inside the hotel beyond this. Not being into spas we didn’t investigate this.



The building drops down the side of the hillside with rooms on four different levels. We were on the third level with a room with a balcony which gave views across the oued to the date palms and the remains of the old village.



It was a large and very comfortable room with a minimalist look. The walls were painted white and the furniture was very dark wood. There was a huge and very comfortable bed with bedside tables. There was a generous work area with TV set, lamp and minibar underneath. By the doors onto the balcony was a small table with two easy chairs which were low and difficult to get out of. There was plenty of hanging space as well as space for suitcase.



Off the hallway into the room was a very modern bathroom with clear glass window above bath into the bedroom. Unfortunately Michael found he couldn’t pull the plug up once he’d finished his bath, It was reported to reception and quickly fixed. The shower and toilet were off the main bathroom with frosted glass doors. There was a good supply of towels, toiletries and two generous sized bath towel and towel slippers



There were sliding glass doors to the balcony which had a table and two chairs. We were warned the doors couldn’t be opened from the outside.



Six date and almond sweeties and plate of dates left in the room but were not replenished during our stay.



The rooms were very comfortable and effective air conditioning kept them at a reasonable temperature.



However we felt the restaurant didn’t live up to the same standard. Breakfast was a self service buffet served from 6am. By 8am the grapefruit halves, bread and slices of cake were very dry. Compared with other hotels the choice was limited and disappointing. Staff were slow to replenish food as it was used up. There was no yogurt out one morning and took 20minutes for any to be produced once we asked.



On the morning we left there were few guests staying in the hotel so no buffet was put out and we were brought a tray. This had even less choice.



Table d’hote is served from 7.30. There is no light in dining room except a candle on each table and another one in a small lantern. It was atmospheric but bit dark to see what were eating, especially as it was dark outside by then. There was soup, followed by a choice of 3 starters, 4 main courses and 4 deserts. Most evenings were were brought bread and plate of nibbles while we studied the menu.



Fish and poultry always featured on the menu. We had learned during our stay in Tunisia both are to be avoided.Fish wasn't always as fresh as it could be and poultry always seemed to have more bone than meat. A couple of nights we were rather scratching around to find something we wanted to eat. There is more canned music, modern jazz which I don’t like. We found that service was slow even when there were few people dining. One night there were two groups in – about 20 people – and service was excruciatingly slow. We were even brought a second basket of bread while we waited for the soup. The candle burnt out and we had to ask for another one. It was touch and go whether that would last until we finished our meal.



We had been expecting great things of this place. Audley Travel who had made all the travel arrangements for us said this was their favourite hotel in Tunisia. It also seems to get rave comments on Trip Adviser. Although we didn’t make use of the swimming pool or spa during our stay, we felt the hotel had been over hyped and were disappointed by it.



What we liked: • the large and very comfortable room



What we didn’t like: • all the steps – there doesn’t seem to be a lift. It is not DDA friendly • the canned music • dim lighting for dinner • poor breakfast choice • rather esoteric evening menu some nights



Minor niggles: • poor English at reception • lack of change at reception. We paid for our water at dinner which came to 16TD with a 20TD note. Reception didn’t have any dinars so ended up giving us 4euros in change….



Apart from a basic hotel in the new town which is used by the drivers, this is the only place to stay in Tamerza and they know it. When we left we were asked if we had enjoyed our stay. We said we felt the breakfast was poor for a 4*hotel and we didn’t like all the music. Both were met by blank looks.

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