on November 24, 2012
El Maroudi Gammarth Tunis.This five star business hotel just to the north of Tunis was the first hotel we stayed in on our recent trip to Tunisia. The hotel was to be our base for two nights.Arriving at the hotel to the grand entrance hall which is absolutely massive we were soon checked in and headed off to our room. The room we had was a twin room with a small balcony furnished with two chairs and a small table. The room was quite comfortably furnished with two single beds which were rather on the hard side. The pillows were just about ok and there were two spare pillows in one of the wardrobe. Fortunately I also carry a small memory pillow with me when I travel which helped. There was an old television in the room not that we even tried to watch it as we did not have time but the bonus was the free free wifi. The air conditioning was not that effective as it was quite humid outside we did try to use it but it was useless in the end we turned it off as it seemed to be making the room hotter.The bathroom was adequate with a good shower over the bath the water power was quite good there was also a toilet and a bidet. There were the usual white fluffy towels which were replaced the next day.As we had arrived quite late on the first night the restaurant stayed open for us and we had a rather nice meal there which was buffet and self-service styled. Breakfast was buffet style and had the usual fare available both cold cheeses and cold meats and cooked breakfast, juices cereals and pastries plus sweet cakes. There was a good selection of breads available and lots of fruit both fresh and dried fruit. I must admit I am not the best person to judge a breakfast all I need in the morning is coffee to get me going and that was fine for me.The second night we had dinner there and ordered a bottle of Tunisian wine which was really quite stunning. We were told that often Tunisian wine is sold to Italy Spain and France where is mixed with the local wines whether this is true or not I cannot tell you but what we drank was really quite palatable. The waiting staff seemed quite cheerful and attentive however at times they tended to forget to return any change and several people although they had paid for their drinks in the restaurants were also charged again on checking out of the hotel despite the production of the bill the hotel would not believe them.There is a massive reception area which appears very grand indeed and off to the left side there is a bar. We met some friends in the bar for pre-dinner drinks but the bar staff started to serve us then disappeared and someone else took over only to end up with a third person finishing off the drinks order. Not only that during the confusion at the bar the staff conveniently forgot to return any change. I was not really very impressed with this as they seemed to be more intent of short changing guests.There was a reasonably large shop in the centre of the hotel where you could pick up odds and ends.At the centre of the hotel is a very large swimming pool and during the time we were at the hotel we only ever saw one person swimming in it but then we left the hotel at 06:00 each morning and did not return till late in the evening. I foolishly only have a couple of photos of the pool area thinking that we were staying here again on our last night but subsequently we did not so there are no photos of the rooms or other facilities.Would I recommend this hotel?The hotel was comfortable if somewhat very large. I was disappointed at the dishonesty of the staff both in the bar and the restaurant but also the reception staff. This hotel is classified as a five star hotel believe you me by any stretch of the imagination it is not five star but I would say four star just such is the bizarre rating system used in Tunisia.I would stay here again but would keep an eye on what the staff were doing. At the end of the day the room was clean, the bathroom was clean the food was ok and the wine was lovely. We did not use any other facilities in the hotel due to our busy schedule so I cannot really comment on them but from what we experienced this is certainly not a luxury hotel.I will only offer it 4 stars and that is being generous in my opinion.
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