Posted by ALAIN TURPIN
Posted by ALINE MARQUANT
Built in 1993, the Club Homère was given a new lease on life in 2010 when a full 6 month long renovation project was completed and the hotel was reborn as Club Jumbo. A large proportion of its facilities, including the bars, reception, terrace, kitchen and guest room, were given a complete makeover. The result is a pleasant, well-equipped and very reasonably priced club hotel where luxury doesn't really get a look-in, as is the case with any self-respecting 3 star Tunisian hotel, making it a particularly great destination for families and those travelling on a tight budget.
The Club Jumbo is located at the very end of the fourth largest tourist resort of Djerba, some 15,5 mi from the capital, Houmt Souk, about 4 mi from Midoun and 19 mi from the international airport.
It is interesting to note that 120 of the hotel's 180 rooms are reserved for French guests. The entire club operates on an 'all-inclusive' basis, which also includes Wifi in the lobby and non-motorised water sports such as kayaking and pedalo boats. Note that towels are charged at about 1,5 pounds per day.
It really is impossible to miss the pink elephant displayed cheerfully on the sign outside the Club Jumbo. This establishment unabashedly sees life in fuchsia pink and white, from the reception and the building itself to the garden and restaurant furniture. There are just a few elements, such as the Moorish cafe and the grey sofa in the reception, which have dared to break away from the movement! The Club Jumbo stands amid 7,5 acres of grounds and consists of a main block and seven menzels (with typically Djerban architecture, and also white!). There are a large variety of facilities to be found dotted around the gardens, including a busy outdoor pool, a dome-topped indoor pool, a variety of different sports courts and pitches, a balneotherapy centre (independent service), a nightclub, an outdoor stage for summer shows and a mini-club for children, among other things. The facilities may not be the most impressive, but they serve their purpose and are well-maintained.
Although most of the communal areas here have opted for the colour scheme typical of all Club Jumbo hotels (fuchsia pink and immaculate white), the guest rooms have managed to resist, with white present only in the walls and wardrobe doors. Multi-coloured fabrics, light wooden furniture and blue earthenware tiles are the order of the day. Unfortunately and despite this attempt at 'originality', the decor is more outdated than anything else. In terms of amenities, you'll find everything you could reasonably expect of a 3 star club hotel, including a mini bar (available upon request), a safe deposit box (available at reception), individually adjustable central air conditioning, a phone, a satellite television and a bathroom with a bathtub (or a shower in a dozen of them), a bidet and welcome toiletries. If you're lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the ocean from your balcony.
The Club Jumbo may very well offer an abundance of activities, but unfortunately the same cannot be said of its catering services. There is, in fact, only one restaurant to accommodate the club's residents, which can be as many as 360 adults in high season, and there's no point looking for a barbecue area or a snack bar because there aren't any. The club has only three bars and a Moorish cafe in addition to its main restaurant, itself furnished with white furniture, round and square tables, pink fabrics and refreshing marble, all of which contribute to the impression that the room has been decked out for a wedding! Having said that, the cuisine is far from what you would expect of a wedding banquet. It may be sufficient in quantity, but the dishes certainly lack originality and generally consist of a selection of conventional international dishes enhanced with a few Tunisian ones. A Tunisian evening is held three times a week and it is worth noting that the food here is designed to live up to English standards. On the plus side, there is a terrace where guests can make the most of the warm days and mild nights.
The nearest beach to the Club Jumbo is 250m away across a very busy road, and although the beach itself isn't very long, it is certainly well-maintained, rather quiet and supervised between the hours of 9:00am and 7:00pm. The hotel has only 180 guest rooms and there's no restaurant, but there is a refreshments bar open during high season only. In terms of the setting, there's really nothing to fault: deck chairs, free parasols, showers, clear waters and fine sand all round! You might also be interested to know that management plans to organise weekly evenings on the beach, though it will all depend on how successful the operation is.
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