Unlike its sister establishment, the Haroun, which has opted for a discrete profile, the Sidi Mansour has all-out delusions of grandeur, with 4 restaurants, 4 bars, 268 guest rooms, large swimming pools, and so on. However, this focus on quantity is unfortunately not reflected in the quality of its facilities, which are really no better than in any of the other hotels in the region, although you will definitely find comfort here. It is a great place for families to stay.
The Sidi Mansour stands on the east coast of Djerba (one of the most touristic coastlines), approximately 9 mi from Houmt Souk, the island's capital, 16 mi from the international airport, and 2 mi from the 27-hole golf course.
Just like its sister establishment, the Haroun Hotel, the Sidi Mansour is owned by the Royal First group, which also acts as a tour operator. Although the hotel undergoes regular maintenance, no major renovations have taken place since it was built in 2003, apart from the balneotherapy centre that is currently being enlarged.
While its sister establishment, the Haroun, is a discrete hotel, the Sidi Mansour thinks big. It has an imposing white facade, a spacious marble lobby under a domed roof, a 3 storey block, 268 guest rooms, lots of sports facilities (beach volleyball, archery, a miniature golf course, multi-sports pitch), a large outdoor swimming pool, a spa that is being enlarged, a whole range of entertainment options, etc. However, while the quantity of possibilities may be welcomed by families and the hotel is well maintained, the quality and the level of comfort are no better than in other hotels in the region. Basically, it is just what you might expect of a 4 star Tunisian hotel. However, don't bother looking for a gym, because there isn't one! A few fitness machines have been set up next to the swimming pool, but although some guests might like breaking up their exercise with a dip in the pool, plenty of others will not want to sweat away under the gaze of swimming guests!
The 268 standard rooms vary in size from doubles to quadruples and are housed in an imposing 3 storey building. It is a pity they are not dotted around the park in bungalows, which would have made for a more intimate setting. Although the rooms are quite spacious, the decor is kept to a minimum: tiled floors, white walls adorned with a single picture, simple varnished light wood furniture (the only sign of North African influence), and a rather old bedspread. The facilities are rather unoriginal too, consisting of a television, fridge, safe (hired at nearly £1.50 per day on top of a £30 deposit), a telephone, central air conditioning, a balcony, and a bathroom with a shower or bathtub, hair dryer, and a little basket of hospitality products. All in all, you can't help wondering if it is a bit too basic for a 4 star establishment. As for the view, you will have to make do with either the blue swimming pool or the green garden.
There are 4 bars (central, swimming pool, beach, and Moorish cafe) and 4 restaurants for guests staying at the Sidi Mansour during high season. You can choose between the buffet, which is open all year round and can seat up to 600 diners, the barbecue on the central bar terrace, the bistro opened on special occasions and during the most busy periods, and the grill restaurant by the sea. A Berber-Bedouin evening is also organised once a week in a tent, but this is subject to an additional charge and must be booked at reception. Other free themed evenings are also organised to makes things more interesting for guests, including Spanish, Italian, seafood, and Mediterranean. There is certainly plenty to eat, but whether or not it is gourmet cuisine is another question entirely!
The Sidi Mansour was built in 2003 and is part of a new generation of hotels: those that could not obtain seafront building permits. The beach is 300m away and you can get there either by foot or by taking one of the 2 free horse-drawn carriages that provide a shuttle service during the high season. The way down to the beach is hardly a picture of cleanliness! The beach itself is a vast stretch of sand leading down to clear water (with seaweed at certain times of year) and offers all the usual paraphernalia, including cushioned deckchairs, parasols, and beach towels (free). You will also find showers and a bar restaurant serving grilled meats and various snacks during high season. An independent water sports centre is on hand so that, for an additional fee, you can enjoy a whole list of activities, including jet skiing, water-skiing, pedalos, parachuting, kayaking, and windsurfing.
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