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Hotel Abou Nawas Montazah Hotel 3 star
Easyexperts
BP 360 Tabarka, Tunisia -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

This is a hotel to keep in mind due to its central location in Tabarka's tourist zone, its Olympic-sized swimming pool (the only hotel to have one in the resort, although it is sometimes used as a training pool), its beautiful beach and its newly refurbished rooms. It should be noted, all the same, that the hotel welcomes many guests, and the communal areas (swimming pool solarium, restaurant) soon feel like a henhouse.

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    • Hotel Abou Nawas Montazah

      Abou Nawas Montazah   -   © EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel Abou Nawas Montazah

      Abou Nawas Montazah   -   © EASYVOYAGE

       
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    Location 6.53 /10

    On the coast, in the middle of Tabarka's tourist zone, about half a mile from the city centre. The airport is 8 mi away: the journey should take 10 to 15 minutes.

    Accommodation 6.95 /10

    The hotel has 306 rooms, which were renovated in 2008. They are very beautiful and very new, even though the Abou Nawas Montazah itself is not all that old (it was built in 1992). 121 rooms are on the floors of the central block; the others are divided among 4 separate blocks. Wherever you are staying, there are no sea views, but the rooms have tranquil views over mostly natural surroundings: the dunes, pine forest and entrance to the hotel against a backdrop of wooded hills. They are simple but distinctively typical in design, and are not over-generous in their dimensions (approximately 194 sq ft for a double room). The balconies are enclosed by a concrete banister, even on the ground floor, and are furnished with plastic garden furniture. The rooms have a red sandstone floor, a tiled camaïeu bedhead, and walls painted beige. In addition to this, the suite rooms have a lounge area with an armchair and a rattan coffee table (whatever you do, don't ask for one, as there are only 5). What other facilities are on offer? A bathroom (with a bathtub or shower, it depends) and 25ml of Abou Nawas hospitality products, a television with a medium-sized screen, air conditioning and a telephone. There is no fridge, and a charge is applied for use of the safe.

    Overview 6.95 /10

    The Abou Nawas Montazah has only 2 floors (no lift); it is a low building with a tiled roof, built in the middle of a pine forest: it is just the kind of environment one would like to see more often in Tunisia. But given the local climate and the growth of tourism, this kind of landscape can only be found on the Coral Coast and nowhere else; this should remain the case at least as long as the number of hotels remains the same as today (20 in total between the town and the beach). As the Abou Nawas Montazah only opens for the summer, it is a perfect place to go to make the most of its natural surroundings. That is, as long as you like the beach, archery, mini-golf and diving: these areas of the complex do not get too busy, so they remain quieter. Elsewhere, and around the swimming pool in particular, your holidays will be spent in a much more crowded environment: the rows of deckchairs beneath laminated fabric parasols and the tables and chairs of the snack bar are all set out on a paved solarium lacking in any kind of green plant life (although the dunes with their pine tress are very close by). In addition, the Olympic-sized swimming pool (164ft x 65.60ft) is sometimes used for training by local athletes. Finally: bring your own bath towel, so that you will not need to hire one. Deckchair cushions are also for hire only (0.5 dinars per day - or £0.28 - whether you are on the beach or beside the pool). But really, you can do without them...

    Food and drink 7.20 /10

    Housed in a large hall with exposed wood features, and extended by a terrace overlooking the swimming pool, the buffet restaurant is, considering the capacity of the hotel (around 700 guests), relatively noisy when it is full. Come either at the beginning of the service (in the morning) or at the end of the service (for lunch and dinner). The buffet has a section for children (we saw adults using it, because it offers pasta with tomato sauce, chips, vegetable fritters: dishes popular among people of any age). To boost your protein levels, grilled fish is on offer (tuna, bonito, cutlass fish, swordfish, depending on the day and the season), along with meat (beef or veal) cooked in sauce, saffron rice, pasta with seafood, and sautéed potatoes. Sliced bread is also provided, although we would have preferred a more authentic Tunisian offering (the famous barley flat breads), but this would doubtless be more expensive.

    Beach 7.70 /10

    The beach is reached via a clearly marked paved footpath. The section of beach given over to the hotel measures approximately 984ft x 196.85ft. The buildings are spaced well apart, and the sand and water are of good quality. The Fort Genois can be seen at the far end of the bay, and the centre of Tabarka can be reached along the beach in 30 minutes. The Abou Nawas Montzah, and its guests, are thus fortunate from this point of view! Bring your own bath towel and make do without a cushion on your deckchair, to avoid any extra charges. There are a number of thatched huts providing shelter from the sun, which is harsh in the summer. There is no water sports hut, but guests can register with a diving club for an introductory dive, one or several diving trips, and an introduction to diving in the swimming pool. You really should try it, except of course in the case of a contraindication: the sea bed of the Coral Coast is really worth it.

    To know

    The hotel is built on a 20-acre plot, which includes 4 dunes planted with pine trees, adding a sense of depth and natural vegetation: an environmental plus point!
    A diving centre (with equipment provided) offers an introduction to sea diving (about £16.60) and diving trips (approximately £23 each). It has CMAS affiliation, to ensure safety, and a free initiation to diving is offered in the swimming pool to start you off. It is ideal for beginners. The following can be seen in the sea off the Coral Coast: black and red sea fan coral (of course!) with shrub-like branches, groupers, spiny lobsters, homarus lobsters and slipper lobsters (similar to small homarus lobsters).
    Don't forget the hotel is only open from the 15 May to the 15 October.
    Accommodation tip
    If possible, try to reserve rooms in one of the 4 blocks separate from the central block: they are not as noisy and are less of a thoroughfare. There is a view over the dunes or the forest (this sometimes restricts your view, but on the plus side it does mean you have no neighbours directly opposite).
    For prices and reservations, visit www.abounawas.com (with an English language link)..

    Equipment

    • Car park
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Spa

      massage, beauty salon, sauna, keep fit

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      tennis, aqua gym, aerobics, volleyball, beach volley, golf, archery

    advantage

    • Expansive beach.
    • An on-site diving centre.
    • Simple but typically decorated rooms.

    disadvantages

    • The Olympic-sized swimming pool is sometimes used as a training pool.
    • A paved solarium without any green plant life around the swimming pool.

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10
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