“ Bp 55 / Hammam / Sousse / Port El Kantaoui / Tunisia „
The Occidental Allegro Riviera Hotel is a 4 star hotel.
We mainly booked this holiday just to have a cheap, chilled out week in the sunshine. We also wanted a fairly short haul flight and we felt that Tunisia would be perfect for this.
Travel Time from The UK
We flew from London Gatwick and our flight took 2 and a half hours which was lovely as I am used to really long haul flights. The Occidental Allegro Riviera is located about a 40 minute bus journey from the airport, with a few other drop offs included on the way. Our transfers were included in the price of the holiday.
We paid £455 per person for 7 nights on an all inclusive basis which I thought was pretty reasonable. This hotel also has a sister hotel called the Occidental Allegro Abou Sofaine and you can actually use the various facilities at this hotel for free, such as the outdoor and indoor swimming pools, tennis courts, mini golf and the disco although you will have to pay for your food and drinks if you have them at the sister hotel.
Arrival And Check In
As our coach pulled up outside the hotel, we could hear some really loud music playing. As we arrived at the entrance to the hotel, there were four dancers, dancing along to the music. Our rep informed us that this was the hotel animation team and they liked to welcome new arrivals with a song and a dance. At first I found this a little off putting as the main aim of our holiday was to chill for a week and I wasn't sure if the hotel was going to be much more lively and louder than we had expected.
As we got inside the hotel, we were greeted by a porter who took our luggage and asked to check in at the reception. There was only one other couple from the coach that were staying at this hotel so the check in was really quick and we found the reception staff to be very friendly and helpful. We were asked to complete a form while we were checking in and we had to give details such as names, date of births, home address and passport numbers. Once we had completed the forms, we were handed our room key and given directions to our room which was on the 3rd floor.
All the staff at the hotel exceeded our expectations. They were extremely helpful and very well mannered. They looked very smart in their various uniforms and I couldn't help thinking that they must get awfully hot in their uniforms. They all spoke a decent level of English so it was easy to ask them the various things we wanted to know. The waiters in the restaurant were so friendly and had our drinks memorised after our first night there which I thought was rather impressive. The animation team that greeted us upon our arrival were a lovely bunch of people and really tried to make an effort to ensure everyone enjoyed their holiday.
We actually booked a double room so we expected a double bed but when we arrived in our room, we found that we actually had two single beds that had been pushed together to make a double. This wasn't a problem for us but thought I had better mention it as it might be for some people. The beds were clean and had a sheet, a blanket and a top cover so you certainly won't find yourself getting cold. The bed linen was a dark green colour and the rest of the room fitted in with this colour scheme, with the chairs etc all being the same shade of green. Each bed had 2 pillows on it and there were also extra pillows provided (these were kept in one of the cupboards)
In the room, there is a TV (with quite a few English/American channels as well as German and Russian channels), a 2 seater bench style chair, a couple of stool type chairs, a sideboard are, a large wardrobe with a free safe inside, another double wardrobe and a bedside table beside each bed. There was also a radio that was built into the area above the beds.
The bathroom was fairly spacious and consisted of a full length bath, with a shower over the top. There was also a sink and mirror area which was fairly large with plenty of room to store all our toiletries. There was a hairdryer attached to the wall in the bathroom so I wouldn't bother to take your own if you are staying here.
The hotel provided us with fresh, clean towels every day and these were left on the towel rail in the bathroom.
Also in the bathroom was a small toiletry rack on which held free toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner and shower gel. The toilet was located next to the bathroom in a small room of its own which literally just consisted of the toilet. At first I found this a bit odd, with the toilet being separate but my boyfriend loved it as I spend hours in the bath so he could still use the toilet while I chilled out in the bath!
There was also air conditioning in the room although we never used it as our room was in a fairly shaded area of the hotel so it never got too hot.
Each room has a balcony or a terrace and I should imagine that most room have a scenic view, we overlooked one some of the hotel garden and the large swimming pool which was nice. There are sliding patio doors which lead out to the balcony, also meaning that plenty of light was let into the room. Our balcony was furnished with a small table and 2 chairs.
The rooms are cleaned to a very high standard and towels and bed sheets replaced every day.
There is one main restaurant at this hotel which is called Palmiera. This is where the buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner is served. There are also two a la carte restaurants which guests are allowed to dine in for one night per week that they stay at the hotel. Monta Grosso was the a la carte Italian restaurant and Medina was the Tunisian restaurant. Sadly we never actually got to eat in either of these restaurants but all you needed to do was let the reception know which restaurant you would like to eat in and on what day and they sort it all for you.
Palmiera As I already mentioned, this restaurant was the main one and breakfast, lunch and dinner were served here, all in the style of a buffet. Breakfast was served between 06.30am and 10.30am, continental breakfast was served between 10.30am and 11am. Lunch is served between the hours of 12.30pm and 14.30pm and dinner is served from 06.30pm - 09.30pm. Breakfast is self service in the form of a buffet. Breakfast was one of my favourite meals here, purely because there was so much choice - cereals, a large selection of fresh breads, cakes, croissants, fruit and yogurt. There is also chef station where the chefs cook up various items freshly right before your eyes. These items included fried eggs, crepes and omelettes (various varieties). There was a selection of fresh juices which you could help yourself to. As well as all that, there was also a hot selection in the breakfast area which consisted of items such as scrambled egg, toast, sausages, beans, tomatoes and fried potatoes.
As I already mentioned the selection is huge for breakfast and the food is kept nice and hot despite the fact that it is buffet. The food varies every evening which I really enjoyed as many all inclusive hotels that I have stayed in serve the same food day in day out. There was plenty of food to choose between such as soup, loads of salad dishes and vegetable dishes. Every evening, they have a different type of meat being cooked freshly in front of you at the chef station and they also had a different type of fish every night. As well as all the salad and vegetable dishes, there were several meat and fish dishes which were cooked in different types of sauces. Chips were also available every evening and they even had items such as chicken nuggets, fried chickens wings and prawns. All in all the choice was pretty good and you could easily eat something different every night if you wanted to. There were three dessert areas, one of which has sweets such as chocolate and cream cakes, another one consisted of a selection of fresh fruits such as oranges, melon and peaches and the other one served various flavours of ice cream.
There are four bars at the Occidental Allegro Riviera hotel.
As you would imagine this bar is located at the hotel lobby and there are two sections, smoking and non smoking. There is a bar in the smoking side where you can various alcoholic and soft drinks.
The snack bar was located near the pool and served food as well as drinks. Food was served between the hours of 10am and 5pm and consisted of sandwiches, meat and fish dishes and a selection of salads. There was also a chef station in here where you could have various flavoured pizzas and crepes cooked fresh in front of you. There was a small seating area indoors and a larger seating area outdoors so you can enjoy your food in the sunshine. To the left of the food area, there was a bar where again they serve a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks. This is the main area where you get your drinks while you are sun bathing near the swimming pool and although the bar can get busy at times, we were always served fairly quickly.
Late Night Snack Bar
This bar is located in the same area as the snack bar is open between 11pm and 01.30am. The food is limited to snack items such as sandwiches, pizzas and crepes.
The Beach Bar is actually located in the sister hotel as the beach is out the back of the sister hotel. The beach bar is located in the middle of the section of the beach which is allocated to the hotel. Here you can choose from a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks as well as the usual snack items such as sandwiches and pizzas. There are patio style table and chairs laid out on the beach where you can sit and enjoy your food and drinks.
As well as the various restaurants are bars, there are a couple of other places to eat and drink.
The hotel actually has its own nightclub which opens at 9pm and closes at 3am. The nightclub is really nice with soft seats and a large dance floor as well as a stage. Various shows are performed here every evening by the animation team and for the beginning part of the evening the animation team get all the children up dancing while the parents can sit and enjoy a drink. The nightclub has a higher tier where there are soft seating areas and the lower tier has seats laid out for the shows which are then taken away once the show has finished. They serve a selection of hot and cold drinks in the nightclub.
This cafe is located in the main reception of the hotel and here you can help yourself to fresh tea and coffee. Various cakes are also laid out throughout the day which you can help yourself to. The cakes included fresh doughnuts which were lovely. The cafe itself is quite small with only a couple of seating areas but the cafe is located right next to a larger seating area and you are more than welcome to sit here and enjoy your drinks.
Also in the lobby of the hotel, there is a small cocktail bar and we were surprised to find that we could also have cocktails on an all inclusive basis. The cocktail bar opens at 5pm and closes at 11pm. You can choose between alcoholic and non alcoholic cocktails and although the menu wasn't massive, there was something to suit everyone's tastes.
As I already said, the Occidental Allegro Riviera doesn't actually have it own beach. The beach for this hotel is actually located at the back of the sister hotel which is about a 5-10 minute walk from the Riviera. The section of the beach which is allocated to the sister hotel is not overly huge and it did always looks busy although we always noticed that there were several free sun beds so I can't imagine having any problems trying to find some beds to use for the day. Personally, we prefer to lay by the pool as I always get covered in sand when I lay on the beach so aside from walking down to the beach to have a look on several occasions, we didn't actually spend much time here. However, there were plenty of sun beds with tables next to them. There were also plenty of sun umbrella so you had the choice of sitting in the sun, or using an umbrella and resting in the shade.
The beach is obviously sanding with bright white sand and there were plenty of people swimming in the sea. I dipped my toes into the sea and have to say, I thought it was far too cold to be swimming in but each to their own!! Various water sports are available on the beach (at an extra charge) and these included hiring pedaloes and jet skies and you could also take a ride on a banana boat or go para sailing.
There is one main swimming pool at the Riviera Hotel, although this does have a smaller pool attached to one side which is the designated children's pool. The pool is fairly large and there are areas all around the pool for sun beds. There are enough sun beds for everyone and they are all available free of charge. As you select your sun beds, the pool man with come over to you with soft mattresses for them.
The pool has a deep and a shallow end and you can enter to pool by a set of steps in the shallow end. The pool is open between the hours of 8am and 6pm and guest must not swim in it while it is closed.
There is also an indoor swimming pool which is located on the ground floor of the hotel, opposite the health club. The indoor swimming pool was beautiful with lovely painted walls. The swimming pool is circular and the water was a luke warm temperature, making it very nice to swim in. The day we used to indoor pool, we found that we were the only two people there so the indoor pool would be more suitable for people who like their own peace and quiet.
There is towel station which is located to one side of the main pool. You are charged a deposit of 10 diners (about £5) for the towels although the deposit will be refunded when you return the towels. He towels need to be returned by 6pm every day.
Personally I do not have any children yet but I did notice while staying at this hotel that it would be a great place to take children (as long as you take great care to protect their skin from the Tunisian heat).
The hotel caters for children very well with lots of children areas such as a kiddies area where they can play with toys, watch videos, colour in etc all under the supervision of the hotel staff so you know they are in safe hands.
As mentioned earlier there is a kid's pool which will certainly keep them entertained for a while.
This hotel has a little Health club complete with a sauna, massage rooms and a hairdressers (although you do have to pay extra for these services). My boyfriend and I had an all over massage which lasted about 45 minutes and this only cost us £10 each which I thought was a really good price.
There is a fully air conditioned Gym onsite at the hotel although I have to admit to not using this (I don't use one at home so certainly not using one while I am on holiday)
I would certainly recommend this hotel to anyone wishing to visit Port el Kantaoui in Tunisia. It is in a great location, with some shops about a 10 minute walk in one direction and the Marina and town centre a 10 minute walk in the other direction.
The hotel is modern, clean and has a very welcoming atmosphere. I was impressed with the selection of food available and found that somewhere was open for you to get food whatever time you pleased. I really liked the idea of the disco, as quite often when I go on all inclusive holidays, I am reluctant to leave the resort because everything is already paid for so I liked the fact that you could have a few drinks and watch a show within the grounds of the hotel without having to spend any money. I think this hotel offers everything you would expect of a 4 star hotel.
Designed in true Moorish style the Riviera mixes traditional comfort with everything you'll need for fun in the North African sun.