The Hotel. Club Magic Life Africana Imperial – This club is an enchanting resort with large gardens in a setting of 50,000m2. There is one main Hotel with a number of apartments with a total of 301 rooms. Pros: Beautiful, huge and well maintained grounds with a jungle greenery in the centre of where the rooms are! The rooms were very clean with daily housekeepers and, hallelujah, a hot power shower! Plenty of swimming pools to choose from! There was a central pool with music, entertainment, activities and a pool bar – an indoor pool with hammam and sauna rooms – a relax pool that included a ‘sshh’ sign because that was the place to go and unwind – and our favourite, the pool with the water slides! They provided beach towels for you which you could change whenever you wanted.
They had a variety of bars serving hot and cold beverages along with plenty of beautiful lounge areas. The entertainment crew were lovely, including two South Africans called Sam and Chris who were great dance performers and teachers of some of the exercise classes. We went for a drink and a dance with them one night in the Magic night line club they have in the resort.
Cons: I know it’s not my concern as I don’t have children, but they seriously need a games room revamp because I admittedly tried to play some arcade games. Most of the machines looked tampered with and dated. They did have a perfectly functioning pool table in the Captain Bar so that made up for it! The night club needed an inviting entrance instead of just a random black door round the back…
The Beach – Pros: The wide stretch of beach makes it a spectacular stroll. As most of us Britons know, we take great advantage of the warm sea hitting our feet whilst the wet sand exfoliates them. The beach was right on our doorstep behind the hotel so it only took a few minutes to walk to.
Cons: Even though we had our ‘private’ section of the beach, it was still slightly crammed in with the other hotels – therefore it wasn’t really that private. Along with being slightly harassed by the small beach companies trying to give you cheap deals on water-sports. But that only happened if you went for a walk, they won’t intrude if you’re on the sun loungers. I know they’re just trying to do their job but please! Leave us, the hell, alone! They’re all rude about it also! They have no idea how to accept no for an answer. If they want to make money, they all need to learn about customer service!
Activities/Things to do in the hotel – Pros: FREE WATERSPORTS! – Waterskiing (which I loved), paragliding & jet-skiing (not free but still cheap), learn to surf, banana boat, kayak. This was included for all Club Magic Hotel residents. There were also different daily activities near the gym – I attempted to do some Yoga and Zumba while I was there as I really enjoy doing it at home. We also tried out the gym in the hour before dinner during sunset and that was pretty decent!
There was a huge South African zoo where endangered animals were kept enclosed but still in a very natural looking habitat. The thing we missed out on or didn’t hear anything about was the swimming with dolphins next door to the zoo. Bare this in mind if you plan to go!
Cons: When you’re out on excursions, workers will do anything for a tip. A zoo worker offered to take a close up picture of a cheetah for us – we thought it was a nice gesture before they demanded a tip afterwards. Cheers. Along with we watched people feed the animals and then were asked for a tip because the workers provided them a few leaves for the animals. So the tip is – bring money for tips.
Atmosphere – Pros: It was in September when the school holidays end, which is always a good idea for those without children. Also, if you can speak German then that would also be ideal if you want to make lots of friends as 80% of residents were from the wonderful world of Deutschland! We were not expecting to meet anyone but we came across a lovely Northern couple and spent a few days with them!
Cons: Sometimes it was a bit quiet in the evenings and we preferred to grab a hot chocolate and go back to the room to watch movies on the TV. Yay English movies! I can’t think of anything else to complain about when it comes to the atmosphere. Everything was pure relaxation – the staff were very friendly and we involved ourselves with some disco dancing and bingo in the evenings! You can’t beat a bit of bingo…
Location – Pros: It was a pretty safe looking area to walk around! Surrounded by other stunning hotels along the coast. There were a few English style pubs and a lovely walkway but I cannot comment much about Hammamet. We hardly left the resort apart from the zoo trip as we wern’t really in the mood to go to the markets and the malls only to be harassed to buy crap.
As we travelled to the zoo excursion, olive trees were planted absolutely everywhere! We were told by the lovely tour guide that 3.7 million olive trees have been planted in the Tunisian fields! Fact of the day for you there…
Cons: It was quite empty where we were and didn’t feel safe enough to go out of the hotel to any clubs at night unless you were with a group of friends. Fly tipping was quite a common thing also along with abandoned/half done construction. Nothing special to look at outside of the resort unless you went on excursions. That’s common in many places though so don’t let that put you off the resort.
Food/Drink – Pros: The hotel had a different theme everyday which allowed our dining experience to be varied and interesting. Examples were Gala, Oriental, European, Tunisian, Italian and Mexican. You will also NEVER go hungry! There are plenty of food stalls open at different times of the day, even a beach bar with sandwiches and paninis – everything all inclusive of course! They had a choice of three a la carte restaurants in the hotel where you booked a day in advance, with the themes of Asian, Italian and Tunisian.
Cons: Don’t even bother with the cocktails unless you like mojitos. The mojitos were fine but everything else was just a huge dose of cheap alcohol with syrupy stuff. Starters and mains were not bad at all. However, desserts were just different flavoured mousse and sponge made pretty. Their so called pannacottas and creme brûlées were just glamourised mousse. They do try, but it just didn’t do it for me – apart from the ice cream cones…They were always nice…
Top Tips – Bring your own tea bags! I cannot emphasise this enough… Be prepared to drink rocket fuel in which they call orange juice or apple juice. It isn’t the real stuff, it’s florescent, unless you like that overly sweet kind of stuff.
Once you change your currency to Tunisian Dinar, you cannot take it away from Tunisia. They were incredibly strict about it going home at the airport. As long as you keep your receipts when you do the foreign exchange then you can get your money back at the airport before you go home.
Tunisia is great for a sunshine getaway. There are also plenty of culture and fun excursions to choose from with a great price. We travelled with Thomson (TUI) and we found our all inclusive deal on the First Choice website selecting last minute holidays.
Drink bottled water only, as the local water has high mineral content and can make you sick. They provide plenty of bottled water in your mini fridge daily, free of charge so you will never run out of bottled water anyway!
Travelled with my lovely friendling, Rod Powley.