Four Seasons Tunis

Old Aug 15, 19, 6:11 pm
  #1  
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Four Seasons Tunis

I haven't seen a dedicated thread to this relatively new property (opened 1.5yrs ago) with the exception of one thread that was closed after a single reply so thought I'd contribute my thoughts!

We booked through a FSPP and my husband and I traveled with nine other friends (11 people total across six rooms, though we all booked through our various preferred programs - ex some booked their rooms through Amex FHR). We stayed a few weeks ago - late July 2019. Our motivation to book was the fact that (1) I do enjoy FS properties and this was on my radar after I received emails on the listserv about it opening, (2) it is pretty inexpensive compared to what we typically expect to pay at a FS property - this property's rates are along the lines of a FS Mexico City rate (aka cheap! at least relative to FS properties around the world - though as expected, definitely a fair bit more expensive than comparable properties in Tunis or Mexico City), and (3) we had various friends doing different European summer trips at the same time (as we were), and we thought it would be cool for all of us to meet up somewhere none of us had been - so this property was the perfect suggestion.

We paid ~US$360/night incl taxes for the category we booked (Deluxe Sea-View Room). Friends who booked closer to the date, about two months out (we booked about five months out) paid more for the same room - I think around US$450/night.

We booked the hotel's Mercedes C-class car service to pick us up at the airport and take us to the property at 240 TND. The ride back to the airport at the end via a cab the property called for us was less than 1/10th the price at 20 TND.

The property was stunning and felt very new. The details were really well thought out and our room - a one-category upgrade from our booked Deluxe Sea-View Room to the Premier Room - was great. It had two main balconies at a 90 degree angle from one another, one facing the sea and one facing the pool, and since it was one of the rooms closest to the water (the hotel is in a U-shape, with the tails being closer to the water), our sea view wasn't obstructed by any parts of the property which was beautiful. If I returned, I'd try to request this particular room location again. I didn't end up going to see any of the deluxe sea-view rooms my friends were in (what we booked), but I did hear from my friends that our room was a definite step up from their rooms (except one who had actually booked a lower category that the rest of us, who lucked out with a two category upgrade to the same room as ours, just across the pool on the other side of the property!).

One service inconsistency was that my friends received a welcome amenity (some fruit and macarons) and letter from the GM in their rooms upon arrival, whereas we didn't, which I was surprised by. That's obviously super minor and didn't impact our stay at all, but I did find it interesting and inconsistent.

The spa was beautiful - I only had one treatment, but wish I had spent more time there. The area that you don't see until they walk you to your treatment room was exquisite - I wish I had gotten photos of it.

The food wasn't great and the service in the F&B outlets was definitely lacking, but I'd hope over time both (or at least the latter) may improve. Breakfast was truly nothing to write home about - I found that the spread physically looked large and varied, but it wasn't actually if that makes sense - I found the selection rather limited in actuality and ate pretty strangely for those few days given it wasn't the most appealing breakfast spread.

The concierge made some good local recommendations that allowed us to explore some F&B outside of the property - a particular memory was The Cliff in Sidi Bou Said, which also didn't have the most outstanding food but the location and views at sunset were really special. Cabs that the hotel called were 10 TND to go there, and 20 TND to come back (I guess the price increases after a certain hour - we probably returned around 10pm).

I did have one pretty significant issue, not in terms of money lost (it was only ~US$60) but in terms of experience given this has literally never happened to me at any hotel in all my travels - money was stolen from my bag while we weren't in the room. I had taken out 2000 TND from the ATM to pay for a tour I booked for our group, and counted to make sure I had the right amount since the ATM gave me the withdrawal in 20 TND bills over three transactions given the max limit per transaction, so I was very careful to check that I got exactly 2000 TND from the ATM when we got to the hotel. The next day 160 TND was missing from my stack that I had stored in a zippered compartment in my bag (aka just small enough of an amount that I'm assuming whoever took it thought I wouldn't notice, except that I needed exactly what I had withdrawn so I did notice). I called to let the reception manager know immediately, and the GM of the property - Marie, I believe? - ended up getting in contact with me later in the day and was very upfront and honest about the fact that they had issues with this at the start, but not recently, but they have hired "casuals" (as she called them) recently that she would suspect. I appreciated the effort Marie made and the work culture she has established at the property was evident in the sense that the front desk manager didn't hesitate to escalate the issue up the ranks immediately, and this reflected well on the property despite the circumstances.

We also had a strange knock on our door at 8:30am (aka way too early to be acceptable) on our last morning and it wasn't housekeeping, but rather a floor cleaner from the lobby area, which was jarring and very strange. I let Marie know and she agreed that the floor cleaners should not be down knocking on guest room doors, and that confirmed to me that there are definitely security concerns here.

I would've expected an offer for some sort of small compensation (ex comping one of our meals, or something) as a result of this experience and wasn't proactively offered any, but I requested they credit the 160 TND against our room charges and they obliged.

The rest of the group didn't have any similar issues and enjoyed their stays.

Overall, I would (and already have) recommend the property and Tunisia to friends, as I found the property stunning and the country enchanting, even in our short (four day) stay there. In recommending the Four Seasons, I would include the caveat to not have the highest expectations around F&B and to definitely use the safe for valuables, but especially given how beautiful and new of property it is and given it's very inexpensive compared to the rates European luxury Mediterranean properties command this time of year, it's absolutely worth a visit.

Once I get around to creating the travel-specific Instagram I keep telling myself I'll make, I'll share my pictures there and edit this post to include a link
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Old Aug 15, 19, 8:55 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by meehgz View Post

I did have one pretty significant issue, not in terms of money lost (it was only ~US$60) but in terms of experience given this has literally never happened to me at any hotel in all my travels - money was stolen from my bag while we weren't in the room. I had taken out 2000 TND from the ATM to pay for a tour I booked for our group, and counted to make sure I had the right amount since the ATM gave me the withdrawal in 20 TND bills over three transactions given the max limit per transaction, so I was very careful to check that I got exactly 2000 TND from the ATM when we got to the hotel. The next day 160 TND was missing from my stack that I had stored in a zippered compartment in my bag (aka just small enough of an amount that I'm assuming whoever took it thought I wouldn't notice, except that I needed exactly what I had withdrawn so I did notice). I called to let the reception manager know immediately, and the GM of the property - Marie, I believe? - ended up getting in contact with me later in the day and was very upfront and honest about the fact that they had issues with this at the start, but not recently, but they have hired "casuals" (as she called them) recently that she would suspect. I appreciated the effort Marie made and the work culture she has established at the property was evident in the sense that the front desk manager didn't hesitate to escalate the issue up the ranks immediately, and this reflected well on the property despite the circumstances.

We also had a strange knock on our door at 8:30am (aka way too early to be acceptable) on our last morning and it wasn't housekeeping, but rather a floor cleaner from the lobby area, which was jarring and very strange. I let Marie know and she agreed that the floor cleaners should not be down knocking on guest room doors, and that confirmed to me that there are definitely security concerns here.

I would've expected an offer for some sort of small compensation (ex comping one of our meals, or something) as a result of this experience and wasn't proactively offered any, but I requested they credit the 160 TND against our room charges and they obliged.

The rest of the group didn't have any similar issues and enjoyed their stays.

Overall, I would (and already have) recommend the property and Tunisia to friends, as I found the property stunning and the country enchanting, even in our short (four day) stay there. In recommending the Four Seasons, I would include the caveat to not have the highest expectations around F&B and to definitely use the safe for valuables, but especially given how beautiful and new of property it is and given it's very inexpensive compared to the rates European luxury Mediterranean properties command this time of year, it's absolutely worth a visit.

Once I get around to creating the travel-specific Instagram I keep telling myself I'll make, I'll share my pictures there and edit this post to include a link
FS handled this petty cash theft way more professionally than PH Siem Reap did for us. We also got robbed of small amounts of various currencies we had on us and a necklace. Their lawyer eventually ended up accusing us of not being careful and deliquent since we didn't use the hotel safe. A nice way to ensure I would never back to that PH but I would definitely have gone back if they handled it like FS Tunis.
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Old Aug 15, 19, 9:15 pm
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by meehgz View Post
I haven't seen a dedicated thread to this relatively new property (opened 1.5yrs ago) with the exception of one thread that was closed after a single reply so thought I'd contribute my thoughts!

We booked through a FSPP and my husband and I traveled with nine other friends (11 people total across six rooms, though we all booked through our various preferred programs - ex some booked their rooms through Amex FHR). We stayed a few weeks ago - late July 2019. Our motivation to book was the fact that (1) I do enjoy FS properties and this was on my radar after I received emails on the listserv about it opening, (2) it is pretty inexpensive compared to what we typically expect to pay at a FS property - this property's rates are along the lines of a FS Mexico City rate (aka cheap! at least relative to FS properties around the world - though as expected, definitely a fair bit more expensive than comparable properties in Tunis or Mexico City), and (3) we had various friends doing different European summer trips at the same time (as we were), and we thought it would be cool for all of us to meet up somewhere none of us had been - so this property was the perfect suggestion.

We paid ~US$360/night incl taxes for the category we booked (Deluxe Sea-View Room). Friends who booked closer to the date, about two months out (we booked about five months out) paid more for the same room - I think around US$450/night.

We booked the hotel's Mercedes C-class car service to pick us up at the airport and take us to the property at 240 TND. The ride back to the airport at the end via a cab the property called for us was less than 1/10th the price at 20 TND.

The property was stunning and felt very new. The details were really well thought out and our room - a one-category upgrade from our booked Deluxe Sea-View Room to the Premier Room - was great. It had two main balconies at a 90 degree angle from one another, one facing the sea and one facing the pool, and since it was one of the rooms closest to the water (the hotel is in a U-shape, with the tails being closer to the water), our sea view wasn't obstructed by any parts of the property which was beautiful. If I returned, I'd try to request this particular room location again. I didn't end up going to see any of the deluxe sea-view rooms my friends were in (what we booked), but I did hear from my friends that our room was a definite step up from their rooms (except one who had actually booked a lower category that the rest of us, who lucked out with a two category upgrade to the same room as ours, just across the pool on the other side of the property!).

One service inconsistency was that my friends received a welcome amenity (some fruit and macarons) and letter from the GM in their rooms upon arrival, whereas we didn't, which I was surprised by. That's obviously super minor and didn't impact our stay at all, but I did find it interesting and inconsistent.

The spa was beautiful - I only had one treatment, but wish I had spent more time there. The area that you don't see until they walk you to your treatment room was exquisite - I wish I had gotten photos of it.

The food wasn't great and the service in the F&B outlets was definitely lacking, but I'd hope over time both (or at least the latter) may improve. Breakfast was truly nothing to write home about - I found that the spread physically looked large and varied, but it wasn't actually if that makes sense - I found the selection rather limited in actuality and ate pretty strangely for those few days given it wasn't the most appealing breakfast spread.

The concierge made some good local recommendations that allowed us to explore some F&B outside of the property - a particular memory was The Cliff in Sidi Bou Said, which also didn't have the most outstanding food but the location and views at sunset were really special. Cabs that the hotel called were 10 TND to go there, and 20 TND to come back (I guess the price increases after a certain hour - we probably returned around 10pm).

I did have one pretty significant issue, not in terms of money lost (it was only ~US$60) but in terms of experience given this has literally never happened to me at any hotel in all my travels - money was stolen from my bag while we weren't in the room. I had taken out 2000 TND from the ATM to pay for a tour I booked for our group, and counted to make sure I had the right amount since the ATM gave me the withdrawal in 20 TND bills over three transactions given the max limit per transaction, so I was very careful to check that I got exactly 2000 TND from the ATM when we got to the hotel. The next day 160 TND was missing from my stack that I had stored in a zippered compartment in my bag (aka just small enough of an amount that I'm assuming whoever took it thought I wouldn't notice, except that I needed exactly what I had withdrawn so I did notice). I called to let the reception manager know immediately, and the GM of the property - Marie, I believe? - ended up getting in contact with me later in the day and was very upfront and honest about the fact that they had issues with this at the start, but not recently, but they have hired "casuals" (as she called them) recently that she would suspect. I appreciated the effort Marie made and the work culture she has established at the property was evident in the sense that the front desk manager didn't hesitate to escalate the issue up the ranks immediately, and this reflected well on the property despite the circumstances.

We also had a strange knock on our door at 8:30am (aka way too early to be acceptable) on our last morning and it wasn't housekeeping, but rather a floor cleaner from the lobby area, which was jarring and very strange. I let Marie know and she agreed that the floor cleaners should not be down knocking on guest room doors, and that confirmed to me that there are definitely security concerns here.

I would've expected an offer for some sort of small compensation (ex comping one of our meals, or something) as a result of this experience and wasn't proactively offered any, but I requested they credit the 160 TND against our room charges and they obliged.

The rest of the group didn't have any similar issues and enjoyed their stays.

Overall, I would (and already have) recommend the property and Tunisia to friends, as I found the property stunning and the country enchanting, even in our short (four day) stay there. In recommending the Four Seasons, I would include the caveat to not have the highest expectations around F&B and to definitely use the safe for valuables, but especially given how beautiful and new of property it is and given it's very inexpensive compared to the rates European luxury Mediterranean properties command this time of year, it's absolutely worth a visit.

Once I get around to creating the travel-specific Instagram I keep telling myself I'll make, I'll share my pictures there and edit this post to include a link
Thanks for your review.

I plan on staying here at some point within the next 12-24 months, likely in combination with the new anantara tozeur.
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Old Aug 15, 19, 11:41 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Aventine View Post
FS handled this petty cash theft way more professionally than PH Siem Reap did for us. We also got robbed of small amounts of various currencies we had on us and a necklace. Their lawyer eventually ended up accusing us of not being careful and deliquent since we didn't use the hotel safe. A nice way to ensure I would never back to that PH but I would definitely have gone back if they handled it like FS Tunis.
Yikes!! I agree, the way it was handled was very strong - thatís why Iím not angry about it happening, but rather taking the experience to advise of the security risk to future travelers. I was satisfied with how professionally it was handled - the GM made a point of saying that she has instilled a culture amongst her employees of transparency and encouraging employees to report issues rather than trying to cover them up, and that was evidenced by the fact that I reported this to one person - the front desk manager when I called reception immediately upon discovering the missing money - and it was escalated up the ranks from there without me needing to force the issue, resulting in the GM calling me (and later meeting with me) to apologize. I very much appreciated that, and I appreciated the GMís ownership of the issue (rather than trying to pretend itís never happened there). Quality leadership for sure.
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Old Aug 16, 19, 3:13 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by meehgz View Post


Yikes!! I agree, the way it was handled was very strong - thatís why Iím not angry about it happening, but rather taking the experience to advise of the security risk to future travelers. I was satisfied with how professionally it was handled - the GM made a point of saying that she has instilled a culture amongst her employees of transparency and encouraging employees to report issues rather than trying to cover them up, and that was evidenced by the fact that I reported this to one person - the front desk manager when I called reception immediately upon discovering the missing money - and it was escalated up the ranks from there without me needing to force the issue, resulting in the GM calling me (and later meeting with me) to apologize. I very much appreciated that, and I appreciated the GMís ownership of the issue (rather than trying to pretend itís never happened there). Quality leadership for sure.
Definitely. This property deserves a shoutout via social media or corporate for handling this with class.
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Old Aug 16, 19, 4:46 am
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Great report!

By the way, the GM is Ahmed Khalaf, though I agree that HM Marie is absolutely delightful.
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Old Aug 16, 19, 8:13 am
  #7  
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You inspired me to look this hotel up...very pretty!
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Old Aug 16, 19, 11:49 pm
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Originally Posted by scented View Post
Great report!

By the way, the GM is Ahmed Khalaf, though I agree that HM Marie is absolutely delightful.
Ah youíre right! I stand corrected!
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Old Aug 17, 19, 5:50 pm
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I stayed here when it first opened and had a good stay. The location is somewhat isolated but taxis aren't expensive (although variable in quality). Price is quite low for a FS but Tunis isn't expensive. I stayed in a Sea view suite thanks to a great FSPP upgrade. Room had direct sea view. Hard product is excellent. Good air conditioning and Occitane amenities - not the usual lemon-verbena varietal too. Spa was lovely and dining was very good. I had dinner at the Creek and it was excellent. Presentation and taste were exquisite. Maybe there has been a change in chef ? Service at the beach side restaurant was a bit less refined as it is more like a bar.

The common areas of the hotel are quite upscale and it feels like a FS starting with the flowers in the lobby.

The concierge arranged a day tour for me to explore the medina and Carthage. The guide was very experienced and we had a nice day together. He had been in charge of tours when cruise ships used to come to Tunis. Concierge was quite helpful and professional. I had contact with several different concierge staff during the stay and all were in sync with my requests.

My LH flight was cancelled with a rebooking 8 hours later and there was no issue extending my stay at the last minute.

I'm not one to stay more than a few days at any hotel but this one is well worth a visit. The only wrinkle would be that there are some nice boutique options in the medina which I thought were quite lovely too.
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