I have always thought that the perfect holiday would involve the marriage of relaxation, great food, and the opportunity to discover more about a new country – I think we got that balance right on our visit to Tunisia and the Sentido Aziza Beach Golf & Spa in Hammamet.
This was our first trip to Tunisia and I admit I was not sure what to expect; what we found was a country that offers an ideal holiday location for everyone.
If you were looking for a sun bathing oasis, shops and bright lights or to escape and explore the ruins of Roman baths and archaeological sites then Tunisia can tick all these boxes.
The hotel and the country exceeded all of our expectations on this Thomas Cook holiday.
Everyone goes the extra mile to ensure that every whim of the guests is delivered.
I have never felt more relaxed and we enjoyed every minute of our stay in this quiet and relaxing hotel.
Every staff member made the holiday and the hotel stay the most enjoyable of experiences.
The Aziza is adults only and has a very laid back, chilled-out feel to it.
Many guests stay on an all inclusive basis and the offering of both food and drinks is very impressive.
Our room was very spacious with a stunning sea view.
There is fantastic attention to detail, for instance the fresh rose petals scattered on your bed after the room has been spotlessly cleaned.
The hotel has three main bars, and a Moorish Coffee house serving the local specialities of mint tea and strong coffee.
There is a large outdoor pool, with a bar and excellent provision of sunbeds and umbrellas – here the staff ensure that the guests are looked after brilliantly, adjusting the shade and sun as required.
The three restaurants for evening meals have an extensive choice of food served at both breakfast and lunch.
The food includes a variety of local dishes and international choices, which made every evening meal a pleasure.
Many of the food options are cooked directly in front of the guests including fresh fish and meat.
The desserts were beautiful and I could not resist sampling the various cakes and ice cream.
There were a couple of highlights of the hotel that I would encourage everyone to try.
Firstly, the Tunisian restaurant, which was a delightful setting for a wonderful meal.
We also went to the hotel’s spa for a massage treatment, which proved to be exceptional value.
There are a good range of sport and leisure activities offered by the great ‘animation’ team.
One of the most popular of these is the Nordic walking trip every morning - not only was it a great exercise but the guide had an amazing amount of local knowledge that made the walk a memorable and educational experience.
We tried two of the Thomas Cook excursions, a ‘welcome tour’ to the town centre of Hammamet to explore the Medina and another to the Roman ruins of Carthage and the picturesque town of Sidi Bou Said.
These visits gave us the opportunity to see the different sides to the resort and the tour guides on all occasions gave a detailed insight in the historic importance of Tunisia that dates back to the time of the Ancient Greek Empire.
The country has an amazing history - I was not fully aware of its historic importance before the holiday.
We also learned the art of Tunisian haggling and were able to see craft skills that have remained unchanged for generations.
I certainly plan to return to Tunisia, and more specifically to the Sentido Aziza.
Three things to do:
1. Take the Aziza hotel’s Nordic walking tour. Every morning an expert guide takes guests on a hike and shares with them some of the secrets of the area’s flora, culture and political and economic history. It’s a real education and a chance to stretch the legs a little and work off some of the all inclusive calories.
2. Visit a real Medina where people work, shop and go about everyday life. Thomas Cook arrange some excellent excursions to these ancient marketplaces on which guides teach you the dos and don’ts of haggling and the art of getting a good deal.
3. Take a guided tour to Carthage and learn more about the Roman Empire and the even earlier history of this settlement. The huge site gives a feel of what life was like in ancient times and you will be in awe at some of the buildings.
Holiday: Thomas Cook Adult Style offers seven nights on all-inclusive at the five star Sentido Aziza Beach Golf & Spa in Hammamet from £536 per person when departing from Manchester on October 2. Price based on two adults sharing and includes transfers, 20kg luggage allowance and in-flight meals designed by TV chef James Martin. Ten and 11 night holidays and other UK airports available. Thomas Cook 0844 412 5970 or visit a Thomas Cook shop. Correct at time of issue and subject to change, optional extras may be applicable at the time of booking. The cost for the Welcome Tour is per person £14.50 and the half day to Carthage is £22.75.
Airport hotel: If you’ve an early flight, get the holiday off to a relaxing start by staying at the Crowne Plaza Manchester Airport. The service is really pleasant and the hotel has a range of dining options. Crowne Plaza Manchester Airport or call 0871 942 9055.
Parking: Manchester Airport’s multi- storey car park is a convenient, secure option from £59.99. Manchester Airport parking