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“First and last time at Marhaba” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Marhaba Hotel

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Marhaba Hotel
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4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Boulevard 14 Janvier 2011 | Zone Touristique, Sousse 4000, Tunisia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 39 Hotels in Sousse
South Wales
2 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“First and last time at Marhaba”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2012

We have been to Tunisia 10 times since 2000 usually staying at the adjacent Tour Khalef, part of the 5 hotel complex, and had previously been through the grounds and reception area at the Marhaba so when this was all that was available we thought it would be an acceptable alternative. We were very badly mistaken Thomas Cook had failed to tell us about the renovation of rooms and restaurant\kitchen facilities which were still ongoing when we arrived. The original room we were offered was newly renovated but overlooking a building site where the use of heavy hammer drills was evident straight away. Reception was quite quick to move us away from this area, maybe they were anticipating complaints, and we were offered another room which was in need of renovation. The toilet pan was moving and I had to pack it underneath with cardboard to try to take out some of the movement.
When we were at reception shortly after we heard later arriving people being told that no other rooms were available. The reception area had a bar but it was not possible to get a cold drink here, or so we were later to find anywhere else. Coffee was nice but not hot enough and glasses were often chipped and in some cases dangerously cracked. The Tunisian waiters are quite good and would bring drinks to your table for you sometimes we would tip but it was never asked for or expected. The restaurant area was comfortable and we had the same waiter and table for 99% of the time he would fetch our drinks to the table and clear plates quickly.
The food was good to start with but soon became monotonous after you had eaten the same food every day for a week and we were aware of shortages of plates, dishes, cups and cutlery which when available would also be chipped or dirty, my wife asked for a clean glass and got referred to the dirty, grubby glasses still there which had not been used as they were dirty coming back from being washed.My wife had the runs 4 days into the holiday and I had them a couple of days after.I have never had the runs on any previous visits to Tunisia. Staff were asking us for medication as they also had the runs etc.
The rest of the hotel had a number of potential hazards such as cracked and broken steps on fire escapes, fire alarms which were out of use and workmen using paint and solvents close to accomodation areas.Reception toilet area was never clean, probably because the lighting was worked off motion sensors and would keep going off, there were no hand dryers to use and only now and again would there be paper towels provided. We did not see any evidence of staff cleaning this area or any sign of decent cleaning equipment.The maids were trying hard to keep rooms and upstairs corridors clean with old worn out brushes.
The pool area was quite often overcrowded and was too close to the food eating area causing food and drink to be spilt and discarded around the edge of the pool.
We know Tunisia quite well and have travelled from Tunis to the Sahara often on public transport and have always found the Tunisians friendly and helpful and we are also aware of what can be achieved with the food available locally but none of this was evident at the Marhaba. The owner of the Hotel was more concerned with placing artistic items around the reception to getting the fundamentals right i.e. basic hygiene, pest control, food and drink supply\preparation and basic health and safety.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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819 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (263)
Date | Rating
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English first
Spalding, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2012

Just got back today (Monday 20th August 2012). We stayed for 11 nights (2 adults & 2 children aged 12 years). We stayed in the Neptune block which I understand was the only block that hasn't been refurbished. We go away aboard every year and this was the first time ever I've struggled with sickness and diarrhea. The cleaniness of the food prep wasn't great and most of the drinks tasted the same - Coke, lemonade, fanta all had the same taste from the pump (Tip - ask for drinks from the bottles)

Room - Overall the standard of the room was a 3 star - The room was spacious but very tired looking (bathroom very dirty). Bed sheets and towels changed daily but on a number occassions the bedding was blood stained. The room came with Air conditioning which was a god send as temp hit 45 Degrees. The room also had a TV with BBC world news and a fridge that wasn't working. The room overlooked the Marhaba Club pool (Tip - Don't book your holiday throught the Marhaba Club as all you get is a slighty better room. The pools, entertainment, facilities and food all shared between the two hotels).

Pools / Slides - Both pools were great, The club pool had a swim up bar and the other pool, which was the main pool had three slides (great fun). (Tip - When you arrive speak to the pool man and he will look after you for a small tip during your stay, the pool guy reserved our sun beds every day in the same spot). Pools pretty clean for a 3 star hotel but very slippery around the pool - watched people on a daily basis slipping over - Adults and children. The main pool have life gaurds that spend most of their time under a tree smoking or having a sleep.
Slides are not on all day but go on about 9am to 12 midday and then back on at 3pm to 5pm. Both pools have bar serving drinks & lunch.

Beach - The beach was great and had it's own cornered off area for peace of mind. Plenty of water sport activities going on. Beach bar open from 9am to 5pm serving ice creams, lunch and drinks. The sea was very shallow which was great for the kids.

Food / Drink - After a week the food started to look all the same and for most of it tasted the same. I don't think the food prep was as good as it should of been as a number of people was coming down with diarrhea during our stay including ME. I couldn't make out if it was the drinks or the food that was doing it.
Tipping the waiters is a must if you don't want to queue for drinks.

Entertainment - Daily entertainment around the pool - typical activities including water polo, water basketball, football, table tennis etc. Day time entertainment was OK and what you expected from a three star.

Entertainment - Evening entertainment - "where should I start" - Very poor. A number of nights their wasn't anything on. Kids disco started every night at 9pm for half an hour followed by "Bingo" - Yes I said Bingo and numbers called in three laungages. After the Bingo the main entertainment (if you can call it that) started at 10pm and finished at 11pm. After that there was a disco for the family for an hour and that was your lot for the night. The Main entertainment was a joke and not even to a 3 star standard most nights. The best was on the last night of our stay and that was driven by audiance participation.

Trips - Pirate Ship trip - stay away from - not great + the lunch on the boat was dodgy / Camel rides - great fun don't miss this one - don't book through your rep as the trip is the same trip as the guys that sell it around the pool for half the price / Quad bikes - great fun for all the family - once again book at the beach and not the rep.
(Warning - you have to pay for your drinks on all the trips)

Overall - You get what you pay for but I feel some of the hotel standards were below 3 stars. As for the Marahba Club "4 star" the pay a lot more for the same stadard as the Marabha Hotel.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gateshead, Tyne & Wear
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2012

This hotel is very disappointing. Not only did Thomas Cook fail to tell us when we booked last year that there was building work going on, they also failed to tell us that they are in the process of merging 3 hotels into one - Hotel Marhaba, Club Marhaba and Neptune. So many issues to report: mould and mildew in the bathrooms, broken doors and furniture in the rooms, broken glass panels, sanitary towels and condoms on "grassed" areas, no hand-drying facilities in public area toilets, broken toilet for 2 weeks, emergency fire alarms with "do not use" labels on them, not enough staff (although the staff who are working are brilliant) resulting in huge queues at the bars, food and crockery not replenished quickly, again resulting in queues, food not hot, 2 pools for 3 hotels obviously doesn't work, oh and chlorinating the pool when there was people in it!

Room Tip: The main part of the hotel has been refurbished - ask for a room here i f you have to stay.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, England, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2012

We had a third floor room (which took some climbing in that heat) but had a sea view and view of the pool which was fantastic.There were two rooms in our party and the hotel staff unlucked a door between the two which allowed us to walk between this was ideal for us.

Overall I found the appearance of the hotel to be great there were some areas that are probably due a lick of paint but they are working there way round and I wouldnt call it dangerous, inconvienient or untidy. In no way did this spoil our holiday but I guess some people will look for any reason to complain.

The main pool and slides were fantastic, the second pool through the neptune bar was also great with a pool bar which went down well later in the day. The beach was extremly close, clean and well organised.

The animation team are excellent, extremely friendly and always on hand and made sure we were involved if we wanted to be but not forceful of participation if you dont want to be involved.

If i was pushed for a negative there is always a queue at the bar, the staff work there socks off but they literally cannot pour the drinks fast enough. There were a lot of Russian guest who appeared rude and very wasteful of food perhaps this is just a cultural difference but the waitors and chefs didnt seem to take to kindly to them either.

Room Tip: My top tip is to tip... the guy who allocates the sun beds (we had the same four with parasol every...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2012

I stayed here with my 5 year old daughter and my son (20 yrs), we stayed here from 5 August to 12 August. I was doubtfull after reading all reviews on here but our stay was fab. We were allocated a large updated room with a pool view. The maids created different animals and fancy shapes with the bedding every morning, the pool guy saved us sun beds every morning, the waiters in the restaurant served us drinks instead of fetching and carrying ourselves and the waiters around the pool saved us a table in the evenings for the entertainment. We did tip them all but only a small tip, it was definitely worth it. The animation team never stopped trying to make sure everyone was "happy happy" and did their best to get people to join in on games etc. The beach is kept clean and the beach bar is very nice. The only thing I could have a moan about is the ignorance of the other guests, some people have no manners whatsoever but this is no fault of the Marhaba Hotel, just be ignorant back and problem solved. We did see a few ants but I see some where I live also - not a problem.

Room Tip: Rooms around the pool area are large and updated but are noisey until midnight, this didnt prevent m...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool, England, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2012

This is hotel was not the one I picked through Thomas cook but the one we got put in. We were slightly dissapointed to learn we were in Neptune building which hasn't yet been renovated like the main building but the air con worked and the room was clean. The food was fab it is nothing like previous reviews it was constAntly different except they always served chips which was great if u fancied a light bite. Recommend tipping a bar staff member and the pool guy which means you will get a sun lounger daily and a good seat for evening entertainment. Which was fantastic couldn't fault it from early to late they were doing something to entertain you and the club song is so addictive. The pool is very cool but lovely never the less, the beach does get too hot to walk on in extreme heat but worth a visit, we also did the African dream excursion which I would recommend. Ramadan was still going on when we visited (30th july - 7th aug) but bars in hotel only close between 7:30-8:00 so nothing too bad. There are some fantastic views from on top of the spa building and would recomend you view it, the hotel is fantastic but you need to be patient with the major renovations going on. We orginally picked the beach hotel which we could of moved to but you are only allowed that hotels grounds which meant we would of had less to do, the marhaba is definitely somewhere I would recomend and send ppl as we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and would go again just when it's not as hot. Would also say visit the 'farmers steak house ' it's fabulous :)

Room Tip: Within main building until all rooms done up.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2012

This was the worst holiday ever as I am still paying for it because I am still ill from it. Out of the 4 of us that went 3 of us fell ill and were taken to our rooms for 12 of the 14 days. We have since been diagnosed with Salmonella poisoning after 5 days of being in hospital, and looking at other websites and reviews we were not the only ones to have fallen ill. Would be interested in any others who have also fell ill as we have taken this further and complained to Thomas Cook for the miss representation of this hotel. I would not recommend this hotel to anyone!

Travelled - 25th July - 8th August 2012

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Marhaba Hotel

Address: Boulevard 14 Janvier 2011 | Zone Touristique, Sousse 4000, Tunisia
Location: Tunisia > Sousse Governorate > Sousse
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 39 Hotels in Sousse
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Marhaba Hotel 4.5*
Number of rooms: 240
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Classe 4 etoiles et faisant parti du Marhaba Resorts, reference par la prestigieuse chaine Marhaba Hotels, le Marhaba Club est entierement dedie a anticiper vos besoins et satisfaire vos attentes. Situe au coeur de la zone touristique de la ville de Sousse, a : 10 mn du centre ville de Sousse, 10 mn du Port el Kantaoui et du terrain de Golf, 20 minutes de l'aeroport de Skanes-Monastir, 40 minutes de l'aeroport d'Enfidha et a 90 minutes de l'aeroport de Tunis-Carthage ... more   less 

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