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“Great base and fantastic value!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Marhaba Hotel

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Marhaba Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Boulevard 14 Janvier 2011 | Zone Touristique, Sousse 4000, Tunisia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 37 hotels in Sousse
Harefield, Middx
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Great base and fantastic value!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

I'm going to start this review by saying that at around £40 per person per night, (INCLUDING flights), this hotel is fantastic value for money.

We arrived back on November 4th from a 2 week holiday. Originally we were put in one of their rooms that hadn't been renovated. It was perfectly clean, if a little dated but unfortunately as I have a disability was a little too far from the main amenities for me.
They then changed us to a much closer room. This had been renovated. You will know if you are getting a renovated room as they have electronic keys. The renovations were nice, although the finish is somewhat lacking - perhaps this will be completed over the winter season, but for example we could get our fingers fully behind the door frame and the grout was all over the floor and tiles.
The cleanliness cannot be faulted however, the maids were brilliant and the main areas of the hotels were cleaned regularly throughout the day.

Food was amazing. There was so much choice and it was clean and well cooked. The dining area itself was beautiful, so much so that people from the sister hotels were coming to the restaurant in our hotel as it was so much better than theirs. Needless to say, we didn't try theirs!
The pool food was a tad repetitive (pizza, chips, paninis), but you could choose to use the restaurant instead, which was nice and quiet. The food at the pool was still cooked well and the area was clean.
Tipping. This is a must. The staff are on very low wages and are grateful for your tips, which are well deserved because of the service you receive.
1 dinar is approx 40p, so to pay £4 to have your room cleaned for 10 days, and another £4 to have your drinks waiting on your dinner table when you arrive is well worth it. The pool guy is great - tip him a couple of dinars every few days and he will reserve your loungers for you in the same place each day.
All the staff worked so hard to make our experience a good one, that I would recommend this hotel.

The only thing that let it down badly were the areas for children. The playgrounds were derelict, and the area used for the Kids Club was in the middle of a square of rooms - all used by staff, which made me a little uncomfortable. VERY run down and basic. As was the crazy golf. The archery area had missing fencing at the rear and arrows were found in the children's playground. Not good. We did mention these concerns to the management on our feedback form, and the next day saw noticeable tidying going on. Whether it was a coincidence or not I'm not sure.

You are right next to the beach, and the beach sellers aren't allowed into the sectioned area, so unless you want to pop into the sea then you won't be bothered.

There is a man on site called Basem 'The Camel Man' who will come up to you while sunbathing by the pool, having coffee in the sun and will hassle you non stop about taking a camel ride with him. (Or boat trip on a Pirate ship!) If you plan on doing this, book quickly so he'll leave you alone. We made the mistake of leaving it until the 2nd week, so had him asking us probably 3 times a day for the first week. To be fair, the camels were an enjoyable trip for the money.

We went into Sousse and found the market an experience. We have been to Turkey, but this was on a different level, with traders following you down the street and giving your children 'gifts', then demanding payment for them. As we had a small child with us, this was far too intimidating for her and we left quite quickly.

Port El Kantoui was a beautiful place. It was around 6 dinars to get a cab there and much more relaxed to shop, although they still try hard to get you into their shops.
Take a walk around the marina to see how the other half live, and enjoy an ice cream in one of the local restaurants.
In the centre is the 'Dancing Fountains', which are nice but beware the restaurant owner who hovers and offers to take your picture for you. We got caught with this, allowed him to take our picture and then felt obliged to use his restaurant, only to be royally ripped off! He is careful not to advertise drinks prices, which is where is bumps the price up. We had a kids pizza, 2 burgers and 3 (soft) drinks and were charged 50 dinars. Now that's reasonable for the UK, but is probably double what it should be to eat out in Tunisia. The name of the restaurant is El Banefrei I believe (I've popped some pictures of the restaurant AND the owner on here). The restaurant we would definitely recommend was the Tangerine - spotlessly clean, lovely staff and clear pricing.

Also, the Zoo at the Port may only be cheap, but once you are inside the ONLY things to see are birds (chickens mainly), so save your money and take pictures of the 2 Chihuahuas and camel from outside.

This was our first trip to Tunisia and for a budget holiday we would definitely go back.

The only reservation I would have is that if you book a budget holiday, be prepared to holiday with people from different social backgrounds to yourself. For example, one of the barmen was very surprised that we were English because we didn't have tattoos, and one parent tried to get our 7 year old to look after her little one (who couldn't swim), at the POOL, while she drank and flirted with the Animation team.
This wasn't for us so we moved to the quiet pool, which was lovely with a swim up bar.

All in all, a relaxing holiday.

Room Tip: Try and get a room near reception if you can as there are VERY long corridors and a lot of stairs to...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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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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 (169)
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Willenhall
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2012

just returned from Marhaba. Had un renovated room which was lovely and clean, with great views over sea. hotel staff were very friendly. Food was plentiful and fresh. something for everyone. Thanks to the waiters and chefs who work so hard behind the scene. Met some great people and made some new friends.......travelled on my own and thoroughly enjoyed my stay here. Will definitely be back . PS Simo xxx

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 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
    • 4 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.
winchester
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

my first time to tunisia my wifes second daughter 4th it was a great holiday good hotel staff where brilliant no problems cant wait to go back my daughter was worried i would ant like it i did rearly did.We had are anniversary out there they rearly looked after us

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockport, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

We have been to Tunisia 5 times before usually staying in Port El Kantaoui the Royal Kenz, which is great So this time we thought we would try Sousse.
The room we stayed in was on the ground floor, as is the norm we locked the patio doors when we went out only to find the maid left them open on three occasions after cleaning the room. we went to reception and complained each time to be told they would inform the maid to lock them, in the end I had to look for the maid who didn't speak much English so I had to show her that she must lock the doors. The room was very dated and in need of a refurb the bath had rust around the plughole and the shower was old and basic the water was only luke warm.

The room had a T.V but all we could get was BBC news. there was NO hair dryer, NO fridge
The rep said she would request a fridge for us but it never arrived. You could request an hairdryer from reception for a 20 dinar deposit if you took the hairdryer back within 45 mins you got you 20 Dinar back. I don't like rushing when I am getting ready to go out.
The hotel is undergoing refurbishment and we were unlucky to get the part of the hotel that had not been done, saying that it was mostly the communal areas and a few rooms that had been refurbished. The hotel also needs a cosy bar area not the open reception area to drink in. The indoor swimming pool was closed after one week as it was being demolished.
The hotel staff were great they couldn't do enough for you. food was the usual Tunisian all inclusive, the sunbeds on the beach were free.
When the hotel has been completely refurbished it will be a great place to stay, but at this moment in time I would not recommend it to family or friends.

We hired a car from paradise car rentals and had a day trip to El jem (This is a great place to visit) had a lovely meal in a cafe facing the entrance to the amphitheatre.

Room Tip: Ask if the room has been refurbished. Don't stay on the ground floor a chance the patio doors wi...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Yorkshire
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

We stayed here from 07.11.12 - 14.11.12. On arriving at the airport we were warned there would be Tunisian men posing as airport 'porters' wanting to help you with your luggage to your bus, it is safe to do so - but be prepared to hand over a tip, However, a kind 'No thank-you' is fine and they leave you. Arriving at the hotel we were very impressed on what the hotel looks like, You have to fill in a form then the porter takes you to your room and shows you how things work, they also expect a small tip for this. You are not allowed to take Tunisian Dinar in or out of the country, but they will accept Stirling etc. if you have not changed anything yet. ( £1 is equivalent to about 2.50 Tunisian Dinars).The rooms behind reception have recently been renovated and are the better of the rooms, however the other rooms are basic but are fine as all you are using them for is sleeping, showering etc in. We were in room 134 - Not behind reception. The food is excellent, they have lots to choose from. They do fresh omelettes & pancakes (recommended), they also have boiled & scrambled eggs, toast, beans, tomatoes, croissants etc. Obviously no bacon or sausage as it is a Muslim country. Lunch time, you can get anything from a panini by the pool bar, to pizza, chips, pasta, Bolognese, chicken etc. Dinner time varies each day, but there is always something for everyone. Fish, chicken, beef, pie, lasagne, Tunisian dishes, chips, pizza etc. There are two pools here, one is a pool with water slides, music , entertainment etc and the other is a more quiet chill out pool. We spent most of our free time by the beach. Lovely sand, the hotels area is roped off to stop Tunisians getting on and selling you stuff, but this doesn't stop them shouting over the ropes to you! Again a kind No thank you does nicely. We did 3 trips whilst here, the 1st one is a full day tour called 'Roman Empire' where you visit old Tunisian Ruins, very good but quit a lot of time spent on the bus. A lovely lunch is put on with brik for starter, Wild Board Rice & Veg for main and Fruit for dessert. The 2nd Trip was to the Medina in Sousse, this is a good experience of bartering for your souvenirs. The 3rd was the Camel Caravan which is excellent!! would recommend all those trips! Out of the hotel is pretty safe to walk around, however there isn't many shops around, and if you are getting a taxi about get a yellow one and agree a price before hand! The saloon down the road on the left from the hotel is very nice and cheap too! (steakhouse)
The entertainment team are fab! They work so hard for such little money and do a great job to make everyone's holiday.
This is a lovely hotel and definitely deserves more than the 3 stars that it has, would definitely return.

Room Tip: The rooms behind reception are recently renovated. We were in room 134 (not behind reception)
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

i decided to give Tunisia a try for the first time, have heard good and bad about the country so did not want to waste a lot of money on this trip as it was my 7th trip this year.
well believe me, i did not waste any money at all.
the hotel has done up really nice, loved drinking in side and outside the lobby area.
the pool area was also very pleasant to eat and drink.
the pool attendant did a great job with my sunbed, yes i tipped him 10 dinar, about £4.00 and he had my bed with towel in the same place everyday.
service is good at the hotel but if you want amazing service just leave a small tip and you will get the best service ever.
cant understand why people say don't leave the hotel? i went for drinks and shopping many times and never had a problem.
the entertainment team were just brilliant, keeping the guests busy all day and night, if you choose not to join in then they just smile and walk away. "Fifi" was my favorite, she was just amazing.
not sure what people expect from the food? i found it to be very good, plenty of choice and well cooked and always hot.
everybody agreed i got the best waiter, his name was Atthr, cant tell you how good he is.
would i go back to this hotel? too right i would, and almost certainly will next year.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
GLasgow, Scotland
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

A week in Tunisia reminded me, in a good way, of a Spanish holiday 10-15 years ago . Goods are cheap, a small tip goes a long way in getting good service and health and safety is something you calculate using your common sense.

Your outside the EU so you can go daft on duty free on the way out and once there you can haggle and barter until most things become a bargain.

The Marhaba Hotel is good fun and good value. The main building has been refurbished and whilst other parts of the hotel looked like they needed work our rooms (party of 18) were all perfectly fine and of good 3 star standard.

Staff were pleasant and helpful. Those that you tipped went the extra mile those you didn't still smiled. We always managed to find something nice at meal times. There was a decent balance between nice salads, Tunisian dishes and more typically British foods. You will be allocated a table for the duration of your stay which wasn't a problem. In fact it's better because you get to know your waiter.

Drinks are just as you come to expect from All Inclusive hotels. The beers are cold and wet but very low % alcohol. Spirits are poured in ridiculously big measures till they suck your cheeks in. We took advantage of the cheap Spirits at the airport and the waiters have no problem with you drinking these at your table. In Spanish hotels this would probably cause problems but this is Tunisia and not much seems to put them out especially if your tipping.

Where you don't want them being so laid back is the kids clubs and in this respect the Marhaba Hotel could do better. The clubs are very informal with no signing in or out register, just the animation team going round the pool inviting them along to games. We felt more comfortable going along to watch the kids play their games rather than entrust them to the fairly lackadaisical animation girls who didn't think anything of allowing kids to leave sessions early to go find their parents. Ok if your kids are older but for younger kids not ideal.

Day time entertainment includes archery, darts, boules etc organised by the animation guys all good craic. On the beach you can go out on the jet ski's (25 Dinar for 20 mins), para-gliding, banana boas etc. If you want to shop the Marina's really nice and only 6 Dinars away in a taxi. You can eat out if you choose to with restaurants doing steak and ribs a 5-10 min walk away.

Evening entertainment in the hotel is at the lower ends of average but still young kids will be impressed. A typical night is mini disco - bingo - and a 'so-bad-its good act.'


Add up all of the above throw in some great company and you'll have a ball at the Marhaba!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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 #7 of 37 hotels in Sousse
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Marhaba Hotel 5*
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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