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“very good hotel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Tour Khalef Marhaba Thalasso & Spa

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Tour Khalef Marhaba Thalasso & Spa
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Boulevard du 14 Janvier, Sousse 4051, Tunisia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 39 Hotels in Sousse
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Wigan, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“very good hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2012

Me and my partner came here for 1 week from the 5th to the 12th august 2012. our first impressions of this hotel was WAW!! I havent got many bad things to say about the hotel, its clean, beautiful, air conditioned and all round the best hotel iv ever stayed at. The pool area does get busy after around 10 o clock and you will find it difficult to even find a bed at that time so if you want a good spot try to go earlier or just go down really early and put your towel on some beds, we personally never did this but all the russians do it so why not!!.
There are ALOT of russians in this hotel infact there are more russians than english! they dont que and they are really rude but thats the biggest downfall of the hotel really and can certainly be brushed off, we didnt allow this to ruin our holiday.

The people on reception arnt the happiest to help you but if you ask for something you always get what you need, so this wasnt a problem. The rest of the staff are very helpful, we read on some reviews that they wanted a tip but we never gave any. It is a waste of your hard earned money to give them a tip as they are still helpfull and nice to you without one! although this is entirely up to you. but if you do decide to give a tip 1 or 2 diner is plenty enough.

Going ot of the hotel... this is another story altogether, it is very unclean and alot of beggers, the shop just outside the hotel is ok but check the dates of whatever you buy! the taxis will beep at you as they drive by and ask if you want to get in, this does get annoying but just say no or look away and they carry on driving. there are little boys around the age of 7-8 years old who walk around at night with flower baskets, just watch your bags with these becase they are professionals! there are 2 clubs down the road from the hotel only a 5 min walk, one called Living and one called Saloon. There is also a club called Bora Bora which is an open air night club but we couldnt go there as it was closed for ramadan.

There is a market 5 minutes drive away from the hotel called The Medina. We went here and within 10 mins we was in a taxi back to the hotel. it is VERY scary there are people within centemetres of eachother asking you to buy their tat. if you go up the little side streets there are frail old women and men begging and the smell is hurrendous. All the locals are pushing and shoving and shouting things to eachother, it was a terrible experience. there are again little boys walking round but this time they have lizards etc in there hands wanting you to stoke them for money. Also watch out for the people who will say DONT YOU REMEMBER ME? they will clame they are the chefs friend or a waitor in your hotel.
In my opinion i would just stay away from the market altogether!
However i do recommend the trip offered by thomson which is a trip to a coliseum and then a pirate ship, also there is a small water park just 5 mins in the taxi, only 20 diners each which is like £7.00 each so really cheap. it isnt the best waterpark in the world but we had fun.
All in all we had a fantastic time here and if it wasnt for the country itself that is so third world like, we would definately go again.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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
    4 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 (192)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
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  • Polish first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Richmond-upon-Thames, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2012

Please ignore all the bad reviews for this hotel. We came to the Tour Khalef on the 1st Aug till the 12th,2 adults and 2 kids and we had an absolutly fantastic time. We arrived at night which is always a downer but were quickly given our room key,however the layout for a hotel built in the 70's was quite difficult to get round and find our room.The pool area is great,plenty big enough for everybody.Admittedly you have to be up early if you want a sunbed but i rise early anyway,the odd time we were late we could still get one.The animation team were fantastic and worked really throughout.Right the food,yes there was a lot of the same everyday but there was plenty (loads of fruit and plenty of selection). You could always find something to eat.The Russians are very rude and don't bother with queing or manners and i found myself telling them to get to the back but if you can rise above it please try (remember you are on holiday, so chill). I have to really give my thanks to the staff especially Tito and his gang, Omar the lifeguard, Fifi the childrens entertainer and the 2 waiters that served us and not forgetting Sabba. They always had a smile on their face and really made it for us. We made some great friends aswell and are now looking at going back in April for a week. Overall a fantastic holiday. Well done Tour Khalef.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2012

Please please do not believe the bad reviews of this hotel!
We travelled as two couples for a week on the 29th July - 5th August and had a fabulous holiday. We booked after reading the good reviews and getting nearer to the time read some of the terrible reviews so we were feeling a little dubious...however I have come to the conclusion that more people will write something if it's bad than if it's good! (and also feel that they should waste their whole time off work by going away by finding fault in anything and everything that they see, rather than making the most of their time off with their families/friends and actually enjoying it themselves!)

We arrived in the early hours of the Sunday morning, very tired and very thirsty! We checked in and were given our keys and went to our room. Realising that we had nothing to drink in the room we all went back to reception and asked the man behind the desk how we could get some water. As it was almost 4am all bars were closed...he rang the nightclub next door and within ten minutes had two huge bottles of water brought to us. We had to pay for these but about 20pence (and as we had no money when we arrived he even changed our english money for us at stupid o'clock in the morning) We were just grateful that he got these for us!!!!

The rooms were very clean and tidy with an LCD TV and a great view of the sea! (we were at the back of the hotel as well!!!!!) Bathrooms were massive and also very clean!

Food was lovely. Really cant complain! We probably ate the equivalent of 6 meals per day! At breakfast they make fresh omlettes and fresh pancakes (which were delicious) expect queues for these but literally a couple of minutes. Lunch time we only ate in the pool snack bar but had pizzas, burgers, meatballs, soup etc...you would be pushed to not find something to eat! We asked for the 8pm sitting for Dinner so we weren't rushing to get ready! Most nights we weren't even hungry by 8pm and sometimes went down about 9 and still had plenty of options. They freshly cook different meats or fish at each end of the buffet! again a little queue but worth it!

Yes there are a lot of Russians who clearly dont have access to food at home, however if you just stand your ground they get the picture. They will pile their plates and take the last of everything and many carry two plates at once...But we just found it funny in the end. After worrying about these people and expecting them to ruin our holiday...they didnt. They will let the door hit you in the face if your behind them, They will walk through the door when you hold it open and not thank you! They are rude to the waiting on staff at the hotel but treat this as a positive because the staff at the hotel in return love the british and will do anything for us!!!! I can only imagine what the russians say about the british..."polite idiots who love to queue!"

The pool was clean, refreshing and cool! just what you need when its as hot as it is in August! Its plenty big enough for the amount of people there. We could always get 4 sunbeds and a brolly together with the mattresses no matter what time we went to the pool!

(TIP: the sun beds are all out ready in the morning but the yellow mattresses are not...head towards the stage at the side of the pool, up the steps onto the terrace outside the kids club room and go down into the dark part that looks like your not supposed to be in there...at the bottom of the corridor past the stacks of chairs you can see the yellow mattresses! just help yourself! )

The beach was lovely! the water clean and warm and once again we never had to ask for a sunbed and the beach staff are happy to help you find a nice place to sit and bring over all the beds and mattresses (just give him a dinar or two for his help) and the breeze was just what we needed most days!

Zak our First choice rep was good too! We booked the market trip with him and we had a great day out...the market was really good fun. I was a little worried as your warned about security and pick pockets! We all felt very safe and the haggling was fun! Our rep told us how to haggle and he was spot on...knock of 75% of the price they offer and then add 5 dinars to it! if they say no walk away and they WILL shout you back and say ok! The wine tasting on the way home was good fun too! We weren't really fussed about the wine tasting part when we booked the trip but it was really enjoyable!

The entertainment was good - although we only actually got down to the pool on one night! We mainly stayed on the huge terrace by reception which was just lovely! and once again we never had to struggle for a seat! Even by the pool the waiters would "magic" a table and chairs from no where for you!

The hotel was just amazing! the staff were friendly and we had a great time there and if it wasnt £300 dearer per person for next year we would be going again without a doubt - we just cant afford it now! Although if we had the money we would be back without a second thought!

Just one more thing...if you can avoid changing all your english money do! only change literally what you need as when we got the airport the banks were closed so we couldnt change our dinars back...we managed to get them into coins as the reps said we could spend dinars in the bar and cafe but only in coins! The duty free only take sterling or euros (or cards) The security "steal" your dinars from you so if they ask you if you have any say no! they will tell you its forbidden and that you cant spend them in the cafe...you can! but we learned the hard way and gave them our last pennies and got through with about £6 in english change and the cafe DID take dinars (but luckily also english change!!)

If your off to the Tour Khalef soon I am very jealous! and if your thinking about booking it...stop thinking and just do it! you wont regret it! 10/10

Oh and dont book a late check out room with Thomson! we booked ours the morning we were going home with the hotel and paid 40 TDN which is about £15...thomson/firstchoice will charge you £35!!!

Room Tip: We were on the 4th floor and we had a great view of the sea so I imagine that even high floors will...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2012

We arrived about 2:30am into Tunisia.  It took a while to get our cases and to get through to our Thompson's rep..  Where We were directed to our coach... Beware the guys with porters on the back of there shirt they will take your case to the coach for you.  But when they get you there they ask for money... Either give them a dina and they will walk away happy. Or as We did apologised because we had to yet to get money... He gave us a smile shook my hand and went, he was very pleasant and I was feeling very guilty.  

The transfer to the hotel takes about 45mins or so.. Looking out the window you see a lot of police checkpoints which is a bit strange, if like me your not used to visiting North Africa.. Combining that with scooters driving around at night without lights, you know what you know is far very behind you!

Some of the hotels are still getting built as you travel along the road each side there is a building either in ruin or being built so you don't really get a polished look on your arrival. More a bombed out and depleted look.  As each drop off happened we all looked on in trepidation to what the people greeting off the coach had let themselves In for, and more importantly what had we let ourselves in for?!

We arrived at the Hotel Tour Khalef and were greeted by a grumpy night manager who told is to fill out forms and didn't explain anything about the hotel.  At this point I was worried, we got to our room which was very clean, though the air con was hardly working.  I rang down to Mr Grumpy explained the situation and he said someone would come up. They never did!   I was too tired to be bothered so we went to sleep.  

We got up early to get breakfast expecting the infamous Russians to be there I expected Stalingrad.. It was quite tame... We got food very easily.. We were confused on where to sit... It was like the new guys first day in prison.  I'm sure a pensioner mouthed "fresh meat" as I walked past,  could have been my imagination. 

We went to the Thompson rep meeting and met our rep Zak who explained the rules and places to go for food etc.. It put our minds at ease.

Afterwards we went to the sea around 11ish we got sunbeds straight away. Considering this is the first week in August it wasn't as busy as other reviewers make out.  The sea is crystal clear and its very nice the vendors can't cross the literal line in the sand and when you go near them they don't bother you too much.

We had food near the pool area where again we got food straight away.  We did see greedy Russians taking all the watermelon which was annoying..

Other reviewers say how the hotel is dirty... Don't listen to them they over exaggerate its spotless here... My girlfriend and I have high standards and we feel that some reviews don't reflect the reality. 

After meeting with Zak again we booked our excursions and we reported our air conditioning issues it was sorted really fast.  

We took the second seating for the evening meal.  I knew not to expect normal English cuisine and they did not Disappoint... It's not going to be everyone's liking... Apart from the Russians...  Who feel the need to stack their plates high!

The best way of dealing with the food issue is, to go round the Buffett and get your meal including dessert, as they tend to clear out much of the food quick.  Doing it that way we ate pretty well.

We went on two excursions while here we went to Friga Park which is worth while for a couple of dina we got to feed elephants and giraffes, so for whats around 80 pence each it's we'll worth it. 

The second excursion was the camel caravan.. Its a painful experience on the legs but it was again a good trip, though don't be expecting to be trekking the Sahara for the price! 

We visited the Medina you do get a lot of hassle but it's part of the fun, if you say no thank you they do leave you alone. Bartering is fun, but as many say go the soula centre first to see the fixed prices.    A taxi ride costs about 4 dina each way just make sure you say for both of you.

Another good place to visit was The marina at Port El Kantoui we went at night and it's a good atmosphere.  There is also Hannibal Park where you can pay for theme park rides using tickets. Though we were asked did we want a picture with a Elephant which we couldn't see it was in fact a camel haha taxi from the hotel about 8-10 Dina. 

Overall our stay has been memorable,  People are very friendly and it's a relaxing place on the beach. we would stay again In fact we have been looking today for next year. 

My top tips would be:

- don't be too British, play the russians at their own game, push in front of them take the food you want (obviously don't do that to your fellow Brits) 

- Take the key fob off your room key and leave it in the slot so your air con stays on all day

- keep a few dina on you, as you can use it for tipping

- get out on the excursions they are a laugh and you will have better memories here.

- don't be looking for too many faults just enjoy your time here! 

- Request a room between 3701-3706 you get a nice view and its away from the night club on the other side (which doesn't operate during Ramadan) 

- don't worry about the plumbing over here it's great! 

- get a good price first Before getting in a taxi. Walk away if they say they will put the meter on. They will soon come round if not... There are always thousands more taxis waiting for your business. 

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
cambridgeshire
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2012

We have just got back 5th to 12th of August 2012 2 adults and 2 15 year olds boys
Never again Hotel beautiful waiters fantastic and that's it The food was really bad the russians were even worse than the food, the entertainment ( what entertainment) they do there best with not a lot such a shame this could be a five star holiday but it is being held back in so many ways if you have not booked DON'T

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Moscow
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2012

As the town itself is a bit disordered, very hot during the daytime and not fit for much walking, big territory of the hotel and all the necessary infrastructure inside it (own shop, club, bars etc) are very useful. Elderly guests as well as children and couch potatos may not leave it at all during all vacations)

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle, United Kingdom
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2012

After having this holiday booked for 14 months it was a total let down. There was no on flight entertainment so kids (3) bored, passport control was a nightmare, total chaos and the hotel check in was not much better.

We booked a superior family room as advertisied in the Thomson Brouchure as sleeping 6-8 persons. As a family of two adults and three kids we presumed this would give ample space, how wrong we were. The superior room consists of only a standard twin room with a small box room attached which had three single beds squeezed in.

One double wardrobe for all our clothes and a small TV. I did see other rooms with flat screen TV's so you may be lucky.

We hired a safe at the hotel which was good at only one TND per day with a returnable deposit of 30 TND.

The food was by far the greatest let down of the holiday. My eldest son unfortunately had food posioning for three days from a chicken dish. Many others in the hotel also suffered the same fate. On the most part the food was dire apart from Breakfast which was good. We had no variation at all each night for 14 days, no veg at all and little meat. The main meals consisted of either plain rice or plain pasta. To be honest we were all starving after two weeks and couldnt wait to come home just to eat!

As most have commented the issues with Russians was unbearable at times. This is not the hotels fault however it needs highlighting this is a big issue at the hotel and can not be avoided. They are rude and selfish to the extreme.

During the second week the Entertainment Team walked out of the hotel and did not return. This left everyone at a loss after dinner. The soft drinks served were loaded with sugar and the still water supplied was undrinkable, we bought bottled still water each day from the supermarket.

We did not feel safe outside of the hotel at night and had a very frightening experience with a local taxi who took us off the main road and into the local housing estate for some reason.

All in all a very disappointing holiday and i would not recommed theis area or hotel to anyone with kids as not safe in my opinion.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
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Additional Information about Tour Khalef Marhaba Thalasso & Spa

Address: Boulevard du 14 Janvier, Sousse 4051, Tunisia
Location: Tunisia > Sousse Governorate > Sousse
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Sousse
#4 Romantic Hotel in Sousse
#5 Family Hotel in Sousse
#5 Luxury Hotel in Sousse
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Tour Khalef Marhaba Thalasso & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 570
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Also Known As:
Tour Khalef Marhaba Thalasso Hotel Sousse
Tour Khalef Marhaba Thalasso And Spa
Marhaba Tour Khalef Sousse
Marhaba Tour Khalef Hotel Sousse
Tour Khalef Hotel

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