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“Nice Hotel be wary” 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
friog
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Nice Hotel be wary”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Stayed at hotel for a week March 2013. Hotel was very clean and the staff very friendly. food was good with plenty of choice. The only problem we had was being conned to get us down to the Medina. We went with a tour operator and went to the welcome meeting on the first morning we were there. A trip was mentioned to the Medina, and as we left the meeting a man took our room number from us because we wanted to go on the trip. The same man had been handing out booking forms for excursions through the tour operator. We obviously thought and was given the impression it was a legitimate excursion but it was not. We were picked up by two men in a beet up vehicle that would be scrapped in Britain and subjected to the hard sell to buy carpets bags etc at various places down at the Medina. Because he had our room number we are sure our room was entered by someone other than the chambermaid, but we had padlocks on our cases and kept other important documents on us not in a bag. We are back home and will be taking the matter up with the tour operator. The con men have infiltrated this hotel so be very aware.

Room Tip: If you like sun on your balcony mention when booking as many rooms with a sea view do not get any su...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 3
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 (187)
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English first
Newport, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Group of 7 of us stayed for a week and thoroughly enjoyed this hotel. Spotless clean, rooms very spacious. Good choice of food. We found all staff exceptionally polite and helpful, particularly receptionist Faycal, waiters Kamel, Charlie and others. The weather could have been a bit warmer as we only managed to have one day on the lovely beach. The lounge area has plenty of lovely comfy chairs for relaxing. A must is to try the pancakes served each afternoon in this area. Thompson rep -( Fitter - think that was his name) was very informative and helpful. Will definately go back to this hotel but perhaps a bit later in the year. Just one point the spa is private owned and you have to pay to use it.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
138 reviews 138 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

Stayed here on a family holiday quite a number of years ago now. Really enjoyed the holiday and the hotel. It was clean, the food was good and plentiful with a buffet option if I remember correctly. The beach was nice and the pool was good too. I'd recommend it if going on holiday to Tunisia and I'd stay there again. Granted it has probably changed a bit over the years but I would give it a go.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

I stayed for 1 month at the Tour Khalef Marhaba in Sousse in Nov-Dec 2012. I enjoyed my stay and there were many positives but a few negatives too. It was a beautiful, clean hotel a short walk to the beach. Unfortunately, the beach had quite a bit of garbage, in spite of the numerous garbage bins. The problem is with the tourists but perhaps the hotel staff to do more to pick up the garbage left on the sand. Nevertheless, the beach was beautiful and the swim in the sea a real treat. The restaurant was very good. Good service. The food was varied and even after a month, I still quite enjoyed it. The entertainment was often with loud annoying music but the workers tried hard. Unfortunately, the hotel allows smoking everywhere except the restaurant. In other words a non-smoker is not made to feel very welcome and cannot use many of the facilities such as the main lobby and I always had to keep moving on the beach to avoid breathing in smoke from people around me. Money change was excellent but the front desk sometimes didn't give good information or respond well. Management did make a nice arrangement with the Thalasso pool when the hotel pool was closed.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Enfield, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

Service is good, but only because they are awaiting for a tip. Food is good, I am very easy eater so I am happy with all on offer ussually.
Entertainment team was very basit, but they were lovely boys. Pool bar staff was a bit more happy going, the main building staff was very misserable and found them many times ignoring me as I was a woman and talking to my boyfriend. It was ramadam time so I guess there was extra strain.

Rooms are very basic and a bit run down. I stained my duvet with make up and they took the cover and left me with the plain duvet, when spoken to reception they did nothing, I had to cover myself with a towel for 3 nights. There were never enough glasses at the restaurant so we had to usually wait to drink in the middle of the meal.

Alcohol was not very nice, I like rum, but it tasted awful, I hate whisky but their whisky tastes more like rum thatn the rum itself!!

Too much harrasement form the trip sellers.

Weather was fantastic and the sea was amazing

Was not an expensive holiday but wasnt cheap either. I had a great time as I dont let these things affect me, but I thought I would advise.

  • Stayed August 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Brighton, United Kingdom
1 review
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

I stayed at the Tour Khalef in September 12 for one week. I stayed with my four lovely kids,we had the most amazing week....We were made to feel so welcome,the hotel was lovely,clean and so so friendly.We stayed in the superior family room,it was perfect,the bed was enormous!!!! I felt so safe,we had a lovely relaxing week.We went out on the camel caravan trip which was great fun,and we also went out on the pirate boat, which was very enjoyable.The best trip that my kids enjoyed the most was the quad bikes!!!!!!!!! The hotel staff work so so hard,to make sure that every one is happy.We had the most amazing holiday and we met lots of great people. We have booked to go back again this year in October for two weeks!!!!!!! Can't wait to relax in the sunshine again..

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 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 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whitby, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

We have stayed at Tour Khalef 4 times over the last 5 years, and while the office staff can be a bit severe, the rest of the hotel staff were incredible.

We met a few of the Thompson reps, varying in abilities (depending on length of time-served). We booked a camel-ride through the hotel which was eye-opening. The 'homestead' we visited seemed pretty authentic, and showed how poor some of the locals actually are. Humbling.

The hotel beach is good, food available limited but very good, and though there are frequent 'peddlars' it's a pretty relaxed place. We went to the neighboring hotel's pools a lot, and our daughter used the 'day-camp' both at Tour Khalef and at the neighboring hotel when Kid's Club was closed. The childminder spoke no english, but was kind.

I've read other reviews of the hotel and can't understand the complaints written about the food. Bland? Ask for harissa! The buffet was plentiful, and staff accommodating. The head chef had a birthday cake made, and served particular dishes when we asked (we were half-board, not all-inclusive too!). Remember, the staff work 6 days a week during the 'tourist season' and do not make much money. Tipping (and unless you tip the Maitre D separately, your waiter may be required to share the tip you give to him) should be done quietly, out of the eye-shot of the Maitre D (who we tip separately, or just bring a present for ... NOT ALCOHOL, as they are Muslim and can't appear to take alcohol). Tip at the beginning of your stay, or indicate that you will be tipping (being half-board, we had to pay for our drinks, so would tip a bit each purchase). That way you will ensure very good service, which makes everyone happy.

We didn't really use room service, and the spa didn't exist when we were last there, so that's why I've put average. We always left a tip for the room-cleaners (with an accompanying letter, so the office would know that they had not nicked money from our room) and usually a push-chair or felt-pens for their kids. Push-chairs are very very expensive in Tunisia, and they can be very handy for retrieving bottled water from the nearby (like, 10 minute walk) shop.

We took taxis from the main street (rules changed and taxis were not allowed to hover outside the hotel; could only drop off) into town. NEGOTIATE THE PRICE FIRST! The locals (and this goes for the hotel staff as well) have had many dealings with Russians, who are notoriously NON-tippers, so prices CAN be stated by taxi-drivers and vendors alike with this in mind.
Because we have been in Tunisia several times now, we learned a few tricks, and asked to be dropped off at other Medina entrances, rather than at the main one, where the shops are very keen to 'catch' you. I know some people (and we were like this too initially) find the haggling and shop-approach intimidating, but they are trying to make a living! Be gentle but firm ... and BEWARE of the mention of 'Festival of ___ '; aka how vendors get you in their (carpet) shops. We usually reply that we didn't realize that it was the Festival of __ time, that we thought it was time for the Festival of Taxis!! The vendor then realizes the game is up, and we all part smiling.
Back to the taxis, we usually gave the driver what he'd originally asked, but that was after he'd originally asked for 4-6 dinars (double the normal fare), and relented to the 2 dinars it should have been. It's all haggling, so just get into the spirit of it, and walk away if you don't like how it's going.

Train travel in Tunisia is very cheap and very easy. The first time we went to El Djem and Mahdia, our daughter was 2, and it was fantastic, easy and amazing.
We also hired a car+driver for some of the other trips; Taxi drivers can help you find ones which can leave Sousse, as most have to stay in Sousse.
Port El Kantousi is a nice spot for an evening stroll. This is what many of the locals do. Gardenia's are sold all around the fountain area ... lovely.

We took the train to Tozeur (7 hours!) an oasis town, which IS a stepping off spot for the Sahara-trips, but kids made this adventure impossible. We hired a horse-and-cart for a tour of the place, and it was amazing.
We trained it to Tunis as well, Carthage, Sini Bou Said and Bizerte (a beautiful spot).

I know I"m off topic, but the Hotel IS lovely and for us, being on the outskirts of town is perfect.
Construction noise during renovations CAN be annoying, but as you can tell, we didn't just hang about the hotel.
Choose your room carefully as the nightly entertainment didn't change in the 4 visits we had there!
The pool-side store is surprisingly well stocked, and the prices - we found - in keeping with those in town, for the most part.

Lots of hotel-cats, who apparently are vetted and have inoculations. Many of the hotel guests buy food for them. Careful with the one's in town though; not all of them look healthy, and they can be pretty fiesty!

Room Tip: Find out where the nightly entertainment is going to be; as it's generally the same most nights...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 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 Luxury Hotel in Sousse
#5 Family 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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