We stayed at the Marabout Hotel for 2 weeks in August 2011. There were 4 of us – two adults & our two 16 year old daughters. The hotel is the upper end of 3 stars with friendly staff and a helpful reception desk. Our accommodation was in 2 rooms with balconies overlooking the pool. Although the rooms were basic (not that we wanted anything else), they were clean with comfortable beds and a small fridge. Air conditioning is available 24/7 at no extra charge. The accommodation in the hotel is housed in 3 blocks. We took a wander around one day and formed the opinion that we got the most modern block so there’s a chance the rooms in the other blocks might not have been of a similar standard.
The pool is beautiful. Water fountains spray refreshingly into the temperate water at various times during the day. There is a small aqua-park at the hotel so a variety of slides flush you into a separate area between 10:00 and 17:00 (with a break for an hour at 13:00). The slides are patrolled but not over-patrolled so no queues to filter through either. We had free use of the slides during our stay thanks to an arrangement with Sunway Holidays (of which their rep, Carol, is very helpful).
There are plenty of sunbeds between the pool area, the grass area beyond the pool, and the private beach. Hotel staff diligently gather the sunbeds every evening so only a very few greedy guests bother to stake their territory with their towels early in the morning to return hours later. There is also an indoor pool and a gym, neither of which we used. The grassy area beyond the pool area is thoroughly watered every day so there is a chance you can step off your sunbed into a puddle of mud if you happen to get the timing just wrong. We never found out why they did this but the heat of the sun dries everything in 30 minutes anyway.
Drinks, snacks, crepes and ices are available from a few places around the pool, and the pool restaurant – at which we ate lunch most days – boasts a pleasant if light menu. Having said that, we ate there one evening and came away very satisfied.
We were bed and breakfast guests. Breakfast was adequate for us but if you’re looking for Irish or English fare (though why would you be?) you’ll be disappointed. The hotel offers an all-in arrangement for a competitive price including drinks all day and well into the evening, snacks all day, and dinner in the evening. We tried it for just one day but we were disappointed with the dinner so we elected to eat out each night.
Beyond the pool a new building is receiving its finishing touches. Built in the shape of a ship, drinks and meals can be enjoyed away from the bustle of the pool area (though still with the loud music that thuds pretty well constantly between 10AM and 5 PM). Beyond that again is the private beach area, cleared of litter and other detritus daily.
There are nightly shows put on by the hotel. All good clean family fun. A shop on site sells a variety of trinkets and souvenirs. A massage parlour and a hairdresser will tempt you with visible and invisible wellness, and a daily tour will take you deep into the labyrinth of the nearby Medina where you can haggle away to your heart’s content.
Some words of warning about Tunisia in general. You are safe in the hotel but once outside you will be pestered by cheats and swindlers selling you fruit, cigarettes and a host of dodgy goods. These people will short-change you (in some cases trying to give you non-Tunisian currency) and leave you with goods far below quality. Taxi drivers will hail you as you stroll along the pavement. Restaurant owners will physically guide you into their restaurants and sometimes you have to be rude to get away. Women with fair hair and/or blue eyes will be badgered with questionable invitations. Our girls ventured for a walk along the beech one morning and returned barely 5 minutes later.
That said; Tunisia offers a worthwhile holiday. Get out and see what it has to offer. The Sahara and the Salt Flats in the south are a trip worthwhile.
If quietness required then don't go for a pool view.
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.