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“First & last time staying here!” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Marhaba Palace Hotel

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Marhaba Palace Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Jinane El Kantaoui | Sousse, Port El Kantaoui 4089, Tunisia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #10 of 37 hotels in Port El Kantaoui
St Helens, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“First & last time staying here!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2013

We had to wait for our room on arrival (which was fine as we arrived prior to check in time).We waited 2.5 hours & were the last to be allocated a room-the male receptionist gave us a key & said "if you do not like the room,you can change tomorrow". Not a good start-the room was filthy,overlooking building work & the sea room view we paid extra for was actually a view of the roof & the air conditioning units. I complained & was told by a rude female receptionist that her records said I did not pay for a sea view room.After me getting my paperwork to prove what I had paid for & an hour of wrangling we were only given the room we had paid for the next day as she said all clean & sea view rooms had been allocated.She was rude,unhelpful & obstructive.
We changed rooms the next day for a better room with a sea view but it was not cleaned properly & this was the case throughout our stay.The dining crockery was often really dirty with dried food on plates & the food was only average.Drinks were served in toddler size glasses & were absolutely watered down.We have travelled a lot & stayed in 3,4 & 5 star hotels-this is a poor rate 2 star hotel-how it got 4 stars I just do not understand.Meal times are a free for all with waiters rushing into guests & mayhem ensued at most meal times.
Beware of the building on the same site (we were not advised about this at time of booking) & very loud all day music at the pool-if you want a serene place to stay-give it a miss staying here!!
Never again-even if I won a free holiday here!!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 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 (436)
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English first
Inverness, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2013

My partner and I visited this hotel on the 15th September 2013 for a week. we found the hotel very clean and the staff couldn't do enough to help. Mind you we did tip very well although the staff didn't look for tips, they were always very grateful to receive any.
The food was good, always a large variety and there was food cooked in front of you. fresh pizzas and plenty of meats. Cold salad buffet was great. they served fresh crepes by the pool bar every day at 3pm.
The animation team tried very hard bless them and i would recommend the aqua aerobics, hilarious to watch even if you dont take part.
we did not see the evenings entertainment but also seemed to be varied with something for everything.
The range of treatments available was abundant and fairly inexpensive compared to home. massages, hammam, body and facial treatments all excellent value for money.
I would say the hotel decor was dated (it was built 25 years ago) but was spotlessly clean. The staff worked tirelessly cleaning all day long.
My partner was delighted to see the celtic game in the american bar in the hotel and all big matches (premier league etc) seemed to be covered in the hotel.
we were not impressed with the resort itself as the nightlife was fairly limited to resteraunts and not much else. The harbour at port-el kantaoiu is pretty.
irish bar accross the road from the hotel is not very irish. It has no guiness and not an irish member of staff in sight!! it has entertainment most nights though.
The drinks in the hotel were ok although the local vodka was weak and you could not get smirnoff for love or money!!

Room Tip: unfortunately we chose a sea view which at the moment is mainly blocked by a large hotel being built...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

Just spent 11 days at this Hotel having returned on the 19th, if you like flies on your food this is the place to go. The cups and glasses were just given a quick swill and not dried out which made all the drinks taste flat, even more all the drinks around the beach bar and pool bar were sereved in plastic beakers. Everybody expected a tip all the time they did somthing for you, on the day of leaving the poolman was only going to hand over 1 card instead of 2 cards for the towels which is 10 dinars i had all ready tipped him on and off over the 11 days .I must have spent over 30 to 40 pounds in tips during my stay. I was also told by First Choice when I booked this holiday in August that there was no building work going on. What a shock at 07-30 on Tuesday, building work was starting. This went on for the time we were there, bar Sunday

ASR

Room Tip: Check to see if the building work next door is still ongoing
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

Have just returned after 2 weeks at this hotel, 5th/19th Sept. Apart from the rubbish room we got when we first got there, facing building site, we had a good 2 weeks. We were moved to the 3rd floor with no problems; reception couldnt do enough to help.
Staff lovely and friendly especially Ali in the piano bar and the entertainment lads were so funny.
Food ok, much the same as anywhere abroad. Pool & Beach lovely and clean. Only pain in the bottom was Captain smiley who went on & on until he sold you places on the pirate ship......!!
Room was always clean. Pool Pancake lady & man were great. Entertainment Team did what they could on the limited budget they have and they worked really hard & should be appreciated more. The Moorish cafe, where they showed the football, the man was annoyed as nobody purchased drinks as not AI. !!
Beth the rep was at the hotel alot & was always willing to help you.
We hardly heard the building site & it didnt cause a problem.
Holidays are what you make of them......xx

  • Stayed September 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

Stayed at this hotel for 11 nights from 1st September.
Looking back on the trip, it was a brilliant holiday.

The food in the hotel is actually quite nice, plenty of choice for all diet types. It does get repetitive after a while, but if you eat 3 square meals in the same place for 11 nights, what can you expect. It was all fresh and more than palletable.

The drinks in the hotel were actually quite poor, although they tasted nice, it took a lot to get even tipsy! The drinks menu really needs an overhaul.

The service in the hotel was a bit of a mixed bag if i'm honest. We had a lovely waiter for the duration, who helped to make it a very special holiday. However, there was some very unhelpful members of staff, who came across very rude, although in fairness this may be the language barrier.

Thankfully, due to tripadvisor, we knew to get a safe, which we did. However the maid did seem to help herself to a pair of Ray Bans - fake ones at that. Then she found it acceptable to open our door at 5pm to hint for another tip.

The hotel was brilliant overall though, I was impressed by how close it was to the port (a literal 5 minute walk), the irish bar over the road was great for a proper pint and the football. The room was extremely well cleaned, as was the rest of the hotel. The animation team were excellent as well, and the amount of activities around the pool were a lot of fun.

If you are looking for a cheaper holiday outside of the euro, I really would urge you to look no further than PEK and the Marhaba Palace.

Room Tip: Don't leave anything remotely valuable in the room unless you can lock them in a suitcase, as th...
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  • Stayed September 2013, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2013 via mobile

Just returned sept 18th after a 2 week break, overall we enjoyed our holiday. There are a lot of negative comments from other posts, I wonder what people expect for the money paid. This isn't an expensive holiday and what you get constitutes good value for money. I can compare this to a another hotel that we have stayed in tunisia more 5 star, however the service and food were not good whatsoever - the service and food at the marhaba palace was far better. You are in Africa, after all. We had no problem with the service, from the maids, bar staff to towel man - but then we tipped well - I witnessed many people who didn't tip. We would tip at home for same service. My only criticism of service would be that front reception aren't particularly welcoming. There is building work going on next door, from time to time you heard it, but not to bad, Thomas cook travellers were made aware of this before leaving uk with the option of changing destination. Yes it's slightly dated, but again far nicer than others in the area. Location is excellent, 5 min walk to port, there is a supermarket 4 mins away , and sells everything that you could run out of on holiday. Water sports are great on the beach, so cheap in comparison to other countries. Plastic cups at pool bar, not the best, but for health and safety it's necessary - so not a problem. Getting up early and seeing the mess that some holiday makers leave after the night before, I was disgusted, you got to commend the staff for their clean up operation in the morning, so maybe holiday makers have their part to play in keeping the place nice. Lots of flies which is a nuisance, part and parcel of location.

I'm sure you will enjoy this break, it is good value for money, if you want more upmarket then you'll need to pay £1.5k ++++ each

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Gloucester, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2013

We have returned home today after a 7 day visit.We have been on holidays in all different countries and stayed in various hotels ranging from 2 star to 5 star and all I can say is that this is the worst hotel I have ever stayed in.Our check in was terrible a very rude member of staff put a band on our wrists then told us to come back in 2 hours as our room wasnt ready,fair enough as it was a 2pm checkin and we were there at 11am but the member of staff walked away without saying anything else ! When we did get to our room it was of a good size and clean but the sheets on the bed and the towels in the bathroom had seen better days and didnt look clean.The staff were all very abrupt apart from Ali the barman who always had a smile on his face.They just seemed like they resented us and it was a big effort to serve you.The food was very poor,now Im not a fussy eater but I cannot eat undercooked food and food that is covered in flies.One day at the pool bar at lunchtime if you wanted pizza and chips you had to queue and the waiter gave us one piece of pizza and a handful of chips each,usually we could help ourselves but on this particular day they made us all feel like we were in the Oliver film and saying "please sir can I have some more" very degrading.The cups you had your drinks in around the pool were just given a quick swill under the tap and put out for use again,the drinks also tasted very watered down.The pool was very clean however.It is very hard for me to write a negative review as I make the most of any holiday I go on,but if it wasnt for a nice couple we met whilst we were there I seriously think we would have asked to have moved to another hotel.Also I understand that tipping here is the normal thing but every time you want a drink or the waiter pulls out your chair etc they expect a tip.Well I could give them a tip....a smile on your face goes a long way and dont be so rude.My advice for anyone going here is please please think carefully before you make your hotel choice,Certainly not 4 star and take some ear plugs as if you sit around the pool the noise from the hotel being built next door can be quite noisy at times

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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 Palace Hotel

Address: Jinane El Kantaoui | Sousse, Port El Kantaoui 4089, Tunisia
Location: Tunisia > Sousse Governorate > Port El Kantaoui
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Family Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#9 Luxury Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Marhaba Palace Hotel 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Wake up across from the golf club, have a walk on the seafront, explore the paved alleys of Port El Kantaoui or simply unwind at the pool: Marhaba Palace is a dream place for an unforgettable stay. In the restaurant, a collection of great wines and local cuisine with the flavours of thyme and basil pamper the palate. This charming hotel, in the heart of the resort of port El Kantaoui, will seduce you with its personalised hospitality and efficient, discrete service.Welcome to MARHABA PALACE ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Marhaba Palace
Marhaba Palace Tunisia
Tunisia Marhaba Palace
Marhaba Palace Port El Kantaoui
Marhaba Palace Hotel Tunisia

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