Myself and my girlfriend went to the Imperial Marhaba at the end of May 2011 and had a lovely relaxing two weeks all inclusive.
The hotel looks very impressive and was very clean throughout.
Nice selection of food, we were never stuck for things to eat and the Chinese restaurant was very nice. You need to book in advance, but it is included in your all inclusive deal. The Tunisia restaurant meal was poor and the service was curt. Our waiter in the main restaurant was very friendly, not the best waiter in the world, but he tried his best. Waiters also expect a tip at the evening meal or a big one once a week. The seat you’re assigned day one is yours for the duration. We got on fine with the Maitre D, but by the looks of him he could be quite prickly!
Lunch was served down by the beach and had a fine selection, but could get very busy as everyone gets hungry at the same time.
The guys behind the bar and on table service were all very nice and friendly although service at the main lobby bar could be quite slow at times. All drinks were free including local beer, wine and spirits.
The room we had was spacious, clean and the beds were comfortable. The rooms were cleaned daily, but there was an unpleasant smell coming from the toilet that seemed impossible to remove. Thankfully the toilet is separate to the shower and sink, so it wasn’t really a problem. The tv had two English language movie channels which was great because there is not many places to go in the evening and the hotel entertainment is very poor. The mini fidge was stocked with soft drinks and water and you had to ask at reception for it to be re-stocked which didn’t always occur. There is a shop near the lobby with tonnes of gifts and treats. We shopped there as although it’s a little more expensive at least there is no hassle or pressure to buy.
On the subject of entertainment, the entertainment guys tried really hard to keep everyone happy and did crazy long hours, but at times could be just a little annoying. Playing darts and bowels was good fun though and the tennis court is also free and really under used. The evening entertainments was very poor to say the least, but were kind of funny they were so bad. Also there’s no bar in the entertainments area so you have to go in and out for drinks or wait an eternity for the one waiter to get some for you. Also around the pool some of the entertainment guys could be a bit pervy, but only if you gave them the time of day.
The pool was nice and there always seemed to be beds free even if you slept in although it was May. A tip to the pool guy seemed to mean he kept a bed for you as soon as he got in at 5am! I didn’t do it, but others definitely did.
The beach is right at the hotel and the water sports were great value. €15 for 15 minutes on a jetski although you could haggle for either more time or a cheaper price. We also did the paragliding – NB. Make sure you are both sitting properly in the little seats, otherwise like my poor girlfriend you may slip out and have the harness simply dig into your legs for 20mins. Also we saw a lot of people have some genuinely terrifying experiences on it due to adverse winds. One couple spent the 20/25 ordeal going straight out to sea hanging only about 10 feet from the sea! Scary stuff, so be warned!
In terms of things to do there’s not a lot. We walked down the beach to the Port, but there’s not a lot down there and it feels entirely like a tourist trap and had tonnes of dodgy looking guys hanging around.
We went on one excursion through our travel company. It involved going to El Jem a Roman Coloseum, Kairouan mosque and Bourguiba's mosaleum. I would totally recommend going to El Jem. It was an amazing place to walk in the footsteps of Gladiators. We also can across the coolest little kitten, who was so hungry the poor thing, we fed it pringles! It was all we had on us! The mosque and mosaleum were also impressive and we never felt uncomfortable or unwelcome. Having never been in a mosque it was really interesting to see Kairouan one of the holiest places in Islam. The girls were told to bring veils and cover their legs, but when we got there our guide was totally relaxed and there was no need to cover your head, only your shoulders, which most Churches in Spain expect you to do the same. Our tour guide was lovely and friendly, but our driver was a Maniac! By the end of the day I had to shout at him to slow down as passing out five cars on a blind bend, everybody in the mini-van was scared stiff! Thankfully he begrudgingly calmed down a bit after that. I would highly recommend a trip to El Jem, but not doing all those places in one day, plus the lunch provided near Kairouan was awful!
On the absolute plus side we had a really enjoyable two weeks with lovely sunshine and everything provided for us. We came home totally relaxed and would highly recommend the hotel to anyone. The weather in May was just perfect and we had maybe two cloudy days the whole time we were there and one amazing lightening storm in the distance, which we watched from our balcony. Honestly if you want a couple of weeks of just chilling out by the pool/beach and reading a good book, you couldn’t do better then here. Plus the price of hotel, flights and all inclusive was a bargain for 2 of us at €1900 total. Go there while it’s still relatively cheap!
We had a room looking out on the entrance to the hotel and got the evening sun. The lifts are slow...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.