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“Worse Hotel, 3 out of 4 got SALMONELLA!!!!!”
Review of Hotel Marhaba

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Hotel Marhaba
Ranked #9 of 36 Hotels in Sousse
Reviewed August 13, 2012

This was the worst holiday ever as I am still paying for it because I am still ill from it. Out of the 4 of us that went 3 of us fell ill and were taken to our rooms for 12 of the 14 days. We have since been diagnosed with Salmonella poisoning after 5 days of being in hospital, and looking at other websites and reviews we were not the only ones to have fallen ill. Would be interested in any others who have also fell ill as we have taken this further and complained to Thomas Cook for the miss representation of this hotel. I would not recommend this hotel to anyone!

Travelled - 25th July - 8th August 2012

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Donna A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 11, 2012

Got back on 7th August from Marhaba. Well its everything an all inclusive could be. Your in Tunisia now not Blackpool or Espania. It would do you good to remember that in this country tips go down well. So my advice is to smile, say thankyou, it goes along way, as in the well known foreigners, Germans, Dutch, etc,............ come on give those hardworking guys a break. Yes they speak in their own language but its their country, Im sure you would do the same if you were doing the same, just smile, laugh, let it go. Room ok but Im not there to spend time in four walls, so bedtime, who really cares, after a few inclusive drinks, not bothered. Never had a problem with seating in main restaurant but did witness it happening, maybe more smiles and politeness may have prevented it,,,,, need I say more. Waterslides are brill but pack your armbands if your child is not a more than confident swimmer. My son is in level 3 and I spent 2 days grabbing him from the currents, yes he can swim but after an hour up and down the slides, gosh I was knackered watching him. After seeing others his age and threatening no more slides on holiday, he wore armbands so I could relax and not look like a nutter at the end of the slides. Camel Caravan trip through Thomas Cook is nice for the younger children, spent 1/2 hour on camel, hated it, then changed over to horse pulling carriage, then onto a lovely retreat where they made Tunisian bread in a pot where you could add salad in, drinks for 2 dinar and a camel drinking a coke!!! Then return either by camel but we managed to get on horse and carriage ride back. Make sure you tip, this is their way of life. Back to the hotel, all was good for us, we tipped we got a service. Sunbeds reserved by the pool everyday, no 6am trips to save, a table at night reserved for the entertainment, drinks served at night, all for a couple of dinar. Its so worth it, unless you wanna cue up but its not too bad really doing that but then Kemo the guy who owns the little shop by the bar will decend on you....... I loved it there, we came home with ear infections, possibly from the pool/sea.. but we had a lovely time, it can get repetative in the resturant but Im sure if you ate Mc D's for a week you would feel the same. Live a little and relax, go with the flow and smile. A smile goes a long way and tips x

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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7  Thank Cazzababe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2012

I stayed at the Hotel Marhaba from 29th July - 8th August, with my partner and our 3 children 18, 15 and 11. I will just give a general review, as we had some minor issues, but they were sorted out immediately by the excellent Thomas Cook Rep, Maddie, so there's no point dwelling on them. The rooms were fine, functional, clean, and well kept. We had two rooms between 5 of us. In one room the tv didn't work much, but the tv in the other did (not that you go on holiday to watch tv and there were only 2 English channels anyway). There were fridges in both rooms, they weren't brilliant, but kept our water cool enough. The maid came daily and did a brilliant job, she also left bottles of water in each room, which was really appreciated. The pool area was always really busy and the sunbeds had all been taken really early. We did get sunbeds on the beach whenever we went there, which was great and having the beach bar, which also served lunch was handy too. The food was ok, but there wasn't much variety. You could always find something to eat and it all tasted fine, just got a bit repetitive There was always a queue for the omlettes and freshly cooked things, which seemed to get longer and longer as the Russians pushed in in front of you. You are given a card on check in to take to the restaurant to reserve your table for the duration of your stay. We often found other people sat at our allocated table, so were seated elsewhere. This wasn't a problem, seemed odd for them to allocate tables in the first place, as this often seemed to be the case for others too. Beer was fine to drink, didn't try any of the wine. The soft drinks were a bit syrupy, so specifically ask for drinks from the bottle and you will get proper coca cola or fanta etc. You can get bottles of water from all of the bars too. We didn't really watch any of the evening entertainment, but it seemed very lively and busy when we passed by the pool. I guess it just depends what you like. There was a new shop that opened while we were there, that sold lots of souvenirs, clothes, postcards etc. There isn't too much to do locally, there are some shops and restaurants/bars nearby and the noddy train passes just outside the entrance of the hotel which takes you into Sousse or Port el Kantoui for a few dinar. The train also runs quite late, which is handy if you fancy eating out somewhere different. To sum up, we had a great holiday. The hotel is adequate, but I can see why a lot of people would want to complain/ think its great. From talking to other people I think a lot of the hotels in Tunisia are of a similar standard, they have their good points and bad points too.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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7  Thank HEATHER030
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2012

We have just retruned from a fortnight at this hotel, went 25th July which is the start of the high season. Firstly, the hotel is still undergoing a major refurbishment - most places avoid this during high season. Secondly, it is ramadan. we have no problem with this, but it would have been nice to have been told of the fact by the reps before booking or even on the way to the hotel from the airport, as until we were among the people we had no real idea of what exactly was involved in this celebration. As a result a lot of us were grumbling when all the bars shut at 7:00pm with no explanation.
The beach is wonderful, and so are the staff who wander up and down the sand asking if you would like a drink or anything to eat. The bar staff at the beach are not friendly, will tell you you cannot have a bottle of still water as they have run out, then the chap on the beach comes along and brings you one from the fridge!
We were taken aback by the rudeness of the staff when they ignore you and speak to their colleagues about you in their own language, but this was something we had read about prior to leaving. Yes, they were certainly more pleasant if you tipped, but the restaurant staff were obliging whether you tipped or not, and we cannot speak too highly of them.
The food is monotonous if you aren't adventurous as an eater, but then so it is in all hotels I have stayed in if this applies to you. My complaint here is that the food gave the enire family real tummy problems which lasted for 1 of us 12 of the 14 days - and that with constant medication.
The rooms were basic and clean, though we had no fridge and only 1 bottle of water per night for 4 of us, 2 adults and 2 teenagers. The cleaners did a good job but be warned - they do like a cigarette if you leave them around! My husband bought a ack and forgot to take them out. Rather than interrupt the day he bought another pack, and when he went back for the original lot the box was empty! So the cleaner got her tip filter-style!
I see that somebody has said the place was overrun with ants and cockroaches - I saw ants, but not the quantity suggested, and 3 cockroaches in the fortnight, and those always in the vening. Nothing nasty was ever in the room we had that we saw.
It was our wedding anniversary, 29 years, and TC did ask about special dates when we booked, but I don't know why! Whilst, unlike another reviewer, it was not a particulart milestone for us, it was a day we like to remember, but a smiley face on the docket informing us of the reps meeting on the transfer coach was as far as TC went in acknowledging the event.
The worst thing for us was the constant touting from the camel trip man and the galleon trip person. If they weren't trying to sell you something, they were wanting you to sell it to them. Coming from a capitalist society I can say that you can learn a lot from the Tunisians at Marhaba Hotel. Also beware buying goods, very little is what it appears to be, Dominic Littlewood would have his work cut out if he did a Fake Tunisia series!
Would we go back? No. The animation team were absolutley brilliant, how they turned out night after night and smiled and talked with everybody is something only they know. Never out of sorts or abrupt with people, even the Eastern Europeans and Russians (rude, arrogant lot). Unfortunately they weren't enough to save the trip for us.
Ultimately it would be fair to say that TC should take another look at this complex of just 2 hotels (not the 5 advertised) and the state of the renovations, food etc., and redo their brochure. The Hotel is what it is, the brochure is not.

Room Tip: check that the AC works as soon as you arrive, ask for a higher floor
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Wendy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2012

First of all the good points the beach was gorgeous one of the best iv ever been on. Yes you do get the locals up and down but there not aloud in the roped off areas. The pool looked lovely but seemed hard to get a sunbed there. The hotel itself was in a good clean condition we had a refurbished room which overlooked the pool and sea, the room was cleaned well each day but like people have said there is no fridge to keep drinks cool also no hairdryer. There are some great bargains to be had in the local shops or at the harbour just make sure you haggle lots.
Now on to the bad points ! The beach bar serves the same food day in day out except the barbecue, most days pasta was cold ! Also no ice in the drinks only if you tipped the staff !
The best food on offer was the ice cream from this bar. Now on to the breakfast if you want a full english this is not for you go to Blackpool ! Various mornings you had green beans, peas & sweetcorn and even cauliflower on offer ! Try the deep fried doughnuts they were good. Now on to the evening meals simple fact is no variety at all same thing each evening and large que for drinks, other places iv been you pour your own in the restuarant. Also im sure cakes etc were put to one side from peoples plates and put back out in the restuarant.
All the staff were friendly but i would not return to this hotel because of the poor food and large drink que at each bar day in day out.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Ian G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2012

Where do I start? Well let me begin with the hotel and the grounds, I would like to inform other guests that are travelling to this hotel that the hotel, grounds and rooms are clean and tidy. We got clean towels and bedding and the bathroom was always clean. The air con was terrible and the fridge was poor as well, you couldn’t feel the air con and the fridge didn’t even cool the water for us (probably that is why it is free, what’s the saying you don’t get anything for free). The grounds were lovely and yes there was a little bit of litter but who is to blame for this. Our view from our room was fab over looking the sea which was very nice. The pool which we went to most days was always cleaned by the pool team and looked lovely.

When we got there we were handed a little blue card which we had to present at the dinning room (this was an experience). The waiter then put in on a table for us (this was meant to be our table for the fortnight), now the following night when we went for tea, our table was being used by some other party, we told the waiter and was told to sit somewhere else, this happened for about 5 days, we had such a fight on our hands with this. We would sit on an other table as instructed and then others would come in and look at us but we were only doing as told, this was very uncomfortable let me tell you.

The food was yes very reparative but I have been to all inclusive hotels before and this was the same sort of food, if you are not a fussy eater than you will be fine. It did become a bit of a fight with other nationalities, they would push in front of you, load their plates with the food, it felt like a fight for survival.

The staff I thought was rude on many occasions, as it was Ramadan they would shut the bar between 7-8, so we couldn’t get a drink in the bar areas which was a little frustrating. Apart from the odd few pool staff and the animation team the rest of the hotel staff was rude and couldn’t be bothered to help you (unless you tipped them of course then you were treated like royalty).

We only went on the camel trip with a person that comes round the hotel trying to sell you a trip, this was a really good experience and we really enjoyed it, would defo recommend this.

Our rep advised us on bartering, now I have done this before but the Tunisian people didn’t tend to like it if you tried to barter with them. We went out and about Sousse to the Medina but we didn’t like it at all, we felt intimidated with then locals, we didn’t mind them trying to get us in shops but it was the fact that when we said no thank you they were nasty to us. One local tried to get us to go down a back street alley but we wised up to him.

We went on the noddy train to the Port this was very nice and more relaxing, we had a meal and a drink down there and came back at night on the noddy train.

The animation was what I expected, if you have little ones then the entertainment is fine for them and they do try to entertain you. If you can’t stand kids entertainment then this hotel is not for you as they played the same kids songs day in day out.

All in all the hotel is clean, the pool is good, we didn’t go on the beach only walked on it but it looked nice and tidy, the food is ok, the entertainment is ok for kids but the biggest let down for this hotel is the rudness of the staff that work there.

I would go back to Tunisia if the price was right but probably not to Sousse.

Room Tip: 477 to me was a good room.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank sexbombkez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2012

Ive just arrived back from Tunisia, Hotel Marhaba. The hotel itself is clean and refnished well. We did not have a fridge which was really unfortunate as we could not chill any water for during the night. As far as food goes this was a huge let down, everything is just so repetitive theres nothing that really that catches your eye, we found ourselves going out to eat several nights (Farmers at the top of the road, turning left as you come out of the hotel, HIGHLY RECOMMEND!) Another down side is the aggravation you get when you go out of the hotel with the locals, particually with just females it puts you off leaving the hotel grounds. The pool area's were all clean although the main pool was very difficult to be able to get sun beds we had to be on the grass the last couple of days of our holiday. Most staff were pleasant although we often got very rude staff who then spoke to their colleagues in their language and you can clearly see that it is about you, not comfortable. It was a shame that the refurb was still going on as was abit of an eye sore from our balcony. For the younger generation like us there is nothiing to do in the evening, there is evening entertainment but its more for the kiddies, there is a night club on resort but it really is not great at all. Overall i would reccommend this hotel IF you are not of the younger generation and are purley looking to relax and not really go out and you are not a fussy eater. Beach was the highest point of this hotel but you constantly have tunisians up and down the beach trying to sell you stuff which can get very annoying.

Room Tip: The main reception rooms from what i gather are the newley refurbed.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Bleeep93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Marhaba

Address: Boulevard 14 Janvier 2011 | Zone Touristique, Sousse 4039, Tunisia
Location: Tunisia > Sousse Governorate > Sousse
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 36 Hotels in Sousse
Price Range: $29 - $1,239 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 242
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Classe 4 etoiles et faisant parti du Marhaba Resorts, reference par la prestigieuse chaine Marhaba Hotels, le Marhaba Club est entierement dedie a anticiper vos besoins et satisfaire vos attentes. Situe au coeur de la zone touristique de la ville de Sousse, a : 10 mn du centre ville de Sousse, 10 mn du Port el Kantaoui et du terrain de Golf, 20 minutes de l'aeroport de Skanes-Monastir, 40 minutes de l'aeroport d'Enfidha et a 90 minutes de l'aeroport de Tunis-Carthage ... more   less 
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