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Marhaba Royal Salem
Ranked #6 of 35 Hotels in Sousse
Certificate of Excellence
midlands
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“working progress”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 8, 2011

I have come back from the royal salem may 2011. I stayed for 7nights with my husband. When we arrived at the hotel it looked nice for first impressions. Hotel staff we found were really nice and friendly. I am quite shocked that people have wrote that they werent very friendly as we had no problems.
When we went to the back of the building we were very shocked that most of the back of the hotel had been demolished and was being rebuilt. Builders everywhere!! We were told by thomas cook slight refurb more like total rebuilt.
Hotel lobby was very clean.cleaned every morning. In the main hotel there were 5 floors we stayed on the 4th floor. Rooms were dated but ok. Except our shower which hardly had any hot water that came out, not powerful at all. cleaned daily fresh sheets and towels.
Food was good something for everone. im a fussy eater but there was always pasta, chips pizzza soup etc. Staff in the restaurant were excellent probably the best out of them all.
Pool area was ok but was salt water which i didnt like. Quite cold to get into. seemed to be clean around the pool a.m but by the afternoon plastic cups everywhere no one picking them up. we found by this time bees seemed to gather around them which wasnt nice when your trying to reflax. Talking about relaxing, a little hard when you have power tools going off all day, builders walking past you when your lying on your sunbed in your bikini. A thomson rep told us that it should of been finished dec 2010 but may 2011 its nowhere near done and he had got his boss out as he said that travellers should no the extent of the work. Alot of people we spoke to said they were not told by the travel agent the extent of the work.
We flew with thomas cook in there brocnhre it said it had 3 pools well it only had 2 as one was still being built and had no water in it, said it had a beach bar which it didnt as this was being re built, air conditioning which they dont put on until the hotter season starts even tho it was very hot when we were there 30s some days.
The entertainment was very good they did a kids disco then stuff for adults we had belly dancing a hard man show etc as the hotel is not by any shops bars or clubs we stayed in the hotel every night as we didnt want to get taxis, but it was something different every night. 4 lads in the entertainment team and they really do there best to make you welcome they sit and chat to you remember you name through out the stay. They do things in the day like french bowls etc. You can not fault them at all prob another good thing about this hotel as i have stayed i 5 star riu hotel with very poor entertainment.
The one thing i will say about the room and entertainment is that it should be in another seperate room. We were on the 4th floor and could hear the entertainment plain as day in our room. which goes onto 2am some nights. As it is done in the lobby bar area as the other review said it does get busy with little seats. I would not like to be there when the hotel is all up and running with the new rooms occupied. i cant see how it will cope with more guests as it will be a very large complex when finished.
I paid £250pp for all inclusive i think it overall good value i would of been very annoyed if i had payed more as i know some people did.
To sum up my stay i would say good value but if going back to tunisia would look at another hotel. ALSO THIS HOTEL IS NOT IN SOUSSE!! its on the out skirts which you have to get a taxi into the main area.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank luggers1
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 bubbles
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    4 of 5 bubbles
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    4 of 5 bubbles
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    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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chester le street
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 8, 2011

my sister and my 3 kids stayed for a week the food was good the weather not so good spent 3 days in the indoor pool and bar , the rooms were clean and tidy , had to fight for seats on a night , not a lot of drinks to choose from, coffee and tea in the bar not very nice it was cold , but on the positive the animation team are good lads had a laugh with them, Omar is a pain ! staff are ok but not over the top ha ha " tips tips and more tips " bell boys watch them !!! cost me a fiver to get my bag in the lift " the men do freak you out in England if men acted like that they would be a riot slimy is all i will say so be on your guard girls ,

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank HelenT--x
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2011

Visited royal salem in april and first impression, it looked nice. Then we met the staff who had no idea how to smile or welcome any guests. reception staff may as well not be there totall jobs worths, bar staff are suppose to supply drinks which seemed so much effort and they will always serve tunisians first. on my 3rd night and bloke got jumped by a bunch of regular french guy's and staff pretty much stood and watched, this showed the complex security was very poor.

the beach was in a state with a beach bar being built with toilets i hope becasue there was none around. the pool was nice but salt water, with pool bar only open when staff could be botherd, and when it was open very poor variety of drink with terrible service. we was told the oher pool was open but was shut off with yet more building work. i would warn anyone walking through the complex as the path ways are very dangerous. an elderly lady had fallen off the path one night out side snack bar due to un-evan smashed up stone, so i had to help her up!

The entertainment guy s put in a lot of effort but is still nothing to get excited about. all entertainment was heldin the main lobby and if you could sit donw to enjoy a few drinks you was lucky, not enough seat and can get very hot and smokey. the bar shuts up at midnight but staff always slip off 15 minuets before. but you can always head over to the nightclub which i thought was the best part about this hotel, the only time i enjoyed myself!

The food was ok but nothing special if they didn't have chips i would have been lost and im not a fussy eater, i tried most foods they had to offer but wasnt for my tatse. on the up had no upset tummy :D. snack bar and breakfast was appauling.

on the last day the maid came in to clean our room with a bloke, which i though was funny. later that night we realised the pad lock on my suitcase had been changed and my phone had be moved and played with. when i turned my phone on it had been completly locked bechasue i have to draw a pattern to unlock my phone and if try so many times it locks the whole phone. so i went to the shop just out side the hotel to get a new pad lock, on my way back to my room for some reason lift stopped on level 1 (i was on level 3) so walked to where my room is on level 1 and with my key openend someone elses door and walked in to people staying in this room laying on there bed watching T.V. this was a huge shock to me and the other guests. i no im not the only one who had problems with personal belonging. speak to a few other guests had it a lot worse than me with large ammounts of money stolen!

i think with a bit more effort all round from staff to facilities this hotel has a lot of potential!
but i certainly will be steering miles from this place again!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Aje12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
scotland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 6, 2011

hi
this hotel is what it is all inclusive 3 star had a great time bar a bit slow hate to be there in the summer but as we could never get a seat in the lounge /foyer where the entertainment was due to the lack of people we sat at the bar gave the barman 5d/£2.50 and never asked for a drink again he just topped them up.its right on the beach and even though they are renevating part of the complex never bothered us. we just chilled for a week but there is plenty to do lots of historical sights to see i love tunisia its not everones cup of tea but if like people watching you ll love it please dont complain about the food remember you are in a forgien country ypu will always find something to eat

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank hayho51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 4, 2011

Recently returned from the Marhaba Royal Salem without reading any reviews on the hotel prior to leaving so we didn’t have any pre thoughts on what to expect from the hotel.

This was the first time that myself and the others travelling had been to Tunisia and straight away after leaving the airport its clear to see that this is a poor country that was still adjusting to the troubles that they have been through.

Firstly we were made to wait over two hours to leave the airport as we were waiting on others to jump onto the coach which wasn’t a great start. The Thomas Cook rep would not leave without them even though they never showed, she was adamant that she had to "give the same service to everyone".

As we made our way to the hotel we were shown the sights and places to visit around Sousse and the local area which was good as we wanted to head out and visit places.

Much like the other reviews I’ve read on here before writing this, i can agree that the reception staff are not the most welcoming nor helpful but they get the job done. The room we were given was in the main hotel, (there’s 3 in total) and as far as rooms go it suited what we needed it for. It had two double beds, a working shower/bath and toilet plus plenty of room for clothes, for those of you who spend more time in the room there’s a tv with one or two English channels, the only thing I will mention is that the air conditioning is turned off until June. The rooms were cleaned daily by the maids who work efficiently and quickly in my opinion.

We didn’t have great weather for the few days we were there and I can imagine that the hotel would become quite boring quickly if we stayed in for this time, as all it has to offer is a pool and air hockey table for entertainment. Instead we decided to use this time to have a look around and see what the area has to offer. Travelling into port el kantaoui takes around 5 minutes by taxi and won’t cost you more than 5 dinar (less then £2.50). There are plenty of shops to look around as well as boat trips out to sea which with a little bit of haggling you can get for dirt cheap. They start at around 80 dinar p/p but eventually went down to 5 dinar p/p! A quick tip when haggling anything, just walk away and they soon start dropping the price quick! The port also offers plenty of places to eat out as well as a fun fair which opened up May 1st and zoo although I must admit it didn’t look much cop.

Another place I would recommend visiting is the Medina, which is an open market that allows you haggle prices with the locals trying to sell you there converse trainers or Rolex watches! I will say though it can feel a little intimidating at times but as long as you are firm and just say no to the things you don’t want they will respect that. Again this won’t cost you more than 5 dinar to get there in taxi, just make sure you arrange the price before you jump in and be prepared for taxis to stop and reverse down main roads to pick you up :). I would advise using the taxis to get to places as you can find yourselves being hassled by the locals for money.

Like other reviews have mentioned the hotel is undergoing a bit of a revamp with beach bars currently being built, we were told this would be finished in June, and one of the outdoor pool areas having a bit of a tart up. The main pool was open for us to use once the weather picked up for the last 5 days of our trip, this was a salt water pool (good for your tan!) and had flumes to have some fun on.

The buffet food was not the greatest I have ever had when on holiday but it was still edible, those who say they had to live off pizza and chips clearly don’t like to sample local food; I would recommend trying Harrisa if you like spicy food which is a substitute for butter. Be a little wary though women of the guy that serves the “carved” meat in the evenings, his eyes like to wonder! If you do find the food that bad then there are plenty of places to eat out around the area, you can pick up a big fillet steak for £9 at a place called “The Saloon” which has a disco in the evenings.

The bar staff could do with breaking a smile every now and then but you do get the occasional guys that treat you nicely. I never had any issues with waiting to get drinks, even when the bar was packed in the evenings. Once the bar shuts at 12pm you can head to nightclub if you’re up for it, you have to pay for drinks but at £1.40 a beer I wasn’t complaining and this place can get very busy on a tues / frid / sat night.

I must mention the animation team who we had a good laugh with, Alex, Tiesto, Titio and Omar are nice guys who like to chat and learn from you. They each hold different activities during the day to give you something to do and I was even given private dance lesson by Tiesto, even if it was in front of everyone as a pre evening entertainment warm-up!

All in all I would say for what we paid for this holiday it was well worth it and it really comes down to what you make of your time away. I can see the hotel only getting better in the summer season when the building work is completed and everything is fully opened.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank messicurt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jersey
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 4, 2011

Just returned from 2 week holiday from hell. On 3rd night my husband was violently attacked by 4 french thugs in the reception area at around 12.30 midnight. The bar staff just watched, so did the reception staff and there was no security whatsoever. Anyone can wonder in and out and I think the management are taking backhanders. The management did nothing regarding the viscious attack so we moved hotels. The manager has no name, his is what he told us in from of our rep. I could go on for hours but will not. If you want to risk getting beaten up for asking some french people to kindly not smoke in the non smoking reception area, then go to the Royal Salam. These thugs stay at the Royal Salam on a regular basis as they work for the Orange phone company and are based in Tunisia. They are in with the manager, who is probably taking back handers and are probably involved in the robbing of the rooms. They are frequently seen behind the reception area where no doubt master room keys are kept. Do not go here or face the consequences. BE WARNED

Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank JerseyBetsie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ringwood, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 26, 2011

We booked our trip through Thomas Cook and were very much looking forward to it after reading the mainly brilliant reviews. It would seem that had we gone a week or two earlier we would also be writing a brilliant review. However, sadly, this hotel now has at least 2 staff members who watch when you are going out and then access your room with a key, go through your suitcases and steel what they can. This happened to us and at least 3 other people in the easter week that we stayed. For this reason I would avoid going here but I shall review the other things too for your interest...

The main pool was fab, though a little salty. The rooms were ok, a bit dated but kept clean. The entertainment was pretty poor, the animation team though a nice bunch of lads were no good at actually entertaining you - especially if the weather was poor. There was nothing to do but sit around the inside bar and read. For 4 days of our holiday that is what we did. We couldn't go out - we had been robbed of our money by then!

Outside the hotel, on the day we did go out (and they robbed us), it is a very rough looking area. Not pretty or clean or pleasant in anyway. I wouldn't bother. The people are desperate and pushy to get money out of you. I did not feel safe, especially with my 6 year old son in tow.

The kids club was good, it kept our son amused when the weather was poor and the lady called Lily who worked in there was lovely. The food was also good at this hotel and we didn't suffer from any tummy issues. There was the odd bar or reception staff that were ok but the bulk of them were rude, miserable and would do anything they could to avoid serving you. Sometimes there would be 3 staff on the bar all avoiding eye contact and faffing around to try and ignore you while you waited for a drink!!

Other than the fact this hotel has in house thieves, it also has no security whatsoever. Anyone can wonder in and out and it seems they do. A lot of shady looking men with secret handshakes milling about which meant I was constantly calling my son back and could never really relax. A couple of nights there was also fighting in the hotel which went un dealt with.

The management at this hotel were awful, they really didn't care that people were getting robbed or that people were generally having a nightmare time. In the week we were there everyone couldn't wait to get home. The morning of our departure we were all celebrating at breakfast that we would soon be out of this nightmare.

Our reps attitude was poor for someone in a customer focussed role. She wouldn't even warn the next batch of guests about the robbing situation. All she was interested was selling trips. I shall be complaining to Thomas Cook - we paid for a family friendly safe resort... nothing like what we got.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank charliesmumliz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Marhaba Royal Salem

Property: Marhaba Royal Salem
Address: Boulevard 14 Janvier, Sousse 4031, Tunisia
Location: Tunisia > Sousse Governorate > Sousse
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) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Sousse
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Sousse
#6 Family Hotel in Sousse
#6 Luxury Hotel in Sousse
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Marhaba Royal Salem 4*
Number of rooms: 316
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Marhaba Royal Salem Marhaba Royal Salem Beach Tax : SOLIDARITY STAMP for non resident foreign travellers leaving the tunisian territory are requested to present a solidarity stamp: * accounting 30 TND * It is sold at th finance offices, cusomer offices (including the borders ones), banks and tabacco shops. * Its entry into force is fixed on the 1st of October 2014, defined as the entry date into the territory. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Marhaba Royal Salem Sousse

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