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“Marhaba Royal Salem Hotel Sousse Tunisia is great value - plus other info about sights in Tunisia”

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Marhaba Royal Salem
Ranked #6 of 35 Hotels in Sousse
Reviewed April 23, 2013

Tunisia
Beautiful country very moderate yet conservative. Very friendly people
often speaking English, French, German, Italian as well as Arabic.

The country needs tourism there are a lot of hotels in the main resorts.
There was a lot of litter in the towns and while traveling reminiscent
of other developing countries.

When you are out and about and wearing your hotel wrist band be aware of
scams of men saying that they are from your hotel and take you to shop
to sell your goods! Hide your wrist band if you can turn it inside out
so they can't see which hotel you are from.

Hotel - Marhaba Royal Salem Hotel in Sousse
Nice friendly staff, rooms great basic but clean and tidy the chamber
maid was ace and very accommodating and came every day. Lots of choices
for food as we were all inclusive, but a little bland apart from when
they did traditional food, the vegetarian options were not great all a
good service (meat dishes were good). Fab pools including an indoor pool
with jacuzzi. Lovely gardens. The Animation team were a little annoying,
a group of young Tunisian staff who were encourage guests to participate
in activities such as darts and aqua aerobics with loud music they
mingled with the guests and (appart from the slight annoyingness :-) )
were very friendly.
The beach by the hotel was okay but a little dirty and littered the sea
was too cold in mid April to swim in.
Taxi from the hotel to the central souuse should cost you 5/7 dinar at
the most.
Some refurbishments were taking place but it didn't disturb us.
Many of the residents were of an older generation. However in the sister
hotel next door there were a lot more younger people (taking advantage
of the "free" booze)
There is also a fab cafe at the entrance of the hotel Mio Mondo which
sells great coffee as the hotel coffee while drinkable is not great.

Transfers
If you can avoid transfers to and from your hotel do as ours took
absolutely ages, it was a nightmare finding the right coach and getting
good off at the right hotel as the driver call the hotel by another
name. There are a lot of hotels called marhaba something or other.
The cost the transfer is not worth it as you maybe able to get a taxi
for the same price or even cheaper. You would need to be streetwise and
negotiate hard when you get to Tunis looking pasty and white ;-)

Food
The Street food was very tasty and very cheap (think 40p for a calzone
style pizza), restaurants were reasonable if you are veggies ask them to
adapt a dish for you. We paid 40Dr for a meal for two with a nice bottle
of Tunisian Red wine in Central Sousse. Lots of french inspired breads,
cakes and cuisine as well as traditional Arab foods and some italian.

Sight seeing
Do your own thing often much cheaper than tour operator excursions and a
far more enriching experience!

Tunis - very large 13th century Medina with a mosque at the end. Great
french style cafes, fantastic street food. A sprawling metropolis full
of life and great energy. Go there if you fancy a bit of hustle &
bustle.

Sidi Bou Said - Gorgeous little blue & white, picture postcard, village
with many beautiful traditional doors. Wonderful views and great
shopping.

Mahida - supposed to have the best beaches in the country but they were
disappointing because of litter, not much time do there.

Monastir worth a short visit, check out the Garrison/citadel and very
old fort great views from the tower, the mausoleum is also worth a look.

Getting about
5Dr from our hotel to Sousse train station.
The Trains are basic but roomy good value for money.
The metro train for shorter journies does get crowded but people are
very friendly.
14 Dr from Souuse to Tunis return on mainline train, it took two hours.
20 Dr in a Taxi from Tunis to Sidi Bou Said or 1 Dr by metro train each
way. Metro 20-30min walk from Tunis train station. (this is a fraction
of the prices charged by the travel company's excursions packages!).
12 Dr per person approx return from Sousse stop off in Monastir then to
Mahida on the metro train.

That is what we did but it gives you an idea of what things cost.

Language
Shukran - thank you
Salem - hello
Le shukran - no thank you
Fish faloos - I have no money (say this to sellers of goods on the
beach! along with le shukran!)

Room Tip: When booking ask for a sea or pool view with a double bed not two singles.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank zoe000325
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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789 - 795 of 1,666 reviews

Reviewed April 22, 2013

Just spent two weeks in the Royal Salem. The staff were very friendly and brilliant with our daughter. We loved the grounds,beach and Slide Pool, our daughter is a mermaid! Very relaxed and good weather. Our room was clean and the maid would make Swans from the towels and decorate with flowers.Food was good,lots of choice and great waiters. For the cost of the holiday we were happy with the hotel. Not impressed with the Thomas Cook rep at the hotel, disgusted with his attitude to hotel staff-very arrogant! The Camel Caravan is well worth going on. We felt safe going out on our own and ventured into Sousse and Port el Kantaoui on a few occasions. There are safety deposit boxes available to keep money etc for 2d a day. Personally we left our I- Phones and I- Pad at home, it's a bit showy as the staff are not well paid and Tunisia is not a wealthy country.If you do take these things put them in a Safety Deposit Box when your not in your room. The Animation team are great too and work very hard.Watch out in Sousse for men saying they work at your hotel who try to befriend you - it's rubbish and don't follow them anywhere. It's a great country, people welcoming and we would definitely go back to The Royal Salem.

  • Stayed: April 2013
    • Value
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5  Thank Berry21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2013

My Mother and I visited Tunisisa for the first time for a weeks sun and relaxation. We highly recommend this hotel - the staff are very friendly, the food choice was ample and tasted great - but not too sure about the nights entertainment.
The hotel is situated in just the right position, between Sousse and the local port - so not too noisy. We recommend for adults who just want to chill and take it steady. Not too far from the airport either(40 minutes). Highly recommend if you want to come away with not lots of kids around, we have just come back and there was hardly any about. The friends we have met there have made the experience great - highly recommend the jet skiing and parachuting on the beach - even though it is frankly terrifying - it was enjoyable.

MMR - Yorkshire

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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3  Thank elsweeperino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2013

We just got back few days ago. I advise to stay away! Arrived and thought not bad. Room was ok but bathroom was poor. Could really do with updating. Have to say the staff were lovely but those at the front desk not so great. Food wasnt bad but kids werent keen. One evening came back to the room to find my padlocked case had been moved and the zips moved. We had money, iPad and passports in it but all still there. Now I know your saying: why didn't we put it in a safe. The room didn't have one. The room didn't have basic things like an iron. I rang the reception for an iron and they said they didn't have one! Now if I couldn't get an iron I don't think I was likely to get a safe! And was never offered one when we checked in. We then went on a 2 day trip, locked my case and left a do not disturb sign on door. Came back late the night before our flight to find the room had been cleaned, although i left the sign not to enter and my padlocked case had been messed with and checked to find £1000 missing! I immediately went to reception demanding to see the manager and call the police. Because it was so late they said manager isn't available til the morning and if I wanted to make a complaint then I had to go to the station. What rubbish! what do these people do in an emergency, go to the station! Said the manager would come and check the room in morning. Well that was no good as we left half 6 next day! Left all my details for them to contact me and now 5days and not heard from them. Stayed in many hotels and common to have to use my case to lock valuables if there is no safe and I've never had a problem before. Lesson learnt but I will still be seeking advice if I can take any action. Whole holiday ruined. Will never go back again !!!!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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1  Thank Sonia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2013

Well considering I said id never go anywhere other than Turkey, I took the plung and did it. Booked the Salem for a week 2nd week of easter holidays for 2 adults 1 child age 14 for £1,200, to be honest same holiday would have cost double in turkey. Well, don't know where to start, arrived 12 midnight , whilst checking in the bar staff came over and asked if we wanted a drink. start of a great friendship, really nice guys.. Room basic but only there to sleep.. cleaned every day and gave a tip first day so had A1 treatment all week. Foya was lovely, wi fi available free but didn't try to use it anywhere other than foya so cant comment. Swimming pools lovely and clean, however never been to a slide pool where the water was sea water and I did struggle a few times, however, the beach is to die for , 2 minute walk from hotel, where drinks and snacks all inclusively were also available....cant rate beach enough as it was Gorgeous .....

Restaurant was also fine, the usual stews, curries etc aslo lots of veal, chicked, lamb on offer and plenty of fish... chips were fab... ice cream on tap as well as the wine and beer and soft drinks. help your self or waiter service available also.

Snack bar had delicious pastries, pizzas, chips baggetes etc when restaurant closed. Never went hungry and 14 fusy eater was filled surficiently.

3 down sides

1 salt water slide pool (indoor & small outdoor freshwater)
2 Smoking area in foya a pain but ok if you sit down the 3 short stairs
3 resort not great, but you don't need to leave resort.

GOING BACK AUGUST......
any queries please ask as im dead fussy and never go back to same hotel ever xx

Room Tip: we were in 316 and beautiful view of sea, also ask for main hotel room
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank Sahzieshoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2013

This was our second visit to Tunisia, but the first with the kids, so we were slightly apprehensive but after such a great holiday, we wouldn't hesitate to visit again.

We arrived at about 1am, after a really long coach ride from Tunis airport. There was a welcoming guy on reception and another who showed us to our room and carried some of our luggage.

Our room was fairly large, the kids had their own area at the end of the room separated by a little wall/trellis. The bathroom was a decent size although the bath was a bit small and the plug didn't seem to keep the water in which was a pain if you like a nice soak!!
I would have preferred a proper balcony, as in the summer it would be nice to sit out in the evenings, but the balcony was actually just big enough to stand on and had little rails for drying your clothes. Take some string/cord if you have lots of things to dry (towels etc).
We didn't have a fridge, but the room next door did so we may have lucked out on this but it wasn't an issue for us, but do ask if you really want one.

There was also WiFi which we were able to get in our room, but it wasn't 100% reliable.

The following morning we went down to reception to collect our wristbands and were served by a surly woman who wasn't at all warm and friendly!
We hired a safe for 2D per day, there are a variety of sizes to choose from in case you need to secure laptops etc. There was a man working on the exchange desk, he was there from 8.30am to 12 and 5pm to 7.30. We got 2.37D to the £.

Throughout our whole stay we were very impressed with the standard of the food. There was always something different to choose from which was cooked fresh on request (meat/fish etc). There were also many dishes of salad, vegetables, chips, pizza, pasta, potatoes, rice, cheeses, ham and lots of bread! For breakfast there were doughnuts, pancakes, omelettes, eggs (boiled/scrambled), yoghurt, cereals, oranges and some salad items.

The waiters were so friendly, they brought our drinks to the table and chatted with the kids. The tables were cleared quickly when you finished.

There was 1 indoor pool which was heated, but we found that if the kids spent more than about 30 minutes in there then the chlorine affected their skin a bit. The outside pools are salt water which takes a bit of getting used to, they were pretty cold when we visited but once you were in it didn't matter! There were 3 water slides which were on from about 10am to 12pm and from 2pm to 4pm ish, but these times may vary according to the weather.
There was another pool next to the sister hotel where they had activities such as aqua-aerobics, and darts (not in the water!). There was also a small shop here where you can buy inflatables etc.And there is also a sauna which was free to use.

The beach bar was open when we visited, but it was not serving food. There was a small snack bar located near one of the pools which had snacks throughout the day, and also sheesha pipes.
The only criticism would be that the plastic cups they served the drink in were really small, so I would recommend taking a plastic tumbler and tipping the bar staff so that you can have larger drinks.

There wasn't much evening entertainment when we were there, only a drag act on the Friday which was funny in an amateur-ish kind of way! This cost extra, about 40 dinar.
This took place in "The Box" nightclub which is on the hotel grounds. The drinks in here are not part of the all inclusive, so a beer was 4.5D (they also had bottles of Absolut vodka for 220D!!)
We took lots of games and cards with us which we played in the bar area, there is also a pool table and air hockey (2D each). The bar doesn't have many chairs, so it fills up pretty quickly in the evenings. A couple of times we had to sit in the smoking area which was really quite smokey.

Towards the end of our stay we had to contact the transfer company to confirm our coach back to the airport, we had the misfortune of being served by the miserable woman on reception who (after chatting with her colleague before even serving us) said we had to pay for the phone call and seemed put out that we had to ask her to make the call. In all the times I have travelled abroad I have never had to pay for this, and have also never met a receptionist quite as rude as her.

All in all, we would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone who is looking for a reasonably priced holiday. We hope to return very soon!

Room Tip: Choose a room further away from the lifts as they are quieter (the noise from the bar area really ca...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank rachyerbs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2013

Our 29th time at this hotel - speaks for itself. Wonderful beach under the control of Zu-Zu - soft golden sand and perfect clear, calm, turquoise sea with superb weather from 29th March to 19th April - only one slightly cloudy day. The only problem is that the beach bar is not open for food until May, which means a trek back to the dining room for lunch which is not suitable for the elderly. Would therefore recommend half board until May and it is not worth doing all inclusive until after May. When we booked, none of the travel companies had the option to do half Board - we were forced into all inclusive and for us, who are not huge drinkers, it was not worth it! Just a few rolls in the beach bar would have made a huge difference. The maids were wonderful and rooms kept immaculate and always with a smile. Rooms in the Royal Salem are large and airy - 5th (top) floor is always the best. Food - excellent choice - steak at least once a week and roasts. A French Patisserie chef is responsible for lovely puddings - profiteroles to cakes.
One annoying thing is that we had to keep asking for soap and shower gel dispensers to be filled - not the maids fault but Hotel being short of equipment. Maintenance this year was excellent. Any light bulbs etc. were changed immediately. Would just suggest that the beach bar stocked rolls for lunch - a simple addition which would mean a lot.
Nice and quiet in the evenings now, which pleased us greatly - the entertainment has thankfully moved to the Salem and pool area! Only other problem uncontrolled British kids playing in the lifts and pressing every button - thankfully management sorted after we complained! We aren't complainers at all, but some kids are a total disgrace on holiday with parents who have absolutely no control over them! No problem with other foreign children at all!

Room Tip: Go for a high floor room ie 517 - 530 for fabulous sea view and early morning sun. No noise from her...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Lainie-Bramerton
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

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:
#3 Best Value Hotel in Sousse
#3 Spa Hotel in Sousse
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Sousse
#5 Luxury Hotel in Sousse
#6 Family Hotel in Sousse
Price Range: $25 - $82 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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