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“What a fantastic Hotel”

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Marhaba Royal Salem
Ranked #5 of 35 Hotels in Sousse
Derby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“What a fantastic Hotel”
Reviewed May 8, 2013

The Hotel is of a very high standard, the food is Excellent, and the staff bend over backwards to help you , with everything you need to make your holiday great.The beach is lovely and sandy, great for the children to play on, and although sellers are walking up and down the beach , there is security on the beach to stop them coming up to you .You can walk to the beach in a matter of minutes,through beautiful gardens that are extremely well kept, the gardeners are working on them every day. The snack bar which is open till 12mn is great, and also you can have shisha there, and the shisha man helps you to use it correctly .There is a restaurant on the beach, which serves excellent hot food at lunch time, with again great waiter service. I find this is a great hotel for all ages,

Room Tip: all of the rooms are good
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Glynne T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed May 8, 2013

Chose this hotel after reading reviews on this site. Loads of good advice on choosing rooms but I must have mis-understood a lot of it. Chose Marhaba Royal Salem (MRS) from the pictures on the website. Lo and behold when we arrived we were unceremoniously directed to the Hotel Salem which was in the same complex but a totally separate self-contained hotel. Our hearts sank. The foyer was clean and modern but had a 2 star ambiance compared to its big brothers.

Anyway we were taken to our room. You could barely swing a cat in it and you had to literally turn sideways to get to the bed. The finishing of the decor was poor. My partner informed me in no uncertain terms that she was ready to get the next plane home.
Having arrived at 9.30 with no sleep the previous night we requested to be put up in the MRS next door because that is what we had booked. The reception staff were most unhelpful and pointed out that my hotel reservation confirmation had been changed to Hotel Marhaba Salem even though I had booked MRS. Eventually they said they would call my holiday rep. He sauntered in at 12.30 so we had been waiting 3 hours without a room. He told us that rooms in the Hotel Salem had been recently refurbished and the rooms were better than those in MRS. I was sceptical at best.

The rep showed us another room within the Hotel Salem which was far bigger and had a better finish and was actually a disabled room, with an extra large bathroom and access way. We said we still wanted to see the rooms in MRS before deciding to take the room offered.
He duly obliged and we found that whilst the foyer was grand, the rooms were rather tired and dilapidated. They had worn carpets whereas Hotel Salem had ceramic tiles which were much better. We accepted the room at hotel Salem.
My advice would be to stay in Hotel Salem if you can get the right room. Ours was on the fourth floor overlooking the pool. The normal poolside DJ activity starts around 10.30 but does end promptly at 12 noon. No poolside music is played in the afternoon or at night so your sleep is not disturbed.

Cleanliness is excellent throughout the hotel, our chambermaid, Noura was a star. Bed linen and towels were changed daily upon request. The floor and tables throughout the hotel are cleaned several times a day.
We stayed all-inclusive four a week. The food was buffet style and was reasonably satisfactory and varied though after 3 or 4 days you will get bored. If you are looking for full English breakfast you really wont get it and have to make do with substitutes. That was fine for us but may not appeal to some. There is no Bacon, but leg of pork bits which looked fatty and inedible. There are only skinless sausages which frankly tasted terrible. White bean stew is their take on baked beans. I never tried it Aside from this there was a wide selection for brekky with omelettes made to order sauteed potatoes, fried eggs, danish pastries and a wide selection of cold breakfast dishes and fresh fruit. Note bring your own tea and coffee as the local brands are terrible and need an acquired taste. So on balance breakfast was good.
Lunch was again satisfactory and chips, pizza, pasta and spagetti was available for the less adventurous foody. I was quite sorry for those guests that had to have that all week. The rest of lunch menu both hot and cold was quite nice. Dinner was also good with a couple of very nice dishes. Only one type of fish was served for the whole week recycled for lunch and dinner. After day 2 I couldnt eat it anymore despite my love of fish. I am not a desert person but the deserts were so lovingly presented that I had to indulge. Most were quite tasty others a little bland. Waiters were very attentive and you were assigned your waiter who would order your favourite drink before you came to the table. You should tip the waiter on the first and last day and you will have a friend for life.
Drinks were the local brands and not very nice so I found my comfort zone with the vodka and gin which weren't too bad. Be sure to tip the waiters on the different shifts otherwise they become very miserly on the shots. The wine was dreadful so pop into duty free before you leave the airport on arrival. Alcohol is not sold outside the hotels in most locations with a few exceptions so come stocked.
The grounds are nice and swimming pools quite good. All customers can use the facilities of the MRS hotel and your all-inclusive bands are eligible in all bars within the complex. The only proviso is that you are not permitted to eat in the MRS restaurant if you have a room in the Hotel Salem.
The beaches were empty as they did not have that holiday feel and the sea was quite rough. Temperature could have played apart as the average for the week was about 18 with a couple of spikes in the mid 20's.
Visit Carthage as an excursion (one of the wonders of the ancient world). The Medina in Tunis is OK when buying tat to return home with or costume jewelry. Leather is as cheap as chips and Im kicking myself for not buying a burgundy leather travelling case which was about £50 quid and would have been sold for three times as much in blighty. The finishing of leather goods is superb. Everyone wears a leather jacket even in temperatures of 25 degrees.
There are far too many hotels in Sousse and the area is being built up all the time. it could do with a few more quality hotels rather that quantity but then its not really a repeat destination.

Room Tip: 4th floor ask for the larger rooms overlooking pool as poolside music is from 10.30 to 12 and 2 to 4...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Lou A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed May 1, 2013

Ou first holiday in tunisia and we had a great time. The hotel was really lovely. Very very clean, friendly helpful staff and a good atmosphere. We would recommend to anyone. Would definately go back!

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Alexlynn81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed April 29, 2013 via mobile

No food for English dirty towels barmen very rude unless your a women entertainment not bad but as everywhere same old rubbish very expensive seen better 2* hotels to be fair wouldn't go back ever would rarther go Blackpool food was same at luch and tea just warm ups we ate out more than in a few good placers up the road for when you get fed up of the hotel food and service

  • Stayed October 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Maccamark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
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
Helpful?
10 Thank zoe000325
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
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
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Berry21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
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
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank elsweeperino
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:
#3 Spa Hotel in Sousse
#3 Best Value Hotel in Sousse
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Sousse
#5 Luxury Hotel in Sousse
#6 Family 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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