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“Lovely family holiday”

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Marhaba Royal Salem
Ranked #6 of 35 Hotels in Sousse
Certificate of Excellence
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Lovely family holiday”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 4, 2014

We stayed here for 7 nights back in April 13. lovely hotel with sister hotel next door! we visited at the start of the season, weather was cooler (but fab for kids) meaning the hotel was not as busy and not all the ammenities were open. could not fault the staff, helpful, kind and remembered our names! always there to have a chat with! the entertainment staff were great! such hard workers and always with a smile on their face! good choice of food but perhaps could gear a bigger choice towards kids as my daughter lived off pasta, chips and bread for the week! (my son ate everything in sight!) lots to do outside of the hotel too, with Port El Kantaoui just down the road and the beautiful town of Monastir about an hours taxi ride away, the taxi even waited for the day just to take us back!!! easy to barter with on fairs and hotel staff give good advice on prices and tips! visited with my mum and 2 kids and thouroughly enjoyed it!!!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TaraTinkerbell
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
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (302)
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Level Contributor
19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 11, 2014 via mobile

First impressions weren't great when it took a while checking in despite there being only one other guest before us. Complementary drinks were given which was nice.
I'd requested a room in the main building but instead we found ourselves walking quite a distance away from the lobby, down some stairs, across past the fountain, through the hallway of a different block, up the lift, and down a couple of steps before we reached our room which had a lovely view of another hotel. I was rather disappointed at this because I'd requested a sea view room and thought it wouldn't be an issue as it was off season. When I asked if there were any other rooms available I was shot down. Funny because the lady checking in before me had made it loud and clear that she was told she could see her room and if she didn't like it they would show her another, and another, until she was happy.
Rooms are standard - decor doesn't really match the extravagance of the hotel lobby. There were no duvet covers which I found rather odd, although there were white pillow cases covering the lumpy pillows. The desk in the room is curved so there isn't really much space on it as half of it is very narrow, but there are other smaller tables in the room. The TV works - 3 channels in English 6 (news), 8 (news) and 18 (?movies). There was no main ceiling light but there were 5 wall lamps. One by the entrance by each side of the bed, and two by the mirror. One of the lamps in our room wasn't working because the switch was broken so the room was quite dull at night. Bathroom was bigger than expected - the sink is wide but very shallow making washing awkward.
Breakfast was okay but not great. What really put me off was that there were far more staff stood around than necessary. They'd hover over you like flies and watch as you get food and eat, as if they wanted to you be done and go. This made it really uncomfortable and we barely ate properly.
Wifi was very temperamental and you have to connect through the hotel hot spot. It seemed the only place it would work is at the tour reps desk just next to Internet cafe. Do not change money at this hotel unless you want less TNDs for what your cash is worth. I unfortunately had no choice on the first day because we arrived on a Sunday and the bank nearby was closed but I think I would have gotten a better rate at the airport!
The hotel is mid-way between PEK and Sousse medina. However, it is still quite a distance to either. We went in off-season which was one of the biggest mistakes ever because everyone and everything was slacking. The hotel was boring and staff were rude and not very welcoming so it didn't feel relaxing to just sit inside. The maids however were extremely pleasant and seemed to be the only staff in the hotel who knew how to do their job and did it properly.
From our third day the hotel staff at the front desk were being so incredibly rude we ended up searching for earlier flights home. Complaining did nothing because they obviously defended each other. It started because there was too much noise near our room at night so we'd asked to change. The staff member dealing with our request initially said it would cost us to change so we decided to leave it for the time being. The next day when discussing this with the "chief" at the front desk they all denied asking us for money to change rooms. Yes we found it absurd at first because normally there isn't a change for changing rooms in our past experiences, however, at this hotel I'm not surprised that they would try anything to get more money out of us. They had already done so with exchanging money on the first - something the chief then promised to look into but obviously he didn't. I was told it would be passed to the manager and that he would contact me to discuss further but again this was another false promise.
We ended up returning home after 3 nights at the hotel. At check out the staff continued to argue with us when all I wanted to do was return the room key and leave. One began causing a scene in front of another guest to the point where I just grabbed our luggage and walked out.
Maybe we could have changed hotels and stayed in Tunisia but to be honest the staff were so horrid and had put us off completely to the point where we wanted to be as far away from them as possible. It's a shame because I didn't get to explore Tunisia as I had hoped to so will one day have to return and have a proper holiday there but I know for a fact I will not be staying anywhere near any of the three hotels Marhaba Royal Salem is part of. The country is beautiful, the hotel itself is nice but the rude staff at the front desk made it completely unbearable.

Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
Helpful?
9 Thank Nas M
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 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2014

Have stayed at 8 December for a week with partner, nice beach and pools in hotel. Like the food and alkohol in a hotel all fresh. Very good service especially the Chef who used to be on breakfast and lunch was looking after us very well. Housekepping staff friendly and were making for as hearts and swans from towels. Would recommend and will be back to stay there.

  • Stayed December 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Joanna Magdalen... S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DURHAM
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2014

we were in this hotel over the new year ,at first sight it looked a bit tired but once you were inside you realised the place is really clean and tidy.the staff are a asset to this hotel and were never pushy or forward waiting for tips but if you gave them a tip they were really greatful.the food was presented buffet style with various cold meats and salami,s loads of salad stuff always a pasta course and usually a fish and meat course for lunch or dinner,something for the pickiest eater plus a delicious selection of sweet courses and ice cream.the hotel was fairly quiet when we were there but it added to the feeling that the staff were very attentive, we never had to wait for a drink which was also plentiful, infact the only problem i had was on the last day i had been using the hotel for changing sterling into dinar, the guy who was doing the changing assured me that the hotel would change any surplus dinar back to sterling which was not the case,,i had to change it back in the airport and it cost me a bit of commission changing 200 dinar and getting £72 .00 back so i would advise anyone to just change small amounts when you are getting close to the end of the holiday but this small problem aside we would go back,but we will try it in the summer

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank JUDYIAN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leicester, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 21, 2013

we had such a lovely time, the staff were really good, and I would advise all inclusive, kids loved it, wifi was a bit down, but there Is a café outside, hotel has lots to offer, centre is only a 5 minute drive away, all in all great hotel

Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
5 Thank candy8787
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derby
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 30, 2013

Stayed at this hotel with my 4 children over the October half term. We were upgraded from a family room to a two bedroom apartment on arrival which overlooked both the beach and the pool with waterslides. Once we were in the room a maid promptly came to the room and locked the fridge and told us in a mixture of French and English that if we wanted to use the fridge we would have to pay. I found this a little odd since it was all supposed to be all inclusive!
There are 3 hotels on the complex and although you can drink in all the bars you are limited to eating in your own hotels restaurant for breakfast and dinner and the beach bar at lunchtime. If you want you can pretty much eat all day long with food available somewhere from 6am till midnight. The food was quite repetitive in my eldest daughters opinion but as she is fussy she does somewhat limit herself. Breakfast was reasonable but there tended to be a lot of herbs on things! Kids enjoyed the pancakes and I enjoyed omelettes. Lunch always had pizza, pasta and chips and a variety of salads as well as some traditional Tunisian options. In the restaurant in the evening fresh pizza and pasta can be ordered and cooked whilst you wait. There tended to be plenty of choice with a small kids section of food. There was always a good choice of salads and some local cuisine. Ice-cream is available to help yourself from lunchtime through the afternoon and during the evening meal. Generally there was a good variety of flavours however we didn't work out what some actually were.
The room was adequate with a small balcony although it could have done with a little updating in the living area. The lift appeared to break on every evening which was a bit of a pain dragging the kids up the stairs. The pool area was clean and quite busy. The waterslides were enjoyable for most people although they only opened at certain times. The beach was lovely and the sand beautiful. The sea was clear with a little seaweed at times. We spent most of our day on the beach as it was easier to occupy the younger children and pretty quiet. The only drawback on the beach is the locals selling stuff at inflated prices! They don't tend to be too persistent and some were quite amusing. The evening entertainment was the usual mini disco and pretty poor animation team.
The hotel itself is a little isolated in terms of walking anywhere however there is a reasonably priced supermarket a short walk away. There are quite a few trips available we can recommend a morning out to the El Jem coliseum and Monastir but apart from that we didn't go elsewhere. Unfortunately we were there during a suicide bombing which thankfully didn't have too much of an impact on the holiday but it was a little scary when armed police with huge guns were running around the beach.
The staff in the hotel were generally very friendly and helpful however on the day we were leaving our transfer was not due to leave until 11.30pm and whilst I was happy to pay to keep the room on I was told this was not possible beyond 6pm. After deciding there was little point in doing this since we wouldn't require the room until the evening I then found out other people were allowed to keep theirs. When I asked at reception about this the lady was uninterested and unhelpful towards us. We were told we could shower in the fitness centre but when I asked I found out they wouldn't even provide towels there and didn't much fancy using our sandy beach towels. Thankfully when I spoke to the receptionist in the main hotel he provided a room with towels for me to at least shower the children in.
The holiday was very enjoyable however I'm not sure how the hotel would fair in a busier time, I imagine it could be a total nightmare trying to get a sunbed and eating at the beach bar. As for Tunisia I would definitely go back. The only real downside I found was the begging for tips by people just doing their jobs!

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking the beach have great views and are quiet.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank DerbyVic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northallerton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 28, 2013 via mobile

Stayed at Mathaba Royal Sakem Beach on 10 November 2013 for 7 days the weather was ok more hot days than not the hotel staff went out of there way to help with all requests hotel food great the beach bar meals a dinner time were great to and a nice view all rooms were very pleasant and well cleaned every day bar drinks were good bar staff very quick to get you drinks.
Indoor pool and out door pools were great gardens well looked after would go back no problem

Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Keith T
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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