We spent two weeks at this hotel at the start of July and would happily have stayed on another week.
We had a quad room which was very spacious, one room had twin beds, a settee, tv and fridge, the other room off this had a massive double bed, two comfy chairs and a table. Bathroom was spacious with shower over a jacuzzi bath which the kids really enjoyed! It was more like a suite than adjoining rooms. Cleanliness was very good with clean towels and sheets every day. In general all quiet from around 11.45pm, although did hear a noisy group of Russians come back to the hotel on two occasions as we were at front of hotel.
Food - always plenty and continually replaced with fresh dishes. Plenty to choose from and of a good quality, we did not go hungry. Pizza are made fresh and are very tasty if you want a flavour from home. You get them by the slice but watch out for those folk who nab the whole pizza before anyone else gets a chance! Certain nationatilites seem to have a competition to see how much they can load on a plate, then find they don't like it and it goes to waste. Take a little of something new, if you like it you can go back for more. Salad choices could have had bigger variety of cold meats, fish, cheeses etc, although what was on offer was fresh and good. Our waiter was lovely Neffati, and made such a fuss of the children. Baker covered when Neffati was on his day off, but always made a point of saying hello to us each time we were in the restaurant.
Food at beach bar and cafe of good standard too. We had no problem with the drinks, last year the hotel we went to in Tunisia gave you everything in plastic cups and that was what we call small measures, the beer was less than a half pint, and spirits were no where near as generous as what we had at the Marhaba. On a couple of occasions we had to ask for extra lemonade to go with our vodkas as they were so strong. Yes we tipped the waiters, but not every time they brought us drinks. We found the two Mohameds, one during the day and the other at night, to be very pleasant, and always got our order correct, even getting fruit juice cocktails for the children.
Animation Team - great bunch of guys, Nino, Sophienne, Kaled, Angel, Joe, Karim, and later Rico and Mike. They always made time to come over every day for a chat, and made us feel like friends rather than just guests. They were always involved with activities during the day, water polo, mini golf, archery, french boule, aerobics, football, and even arabic lessons - would be an idea to make more people aware of these as we would have gone if we knew about them earlier in our stay. If you want to join in great, you will be made welcome, but if you are happy to be lazy and lie around the pool then the guys respect this too, but will still make time for a chat. Entertainment in the evening is mixed, with a mini disco for the kids - a bigger variety of tracks and perhaps some games for the kids would be good as it was very repetitive. Shows varied the Animation Team Cabaret - good fun, dancing is done well - remember these guys have other things to do apart from rehearse for the show so some things are a little rough around the edges but they do well with the skills and facilities that they have. Entertainers that are brought in - Tunisian evening, Indian show - pretty impressive. Bingo is an almost nightly event and seems to go on too long although it is cash prizes.
The Animation Team do a fantastic job, and have to be smiling every day despite how they might be feeling. However, their 'chief' is very much conspicuous by his absence especially during the day, and we have never seen anyone look so grumpy in a customer facing job. He does not know how lucky he is to have the Team he has under him, they can teach him a lot of people skills that he is severely lacking in, or may have forgotten.
We were lucky enough to experience the once a year event of the 'Gala Dinner' where everyone has their dinner around the pool. Work had already started by the time we got to the pool around 10 with a bedouin tent having been pitched in the garden, and the maintenance team constructing a palm covered pergola. Electricians were wiring up power outlets and the Animation Team spent time painting and hanging up surf boards and flags. Where was their chief when all this work was going on we asked ourselves as he was no where to be seen! The restuarant staff brought out food chillers, BBQ, and lots of other cooking and heating equipment. It was then a marathon event to get all the tables set ready for the invasion at 7pm of all the guests, but they did it. It was a lovely touch with the Head Waiters in traditional dress, the food was more Tunisian in theme, however on a down side it was like the whole hotel came for dinner at the same time so the queues were pretty long.
Like other guests, we were a little unhappy that we would need to pay extra for Changing Ladies, but we went along and it was a good laugh. We hadn't spent much money and we were on holiday after all. We understand that this act tours the hotels, but perhaps a rethink on charging for this should be considered as there were a lot of complaints that the alternative entertainment was poor.
Beach Party - we did go along to this and felt it was overpiced. Food was very similar to what you would get in the restuarant, only difference was that you ate on the beach. Would have been a better idea to leave dinner in restaurant as normal then have entertainment open to everyone, as it is an all inclusive hotel, but held on the beach. There's plenty of space and it would give everyone a change of venue from the garden. Entertainment was OK but nothing so special as to charge extra for.
Watch out for the cheeky maids though - one asked us when we were going home - we said Sunday, she said that it was her day off the next day - angling for a tip which we would have given her anyway. As we had no money on us at the time, one of us went back up to give her the tip on the Friday but could not find her. She turned up the next morning - on her day off - and knocked at the door before we had even gone to breakfast!! She still got a tip but there is more than one maid does you room so take care, the towel maid was round us like a rash when we were leaving.
All in all we had a great relaxing time, mostly spent round the pool and beach. Tried Water Park at El Kantoui but would not recommend it unless you have toddlers as there is a good area for them It's not that big, very busy and they have a lower age limit of 12 for three of the slides which is a little off as our kids are 10 and 8 and have been on bigger and scarier slides in other countries when they have been younger. They still went on them and no-one questioned their age.
We loved the size of the hotel and it's grounds and beach, we felt safe and were happy for the kids to do their own thing as they were never far away. The Animation Team got to know the kids and were really friendly to them. Would we go back? In a heartbeat. Lovely place for a quiet relaxing holiday, you really don't need to leave the hotel unless you want to.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Marhaba BeachLocated in Sousse and 3 km away from Port El Kantaoui resort, between the white sands and crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea, the Marhaba Beach has been created in the 80’s.His creators have established a contemporary and Moorish interiors of some suites … An ideal place for soaking up the sun of Tunisia and to relax on the beach, and the advantage of having nearest a new Thalassotherapy center : Les Neréides. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Priceline, Booking.com, Expedia and Travelocity so you can book your Marhaba Beach Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Marhaba Beach Sousse