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“An honest review from a very "non fussy" couple!!” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Tej Marhaba Hotel

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Tej Marhaba Hotel
Ranked #13 of 35 Hotels in Sousse
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“An honest review from a very "non fussy" couple!!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 24, 2012

My partner and I (who are aged 30) are very laid back and we have never compained about a holiday EVER, however we feel this hotel needs to improve on several aspects.

Reception
We arrived around midnight and upon going to reception, had to fill out a form. I had no pen so I politely asked the guy behind the desk if I could borrow the pen (that he actually had in his hand), he just replied "no" and walked off. Lovely start to the holiday!

Rooms
Our first room was 247 and was absolutely unacceptable. Paint marks covered the so called 'new carpet', the wardrobes looked like they had been sanded and were awaiting further work, the bathroom was very unclean. We complained immediately and got given another room 3 doors up. Well, it made the first room look 5 star - I could not believe how grubby it was. Burn marks on the carpet, damp up the walls, paint again everywhere. Under no circumstances would we (including our 4 month old baby) stay in that room. They said they would move us but not until the next day. Our third room was on the 5th floor and was better, but still no way near the standard I would have expected for a £1,500 holiday.

Pool
We really enjoyed the pool area, the day time entertainment team were very good, very friendly and got everyone involved in their activities. Unfortunately the evening entertainment was basically non existent.

The website described an indoor pool, fitness room and sauna. The indoor pool in particular was valuable to us with our small baby, however we were absolutely gobsmacked to find that none of these had even been built. Thomas Cook did not inform us of this and it would have made a difference to our hotel choice when booking our holiday.

Whilst I appreciate that smoking indoors is not against the law over there - I really didnt appreciate the (mainly) Russians who ignored my baby's presence and would sit on a sofa in the lobby right next to us, pretty much chain smoking. I accept they are not breaking the law but a bit of respect for the baby at least (not a fault of the hotel I know but I was getting sick of it!!).

Drinks
If you are half board, you will get great service but if you are all inclusive, you can only drink in one bar (the one in the lobby), and get plastic, pre-poured drinks and un-friendly service. Oh and expect to queue queue queue (up to 30 mins and this is no exageration, we timed it!). We complained to the rep but he admitted nothing would get done about it. We also refused to sign the receipts which always claimed we'd had more drinks than we had. The website advertises 3 bars however it fails to tell you all inclusive people can only use one. The other bars i.e. the ones that were out of bounds to us (unless we wished to pay - why would we do that?!!), looked really nice but were always empty and according to our rep, 90% of thomas cook cutomers were all inclusive so its probably a fair assumption to say that the majority of the hotel were AI and not half board. these poor neglected bars!!

Food
We had no complaints about the food, there was a lot of choice and we liked our waiter. Queues could be quite long at peak times but I guess that is to be expected at times. The only minor issue I would say is, as you get the same table every day with the same waiter, when we got to dinner we would find our drinks already at our table. Whilst this is a nice gesture, we were unsure how long they had been sitting there (as we dined at varying times due to little one), I am also not a one drink person i.e. i didnt particularly want to drink red wine every single night - sometimes i fancied something else! For me, I think you should be asked what you are drinking upon your arrival - minor I know, but a fresh drink (particularly of what I fancied that night) would have been better.

Beach
Only spent 2 hours in total here. I literally could not stand the smell of the water running into the sea. I dread to think where it came from but it was not pleasant!

Whilst sitting at the beach, you will probably notice pirate ships out at sea - we thought this looked good so booked the excursion. Biggest waste of money ever. You are herded on like cattle and crammed in like sardines - the food we were given we pretty much threw overboard (and believe me, I love food and will pretty much eat anything but I wouldnt have fed that to a starving animal!). A year ago we went to the Dominican where we went on a boat trip which was absolutely fantastic whereby there was an adequate amount of people on board, food was excellent, drinks were free all day and it was simply superb. We were expecting something similar but I can gaurantee you, it was the worst day out ive ever had and when the boat engines started up to go back to shore, im not joking when i say people were cheering and clapping. (again this is no fault of the hotel but just a warning for anyone not to do it!!!)

My partner and I are honestly not fussy, or picking - we accept that 4 star in other countries is no way near 4 star in the UK, but we were seriously disappointed with this hotel. So much so that we requested to move hotels after 5 days.

If I was going to recommend anything to the management I would say you most definately have to open up all bars to all customers, whether you are half board or all inclusive - that was one of our main complaints. Rooms that are not refurbished should not be used. The description of the indoor pool, fitness room and sauna either needs to come off the website or to advise customers that its not yet open and a date of its opening. Staff need to stop making up receipts and actually print off the correct items that people are drinking. Staff also need to learn that a tip is a reward for good service and not to pay for good service in the first place.

Room Tip: Go somewhere else
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Leanne C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TEJMARHABA, Guest Relations Manager at Tej Marhaba Hotel, responded to this review, October 30, 2012
Sorry you encountered some problems on your holiday and your comments have all been noted. Unfortunately you should have been informed by your tour operator of the closure of our indoor pool but happily this will be open again this week. Thank you for your comments
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,575 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (420)
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Liverpool england
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 24, 2012 via mobile

Right before you book this hotel remember that Tunisia is a very poor country and standards are not the same as the UK.The hotel itself is lovely we had a couple of maintenance issues which got sorted out quickly. One thing I wpuld advise caution on are a couple (and only a couple) of staff wanted larger tips than what we offered which I thought was a bit cheeky!! On the good side everyone was very friendly the food was lovely and the weather fantastic - the only reason I wont be back straight away is I want to see other parts of the world first in short if you go exoecting it to be like spain or Turkey you will come back moaning just enjoy it for what it is

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ruth010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TEJMARHABA, Guest Relations Manager at Tej Marhaba Hotel, responded to this review, October 30, 2012
Thank you for your review and glad you enjoyed your holiday. We look forward to welcoming you back here in the future
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 20, 2012

Made the mistake of booking a week's holiday at this hotel with Thomas Cook. Spent £660+ each and would have been better off throwing the money away.

After chasing a refund for three months, we've recently received a letter stating "Our internal records show that on this occasion, the property was operating satisfactorily..."

Does this mean that Thomas Cook actually endorse the following hotel as an acceptable holiday when it has:

* Sewage river, fag ends and drum of chemicals on beach
* Terrible customer service (waiting staff completely ignore you if you're AI)
* Appalling food!
* Disgusting room, not cleaned AT ALL all week
* One towel to share for two people - don't bother asking for an extra - you're told no!!!

Miserable experience. I hope people read this and go elsewhere with another tour operator!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank 12Kaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TEJMARHABA, Guest Relations Manager at Tej Marhaba Hotel, responded to this review, October 30, 2012
Sorry you didnt enjoy your holiday with us. The beach is cleaned regularly by the beach staff and of course we do not have drums of chemicals on the beach, only empty disinfectant drums which we use as rubbish bins. The food in the restaurant is very varied and we do try to cater for all tastes. The rooms must be cleaned on a daily basis unless one hangs a red card on the door handle and there are two hand towels and two bath towels supplied for every double room
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Travelers are raving about these Sousse hotels

Northwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 15, 2012

My boyfriend and I got back from Sousse yesterday (Oct 2012) and I wanted to write this review. We thoroughly enjoyed staying at the Tej Merhaba hotel and would definitely stay there again if we ever went back to Sousse. The swimming pool is huge, the staff are super friendly, everything was clean. It's not a crazy hotel with disco's but there was a band in the main lobby each night and a grand piano played in the piano bar. There's 4 bars to drink at. We were half board and the food was very great, not 5*, but lots of choice and no complaints. I would recommend ordering an empty glass with your spirits and splitting your drink into two because they pretty much fill the glass to the top with spirit. Overall definitely worth the money.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank smelley88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TEJMARHABA, Guest Relations Manager at Tej Marhaba Hotel, responded to this review, October 17, 2012
Thank you for your review and glad you enjoyed your holiday with us. We look forward to seeing you again
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leighton Buzzard, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 15, 2012

I am going to keep this review as short and sweet as possible. Stayed at this hotel during September 2012 with great expectations which deflated very quickly. 3 rooms in 2 weeks. You start to ask yourself how this ever managed to be rated at a 4 star? room no1. We arrived at the hotel at 1a.m in which we were given room 249 we first walked in to see a carpeted floor, covered in paint and burnt marks, we pulled back the bedsheets to find dead bugs in the bed, there was still finger prints on the mirrors, the toilet didnt flush, the toilet light didnt work, we asked to move but told we had to stay that night. Room 2. 555 Our aircon leaked really bad leaving the carpet underneath like a constant sponge. We complained on numerous times about the situation and finally after I lost my temper they sent someone up to "fix it". This consisted of sticking toilet paper underneath a piece of carpet in the air con loft, which I could see had been the way for many complaints before us as it was full of old toilet paper. I have all the pictures of this. One day the maid cleared our room, took, towels, bedsheets but didn't replace any of them. We asked the maid who gave them to my gf, who put them in the room and then asked the maid would she make the bed etc. She said yes, but when we returned it hadn't been done. We rang up reception and we were told we had to make our own bed, until again I lost my temper and they came up and took the stuff away giving us new bedding and towels etc. Until we went to go bed we didnt realise they gave us dirty bedding, our sheets were dirty, marked all over and one had a red stain looking like either blood or lipstick. The bedsheets stunk of sweat. Again this is all pictured. In the morning we put an official complaint about this hotel. We also complained about turning on the taps and brown dirty water came out, along with not having water an entire day for us to take a shower. We came back to the hotel at lunch to get some money after complaing at 9 still not done, complained when we left, came back at 5 still not done again, loose your temper and they fix it.

The staff at this hotel are all a joke apart from the entertainment team who work hard to keep every happy and entertained through various activities, which include bowls, water polo, and water gym. The catering staff have no manners or any sense of customer service unless you are sticking money in their pockets. If you ask for a clean table cloth they just flip it over, knife and forks you wait for around 15mins in the end get them yourselves. When you paid for drinks unless you asked for your change they kept it as a "tip" claiming they forgot to give you it. The reception staff were useless, miserable and again had no customer service skills. We asked where the thomson pickup times and boards were located and our reply was over there pointing in a direction. We eventually were shown by some guests who funny enough put in an official complaint after I did.

The food - Terrible. burgers every other day, pasta everyday with fried chicken or stuffed peppers, rataouille pizza, the menu never changed. I felt sorry for people who were all inclusive, its better to eat out and cheaper, we ate out at a restaurant called La Fiesta lovely food, and staff. fish was amazing there. and for 15 dinar for a meal £6 you can't complain really.

This is the first so called four star hotel I have stayed in and have been to friendly, cleaner 2 and 3 star hotels.

Room Tip: Don't stay at this hotel at all!!!
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Ross C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TEJMARHABA, Guest Relations Manager at Tej Marhaba Hotel, responded to this review, October 17, 2012
Our chamber maids and maintenance team are very professional and the majority of guests are very pleased with their services. Therefore, I would ask you if you could please forward the photos
you said you took as we would like to see them Also, I would be very grateful if you could give me the name of the receptionist you said you spoke to about making your bed, even whether they were male or female, and the date and time you spoke to them as this has never occured before or since simply because we do have a chamber maid on night duty. The reception staff have no access to bed linen especially dirty bed linen.
We do have a good variety of food in the restaurant, and there is always a choice of meat, chicken and fish dishes aswell as pasta, vegetarian food, salads, pizzas, burgers and of course show cooking where the food is cooked on the spot, in front of you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
113 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 14, 2012

This is the place were I spend most of the winter. Every December the hotel is full of couples ,who, every year, spend their Christmas at the hotel. I on the other hand go back to England for Christmas and return in January. This must be the 15th visit to this hotel . In fact I was the first person to return to the hotel after the Spring Uprising. The hotel had taken the opportunity to refurbish and reinstall the lifts. The one downside is the quality of the food. Although I have never stayed on an all inclusive basis, people who have seem to complain bitterly, saying thatb they feel like second class citizens.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank peterhg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TEJMARHABA, Guest Relations Manager at Tej Marhaba Hotel, responded to this review, October 17, 2012
Thank you for your review. It is always a pleasure to welcome repeat guests back especially our long stay guests, so we look forward to seeing you again this year.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Torquay, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 13, 2012

We were very disappointed with the hotel Tej Mahaba in Sousse.

The hotel was very run down and shabby. There were carpets on the floor in the corridors and bedrooms that were very shabby and dirty and in my opinion very un-hygienic in such a hot country, there should have been tiles that could easily be cleaned.
In our room the bathroom was not very clean, the toilet bowel was brown, bath plug did not fit so you couldn’t have a bath. Door knob broken (came off in our hands) tiling in bathroom cracked and black where the grouting was, bathroom sink very stained. Plug in sink got stuck. Key fob for door which also operated the electric system
was not working. We complained at reception and some of these jobs got sorted out but it took about 4 or 5 times of asking for any jobs to get done.
It electricity in the hotel kept going off and although we know the hotel was not responsible for this it did make life very difficult when we were constantly groping about in the dark. Also when the electric came back on it messed with the T.V so we couldn’t get any channels, again this took ages to get anybody to come up to sort it out.
The lifts were constantly breaking down, with people stuck in them luckily we weren’t.
Sun beds although plentiful many of them broken, and before you could get a mat for them you had to tip the attendant or he became quite abusive. Also there was supposed to be a pool bar but was told it was “broken”.
The staff were constantly looking for tips and gave very bad service if you didn’t tip them. They would give you plastic cups for your drinks, which you would expect if outside by the pool but when inside in the evening I found this unacceptable.
The hotel ran an all inclusive and half board basis and it would seem the half boarders got a better service.
There were constant conferences going on in the hotel. And although we appreciate abroad smoking is allowed indoors the amount of smoke in the lounges became unbearable with such a large amount of people, also seating in the lounge during these times were very difficult.
Lastly I come to the dining room. Most of the food was inedible due to the fact that the food was constantly being brought out time and again in different guises but basically the same food. Tummy bugs were rife with several people being ill, my partner James Kay being one of them. He was very ill for over a week with sever stomach problems mainly sickness and diarrhoea having to visit the pharmacy on several occasions. He was not able to eat any of the food in hotel as it went straight through him. All the hotel could advise was not to “eat the chicken”. He was very careful what he tried to eat and only drank bottle water
I’m afraid all these things ruined out holiday and we couldn’t get home quick enough. We are very disappointed with Thomas Cook as we have had several holidays with you and have always been happy but it has made us think that we will not travel with again

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank James K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TEJMARHABA, Guest Relations Manager at Tej Marhaba Hotel, responded to this review, October 17, 2012
Sorry you were disappointed with our hotel. The carpets in the rooms and corridors are only one year old. All our bedrooms were renovated a year ago and our bathrooms are due to be renovated soon. We do have a pool bar, its not 'broken' and it serves food aswell as beverages. In the restaurant we do have a large variety of food on the buffet, which is constantly being replenished. We do not have a problem with our food. There are several other reasons for upset stomachs and there is absolutely no reason why you would have been advised 'not to eat the chicken' Thank you for your review
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Additional Information about Tej Marhaba Hotel

Property: Tej Marhaba Hotel
Address: Avenue Taieb M'hiri, Sousse 4000, Tunisia
Location: Tunisia > Sousse Governorate > Sousse
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Sousse
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Tej Marhaba Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 417
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel Tej Marhaba
Tej Marhaba Sousse

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