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.
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!
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.
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!!).
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!!
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.
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.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Tej Marhaba
- Tej Marhaba Sousse