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“My overall opinion of the hotel and facilities”
Review of Tej Marhaba Hotel

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Tej Marhaba Hotel
Ranked #14 of 35 Hotels in Sousse
Reviewed November 3, 2012 via mobile

Ok well we traveled middle of September from Manchester airport to Elfida flight times were good no delays which was a good start to the holiday. Elfida airport was ok could have been better organised but nothing to complain about really apart from the cleanliness of the toilets discussing if you ask me. Transfer to hotels approximately 70 minutes i will give you the heads up here Tunisia is an extremely poor country in parts and i apologise for saying this but discussing in parts to. The hotel unfortunately is situated in one of the poorest areas i would say and the surrounding areas are not desirable at all and do not want to make you go for a wander or explore unless you like derelict hotels, half built houses, wasteland filled with rubbish...at this point i was very sceptical of what the next 7 days were going to have in store. Thankfully as we approached the hotel turning left off the main road through some private manned gates things started to look up a little going down the long driveway made me feel a little better as the grounds were well maintained, clean and presentable. On arrival at the hotel we were greeted by 2 very friendly and enthusiastic porters....enthusiastic being the operative word not rude. The first impression of the hotel i would say slightly dated deco and furniture no doubt could do with a slight make over but now this its the important and operative word CLEAN. Check in was quick name, room, waistband simple as that if you don't want your case bringing up by a porter don't hesitate to take it yourself they honestly don't mind. Now for the rooms i requested a sea view, balcony and a double bed now although the rooms are slightly lacking in amenities such as tv and kettle i got everything i had requested so i was happy. The room was small just big enough for two adults i would say we found plenty of room to hang clothing and lots of room to store things away. My only complaine was the bathroom absolutely discussing at first "at first" i say at first because after the first few days we were allocated another cleaner who was absolute brilliant and standards defiantly improved. Now the restraints the communal restaurant not as bad as people are making out at all in my opinion the food was good and plentiful and if you can't find something to eat your not a fussy eater you must be a numpty either that or your used to Asda microwave meals excuses me being so blunt but you will see what i mean. restraints staff i found to be very pleasant and always happy in fact i found all the staff had adopted this attitude which helped made our stay more pleasant. Now the al a carte restraints in my opinion absolutely diabolical it was so bad we left and went back to the communal restaurant boiled stake wasn't my thing but utter times down to personal choice. Now the outside of the hotel. Walk ways with palm treasure lining them 3 pools one family pool one animation and one relaxation pool. Your literal a stones throw from the beach this is where we spent most of our time its lovely, calm and relaxing. If you like watersports this is the place for you i will add details of watersports and costs at at end of the review. The only thing i hated and i mean hated was the amount of flies swarming about in the beach restraint i would advise avoid avoid avoid although staff do everything to prevent the flies its impossible. I have noticed lots of complaints about rude staff all i can say from watching other people with staff and how they address them if you treat them as you would like to be treated they will go to the end of the earth to please you and tips well there not expected by staff but they appreciate the odd dina 1 dina equivalent of 40p. We found the reps to be very helpful and very friendly and if your not sure about something please please ask guessing could get you into some sticky situations outside the resort. Another piece of advice i would give always when leaving the resort travel by taxi.

Hotel to monistair 15 dina
Hotel to sousse 20 dina
Hotel to port el kantaoui 40 dina

I will also point out if you order the taxi from reception they will pick you up from the hotel doors take you to your destination drop you off and wait for you you pay the driver on return to the hotel.

I would defiantly recommend a trip to port el kantaoui its a completely different world and it's safe i would say a very well established area why good shops good restaurants and lots to look at.

Watersports prices and time durations

inflaitables: 10 dina per round aprox 5 mins
Jet ski: 30 dina 15 mins
Paragliding: 30 dina once round 10 mins aprox

Added bonus canoe for and hour FREE
trip on a saying boat with fishing FREE
if your staying on an all inclusive basis.

I hope you find this review helpful have a good time on your holiday and remember its what you make it.

  • Stayed: September 2012
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1  Thank MorganWilton1988
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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709 - 715 of 1,598 reviews

Reviewed October 30, 2012

My friend and I had booked a 4* holiday with Thomas Cook which, upon arrival and for the duration of the week, was clearly not 4*. In fact, It was 2* at best.
2 days before my holiday, I was told that the spa area, beauty treatment rooms and indoor pool was closed due to renovation. This was a motivating factor for us booking this particular hotel. I asked if we could have a portion of our money back and was told no. The renovation had clearly been going on for some time so I do not understand why we were told about this when we enquired about the hotel before we booked. Many parts of the hotel looked derelict and like a building site.
Secondly, the bedroom had stains and broken furnishings. The bathroom was filthy and even had what looked like menstrual blood running down the side of the toilet bowl which was not cleaned all week. The toilet broke on our second day and was not fixed for two days. Other customers had complained of toilets flooding the bathroom and broken air conditioning units which leaked.
There were cigarettes butts littering the area and the pool assistants, apart from giving out and collecting mattresses, did not clean the pool area. The pool water had a film of what seemed like suncream suggesting the pool was not cleaned.
At the beahc one man hovered around us making us feel uncomfortable for two days wanting his tip so that we would not give it to his boss. At the beach bar (a wooden shack with no seating area for lunch), I was informed that I was only allowed a choice of cheese, tuna or chicken baguettes which were quite simply disgusting with wilted, soggy salad and very little filling. I had to wait 20-30 minutes to be served as the queues were so lengthy and, when I got to the bar, the several staff who worked there would ignore me. However, when a half-board customer would come up to the bar, they received a hearty welcome as they knew they would get a tip from these customers. We received the same treatment from the bars in the hotel as well and was warned about this in our welcome meeting from our Rep. Additionally, half-board customers had waiter service at the pool and the beach which we did not. The beach bar hired ‘security’ to look after the customers and to stop people selling things on the beach from bothering us. However, this security man had a blazing row with one man, even though he was not in the enclosed area, ran up to him and punched him in the face. I soon realised that the man was elderly and was horrified that he received such a violent attack.
The most horrifying thing about the beach was the open sewer running down the main walkway of the beach from the toilets to the sea. The stench was horrific and upset many customers. On one occasion, a lady was bathing her feet in the sewage not knowing that it came from the toilets and none of the staff bothered to tell her!
We were told by our Thomas Cook Representative that there were two bars we could use but both had very lengthy queues of 20-30 minutes each time. When I went to the less busy bar, I was told I could not order anything, even a drink, as it only served us between 14.30 and 17.00. When we tried to get a bottle of water for the beach before 10am, we were refused as it did not open until 10am. When my friend ordered a coffee after waiting 25 minutes, she was refused with the response “no coffee now. You have it later”. I tried to order a cocktail and was refused being told that cocktails were not part of all inclusive. It was on the last day, when I had my suitcase open in reception that one water realised we were leaving and offered me a cocktail... it was only at this point of the holiday that we were given table service! The bar staff seemed to do very little work and made us sign a ticket each time were ordered a drink. The only staff there who were very hard working and helpful were the lovely animation team and the restaurant staff.
The food in general was terrible and we had poorly stomachs for most of the week. The breakfast was clearly the left over salad from the night before. The saving grace were the pastries but if we wanted an omelette or pancakes, again the queues were lengthy. I know many other customers felt frustrated as well so people would end up queuing for the one thing they knew they could eat and would fill their plates with it, making other customers have to wait for more to be cooked. When we ordered a drink with our meal, it did not arrive until after we have finished. Upon arrival we were given an orange slip with meal times but it was not explained that we had to take this down for our meals where it would stay for the week and we would have our own table. In principle, this might be a nice touch as you could build a relationship with your waiter, but more than one customer was allocated your table and people were arguing over which table was theirs. The hotel in general was grotty and furnishings broken but what amazed us was that when our table was being laid up, the waiter took the table cloth off, shook it all on the floor and chair, turned the stained side over and then placed our cutlery down.
The evening entertainment was very brief each night and when we left the hotel to try to find alternative bars and restaurants, it was very limited. Entertainment consisted of Bingo for half an hour followed by children’s sing songs, one night of belly dancing and one night of karaoke. As two women on holiday, we were very intimidated by local Tunisian men who followed us back to the hotel and would not leave us alone. This made us feel that we could not leave the hotel, but we struggled to get served at our hotel.
On our last day, we checked out at midday and I was told earlier in the week they had a shower room for guests who were leaving in the evening but that we had to ask about it on the day of departure. When I did, I was told by reception that they had many guests leaving who wanted to use the one shower room. My friend and I had to use the open showers at the pool area with sunbathers watching us. We had to get changed in the reception toilets and sort ourselves out in the middle of reception.
We went to our Thomas Cook Rep to discuss our concerns and he ‘glazed over’ looking very bored at what we were saying – clearly he had to deal with many complaints and had had enough – and handed us a complaint form to complete which we did. When we submitted the form to him, he did not read our concerns and merely signed it and gave us a copy. We are not the sort of people who like to complain (this is the first time I have ever had to do this for a holiday) and felt embarrassed to do so but the standard of service and cleanliness in the hotel was so bad that we felt compelled to. Normally, I have lovely holidays with Thomas Cook which is why I book year on year, but they cannot advertise a 2* holiday as 4*. We are still waiting for a refund or some form of money back and the responses we have received so far have been an insult!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Kerry M
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 reviewResponded November 9, 2012

You should have been informed about the renovation of our indoor pool when booking. Our cleaners have a very high standard of cleaning but unfortunately maintenances problems can occur sometimes. Our pool area is cleaned every morning and evening. Bins and ashtrays are supplied but unfortunately guests do throw their butts elsewhere. The pool itself is cleaned also every morning and evening and throughout the day the filter system is in use. Waiter service at the pool is for everyone, all inclusive and half board. Drinks at the Oasis bar are available from 10am to midnight but they stop serving food at 17.00h to make way for afternoon tea and pancakes, and recommences at 23.00h to 01.00h serving pizza and pasta. Food is of a very high quality. Upset stomachs can be caused by a variety of other things. We do supply a courtesy room, free of charge, for the benefit of our guests departing late, but of course this means that guests have to take their turn

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Reviewed October 29, 2012

I've been staying in this hotel on and off since i first came to the country in 1999.
When I first came, I loved the hotel, it's staff and the general area of Sousse which this hotel is based.

Last month, we were in Taj for two nights & i have to say it will be the last time we will be visiting. Our main complaint was the standard of the room, paint marked, sticky and dirty carpets. Dirty bath with a blocked drain, smelly towels and a none flushing toilet! - when we were asked to be moved they said that the hotel was full and there wasn't another room to be had.
As i live here, we came home instead of staying in the dirty and "broken" room.
The waiters in the lobby bar have always been slow, but it seems they have just stopped now.. It took them an hour to come and ask what we wanted..

Very disappointed.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank SousseLover
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 reviewResponded October 31, 2012

So sorry you didnt enjoy your stay with us this time. Unfortunately there were some rooms on the second floor that were not completely refurbished and due to the the amount of late bookings we had we were obliged to let them out. We are now finishing them and also renovating all our bathrooms. Hopefully you will give us a second chance and come back to see us again in the near future.

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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
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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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 reviewResponded 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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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
    • Value
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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 reviewResponded 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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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
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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 reviewResponded 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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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
    • Value
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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 reviewResponded October 17, 2012

Thank you for your review and glad you enjoyed your holiday with us. We look forward to seeing you again

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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:
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Sousse
Price Range: $36 - $99 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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