Me and my boyfriend stayed at this hotel for 2 weeks all inclusive from 28/08/13 to 11/09/13. Overall, we had a great time in Tunisia after hearing good reviews from friends! I decided to write an honest review of our time at this hotel after reading some unfair ones that give the hotel a bad name! It will probably be quite long as I tend to blabber but worth a read if you want an honest review with tips and recommendations from our experience :)
I can understand some of people's complaints regarding problems with the room, our first room had a broken air con but we made sure that we pestered the staff until it was sorted - which worked a treat! We got given a completely different room which was perfect for the rest of the holiday. The room was average but served its purpose, how much time do you really spend in the room!? It had plenty of storage room, large comfy beds, practical mirrors, a fridge, modern TV and a spacious balcony. There were only 2 English channels on the TV but English is the 3rd language spoken in Tunisia, what do you expect?
The bathroom was fine and had all the essentials you needed. Our shower was really powerful and was actually better than my one at home!! People have mentioned the loud toilet flushes, yes, they were loud! I personally didn't find this an issue at all.. At least it works! GIRLS - they have hair dryers in the bathroom so don't waste space taking your own hair dryer like I did! It worked fine for me for the whole 2 weeks!
THE HOTEL IN GENERAL:
The hotel is really nice, particularly the lobby! The staff are always cleaning and it definitely shows. The only part that wasn't up to standards was the stairways going up to each floor, but no one really uses them as it's quite a walk and there are 2 fully functioning modern lifts in closer proximity!! Everything is easy to find and located well.
There's a lot I can say about the staff, you can't really put them all under the same category as some of them are so helpful and friendly, yet others are rude and moody! We generally found that all bar staff in the main lobby were great and really quick, the staff in the barbecue bar were really laid back and friendly - not as quick and efficient but they loved having a joke with you! The restaurant staff were generally quite bad, if you didn't tip them then some of them would actually ignore you. They wouldn't come round to take our drink orders, most of the time we'd finished our meals by the time they came round. However, if you do tip the waiters, they suddenly treat you like royalty (what a coincidence!). We found that the best thing to do was try and go to the same waiters as they would treat you a lot better! I had a bad incident with one of the elder waiters, he'd prepared a table for people that had obviously tipped him. We did not know this and sat at the table after picking our food from the buffet. I started to eat when he came rushing over, grabbed the cutlery out of my hand and told us off for sitting there (even though the table appeared free!). He did apologise but only after my boyfriend had a word for him being so rude! The head chef in the restaurant is so lovely and friendly, he even spoke to us when down the beach with his son - lovely guy! The reception staff are fine, although one woman is totally useless and never helped us with anything. I don't think she could understand English.
THE POOL & BEACH:
The pool was great, we saw it get cleaned every night and you could tell! It probably could have been a bit bigger considering the size of the hotel as it sometimes got really busy with everyone trying to cool off from the heat! They did water gym at midday and water polo in the afternoon which is easy and fun to get involved with. They were taken by the same guy EVERYDAY, I actually felt sorry for him as he was the only guy that ran the entertainment throughout the whole day and evening. They could do with more of a variety with the day entertainment as it did get tedious hearing the same thing for 2 weeks!! The pool bar was great, offering loads of different refreshments for all inclusive guests including huge bottles of water which became our saviour!
The beach was lovely, I preferred it here to the pool as you were always guaranteed a sunbed and umberella wherever you wanted! The sand was soft and the sea was lovely to swim in! However, if you are going to go to the beach, be careful of jellyfish! None of us got stung personally, but we witnessed lots of people get stung (this was on one day after a huge thunderstorm the night before so there were more jellyfish than usual!) They are tiny and you can still swim, just keep an eye out! One of the locals showed us that you can pick them up in your hands and that's the only place they won't sting you which was a useful, yet bizarre tip! The beach bar was so handy for drinks and snacks such as pizzas and sandwiches, the staff were friendly! They have loads of water sports down the beach which is so cheap and worth checking out if you like a bit of excitement!
This was the only major downfall of our time here. The day entertainment is water gym and water polo, other than that you make your own. We didn't find this a problem but I can imagine that some people would! The evening entertainment was TERRIBLE! I hate to say it, but it really was compared to hotels I've been to in the past. They have a folklore act which is quite interesting but doesn't go on for long, bingo once a week, karaoke once a week and every night other than that was a 'live band'. The band consisted of 2 older men playing drums and a guitar over a backing track and singing to songs. They didn't play for long (thankfully) but they did play every single night (for 2 weeks!!!!!) even after bingo etc. My boyfriend and I are in our early 20s so this was a massive disappointment to us, we expected something a bit more. I understand that it's a family hotel but I can guarantee that everyone was bored. We ended up venturing out of the hotel, playing cards and making full use of the all inclusive bar to make our own entertainment!
The food is GREAT! Could not fault it. They have something for everyone! Admittedly, I can be quite a fussy eater at times but you always find something to eat. They have fresh pizzas every night and have plenty of meat options, chips, salads, grilled food, rices, pastas and plenty of desserts. They had different options every night which was great, we loved eating at the restaurant. Breakfast included a variety of pastries, fried eggs, omelettes, fruit, cereal, toast, fruit juices, tea and coffee and lots of other continental foods! They also made fresh crepes if you wanted it - definitely worth queuing up for!! They give you a schedule of all inclusive food on arrival, they offer food services from 6am to 1am - you'll never go hungry!
We went on the 2 day Sahara trip with Thomson - best thing we ever did! The weather wasn't amazing during the first few days of our holiday so we decided to do it within this time. For the equivalent of £80 each you travel around 60% of Tunisia down to the Sahara desert, riding camels, land cruisers over the sand dunes, walking through the Atlas Mountains with lovely waterfalls, visiting El Djem with an old roman amphitheater, visiting different star ears sites, walking across salt lakes and plenty more. As part of this, you get all your food included and a room in a nice hotel down south near the Sahara desert. There is a lot of travelling involved within this trip but I would recommend it to anyone, seeing the Tunisian culture was absolutely incredible and something you really should do whilst in the country!
It was part of the Thomson excursions, but we went to a water park at the Thallasse Hotel in Sousse, it cost us 4 dinar (£1.60) to get there which is ridiculously cheap!! You pay the equivalent of £24 for a whole day at the hotel which includes 16 water slides, a number of pools that were part of the hotel, access to their private beach along with food and drink from the water park bar! We had such a good day here, it looked so much better than the Acqua Palace water park that Thomson offer, which is tiny! The lifeguards love British people at Thallasse, they were very friendly and loved joking around with us! It's not a HUGE water park but it was so quiet on weekdays and was the best one there - I would recommend it!!
We ate out 3 times just to get an idea of what Sousse was like, we ended up eating at the BonahPate restaurant twice as it was amazingggggg. Incredible food alongside great service with really low prices! Between us we had a bottle of wine, a fillet steak meal, veal, 2 different desserts and starters for the equivalent of £30!! We couldn't believe how cheap it was for the quality of food and service you received! It's just down the road opposite the hotel so check it out of you can!
You can only change over £80 per room, per day at the hotel. We ended up changing over most of our money at the airport upon arrival as there was no limit - make sure you keep the receipts!
It's best to always keep a lot of dinar coins on you for tipping, it really is worth paying it (40p) as you do get treated better, as awful as that sounds!
Be careful with some of the taxis, we had a bad experience with one of them who drove like an absolute lunatic with the petrol light on the whole way. He was screaming down the phone in Arabic whilst driving and overcharged us a lot! Make sure when picking taxis you pick the ones that don't have mirrors hanging off and dents down the side - they seem to drive a lot worse (believe it or not!) Also, ask your rep for a guide of how much taxis should cost to get to certain places to make sure you don't get ripped off - they will of they can!
The medina is worth a visit if you want to do a bit of shopping as they have huge traditional market stalls where you can get some really cheap items and fakes :) just never pay the first price they say as they expect you to bargain with them for a better price!
We had a fantastic time at this hotel in Tunisia :) we wouldn't go back again purely for the fact that we don't go to the same place twice - but I do recommend it! I do think it is more of a 3 star hotel than 4 but the hotel is pretty cheap so you can't expect too much! A lot of people expect everything to be the same as A British hotel when going to these countries - you won't get it, and to be honest, if you want everything to be British - GO TO BENIDORM! It's an Arabic country And they do well to cater to a load of different nationalities, people should respect that!
I hope this helps anyone who is considering this hotel as a potential holiday destination :)!!!
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Priceline, Travelocity, TripOnline SA, Hotwire, HotelQuickly and Cancelon so you can book your Tej Marhaba 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:
- Hotel Tej Marhaba
- Tej Marhaba Sousse