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“Value for money holidat”
Review of Marhaba Salem

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Marhaba Salem
Ranked #3 of 36 Hotels in Sousse
Reviewed November 3, 2013

We booked via Thomson, no delays at airport and straight onto flight from Luton.

Very disappointed with my seat, I paid extra for an extra legroom seat, I had seat 32A and 32B – 32A is a bulkhead seat and should NOT be charged extra for and should be shown on the flight plan as such. At 5ft 10 I am happy to pay for extra legroom if it is what I am getting.

Arrival at Enfidha airport was a drag, several planes has landed together and we were queuing for 1.5 hours to get out of the airport, really not acceptable. However, even worse than that was the security check at airport, the people on the scanning machines were sat chatting on their phones barely looking at the screens.

Coach to Marhaba Salem was good, just over 30 min’s and quick and easy check in.

Be aware though, the hotel safe cost 2 dh per night – which is good, we had not changed money up so they said £10 – which works out to us being over charged. Now, when we realised the safe was not in our room we asked for a refund and were refused. Not good practice.

Bell boys were very pushy tip wise and though good I thought it was rude when we mentioned we had no Dh and would see them later they said ok we take English and literally stood there with hands out.

The first room we were taken to was awful, two single beds with brown blankets on and no room to swing a cat, as a couple we do not want to single beds and refused the room. We were then taken to room 305 which has a double bed and a very big balcony. The downside is you can hear the entertainment, however, this finished at about 11pm (9-9.30 kids evening entertainment) so overall not to bed with the doors shut. The air-con was very poor, but at 30 I got it a little cooler.
The funiture is dated and I was scared the draws were going to fall on my toes as they do not fit the runner properly.

No kettle in the room – a pity as this could have made the room more usable

The shower was ok, strong and wet.

Hairdryer in room was good and powerful.

Pillows were big and bouncy.

The shower gel in the dispenser needs changing ASAP and we asked for this to be done but it was not. I pushed it and it stank of mould rotton eggs, made me heave.

The maid did as she was mean to and cleaned the room - no fancy decorations for us  however, she was very cheeky and used my perfume tut tut.

Beach small but functional, the beach towels they provide (10 dh deposit) are small and ok I guess, glad we took our own.

Waiter comes down onto beach to take drinks orders, which was perfect :)

Beach bar serves food 12.30 – 2.30 and its ok, a tagine, chicken, veg, salad, fruit, cakes, pizza n chips.

We found the back row of sunbeds best as the beach sellers cannot come up onto sunbed area and pester you. The tended to pester the front row a little, but, if you said no they were respectful of that. Sea was cold to enter, but ok when you were in, its a nice little bay that start shallow for little ones and gets a little deeper. Clear water and you can see the little fish.

Bar staff were very good in my opinion and we tipped 1Dh per round brought to us (about 40p) and they would check in to see if we needed a refill regularly.

Dining area was good and we enjoyed the food. A fair selection of meats, veg, salads, fruits, cakes and ice cream.

Breakfast was good too, pastries, cereals, yogurts, breads, eggs etc …. When I hear people moan about food I often wonder how many varieties of meals they have at home.

Our waiter was very attentive, we gave him 10 Dh at the start of the week and between 1-2 Dh breakfast and lunch. If we were in a restaurant we would tip and think it was polite to do the same. We were on table 69 and our waiter was B?????, he had our tea and coffee in the morning ready and our wine and beer at night.

Entertainment people worked very hard and were very good with adults and children. I do not really watch the shows, but did watch the fire show, they made a good effort.

Overall we had a good week in Tunisia, even after the suicide bombing down the road to use. We went 27th Oct – 3nd Nov 2013 and experienced good service overall. Good weather, I came back tanned and relaxed. I will return to Tunisia next year and try Hammamet.

Room Tip: We were in 305 - nice big balcony, facing trees but at top of pool and entertainment. Noisey but a g...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Samphire67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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483 - 489 of 1,119 reviews

Reviewed October 30, 2013

Arrived on a cheap single person deal after horrendous wait of nearly one hour to pass Immigration at Enfidha airport. Was taken to room 115 Downstairs from reception area. Must be the original rooms ever built, never seen the sun, damp & smelly. No balcony & access to the terrace was a sliding patio door that was held shut by a lenght of pipe laid in the track. This had to be lifted out & replaced to get out/in. The path passing the window was like an ant's trail of people going to & fro the grounds. Stayed one night and moved to a third floor room 344 with 3 beds & a balcony. This hotel cannot be classed as 4 stars with flies in the restaurant & the occasional cat. Queueing for food, shortage of plates/glasses but when you got there the food was ok. Staff friendly especially Youssef the Bell man. Stayed in this hotel about 15 years ago & they have built another Hotel the Marhaba Royal Salem in the grounds (Not to be confused with the Royal Salem near the main road) The Marhaba Royal has childrens water slides hordes of kids & LOUD pool music.

Room Tip: Get a balcony away from the pool noise.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank sousse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2013

At the Marhaba salem at the minute, have stopped in 2-5* hotels all over the world and this is equal to any decent hotel I have stopped in. Staff are excellent! Mohamed at the bar (near the main restaurant) is spot on! Would defo return x

  • Stayed: October 2013
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2  Thank Becky P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2013

I have just come back from a 2 week stay at this lovely hotel. We were a big group of 16 consisting of 5 children and 11 adults. All of us loved it there as everyone there welcomed us to the hotel and made our stay pleasant, we all said we would love to go back another time.

The pools we went in were the salt water pool with the slides, the indoor chlorine one and the other salt water one where the night time and a bit of the daytime entertainment was held. All the pools were in great condition and the salt water took a little bit getting used to but that didn't stop us from going in. All the kids enjoyed using the slide and most of the adults went on them too and loved them. The pool where the entertainment was at night, was very relaxing as well as fun to use. By that pool, the animation team played water polo and darts. Also, there is a shop around it so that is very useful as they sell all sorts of things.

The rep Toni was very kind and helpful when we needed to talk to her.

The food was very tasty and there was lots of it to pick from. Some of the group lived on pizza and chips or pasta, but the rest enjoyed trying different foods. On one day of the week is Tunisian night where you still have the food you would normally have, but they put out Tunisian food for you to try.

Some waiters were very flirty with the adults and young adults but they don't really bother you if you ignore them. All the waiters were funny and friendly, especially to the younger kids.

The animation team made our holiday the best, they made us all laugh and put on great shows at night and fun entertainment during the day. Thank you: Mido, Sam, Kalou, Bebo, Fifi, Kristy, Sophie, Sagon, Joe, Trino (sorry if I missed anyone there was so many), you all made our holiday the best it could be, especially Mido and Sam, you always came over and said hello to us!

The maids cleaned our room everyday and when we came back the pyjamas and bed sheets were made into a fan shape and the floors were cleaned spotless.

By the dining hall and the pool with the slides there is a little childrens hut with plenty of toys and little dress up clothes and the three of the children who were boys used it all the time to chill and play with the things they bought from the shop and the balls that were in the hut.

Overall the holiday was amazing! It couldn't of been better, thank you so much everyone who worked at the hotel, you made our holiday relaxing, fun and memorable. We won't forget all those smiling faces.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank ch1403
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2013

i have just come back from a 2 week stay at the marhaba salem and i could honestly say it wa one of the nicest hotels ive ever been to! The rooms were cleaned daily by the maids, who are very polite and the staff are also very friendly and will try to do everything they can to make sure your holiday is lovely. The food was really nice and lots of different things to try but for the fussy eaters they did have a selection of ordinary but wonderfully cooked food. Finally one of the best things about the holiday was most definitely the animation team, they were all so lively and tried to involve everybody, there shows are fantastic and they do dances for every age, Sam, Mido and Trino definitely made our holiday and they are all fantastic and lovely members of staff!

  • Stayed: October 2013
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Thank jtx1998
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2013

Our room and bathroom were fine and clean, though the balcony was in the shade but I didn't much use it so that didn't matter. I found beds comfortable.

The swimming pool was warm enough to swim in this time of year, was salty but nice to float and relax in !

Drinks were small so needed refilling quite frequently.

Beach activities were good. I tried parasailing (50TD for two) and the mattress dragged by a speedboat over choppy waves (30TD for two)

I was disappointed with the restaurant. I've read lots on here about tipping waiters so was prepared to do that. However I never had a waiter to tip. I fetched my own drinks, and knives and forks when I couldn't find a table with any on. I don't consider being pointed in the direction of the cutlery drawer as service that warranted a tip. One time I went to get dessert and came back to find someone else at my table where I had left my room key to indicate it was still in use. A waiter was on hand resetting the table and bringing a drink for the gentleman who tipped him well while I cleared my glass and key with no apology from either waiter or gentleman. There was some choice in food, though pizza, plain pasta and chips predominated. Like some, I had a bit of "Tunisian tummy".

I only saw the evening entertainment once, the Fire Show, which was pretty impressive and well received.

If I'd had a better eating experience I would have given a higher score.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank HowaJM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2013

After reading the reviews there seems to be a real mixture of opinion and confusion over 3 hotels in the same area. I have noticed some reviews have been taken off so I hope my review will remain intact and not weeded out. So here are my honest pros and cons.

Pros
Overall cheap - value for money
Good house keeping-room kept clean every day
Pretty lush grounds
Nice people, always trying to help, esp Bidet at dinner
and smiley Yassain bar staff
Lots of sardines for breakfast, lunch and evening meals
Great for dieters, plenty of fresh fruit and salad
Toni the Thomson rep, was very sweet and ineffective.
If you don't like sardines there are eggs

Cons
Food repetitive and poor quality, even for me and I am not fussy.
Apart from cakes, struggled at breakfast
Waiters do not make eye contact with you unless you tip (which only lasts 2 days at 10 dinars around £4 each person).
Bar Staff are very rude and I was left very upset when ignored whilst others slammed there dinars on the bar and got service.
Worried about buffet style set up as food only luke warm.
I was sick for most of the holiday with D/V and terrible stomach cramps. I heard a lot more people had the same, but not the Germans or Russians apparently!?

Overall, it’s cheap and basic, however with the amount you are expected to tip, being made to feel invisible by the bar staff, I would rather pay extra and go elsewhere. Overall is it value for money… I really enjoyed the Zulu trip on my last day, which I recommend.

Room Tip: Bring ear plugs as most rooms at Marahaba salem all face the stage. Closes at 11.00pm
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Sassysurrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Marhaba Salem

Address: Boulevard 14 Janvier, Sousse 4000, Tunisia
Location: Tunisia > Sousse Governorate > Sousse
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Sousse
#3 Best Value Hotel in Sousse
#5 Romantic Hotel in Sousse
Price Range: $27 - $86 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Marhaba Salem 3*
Number of rooms: 241
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Also Known As:
Marhaba Salem Hotel Sousse
Marhaba Salem Sousse

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