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Steigenberger Marhaba Thalasso
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Reviews (1,481)
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Reviewed April 29, 2013

The hotel was very clean and the room was cleaned every day.
I would go back to this hotel.
The food was good and I was glad not to see the usual burgers and chips at any meal.
Very varied choice of food, even had swordfish one night. You must book the Tunisian restaurant and have the beef, it was as good a steak as you will get. We managed to book twice in the space of a week.
The drinks were the usual sugar loaded cocktails. The wine was OK.
The service from the bar staff was good apart from one guy in the bar where the stage is.
It was nice being given roasted nuts with your drinks, think we got this more than others as we were tipping perhaps 8 dinars a night to the waiters.
Just say no to the people on the beach trying to sell stuff and don't let females go into the medina shopping on their own. Also don't fall for guys on the beach saying "DO TOU REMEMBER ME, I AM A CHEF YOUR HOTEL", on one walk into town along the beach and back we were stopped by 7 different people saying they were our chef.
The animation team worked hard and if you go say hi to the guy Sheva who was organising the boules every day.
My friends did not have a good experience in the Spa and they would not recommend it.
The beach was nice at the resort with volleyball being played twice a day.
I would say this is not a hotel for younger people but we were fine at 40 years old.
If you want an even quieter hotel then the Hotel Riu Palace Oceana Hammamet would be a good choice. We took a walk round it and it was a bit more sophisticated and would be better for older people.
Overall I would go back to the Riu Palace Hammamet Marhaba.

Room Tip: The bungalow room we had was great, would be ideal for a couple with one or two kids as the room was split by a curtain and had 2 single bed sofas in one half and two double beds joined together in the main room.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Kookaimckay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2013

I said to my husband before we left home that he must try and relax and do nothing when we spend 14 days at this hotel! We have been to Riu Palace hotels before and know what to expect regarding type of bedroom, the quality of the staff and the huge selection of food on offer at mealtimes, but never tried all inclusive before. We were a bit dubious about the country after their political coupe, but read up on the internet about it and everyone we spoke to at home said that we would enjoy it. We certainly did. My husband managed to do nothing for several days whilst I read some Kindle books. We are not sun worshippers, but love to sit and feel the warmth around us and just watch the activity in and around the hotel. We got quite friendly with the guy in the lobby trying to sell the camel rides, who enveyed my husband's sun hat! The waiters amazed us at how many languages they could speak, and some of the young ones would double up as chefs at times. Perhaps thats how they start their career.
We didn't go on any trips, but used the yellow taxis outside the hotel, they are all registered with the government. If you want a trip on the Pirate Ship it was 45/50 Dinars each to include transport at the hotel, when we went to Yasmine Hammamet it was 25 dinars plus 6 Dinars each way for a taxi. Yasmine Hammamet is modern, there are many half built or empty locked up hotels, making it look quite sad. We enjoyed the walk through the marina and looked at the expensive boats. It would be about an hour to walk from the hotel to Yasmin along the waters edge. The water was warm and very clear. We saw what looked like brown balls floating at the waters edge, but realised after a while that these were sponges not camels dung!
We were stopped by a man trying to sell his pottery, only saw him twice, the security man in his red cap was around and about the beach area and kept them walking.
The food at this hotel was of the same caliber as other Riu Palace hotels, a selection for everyone's taste and nationality, however we were not keen on the very salty bacon, and some of the show cooked meat was a little tough but if it wasn't nice we just went and got something else! My husband tried the cold meat, fried egg, sauteed potato, grilled tomato for breakfast instead. Most mornings I had baked buttered slices of French stick with 2 fried eggs and ratatoule, after that we had pancakes with fresh sliced blood oranges sprinkled with sugar. The fruit was very fresh. We tried Goat fish, for lunch, most of the named fish was at lunch times, we had fish most days. One thing about this style of buffet you can have small portions and have several courses, rather than piling your plate high on one thing. Fish with a spoonful of saffron rice for starters, followed by a meat with sauteed potatoes and red cabbage, then strawberries with a sprinkle of sugar (heaven!) then some slices of cheese. I put on 8lb when I was there!! In the evening there was usually a named meat like fillet of beef and jacket potato, or a braised lamb in gravy. The desserts were to die for! Little finger food size and in the first week when there were more children there, jelly! A kind of Angel Delight and different cheeses and Tuc biscuits, but on our last week they only had local cheeses that didn't look very appetising which was a shame. Both the director and managing director were around at mealtimes, and came around to each table to say hello, even the head chef came! Abdulaziz was our waiter at lunchtimes, he always had our table set for our wine and water, but you didn't need to stay on the same table for breakfast and lunch, but if you did, we found we had better service, after you tipped them of course. The average wage in Tunisia is about 300 Dinars a month, less than £150 so tipping is vital for them. ALL staff had huge smiles on their faces when they greeted you. Take some good quality hand soap and shower gel, because it was difficult to get a lather with their water, and use bottled water even for rinsing after cleaning your teeth. Luckily we took some Imperial Leather soap.
We took a taxi to Hammamet several times in the mornings. We found that if you got there by 9.30-10.00 the fishing boats were coming back with their catch, so took several videos of them hawling them back up the beach and selling their fish directly off the boats. Hammamet and the drive there is a good experience to take in! The litter scattered everywhere beside the roads and in the fields is an eye opener to us who have street cleaners. Be VERY careful as you wander around out there, there are VERY lethal manhole covers, broken pavements, non-existant covers. The vehicles are a miracle to watch, we wondered how they manage to keep going. We saw one pickup with no headlights. Some of the taxis had no door handles that you could open. We stood several times to just view the busy street scene and take in the noises, and smells. It was certainly an eye opener. We felt safe here though.
Drawback? Lobby area filled up with smokers in the evening and only other places to sit were in the theatre with loud music, the bar whuch was always full or outside in the cool or bedroom.
We had glorious sunny weather everyday and the temperature was around 22-28C, sometimes the wind was cooling though. Wish we were still there!

Room Tip: choose a room with a sea view, our room 1203, saw the sun coming up each day.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank CornishMaid48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 27, 2013

My wife and I have just returned home after spending 2 lovely weeks at this really nice hotel.
Our room had sea view, was spacious and kept very clean and tidy by daily maid service.
We were lucky with the weather.
Taxi to Old Hammamet quite cheap at 5 Dinars each way plus tip of 1 Dinar, taxi to Yasmine 6 Dinar. Nabeul 25 Dinar return.
There was plenty of choice at the buffet with lots being cooked on the spot so really fresh, usually had fresh fish available as well as variety of meats.
Dining Room is always very clean and tidy with tables not too close together.
The wine supplied was very good and always kept topped up.
The staff are very pleasant and always cheerful and willing to assist.
One down side was that the hotel allows smoking in the large lobby area on ground floor which after dinner in the evening becomes very smokey.
Would we return ? Yes we will be back.

Room Tip: Sea view room nice outlook and quiet
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank cornishboy48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 26, 2013 via mobile

Me and wife came here last wk for are honeymoon we were surprised how great this hotel was we had a bungalow room which was huge and the bed was massive and so comfy the staff were excellent and the hotel and rooms were so clean all the staff work so hard if you tip them well there look after you very well. Blokes remember to bring jeans or long troueses for evening meals only the food was very nice but defo try thr tunisian resturant best salamon i have tried the pool was cold but it heated up by the sun so it will get warmer. Dont listen to jill at the meeting cause she makes you not want to go out there are plenty off resturants outside and sum nightclubs if you want to go out for the night. Go try the market on the friday you can get some great baragins but be firm with them normally when you say no there leave you alone you can get taxis outside the hotel just ask how much befote you get in but normally very cheao iy defo a five star hotel and me and the wife can not wait to go back for another realaxing week or two best hotel i have stopped in

  • Stayed: April 2013
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1  Thank scottyofbev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 24, 2013

Room: we had a bungalow and it was right by the pool, it was huge , very clean and had a lovely terrace, which was made more private by the lovely jasmine bushs outside.Weather was changeable when we were there and our terrace was shielded from the winds by the gardens and bushes.(room block 2 405)

Cleaners: our room cleaner was excellent room always clean, agree with others bathroom a bit dated and the shower curtain bit old. The hotel lobby and other parts of hotel pool, terraces etc always also being cleaned . Cannot fault the cleanliness of the whole place at all

Rep:I have to agree with someone else the rep Jill was a bit of a drip, she was intent on giving you negatives about the area outside and not to book trips with anyone other than them. sorry to sound rude but she sounded a bit provincial and not very streetwise. we booked a boat trip from guys in the foyer , its was fine and perfectly safe and cheaper than the reps prices

Beach: Fantastic but the every few mins some one wanted to sell you something, you could have bought a camel ride, clothes , fags, pottery and more...lol... but just say a firm NO, AND they go.The security man should stop them but we thought he may have known some and let them get to you

Waiters: we tipped throughout the holiday to the bar staff and a large amount to the restaurant staff on the last night.Wether you tip or not all the guys restaurant and bar are fantastic cannot fault these hard workers at all.

General Staff: animation team , pool staff all work hard!! reception staff efficient, porers great, infact found everyone polite and friendly

Food: We thought food was good, selection was good, probably not 5 star, but plentiful. Meat a bit rubbish but all the fish great.Went to the small reataurant one night for a tunisian meal, food in here was of a superior quality and it was a more intimate experience

General comments: we paid 365 per person for 7 nights all inclusive break so fantastic value. It is a lovely hotel for a break but did not like outside the hotel it was grubby.I felt perfectly safe walking with my husband locally but for me it was too grubby and dirty,Old Hammermet was lovely again only went there in the day time and again felt safe.
Yasmine Hammermet apart from the marina is a DUMP!! AND OVER BUILT UP SADLY NEGLECTED area.It remimded me of an eerie deserted war zone. I went to Tunisia as my husband wanted to go and I do not feel happy being waited on hand and foot whilstt people living and working outside struggle but that is just me. I agree with someone elses comments and felt although I am 55 it was a bit boring for me at the hotel.But would like to say again Hotel and staff etc was excellent

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank jadami
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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