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“Brilliant”

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Hotel Palace Hammamet Marhaba
Ranked #9 of 117 Hotels in Hammamet
Certificate of Excellence
Fareham, United Kingdom
1 review
“Brilliant”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 16, 2013

Stayed in a bungalow at the back of the hotel and it was spacious, peaceful and very clean.
The restaurant was great because there was lots of choice and you could see them cooking most things infront of you. I can appreciate that in high season queuing for food 3 times a day might be abit annoying but the hotel was not full up so we had no problems. On the first day you get to pick your time slot and table for evening meal which works really well as you never have to wait and you get to know your waiter quite well. Our waiter Mounir was brilliant with our 4 year old boy, laughing and joking and by about the third evening had learned what we like to drink and had it waiting for us in an ice bucket every night after!
The pool and beach area was very good, clean and nicely designed. We had a couple of good days sunbathing but the water was way too cold for swimming with it being late in the year. There was a heated indoor pool but we never got round to using it.
The Riu arranged kids club was excellent-used it for a rainy afternoon at the end of the holiday and our son had a great time, wished we had found it sooner as the staff were brilliant and facilities great.
All in all was a fab hotel and we certainly noticed the improved service when tipping staff (only about a pound mostly). I would not hesitate to go back.
Went on "Zulu" and "Sahara" trips with travel agent. Zulu is quite expensive as you only get about 2 hours in the zoo and less for the poor-quality evening meal but worth doing as the traditional dancing is a must and for about a quid in the zookeepers hands they let you go behind the scenes and feed and let some animals you probably shouldn't!
The Sahara trip is insanely long but worth doing. The hotel you stay in overnight is a dump but you aren't there very long! Hadn't been warned you need to pay extra to ride the camels into the desert for sunset but it is worth it. The jeep over the sand dunes is not for the faint-hearted as the drivers are mental but it was great fun and the whole family was laughing (so glad of the seatbelt though)!
All in all very pleased with hotel, holiday and trips.

  • Stayed November 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NatashaJenkinson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,334 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (338)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
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English first
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 14, 2013

From the moment we arrived at 4am we were impressed with this hotel, after checking in we were asked if we would like anything to eat after our journey, we declined but it was just the start of 2 weeks of the best customer service we have experienced in many years. The visibility of management was refreshing and any general manager willing to visit every table in the restaurant each evening showed the confidence he had in his team and their ability to look after guests with polite, friendly professionalism.
The cleanliness of the hotel and bungalow we were in was excellent and the cleaning ladies always greeted you with a smile and good morning. Our bungalow was inspected by a supervisor after the first week and asked if we had any problems or comments on the service.
The restaurant was well organized and fresh food cooked to order, there was regular replenishment of salads and sweets from the kitchen by the staff no one sees but we felt had to acknowledge on our last night with a thank you tip that we gave to the general manager to pass on. The food selection varied enough to suit any pallet or fussy eater and wine and water were always at the table on arrival each night, the waiters were very attentive not just in the restaurant but the bar areas as well even remembering what we had been drinking the previous visit.
We cannot praise the management and staff enough in this hotel for making our holiday perfect relaxation. We look forward to a repeat performance in the future.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Mitch499
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Preston, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 12, 2013

This hotel is 5 Star on appearance.

We staying in the main hotel in a suite and the room was modern and spacious. Some guests who were in apartments at the front of the hotel and near the pool complained of ageing decor. I went into one of these rooms and I was shocked at the double standard. Our room was lovely theirs was clean but worn.

The single biggest problem I had is with the main restaurant. You are constantly trying to find cutlery, teaspoons, tea pots and covers. To be honest totally disorganised. No omelettes. Not much in the way of breakfast selection. Most people of all cultures like a full english breakfast.

Bar staff throughout the complex are very friendly and efficient.

This is the worse Riu Palace I have stayed in and I was disappointed.

Poor evening entertainment. Give it a pass.

Room Tip: Ask not to be put in the apartments at the front of the hotel. There is disco music playing all nigh...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Stuart D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 9, 2013

I was so excited to come on this trip as it was my honeymoon. As we arrived the man at the reception came over and he was a really nice guy served us drinks and explained what needed to be explained. The staff at the bar are extremely rude they would look us in the eye also they would just walk past us and pretend that we are not even there!!! but not come over to ask us if we wanted a drink throughout the 11 days we stayed. This hotel lacks customer services that's why it is a let down!! Also people staying at this hotel do make you feel really uncomfortable. Overall the cleaning is really good and one of the staff at the restaurants.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Amz786
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 7, 2013

We stayed at the Riu Palace Hammamet Marhaba in Tunisia in October for two weeks and had a brilliant time. The staff were really nice and the hotel was fabulous. We enjoyed the aqua gym and the beach setting, but the area spoilt it as we like to walk out at night and there was nowhere to walk.

Room Tip: We were on the first floor with a sea view and it was great.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank florida1999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Solihull
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 6, 2013

Food not great and alcohol choice very poor. Cocktails so sweet I couldn't find one I liked! Hotel gym is in a shocking state, very outdated and most equipment broken and taped together. No air conditioning in the gym! Staff very efficient and friendly. Pool and beach lovely. Would rate 3 star

  • Stayed October 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Linda M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 4, 2013

This is a later review of a holiday taken in July 2013. It has only been posted after a complaint to Thompson was dismissed.

This was the third Thompson Platinum 5 Start holiday taken by my partner and I and, based on our past experience, had expectations that the hotel would match the quality of environment, service and cuisine that would have come to expect from your Platinum rated hotels. Unfortunately, it became clear very early in our holiday that that the Riu Palace Marhaba does not meet this standard. It also became clear that there is no comparative standard between Platinum 5 Star hotels.

BUNGALOW ROOM
We had paid for an upgrade to a bungalow room, but were incredibly disappointed when we saw this. The main part of the hotel has clearly been added to in recent years, but the bungalow rooms have not been refurbished or modernised to match. It was large, but was incredibly dated with damaged furniture, leaking air conditioning unit, chipped bathroom tiles and inadequate hanging and drawer space for clothes. A number of the wall sockets did not work and there very limited information provided on hotel services. We could have asked to change rooms, but suspected that all bungalow rooms were of a similar quality and standard.

Once in our room we found we were unable to lock the door properly, upon investigation of the lock we discovered the frame to be rotten, a picture is enclosed, only by removing the rotten wood were we able to secure our room.

The leaking air conditioning unit was, however, reported to the reception the following morning. This was dripping into the room just outside the bathroom door causing a puddle of water which made tiled floor slippery. We had to soak this up with a towel to avoid slipping on it. The leak was reported again on the second day and for a third time on Saturday, 20 July. By this time the slow drip had turned into a continuing stream of water causing a significant pool of water spreading into the room, under the desk and across to the bed.

Maintenance did eventually arrive and, by standing on the small bathroom stool, was able to repair the leak. The hotel also sent a cleaner to dry the floor, but only succeeded in spreading this further throughout the room by using a window squeegee rather than a mop. Again, we had to use towels to dry the floor to avoid slipping.

Although, a maid entered the room on a daily basis, the extent of her duties appeared to be limited to making the bed. Bedside lockers and the desk area were not cleaned nor was the full complement of towels/bath mat always replaced. One at least one occasion we had to ring reception for towels.

I have also attached a photograph of the maids trolley, you may wonder why, but this is the view that greeted us when we left our room, this photograph was taken late at night, the trolley had been there all day and night, again indicative of the lack of care and attention paid.

We were provided with water and Fanta in our room on a daily basis, whilst the water was a large bottle the Fanta was small and inadequate for two people! We didn’t use the water in the room but was continued to replenished a daily basis, needless to say by the end of the week not only was the fridge full there were another six bottles on the desk, however, we did return to the room one day to find that the water was simply left outside the door in the full sun all day!

POOL AREA
We were surprised that the pool area was not cleaned in the evening. Past experience, at any 5 star rated hotel, is that sun-loungers are cleared away and the area hosed and brushed down. On one occasion the pool area was not cleared at all. Sun loungers, dirty glasses, empty bottles, upturned chairs and table were left overnight and remained in that state until the following evening. The general standard of the whole area was poor, many sunbeds were ripped and parasols broken. Pathways around the hotel and to our room also remained dirty for the duration of our stay, covered in leaves fallen from trees, and bird droppings, this is not nice, especially when many people, including children, were walking around barefoot much of the daytime

RESTAURANT
I appreciate that the Riu Palace Mahaba is a large hotel and that at the time of our stay this appeared to be near full capacity. I would still expect, however, that the restaurant would be able to meet the needs of all guests, particularly at the dinner service.

My partner and I opted for the second sitting. The fact that we had to choose a sitting and were then allocated a table that we had to use for the duration of our stay was not something that we expected, but adhered to. On one occasion, however, our table was taken. We approached the restaurant staff who found another table for us, but it was clear that as guests were arriving most days the restaurants paper list of table allocations was somewhat in disarray.

Although the food choice at dinner was varied , we found that the quantities were limited; vegetables in particular were not replenished and portions (particularly carved meat) appeared to be carefully controlled. Restaurant staff merely shrugged their shoulders when asked if food would be replenished. On one particular evening, three different vegetable dishes were empty, when asked if more were to come we were told to wait ten minutes as they were being prepared, several guests including ourselves duly waited, our other food going cold, when the food was not replaced in this time, we enquired again, only to be told ‘its finished’!

The quality of food was varied and not of a standard that could reasonably be expected for a 5 star hotel and certainly did not match our experiences of previous Thompson Platinum hotels. The menu was repetitive with few dishes changing on a daily basis. Many items had clearly been cooked much earlier as by the time they were served were cold, particularly scrambled eggs for breakfast. Eating in the restaurant, for all meals, became a necessity rather than a dining experience; waiters were eager to remove plates and cutlery and move guests on and out of the restaurant.

The “al la carte” restaurants, although providing a better dining experience, were disappointing. When booking a table for these on our first day, as advised to do so, (for tables 3 and 6 days later) we were asked to choose our main course at the time of booking (only two options available). Although the main course was served to us at the table, both the starter and dessert were self-service from the buffet. This is not our definition of al la carte and certainly not our experience of past hotels offering this.

On a number of occasions, lids could not be found for teapots provided at breakfast. My partner asked for two lids for small pots one morning, but the waiter (like us) could not find any. To resolve this he simply took two lids from pots staked on a trolley of used dishes and put these on our teapots.

For many people, the evening meal on holiday provides an opportunity to relax, dress smartly and enjoy a leisurely meal. The hotel publicise the fact that gentlemen are asked to wear long trousers and no vest tops in the evening. This rule was not enforced and undermined the whole dining experience. Although this may seem to be an inconsequential point, the lack of attention to ensuring that dining was enjoyable is indicative of the attention to guest needs experienced throughout our stay.

Thompson's response to this was a "virtual" shrug of the shoulders. As a another reviewer has comments, Thompson sort yourself out and listen to your customers. You have lost this one.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Simon F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Palace Hammamet Marhaba

Property: Hotel Palace Hammamet Marhaba
Address: Avenue Moncef Bey | Hammamet, Hammamet, Tunisia (Formerly Hotel Riu Palace Hammamet Marhaba)
Location: Tunisia > Nabeul Governorate > Hammamet
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 117 Hotels in Hammamet
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Palace Hammamet Marhaba 5*
Number of rooms: 200
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