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“Rod M Good Hotel, Service and Food, Avoid Hotel Spa”

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Hotel Palace Hammamet Marhaba
Ranked #10 of 117 Hotels in Hammamet
Certificate of Excellence
Loughborough
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Rod M Good Hotel, Service and Food, Avoid Hotel Spa”
Reviewed March 26, 2014

Good Holiday Overall
Hotel Staff Brilliant
Food Good
Hotel In remote position but taxis to nearest towns are cheap
Avoid the hotel Spa. Drains in spa very smelly, had to exit.
Spa staff unprofessional.
Treatment equipment not working

Room Tip: Had sea view room on second floor, very good. Some of the bungalows were a bit remote, especially wh...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank RodM812
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
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  • Service
  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (338)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
Wigan, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2014

My articulation, memory and spelling of names simply aren't good enough to really get across how good our holiday was made by the Manager (Antonio) of the Riu Palace. Not to mention his Executive 'Big' Chef (Monsef/Moncef?) & Head 'Little' Chef (Apologies forget his name) who were also brilliant. Although this is about the hotel, we can't forget Tracy our Holiday Rep from Thomson.

If you don't want to read a long review, then please just skip to the bit I write about the staff, as it’s all you really need to know!

To put it into context, we had our honeymoon at a Riu Palace in Morocco, which although may of had more facilities, wasn't even close to being as good as this place due to the way the staff are so good at looking after you (and we're not just talking waiters!). Also just as we had booked the holiday for all inclusive my wife was diagnosed as having Coeliac disease, so has now to follow a strict Gluten Free diet.

As you can imagine we had concerns over the dietary requirements in a foreign country. Thomson firstly emailed the hotel and said this would not be a problem, but as back up my wife also emailed the hotel. She had a response from Antonio at the hotel to confirm this would be completely fine, who we later found out was in fact Antonio the hotel manager!

On our arrival we were greeted with the other arriving guests, and rather than queue holding the welcome drinks, where invited to sit down and relax. From then we were effectively 'waited' on to check in. I stay in hotels a lot due to my job and have to say it was the easiest and most relaxing way to check in I've ever experienced. How the start of a holiday after a long flight should be! Marriott, Hilton, Radisson, all, should take note!!

As we had booked a "bungalow" our room was in one of the buildings not part of the main hotel. We could have done with a map or directions after getting our key, however asking a member of staff soon got us to where we needed to go.

The Room:
Exactly as described and lovely, would definitely recommend a balcony 1st floor room as opposed to a ground floor terrace option. Like a number of these hotels, rather than one big bed it was two 3/4 beds pushed together. Yes we would have preferred 1 bed, but the 3/4 bed is more than big enough for 2 to get in and cuddle, but also handy when the wife has a habit of pinching the bed sheets when you get your own bed hahaha!
Shortly in to our stay, we were unlucky enough to get a room where the shower and bath would only be on at the same time and the shower rail fell down. When we contacted the reception in less than 30 minutes someone was there to fix it, and in a further 30 minutes it was all sorted.

The Welcome:
We were invited to a welcome day we've always found a definite benefit to these type of holidays. I've been on these before where you get to meet the holiday reps, and maybe someone from entertainment. On this occasion on arriving we were greeted by the hotel manager and all the heads of departments, kitchen, room, bar, restaurant and entertainment. I've never been to a hotel where they have done this and actively encourage you to speak to them to raise any issues!

The Food:
As mentioned my wife has to have a strictly gluten free diet, something that was very new to the both of us. As advised we went to see the head waiter, who being honest tried his best, however it was simply a language barrier. A second waiter after seeing our struggle also came to speak with us, however trying to get the message of "strictly gluten free" was just not happening. You can imagine we were getting a little worried.
We approached our Rep Tracey and explained the situation. She immediately took us to Antonio the hotel manager who remembered my wife’s email. We were speaking with the head chef and assured we would be well looked after and that upon or meal time to see the head chef and would be sorted.
As it happened the Executive Chef that day was away and the Head Chef was then going to be away for a few days, but he ensured the Executive Chef Moncef was fully informed of my wife’s requirements.
Moncef showed my wife which foods she could eat, had special pasta and pizzas made, baked special bread for our days out and even made special desserts for her. This man was nothing short of a legend. Think of a jolly Santa but in a Chef suit and no beard. He was brilliant!
As for the food for me, well lots of choice, lots of flavour. I can be a fussy eater at times and say that every breakfast, lunch and evening meal there was loads of things I just wanted to gorge myself on!

The Staff:
We had a regular waiter who was very attentive had our regular drinks ready for us, very approachable and I only tip when it’s deserved. He got a tip half way through our holiday and a second tip at the end as a thank you.
The chambermaid was lovely and even one day left us a lovely arrangement of towels and flowers as a greeting to our room.
I can't say any more about the 2 chefs, but Moncef was one of 3 legends for our stay with all the special foods he made and personally delivered to our table.
The hotel manager was the 3rd legend. Don't think just because of my wife’s dietary requirements we go special treatment from him. EVERYONE got special treatment. He was there for every food sitting wandering round greeting guests asking about their stay, checking everything was alright, and on the odd occasion where someone did have an issue it was quickly seen to. I cannot imagine anyone better. This man was a legend. Approachable, attentive, brilliant. His staff clearly liked but equally respected him, the kind of boss you where you wouldn’t want to do things wrong, not because they'd get angry, but because you didn't want to disappoint them.
The final person who was an absolute Legend for our stay was Tracey our Holiday Rep other than she was brilliant. If you don't like her, then being honest YOU’RE the problem. Down to earth and quick to get things sorted. The best bit, you can see the hotel staff getting nervous when she's making a bee line for them to get something sorted. Brilliant! We invited her to join us one evening and got some great insights into Tunisia.
We had lots of waiters at the bar serve us, all friendly and attentive.
A final honourable mention for the guy who takes the bookings for the Spa, even gave us our own personal tour of the Spa and facilities when we turned up a different time to everyone else.

In short, highly recommended!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank DamianHardman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Yorkshire
Level Contributor
18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2014

Hubbie and I just spent a week at this hotel.Having been to Tunisia several times we were realy impressed with the hotel and the excellent customer care.A nice touch and something I'd never experienced before at the Welcome Party was the manager of hotel introduced himself personally alongside is heads of depts.,So if you had a issue/problem knew who to speak too..All were more than happy to resolve any issues that might occur...The food was superb,imaginative,and lots of choice/s.We felt they covered most European tastes..Chef/s were always in restaurant if you had any dietry needs..Room was large,clean and spacious.Bottled water was delivered every day..Felt the Staff all took a great pride in their work,keen to provide great service in making your holiday a great time..This is our 2nd RIU hotel and will certainly like to experience others...

Room Tip: We were in main hotel,3rd floor..very quiet and peacefull...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Claire1519
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Accra, Ghana
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2014

The hotel is good, sets itself apart from neighboring hotels in Hammamet and is right across the street from the beach. The brunch buffet is excellent and good value for money if you're not staying over.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Michael M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2014

We stayed there for a week in Feb half term and were lucky enough to get several days of sunshine. Sea was swimmable in - just about, outdoor pools very chilly. We (2 adults, 2 teenage daughters) stayed in sea view bungalows and they were great. Hotel facilities were excellent and really well looked after. Food was awesome, incredible selection for every meal and very good quality.

However the best thing about the hotel was the staff who were really friendly, helpful and hospitable. Their warmth and caring seemed genuine and driven by professionalism and pride rather than chasing tips - which they fully earn and deserve. From Antonio, the Director down everyone in the hotel was friendly, pleasant and smiling. Special praise to the Ents team - and I mean the team not necessarily the entertainment! - who were particularly pleasant, fun and friendly. And especially so D'Ali. Top guy.

Not a huge amount for teenagers to do at this hotel but for a weeks rest/break it was fab. We had a great time and couldn't recommend highly enough. Went with Thomson from LGW and that was all great too.

Room Tip: Sea views are great, front of hotel (ie entrance side) wouldnt have great views
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank nick d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
203 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
Reviewed March 10, 2014

We stayed here for a week, full board, in one of the bungalow rooms in the lovely grounds of the hotel. The room was large and comfortable with patio outside: absolutely enormous bed, free safe and fridge with complimentary water and soft drinks. The bathroom was ok although the extractor ceiling vent didn't work (and wasn't fixed in spite of reporting it 3 times - the last time we were given a ridiculous story about it only working for certain hours each day ...) This was a shame although not a major problem because the Director has said that his staff would deal with any problems and report back - didn't happen. The main atrium of the hotel contained a water feature and lots of chairs and tables adjacent to a bar area and the main buffet restaurant. A wonderful haven for me as was a mixture of smoking and non-smoking areas with very good ventilation so my non-smoking husband wasn't troubled by smoke (and he is very sensitive about this). On the package we had, all local drinks were included - we drank mostly wine and beer - both excellent. Food was served in the large buffet restaurant - wonderful quality and variety with white fish, lamb and creative vegetable dishes being the highlights for us. Was slightly disappointed that there wasn't more seafood as we saw lots of it in local fish shops. We were there out of season so the other two restaurants (Tunisian and Italian) were not open although the Tunisian one was opened for a couple of evenings (one had to book early as only seated about 30). We ate there one night and were rather disappointed by the quality - seemed a rather westernised version of what we were hoping for (we compared it unfavourably to a local lunch we had on one of the trips which seemed more authentic to us anyway). As the main buffet restaurant usually had a least a couple of Tunisian dishes on, I wouldn't bother with booking the Tunisian one. The main restaurant had themed evenings but there was always pasta, meat, fish, salads and vegetables available with carvery too - loads of choice - we had trouble not eating too much! The entertainment team worked very hard - sports during the day and then music/dancing every evening - some very good eg local dancing - some less to our taste eg bingo and karaoke. We were particularly impressed with the wonderful service of bar staff, restaurant staff and the entertainment team - without exception all very friendly and efficient. Overall, the hotel is slightly less glossy than some other equivalent hotels we've stayed in but the service was the best we've ever experienced. Just one thing to add on location: if you go in season and get sun and warmth then this is a good place to be - the beach is lovely - but in our rainy, cold and very wet week we found that the location - about 1 hour's walk in either direction to Hammamet or Jasmine Hammamet along a busy main road (too cold to walk along the beach although we did do it once) less than ideal.

Room Tip: I understand, but haven't checked, that bungalow rooms are bigger but older than the rooms in th...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SearchForGoodFood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
39 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed March 8, 2014 via mobile

6 of us are here now. Food spectacular. We have been to many AI across the world but have always been dissapointed after a few days. Not here. Weather - too early for the heat this week but next week on looks great. Staff are brill. Tarik in the bar. Ben in the restaurant. Tracey the rep. Best rep we have ever had. Heidi made sure bar area ran like clockwork. Going to book for winter sun 2015.

  • Stayed March 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Robsclan1
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 #10 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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