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“Great Holiday”

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Marhaba Palace Hotel
Ranked #8 of 33 Hotels in Port El Kantaoui
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 19, 2013

Recently returned from 2 week holiday 28th Aug # 11 Sept. Reception Staff were very friendly and efficient, our room at the rear of hotel was very clean, plenty of room and wardrobe/drawer space ample, bed comfortable, and bedding changed regularly by the room maid who did a wonderful job. The barmen in the main bar and American bar provided very good friendly service. The breakfast buffet restaurant was excellent with plenty of choice - omelettes, eggs, pancakes.prepared while you wait together with hard boiled eggs, breads, fruit, juices, toast, etc. etc. waiters most efficient in clearing tables and also very helpful. The Dinner restaurant provided excellent quality fresh meat and fish, once again cooked while you wait, and a vast selection of food from the buffet - a big thank you to Tofi who always welcomed us, provided us with drinks and even decorated our table on 2 occasions - a most professional waiter! The atmosphere in this restaurant is very restful and relaxing (apart from the influx of Algerian and Russian guests at the end of our holiday whose manners left a lot to be desired), but the staff appear to be keeping this behaviour under control - full marks to them. The catering manager also keeps a watchful eye over the restaurants and bars to ensure everything is running efficiently .We enjoyed the beach restaurant at lunchtime, queues often built up, but were very quickly cleared. Drinks within the hotel are served in glasses, but of course in the interests of safety, rigid plastic is provided outside.
Pool area fairly crowded, but chairs and parasols were always available from Iffy at the beach who was also a very friendly character. Beach vendors were no problem, in fact we had some good banter with them most days. We met some wonderful people, - German, French, Austrian and English, and had a great holiday with plenty of fun. Perhaps if we had tried, we could have found something to moan about, but we enjoyed ourselves and I think we made a good choice.
The hotel is a little tired in places, the entertainment wasn't that great and the Thomson rep was hopeless but this hotel didn't claim to be 5* and we received what we paid for. After 34 years in the Travel Trade now retired, I have stayed in numerous hotels worldwide and I give top marks to the staff at this hotel who are doing a good job in sometimes difficult circumstances, and with some difficult clientele. Chill out, relax and enjoy! Hello to everyone from Chris and David.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank sheenaCoDurham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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805 - 811 of 2,070 reviews

Reviewed September 19, 2013

Recently returned from a 10 day all inclusive hoiday at the Maharba Palace, Port el Kantaoui. Reception staff a little abrupt but check-in was fairly smooth. The hotel is 'very tired' looking - needs a refurb urgently. Don't think the windows have been cleaned for quite a while - this would at least make the place appear a little cleaner. Went for rest and relaxation so didn't experience any of the entertainment so can't comment on that. The staff in the restaurants are rude unless you give them a tip every morning/afternoon and evening - we, as a group, decided that we would tip on the first morning/afternoon and evening and see how the rest of the first week went - if we continued with good service, would have given tips to show our appreciation - this didn't happen so they didn't get anymore from us! The food in general was average. I imagine it is hard to cater for different nationalities [English,German, Russian etc] but have to say there were some odd mixtures but on the whole could find something to eat. The tea/coffee etc was very very weak and tepid. I would say there would be a question mark over the cleanliness of the poolside plastic cups - they are just swilled out in water and then placed back on the bar. Unfortunately, there is a new hotel being built next door so do expect noise when lazing by the pool. We as a family would go back to Port el Kantaoui but certainly not this hotel unless it has a major overhaul and possibly staff trained in customer service.

Room Tip: Having experienced only 1 stay at the hotel unable to comment on the rooms generally other than they...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Maggie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2013

We have recently returned from a 2 week All Inclusive holiday at The Marhaba Palace Hotel, Port el Kantaoui where we stayed from 18th August to 1st September 2013. We had a great holiday and the Hotel and Staff are to thank for this. The Hotel provides lots of different sports and entertainment which you can take part in or not. Some we did, some we didn't. It's entirely your choice. There is a good selection of food in all the restaurants and a lot of different meats and fish, pizza and pasta are additionally cooked daily while you watch. The waiters and chefs are very friendly and helpful and the Restaurant Manager and Hotel Manager are extremely nice and go out of their way to make sure everything is good for their guests. I had my Birthday out there and they surprised me by making me a Cake in the Al la Carte restaurant and all sang Happy Birthday. The building work going on at the hotel next door is really not a problem, we hardly ever saw them working on it and hardly heard any noise. The Beach is lovely, beautiful soft golden sand and warm sea. And the beach restaurant is great with excellent service, free flowing drinks from the friendly waiters. The maids are also very friendly and keep the rooms immaculate. Get up early to secure your sun beds, around 7.30 - 8am and tip a dinah to the pool attendant/life guard who will give you the blue cushions and even put your towels on them while you go off to breakfast. Worth 40p a day. Pancakes and ice cream by pool from 3.30 - 5 pm daily are yum! Go on the Camel Karavan trip with your tourist operator, ie Thomas Cook etc, was a great laugh! also the Shopping Trip to the Medina is well worth it to avoid being hustled. The African Dream trip to the Friguia Zoo and Zulu evening were great fun too, just don't be last back on coach or you'll have to sing! A lovely Holiday :-)

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Joanne A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2013

My partner and I stayed in this hotel during the month of September for 12 days, we are both in our 20s and have stayed in numerous all inclusive hotels around the world and in Tunisia before. Our experience on this occasion in this hotel was diabolical.

We travelled with First Choice and booked back at the beginning of 2013 where reviews were pretty good.

Hotel - upon first look the hotel appears nice, however you soon realise that it is out dated and lacking in any modernisation. This was understandable as we were in a foreign country and standards are not the same as home. However this does not excuse the hotel from the points below.

Room - we paid for a sea view room and balcony which we did not get. Instead we got a room overlooking the very noisy building works adjacent to the hotel. To add to this, the walls had holes in barely covered by furniture and the foot of balcony that we did have was secured by an old chipped falling apart wooden mesh. There was no where to dry your towels but upon looking across the hotel we noticed we had one of the only rooms without a balcony. The room also had had a mild going over by the maid who missed obvious marks on glass cups, mirrors, ripped bed sheets and blood on the wall. The bath way rusting and looked like it had been in a CSI crime scene.

Food/drink - my partner and I are in no way fussy eaters, however when there is a distinct lack of choice in both food and drink those who are must come away from this holiday a few stones lighter. I am well aware that food is different all over the world but I don't feel as though this holiday was a cheap holiday, therefore I expect a certain level of standard, which was not adhered to. There is only so much pizza, chips and what they call meat you can take in 12 days. Be warned breakfast, lunch and dinner are not enjoyable! The drink was very limited, and moreover was served in a shot sized plastic cup that had been swilled over by the bar staff ready for the next person. The level of hygiene was so low that I barely drank, and when I did it was to survive.

Service - now the hotel itself was ok, this was due to the fact that the waiters work to your level of tip, understandable. However, the service we had from our provider was abysmal. We reported our concerns within 12 hours to the rep, to which no room change was offered. We asked to move hotels to which no availability was found. On our second day we got someone from the Uk to phone an agent, who did not contact us or seem to do anything. On the third day we spoke on the 24hr hotline which took 10 mins to get through.

Overall - from reading the reviews when we first booked this holiday my partner and I were very excited to get away for 12 days for over £700 each. Unfortunately, it seemed during the month of sept many others have found similar issues to us. Therefore I can only assume the hotel and the agents have let this place go. If we had known the issues at booking we would have paid more for somewhere else. We also have overheard many people who have been coming here for years say the same as us, so to conclude LOOK SOMEWHERE ELSE!

  • Stayed: September 2013
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2  Thank Bentleyboy2002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2013

Went with an open mind, but still disappointed. Arrived late to hotel, reception was ok and got to our room, which was standard, but was quite spacious.
The following days tested our breakfast tastes e.g bowls of carrots and potato wedges, weak and tasteless coffee rarely above tepid.
Staff not that friendly, not even if you try a tip, having said that the American bar is far the best and head waiter works relentlessly.
Drinking out of baby cups at pool side is a joke, one sip and back for a re-fill, and question the cleanliness, cups swilled in water and back on the bar.
Lunch and dinner ok, some strange mixtures but could always find something to eat.
Overall the entire hotel in need of a make over, looking tired and dirty, windows never been cleaned and voiles never washed.

Room Tip: Sea view 3rd floor, ok but if you want an early night chose other side as entertainment on until 11p...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Andy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2013

We have recently returned from a 10 day all inclusive stay at this hotel. I would say to anyone thinking about this hotel to have another choice, There is a large building site immediately next door and other than a Sunday residents are woken from 7.20am onwards by banging and drilling, the workmen watch everything you do and you cannot use your balcony while they are there. The decor of the hotel is very dated and other than reception the lighting every where else is very poor. Food choice is limited and not always hot and some of the choices are very strange. The entertainment is pathetic. There is a set weekly entertainment and this does not change from week to week. Out of 7 nights entertainment, 3 are provided by the guests themselves, 2 nights karaoke and one of games (with no alternatives). The other entertainment is amateurish and they want to charge you to watch a drag act. This trip was organised through Thompson and I have to say that this was the worst holiday that we have had with this Company. We wasted a whole day changing rooms to get away from the building site, but the 2nd room was closer to the building work than the 1st and there were no other room available as we were informed that the Hotel had overbooked. We were not on their lists when we arrived and they didn't seem to care if we were happy of not. We would definitely not return to this Hotel.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Michael R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2013

Just arrived back from 2 weeks with my wife,daughter and grandchildren 19 and10 years old.firstly the star rating is given for facilities at hotel ie indoor pool,gym,spa,kids club number of restaurants and bars open at any one time and this hotel has it so it gets 4 stars,that being said the hotel should be closed for a few months and a total over haul undertaken inside and out,the outside being scraped down and repainted the inside including rooms gutted.At the moment it is very dated,the public areas not as clean as could be,room was always clean though,food was quite good but standing in huge queues brought back memories of a school canteen (not good)the pool bar was very dirty the beach restaurant was full of flies nothing covered so they were all over the salad,fruit and cakes once again not good.Drink was very weak don't expect Grouse whiskey for example,all of the staff we found are pleasant,don't normally do this but a mention to Sami in the American bar (brilliant)slip him a couple of dinars here and there he is more than worth it but you will get the same service if you don't tip and lastly the wonderful omelette lady fantastic and the omelettes are good.So wont be going back will stick to riu hotels.Just thought if you are going check out the windows don't think they have been cleaned since it was built also the entertainment is awful and I really mean awful.Take some cards and go to the American bar.

Room Tip: As already said rooms at front get sun at night also the higher floors seem better.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank jimandmarg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Marhaba Palace Hotel

Address: Jinane El Kantaoui | Sousse, Port El Kantaoui 4089, Tunisia
Location: Tunisia > Sousse Governorate > Port El Kantaoui
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Best Value Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#7 Luxury Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#8 Family Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#8 Spa Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#9 Romantic Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
Price Range: $25 - $101 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Marhaba Palace Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 322
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Wake up across from the golf club, have a walk on the seafront, explore the paved alleys of Port El Kantaoui or simply unwind at the pool: Marhaba Palace is a dream place for an unforgettable stay. In the restaurant, a collection of great wines and local cuisine with the flavours of thyme and basil pamper the palate. This charming hotel, in the heart of the resort of port El Kantaoui, will seduce you with its personalised hospitality and efficient, discrete service.Welcome to MARHABA PALACE ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Marhaba Palace
Marhaba Palace Tunisia
Tunisia Marhaba Palace
Marhaba Palace Port El Kantaoui
Marhaba Palace Hotel Tunisia

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