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“Easter fortnight holiday”

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Marhaba Palace Hotel
Ranked #7 of 33 Hotels in Port El Kantaoui
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Easter fortnight holiday”
Reviewed May 10, 2014

We stayed here for 2 weeks during the Easter holidays with myself, my husband and my 15 year old daughter (all inclusive). The reception staff were friendly and professional, however on 2 occasions my husband was short-changed by the bank cashier, but luckily when asked for it he handed it back with no problems.
The waiters/waitresses were always helpful and friendly, especially when tipped a few dinar.
There was always a wide range of food in the restaurant, during all meal times, so we never had any problem finding something we liked.
The weather was good (hot and sunny, mostly around 75 degrees) and we sat around the pool everyday. There were plenty of sunbeds available- you will need to seek out the pool man for a mattress for you bed though, but not a problem since he was always around.
The sunniest place around the pool was in front of the towel shed. The beach was extremely close and was a roped-off private section. The sea was clear and blue, except for the occasional day where seaweed had washed up after a windy day. The beach bar opened the second week but the pool bar closed everyday at 4pm , so had to go into the main bar if you wanted a drink.
We all had an hour-long camel ride on the beach, good fun so book with alibaba. Also rode quad bikes, so book with Samir. If you want to go on a pirate ship, book with captain smiley.
These 3 characters are within the hotel grounds and will definitely make themselves known with you.
We enjoyed paragliding and jet skiing as well, just found next to the hotel.
The animation team were hardworking, but similar activities everyday. At night time our favourite show was the bed of nails.
I'd recommend having a walk down to the local zoo, nearby to the marina. Very quaint, clean and tidy (with animals such as a baby camel, birds, ostrich, guinea pigs, rabbits and goats)
We also went to Sousse, we got there by taking a yellow minibus, which you can get for 1 dinar each- just put out your hand on the main road if you see one passing. It was very busy in sousse, however good for a bit of shopping. You should visit the soula centre, which is a large fixed price store.
The hotel décor was very nice and especially clean.
Overall a fantastic holiday.

Room Tip: We stayed in room 248, good location with nice view that overlooked the hotel entrance and gardens
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
8 Thank Jane V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed May 9, 2014

I visited Marhaba Palace with my boyfriend for our first holiday together.
On arrival I was happy with the way the lobby looked and was looking forward to our stay. However, when we arrived in our room there were ants everywhere, even in the beds! We complained to both the travel rep and to the hotel staff who told us nothing could be done until the cleaners came in 2 days time. We were both exhausted and it was midnight so we took ourselves to be, feeling deflated.
When we pulled back the bed sheets one had a poo stain on which hadn't washed out properly so we shared half of the bed. The next morning after a poor nights sleep, we had been bitten to death by the ants (I still have the scars!)
We continued to complain and asked to be transferred to a different hotel, we were told this could be done at a cost of £600 dinar (which we clearly couldn't afford!)
Eventually we managed to find a shop selling ant killer which we were so grateful of.
The staff constantly expected tips, even for just opening a door. Despite the entertainment guys best efforts the other hotel staff weren't so good at the entertaining! The food was good, although it was the same thing all week (I hope you like chips and pasta!)
Overall, I would never ever visit again and we did receive a refund on photo's of my scars.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank lilbelle94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed May 6, 2014

Myself and my partner stayed at this hotel for a week just after the easter holidays. When we arrived we were told our room wasn't ready, which after a night of travelling and a rather sweaty transfer was not great, but we were allowed out all inclusive bands so we could go ejoy the hotel.

There's a path way that runs between the hotels pool and beach, fair warning its lined with men trying to sell excursions and they are extremely persistant. For the first few days they were extremely irritating but once they got the message they generally left you alone.

Anyway, food at the hotel I can definitely recommended. After being denied access to the room we went for lunch and this massively cheered us up! There's plenty of everything from freshly made pizzas and burgers to salads and various meat and fish and dishes, there's plenty for everyone. And the food at breakfast as well its fantastic. There's an omlette bar, a pancake bar and a donut bar, plus general hot food and a continental area.

Once we did finally get access to the room, we were again very pleasently surprised. The room was very spacious, clean and had all nessecary amenties. We paid extra for a sea view froom which I would suggest to anyone looking at booking, definitely 100% worth it.

The staff, the reception staff were extremely rude and unhelpful and not worth asking for anything from. The man who runs the currency exchange was so helpful and definitely go to him for any questions. The staff in the main restaurant where generally really good, some of them have the attitude that they won't help you until their tipped, but some are the other way around.

The facilities at the hotel are great, the pool is perfect and the beach is amazing. The drink selection is also great there's loads to pick from alcoholic or not. The location of the hotel is also great, its literally 10 minutes to the port where there's loads of shops to buy gifts and genuine fakes. Although, I'm blonde, and I found walking round the area very stressful, the men are quite pushy and it can get very unomfortable very quickly.

Oh, another quick thing! There's a building site next door, this isn't the hotels fault at all, but just so you know we were told that the building work would be nearly finished, it's not. If you're going anytime in the next 6 months I'd say, be warned its a real building site. But to be honest it wasn't noisy or anything it's just not pretty.

And the animation team! They're great, they were so much fun and they do loads of activities in the day that are such a laugh.

So overall, the hotels fab. I mean some of the staff are rude and the men trying to sell excursions are a pain, but the food is great, the rooms is great, the animation team are great, the pools great and the beach is great. Overall we had an amazing week and the few faults there were gave us some stories to tell.

Hope this is helpful!

Room Tip: 100% go for sea view, well worth the money.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
12 Thank RebeccaP1994
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peterborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
106 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed May 5, 2014

Firstly visit here. Hotel is tired and dated but spotlessly clean and staff are efficient,welcoming and friendly. Lunch should be taken at the beach bar not in the hotel restaurant, sea view and food a lot tastier. Sadly the meals here have been a little bland. Look nice but are tasteless, lemon meringue pie they forgot the lemon, onion tart they forgot the onions. Cous cous has been on the menu once which I find strange. Menu obviously geared to European pallette. I came to.try local food but have been sadly disappointed, many people have said if blindfolded they could not say what they were eating. There is a hotel being built next door but any noise has not been a problem.
The hotel is about 50% capacity, think it would be whole different ball game if it was full. At the moment ample sun beds, may be a bit of a problem in hight season. On the whole an average, unexciting hotel. Not on my list of places to visit again.

Room Tip: Not all rooms have sea view so I would specify this before arrival.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank jostcjn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
42 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed May 4, 2014

I used to work in the tourism industry and have stayed in many hotels and I found the Marhaba Palace to be very good value for money. I really don't know why people criticise the food choices because on the days we had breakfast we had to miss lunch because we were still full after sampling several different things! The choice was excellent and they did offer seasonal fruit as well as freshly cooked omelettes, fried eggs, boiled eggs, bacon and frankfurter sausages and lots of other hot food. There was pancakes, many cereal types, yoghurt in several flavours with the most delicious local fig conserve, yum. I loved the fresh salads and cheese with my breakfast. There was also pastries, different types of bread, cake, croissants etc etc. And that was just breakfast. The room was light and bright and the waiting staff most helpful.

Lunch could be taken either in the main restaurant, open until 2pm, or down at the beach bar, which was open until 4pm. There was a huge choice of dishes (the veggie dishes were very tastey and varied). There was really nice fish every day, meats on the grill like chicken, veal and beef some days. there was traditional Tunisian fayre and dishes from around the world like paella. The salad bar was packed with everything you could imagine and more. All the food was fresh and replaced as soon as the food in the containers was running low. You could have a stir fry, freshly cooked to your liking at the chef station. The desserts included small pastries, blancmange dishes, foam cream, huge cakes, lemon tart, mini eclairs, fresh strawberries, oranges, miniolas and four flavours of icecream - more than enough to satisfy most palates I'd say. The evening meal was in two sittings and was in the main restaurant, with similar excellent choices. Tea, coffee, hot chocolate and fruit juices were available 24/7 near the main bar and they also served a continental b'fast there at 10am, pastries at about 4-5pm and also filled rolls late on an evening for those who wanted it.
The drinks available were local, as expected, not strong, but they did have Coke light which was a bonus.
Safety deposit boxes were inexpensive, located behind the reception for you to access yourself. The currency exchange was further down the reception desk and the rate set by Government. Change only a small amount at a time because there is no fee and you wont need much money at all, just a few dinars for tips. I don't know why anybody should complain about tipping because it is always discretionary. We tipped because the service was very good and we are aware that wages are low; we enjoyed doing it and felt we were showing our appreciation. The waiters remembered what wine and soft drink you preferred and filled your glasses without being prompted; a nice touch. We had the same table each night but could have changed had we desired to,
I agree the food experience in the A la Carte restaurant (can book in here once a week at the reception) was disappointing but the quiet ambience was good and the service friendly and attentive. I had the Berber grill but most of the meat was way over cooked. Starter and desserts were good though. A little thing like this didn't effect my enjoyment of the holiday though.
The animation team (three young men) were so friendly and good fun; they worked their socks off and couldn't have tried harder to make guest's stay wonderful. I'm a middle aged woman and they were so nice to me and my friend, taking pics of us both without us even asking. That's excellent customer service for you.
The room 233, front of hotel, was really nice, separate loo and bathroom, spacious with quiet heater/air con. Beds and pillow the most comfortable I've ever experienced in a hotel. I slept so well all week. Housekeepers were friendly and the rooms were spotless. Towels and bedding changed regularly. Didn't watch the flat screen TV. Lots of hangers in the huge wardrobe, which was good.
Gardens, pools and outside areas were really nice and hotel had its own section of the beach. White sand and plenty of sunbeds and comfortable pads to lie on. Camels and water sports for those who wanted them. Parasailing and 'banana-like' boats also available. Plenty to do.
Hotel had a huge seating lounge area in the reception, a shop, an American bar and a Tunisian coffee lounge. It had a separate fitness and spa building which I didn't sample. Thomson rep Issam was excellent and told us all the information we needed for the hotel and to venture out. There was no hard sell on the excursions but plenty of info if required.
Port only 5-10 mins slow walk from hotel, nice but you do get hassled a bit, its just the way of life there, they have to earn a living.
I will definitely recommend this hotel on the all inclusive plan and I intend to revisit soon.
PS Building hotel next door but it was no trouble at all, noise minimal.

Room Tip: 233 was front facing, it was perfect. Could hear the music in reception but didn't bother us at...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
16 Thank Maxine M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
glasgow
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed May 4, 2014

Spent a week here over Easter and enjoyed every minute. Hotel is spotlessly clean and tidy in all areas. We had a room on the fifth floor facing the town and it was a very pleasant view. Food was of a good standard at all times and there was always plenty on offer. There is a large swimming pool and also an indoor pool. Jewel in the crown for us is the private white sand beach which is cleaned every night as soon as the loungers have been packed up, brilliant.
It is a short five minute stroll to the marina with lots of shops and cafés . Try the glass bottom boat trips. Finally a word on the staff, from managers to waiters,reception and cleaners, they have to be the most helpful and pleasant we have met. They were really outstanding, well done all. We will definitely visit here again and hopefully soon.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
8 Thank chrisger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
39 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed May 4, 2014 via mobile

We visited the Marhaba palace during the April holidays. After reading reviews I had mixed feelings but I also like to judge for myself. First impressions were good, the main entrance was was good with free wifi, the lounge was good with plenty of room for coffee, beer, wine and cocktails. The place was very clean. Food was good with plenty of choice however you always get the people who pile it on and then say there wasn't much choice after eating everything on offer including the sweets:). Pool area was spacious with entertainment like bouls. Darts and water games. The entertainment team was good, thanks guys( May need a female though). Beach area and outside dining area was very good. Indoor pool was quiet as I don't think many people knew it was. (Not the gym pool and spar area). The gym was very poor I'm afraid with dangerous equipment and no one supervising, it needs serious attention. The American bar is out of the way near the indoor pool, it's good for night caps so give it a visit. The staff were great, tipping always helps as wages are poor but they are very good either way( your choice to tip). The room was ok but not great as it needed freshening up but we don't spend much time in them anyway. The room was clean with soft beds, a TV, fridge and hair dryer. I'm not going to moan about the new hotel being built next door as the pool music was loud enough to drown out the occasional bang and grind noise. Overall I have stayed in better and worse places but it's good for the price and most people will love it.

Stayed April 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank Steven R
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

Property: 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:
#6 Luxury Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#7 Spa Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#8 Family Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#9 Romantic Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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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