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“Good weather, good pool, good clean rooms but the service very poor”

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Marhaba Palace Hotel
Ranked #7 of 33 Hotels in Port El Kantaoui
scotland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Good weather, good pool, good clean rooms but the service very poor”
Reviewed September 30, 2009

Tip tip tip – to receive a very poor service tip 1 dinar, 2 for poor and 3 dinar for just acceptable. Although some staff were very nice, some were downright rude and unpleasant – I could not believe it – this is the first holiday in 20 years that my wife and I truly felt as if we were an inconvenience and barely tolerated by some of the staff in this hotel. We understood that tipping was expected and always tip for good service. But if you dare not to tip because of a poor service at any point do not expect any type of reasonable service again until you do tip (well).
1. Room – did not get room we had booked – would have to pay extra if we wanted the rooms we originally booked. We insisted on the original rooms booked and finally got them no extra – some people we talked did pay more.
2. Can only exchange money at certain times – no dinars on arrival – porters wrestle bags from you and then informs you all currencies accepted as tips. Money exchange guy very unpleasant.
3. Mats for sun lounger 2 dinar per day plus expected tip – all other hotels in the port free if you are with hotel. Beach lounger free but tip expected – good service so a good tip for beech lounger guy.
4. 2 dinar for a bottle of water during meals – labels never on straight or stuck to bottles properly. I found this suspect but tasted ok.
5. Food good at times and just ok at other times - but recycled between lunch and evening meals.
6. Most things in hotel same if not more expensive than in UK. Chips at pool bar 6 dinar (£3) – just 1 Dinar in port. Large beer 7 dinar, vodka and coke 7 Dinar, Bottle beer 3.5 Dinar, Sandwich 7 Dinar. PLUS TIP for all.
7. Full board – table was never ready – not enough cutlery, cups napkins salt pepper etc – every meal every day for two weeks. Repeatedly complained with the result of poorer service – astonishing.
8. Entertainment very poor.
9. Walk 100 yards up beach to get water sports cheaper – marahaba palace again significantly more expensive that other hotels. Hotel also allows people to hassle you within the hotel complex to go on excursions. They can be very persistent and some become abusive if you repeatedly explain that you have booked with rep instead of them.
10. Massages very good. £20 - £30
11. Facilities not included -10 Dinar per person per day to use gym, 17 Dinar for 1 hour on tennis court, 12 Dinar spa – can be very expensive for a family as you can imagine. Facilities not widely used as you would expect.
12. Security staff at gate very nice.
13. Chamber maids very very good – tip personally at end of stay because if you leave money in room porters may return to your vacated room to collect. That was a suspicion a couple of the maids had anyway. We gave 20 dinar for a 2 week stay.
14. Waiters – some nice but a lot very grumpy and unhelpful – managers do not seem to manage and there is a constant passing of money between waiters and other waiters and some managers – don’t know what that’s about.
15. Air conditioning off end of September till June – Reception staff said it was because it was expensive and Tunisians can tolerate the heat – It’s our holiday for goodness sake. Very difficult to sleep in a room at 28 degrees plus.

We felt that there was little money making scams going on all over this hotel and this bred resentment between the staff. There was a number of occasions were staff argued openly in front of customers.
We came home today (30/09/09) and I had to write this review (1st ever) as the experience at this hotel was so far removed from any other hotel we’ve ever stayed in, I felt compelled to warn others. So Be Warned.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ScotlandJocko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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hereford
1 review
Reviewed September 30, 2009

Holiday let down by surly, unhelpful waiters and staff. Money changing hands to reserve sunbeds and to obtain best dining tables. Otherwise food good, nice pool area.

Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank jackianddarryl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barnsley
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2009

After reading the reviews on this hotel I realised that I was either going to love or hate Tunisia. Yes the hotel is a bit tired but all the staff go out of their way to make you feel welcome. Our room was kept very clean and tidy and we never had any problems with smelly drains. We went half board and the breakfast was very nice and so were the evening meals if your up for actually trying something different from chips, pizzas and burger. I think for the money you pay to go to Tunisia it offers fantastic value. The Hotel is situated in a great spot handy for the port and shops and for any golfers there are two 18 hole courses about a 5 min walk up the road. My partner played on one of them (3 times) and was very impressed with it (the other was closed for maintenance so please check before going if you are intending golfing). The staff do expect tips but 1 Dinar is fine which is about 50p. I couldn't fault Tunisia and if you want to get away from the Euro please try it and you might just love it.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MissTBarnsley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
uk
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2009

I stayed at the Marharba Palace Hotel September 2009, in fact I returned home last week. The hotel was very nice, the dining room very crowded and cramped due to over booking, the food is good with plenty of choice, the pool, beach and gardens lovely. If you stroll down to the square in the evening you will be rewarded with a wonderful display from the musical fountain, then the harbour, both very atmospheric. The only fault I could find was that most of the hotel waiters/staff were insufferably rude, sullen and sarcastic....unless you frequently tip them which they absolutely expect you to do.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank UkChickenpie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester
1 review
Reviewed September 26, 2009

We have just returned from our second trip to this hotel and sadly i wouldnt return again!
5 years ago it was clean and the staff very friendy, so we wanted to take our 6 month old baby as we knew the area and staff. Sadly the staff have changed and were very rude and abrupt, some were lovely but you knew it was just for the tips. As the room had no kettle I had to ask for boiled water daily for making baby milk and as they were not getting tips DAILY they felt very put out even refusing once, Hubby wasnt impressed!! The entertainment is awful and unfortunatly the hotel felt like an old folks home... no offence Grandparents!!!! It was also a smoking hotel which you couldnt get away from at night. The pool area was nice but very very quiet, I was scared the baby would wake every up. Dont get too excited about the food its no frills all the way! A very bad point is the airport, it is disgusting, dirty and stinks everyone smokes and you can not get away from it SERIOUSLY you crave for fresh air!! I am not anti smoking i like the odd one myself but that airport was horrendous. It gives Tunisia a bad name.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SezmoManchester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cambridge
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 25, 2009

was a bit dubious after reading reviews but neednt have worried. on arrival room didnt have great view but after requesting different room was moved to one overlooking pool and beach. staff very helpful and friendly even though it was ramadan. fantastic service in all areas even the man who put your towel on sun bed exactly where you wanted every day. we usually gave him 1 dinar per day (50p). the watersport guys mohammed and hassan were great fun and all worked really hard for not a lot of money. have been trying really hard to find fault with this hotel but as of yet no luck. for us it was the perfect start to our marriage.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dammon2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwich
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 22, 2009

We arrived at the hotel on 6th September for a week's holiday.
When we arrived, we had to wait about an hour for the room to become ready. This was disappointing after an early start. There is a currency exchange desk in reception, so we changed some sterling and grabbed a drink.
The room was comfortable, although we didn't have any view - we were on the first floor looking out over the side of the hotel.
We went and had a look around and the hotel is well placed for the port where you'll find restaurants, shops and bars.
We were very disappointed by the food in the hotel and usually found that we left half of what we plated up. The restaurant is dull and dismal and you just want to get out asap. We were half board and had to pay for a bottle of water with dinner. There was an a la carte restaurant, but this was closed - not sure if this was because of Ramadan.
Breakfast was better though and the omlette's were good, but these do get boring!!!

The first 2 days we spent by the beach, and as per other comments, the attendant does expect a tip for placing your bed down. We decided to try the pool the third day. I went out with the towels @ 6.30am to find nearly all the good spots already taken!!! People were quite selfish and must have been up literally at the crack of dawn to get an umberella.

The matress's for the sunbeds were 2 dinars, but it is more comfortable to have one. One day it rained, and we waited for the shower to pass but we were forced to give the matress's back, which really annoyed us as the sun came out!!!!

There are signs everywhere that tell you not to bring in food or drink from outside. We thought we would give this a try as a bottle of 1.5L water cost the same as 4 x 1.5L from a local shop!! We walked past the staff every evening with bags full of water and snacks and no-one said anything.

The flush on the toilet in our room stopped flushing one day, but as soon as we reported it to reception, it was fixed straight away, which was good.

We ate out 3 nights and had good meals trying the local fish. Most meals were similar menu and prices were about £30 for 3 courses with drinks. Would recommend going out for a walk about as it is very busy and you get to see a bit of the culture, rather than the monotony of the hotel and staff. The beggars are persistant, but just say no and they will leave you alone.
All in all, we had a good week, but wouldn't want to stay for 2 weeks.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bikini999
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 On the Beach Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#7 Spa 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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