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“*****Nice week away at the Marhaba *****”
Review of Hotel Marhaba

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Hotel Marhaba
Ranked #9 of 36 Hotels in Sousse
Reviewed 5 June 2013

We were looking for a cheap week away in the sun, we feel like we got more than we paid for in a good way. Like others have said, the porters at the airport will make it seem like they are part of the service when they aren’t and unless you are happy to tip them then a polite "no thanks" will do the job.

First impressions of the hotel where pretty good, check in was quick and easy. The porter here was helpful and insisted that he took our bags to the room, showed us inside and made sure everything was good which it was. Everything looked clean and relatively newish inside. The maids all polite and clean the rooms daily.

The pools, the main one is most lively and it had the slides there, the other one seemed more chilled out and had a nice swim up bar. During the time of year we went the pools were pretty cold and we found the sea was actually warmer. The chap at the pool bar is very friendly and polite, on about the 3rd day we tipped him 10dinar as he offered to bring some drinks round to where we were laying, and after that he was always asking which was nice as he didn't have too!

The animation team, the activities are there if you want to do them, we were being lazy most of the time so didn't take advantage but although it may not be everyone’s idea of entertainment, the team there work so hard, 9am until about 12 at night! They are always cheery and chatty and make a real effort to make Ur holiday fun, but at the same time are happy to leave you in peace if that’s what you want. Can’t comment on evening entertainment that sun really takes it out of you!

The food, it makes me laugh when people complain about there not being much variety! Really, what are you expecting??? British are not the only holiday makers that they are trying to cater for in an all-inclusive hotel. In our opinion the food was excellent, and although I kept to the same sort of things (beef, chicken, rice, potatoes, salads and veg) I enjoyed every meal I ate! Deserts....amazing, I’m not usually a desert person but I couldn’t help myself here. No complaints what so ever.

The beach, lots of sunbeds any time of the day. The beach bar although basic does the job. We didn't have any food from here so couldn’t comment. Quite a bit of hassle from the locals outside of the roped area trying to sell you stuff, trying to befriend you but I admire them for trying, maybe some people in the UK could learn a few things as there is no benefit system there and money doesn't land on your lap. I felt sorry for one guy as he was carrying two heavy looking fruit baskets up and down the beach trying to sell the fruit in the baking heat, tbf it actually looked pretty decent!

The only negative things I can say would be the beds weren’t that comfortable and the noise from the evening entertainment could keep you awake if you want an early night. To be fair to the Marhaba, I think the music was coming from the hotel next door.

Tips: large bottles of water are only available after 7pm, so get them in the evening for the following day. If you have an early departure home, ask the restaurant about opening early so you can eat before. Tunisians aren’t all trying to sell you something, talk to the the staff because at the end of the day they are people, you may even learn something.

Overall great holiday, we would recommend this hotel and if we were to travel back to Tunisia we would have no problem staying in this hotel.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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14  Thank chrispy6169
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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595 - 601 of 987 reviews

Reviewed 4 June 2013

Just come back from here... Great hotel, Some older rooms but just asked to be moved, lovely swimming pool, water slides & a swim up bar very relaxing... staff very friendely, beach fantastic with free sunbeds & a bar there... entertainment lacking if ur an adult tho... kids are fine, mini disco & kids games... we were bored at night but did find our own entertainment... there was a lack of seating at night but it was early i the season & I think they are going to move the entertainment outside which would be better...I was plesantly surprised by the hotel & the area of soussse- very nice..Would i go back ... Yes ... for a relaxing holiday was great value for money

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with family
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5  Thank sunlovercheshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2013 via mobile

We went for 3 nights and was just what we was looking for. A few days relaxing by the pool. Food great and staff all lovely. Nothing to much trouble. A visit to the spa for a massage is a must, so cheap :)

  • Stayed: May 2013
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5  Thank Sarah P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2013

Holiday did'nt start too well. Upon arrival given an older style room, which was can only be described as shabby. It was drab and desperately needed redecorating. In over 20 years of travelling, this is the first time I asked for another room. The receptionist was very unhelpful and seemed reluctant to let us move. He was impolite and kept dealing with other customers behind us in the queue. Eventually he gave us another room, which was one of the refurbished rooms and this was much better. However, at 6am we were woken by the sound of running water and had a serious flood, with water pouring through the light socket. Once again advised reception and they told us we would have to wait till 1pm for another room. Finally new room was found at 1-30pm and this was fine.

As for hotel - No problems. Pool area was fine, always had sunbeds available- We did prefer the beach, which is very nice.

Food - I found the food was good, however, I am very happy to try new foods, where my wife found the menu quite repetative as her options were more limited. Saying that, I find this the same with most all inclusive holidays I have been on.

Entertainment - Seen better and have also seen worse. Kids disco was fine, Bingo was expensive - £5 for one game and you only play for a line. Shows - Low budget, but gave us some laughs, including Mr Marhaba, Mrs Marhaba, Men vs Women, Karaoke and a couple of "professional" acts coming in.

Location - Was good. Right on the beach. If you turn right out of hotel, you find shops and bars etc. If you turn left there is a cinema and theatre. Taxi's are very cheap - We paid 5 dinar to go to Port Al Kantoui (which is very nice) And the same for the Medina. Be sure to agree price and not use the meters.

Trips. We only went to El Djem which is great, and is quite chilling when you go to tunnels where the Christians were kept until they had to fight for their lives. There are also some nice shops there to look around.

All in all, It was a good hotel for the money paid. You cant expect luxury for budget prices. Hotel was a little tired and dated in places. But if you are looking for a cheap holiday and a little sun you could do much worse than this hotel.

Room Tip: Ask for a refurbished room.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with family
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7  Thank Nick W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2013

This is a great hotel, don't listen to negative reviews. Will share all experiences when get home but I want to reassure anyone travelling here this week or soon it is not a bad hotel, the food is great too. After reading reviews every day before I came I was a little worried but I am loving it.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with family
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6  Thank Joanne7890
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2013

My husband and i have just arrived home from the hotel marhaba in sousse today. I don't normally submit reviews on my holiday experiences but on this occasion i felt i had to. We were quickly made aware of the "tipping culture" as soon as we arrived at the airport as i was expected to tip the toilet attendant for the privledge of using the loo, and also a porter who "happily" carried our cases to the transfer coach and cheekily demanded a £1/ £2 tip. We were taken aback by the forceful nature of his request. We arrived at the Hotel Marhaba and i cannot fault the standard of the hotel. It was beautifully decorated and spotlessly clean. Rooms were cleaned every day albeit a little early so put your "do not disturb" sign up if you want peace. We did not mind tipping the maids as they aren't paid much and do a first class job. Waiting and bar staff could not have been any nicer and went out of their way to serve you. We had a lovely waiter called abdulah and he waited on us hand and foot and even put flowers on the table on our last night to cheer me up as i was unwell, he was always bright and cheery and made you smile.
The food on the other hand did not make us smile. Yes it was plentiful but not up to the standard we were led to believe. Breakfast was faultIess with freshly made omelettes and pancakes on offer, lunch was dire and dinner didn't fare much better. I don't eat meat and i survived on salad and aubergines which seemed to be on the menu most nights in various forms. Some foods weren't clearly labelled and it was difficult to know what you were eating. The soup was inedible. I understand that it is Tunisian food and therefore wont taste like British food, but even food i would eat at home tasted different here. The best thing about mealtimes were the deserts, hats off to the pasty chef as they were worthy of a french pattisserie.

Sousse itself was a nightmare, not much to do outwith the complex and warnings from reps not to venture outside at night, however plenty of security round the complex. We like to get out and about at night and felt like prisoners. The entertainment is not up to much and most guests just hung around the foyer. We were so bored we bought playing cards and went to bed early which is not what i expect to do when i am on holiday. We visited the medina and it was one of the worst experiences of my life. Never a moments peace and strangers claiming to be the chef at your hotel trying to lure you to carpet shops. Take your wristband off before you go so you cant be identified by your hotel. We heard some shocking stories of people being locked in shops until a sale was made. Negotiate taxi prices before getting in, and walk away if needs be as there is always be someone trying to get your business. If you have a moral conscience please do not use the horse and cart to sightsee as the horses are in a terrible condition and do not get water breaks. My husband gave some horses water when we were out and about. We visited frigula park which seemed promising, yes we saw animals but most of them looked tranquilised so for £40 not a great day out. Port el Kantaoui was lovely but you can see it in 20 mins.The tourist train was worth the money and passed some time. We spent a couple of afternoons at the beach as the shops were too much of a hassle. We were virtually chased off the beach by a stick wielding youth as we were on the riadh palms beach and not marhaba beach and he rudely escorted us off the beach telling us to "get off". I'm sorry for going on a bit but my husband and i had looked forward to this holiday for months and feel really disappointed by our experience. This is only my opinion and like me you will probably make your own mind up, but for once i wish i had read the reviews here a little closer as i would have thought twice about going. If you like to hang around your hotel all day and night then this is the perfect destination for you, but sadly not for us.

Room Tip: ask for a room in the refurbished section of the hotel preferably away from the pool if you like pea...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank susie d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2013

On arrival you get a welcome cold drink, reception were fairly efficient. The lobby is very nice and looks how you would expect. There was myself and my daughter and it was our first time in Tunisia.

Our room was the old type, but was clean and functional, but not perfect, the bathroom was dated and only had a door on the whole bathroom not between the toilet and the door, but I did not intend spending much time in the room anyway. We were on the ground floor but had an nice view over the garden and we had a balcony, for the price it was brilliant.

Food - brilliant, but if you are a very fussy eater can be similar daily, however my daughter is a vegetarian and fussy, and she always found something nice to eat.

Breakfast - Pastries such as croissants, pain du chocolate etc, eggs, beans, fresh bread daily, fruit, yoghurt, cereal, tea, coffee and hot chocolate. Freshly made crepes and omelettes, all lovely. The tea I know has been commented on but the do a british tea and its nice, coffee can be strong, but I found using the hot milk on half then coffee it was nice.

Lunch - fair selection, lots of salads, soups, pizza, pasta and whatever dish of the day, we only had this twice because we were at the pool and the snack bar at the pool had amazing fresh pizza and pasta, you can always find something to eat.

Dinner - some are themed, we had a japanese night and a Tunisian, both amazing, a massive amount of choice, what I would say, is if you are not sure, then try it especially if all inclusive as I was, the soups are gorgeous, as are the salads always fresh. There is always somethign fresh on the barbeque in there, and always beef, turkey or chicken roast. My daughter ate a lot of pasta there due to her not eating meat. Also a massive selection of fresh fruit such as melon, dates, oranges, strawberries.

The waiters are lovely and polite always had a drink ready for you whether you tip or not, with hindsight I would tip about the third day so you are sure who your waiter is. What I would say is take your time at dinner, enjoy the experience and try new things, I found I liked a lot more, no one will tell you off if you don't like something.

Desserts are to die for, always amazing and varied, they are truly beautiful.

Pool area, very busy every day, but you can usually find a space, or sit up by the bar, the pool itself is clean and well maintained, there are 3 slides which are on at various times of the day....though the slides can be uneven got a little burn from the green one as it is so fast lol, red one is slower, best for young children.

The beach there is more space and you ask the guy and he will get u beds on there, we never had a problem finding space. The bar down at beach is basic but again you can get a small amount of food here, though we never did. The sea is lovely and sometimes the waves can be big but safe if that makes any sense. Do not worry about jelly fish or anything, we never saw a single one and we went in sea a lot. There are some sellers on the beach but they cannot come past the barriers, a no suffices, or ignore them. I bought fresh water melon from one of them he wanted 5 dinars...I laughed at him and paid 2 dinars, they will try haggle but stick to your guns, as they do not want you to walk away as when one buys from them a lot do.

There are water sports you can pay for but we went on one of the inflatables, be warned even if you ask for it steady, it isn't and I was chucked off at the end. Not hurt or anything and I had a life jacket on albeit it a bit worn and broken. Also they ask for 15 dinar per person...do haggle!!!! Same with the pictures they take too, haggle.

The man waiting for you on way in to beach will try to sell you pirate ship, dune buggy rides, be firm and say no, and check with Maddie your rep first.

Trips, we went on the Pirates and Gladiators tour, to El Djem, museum and then a boat trip, cost 79 dinar per person, but well worth it. El Djem is beautiful and our guide was very knowledgable and helpful, be aware of the sellers around it they will announce their wares are 1 dinar...but thats just a hook then they wont leave you alone. A very firm no thank you works best.

We also got a taxi to the museum in Sousse, the mosaics here are not to be missed for any person interested in history, not expensive cost us 9 dinar each person and 1 dinar to used your camera, again a taxi back too...do not pay more than 5 dinar.

The animation team - wow what can I say, they all work so so hard, their hours are 9am - 12am, a 15 hour day and they have one afternoon off per week. They entertain you all day, around the pool, darts, boules, archery, waterpolo and aerobics, and it is a lot of fun. The neptune bar at night they had a mini disco with the little kids, thats when you see how much work these guys do, then one game of bingo, then the act, always varied and different. These guys deserve tipping out of everyone mentioned so far, as they work the hardest in my view.

Ok the few issues bit. Money was taken from my room £80 (only once then I hid it better), along with random items, such as medicines, and the weirdest thing my scrunchy, the ones you use in showers, random but ok. One day and bearing in mind we were on the ground floor, the patio had been left open. The lobby people can smoke indoors, so if this is an issue for you bear this in mind.

Had lots of ants one night, but the maid put something down next day and this sorted it. Also had a flood, again it was sorted but this was at midnight, and had to wait a while.

People do hassle you when you leave the compound, but ignore them, but do hang on to your bag, lady had her bag taken.

Only change money as you need or you will be stung with 30% off to change it back.

But on the whole we had a fabulous time, you do get what you pay for, alcohol is never measured out so make sure for example if your having a vodka and lemonade, you also get a lemonade so you can dilute it.

I would return but would ask for a better room and would be a little wiser, I hope you find this helpful.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank dfleet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Marhaba

Address: 2011 Boulevard 14 Janvier | Zone Touristique, Sousse 4000, Tunisia
Region: Tunisia > Sousse Governorate > Sousse
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 36 Hotels in Sousse
Price Range: £22 - £73 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Marhaba 3.5*
Number of rooms: 734
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Classe 4 etoiles et faisant parti du Marhaba Resorts, reference par la prestigieuse chaine Marhaba Hotels, le Marhaba Club est entierement dedie a anticiper vos besoins et satisfaire vos attentes. Situe au coeur de la zone touristique de la ville de Sousse, a : 10 mn du centre ville de Sousse, 10 mn du Port el Kantaoui et du terrain de Golf, 20 minutes de l'aeroport de Skanes-Monastir, 40 minutes de l'aeroport d'Enfidha et a 90 minutes de l'aeroport de Tunis-Carthage ... more   less 
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