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“A definate no,no”

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Marhaba Royal Salem
Ranked #6 of 35 Hotels in Sousse
Reviewed 7 May 2012

My friend and I arrived at this hotel april 29th,the lobby area looked fine,however,when we were taken to our room we were very dissappointed there were holes in the wall with wires showing,the balcony could have done with a lick of paint,and the wood was cracked and peeling,before making a decision on whether we were going to stay,we strolled around the grounds,the smell there was awful,there was only one pool in use,the big pool was like a building site,the beach was full of seaweed and rocks,and we both decided that it was either get a flight home,or be moved,i would not recommend this hotel to anyone.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank tesserra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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913 - 919 of 1,658 reviews

Reviewed 27 April 2012

Originally we were booked into the sister hotel Marhaba Salem but due to ongoing refurbishment we were upgraded to Royal Salem. First impressions the lobby/lounge area was adequate size with friendly reception staff.
We were given a twin room with a sea view (Through the palm tree outside) but the balcony was a good size and got the sun for most of the day. We were not in the main building but in the detached blocks, be advised we were on the top floor, 3rd floor and there is no lift!
Be aware when we paid for wi-fi we were not told it only worked in the main building and it was very intimittent, we gave up trying in the end.
The main pool area was lovely, nicely designed and due to off peak travel no fighting for sunbeds. The pool staff were amazing, pool side waiter service although the beach bar was only yards away and no extra charge for sunbeds by pool or beach.
The only downside to the pool is the fact it was salt water, unaware of this it came as a shock when we decided to take a dip!
Although we had twin beds it worked out great as the combined size was larger than a king! The maid service was great, room cleaned everyday with the sheets and on one occasion my pjs made into a fancy design. The room overall was clean,comfortable and safe, all you could ask for out of accomodation.
Again we were not informed the air conditioning is seasonal and there is no option to turn it on/off. It is switched on in May.
Th entertainment left little to the imagination... Wasnt good, but there was a boost midweek when the new entertainment team started and they engaged with the guests trying to involve you in both the daytime poolside and evening activities. Due to the design of the lobby area there was a defined divide, with the smoking area at the top and non by the bar, however most of the evening entertainment was conducted at the top, so unless you want to sit in clouds of smoke you were in for a pretty dull evening. There was nothing much to do outside the hotel, you couldnt just go for a walk. Sousse and Port el Kantoyi was only 5 minutes either way and a mere £2.50 in a taxi where there was more to do.
Overall you got what you paid for, we booked last minute a got a good deal, if we had a choice we wouldve considered Port el Kantoyi or even Djerba.

Room Tip: Rooms in detached block have no lift facility if you have problems with mobility. The rooms over the...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank janet g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2012

This hotel is what you pay for, nothing was horrendous, the main bar area was really nice, rooms were fine always clean, waiters were lovely, the mattreses on sunbed were a nice touch,just defiantly couldn't go for longer than a week!
Few bad points: reception staff quite rude along with bar staff, wifi advertised but never worked,spoon shortage I'm guessing due to having to ask for one all the time!!!! Entertainment team annoying!!! Toilet flushing .... We were on level 4 in main part and every time someone flushed there toilet we heard it, also had noisy neighbours that did nt really care that the head board made a noise!!!!!!!
Also main road was quite noisy from our room.

Also brilliant if you like chips or pizza oh and spaghetti bolognaise as this was served every day!!! Also lots of cats everywhere..
We had the unfortunate time of being there when the African national vollyball was on and the players staying at the hotel, which was quite intimidating at meal times as they did not know how to que. they pushed in and ate loads also stank of b o !!

Stayed: April 2012
Thank moominmoominmama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2012

We stayed here last summer (2011), we got a GREAT deal from thomas cook, so we were not expecting too much as they just had the uprising. We were very surprised at what we did get though for the money we paid.

The food was a bit boring. I am not a 'typical Brit' abroad, i like to taste the local culture, but even to me the food was boring, and repetitive. Sorry, but Pizza and chips being the main offering for lunch was not very nice.

The bar staff - some were nice, most were rude or simply did the bear minimum they had to, but there were 2 or 3 that after a couple of days came out of their shell. I think this may have been a British thing, despite me speaking French to them, and trying to learn Arabic. The same can be said for the reception staff, though they didn't actually warm to anyone that i saw, some were better than others though.

The Animation team were great! They found a nice balance between getting you up and about and leaving you alone.

The hotel itself was nice. The main reception area in the Royal was nice, the rooms clean (though we had water bottles left lying around for days, despite putting them together for the cleaner), but she did change our sheets pretty much daily. Yes it is a little tired, but you get what you pay for.

We went on the Sahara Explorer trip (2 days) and it was simply amazing! They are loooooong days, but they are well worth it, you get to see so much more of the country than you would have otherwise. The hills and caves of Matmata, Douz (the gate to the Sahara), El Djem, Kairouan - The Great Mosque (the 4th most religious place in Islam). I would return to the country just to do this trip again, and experience the heat of the Sahara in August must be very impressive!!

We have great memories from there, not sure as to weather i would rush back to this hotel or not or not, if the price was right i suppose i would, but i am looking at Tunisia as a type this and the MRS is not on my list to stay at, but that could change!

Room Tip: Buy a travel adaptor from the local Palms Centre, not the hotel much cheaper! THe hotel doesn't...
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank David B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2012

This was our 27th stay at Marhaba Royal Salem! which speaks for itself. Food - EXCELLENT. Has had a real up-grade on the puddings front with a French patisserie chef - superb creme slices (oh dear! weight!) - excellent choice. Superb meat, from steak, fish, liver, chicken, turkey - vegetables - amazing - stuffed fennel, stuffed cabbage, aubergines, apart from the normal peas, carrots, beans etc. anyone who complains does not comprehend "good diet!!". This time - an amazing dearth of cutlery in the dining room was a problem - and over-run with football teams and badly behaved children taking so much food & leaving it all in March! The one really BAD thing this time was the hotel advertises internet access which it DOES NOT have. Usually Medina City Centre next door is excellent, but due to refurbishing - you need to walk to the right to the Ella Center - which is fine. Free connection for buying a coffee! Zu-Zu makes the beach perfect but they need to clear sea-weed post storms! Will be back as soon as possible!!Massages - amazing! I do wish the hotel would resume doing half board. We do NOT want all inclusive - like to go out for the day!! Why is Britain forcing this on us?! SO glad they have moved evening entertainment to the Moorish Bar - it makes the hotel slightly more peaceful at night!! SOME of us go for a rest!!

Room Tip: Ask for Rooms 524, - 530 if you want a quiet room with sea view - otherwise you are subject to noise...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Lainie-Bramerton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2012

We stayed at Royal Salem for 2 weeks from 31st March, we went as a party of 11... The resturant and food was good, we always found something that we liked. The waiters a little bit miserable but they cheered up the 2nd week! The snack bar food was better in the day but a limited menu. The waiters in the resturant dont always speak english!! The barmen were friendly and happy except one!! They did try to say that my children of 2 and half and 14 months old had to oder there own drinks! But it was soon resloved but going to reception desk. As a large party they did question us when ordering a round of 11 drinks but they soon got over it!!
The beach was close to the toilets and beach bar, although there was seaweed it didnt smell as some others have reviewed on tripadvisior. This is normal for this time of year and happens every year so this is a natural cause. The hotel did get a digger in to clear the majority of it. There was a few people selling things on the beach, which were harmless. Just be firm and tell them you dont want anything. The police are always patrolling the beach. The people selling trips on the beach are a con. They do not always tell you the truth of the trip for example; 2 of the men wanted to go fishing from our group and the people booked them onto the Pirate Boat Trip... they had 10 mins of fishing without real rods!! Better of going to Port El Kantaoui or Sousse and haggling for a price and seeing what you are getting for the trip!
The rooms were large and comfortable. The maids were great too. Comfortable beds. The balcony was small but that was too my liking as 2 small children. Shower was ok aswell. If you want a big balcony ask for 5th floor.
The entertainment of an evening was also ok, snake charmer, belly dancers, kids disco!! Found it incredibly stupid that the entertainment was put in the smoking area!! The hotel does need to review this. A few people have complained about children runnign around in the reception area but in our party there was 3 under 3years and they are not going to sit still so what do you expect!! The childrens park is abit out dated and needs refurbishing but my children still enjoyed it!
The swimming pools were great. Indoors pool better as the outside was cold but still it was the beginning of April. Slides were good fun. Outdoor pool is salt water just to let everyone know. There was works going on in the hotel on another swimming pool but it wasnt finished when we was there.
As for the works i over looked them but didnt get disturbed by the noise. Surely if the hotel is going to start these works there will be a little bit of noise!!! Some people just like moaning. There was always people cleaning the hotel.
I enjoyed my holiday here, the children had fun and i would say you get what you pay for!!
I would return toTunsia maybe just try a different area for a change. There is a supermarket outside the hotel to your left... very cheap and lots of diff bits in there. Often cheaper that buying things in the market/ shops in sousse or port el kantaoui.
Sousse very busy, people can be abit pushy but if you say no they will leave you alone! You must be able to bartar if going to sousse. I always halved the price they asked and then went a lil lower, just have a price in mind what you want to pay. Port El Kantaoui was lovely and calm. Found the shop people a lil rude only in 2 shops. Great bars. A person we met out there recommended the pirate boat resturant in the harbour unfortunately it was closed when we went down there.

Room Tip: Get a room in the main hotel easier access, some people complained of hearing noise but the entertai...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank 690emmak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2012

I am normally very positive about places we have stayed but this hotel was awful. There were building works going on so the sister hotel that you should have had use of was closed! Food was incredibly poor. Staff were brilliant, apart from
The animation team tiesto was a complete plonka!! The first night we arrived put our bags in our room... Door looked like it had been smashed in previously and poorly mended. Two pins fixed the broken wood around the lock! Went down to tea and there was a massive fight erupting between locals and staff! Not good when there are so many children around some of which were scared! Went back to the room one day and somebody - not official had been in the balcony door was open and the covers etc messed up on the bed. We moved rooms. The room we moved to was of the same poor quality. Had a shower and the bathroom was flooded, we reported it but still nothing was done 2 says later we reported it again and they said that they would fix it once we had left. This wasn't going to be for another three days- eventually they fixed it. The food was poor there were building works going on, half of it was shut. 99% of the staff were very friendly and helpful but that didn't make up for hotel. We arrived back today and I will be putting a complaint it to Thomas cook. I would not recommend this hotel to anybody. We won't be going back there even if somebody paid us.

  • Stayed: April 2012
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2  Thank Glc0487
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Marhaba Royal Salem

Address: Boulevard 14 Janvier, Sousse 4031, Tunisia
Region: Tunisia > Sousse Governorate > Sousse
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Sousse
#3 Best Value Hotel in Sousse
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Sousse
#5 Luxury Hotel in Sousse
#6 Family Hotel in Sousse
Price Range: £20 - £58 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Marhaba Royal Salem 4*
Number of rooms: 316
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Marhaba Royal Salem Marhaba Royal Salem Beach Tax : SOLIDARITY STAMP for non resident foreign travellers leaving the tunisian territory are requested to present a solidarity stamp: * accounting 30 TND * It is sold at th finance offices, cusomer offices (including the borders ones), banks and tabacco shops. * Its entry into force is fixed on the 1st of October 2014, defined as the entry date into the territory. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Marhaba Royal Salem Sousse

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