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“Nice hotel, shame about the restaurant”
Review of Marhaba Club Hotel

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Marhaba Club Hotel
Ranked #11 of 36 Hotels in Sousse
Derby
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Nice hotel, shame about the restaurant”
Reviewed 30 August 2012

Firstly a money saving tip, the sister hotel (Hotel Marhaba) is cheaper than the Marhaba Club and as you can use all of the facilities at both hotels I would book that hotel.

OK back to the review, transfer from the airport was approx 45 minutes we should have been the sixth drop off but our driver decided to do the drop off in reverse order so we were second drop off.

Check in was a little hectic, you have to queue at reception to receive the check in forms, you then fill these in and then queue again at reception to get allocated your room.

Rooms were ok, a little dated but clean and cool. There is quite a big step up into the bath to use the shower so older people may have trouble getting in and out. Be wary when in your room, our cleaner had a habit of just letting herself into the room without knocking. On our last full day at the hotel my wife was in the bath with our 2 year old daughter and the cleaner just let herself into the room and went into the bathroom to leave some towels.

The restaurant at the Club is not air conditioned, the tables are all crammed together, there are long queues for the food and the staff were all miserable and rude. We had read on other reviews that the restaurant was bad but thought we would give it a try, at our first meal I found a metal pop rivet in my meal, not a good start. We only ate in this restaurant 4 times and then decided to eat all our other meals at the restaurant at the Marhaba Hotel (about a 5 minute walk across the hotel grounds).

The restaurant at the Marhaba Hotel is the complete opposite of the Club. Very modern looking, air conditioned, well laid out and the staff were very friendly.

The food available appered to be the same in both restaurants except the Marhaba Hotel maybe had a couple of additional dishes on at each meal.

When you check in you will be given a restaurant card which indicates which sitting you are for the evening meal, blue is the early sitting and yellow the late sitting. If you are not given a card for the sitting you want then reception will swap it for you (the Hotel Marhaba restaurant do not stick to these times so you can just go and eat whenever you like).

There are 4 all inclusive bars in the two hotels, all of which are very slow at serving, this leads to massive queues at busy times. The waiters do take drinks orders but they are abit hit and miss and do not tend to come round very often. If you do not want to attend the evening entertainment there is a very limited amount of outdoor seating near the bars, infact there is none at the Marhaba Club).

The pool bar and beach bar serve food at lunch time. The pool bar food was usually cold or luke warm but the beach bar food was usually better and offered more variety. I can highly recommend the cheese paninis at the beach snack bar.

Swimming pools were nice, although the water sometimes looked abit cloudy. We did see the pool maintenance guy trying to fish something out of the pool one day, not exactly sure what it was but if it was anything nasty they didn't close the pool for it. The childrens pool was just the right depth for our daughter to walk about it, there were a few missing tiles on the bottom of this pool but nothing major.

Some of the features stated in the Airtours holiday brochure as being part of the All Inclusive package were either not there or were charged for, as an example the brochure states the hotel has a Turkish Bath but upon talking to the rep we were informed this was just a sauna and steamroom and not an actual Turkish Bath.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank fossman1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Bournemouth, England, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 August 2012

We have now spent almost a fortnight at the Marhaba club for our honeymoon and I would say it has been a mixed experience.

Rooms
The rooms are fairly spacious with ample wardrobe space (and in our case a superkingsize bed) but the fixtures and fittings are rather basic and feel very cheap. In our room there was a patch of mould above the toilet in the bathroom. During our stay some painters came in and simply painted over it (room 1053) along with some other parts of the room. The slapdash workmanship has left patchy sections over the walls. I would also comment that the grouting round the tiles in the bathroom needs some attention. The beds are rather hard for our tastes but this will vary from person to person.

The Hotel & Staff
The lobby is nicely decorated but could do with better air conditioning. The staff are relatively courteous and often crack jokes, but as with all service in Tunisia we have found can be relatively blunt and lack a certain level of care and attention to detail. I recall one experience of a particularly salty tasting coffee cup... clearly not washed thoroughly enough. To give a positive however the housekeeper was excellent!

Food & Restaurant - THE REAL LET DOWN!!!
Now I believe all the guests in the hotel are on all inclusive - simply put, you get your food and drink free if you are wearing one of the Marhaba "hospital bracelets" (which you can't remove until you leave - something my wife has hated wearing). Because of this, the quality of what you get is really poor.

At the all inclusive bar there is NO fresh juice whatsoever. We got mouth ulcers after a week of drinking Coke, Sprite, Fanta (incidentally the only thing that is the genuine article and not fake postmix is the Coke - and this is not always available) and the "juices" they provide from the tap which are extremely sweet and basically just syrup. So if you want a healthy drink you really only have a couple of choices - bottled water which is thankfully free or coffee. The alcohol is plentiful but again the cheapest of the cheap and in our opinion tastes foul and we believe made my wife ill.

The food in the restaurant is all very low quality as well. Almost every day at breakfast you have bread rolls and loaves you can cut yourself (but unless you get there at 6AM they will all be very hard and unappetising by the time you come to eat them), stodgy croissants, pain au chocolat, pain au raisin and a chef cooking omelettes and pancakes (or should I say undercooking).

Then you have the usual list of cereals (with warm often foul tasting milk), eggs both boiled and scrambled, horrid turkey sausages or merguez (poor quality) then the usual selection of fruit, yoghurt, salad, vegetables etc. etc.

Unfortunately because the restaurant does not do anything about the flies and has poor air conditioning (except in the far corner) eating there is often a sickening experience and if I am honest we tried not to eat there after a week because the food gave us the runs. One other thing worth mentioning is that the food hygiene is often quite poor and this morning we even saw a waiter grab some cereal flakes with his bare hand then stuff if into his mouth as he walked past. This kind of thing is totally unacceptable but not at all uncommon in Tunisia as they are really still a developing African country.

Lunch and dinner are much the same affair - you have pasta and sauce at almost every meal along with chips and often turkey burgers - along with the usual bread, rice and limp salad. The rest of the food varies but no thought appears to go into the "menu" so you will get chips, turkey burgers, rice, roast beef, pasta and sauce and baked vegetables... not really all things that go well with other things!

SOLUTIONS - really this is simply to say that the only way to get around these problems are NOT to eat in the hotel. Across the road you have Cioconat lounge which does paninis, sandwiches and pizzas and the most wonderful selection of chocolate drinks, fresh juices, ice-creams, crepes, etc. etc. For 5.200TD (about £2) you can get a lovely panini. I would suggest this kind of thing is worth doing in lieu of eating meals in the hotel if you can afford it. It does rather seem counter-intuitive if you are on all inclusive but we found we just couldn't stomach the hotel food in the end (and I wouldn't say we eat caviar at home!). Down the street are the Saloon (we ate there twice - mixed opinions but the steaks are good), Farmers (right next to The Saloon) again very good steaks and fresh salad that is kept cool and mostly fly free - MUCH more appetising! Other excellent restaurants we discovered are the Mediterranean restaurant in Port El Kantaoui (quite expensive for Tunisia but does the most WONDERFUL fish) and recommended by the rep "Bonaparts" near the hotel. We tried Bocca Beach the hotels seafront restaurant but had such bad service and got short changed we never returned so I would NOT recommend you waste your money there.

Pool & Beach
OK - these were the highlight really. You go to Tunisia for the sun and you need a good pool and a good beach. This is does tick the boxes with, although the pool sometimes ended up dirty from people dropping their drinks in it, or walking sand in from the beach (I think you can live with those things).

So overall an acceptable but not stunning experience, not least because the overall cost of our holiday went up by about £400 as we found we had to eat out far more than expected because the all inclusive hotel food was so bad.

I hope this has been helpful to some of you trying to decide - my choice would be the Movenpick hotel up the road if I came back to Sousse - it looked stunning!

Room Tip: The travel agent requested a room with a balcony and a sea view as we were on honeymoon....we got a...
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank StuDarling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aberdeen
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 August 2012

First time visitors to Tunisia- and would return, though probably not to Marhaba Club or to Sousse.Spend first night in huge room overlooking a roof - and no balcony at all!!! We were promised alternative room the next day. We were allocated room 1079 - good size, plenty of storage, good-sized balcony and level with the baby pool. However, it sometimes was a bit musty-smelling and we tended to leave balcony doors open as much as possible just to try and let fresher air circulate around the room. Air-con worked really well though. Our biggest gripe in the hotel was the nonsensical card "system" (!!!!!) in the dining room. ( We actually ate our meals across in the Marhaba Hotel- same problem there). It just does not work- and the waiters were the ones who had to deal with all the aggro. We found the food adequate and loved "chorba", the Tunisian soup. Cutlery and plates were sometimes in short supply though and no-one seemed in any great hurry to sort it out.The entertainment team were very friendly. We spend the first week down on the beach- got up early ,did not tip and got beds and brolly everytime. Week 2 we spent poolside where tipping seemed the way to go - but as our room was so close to the pool area we got beds etc without too much trouble- and did not tip once. (word of warning- couple we met had towels removed from beds on grassy area and never saw them again!!!) . We visited Medina, El Kantaoui and did the 2 day Sahara Explorer excursion. I would not recommend the Sahara trip for children as it was extremely hot, involved 2 very early mornings and was quite intensive, covering nearly 750 miles.However, it was for us the highlight of our holiday and well worth the extra £72 each. We stayed overnight in the Sun Palm Hotel in Douz, which was excellent- nice pool with bar service, lovely evening meal ( without card system!!!) and great sleep in a lovely fresh smelling room !!! All in all some unforgetable experiences. We had no problem exchanging money in either the "Club " or the "Hotel" and the pool bar was great!!!( I don't know how he managed to remember so many orders at the same time.) We found travelling by taxi very traumatic, especially at night when the traffic was really busy- and also found crossing the road quite difficult, as some cars would slow down or stop to allow you to cross but others just carried on! Tunisia has a lot to offer as a holiday destination:- beautiful weather, short flight , no time difference etc but I was not comfortable with the "tipping".

Room Tip: Higher floor rooms in main building seem to be better- avoid lower ground floor rooms off corridor...
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank AberdeenAac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Southampton, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 August 2012

We as a family of 4 (17years and 14years) have just had 11 nights at The Marbaba Club and had a really great time.
We requested two rooms next door to each other and this was accomdated both with balconies. The rooms could not be faulted and the towels and bed linen were changed daily, along with a bottle of water each day.
Likewise with the other reviews the Marhaha Club Restaurant was a bit of a shambles, long queue's for food, very little clean plates and cutlery. We decided to eat at sister Hotel Restaurant which I have to say was 100% better, waiters could not do enough for you.
The pool was first class, lots of beds and again the pool maintenance team looked after you of which we tipped every other day (2 dinars). I also had concerns about the life guard (it was my 14 year old daughter) that he made inappropriate remarks to, but once I put him right he kept away but then moved on to his next victim.
One word for the Animation Team "FANTASTIC", they entertained thoughout the day and were not too pushy if you didn't want to join in. The pool bar was great and respect for the barman who ran it everyday with a lovely smile and was very pleasant.
I would highly recommend The Farmers Steak House which is a 5 minute walk from the Hotel, we ate there twice and was great value for money.

All in all the holiday was brilliant ,beautiful weather, and fantastic friends were made, and we would happily return.

The Hayes Family - Southampton

Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
Helpful?
6 Thank MrsHayes22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stockport, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2012

We have recently returned from Marhaba Club as a family of 4 having stayed in this hotel for 2 weeks, (2 adults, 17 year old & 16 year old) and as a family, we loved every minute of it!
Upon arrival we were allocated two rooms which we had requested to be near each other and with balconies. However, one of the rooms wasn't as requested and after informing a man at reception, we were sufficiently moved the next day to a more suitable room! :) Neither rooms could be faulted at all, towels changed daily, water in fridges were kept topped up, and bed sheets changed daily too. Despite their being no safe which at first was a small problem, everything was stayed just as we left it so there was no need to worry :)

We spent our first evening using Marhaba Club's restaurant which didn't live up to our 4star expectations at all. The layout was almost school canteen-like, there were long queue's for food, and a limited choice of food as well. However we were soon put out of our misery when recommended to use the sister hotels restaurant, merely a 5 minute walk across the complex. Tables were decorated with flowers, food was better presented and laid out, and waiters were more helpful, definitely a surprise for a 3 star hotel! :) We were also coincidently placed on a table with a lovely welsh family, whom we happened to get along very well with and from then on spent a lot of time with afterwards!

Animation team could not be faulted at all, they tried their very best to include everyone and make sure all guests were enjoying their stay. The amount of effort they put in was incredible organising shows at night, leading day time activities and running the kids disco 6 days a week.
Bar staff too were lovely, especially Borat who was always offering to get us drinks and making sure we were okay. The only person people should be very aware of is the lifeguard, especially young girls. He came across very friendly at first, aiding me when I had unfortunately got stung by a jellyfish and making friendly conversation however he was very inappropriate at times. He would involuntary rub sun-cream into my back and make very crude remarks, one of which he made to a 14year old girl (unaware of her age). Other guests we had spoken to had also found him a bit of a pest, as we started to think maybe we were just personally looking for negatives and holding a grudge! The lifeguard also likes to trick young couples into asking for 30dinar (equivalent of about £22) at the start of their holiday so he could place towels down for them. DO NOT BE FOOLED BY THIS! Their is a separate man who will offer to put towels down for you on a daily basis if you give him a voluntary tip off around 2dinar every couple of days.

During our stay we spent the morning at Friguia National Park Zoo which is most definitely recommended to visit! Animals were very happy, and we even got the opportunity to feed an elephant! We also visited 'Farmers' several times which is a steak house just up the road from our hotel which could not be faulted at all and most definitely worth a visit. :)

The beach was beautiful, crystal clear sea's, white sand, and a beach bar which served up salads, panini's, pasta's for lunch time. The hotel grounds were too kept pleasantly clean and tidied. The hotel and the area did have a lack of things to do after a while, especially for teenagers so despite having a fantastic holiday, that was probably helped a lot by the people which they had met and not in fact the hotel itself, however we would still happily return :)

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
5 Thank EllenDuggan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cluj-Napoca, Romania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2012

We were there 4 persons in 1st august 2012 and had terrible experience. We got there at 2 am and being tired the guys from front desk took advantage of us and he gave us a room in the hotel near Marhaba Club, Neptun.This was happening all month with different customers whenever they were overcrowded since we were observing during our holliday the behaviour. Instead the 4 stars we got a room with 4 beds from which 2 were metal bunkbeds. When i was washing hands water was coming out of the floor. Going back to the reception i found out that at least 8 more people from the different group shared the same experience.The front desk persons were very rude..at some point he told one lady in front of me to go sleep in the street if she does not like the room..and all that at 2 am. After changing 4 rooms next day i managed to get a decent one but with a lot of hustle for what i paied for..not ideal way to start your vacation. At the restaurant the waiters were also rude: I ask for an omelet and he says ..tomorrow..the tables were not clean..always missing dishes...and when there were, they were washed in a hurry, full of dirt spots . The all inclusive bar was serving juices full of concentrates wit E s and no ice ..ever...sometimes cofee if your lucky. Access to the beach was restricted after 9..they have a gate and they close it..in the morning they open it at 8 so if you wanna see the sunset or the sunrise cut that from your list. The sea is nice and the sand also very nice.If it wouldn t be that at least i would v come home.The pool closes at 6 pm.

Room Tip: Tip the guy from the front desk. Untill he sees minimum 15 euros/ 30 dinars will be a terrible hustl...
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Simion H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Sousse hotels

York, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 August 2012

we spent a week here 25th june to 3rd july 2012 and absolutely loved it. we're a couple aged 23 & 24. first time to tunisia, would definately go back.
the hotel was great, rooms clean and spacious, large bathroom, although no safes in the rooms (these are located in a room off reception) the maid was lovely, made hearts with the towels on the bed etc.
animation team fantastic, although we had no kids, they still made an effort with us, especially mano and nino...love them :) decent entertainment on every night, the kids club stuff then followed by some show and dj, not everything everyones cup of tea but definately something for everyone during the week.
the all inclusive beer wasnt that great, nice for the first couple of days but then the other half did buy bottles of celtia for 4dinars...its a holiday what does it matter! i rather took to the cherry brandy :)
the pools are fab, spent a lot of time at the pool bar! lots of day time activities for the adults as well as the kids, the pool side dance, water polo, table tennis etc etc. animation team again fab in all of this.
plently of sunbeds, if there wasnt any free around the pool the pool guys would go to the beach and bring us them! did tip occasionally, about 10 dinar to the pool guy during the whole week...it was worth it!
the first morning we went to the resturant inside the hotel marhaba club... and hated it. staff in there werent very nice, rude and didnt really help. lots of flies! then later when we were talking to other guests, they told us to use the resurant at the marhaha hotel, a new build extention on site, located a minutes walk away from the family pool. (you'll see when your there how is set out) its a big glass fronted building, really nice. food was lovely, were both picky eaters, me only eating white meat and the other half hating forgein food in general, yet we both loved the food. must of put on half a stone! especially the puddings :)
generally a fab holoiday!!

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank staceandjid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Marhaba Club Hotel

Property: Marhaba Club Hotel
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 Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Spa Hotel in Sousse
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Sousse
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 285
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Also Known As:
Marhaba Hotel Sousse
Marhaba Sousse
Marhaba Club

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