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“4 Star it is Not” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Marhaba Beach Hotel

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Marhaba Beach Hotel
Ranked #4 of 35 Hotels in Sousse
Chester, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“4 Star it is Not”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 January 2014

Like Carlsberg I don't do reviews, but if I did it would read something like this:
If you are expecting a 4 star hotel do not come to this hotel.
If you are expecting a modern hotel that is not in need of an extensive update then do not come to this hotel.
If you are a fussy eater do not come to this hotel, you will go hungry.
If you like access to snacks all day do not come to this hotel, snack bar very limited opening hours.
If you like a nice, modern, clean pool that is a reasonable size with easy access then do not come to this hotel.
If you are unsteady on your feet take extreme care on the side paths around the hotel they are poorly maintained and are broken or very uneven.
If you are expecting to use the sister hotels and do not wish to pay for food and drink then do not come to this hotel.
If you like a nice speciality restaurant don't come to this hotel. Worst environment and food I have had in any hotel. Avoid the steak unless you need your shoes repairing...not only was it un chewable, it was un-cutable. We were not unlucky with our meal as others had simmilar experiences.

The main (and only) dining room is crammed and server area is small and like a school or medium business canteen.
You often have to cue for the food but by the time you reach the food often it has been emptied by the many hoarding north African guests. which the hotels seems to be now mainly catering for.
Salads are quality and poor choice, unusual food choices on servery, soups very average, the staff are hard working but management poor. Windows not cleaned in months, typically - unserviceable toaster not replaced for over a week, complaints over the horrendous food and service for the new year eve meal arrogantly rebuffed and ignored.
The outdoor pool is one of the poorest pools I have ever seen in any standard of hotel. It is small, has some strange raised lip around the edge with a significant drop to the water meaning that the only sensible way to enter it is via old unstable metal ladders.
Indoor pool is smelly and shabby. The wellness (sauna) area is in need of a complete update and does not provide a relaxing experience.
Reception staff or maintenance poor - typically - requests for TV retuning ignored despite reminders.
Generally the hotel entertainment areas are too small and the entertainment a lot lame so take cards etc.
Entertainment staff do the minimum required, repeated requests to get the volleyball out for a game were ignored.
The hotel has been poorly maintained. Typically, bathroom "80's" tiles poorly grouted and woodwork repainting covering tiles, many paths not maintained correctly and are dangerous.
On the plus side the cleaning staff and waiters are hard working (undermanned) especially if tipped.
The gardens are nice, the Sousse beach is pretty and the view from room over the bay good.

Overall the hotel is in need of complete update and rework of the site. Rather than providing the absolute basics in terms of cuisine and dining experience, it needs to offer a far wider food choice at a higher standard in superior surroundings (main restaurant v.poor and should have a purpose built speciality restaurant rather than sharing it with the snack bar). We will not be returning to this hotel and I will challenge the 4 star ratings given by our tour operator. We asked for change of hotel after the first days, we were offered an "upgrade" to 3star hotels that were better, but would have had to pay an additional GBP300 to 400. But the fact that we were offered upgrades to 3 star hotels by our rep speaks volumes on the current state of this hotel! Of the positive reviews, they cannot have been to "real" 4 star hotels or are "friendly" with the hotel and staff.
It should be downgraded to somewhere between 2 and 3 stars to reflect the overall standard or complete update quickly carried out.
You have been warned.

Room Tip: Insist on bay view on 4th floor.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank FevsNr1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Halifax, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 January 2014 via mobile

My first stay at Marhaba Beach Hotel and proud to say I will be back! This hotel is amazing! Starting with Reception,they are there to help 24/7 and are such good people to have a laugh with. The restaurant staff are so lovely! especially Atef the Waiter!:) they keep you smiling from the day you arrive to the day you leave! And the saloon bar workers,well I think There were 2 that were miserable but the others always remembered your drinks and had them ready for you, haha! The room cleaners always say hello to you first thing in the morning which is so polite!They always look after you and your room!:) and now the animation team!.. Big thankyou to Kaled the boss,Leo the choreographer,Alex,Timo and Tiga for your hard work and effort! the team was great and always got people involved,must say the best show was the Indian show, and when you guys do The Lord Of The Dance' it was great! the location of the hotel was right on the beach which was lovely,especially if you had a sea view room! and the food in the restaurant, was OK but I think more choice of food would be nice!:) I will be back for summer,thankyou guys!

Stayed December 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank LeviCourtneyy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ilford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2014

My husband and I stayed here in Sept 2013 for 7 nights. It was our first time in Tunisia and we had booked this place from the good reviews this place had on TA, so we were expecting a good holiday for what we paid for.

However, due to the busy season, as soon as we arrived at the hotel (almost midnight), we were told that all the rooms were taken and there was no space so we had to be transferred to the sister hotel Marhaba Palace about 15 min drive away. There was no apology, no manager to speak to, the reception staff were quite rude and didnt have a clue. As we had no choice, we spent 2 nights at the Marhaba palace, all in all there were no problems there, apart from them giving us a twin room instead of a double. We spoke to other guests later and were told that the same thing had happened to a lot of people that summer as the hotels overbooked.

After 2 nights, we went back to marhaba beach and again were given a room which had a twin instead of a double, after hours of complaining that we had booked a double room they changed our room and we had to wait 2 hours for our new room to be ready for us.
Another problem we had was that everytime we went to have food at the restaurant, since we had not been there from the start we were never given a number and so each day a different waiter would seat us somewhere else in the mornings and somewhere else in the evenings and get annoyed if we sat at the same place (which is what they wanted us to do) each day!
Apart from this, the rest of the holiday was okay. We probably wouldnt stay here again as we are a young married couple and 65-70% of the guests are retired or families. There is poor entertainment in the evenings and no other nightlife locally to the hotel.

pros- good entertainment from the animation team, they try there best to entertain everyone and are friendly throughout the whole day, particularly enjoyed the yoga and aqua aerobics classes in the mornings. The beach is very well kept and clean, the sunbed guy will keep a sunbed for you as long as you tip him.

cons - reception staff poor service, overbooking in high season, food is pretty much the same everyday and quite bland. poor night entertainment. The AC vents in our room didnt work in both hotels. Spa - booked 1 hour golden treatment and it was awful, not worth the money.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank megz85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
51 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 January 2014

I know people who came here in the high season and could not rate it high enough. sadly, that was not what I found in the low season, assuming that what Xmas is. The hotel building itself was ok, a bit tired though. There was lots of smoking going on everywhere and lots of butts in stairwells and in communal areas on different floors. It did not seem that the cleaners could keep up with this.
The inside pool was full of children and the gym full of men, but great to see them being used.
There were a lot of children running riot, parents seemed to forget that they were parents and were treating the place as their home and not watching their children. that's not the hotels fault though.
The new years eve show was so unprofessional and disorganized. The animation team were too worried about their hair and clothes to actually make a go of it if you ask me. They were very attentive to certain guests and would not leave them alone. They kept coming over to our table and sitting down. This was the same with wait staff. They got in your personal space a little too much! Females travelling alone maybe!
The most disappointing part was the food. It was limited and bland, not a lot of interesting choices for any vegetarians. One night there was ox tail and rabbit on the menu, I spose that could be considered interesting, but not something I would choose. Some mornings there was no toast, cheese and cold meat was rationed or not there. The snack bar was only open for a few hours between each meal, so not wrap around inclusive. They only had meat or tomato filled rolls at 4pm, really limited food.
I had heard great things about the pool bar and food, the beach bar and food, but none of this was open at Christmas.
I really enjoyed getting out and about away from Sousse. the trips on offer were good but we mostly used the train, now that's an experience in itself, but cheap!!!!! make sure you have plenty to drink and a book is all I can say, time keeping is a bit hit and miss.

Room Tip: Get a beach view room, preferably not near the communal floor areas if you like a quiet room.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank NZJanet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Plymouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 January 2014

We stayed here late sept 2013 and you know what - don't listen to the bad reviews!!!

You don't pay big money to stay here, if you go expecting a uk 4* you WILL be disappointed. Tunisia is a fairly poor country in general and the standard of living is just not the same as ours. Don't get me wrong in places the hotel is very outdated and could do with a refurbishment but if your like us and spend most of the day at the beach does it really matter?!?

Food - repetitive, yes but your only there 7-14days you won't starve; food is definitely eable and we were never ill. Drinks aren't brill only a selected amount of spirits and not branded, but they mix very nice cocktails!

Rooms - we emailed and requested (politely) a nice room & this was duels granted. We had one of the newly refurbished rooms (343) and it was really lovely, I will say that the patio doors are not double glazed so music at night was LOUD it didn't bother us too much but could imagine that annoying to some.

Staff - this guys work extremely hard and LONG days. Our waiter had 1 day off in our 10day visit, he was there at breakfast from 7am to gone 9pm at night, you don't HAVE to tip but it goes along way if you do,they really appreciate it and I will say the go a little further to help if you do, right or wrong that's just the way it is. Out room was always cleaned and little animals etc made from the towels etc.

Beaches - I don't really like the way the sun beds were allocated, basically the 2 "lifeguards" (who slept the majority of they day) will put out towels on the beds & reserve for those who have tipped - you don't stand a chance of getting a bed otherwise. We tipped 10dinar once for the beds and he made sure we had a bed every day. Beaches and water here is beautiful, got stung by a jelly fish, this appears a common problem especially after they have a rough sea, a couple of days I avoided the water after a lot of people were stung, no worse than a bee stink and a fresh tomatoe is what the locals up use to soothe the pain....

Pool - horrific, went in once, felt really unsafe and unclean.

Entertainment - I feel for the animation team they work REALLY hard, they run all the daily group excessive and games and then set up the evening entertainment which was aimed mainly at German under 5's, repetitive and soooooo cheesy, sit back and laugh along.....

All in all we had a fab time, yes there are a few imporovments needed but actually we had a brilliant time, the people are friendly and helpful and that makes up for a lot of things...Go get yourself a bargin holiday, keep an open mind & don't expect too much and you'll be fine...!!!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 989Anna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 January 2014

My friend and I stayed here from 25th Dec to 1st Jan, and although it was nice to get away, we hoped it would be as good as our trip to Marrakech last year.
The food was very average, and I almost became vegetarian for the stay, however, the breakfast pancakes, pastries and yoghurt were pretty good. The dessert cakes looked lovely, but again were all style and no substance, and just tasted like sponge cakes with grotty cream. The new years eve al la carte was incredibly painful as there weren't any meal choices to choose from, and 4 of the 6 courses took 4 hours to serve, and so we gave up on the dessert all together as both were served well after midnight.
The waiting, reception cleaning staff were friendly and eager to chat, although the dining room management were nothing but sleazy and inappropriate at times!
It was too cold to swim and so our holiday here was quite different to what you'd have in the summer. Unfortunately we couldn't use many of the facilities as there were no lanes in the pool to swim in (free for all only), and the gym didn't open until 9am so we couldn't go before breakfast as it only ran until 10am.
The unlimited drinks were excellent, and we were always able to request bottles of water etc. for our room.

Room Tip: Ensure to request a sea view room.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Candacemorris78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
Level Contributor
22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 January 2014

My husband & I stayed here in April (2weeks) We had a great time, the bar staff are friendly, the room was spacious & clean.
The food was nice & you had quite a lot of choice.
The only criticism was that the pool was FREEZING, this might be because of the time of the year. It has 2 slide which would appeal to families.
I would return to this hotel again

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NatBen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Marhaba Beach Hotel

Property: Marhaba Beach Hotel
Address: Boulevard 7 Novembre | Zone Touristique, Sousse 4031, Tunisia
Region: Tunisia > Sousse Governorate > Sousse
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Sousse
#2 Best Value Hotel in Sousse
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Sousse
#4 Luxury Hotel in Sousse
#4 Romantic Hotel in Sousse
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Marhaba Beach Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 259
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Marhaba BeachLocated in Sousse and 3 km away from Port El Kantaoui resort, between the white sands and crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea, the Marhaba Beach has been created in the 80’s.His creators have established a contemporary and Moorish interiors of some suites … An ideal place for soaking up the sun of Tunisia and to relax on the beach, and the advantage of having nearest a new Thalassotherapy center : Les Neréides. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Marhaba Beach Sousse

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