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rklane
Shrewsbury, United Kingdom

Very good 4* RIU but not a 5* RIU palace...

4.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 29 Jul 2011
We travel 2-3 times a year and love the RIU chain of hotels for high standards, service and value for money. This year like last year my family and I stayed at the RIU Palace Hammamet Marhaba for a week 20-27 Jul 2011. We have stayed here before so knew what to expect.

Flights

Out bound - Thomson flights didnt have us booked on the system and took the supervisor 1 hour to book us on the plane leaving no time to shop or enjoy a coffee. prebooked meals were not available.

Return - Thomsons again didnt have us on the system however we had an upgrade to extra leg room seats for free. Prebooked meals not available again....why do Thomsons let themselves down on their flights...!!

Hotel

Choice of rooms; hotel or bungalows. This year we went for bungalows which are old but spacious and have a charm about them with the vaulted ceilings. We upgraded on site to pool view; 2 mins to pool and sea.

Food

Limited range of food this year but always hot and freshly cooked but after 5 days it became very repetitive. Tunisian a la carte a refreshing change from the busy main restaurant

Entertainment

The animation team are hard working and try very hard indeed but........

Recommendation

If you get a good price (£500 pp) then this hotel and the resort and country is fabulous but dont pay more then £650pp peak season.
Date of stay: July 2011
Trip type: Travelled with family
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hotel-Management-19, Responsable réception at Steigenberger Marhaba Thalasso, responded to this review
Responded 25 Mar 2019
Many warm greetings from sunny Tunisia and thank you for choosing our hotel! We are sincerely sorry that we couldn’t meet your expectations and you stayed unsatisfied with your holiday.

We insure that all your comments have been delivered to the hotel management and an action will be taken. We do hope to have a chance to see you once more time in our resort, and can assure to do everything to create a wonderful holiday for you on your next trip.
Best Reagards
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
The listings of booking offers for each property take into account the compensation paid to us by our partners. Prices shown may be for varying room types. Prices displayed are the lowest available, corresponding to the least expensive room type available, as provided from our partners as of the time of the user’s search.
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Reviews (4,024)
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All reviews bungalow room riu palace animation team the main hotel bar staff sea view walk in shower swim up bar plenty of choice evening entertainment five star hotel relaxing holiday fantastic hotel a la carte restaurants lobby area buffet restaurant plenty of sunbeds
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Reviewed 28 July 2011

My husband and I stayed at this hotel for 10 days and had an amazing time. The hotel was very clean and the staff very helpful. Our room maid could not be more helpful. We had a bungalow which are in the grounds, my only advise is if you like a large bathroom go for the hotel rooms, which had walk in showers where as the bungalows had shower in the bath, but saying that, it did not spoil our time there. The beds are huge and the bungalow room very large. The location of the hotel is right on the beach which the hotel has its own sun beds, so not extra charge for those. Plenty to go round on the beach, also the hotel have a security man on the beach to stop the local peddlars from bothering you with their trinkets to buy, and plenty to do on the beach if you like paragliding etc., the two pools were excellent and again plenty of beds to go round.
The three Al carte restaurants are excellent and would recomend them all. The buffet restaurant was also good, but a bit Repetitive with dishes, but no real compaints. My advise is to tip the waiters around 1 dinar(50p) every time they serve you drinks, they are very grateful.The only Criticism is the lack of entertaiment for the evening, but we took the second sitting for the meal (8.30 - 10) so we have a nice drink after dinner.(you keep the same table for the duration of the holiday which was nice) but if you like a quite holiday this is for you, but not if you prefer night life, we had a lovely chilled out 10 days.

Room tip: Go for hotel rooms for large bathrooms with walkin showers
Date of stay: July 2011
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank katrinaHertfordshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hotel-Management-19, Responsable relations clients at Steigenberger Marhaba Thalasso, responded to this reviewResponded 25 March 2019

Thank you for the great review of our hotel! We are happy that you enjoyed your stay and hope to see you again very soon at STEIGENBERGER MARHABA THALASSO
Best Regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2011

We stayed at this hotel in mid July and had a lovely holiday in all - great value for money.

Here is my honest opinion on it all:

Hotel Interior / Rooms
Impressive reception and foyer - cool and palatial, glass lifts a good feature. Rooms are fantastic and I'd advise staying in the main hotel building rather than a bungalow given a choice. It had 2 double beds pushed together, was large and had an excellent bathroom, balcony and storgage space. Free safe is a good feature too.

Food / dining
Have to pick a dinner slot, 6.30 or 8.30 and you have the same table all week. Halfway through, our 8.30 slot got moved to 9pm, which was far too late to wait to eat in my opinion. Beware if this is still the case.
Whilst there was a good range of options, it did get a bit samey after a week of this for all meals most days. Tunisian style food was tasty. I have to say I found eating here a bit of an ordeal as it was chaotic with people and children pushing and fighting to get food and there was a lot of evidence of greed! My partner forgot to bring long trousers with him, which apparently are mandatory in the main restaurant of an evening and we were actually turned away until he could return wearing some. The only option was to buy from the hotel shop, which resulted in him having to barter heavily for an awful pair of 'designer' jeans that he then had to wear for the whole week! Don't forget the trousers gentleman. I have to say that I found this policy to be unneccesary and trying to be something it is not. It's a beach resort overrun with kids, not The Ritz!
Themed (not a la carte) restaurants were very good overall I'd recommend the beach one over the others. Hard to make reservations though as it seems to be that you have to chase the Head waiter around to get booked in. 2 of the themed restaurants were just rooms inside the hotel. I prefer it when they are dotted around outside to feel you get more of a 'night out'.

Pool and Beach
Pool is lovely. Usual story with sunbeds being reserved but never occupied, but we never found it a problem to find one at any time of the day. The swim up bar was great.
Beach lovely - nice sand and clear water. People selling stuff constantly, but they are not overly persistant - just annoying as it's literally every few minutes

Entertainment
Errr...non-existant. The 'Dance' thing I happened to catch a glimpse of was abysmal.
Evenings are boring. There is literally just the bar - we took a portable DVD player for our room! Even if you just want a walk down to the beach or through the grounds, nothing is lit very well, so you are just in darkness. I feel that they should open the beach bar in the evenings

Spa
We had a california massage each which was good. Done in the same room by two men! Prices not particularly cheap and the staff were not overly friendly.

Rep
Debbie is fantastic!

Staff
Friendly enough and the maids did a fantastic job in cleaning the rooms. Service seemed to slide if you didn't tip however

Airport
A great brand new and modern airport, however they need to do something about arrivals. Took about an hour to get through passport control

Overall, did what it said on the tin and was fairly relaxing. Wasn't as good as Egypt I don't think, but I would probaly recommend as a cheap beach break.

Room tip: We asked for a sea view room as my partner emailed but got no response and was given one. Was probably the worst of the sea views, but stil!
Date of stay: July 2011
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank Jnorth1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hotel-Management-19, Responsable relations publiques at Steigenberger Marhaba Thalasso, responded to this reviewResponded 25 March 2019

Many warm greetings from sunny Tunisia and thank you for choosing our hotel! We are sincerely sorry that we couldn’t meet your expectations and you stayed unsatisfied with your holiday.

We insure that all your comments have been delivered to the hotel management and an action will be taken. We do hope to have a chance to see you once more time in our resort, and can assure to do everything to create a wonderful holiday for you on your next trip.
Best Reagards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2011

We stayed here over Christmas 2010, and am only just writing a review as Ive been thinkining about booking it for this Christmas, so that speaks volumes!
Hotel bedrooms great, and, as my headline states, bathrooms fabulous, totally marble with double sinks and a separate wet room, best hotel bathroom weve ever had,and believe you me weve had many!!
The hotel manager, Mehdi, has looked after us at many other Rius in Tunisia, and does a very good job. Bar and drinks service excellent, eg in restaurant, even if for only person, a fresh bottle of wine is opened at each sitting.
Food buffet quite substantial, at Christmas there was only one a la carte open which was very good.
Possible only letdown was the entertainment, but I believe this has improved, it seemed much much better when dancers from the Riu Marco Polo were brought in to swell the ranks.
The hotel gave all its guests a wonderful Christmas Eve, including a visit from Santa, and a nativity outside the hotel with real animals, so lovely for the children.

Room tip: Much prefer the hotel bedrooms to the bungalow rooms
Date of stay: December 2010
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank elleluxe
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hotel-Management-19, Responsable relations publiques at Steigenberger Marhaba Thalasso, responded to this reviewResponded 25 March 2019

Many warm greetings from sunny Tunisia and thank you for choosing our hotel! We are sincerely sorry that we couldn’t meet your expectations and you stayed unsatisfied with your holiday.

We insure that all your comments have been delivered to the hotel management and an action will be taken. We do hope to have a chance to see you once more time in our resort, and can assure to do everything to create a wonderful holiday for you on your next trip.
Best Reagards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2011

Stayed at this hotel for 2 weeks with my husband and 3 children and we had a brilliant time. Staff at this hotel cannot do enough for you. Food was excellent - both at lunchtimes and in the evenings. Also tried the Tunisian and Italian restaurants and both were brilliant. Wine served by the bottle and your glass automatically topped up for you by attentive staff. Children given bottles of Fanta and Coke. All placed in silver wine coolers placed at the end of the table.
Always found sun beds no matter what time of day we went to the pools and also had sunbed cushions provided without paying the pool attendant a tip.
Beach and sea were brilliant. Locals do peddle their wares but do not bother you unless you sit on the first row of sunbeds - and even then just say 'No money' and they walk away.
Plenty of 'Fixed Price' shops in Yasmine for those who do not want the hassle and I would definately recommend them - staff leave you alone to shop in peace and the prices are still ridicolously low. Taxi costs maximum of 5 Dnr ((£2.50) one way although the return taxi was 'on the clock' and cost even less at 3.6 Dnr (£1.80).
Cash machine in hotel which was really useful.
Entertainment was low key in the evenings but suited us fine as had enough of hotels with banging music day and night. There was some sort of show each evening and also a guy singing and playing the organ in the main bar area. Also a lovely outside terrace area to sit out in the evening.
Games room downstairs for the children which contatined table tennis, air hockey and 2 pool tables. The games were 2 Dnr (£1) a go.
Also there is a shop within the hotel which sold newspapers, chocolates, gifts etc - has basement area so is actually a lot bigger than it looks.
Would definately recommend this hotel and would love to go back.

Date of stay: July 2011
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank njzobole
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hotel-Management-19, Responsable relations publiques at Steigenberger Marhaba Thalasso, responded to this reviewResponded 25 March 2019

Thank you for the great review of our hotel! We are happy that you enjoyed your stay and hope to see you again very soon at STEIGENBERGER MARHABA THALASSO
Best Regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2011

Had a really bad start to this holiday, we paid for a bungalow with a sea view which we didnt get and so reported to the rep. We were then given another "bungalow" which had a sea view if you looked past the other buildings and strained your eyes!! We considered moving to another room however I was 6 month pregnant at the time and decided to stay put as the other room we were offered was up a flight of stairs. The staff didnt speak very good english and most werent very helpful towards us, especially the reception staff, however seemed keen on other nationalities at the hotel. The food was awful, not much choice, badly cooked and very little english food . My vegetable soup was more like dirty dish water -watery, tasteless with bits floating in it. The restaurant was very poorly organised. The hotel was clean however and our room was cleaned everyday and the cleaner made swans with towels etc which was nice. We were constantly hasseled on the beach by the "looky looky" men, and there was no-one to stop them. Some were quite persistant and we felt abit intimidated at times. We couldnt sit around the pool as there were very few sun loungers and despite there being a rule of not reserving loungers with towels, nothing was done to stop people doing it. We went on a couple of the excursions organised by the thompsons rep which we did enjoy as it got us out the hotel more than anything. Night times were very boring as there didnt seem to be much entertainment and I didnt here any good comments about what there was, it started late and as I was pregnant I couldnt stay up that late!! We were very lucky to get a seat at the bar on an evening. Overall we did not like this hotel at all and found it to be very overrated and over priced and would most certainly not return or recommend!!

Date of stay: November 2010
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank sarahNmartin
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hotel-Management-19, Responsable réception at Steigenberger Marhaba Thalasso, responded to this reviewResponded 25 March 2019

Many warm greetings from sunny Tunisia and thank you for choosing our hotel! We are sincerely sorry that we couldn’t meet your expectations and you stayed unsatisfied with your holiday.

We insure that all your comments have been delivered to the hotel management and an action will be taken. We do hope to have a chance to see you once more time in our resort, and can assure to do everything to create a wonderful holiday for you on your next trip.
Best Reagards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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