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“Best Holiday EVER!!!”

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Hotel Palace Hammamet Marhaba
Ranked #12 of 118 Hotels in Hammamet
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Best Holiday EVER!!!”
Reviewed 7 May 2012

By far the best holiday and hotel experience I’ve ever had. Ignore the bad reviews!!!

A bit of a shaky start on arrival, we had paid and clearly booked a bungalow for 3 people and yet our room was for 2. We were told an extra bed would be sent up, which we had to chase a few hours later and were then promised a change of room. Once we got to reception to discuss the room change, no one took responsibility for taking the call and we were again promised the extra bed. This never came until the following day, after our rep had stepped in. Having said that, had she be on site on the day we arrived we wouldn’t have had a snug night with 3 in a bed so fault does not entirely lie with the hotel.

Apart from that, could not find a single fault with the hotel.

The maid came every day with clean towels; she even did a bit of tidying up putting our chargers in drawers, which was beyond the call of duty. The entire hotel was clean and the gardens well maintained.

There was an impressive variety of food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. More variety than I’ve ever seen before that’s for sure and the food were to a good standard. If the meat was not cooked enough, all you had to do was ask them to put it on a bit longer for you. Don’t forget they are cooking for several different nationalities here, and I think they did well to cover all bases. Pancakes at 4pm, which moved to by the beach from 1st May, with an afternoon coffee. Just lovely!!!

2 swimming pools, which were a bit nippy but it is early on in the season. The main pool was considerably warm at the end of the day in all fairness. Once you’ve braved it getting in, you will soon warm up!! Easy to get a sun bed and this goes for the beach too. A little bit of hassle on the beach to buy jewellery, pashmina’s etc but a polite ‘No Thank You’ is sufficient to make them go away. Be rude to them and they will be rude to you!!!!

Last but not least, the staff. Absolutely fantastic. In our welcome meeting we were introduced to all the heads of departments and were welcomed to approach them if we had any problems. I have never experienced this before, but a good touch. The head chef came round to see us at dinner and ask how our meal was. Before long, the bar staff knew our drinks order. Our waiter at dinner practically had our drinks set up before we even sat down. A wonderfully personal service. More importantly, the Animation Team. We loved these guys!! They hosted lots of activities during the day but never hassled us to participate. Their shows in the evening were very entertaining, poor old Shiva was dressed as a woman every night but he does have a cracking pair of legs!!!! If you’re lucky enough to meet Shiva, Koko and Rico then you will surely enjoy your stay here too. What hilarious and lovely guys!!!

Would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone!!!

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank KezzyLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (339)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Slovak first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
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English first
United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 May 2012

i stayed at the Hotel Riu Palace for 10 nights when we got to the hotel the staff welcomed us and they gave us a drink and the food was amazing the restaurant staff were brilliant the animation are brilliant the gym is amazing the room was amazing the beach was good and i would go back for another 10 nights

Room Tip: have a bungalow room its worth extra money
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank ukukukukukukuku
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Haverhill, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 May 2012

We travelled to Tunisia in a group of 12 (4 couples and 4 singles) all over 50. We chose this hotel because we have stayed at other Riu hotels and always found them v good. Not having been to Tunisia before it made sense to choose a hotel that we knew should be of a good standard.

We all chose bungalow rooms and they were all excellent, clean spacious and well appointed. We did not find the lack of air con a problem as the nights were fairly chilly.

Staff were excellent and always very pleasant and helpful.. I must agree that at the weekend when the Tunisians arrived it was rather hectic as there were only the same amount of staff and the poor bar waiters were run off their feet. We rather thought that by the end of April the practice of renting cheap rooms to the locals would be finished but they did not spoil our holiday too much. The only thing we really noticed is that the quality of the food in the restaurant goes down ie no cheese and biscuits and cheaper cuts of fish and meat.

Overall we had a really good holiday and would certainly return both to Tunisia and the hotel.

Room Tip: Bungalows are quiet and v spacious
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank amdramkp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Preston, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 May 2012

On our arrival around 5 English flights had landed within minutes of each other so there were queues and waits at passport control and baggage carousels. We also had a significant wait on our bus for other passengers caught up in the melee so definitely worth booking a private transfer. On arrival at the Riu Palace it was by far and away the most eye catching hotel stopped at. The reception area is very grand. We were given a warm welcome by staff and a refreshing drink but then told our room wouldn't be ready for around 2 hours. The reception manager explained to us Sunday was a busy day for those leaving and although we were given our wristbands to use the bars I was a little disappointed and didn't expect this from a five star hotel.
On going back to get our room key to get out of our warmer English clothes we tried to take our own suitcases and were told in no uncertain terms they would be brought to us. 40 minutes later we were still sat waiting for our cases. I went down to see what the hold up was to see there was only 1 bell boy with one trolley who was having to sort through the vast no of arrivals cases and load them sensibly in areas so he wasn't running in all different directions. Once he'd gone I took my own cases.
This was a theme of the holiday. The staff are desperate to please and provide you with service, but that often means waiting for it. There was waiter service at the pool, but literally everyone would be asked then it would take 30 mins for it to be delivered. I would walk to the bar and ask for drinks as I don't insist on being waited on, but they wouldn't give me the drinks and would tell me to go and sit down as they would be brought to me! The sentiment of relaxation and service was there and the staff work very hard and are friendly but sometimes it was frustrating when you were already thirsty when you asked for a drink.
As it was early season, the air con was off in the rooms and wouldn't be switched on. The thompson rep pointed out small print in the brochure that stated this. There were no beds or shades set up on the beach either so you could only sunbathe around the pool in comfort however it was quite clearly still closed season as we went out and about locals were painting and cleaning all the bars and restaurants ready for summer. These were really the only minor niggly bad points.
Food was good, plentiful, varied with healthy options available. Grill food was cooked in small amounts so always fresh. The a la carte Carthage was amazing. We went twice in our 2 week stay and had steak both times cooked to perfection. We went to the Italian once and that wasn't so good and I preferred the buffet restaurant.
Rooms were very spacious with a nice bathroom and huge walk in shower and bath. The cleaner kept the room spotless. Our balcony overlooked the mountains in front of the hotel and got the sun in the evening. The chairs were comfy on there which was a nice touch.
I got sick in the second week, no fault of the hotel or country, and everyone from reception, the ents team, doctors and nurses who helped and looked after me were fabulous. The treatment and speed of it was better than in this country. The hotel arranged everything and the staff who kept my husband entertained and kept him company while I was ill were a credit to Riu.
Due to my illness we had to cancel the Sahara trip and Thomson gave me a full refund no quibble with my Drs note. Instead we took a private taxi who drove us to the ampitheatre, Sousse, Port El Kantoui and this was arranged at reception for a very reasonable price. We took trips into Yasmine Hammamet and Nabuel but do prepared to be hassled and don't accept the offers of free gifts even if they tell you it's disrespectful to turn down a gift. Don't believe anyone who tells you they know you as well - Sousse is nearly 2hours away and the first thing said to us on arrival was "I'm your chef!"
All in all a good holiday. Better weather than home. A bit quiet and boring at night as some nights there was not enough interest to justify the ents team doing a show, but met some great people and saw some amazing sights.

Room Tip: Extra cost for sea view but mountain view just as pleasant.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank prendy_dan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Redditch
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 April 2012

We returned yesterday from a weeks all-inclusive stay at this hotel. First impressions are excellent; reception area was smart, bedrooms were very spacious and the pool areas very attractive. Last week the weather was very hot and the hotel management refused to put the air conditioning on which meant many people suffered very uncomfortable nights. Service around the pool and bars was also quite patchy. Food in the restaurants was plentiful and varied and was always fresh as it was cooked in small quantities. Overall the standards are high and for English people the hotel offers superb value it is just cannot be compared to a 5 star hotel in our country.

The worst problem with the hotel started on Friday and continued throughout the weekend with an influx of Tunisian families who let their children run riot in the restaurants, bars and reception areas. And, as expected, the hotel management didn't want to know.

Room Tip: Seaview rooms are excellent however if selecting a Bungalow some of them are not in very good positi...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank midlandvoyager
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
tunis
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 April 2012

we've just returned from a 3days's stay. The hotel is so nice and very clean. But, we have faced a poor service quality and undiversified foods.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank aysou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hampshire
Level 6 Contributor
117 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 365 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 April 2012

This review is set in the context of being an extra week’s spring break in a hotel that was only circa a third full, for a family of 4 with two being in their early twenties one of which loves sport and the other a vegetarian.

In that context the hotel and the holiday were almost perfect. The staff were attentive without being intrusive. The quality of the bungalow, drinks and food was excellent. The gardens were lovely, though not as spacious as we thought from the description.

The sports activities during the day were well organised and provided a good variety. We also like the fact that good quality tennis racks and balls were available for use for private games. The table tennis bats need replacing. The evening entertainment was nonexistent.

The sunbeds were comfortable and clean. The drinks service around the pool was excellent. The pools were cool but very pleasant.

The Spa was very nice and we did not mind paying extra for it. A warning that the staff providing treatments for female guests were male, or a choice, would have been appreciated. Telling guests that there is a free sauna and hammam would have also been useful.

The speciality Tunisian restaurant was exceptionally poor. The buffet food was cold. It was like sitting in a large internal cupboard with no windows, no decoration and a stroppy head waiter who gave the impression he thought he was better than everyone else, including the guests.
The restaurant food was, on the whole, the same for each meal but good quality with plenty of choice. We thought the drinks service and whole bottles of nice wine being included was excellent.

The price of Champaign was reasonable. We liked having the same table in the restaurant each evening but would have preferred to be able to select the time we would like to eat rather than being told we have to eat at 8.00pm. We also like to relax over a meal which was not possible as they started to pack the food away at 9.15pm and it was completely gone by 9.30pm. For us this meant that it felt like an up market cafe. These issues could easily be resolved by turning the central lights out in the evenings, putting candles on the table, allowing people flexibility on times and not rushing them to finish. If they are going to continue to charge £800 a week for an off peak week they are going to have to review their restaurants procedures.

Our only complaint was not with the hotel but with the female Thomson representative. She was only interested in selling at other times she just walk straight pass without even saying hello. She had one of the bungalows above us and thought nothing of arguing with her boyfriend, who would appear to also be there all the time, at any time of the day or night. In my opinion Thomson needs to consider if it is appropriate to offer that level of service and for their staff to behave in this manner whilst staying in guest accommodation.

So in summary we really enjoyed our stay when the hotel was only about a third full. I am not sure that would have been the case when the hotel is full.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Wildlifewatcher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Palace Hammamet Marhaba

Property: Hotel Palace Hammamet Marhaba
Address: Avenue Moncef Bey | Hammamet, Hammamet, Tunisia (Formerly Hotel Riu Palace Hammamet Marhaba)
Region: Tunisia > Nabeul Governorate > Hammamet
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 118 Hotels in Hammamet
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Palace Hammamet Marhaba 5*
Number of rooms: 200
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