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“Lovely time at Marhaba Palace”

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Marhaba Palace Hotel
Ranked #9 of 33 Hotels in Port El Kantaoui
Certificate of Excellence
Swindon, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Lovely time at Marhaba Palace”
Reviewed 29 May 2014

just had a great holiday in Tunisia, staying at the Marhaba Palace. This is a great hotel, the staff are very friendly and helpful. Myself and my companion were extremely impressed with the food, the variety, the presentation, everything was faultless, we could not complain about anything to do with the food aspect of the hotel. The waiters were very attentive and we enjoyed their banter. The pool area was lovely, and right near the small stretch of private beach. If I were to say anything negative about our stay, I would agree with other reviewers who say the bedrooms are a bit tired and in need of renovation, but apparently that has been started now. a We found the shower was not very powerful, and though it didn't spoil our holiday, it was not as enjoyable a shower as it could have been with a more powerful one.
I recommend the two day trip to the desert, a fantastic experience and very good value for money.
I would recommend this hotel without hesitation.

Room Tip: The sea view rooms are lovely
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank AnnR52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Durham, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2014

another fantastic 2 weeks with good friends ,a new animation team this year ,thankyou to paulo little willy ,mo mo ,tito and mario .Some refurb done this year ,keep it up MARHABA .anyone complaining this year must be hard to please food excellent as usual

Room Tip: rooms at the front have sun in afternoon,back seaview
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank kenneth458
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Castleford, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2014

April 30th - May 12th 2014
23º on arrival - 31º on departure.

Recently returned from another brilliant holiday at the Marhaba Palace (about 10 times in the last 6 years), but feel we need to advise fellow readers on a few things.
Up to our arrival the whole of the 7th floor (20 rooms) was closed for refurbishment.
This was completed 2 (two) days before we arrived and we were allocated a room on that floor that we had previously been in and had requested the same room again.
They then closed all of the 6th floor (28 rooms) where work commenced from 7.00am to 4.00pm 6 (six) days of the week.
Some guests were not early morning risers so the banging & braying from 7.00 didn't go down too well.
New lighter coloured main, wardrobe, toilet & bathroom doors have been fitted but because the door frames are smaller than the originals the landing carpet & room floor tiles no longer fit correctly and the gaps have been filled in with tile adhesive and grout etc and are a bit rough in places.
Buy now, the 6th floor should be completed, but could not understand why the refurbishment could not have been carried out in the quieter months like January & February etc.

Alcoholic Drinks:
Alcoholic Drinks are NOT available from all the bars. Up to mid April alcoholic drinks namely spirits were available from the Main Bar, Pool Bar & Beach Bar, now spirits are only available from the Main Hotel Bar.
The hotel management have made a statement saying that too much alcohol in the form of spirits are being given out during the day and cut backs had too be made.
I'm sorry but this is false economy and not a good way of keeping your customers and paying guests happy.
On another note, the hotel is supposed to have a "Strict Policy" on no glass being allowed outside around the pool and beach areas.
This I commend, but seeing as the Main Bar only serve drinks in a glass, then if someone wants to take a drink outside, they are allowed to do so, seems a bit pointless ???.

Tea, Coffee, Hot Chocolate:
Urns have been placed at the Pool Bar and in the Main Hotel at the side of the bar for guests to make there own.
The hotel also has at least 3 (three) Espresso Coffee Machines where you could be served by a waiter, tea, coffee, espresso, capuchino, latte, or hot chocolate, on the last day of our holiday the guests were advised that this service was no longer available and hot drinks were only available via the urns.
Yet another cost cutting exercise made by the management which has been put down as being too expensive to run.

Food Quality
In most cases the quality of food is good and varied, but I have to say with the exception of the evening meal in the dining room.
1) Breakfast - Always a wide choice & variety, this cannot be faulted, - 8 out of 10.
2) Lunch in the Beach Bar/Restaurant - This is by far the best food/meal of the day.
Plenty of choice and always freshly made and constantly replenished, - 8 out of 10.
3) Lunch in the Dining Room - We did not eat in there on this holiday, we only eat in there
during the winter season as the Beach Restaurant is closed during this time.
Listening to the comments of the guests who did eat in there, it was of very poor quality
and they usually only ate there the once before eating from the Beach Restaurant for the
rest of there holiday.
Consequently, the Main Restaurant was nearly always empty while the Beach Restaurant
was always full.
So Main Restaurant only gets 2 out of 10.
4) Evening Meal - 2 (two) sittings, 1st from 6.00pm to 7.30pm
2nd from 8.00pm to 9.30pm.
We chose the 2nd sitting but on 1 (one) occasion we went on the 1st sitting as we were
going out for the evening.
We felt the food on the 1st sitting is by far better than on the 2nd.
Show cooking is always good with there being 3 (three) or 4 (four) fresh meats or fish being
served, but then the choice of vegetables were not as varied as you may expect.
Therefore we would only give this a 6 (six) out of 10.
(6 is was only given because we got beautiful fresh strawberries every evening).

Now you may think we have pulled the hotel down when at the beginning we said that we had
had another brilliant holiday, but what you have to understand is that it is not the hotel food
that makes us keep going back time after time, it's things like the hotel's location and the
hotel staff.
This is also why many other guests keep going back, some of whom we spoke to have being
coming to this same hotel for more than 20 (twenty) years.
The hotel is right on the beach front and only a 5 minute walk from the marina & shops.
The hotel staff are always so welcoming & helpful, everyone that we have come in contact with always been happy & smiling and cannot do enough to help, for example:
Rafika on Reception, any problem and she will always endeavour to get it fixed as quickly as possible.
Tawfik our morning & evening waiter.
Mr. Wannes, one of the Restaurant Managers
The "Egg Lady" - she doesn't seem to have a badge so I don't know here name, but always has a smile and says good morning to everyone.
The Bar Waiters, especially our good friend Rostom.
And the Animation Team, lead by Adel, with Mario, Momo, Paulo & Wili.
These 5 (five) guys are on the go from 10.00am to 12.00 at night, always laughing & joking to keep the guests entertained.
(Although I cannot say the same for 1 of the hotels waiter management staff, who I must say, his attitude to some of the guests was despicable).

3 (three) more holidays to the Marhaba Palace are already booked, with the next one being in a few months time and we have to say we cannot wait. (Just hope that this manager has got the big heave ho.

The new hotel being built next door " RIU Green Park" is still no where near being completed.
It was supposed to have been ready for Summer this year, now they are saying Summer next year, 2015.
We were at the Marhaba Palace this time last year and things don't seem to have advanced much in 12 months, so I somehow don't think it will be ready for next year, see what you think !!!.
Look on the "RIU" website, you'll get an artistes impression of what it should eventually look like.

Finally - Tips.
1) - Freshly fried eggs and omelettes on a morning go down well with some Brown Sauce, so take a small bottle or even better some sachets.
2) - Each room only has 4 (four) single plug sockets, 2 (two) are always in permanent use,
1(one) for the fridge and 1(one) for the television.
The 3rd is in the bathroom and the 4th is on a wall near the fridge.
So if you are like us and you have mobile phones, tablets, i-pads, DVD/CD players and a kettle for making your tea and coffee, then take an Extension, one about 6ft/2Metres long with about 4 sockets should suffice. you'll only need 1(one) or 2(two) of the 2 pronged adapters then.

Looking forward to going back soon, cannot wait.

Hope someone finds this useful.

Room Tip: Try to get a room overlooking the Hotel Reception / Entrance Area, you'll get the lovely evening...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank baz-elaine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
High Wycombe
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2014

Just got back from 11 nights at this hotel, our 4th visit and yet again it didn't disappoint. From the moment we entered the hotel we were recognised as returning guests and although we arrived late morning our room was ready and although we felt it wasn't the room for us, because of restricted view of the sea, this was remedied very quickly to room 423 centre view over the sea, lovely. Breakfast caters for all tastes and I would like to especially mention Nabila the Omlette lady who always has a smile and works very hard. We had the same waiter for breakfast and evening meal called Mekkes and always made us feel very welcome with morning coffee and evening drinks on our table almost before we even sat down. We tend to tip a small amount daily 1/2 dinars a dinar is roughly 40p. If you don't mind where you sit around the pool or on the beach there is no need to reserve sun beds, plenty of them, pool man very helpful. Lunch is either on the beach or in the main restaurant your choice, we decided on the day depending if it was windy or not, it is known as the windy coast, which when very hot is a relief. Not as much choice at lunch as at dinner but something for everybody. Pastries mid morning in main bar for the late risers and pancakes in afternoon by the pool bar all very nice. Drinks are local, most from the pumps but if you like diet coke that is the pukka stuff from bottles. We tended to use the American Bar in the evening for pre and post dinner drinks, Faycel the barman good company especially if things were quiet. Our room was clean with clean towels and sheets as often as you wanted, the maid very good at displaying pajamas and curtains in an inventive way, I gave her a tip at beginning of week and one at the end. We didn't have much to do with the Animation Team but believe they do a brilliant job for children and adults alike. We went on one trip this year with Thomas Cook to the Medina in Sousse, 2 coach loads with 2 Tunisian Thomas Cook guides and 2 trainees, it was a fun way to see the medina which otherwise I would have found intimidating and the guides happy to help you get a good deal on purchases, a trip if offered I would recommend. Finally you will be pleased to hear if you have lasted this long, there is a tipping culture in Tunisia and for good service we did. We are already thinking of booking for next year. I wanted to post some photos but couldn't find an option to do it.

Room Tip: We like the sea view, but others like the view over front of hotel because you get sun in afternoon.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank curlywurly58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2014

Wow! This hotel is amazing. From staff to food. The staff here are very friendly, kind and understanding. Day or night they will help. If your thinking about going to Tunisia I would recommended you to stay in this hotel. It's fabulous. The food here is amazing, cater for any need. Great choices of food and lots of healthy options available, kid friendly hotel. Activities going on every single day. A outdoor and indoor swimming pool (although the indoor swimming pool is cold and need to tell staff to heat it up!)
Just came back from a week holiday and took a fussy child in eating, but the taste and presentation of food encouraged her to eat far more better then we expected. The good thing is that Marhaba Palace has it's own private beach so you feel safe and protected, although I would warn you that sometimes people do come on the beach and try to sell you stuff eg: para gliding or a camel ride, they won't take no for an answer, if you are interested go for it if not be firm. They do bug you a lot though. Local shops are about 2 min walk from the hotel and a marine and mini zoo are about 5-10 mins walk. Did a day trip to Friguia Zoo which is about a 45 min drive from the hotel, just don't go on a Monday- it is closed on a Monday and many people don't know this. You must have a pic with a dolphin and of course see the dolphin show- a must!!

The rooms are clean and spacious, with a mini fridge and a balcony view. However at night it can get quite chilly.

The animation team are brilliant and make everyone feel welcome, also great with the kids. However every night there is entertainment, one night I took my kids to see a folk dance show. Expected the least, when a belly dancer turned up with minimal clothing and was showing off her bits to all the men. Certainly not appropriate for children!

Would also recommended to go quad biking with children. It's amazing- a bit long though (1 and a 1/2 hours) but it's incredible. Amazing views to see.

The hotel decor is a bit poor but looks amazing. 1st floor and 2nd floor have a balcony view of the reception.

Again would recommend this hotel again.

Thank you Marhaba Palace for an amazing week stay, will. be coming again in the future!
(Don't forget to try their fresh made pizza)

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Huskylover1309
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durham, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2014

The hotel itself is very grand, slightly dated in the rooms but nontheless clean.
The rooms have all you need for the all inclusive stay - a decent sized comfortable bed, balcony and bathroom.
Service was very friendly at the poolside bar and in the buffet restaurant - food varied and all that we tried was very nice. Mix of grilled fish, meats, pizzas, many side dishes etc - what you'd expect from a Tunisian buffet.
The beach is lovely and the pool always had space for us.
Nightlife is not ideal - we are a young couple and found it boring on the night, with little in hotel entertainment and only a couple of bars around.
All in all, a very relaxing holiday but not somewhere we would personally revisit - more based on the location than the hotel.

Room Tip: We stayed in a room at the front of the hotel - I imagine pool view rooms are much nicer.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rhiannon S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stoke on trent
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 May 2014

My wife and myself have just returned back to the uk after having spent 1 week at this hotel, I have to say that it was the most pleasant and friendly hotels you could ever imagine.
Everybody went out of their way to make us both feel comfortable and welcome, especially the ANIMATION TEAM who do such an amazing job keeping all youngsters and adults alike occupied all of the time with a range of activities such as water polo, archery, and French boules. Also their cabaret act is fantastic they truly are second to none. Awesome job boys thank you so much for your warm welcoming.
Also we went on a few trips that were organised by some of the people who sell their trips by the beach, and I would highly recommend anybody visiting to pop down there and see ALI BABA for his fantastic camel caravan excursion which we completely enjoyed and also CAPTAIN SMILIE for his pirate ship outing which is really fun and exciting we also went through him to go on a trip to KAIROUAN and EL GEM this was an amazing day which we totally enjoyed so to everybody at the marhaba palace I thank you for such an amazing and memorable time but I would like to give a special thanks to MOMO,PAULO,WILLIE and the rest of THE ANIMATION TEAM for making us so welcome.
An altogether awesome holiday and I would highly recommend it to anybody ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Fredtonks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Marhaba Palace Hotel

Property: Marhaba Palace Hotel
Address: Jinane El Kantaoui | Sousse, Port El Kantaoui 4089, Tunisia
Region: Tunisia > Sousse Governorate > Port El Kantaoui
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) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Luxury Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#8 Family Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#9 Spa Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
#9 Romantic Hotel in Port El Kantaoui
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Marhaba Palace Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 322
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Wake up across from the golf club, have a walk on the seafront, explore the paved alleys of Port El Kantaoui or simply unwind at the pool: Marhaba Palace is a dream place for an unforgettable stay. In the restaurant, a collection of great wines and local cuisine with the flavours of thyme and basil pamper the palate. This charming hotel, in the heart of the resort of port El Kantaoui, will seduce you with its personalised hospitality and efficient, discrete service.Welcome to MARHABA PALACE ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Marhaba Palace
Marhaba Palace Tunisia
Tunisia Marhaba Palace
Marhaba Palace Port El Kantaoui
Marhaba Palace Hotel Tunisia/Port El Kantaoui

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