I'll start with the positives because there are only a few.
Food - a good choice of food, very clean and the waiters were fantastic when being tipped and when they weren't arguing.
Entertainment team - a great group of boys, very entertaining and really friendly and helpful.
First aid - when my 6 year old cousin cut his foot the hotel was very helpful and caring.
Now for the negatives:
Rooms - very basic, out of our 3 rooms, even the best air con wasn't cold. The hair dryers in two of our rooms didn't work, the rooms were not clean enough and despite complaining twice and being told that the cleaners would give the rooms a 'really good clean' we still had hair in our baths and snot on one of the sinks! No tea or coffee making facilities in the rooms which is really annoying when breakfast doesn't start until 6 and u are in a room with just children who u cannot leave. We had 3 single beds in our room (2 of which were under lamps so the kids kept hitting their heads) and with 3 beds in a small room there was no space at all!
Tipping - perhaps I am old school English but having pool guys, waiters, cleaners and bar men holding their hands out for tips is very rude. I tip every where I go but it should be my choice to do so, I don't expect to be told to tip in such a rude manner!
Bar staff - we arrived at 11pm, 4 adults and 4 children. We were not offered any drinks or food and when we tried to ask for drinks, all of the lights were switched off on us! The next morning (after not having any water for 9.5 hours) I was told that we were not allowed water until 7am and only one bottle per guest per day! In 44oc heat!!! Disgusting! I have never been to a hotel where there is a limit on water! Finally the bar staff were rude and unhelpful every single day. Commenting on our choice of drinks being very expensive and banging our glasses on their tips. This was all when we could get them to serve us, if they were not too busy talking to each other! (This was the main bar, not the pool bar, the guys there were very helpful).
Restaurant - whilst the food was good and clean, u either have to eat at 6 or 8. At 6pm the ques are not terrible but getting the kids out of the pool, showered and dressed by 6 is a challenge and we felt that this was too early and rushed so we changed to 8. At 8pm u have to que for 20 mins at each area so by the time u sit down, half of your food is cold! There is no organisation within the restaurant and out party of 8 was split onto two tables if we ate at this time. Why the hotel cannot open at 6-10pm and let people decide when they want to eat is beyond me because then it might not be so busy. The problem is that the restaurant is not big enough to take the amount of guests at any one time yet the hotel cannot see that by deciding what time we eat for us, creates more mayhem.
Pool area - the pool is lovely and clean and there are plenty of sunbeds for everyone (at a tipping price) my only negative is that the main pool isn't big enough for the number of guests in high season. The beach is lovely though and hassle free.
As a party of women and children (3 teenage girls), we had a lot of hassle from men everywhere we went (including from the guests at the hotel who were locals), most of the hassle was harmless expect from one guy who was drunk day and night and followed my two teenage family members everywhere day and night. If we change seats, so did he, if they got in the pool, so did he, if they joined in with the children's day time entertainment, so did he. He followed them to the bar, to the lifts, to the toilets. Everywhere! It became very intimidating and when we told hotel staff, as he had not spoken to them there was nothing that they could do. I understand this in some respects but it ruined our holiday, the girls were petrified to leave our side, they wouldn't join in with the day time games, they would freak out at night when having to go to the rooms in case he had followed them and we as the adults could not relax as we had to watch the girls 24/7. It was not only us that had this issue at the hotel, one lady had said that a local had kissed two girls (4-7 in age) in the pool. How is this all acceptable!!!
I hate the fact that I am having to complain so much about this hotel, my family and I have travelled the world and stayed in a range of hotels from 3-7* so I feel qualified to know what to expect when I pay this much money for a holiday. This is not a 4* hotel, it is more like a 3*. The facilities are not good enough and the hotel is not clean enough. This holiday was a complete waste of money and time! We would never return to this hotel or Tunisia even if it was free!
- 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