Marhaba Palace Hotel

, Sousse, Tunisia
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Marhaba Palace Hotel

, Sousse
4 star

Rooms: 333

Port El Kantaoui - Sousse - Tunisia | 73-243633
6 Traveller

Reviews - Marhaba Palace Hotel

A Great Place To Stay
Submitted by: Mike in 28/12/08
  • Age Group: 51 - 60
  • From: United Kingdom
  • Traveller type: Adventurer
I have been to going to Tunisa for the last 20 years. I have stayed at many hotels from 1 star up to 4 stars.
Last year I actually stayed at the Houria Palace Hotel which is also rated as 4 stars. It is a very nice hotel but not a patch on Marhaba Palace. I kept finding myself going back to The Marhaba Palace Hotel whilst I was actually staying at Houria Palace.
I have booked The Marhaba Palace already for September 2009 for two weeks, can't wait to get back there.
The Staff at the Marhaba Palace are friendly and very helpful, especially my friendly chamber maid. The rooms are clean and tidy. The bar staff are also excellent, whilst there try and have a coversation with Faizel, he is an exceptional Bar tender and will help you as much as he can. He actually helped me to get a tunisian sim card. I left this for him with credit on when I left the Hotel.
The waiting staff are also very helpful and so are the restaurants and food. You have a very wide choice and is always fresh.
The pool is brilliant as are the pool staff.
Getting to the beach is simple just walk past the swimming pool and your are there.
There is also a very well looked after Beach restuarant, with very good service and food.
Also a very nice Pool Bar, with waiter service.
One thing to remember is that a lot of the staff actually make there living out of tips as the wages are not the best in the world but a Dinar here and there will put a smile on their face and you might find your excellent service already gets better.Bon voyage.
Beautiful architecture
Submitted by: Adeelah in 30/12/06
  • Age Group: 18 - 25
  • From: United Kingdom
  • Traveller type: Family Traveller
My experience in this hotel was great. I really did feel it was like a palace. The staff were very friendly and respectful.
Submitted by: Ray in 22/08/06
  • Age Group: 31 - 40
  • From: United Kingdom
  • Traveller type: Family Traveller
I cannot express strongly enough that there are plenty of excellent hotels aside from the Marhaba Palace. The staff are friendly here...but only if you tip - Call me old fashioned, but I prefer friendliness followed by a tip - not have staff demanding a tip for the sake of it! I have never had such a horrible experience as at the Palace. Indeed, it is very grand in design but the food & kitchen hygiene was disgraceful. On one occassion, the chef preparing the fried eggs etc dropped his fork on the floor. He checked to see if anyone noticed and then carried on using it, (didn't even bother to wipe it!).
Every morning, the breakfast staff would rush people out, (because there were not enough seats), and would consistently snatch away the plate from our two year old son while he was still eating, (most days).
Add to this that our entire group suffered food poisoning and after informing the reception of this we were told we must be mistakeb. It happened that the gentleman that made the diagnosis was a respected heart surgeon and he himself suffered the symptons so we were slightly doubtful of the receptionists brush off.
No follow by the staff was made to investigate the food poison claims and when we asked about it after it happened a second time they once again told us this could not be.
Just to sum up the attitude of the staff - on the last day as we were waiting to leave, one of the gentlemen in our group asked to borrow a pen from the reception to complete a form. The receptionist, whilst holding a pen said "No, go and buy one". I find this to be the single most shocking statement to hear at a reception in a four star hotel but it captures the attitude of the people accurately.
So long as they can see you as walking $'s they will smile. The moment that they think there is no more money available from you then you no longer hold use to them.
The town is very nice and I do recommend El Kantoui - just choose a different hotel!

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Not a 4 star hotel!
Submitted by: Margaret in 18/08/06
  • Age Group: 51 - 60
  • From: Tunisia
  • Traveller type: Family Traveller
Just returned from Marhaba Palace yesterday, having spent the last 2 weeks there. We were a bit skeptical having read all the negative reviews prior to our holiday. But in fact all were true!! On arrival the reception staff are all arrogant and rude. Our rooms had a distinctive smell of drains and rentokil which remained the whole 2 weeks! We were offered a "suite" which consisted of a double bed and small sofa bed for my daughters who are 15 and 22!! Which had we have booked this in England would be a £1000 cheaper. The rooms were old, dark and dingy overlooking the front where coaches arrived every few hours. The food was repetitive and recycled the following day. The sunbeds were booked by the pool everyday, probably by tipping generously as were the beach; people from other hotels were sitting beside us every day who had "an arrangement with the deckchair man ". The local people were allowed on the beach and some days it was difficult to even push through to them to get into the sea! Tipping was a problem although its only 80p a time it adds up throughout the day, and most of the workers stand there until you give them one, especially a suitcase porter he will not move arguing to give him a pound coin or Euros! The entertainment is not existant, a lot of unnecessary staff standing around when they could get a couple of animation teams together, there was a small snooker table for the whole of the children there. We have stayed in Port El Kantoui many times and used to visit this hotel and think how grand it looked in the entrance, but sadly this does not reflect the rest of it! All in all we had a relaxing holiday, except that the lifts were dodgy and got stuck on numerous occasions, until our last day when we did between 2 floors and it took 15 minutes before we had to jump out from a 3 foot height! Also beware of pick pockets, we visited the Sunday camel market and my husband had his wallet taken within 5 minutes of entering, and someone tried again as we were trying to leave. the Medina also we found the locals were very insulting if you weren't interested in their banter, which in the past was friendly and amusing...We have always loved Tunisia over the years but will not be returning again for a while especially to this hotel, although it has lovely grounds and spotlessly clean it lacked that certain sparkle for a holiday hotel. Finally to mention the hotel shop, don't go there instead of useful items they have news papers 3 days old, sell the guest books they leave in the bins for 4 dinars! All these points spoil this hotel. It is massive never overcrowded anywhere in fact the bars were always empty, with only 3 or 4 people in at a time, although the prices were reasonable. Last of all we can't praise the cleaners enough, they work tirelessly for very little acknowledgement and are very thankful for anything.
1 out of 1 reader found this review helpful
4 Star? Ayeeeee
Submitted by: Eoghan in 06/03/06
  • Age Group: 18 - 25
  • From: United Kingdom
  • Traveller type: Young Couple
There are certain things you expect with any package holiday: flights rammed with chavs, suspect food and service tailored to the herd, not the individual.
With these things in mind, all we really wanted out of this holiday was some guaranteed February heat in pleasant surroundings and within easy flying time of England.

We arrived late on a Sunday night, following the seemingly inevitable transfer delays, and settled down in a modest room in anticipation of a much-needed night's sleep. But at 6.30am we were awoken by the sound of gushing water in the corridor outside out room. Much of the second floor was flooded, including our room. Staff rushed around outside our room trying to mop up the deluge with noisy vacuum cleaners. No assistance was forthcoming. We had to gather our sopping possessions and make our way reception where staff eventually agreed to provide a replacement room [here the plumbing was sound, but the electrics haywire], but refused to offer any apology.

Not wanting to have our holiday spoiled by a shabby hotel, we got on with things, avoided the chavs and had a remarkably pleasant holiday. In particular, we enjoyed a two-day trip taking in the Sahara - and not only because this meant a night away from the Marhaba ‘Palace'.

Back at the Palace, eager as we were to put the day one wash out behind us, it was difficult not to notice that almost every aspect of the hotel was not up to scratch.

In particular, the food, even by package holiday standards, was at best repetitive and arguably bland and even unhealthy—hardly what you want from a week of relaxation in a location where the local Mediterranean catch is second to none. What made the eating experience worse were the Communist-style waiting arrangements. Hoards of dickie-bowed and frankly rather gormless ‘waiters' seemed incapable of clearing plates, setting tables and fetching drinks, their only tasks in this self-service establishment. At breakfast, one man was assigned the task of clearing teapots, another charged with doling out coffee and another still with dishing out the napkins. A novel system of running a restaurant and probably one which I would not have noticed had it worked. The plain truth is that it did not work. If you asked the napkin man for a fork, he would agree to get you one and then carry on regardless with his paper distribution. Meanwhile the fork man was nowhere to be seen. Yes, such niggles may seem small, but they cropped up at every turn – with reception staff, in the bar, the gym and by the pool - and as such grated.

There was a constant sense that the Palace over-promised and under-delivered. Had the hotel been described as 3 Star and not an implausible 4, we may have tempered our expectations accordingly. In the absence of such candour, I feel unable to rely on Thomson ratings again. We didn't expect much, but we got significantly less than we expected. Avoid.
Marhaba Palce
Submitted by: Ross in 29/12/05
  • Age Group: 26 - 30
  • From: United Kingdom
  • Traveller type: Pleasure Seeker
Marhaba Place is one of the biggest hotels I have ever been to in my life. The sevice was great, if there was a bread crum on the table they come and wipe it off your table!! They had big sports center that was about 1oo yards from the hotel. I'll be here all day telling you all the good stuff about Marhaba Place so go there and see all the amazing stuff there. GOODBYE
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