More about Marhaba Beach Hotel
We were looking for guaranteed sun/warm weather and total relaxation - and that is exactly what we found in Tunisia at the Marhaba Beach Hotel.
Almost without exception the service and staff were friendly, enuthusiastic and efficient. Any requests for help or advice were dealt with promplty. Our teenagers thoroughly enjoyed themselves and are begging to go back next year! The entertainment team worked tirelessly to keep everyone amused, and were generally successful.
Everything is available on the site of the hotel - the unadventurous need never venture out. The facilities are excellent, gardens/pool are lovely, and the beach on the doorstep.
Tipping is expected - so keep plenty of change on you. We only paid 1 dinar per day for each sunbed mattress - unexpected but not unaffordable.
For the more adventurous there are trips out to be booked, and taxis always waiting to take you to Sousse and beyond.
All in all, for us the hotel was fantastic, and the holiday a complete success - mainly thanks to the Marhaba Beach Hotel staff.
We stayed at Marhaba Beach Hotel for 7 nights last week (19-27 July 2006), and I would say that we are glad to be back home. Marhaba Beach Hotel is a "Smokers Haven". We arrived at the hotel at 2:30am and went straight to bed. Could not have a laying because the breakfast is served between 6.30am-9.30am and if you want to have a sun lounger beside the pool you need to get up at the crack of dawn to reserve one. I dont know how this hotel managed to get the 4 * + rating, the bedroom design is outdated, the shower is pathetic and towels are old and smelly. The lobby's are badly lit, possibly to hide badly preyed and stained carpets and walls that needs a lick of paint. Food are the same everyday, its just an alternate of fish or meat and if you are lucky you can have both for 3 consecutive nights. But the worst thing is the hotel does not cater for their non-smokers guests. There is no place or corner that you can go that is clear of fog and mist of cigarette smoke. The hotel lobby, especially in the evening is absolutely terrible, you need a gas mask to go pass. Even sitting outside is just as bad, people who smoke without a care to people beside them, so me and my husband has played musical chairs a few times to find a place to sit down and breath in fresh air which is not possible in this hotel. The restaurant provides a space for non-smokers, plonk in between the smokers area. So that is a waste of time too. Are flight back home is at 3.45 am. We had to leave our room at mid-day, meaning we had to wait 12 hours before we can be picked up for the airport. My husband had to pay extra 40 Tunisian Dinars so we can extend our room until 6.00pm, no chance of staying a few minutes longer because a porter knocked on our door at 5.50pm to collect our luggages. We still have 6 hours to wait, we have asked the receptionist at the hotel desk if there is any place we could sit which is free from smoke, he did not speak (because he got a mouthful of food) and only shrug his shoulders to us and smirk. Needless to say, we had to smoke passively for the duration of our stay in Tunisia. To prove that the hotel is a Smokers Haven, I had to wash all our clothes, even the clean ones, that was in our suitcase, which the porter left in the lobby while we are waiting for the airport pick up, because they all smell of smoke. Disgusting! Dont bother about the trips being offered beside the pool, they only rip you off, stick to trips that is organised by your travel reps, and even that is not too brilliant too. In the positive side, the Tunisian people seems very nice. Try walking in the main street in the evening, its pretty safe apart from the smelly jasmine flower thing that is shoved up your nose every now and then. We recommend The 3 Dauphines restaurants, located on the main street, brilliant food and service and reasonable price too. I would like to go back to Tunisia again sometime but will not stay at this hotel again.
Really enjoyable holiday
We have just come back from a week at the Marhaba beach hotel and are already checking out prices to return again later in the year. Whilst it is not the most luxurious hotel we have ever stayed in it is certainly good value for money and offers very good service. The facilities and entertainment on offer appealed to our mixed group of small children, adults and teenagers and the staff could not have been more helpful.
Food was varied and everyone easily found something they liked to eat at each mealtime, (although not sure about some of the salad selections offered for breakfast!!)
It was great having the choice of pool or beach so close together, although we would suggest that when it comes to reserving your sunloungers make sure that you pay the attendant in advance (inc tip) to avoid the usual scrum to get sunloungers in the morning. It was just a shame the pool was only open from 9-6 as some of us would have been happy to stay a little longer when it was cooler at the end of the day.
There was plenty on offer for those that wanted a little more activity although there was maybe a little too much badgering to join trips and activities from independant organisers around the pool and beach despite making it clear we were not interested. The atmosphere was very relaxed and friendly and we met lots of really nice people from a wide variety of different countries, we will definitely return.
Relaxing, peaceful holiday
Having just spent 10 days at the Marhaba Beach Hotel, we are hoping to return there in October. The whole place was spotless and the staff helpful. Whilst the decor was perhaps a little dated in some parts of the hotel, everything was clean and well presented. The huge dining room presented a good variety of food, some local and some favourites, and as it was buffet style you could take your time in choosing and go for seconds! We ate at varying times within the restaurant opening and always had plenty of choice. We didn't hear any anybody complain of an upset stomach. Having asked for a "sea view" and a quiet room, ours couldn't have been better. We often sat on the big balcony just listening to the sea. The pool was clean and lovely and warm, plenty of loungers around (although they did cost 2 dinar each) all set amongst the palm trees and gardens. We opted for the private beach, just a few steps through the gardens, with its reed umbrellas and soothing breeze. Not wanting to get up at the crack of dawn to reserve an umbrella, we found the hotel's beach lifeguard, asked him if he had any umbrellas left, and for a couple of dinar we were always lucky!! The beach is soft golden sand, and you are able to walk out into the sea about 100 yards and still only be shoulder high in the water - ideal for us non-swimmers. Tips are expected, but a dinar (41p) is sufficient. Taxis are cheap and plentiful. We found the Medina in Sousse a bit intimidating, we would have liked to go into some of the little shops to look at the goods but it just wasn't worth the hassle! My husband did find a store at the edge of the Medina where he was measured for a leather jacket, drew his design, picked his leather and we returned to collect it the next day. A really soft leather jacket, beautifully made in a non-standard size for £90!!. The main part of Sousse is a bit manic, access to the public beach is across a busy dual carriageway, whereas the Marhaba Beach is at the quiet end of town. We had a wonderfull relaxing holiday and would thoroughly recommend this hotel.
We arrived late on a Saturday night and did not have any tunisian money. Porters took our bags to our rooms so we tipped in English money. The reception staff were very helpful. If you need anything from the bar this can be put on your room bill. The accommodation at the hotel was excellent and the staff very friendly. The food was exccelllent all the way through the holiday and should appeal to just about everyone. We never got bored with the menu and the waiters were very friendly and helpful. I was however irritated by the pre-tipping of the pool attendant to get pool side loungers and shades. All nationalities were up to this which amounted to giving a generous tip to the pool attendant together with your towel(s) and he put them out for you in the morning when he arrives at 6am. Therefore if you do not want to engage in this activity yourself, you have to be out and throwing towels over loungers by 6am if you want to ensure a lounger by the pool. However the beach is just as good and you cannot pre-book these. Even if you throw a towel over them the beach attendants take them off of unattended loungers. We went on a couple of trips and would recommend the 2 day Sahara trip (not for young children) very ealy morning starts and long coach journeys of up to 2.5 hrs + and a very tiring itinery. We were able to see many of the popular sites of Tunisia in just 2 days and the £69 price tag was well worth it. We normally hire a car when on holiday, but would not do so in Tunisia, you will probably see why when you get there. The Tunisians seemed very friendly but girls seem to be preyed upon by some of the men. If the girls engaged in conversation with them they think that you are interested in them and it becomes difficult to shake them off. They also tend to look women up and down without any shyness, I am given to understand that it is just their way. The advice is if you are approached just to say "no" emphatically and do not make eye contact. In fairness we did not suffer too much from this type of approach. Your local rep should give you advice and if you have teenagers make sure you ask how to deal with the situation. I should say however, the 3 girls we were with never felt under threat, and towards the middle of the holiday they tried to work out who was the most popular by the amount of camels they were offerred for marriage (this is very tongue in cheek most of the time). You do seem to be tipping everyone all the time. Taxi drivers sometimes worked out their own tips and I found that occasionally if you tended a 10TD they gave change for a 5TD trip of only 2 DT. You soon wise up to this and the easy option is to carry plenty of chnage and choose the tip you want to give. All in all this was a great holiday. We normally like to go somewhere different every year, and this is the first holiday that we have said that we would return to. I would also make sure that I go to the Marhaba Beach or very similar. When you view the other hotels around, you soon realise how lucky you are, an excellent holiday, a great resort a great hotel - which in my opinion is worth every one of its 4 stars, in fact I have stayed at 4 stars that do not reach the standard of the Marhaba Beach - definately recommend it to anyone.
Im going back!
I have just returned a few days ago from my holiday, with my family and friend from this amazing holiday resort..and what can i say?..except i had a wonderful experience and i am already planning a trip back there with my friend as soon as possible. The hotel itself is stunning, wonderfully decorated and kept in pristine condition. When we arrived we were greeted by many friendly faces who were more than happy to help us and for the quality of service we were happy to give tips- whats 1 or 2 dinar for great service?
The pool and beach area itself is beautiful and being a keen traveller and visiting many beach destinations myself this was by far one of the best i have seen. The first day of the holiday me and my friend went onto the beach- be warned all you teenage girls for when we entered the sea we recieved a huge amount of attention from the locals who often came to us and started to talk etc. Personally we liked the attention we recieved (way better than we do at home!) and were not intimidated and found that they were very friendly people, but if you are not interested in that then the best thing to do is either just say no firmly, dont make eye contact or smile, or as we found rather amusing to do was pretend we wernt english and watch them speak to us in different languages. It was a very interesting experiance which we enjoyed thoroughly.
There are plenty of activities in and around the resort for all to enjoy including expeditions, shows and we greatly enjoyed the water sports. The Animation team at the Marhaba Beach for children are excellent, and they often organised activities for adults too, which i thoroughly enjoyed. I definately recommend this to all people who are looking for an amazing holiday, im going back next year!
Marhaba Beach Hotel, Sousse
We booked the holiday at fairly short notice for a cheap half term break for us, the kids and an elderly mother in law with limited mobility. My husband really wasn't looking forward to it having heard mixed reports about Tunisia generally.
The hotel was nice and clean ( the reception area has been fairly recently refurbished). Rooms were fine - the odd cracked tile but nothing to worry about and plenty of fresh linen and towels. We were a bit disappointed with the hotel pool but soon realised that there was a large new pool in the centre of the complex (Hotel Marhaba/Marhaba Club /Marhaba Beach and Tour Khalef) which was lovely and had a pool bar which had a good menu which was cheap too. there is a small charge for sunbeds of I dn a day (about 35p) so it won't break the bank!
The hotel has a great beach location. We were surprised how clean the sand and water were. We also took advantage of the
cheap water sports - Para sailing 25d ( £10 )and jetskiing 25dn for 20 mins.
We found all of the staff in the hotel very polite and helpful. Small tips are very much appreciated and go a long way......
Food was good with a wide selection of european and Tunisian meals. You'd have to be really fussy not to find something you liked.
Easily meets its 3* rating.
We would certainly go back
31.12.-14.1.1996 - Sousse Beach Holidays
Stayed at Hotel Marhaba in Sousse.
26.9.-10.10.1995 - Sousse Beach Holidays
Stayed at Hotel Marhaba Beach in Sousse.
Weather in February,
We are off to Sousse Feb 10th for 2 weeks staying at the Marhaba Beach hotel. It is our first time to Tunisia and are looking forward to it very much despite reading quite a few negative things the hotel seems to have a good reputation. What is the weather like this time of year and will the sea be warm enough to swim in? Can anyone reccommend any day trips or places worth a visit. Many thanks.
RE: Weather in February,
Hi Just returned this week from two weeks at the Marhaba Beach Hotel with Thomson Holidays. We had a fantastic holiday, the hotel is very good,lovely staff, very comfortable rooms, quiet and relaxing, food great,it is in a complex of four hotels with lovely grounds. The only downside is that the indoor pool is badly in need of refurbishment but usable, try a Sauna/Steam Room and or Oil Massage, all good value for money. The entertainment is mainly Tunisian, but there are English bars in the Taj Marhaba and Rihayd Palms hotels Ten minutes walk down the road, and an Irish bar in Kantoui. The weather was better than the average January 68 in the shade most of the time, whilst we were there we only had one day without SUN, but at this time of year it can be windy and is always cold in the evening. We have been to Tunisia three times before and have done most of the trips, by far the best if you can afford it is the 2/3 day trip to the Sahara Desert it is absolutley unforgetable. This time we have done both evening excursions on offer the Showstoppers and the Zulu evening. The wildlife park is worth a visit, and you can take yourself into Monastir by metro (1dinar each 2nd class 2.1/2 dinar 1st class, and into Port El Kantoui 4 dinar by taxi. Another reccommendation always leave a small tip 1/2 dinar 20p or 1 dinar 40p is always gratefully received in bars cafes etc. Most of the Tunisians are lovely people and crime is quite low compared with the UK, but like everywhere you will find the odd opportunist!! keep you personal possessions close, change money only when you need it, the hotel bank is open twice a day, and there are safety deposit boxes if you feel the need. The Tunisians do pester for you to buy from there shops, don't be rude, just say not thank you with a smile, tell them you like there goods but you don't need any and just keep on walking, you should not have any problem then!! I hope this info will be useful to you