82 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
An enjoyable return visit to Tunisia
"Recently had a very relaxing week at the hotel. Just needs a little updating although painting was going on during our stay. Food varied and good. Freshly cooked pancakes, donuts, omelettes at Breakfast. Freshly cooked pizza and pasta at lunch and dinner - with loads of other choices. Local beer and wine on tap thoughout the day and evening. Beach area is beautiful with a great Beach Restaurant for lunch. We did try the Al acarte restaurant one evening which didn't quite live up to expectations although the waiters did have more time for us.
Despite it being Ramadan and a warning that staff might appear 'not at their best' (not being able to eat or drink themselves) everyone was very pleasant and helpful, with the odd exception. There is a lack of evening entertainment indoors. Music in the bar would be good. I would however, like to return. "
- Travel date: Sun 21st of July 2013
"nice hotel bit dated food good beech lovly pool bit noisy becouse of building site but soon forgets its there surrounding streets bit gruby and traders still in your face pick the no barter shops pay near enough the same price without the hazzle pain still at the airport 2 hour wait but thats just tunisa on the whole nice hotel with nice staff but remember 4 star tunnisa is not 4star in europe
- Travel date: Sun 9th of September 2012
Going back for second time
"Last visit was hour fifth time holidaying in Tunisia, three times Hammamet and twice in Port El kantaoui. First time at Marhaba Palace and definately the best hotel so far, so good we are going back this May 2012 for 10 days instead of usual 7. We stayed on 7th floor with sea view, spectacular, hotel clean with friendly staff. Had no complaints about food, buffet style and always been refreshed so no problems if you want to eat a bit later, you are allocated a table when you first arrive and you are expected to keep that table for your stay which has its pros and cons we were lucky and sat near to a lovely couple but it may not always work out like that. Pool area very clean with lots of sunbeds, the reason I only gave a 9 was because this is the first hotel in Tunisia that we have been charged for cushions for sunbeds and although only approx Â£1 a day it all seems a bit petty and means you have to carry change down to pool. Hotels beach less than 100 yards through gardens where oddly enough they don't charge for cushions. We went half board which worked very well for us, plenty of places in Port El Kantaoui to eat which is less than 5 minutes walk from hotel which is a big plus with this hotel. Port El Kantaoui has a lovely purpose built Marina with lots of shops and cafes, prepared to be hassled, just say no thank you and walk on they get the hint, never pay what they ask for anything always haggle it is expected. We go to Tunisia for rest and sunshine, this is not Benidorm hasn't got much nightlife, but is good value for money and only two an a half hours flight out of Gatwick. We are looking forward to this years holiday at Marhaba Palace."
- Travel date: Fri 27th of January 2012
wonderful holiday hotel and staff most helpful
"myself and my wife where a bit wary of going to tunisia after what had happened earlier in the year but that was forgotten
as soon as we set foot in the hotel, the staff couldnt do enough for you very polite the food was excellent with a good choice and the waiter service was second to none flowers on the table for my wife every night. The bedroom decor could do with a bit of tlc but who spends all day in their bedroom!!the pool area was spotless and cleaned every morning and the bar and pool bar staff always helpful. I coundnt believe how many people come year after year to this hotel so that should show how good it is.My wife and I will definately be returning. "
- Travel date: Sat 1st of October 2011
Thieving staff at Marhaba palace Port El Kantaoui
"I have just returned from a week stay at the Marhaba palace where we hired a safety deposit box number 26 to be exact. The day we were leaving we went to empty it and give back the key to the reception, I counted the money in my purse and there was a Â£160 missing the chap on the reception was not having any of it saying there is no way the only person with another key to your safety deposit box is the manager. unfortunately our coach was picking us up in 5 mins so we couldn't call the police. we told the rep on the coach who gave us a form to fill in. The night before we were leaving my partner was talking to some English people in the bar and said what can I do with my left over dinars, and they said go to the exchange at reception in the morning and they will change it back free of charge but they don't open until 9am, and we were leaving at 8.35 am. So my partner went to the reception area to ask there advice and the chap behind reception said oh I can change that for you and pulled a wad of Â£20 notes out of his back pocket. when this came to light the following day about our money being stolen we actually thought that the receptionist had possibly paid us back with our own money. He was not on duty the following morning it was a different receptionist. So just be warned your money is not safe in the safety deposit box , and the management do not accept any liability."
- Travel date: Fri 13th of May 2011
"It was my first visit to Tunisia and I had reserved my judgement. But what a fantastic place and the hotel itself was superb. The staff were friendly and helpful. The rooms were clean if slightly dated. Reception were fabulous. Slightly over friendly waiters and as two single females travelling together it was to be expected that some of the waiters would turn their attention to us but they were very polite and took the thanks but no thanks graciously. The pool was well looked after and relaxing. I highly recommend the spa at the hotel which gave the nicest massages and the haridresser in the hotel was lovely as well. The food was very good and catered to all tastes. All in all I cannot wait to go back what a fab destination and amazing hotel! "
- Travel date: Wed 28th of July 2010
lovely hotel, well-placed in resort
"Have just returned from a two-week holiday at the Marhaba Palace Hotel in PEK with my 18-yr-old son. Although the hotel is in some need of a general re-vamp (decor rather dated, chipped tiles, etc), we found it very clean and well-kept.
Our room was on the 3rd floor and had sea-view (Definitely worth paying extra for in the summer months as the balcony has shade during the afternoons as well as a lovely view over swimming pool and sea.The disadvantage to this side of the hotel is that the dreadful "entertainment" takes place poolside every night and is loud - it's mainly appalling renditions of western "classics" like Hey Jude, Another Brick in the Wall, Country Roads - but quite amusing trying to guess what the song is before the chorus!. There is also karaoke and supposedly "folklore". It's all finished by midnight,allowing some sleep at last!) Air-con only engages when balcony door is closed, which is a pain if one person wants to go to bed early and other wants to sit outside, smoke, relax, read etc.- Beware of locking yourself out of your room!)
Our chambermaid(Saida)was delightful, very thorough and earned a well-deserved large tip at the end of our stay. Other staff in the hotel were a mixed bag. Some were fantastic, others were very much less so, but all were willing to help if asked. As mentioned in other reviews, a generous tip helped enormously, but as I personally don't tip poor service, I probably didn't receive top quality attention!
The pool at the hotel is excellent. It is quite large and never seemed overcrowded. There are large notices warning that you cannot reserve loungers with towels etc. Disregard. If you want some shade, get your towels down as early as possible ( Some people were leaving their towels down overnight, and certainly by 8 am your choice was limited!)Mattresses cost 2 Dinar each for a day and considerably improve comfort if you're staying all day. The beach area always seemed overcrowded, so we didn't spend much time there, however both beach and sea were clean.
I thought the food at both breakfast and dinner was excellent. There is a lot of choice at each meal. You could easily eat something different every morning and evening over 2 weeks. Many people have remarked that the food was very "samey". We only felt that for the last couple of days. Freshly squeezed orange juice is well worth the 2.500 TD (So-called orange/lemon juice bears no resemblance to the real thing!) Coffee was quite good and strong - I've certainly had worse!
The weather in this part of Tunisia is described as hot and dry during the summer months - nowhere does it warn you of the energy-sapping, sweat-inducing HUMIDITY! Admittedly, I don't cope well with humidity plus high temperatures, which meant that I did virtually no exploring of the locality, much to my chagrin. The supermarket(10 mins walk) was well worth the sweat, with both wine and water at least a quarter of the price of hotel. Arm yourselves with fans, wet-wipes, tissues and sunglasses!!
The 2-day Sahara trip was terrific and well worth the cost, particularly if you're a Star Wars fan (I'm not!)It was great to see a lot more of the "real" Tunisia.
Port el Kantaoui is totally tourism-orientated, but lovely. Marhaba Palace Hotel I would recommend.
- Travel date: Tue 27th of July 2010
One of the best holidays I have had
"I have travelled all around the world on all types of holidays and this is one of the best.
It pains me to see the comments by some people on this site. I think they go to a differant country with a differant culture but expect it to be just like home.
The staff at this hotel were probobly the friendliest I have met and nothing was to much trouble to them.
The food at breakfast was varied and very good, the evening buffet was faultless, ok there were a few dishes I did not like but other people loved them. There was something for everyone.
The rooms were slightly dated, but were clean and adequate. The maids were friendly ang very efficient.
All in all this was a great holiday, i spent two weeks here on half board with my wife. We returned on 27th June 2010, and on 28th June we booked for next year.
- Travel date: Sun 4th of July 2010
Our stay at the Marhaba
"We had a brilliant holiday at this hotel. Accommodation food and location excellent. Weather a bit unpredictable but did not interfere with organised tours to the Sahara/Tunis/Carthage which were good value for money.
Will keep Tunisia on our holiday list. "
- Travel date: Fri 26th of March 2010
watch out for thieve staff
"went there it was nice hotel from outside ,everything was ok til i went to the restauant and left my jacket by the chair and all i can see one of the waiters putting his hand in the inside pocket and took my mobile phone and some cash while two of them were monotoring the situation, i couldnt believe it . then he disappeared, so i went to the manager to have a word and i was really gobsmacked when he blamed me for negligance and he said we have a safe box in the reception you shouldn't carry an expensive mobile phone and lots of cash with me?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????"
- Travel date: Sun 19th of April 2009
total waste of money!!!!
"When first arriving at the airport the weather was warm and welcoming but a different picture inside, we were stuck in a queue for 2 hours as they didnât think it would be a good idea to open more than 1 desk for hundreds of people, the guards were casually stood with guns smoking, not even taking notice of what was going through the scanners. When arriving at the hotel there was no lights on out the front of the hotel, as if no one was home. We were pre warned about the staff in the hotel and how they practically beg for tips! Pieces of advice, DO NOT LET THE STAFF TAKE UR SUITCAASES OFF THE BUS OF UPTO YOUR ROOM as they will automatically expect a tip. We had to fight our suitcases off the porter and he finally agreed to let us take our own. When finding out what room we were staying in we had to wait a further 35mins for them to find the paper work and try to sort things out for other people as well. They then told us that our room has accidentally been givem to someone else so offered us another room which was horrible, we asked for double rooms and ended up having a room with 2 single beds in which they said we could push together if we wanted. Not what we asked for. We decided we didnât want this room and asked what the other option looked like. They took us up in the lift and onto a corridor which had white sheets on the floor because there was so much dampness they had to do this on a night ready for the morning. We went into our room which even though it was a bit dated, it was lovely, our air conditioning didnât work so when we rang up to enquire they said they would send someone out in the morning which I was disgraced at as it was 27 â°c and we were tired from the journey. We had to go down to reception 3 times and each time the guy said people were on their way! Yea right!! Finally 2 and a half hours later someone came up and also fixed the fridges which ALSO didnât work! The maids were lovely and even with a small tip (which was our choice) they made patterns out of the curtain and tidied up brilliantly although I would recommend locking up valuables. The pool was amazing. We stayed in the pool until the sun went down. Although I am a beach person I would say that the beach behind the hotel in the most disgusting beach I have ever seen, the sand was disgustingly dirty and the sea had plastic bag in, crap, dead fish and more, I did jet skiing but had to go back early because the sea was so dirty it kept blocking up the jet ski. Although I did the parachute ride on the back of the boat and that was brilliant! Defiantly recommend. We went on a quad bike excursion and thought it was really good but the sights they took us to were more like been deserted in a hell hole, burnt out cars, tires, rubbish. We didnât have chance to do the full tour because people we were with werenât confident on the quads and we were told that if we went through a certain town we would have to drive full speed to ensure we didnât get mugged as it was really rough and people have in the past been pulled of their quad bikes and robbed. Defiantly not selling it to us. The men there ruined my holiday, even though I would not say I was perfect looking, I was constantly harassed by hotel staff, people outside the hotel, I was constantly upset by they looks, comments and groping, visiting a water park I managed to loose my partner on a lazy river ride as he slowed down and before I knew it I was surrounded by at least 10 men and each took turns to try and smack my bum and feel me. I was very upset and when my partner tried to confront them they 0ulled a 12 inch knife and told him to f*** off! We left straight away! Bartering is the main thing to remember in Tunisia, if u half the price they want and take a bit more off then thatâs the price you should pay other wise they will be laughing at how much you paid. Will defiantly not go back to this area of hotel every again! Total waster of money! definatly not for younger generations"
- Travel date: Wed 28th of January 2009
Having been to Tunisia a number of times...
"Having been to Tunisia a number of times i found this hotel to be of a very high standard. Central to all amenities, staff very welcoming. I will certainly come back to visit this fab hotel. Plenty of night life and only a short 2 minute walk to the port.
A visit to the mediteranian restaurant at the port is a must!
- Travel date: Wed 8th of October 2008