31 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"Stayed at this hotel with my young daughter and loved every minute of it!! the staff were great nothing was too much ,the food was excellent and plenty of it, I felt really safe at this hotel and if I were ever to travel on my own for a holiday I would come here without question. the beach is really close just a short walk and the local shops are just around the corner ,the taxi service is really cheap ,please don't take any notice of the bad press the locals sometimes get about the hassle in shops and medina it's all part and parcel of north African countries, if you don't like it the go to bloody Blackpool!!!!"
- Travel date: Sun 9th of March 2014
"the enterance was incredible, felt like some kind of super star when i turned up. the staff, are so friendly, lots to do for kids, alot of activities, like quading ect.. Port el kantaoui isn't far away, which is amazing, the musical founting is brillaint. its easy to cut the prices in the port aswell.. they wanted 160 dinar for a bracelet which 80pound in english money, i got the down to 45dinar. The bar could be slightly better, like the choice of drinks.. "
- Travel date: Thu 2nd of September 2010
forget the bad reviews :)March 2010
"We were fortunate to be staying at the hotel when the ash problem occured it couldnt have come on a better holiday . This is my 4th holiday in Tunisia but the Imperial Marhaba is the best hotel ive stayed in there . The pool and sunbeds were always easily avaliable , short walk onto beach great views and only although its about 30 min walk into the port or a Â£2 taxi ride it is worth being a bit furter away for the Hotel is worth it .
Im not easily impressed with hotels as ive stayed in some of the best . Although
not as new and shiny as some of the hotels in Sharm. Tunisia offers a relaxed friendly and comfortable holiday the food is the best ever and NO Bad stomachs as we know in Egypt.
The staff at hotel are fantastic they even upgraded us because we had a 12 year old with us so we had a suite for a very reasonable price :0)).
The news of the Ash cloud was welcome and we were lucky enough to be able to stay at the hotel for the extra 6 nights , as we were a full package holiday it was all still all inclusive and no room or hotel changes.......... We were sad to say goodbye to the staff and the fab animation team .. the only let down with the hotel is the entertainment its very cheesy but go with it and enjoy ........from a very a happy family who are going again next year.
- Travel date: Thu 29th of April 2010
Not As Good As It Could Be!
"On arrival, the Rui Imperial Marhaba Hotel is very impressive. A long driveway surrounded by well maintained gardens and water features leading up to the marbel and glass entrance lobbey. Once inside the lobbey area is huge, again all marbel with four glass elevators (although one was broken for most of our week's stay) leading to a bar area and out onto a huge patio seating area.
The Reception Staff were polite and booked us in quickly and our bags were taken to our room by the porter service. Our room consisted of bedroom, en-suite bathroom with separate toilet and sea view balcony. The only criticisms about the room were that the decor was dated, the double bed was two singles pushed together and the air-conditioning is only turned on from the 1st June!
The hotel is currently being extended and there is a separate wing under construction, although this is near completion. There was some noise from around 7am to 6pm, most noticable at the pool area, although to be honest, this never bothered us during our stay.
The food at this hotel is of a good standard in the main buffet style restaurant, the pool bar area, Italian style restaurant, although the Tunisian style restaurant food was not to our taste. The majority of the staff in the Hotel are polite and helpful and if you tip the sunbed man at the pool a couple of dinars (Â£1), he will make sure to get you a good sunbed. If you don't, make sure your up early to get one!
Entertainment is mainly via the animation team. During the day, they provide poolside entertainment for all ages (darts, bowls, archery, water polo, water aerobics, stretching exercises, table tennis and kids club). The evening entertainment varies each night from 7pm to 9pm for family entertainment, after 9pm to 11.30pm is geared up for adults, club singers, karaoke etc. The evening entertainment took place in the lobbey bar during our stay which is why it only lasted until 11.30pm. For families who have young children who end up staying in a room which leads off the lobbey, this may be a problem due to the level of the music. During the peak season, the evening entertainment will probably move into one of the several entertainment rooms which were closed during our stay.
The hotel is located approximately one kilometre way from the halbour area which contains a good selection of shops, bars and restaurants. A taxi ride for this journey costs about 5 dinars (Â£2.50) or a pleasant 45 minute walk along the sea shore.
All in all, we would've rated our stay higher than a seven, but friends of ours stopped in the Rui Green Park 4* Hotel next to the harbour area. After spending our week's stay between the Rui Imperial Marbaha and the Rui Green Park Hotels, we preferred the Rui Green Park Hotel! This was due to the better location of the Rui Green Park Hotel to the halbour area, the pool areas, the animation team, the evening entertainment and the numerous bars and function rooms which were all open - unlike the Rui Imperial Marbaha.
I would definately recommend Tunisia for couples who are wanting a nice chill out week relaxing in their hotel, but would recommend the Rui Green Park Hotel over the Rui Imperial Marbaha!
- Travel date: Mon 1st of June 2009
What a place!!!
"My husband and I have just returned from the Imperial Marhaba where we stayed for 11 nights. What can we say? The letter we received from Thomas Cook about the building work was totally unnecessary - there is very little noise and what there is certainly does not worry anybody around the pool. The place is clean and very impressive and from the food to the service we couldnt fault it. Only a few people moaned about the hotel but I think these were professional complainers. Our room was large and overlooked the front of the hotel. The animation team were fantastic and provided us with excellent entertainment.
The only thing I would say was not 100% was the toilets in the reception area which always smelt of sewerage - other than that, 10 out of 10.
Just one problem - we had to come home. Cant wait to go back."
- Travel date: Wed 27th of May 2009
not up to expectations
"Stayed at hotel 11th to 18th March09 Very impressive when you first walk in. However when we were shown our room the first thing that struck me was the very strong smell of smoke,My partner and i were not happy with this. We booked a sea view all we got was a view of the huge spar they are building and which will not be finished untill at least July 09. Builders are shouting very early in the morning and while around the pool you are made to feel uncomfortable because of all the builders looking at you. We booked a double bed did not get that or the high floor. We asked to be moved and were told there were no rooms available untill 4 days in to our holiday , So to have to pack our bags and move again would have caused hassle as we were only there for a week . The food is very repetitive and we both had tummy upsets and this was the only place we ate food at. The animation team do work very hard but there is not much going on. The disco is just a few records on for a little while .I have stayed at riu hotels before and they were of a high standard but i will not be going back here again "
- Travel date: Wed 1st of April 2009
My husband and i have just returned from...
"My husband and i have just returned from our two week holiday.All i can say is what a fantastic time we had.The hotel is lovely, really impressive ,marbel everywhere in the massive reception area with four glass lifts.The staff were so friendly and made our holiday one to remember.The food was excellent and everywhere was so clean.I will definately be booking again for next year.Best hotel we have stayed in.The all inclusive package was definately worth booking. "
- Travel date: Mon 16th of June 2008
I've stayed at this hotel twice in three...
"I've stayed at this hotel twice in three years and can only say that if top price London hotels (that I know very well) adopted the same attitude towards service they would be worth the extreme prices they charge. In fact they do not, and the Imperial Marhaba staff and management are setting the pace!
The cleanliness of the hotel is first class and you can see for yourselves the extents that they go to to ensure they meet the highest of standards.
I used the main restaurant throughout and never felt the need to go to the A la carte restaurant because the food choice was good, always well cooked and presented and the restaurant service was brilliant with a waiter and several suprvising waiters on hand at all times. Always there, but never obtrusive.
Only one thing caused me any annoyance in this hotel....wait for it.... the behaviour of British tourists! I don't know why some of them bother to take a holiday, all they do is moan from the moment they get in the plane to the point they get home again!!
My holiday (last week) was perfect from the hotel viewpoint, but I will probably not use Thomas Cook/ My Travel again. I try to go to the welcome meetings but on this occasion the rep started the meeting early and confined the group to three three seater couches set around him, so that people who arrived on time for the meeting had no where to sit. Needless to say, we all got fed up and didn't buy a single excursion from TC. The flights were marred by the aged, mouthy, unsmiling and chaotic TC cabin staff. On the outgoing flight one of the staff put a bunch of leaflets in an overhead locker, loose, so that when I opened the door they all poured out on top of the passenger below. This despite her own warnings about the lockers. On the way back it was worse, far worse, with the managing cabin crew bad- mouthing My Travel and telling everyone that she was "Thomas Cook". They failed to secure a drinks locker on take off so that one fell out on the planes accelaration spewing miniatures of drinks all over the front of the cabin. There were no arrangements to take credit cards for payment "cos we ain't got no computer", and after we were finally provided with questionaires to complete we were told to fold our tables so we had nothing to write on. The pens that went with the questionaires were never offered, so several of us took our questionaires home to send on afterwards. Oh yes, and the meal distribution was a farce, with the staff trailing a long print-out of the people who had paid for meals behind them, but giving the means to everyone anyway. Needless to say, by the time they got towards the front of the aircraft they were saying to each other, "we are 28 short now" and then blamed the caterers! What a shambles! So 10/10 for the Imperial Marhaba and 2/10 for Thomas Cook/ My Travel and that was purely for the unintentional entertainment!!"
- Travel date: Mon 17th of March 2008
My wife and I have had two holidays this...
"My wife and I have had two holidays this year at the Imperial Mahaba and both times have found it an excellent hotel. All the staff were very friendly and could not do enough to help us wherever we were in the hotel; reception, restaurants, bars, beach, and chamber maids and so on.
The food suited our palette and we found to it be of a high standard with a wide choice dishes, which were always well cooked and presented. We feel that the all inclusive package is very good and the hotel is ideally situated with the beach staff maintaining its fine sandy beach to a high standard.
However we feel that parts of the hotel are beginning to become a little jaded and could do with a spruce up and the cushions on the soft furnishings in the large reception area could do with replacing as you tend to slide forward when sitting on them.
We will return sometime in 2008 and if anyone is thinking of trying Tunisia then I donât think they would go far wrong than giving the Imperial Mahaba a shot.
- Travel date: Mon 29th of October 2007
On first arrival at the Imperial Marhaba...
"On first arrival at the Imperial Marhaba, it is hard not to be blown away by the huge marble-floored lobby (even if your scheduled 1910 flight has been delayed by SIX hours!) and there is plenty more to like at this impressive hotel.
Service and food (we went on a half-board basis) are excellent, plenty of choice and quality. Make sure you try the restaurant too, we had a beautiful three course meal of Tunisian fare - big lamb chop & cous cous as the main meal - of which you are entitled to one 'free' visit on a half board basis. Tip, but don't overtip - the waiters get friendlier as your stay progresses!
In truth, the hotel is geared up mainly for all inclusive guests - we only saw a handful of other half-boarders during our one week stay. This is to such a level that the waiters often don't ask for payment from you; luckily for them we were honest!
Entertainment, especially if you have kids, is excellent and the 'Animation' team are superb, with plenty for adults to do during the day. Evenings are altogether patchier - you'd be well advised to head to the harbour for a night or two at least - - try Le Mediterrannee restaurant for some tasty & good value food.
Be warned, if you are looking for somewhere that has plenty of 'nights out', this is not the place for you - it's a 10 minute taxi drive and we rarely left the hotel other than for the short stroll to the gorgeous beach. Obviously, it's also hard to get alcohol other than with food but the harbour is a nice area and seems very safe. There's nothing much around the hotel though.
The only mark down is that the rooms, although functional and clean, need modernising. They were probably fantastic during the 80's! Also, take some money or travellers cheques - the ATM is 'offline' more often than not...
I'd recommend this hotel and resort, but would advise that two weeks may be a little long if you are just looking for a break."
- Travel date: Tue 28th of August 2007
My stay in this hotel and Port El Kantao...
"My stay in this hotel and Port El Kantaoui was fantastic, I didnât want to leave. I was a bit nervous before going because I had read all the reviews and there were quite a few comments on the Tunisian men and we were four teenage girls travelling together. The men were quite intimidating but they werenât offensive in any way and we didnât find them a problem, we just made sure we didnât make eye contact and just ignored them. We found them to be all mouth.
Port El Kantaoui was great fun there are a few shops, rides and bars to keep you occupied. We did however make the mistake of deciding to explore in the day before we braved it at night. I would definitely advise going at night. In the evening it is really busy and the port comes alive so you can have fun, relax and blend in with the huge crowd. We found in the day that it was so quiet that we stuck out like anything and were harassed by all of the shop staff.
The hotel was spotless our room was serviced everyday and the housekeepers would leave us sweets and make animals out of our nightwear every morning.
Definitely tip!!!! The staff will do anything for you. We left a 2 dinar tip after our meals and we were treated like royalty. We had our tea, coffee and drinks brought to our table every meal time, and this wasnât all, we were definitely given special treatment which in my opinion was definitely worth a few dinars a day which to us isnât even a Â£1.00.
The sunbeds around the pool were hard to get hold of but after a few days we got our own system going which was to slip the pool attendants a little bit of money and they saved us a great spot ever day.
The beach was beautiful and it wasnât to busy either we always found a good spot.
We went all inclusive at this hotel and it was definitely the right thing to do. You get great value for money! We had bar snacks, ice creams, drinks, pancakes at 4.00 from the pool everyday, drinks, breakfast, lunch and dinner all included. In a review I read before we left which said that a couple went half board and felt like second class citizens which now I can see how they would feel like that. You can when you get to the hotel pay extra to be changed to all inclusive which I would recommend you do if youâre not already. However we made friends with a group that were half board and they didnât find it a problem at all and loved the hotel.
I felt really safe and there were always 3 guards guarding the gate into the hotel at all times not that they ever needed to do anything.
The food is fantastic and there was definitely something for everyone. There were theme nights held regularly such as Italian, traditional Tunisia etc. There was every dinner time a counter which served pasta and pizza which is good for kids and people that donât eat that much.
The camel caravan was great fun and I'd definitely recommend it. The pirate ship was also great fun. The pirates were well dressed and definitely put their all into the part. They dropped anchor half way through the trip so you could jump in to the sea and have a swim and they put a great show on by doing stunts in the nets. You get fed on the ship but I would definitely eat before you go as the food was really not good, it suited the theme but still not good. It was served on a metal tray and was sardines with chopped up roar cabbage and tomato which doesnât sound that bad but it didnât look to good either. I definitely recommend the trip though it was really good fun and something different to experience.
We would definitely recommend this hotel and will be going back next year; I donât know how any one could have any complaints about the hotel. People make the mistake of thinking that a five star hotel in Tunisia is the equivalent of a five star in England, its not. But in my personal opinion it isnât far off."
- Travel date: Thu 9th of August 2007
My husband and I have just returned from...
"My husband and I have just returned from a 7 day stay at Riu Imperial Marhaba and we're absolutely impressed by the services provided by this hotel.
The lounge area is impressive, with four glass elevators, interior water fountains, marble tiles, huge fresh rose bouquets all over the place, even in the bathrooms, and a discreet jasmine smell following you around.
The rooms are basic, but quite large and irreproachably clean and well kept, not luxurious. However, I noticed the lack of bathrobes, compulsory, in my opinion, for a 5 star hotel.
The pool and beach areas are incredible, always plenty of parasols and sunbeds, but it was more difficult to find a place in the shade at noon. But, I woke up at seven every day and I always was the first by the pool.
The bar service was very good, with a wide range of drinks and snacks. The Animation Team went out of their way to make everyone feel great, they were very nice and friendly indeed and so were the waiters and the bartenders. Tips were optional, nobody made you feel they were expecting anything for their kind service. We did however give them a dinar or two every time they did something for us, like bringing us the drinks or the mattresses for the sunbeds.
Talking about food, IT WAS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING: fresh shrimp and sea food, an enormous selection of salads, all kinds of meat (even pork!!!) and fish, hot and cold desserts, etc. FABULOUS!
All in all, a perfect holiday."
- Travel date: Fri 20th of July 2007