27 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Mahabra club sousse. rude rude staff
"I spent a week here from 13th-20th June with my grown up daughter. The room allocated was good and very clean. We arrived late in the evening. Our first experience of eating at the Mahabra Club was breakfast the next morning! I'm not sure the best way to describe the dining room but a cross between a works canteen and old style holiday camp. There didn';t appear very much choice for breakfast, (compared to other holidays of this grading). The dining room was chaotic! The queues were long and you also had to queue to get your own drinks. very little table service went on. However, there was a large selection of food but we found the atmosphere in the dining room so depressing, we ended up eating at the pool bars each day. This was fine and a better atmosphere, but meant you had limited choice of food. You cannot take out of the dining room to eat elsewhere. The one thing however that really stood out for us was how rude most of the staff were! I can honestly say this is the worst hotel I have been to where the staff almost 'drop' your drink onto the counter. There is often no eye contact, let alone a smile. The lady at the cashier desk looked extremely unhappy - I saw her smile once! You were not made to feel particularly welcome and this was the view of most of the British tourist who spoke to us. When we asked the rep at the hotel if other people had complained, he looked surprised and said No. However, this was not true as another rep on the coach back said he often had complaints about rudeness of staff! Not sure why he felt the needed not to tell the truth! The man at the pool, the cleaners and one or two bar staff were very nice and pleasant. Some British visitors said staff were unhappy because people were not tipping them - if they smiled more, we would have done. We certainly tipped the maid and pool man! The pool was very very busy but lovely. If you want a quiet relaxing holiday, the pool is not the place to be, loud music and loads of people. If you pay for a drink at the Bocca Bar it is lovely and peaceful and you can use their allocated beach,. The security man will try and move you on, but if you tell them you are buying a drink, they leave you alone. The beach is very clean and lovely white sand. Please don't be put off by this review, it isn't so dire, you won't be able to stay there, but as a lot of other guests said there were 'niggly' things. Overall, it is a very clean hotel and very clean pool areas. The animation was extremely good. There are a number of activities, boules, archery. Indoor pool. The Russians were not too much of a bother. If you speak to them, they don't smile - very much like the staff! I wouldn't waste time doing the 'free' medina trip. You end up sitting in a carpet showroom looking at rolls of carpet. The weather here is lovely and somewhat makes up for the hotel. I definitely would not return to this hotel. I feel if staff cannot be bothered to make an effort with guests, why would you waste your hard earned money going to a hotel like this? Apparently another 400 guests are expected this summer at this hotel. I really don't know how the restaurant or bars will handle this sort of influx. It was bad enough with 1200 guests. I would say it is not a 4 star hotel. If you do stay here, I would suggest asking to be put into the Mahabra Club hotel itself, as there were a number of little outbuildings scattered around and these did not look very nice. The other thing we found difficult was the lobby area where guests can smoke. Being used to a smoke-free atmosphere, it was very hard adjusting to this. The animation team however do the shows outside so not such a problem. also the lobby area is only partly air-conditioned and got quite stuffy at times. Drinks were quite limited - no cocktails at all. The towels in the room were 'grey' and well past their sell-by date, but they were clean and changed every day as were the sheets. Likewise the tablecloths in the dining room appeared grey and discoloured and un-ironed often! Anyway the pluses here are the weather, beach, some staff and animation team. There was one couple who plan to come back in September, so you may be happy staying here. Everybody has different expectations I suppose!"
- Travel date: 21st June 2012
Will never stay there again
"We booked for 3 weeks Location is good,Rooms good but no carpets in corridors so very very noisy, The smoking area is beside the non smoking area so the place smelled of smoke all the time Dont bother to complain unless you are German or Tunisian The managers are useless at organising We stayed at the Marhaba Beach last year and friends stayed there this year and it is far superior Most of the English people we met said they would never stay again If you wanted "entertainment" you had to walk to another venue"
- Travel date: 2nd April 2012
Marhaba Club Amazing! 16/0711- 23/07/11
"The Marhaba Club was a fantastic hotel to stay in, As we got off the coach and into the hotel we had to fill out some forms and they welcomed us with a drink which were very kind of them. The first night we didn't know where to go for the entertainment so just sat at the pool bar until we heard music and followed the sound and found the entertainment but we got there at about 10pm which left us with no table so we had to put our drinks on the floor but managed to get a chair each. The animation team were excellent, they helped you out and always made sure you had a good night. All the staff are very helpful and friendly even the staff around the pool like the lifeguard and pool maintenance and pool bar men they spoke to you and always looked very happy they also saved our sunloungers for us in a morning as they knew we were getting up around 6am and staying out so they started saving them for us and let us have a sleep. Cleanliness- Around the pool were very clean they all did there jobs correctly, The maids were very friendly as they spoke to you and left 1 bottle of water in your room everyday. Animation Team- I must admitt they were fantastic you coudn't ask for much more because they made it enjoyable for you and the activities during the day were great. The food were absolutly lovely you had a varied selection of food to choose from. I enjoyed this holiday and i shall be going back in November hopefully and definatly going back in July 2012 without a doubt, I have never been too a fantastic hotel with friendy staff and I will stay in contact with the staff as they were lovely people, you just need to start talking to them and get to know a little about them. I got gifts off the lifeguard everyday like flowers, palm tree leave ducks, I found him very friendly and good to talk too. I also got gifts off other staff before I went home aswell which were lovely but I think if you take your time to get to know someone you will earn there respect and make a new friend. Marhaba Club Hotel is the best! Don't ever change the staff they are lovely Rebecca & Family"
- Travel date: 24th July 2011
Not bad hotel but thieft
"The hotel is not bad, but someone steeled from my pocket in closed room about $304 :( that is very sad because $4 was two rare banknote of $2. So beware! "
- Travel date: 3rd July 2011
Worst Week of My Life
"Ok let me begin, i am not usually one to moan i will just get on with things and put it down to experiance, but having travelled to Tunisia 8 times in 18 months and never had a bad experiance i feel that this one needs to be share. I stayed at the Marhaba Royal Salem hotel from the 14th - 21st November, from Airport to hotel was the longest time of my life. I arrived at Monastir Airport at 10:30am on Sunday morning and there was 5 flights + all landed around the same time, passport control was out of the doors and back on to the tarmac, not to much of a problem but it did take for ever to clear this first hurdle. Once clearing this one and reaching baggage colection we found out that the wheels of our suitcase had been smashed of rendoring our suitcase useless, but ok accidents happen but when putting all them bags out i know that things get broken. Them walked out into arrivals/departures and i have never seen so many people in my life, trying to check in to go home, the reps were rude and would not move out of the way for the arrivals to get out of the airport to the point you had to scream at them to move. Travelling to the hotel was not a problem as my husband picked me and my family up so the transfer was amazing. Ok now to the hotel, we walked in to the front of this amazing looking hotel and i was like this is a brilliant hotel, was i wrong!!!. check in was at 2PM but after my husband ( who is tunisian) had spoke to the manager he allowed us to book in early ( so he said ). We sat there from 12.00 mid day till 15.30 waiting to get a room people that had come from the airport were being brought in and sent straight to rooms well this was not impressing us in the slightest. Eventually after sitting there nearly 3 hours we were directed to our room ( wish that somebody would have told me to bring hiking boots ) we walked for what had been like 10 mins before arriving at yet another building then we got dragged up two flights of stairs along 3 corridors and then he said here is your room, thankfully. Now here is were the problems started, whilst walking infront of the "bag carried" i was on the phone to the UK just saying i was there safe and then put the phone in my pocket. then i get to my room eventually and would you believe it my phone had gone Hmmmm were did it go the next day as bold as brass the "bag caried" was using my phone seen us coming and hid the phone. We informed the managment and he was like yes we will talk to him and see if it is yours. all he done was take the phone off him and put in behind the desk till we had gone. Next problem Monday Morning, My self and my Husband my Mom and her Fiance decided to go and sit buy the pool as you would on any holiday, next thing we had security and animation team around us trying to throw my husband and my moms fiance out of the hotel ( because they are tunisian ) then for the next 7 days we had to carry around proof that they were actually staying in the hotel how embarrasing for both us and them. Tuesday was Little Eid a great celebartion a time to be with family so this day we had no hastle and no problems untill..... Wednesday after the celebrations everything was now open again and running normal, is was a sunny day so myself and my mom decided we would go down to the beach snack bar and grab a sandwich and a drink this was about 14.00, then from 19.00 until 04.00 the following day myself and my mom were suffering with the worst form of food poisoning you could ever imagine, and were was not the only ones. over 50% of the hotel had food poisoning over the next couple of days pools of sick were around the pool area resturant areas, stairwells and this was on thursday morning when i was able to get back out of bed. Friday the sickness came back this time my husband had it he could not get out of bed cramps in his stomach in his back vomiting to the point of blood ( hospital trip for him ) thankfully the hospital was the nicest part of the holiday, wish i had off booked to stay there. home he come saturday morning right as rain and fighting fit. We made a complaint to the manager who said Shhh keep it quiet of ill lose my guests, what kind of response is that to 3/4 ill people. Saturday night came and we had plans to go out and have a few leaving drinks before leaving our other halves again, but again this plan was stopped my moms fiance now had food poisioning and he was admitted to hospital straight away, again they were very helpful, but this time they did not let him back out until the following wednesday. so as you can see the week was a nightmare for ourselves, the general overview of the hotel is 1. Not enough seats in the seating area for all the visitors 2. Bar staff would not serve you if you are half board (like we were) 3. Food was the same and never a very big selection 4. shared food tables, with other guest 5. Resturant manager is very rude and his staff follow in his foot steps 6. external cleaners are lazy and clean when they can be bothered i would never recommend this hotel my worst enemy let alone tell you to go there hope this review helps and if you do risk it that you dont have the same experiance that we had. "
- Travel date: 2nd December 2010
"stayed here september 2009. was apalled by the state of the rooms. the shower was broken and the bathwater was brown. the windows in the hallways leaked so everytime it rained there were puddles everywhere. you could see the stains on the carpets from previous floodings. my mother in law and myself both had money stolen from our rooms, mom in law had a camera go walkies at the same time. rep basically told us it was our fault for not hiring a safe, which we would have done if she had told us they were available. because she didnt inform the police, the insurance wouldnt reimburse us. the beach was filthy, had rubbish and broken glass all over it. the water slides were only on for a couple of hours a day. the food was awful. on one particular day everything on offer had fish in it. not good for me as i cant stand fish. the only complaint i didnt have was with the staff. they were superb. i definitely would not recommend this hotel. it was a massive disappointment. never again."
- Travel date: 26th August 2010
"me and my mum flew out to Tunisia at the beginning of june this year. our stay was 2 weeks. we booked with our first choice holiday hypermarket.NEVER AGAIN. To start the hotel was originally 3 stars, when we got there it had been updated and was actually 4 stars, not that we were complaining. the images on the website are misleading,they only show the best rooms and best pool on the complex of the 4 hotels which is annoying. anyway, as we arrived in the afternoon we unpacked and went down to the pool. only to find out that there were hardly any English people there and it was packed full of Russians and Germans. i think there were 3 other English families there not including me and my mum. the food was no where near 2 stars let alone 4 stars, there were flies and birds in the restaurant, and flies were found in the food. i am a fussy eater and hardly ate so this put me off my food even more. however if you like hotdogs and salad for breakfast every morning you will love it. on the transfer coach the rep told us that the exchange rate was fixed and it clealy wasnt. for every travellers cheque we cashed we lost around 10 pounds which is actually a lot of money even if it doesnt sound it. be warned try to change your money at one of the banks across the road from the complex. the rep was never available to speak to, we only saw her twice in 2 weeks which was at the welcome and the departure meetings, which wasnt acceptable. the rep also failed to give us important information such as that the hotel doesnt take cash and you have to have a pre pay card. one of the English families we met told us this, which was lucky as we wouldnt have known otherwise. she also failed to tell us that the restaurant service was in 2 sittings as there wernt enough tables for the amount of guests the hotel had. i was actually ill for 4 days of the holiday and the rep didnt tell us any information about where to find a doctor from or where the pharmacy was incase we needed them which to me is not very professional. if you go down into the medina make sure you cover up as i had a local pulling my top down to cover the tiny gap that was showing my middle and also watch out as you are likely to get dragged into every shop you pass. the taxis are the same, where ever you walk dont point or put your hand out because about 3 taxis will stop every time you do it. across the road and around the back looked like a building site as they were buliding a new shopping centre and another hotel. the transfer back to the airport on the way home was also very irritating as we had to listen to 2 of the reps talking about their boyfriends and what they bough whilst they went shopping and where they ate out and their sex lives, my mum found this very unprofessional. in the airport make sure you have either dollors, sterling or euros on you as they dont accept cash cars that run out after 2011. me and my mum both had this problem and were unable to purchase duty free. the hotel itself was lovely, the beach was amazing and the views were beautiful and the staff were really friendly. but never again...."
- Travel date: 27th June 2009
Not as bad as the only other review suggets!
"This hotel is really not as bad as the only other reviewer for this hotel suggests. It is definatley a budget option compared to some of the other hotels in Tunisia, but you get what you paid for- (in our case, only Â£260pp for everything, 7 nights hotel and flights!) Plus sides were- Lunch and dinner- although slightley repetitive, the food was fine and often quite tastey. Lots of choice each night, or even just pizza and chips if you wanted. One night they had a tunisian themed evening with some old guy playing a keyboard, which was amusing if nothing else! You are allocated one table to sit at for the whole holiday, and if there is only two of you, you might end up sharing all week with strangers! However, it wasnt busy at all when we went, so nobody would have to share with anybody if they didn't want to. The weather was fantastic, to find glorious sunishine after a three hour flight in november for such little money! You could enjoy the weather either on your nice little balcony (ours faced the pool), or on the private beach, which was a real asset. It was great to be able to take a walk down through the hotel gardens to the beach and take a nighttime stroll along the sand. Be careful of the people trying to sell you dodgy camel rides and quad bike racing though! The rooms themselves were not exactley sparkling clean, but clean enough, and I didnt find any major problems with them. The real asset of the hotel is the pool of the adjoining (and more expensive) hotel the royal salem, which you are free to use. The pool has waterslides, palm trees and an amazing view down to the sea. You never struggle for sun beds, and the attendant is always happy to bring you the blue padding things for them if they dont have one already. The hotel bars do some nice cocktails with local spirits and arent too expensive- and if you buy a drinks card from reception, you won't find any change you get magically dissapearing into the waiters pockets as they assume it's a tip. They are also happy to bring you drinks round the pool without you having to stir from your lounger. Another positive is that as well as the pools, you can use all the facilities of the more posh hotels that form the rest of the complex. All you have to do in yours is eat and sleep- so you can pay for a cheap hotel, but use the pools, bars and even the spa of the more expensive ones! Negatives- Breakfast wasn't great- don't expect a full english! rather, expect the tunisian version- which has weird sausages, tiny pieces of streaky bacon and real beans in tomato sauce. There is also pastries, bread, cereal and juice though, so after a few days we stuck to these. Pudding also left something to be desired if you arent a fan of small dry continental style cakes. However, once we discovered you could ask the waiters for ice cream, we were much happier! There seemed to be one room undergoing renevations in the hotel- the noise didnt bother us, but our room was quite far away. I can imagine it might have got annpying in the rooms next door. However, we did have to walk by it and over a dust sheet on the floor on the way to our rooms each time, which wasn't great. Going onto our rooms, the actual route to get to them was slightley crazy. You had to go up 2 flights of stairs at different points in the corridor and walk in a massive circle of corridor- although we actually found this funny and charming rather than annoying. The worst thing really was that there was only one plug sockett in our room, and that was used for the tv! So if one of you wanted to use a hairdryer or even charge a phone, the tv had to come out, and no two electrical appliances could be used at once! Definatley not ideal for two girls sharing! The other problem linked to sharing with a friend is how close the beds are together! You could use them as a double if you wanted. I think we got on each others nerves a bit by the end of the week! The rooms also seemed to vary a lot in size and quality- our party had two other rooms booked, and both of them had a double and single instead of two singles, so they had more room! However their bathrooms werent as nice as ours, so it seems to be a bit of a lottery. The other few points I could mention would be the currency exchange- essential as you can't obtain currency before you arrive! However, its only open for a couple of hours in the morning and a couple at night, so if you arrive at around midday like we did, youre in for a long wait before you can get any money for a drink. The only way around this is to save some money in your account specfically for drawing out of the cash point when you arrive, which is just around the corner. The exchange is also painfully slow and often doesnt open when advertised, and you could be in for a long wait, which is just the laid back style of life there, but it may greatley irritate some guests. The advertisied night club was also a let down- we expected to have a couple of nights in there drinking and dancing, but the one or two times we ventured up it was completley dead, so we gave up on it after a while, and ended up drinking in the bar all night and playing pool instead! I'm sure there was more nighttime entertainment to be had if you ventured out of the hotel, but we were a bit nervous about doing this at night. We only took one excursion which was called 'walk on the wild side', cost around Â£30 and was great. They took you in a coach to a pottery shop (which sucked), but then to a market, which was fun, a very nice lunch in a swanky hotel, and then a couple of hours in an animal park. Apart from the actual places we stopped at, you got to see some more of tunisia whilst travelling, and all three of us who went enjoyed it greatley. In summery I'd say the hotel was much better than the previous review made out- maybe they were expecting 5 star western standards, but you have to realise you're in africa, and the fact you can use the other hotel's facilities is a massive bonus!"
- Travel date: 22nd January 2009
Just come back from holiday with my girl...
"Just come back from holiday with my girlfriend we're 21 and 22 years old...wow what a diaster!! First things first the weather was fantastic well until the last day when we had a mad thunder storm at night but cant blame anyone for that can I. However things kind of go drasticly down hill from there! The hotel as a place to stay was average.Give it its due it does have alot of facilities like a gym, several bars, corner shop, cafe, sauna, 1 indoor and 2 outdoor swimming pools however 1 of them is shared with the hotel next door. On paper this all looks impressive but it doesnt make a holiday for me especially as the attention to detail inside and around the hotel was poor. The food was dreadfull when it came to breakfast, lunch and dinner. There was alot to choose from however all of it tasted like it had been made by patiallly trained chimps-expect to be ill by the end of the week! Next was the dissapointment with service by hotel staff. Dont get me wrong some were very friendly especially if you're female but most were misserable as sin really giving you the impression that your not welcome. Due to the hotel being so dissapointing most would take the logical conclusion that enjoyment is to be had outside the hotel grounds exploring the local surroundings of sousse....Wrong!! The hotel is only a stone throw away from the beach which is great but be aware that as soon as you leave the safety of the hotel gates you leave yourself vulnrable to con artists, pick pocketers and windup merchants. You'll be bombarded with locals trying to get money out of you using any means possible. We even visisted Port el kantaoui one day as we were told its ment to be nicer but wen we arrived we encouted the same problems. IGNORE anyone that aproaches you is the best piece of advise i can give. In conclusion neither my girlfriend or myself will ever be going back to Hotel Marhaba or even Tunisia in general. There is many other countries far nicer in ever way so i can in no way recomend it. "
- Travel date: 16th September 2008
Well what can I say... Excellent, fab. W...
"Well what can I say... Excellent, fab. We all had a fab time. Hotel great, First Choice were wonderful. The staff, cleaners, waiters, reception, entertainment staff, our first choice driver... Mohammed were all so helpful. I got back last night and I am now trying to book again for next year. The kids loved. Spotlessly clean, food great. We made some good friends too. "
- Travel date: 2nd June 2008
On arrival at this hotel it looked very ...
"On arrival at this hotel it looked very impressive. our luggage was taken of the coach by the bell boy and taken to our room, we only had britsh money and travelers checks so we changed a Â£20 into Dinar as it was 8pm and we didnt need any more. We had never delt with this money before and was not use to it so was not sure what to tip, my wife told the reception guy i was disabled and needed a ground floor room as i cannot do stairs, we were given a room in the basement of the hotel which was 5 steps down into a very dimly lit corridor. The room was not up to much but was very clean the maid changed the bedding and towels every day. The biggest downfall were the cockroaches we had in our room and in the dark corridor we had to walk through, which had a bucket to catch a drip from the ceiling There were another 6 steps down into the restaurant but i did manage with the help of my wife The food was very boring and not hot infact most times it was cold. but the waiters were very good ( As long as you tip ) The entertainment was poor but was expected for time of year. but Mou Mou did his best, but bingo every night and karaoke did not do anything for us . we went to the Royal Salem Hotel which is in the same Complex for cocktails and a more pleasant place to sit and not get hasseled for a tip every time the waiter bought you a drink. We went on 3 excurisions the Market Fever very good The Sahara Explorer was just fantastic , well worth the money The Zulu night RUBBISH we asked the rep if it was suitable for someone who could not walk far and she said it was so we went the zoo you go to first was all up hill and we could not do it so missed out on that , the 4 course meal and zulu's evening WAS MORE LIKE A CATTLE MARKET 4 course meal was rubbish iv eaten more in a tin of beans on toast and we were sat so far back we never really saw anything and were sat with people we had never met before i would not recomend this to any disabled person The staff at the hotel were good and friendly but the music around the pool was very old my gran would love it The garden was well laid out, very clean and well kept the beach was good. Port El kantoui is well worth a vist or two. Sousse was not enjoyed by my wife as she found the shop keepers and beggars hard going. All in all apart from the cockroaches and food it was ok not brilliant just ok would we go back To the country yes, To the Marahaba Salem Hotel absolutely NO NO NO "
- Travel date: 17th February 2008
We were slightly worried about going to ...
"We were slightly worried about going to the Marhaba Hotel as we had heard some negative reviews about the place beforehand. However we enjoyed our holiday there and would consider going again. The staff were very friendly and helpful, the room was cleaned every day with towels changed and had the most fantastic view over the gardens, pool and sea. The food was good although breakfast got a bit boring after a while. Service was always with a smile! The pool area is lovely with plenty of entertainment, however people had the annoying habit of putting towels on the sun shades the night before. The hotel is within easy reach of all amenities and taxis to the Medina in Sousse are cheap. There is plenty of things to do just outside the hotel i.e. restaurants, bars, shops and banks close by but none of this interferes with the hotel as there is a drive guarded by security. The Tunisians are warm and friendly and love the English. The beach is a short 5 min walk away and is lovely. When on the beach, streets or in the Medina there are locals trying to sell things and they can be a bit persistent, however a polite but firm 'no thank you' usually stops them (you get better at this as time goes on). On the down side of the holiday I only really had two issues, one minor. The hotel is popular with other nationalities and some of these can be quite rude and ignorant i.e. Russians and Germans, but don't let it spoil your holiday. The other problem I had came from a shop called Tresors in the Medina, the trip was organised with a guide from the hotel, which was free. I had decided to buy a rug which I was happy to do, the seller informed me that the money would not come out of my account for around 8 weeks, which gave me time to sort things out financially back home (he gave me his word) DO NOT BELIEVE A THING HE SAYS!!! The money came out that same week which left me overdrawn with bank charges and when I tried to sort this out with him I found the shop conveniently closed. Just be aware. However even with this problem the holiday was enjoyed very much by myself and children and I would definitely consider going back there."
- Travel date: 28th August 2007
Top traveller tips for Hotel Marhaba Club
"Use Bocca beach if you want relaxing holiday"
"Go early for your meals"
"beware of the thieft in rooms"
"Neevr stay at this hotel ever"
"the steak house down the road was good"
"great weather, better than the northern half of tunisia"
Hotel Marhaba Club is also called
- Marhaba Salem Hotel
- marhaba hotel sousse
- marhaba hotel