55 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Think before you go.
"Just had 1 week at this hotel. NEVER AGAIN. Hotel so disorganised. rooms very shabby. food, breakfast no choice for the english . other food not to bad, staff in main resturant excellent. else where...... not as nice. animation team, so rude at times they all need sacking. beach nice , not advise not to swim in the sea as its full of rubish, wich consisted os used condoms, platic bags, paper cups etc.ON THE WHOLE TOTAL CRAP."
- Travel date: Thu 27th of June 2013
"Stayed at this hotel for 2 weeks. Had absolute lovely time - just what I wanted as I went alone. From the moment I went through the door (long cold orange juice on arrival) to the moment I left, I could not make one complaint. The food is very good (don't know why some reviews say 'repetitive') There must be at least 20 different dishes to choose from every meal time - chicken, steak, fish all cooked in front of you. The staff really are one of the highlights - especially the bar staff and the waiters (friends for life I hope) Room was spotless and cleaned every day. Laundry service excellent - about Â£7 for all my clothes to come back smelling reem and ironed to perfection. Weather was perfect escape from UK as about 20 degrees (December). Planning to return in January it was that good. Met many people there who go every year and stay for weeks at a time so that must mean something eh? "
- Travel date: Fri 28th of December 2012
Holiday in August 12
"1st time to Tunisia, went with son and wife and 2 grandkids, and was pleasantly surprised, the hotel was excellent, food, decor, and staff friendliness, a little hot at this time of year around 35-40 deg and very humid at night, would definitely return to this hotel if ever visiting Tunisia again. Enternmaint about average but OK, a visit to El Kantoui is recommended, but watch out for the taxis, nightmare drivers and always agree price befpre getting in they are bandits - 7 dinar before 9pm, and about 11 dinar after 9pm.
make sure yopu change money at the exchange and not the receptio desk, thye try to take 2%, but once pointed out they give correct rate.
Would recommend tipping the staff in the restaurant, around the pool and in the beach bar early in the holiday, thye then treat you well above others in priority, Chockra in the restaurant always had our table ready for us and it was a race with him to get coffee/drinks etc - he was superb.
Adel in the beach bar was the same, it was it was packed at lunchtime (tine of year) but as soon as hge saw us approaching he always cleared a table for us.
Sunbeds at this time are a premium, but find Joseph small tip regularly and he always came up with 4, same on the local beach, we never had a problem, 10 dinar every couple of days and they treat you like royalty"
- Travel date: Tue 4th of September 2012
"This is a lovely, clean, airy hotel where nothing is too much trouble. They have now got working Wifi in most rooms and the updates to the hotel are superb. Food is excellent - even the Queen of England could not complain!! Rooms are large - plenty of room. Shower gel and hand soap is provided. Beach is superb and SO well managed by Zu-Zu. The guys on the desk were SO helpful when we had a problem in that the MedHotels booked transfer did not appear until an hour and a half later than it should have done. Thank you guys for your support! The only possible thing anyone could complain about is cold plates at dinner and some food a little on the cool side. All else, amazing!"
- Travel date: Sun 29th of July 2012
Very good hotel. The only let down was the moaning Brits (mainly about foreigners)
"Arrived on the 18th December and we were greated by very friendly reception staff and was checked in and taken to our rooms.
Our checkin time for the hotel was given as 'rooms available from 2pm' we arrived a little after 12noon and we were given rooms straight away.
The room was a little bare and crowded but we had only paid for the apartments and not the main hotel.
The Thomas Cook rep was very friendly and helped in all matters but we did feel a little sorry for her as she seem to have her work cut out with a Scottish couple who seem to be constantly failing out with each other and the hotel wanted them removed.
The meals in the main hotel were a little rushed and bland but if you went later, not between 6.30 pm and 8pm, they were relaxed and the food was readily avaiable. If there was any issues with the meals you could always go to the snack bar where you could order food.
The noise started after a few days with an British girl who had a foundness for Amy Winehouse and a crying child. We ignored this and went out of the rooms.
On Christmas Day we moved to a very nice room in one of the main hotel buildings. The meals and staff in this part of the hotel are brilliant so much for we have booked again for this June.
The New Years Gala Meal was a bit long winded but the staff kept you topped up with drinks and the food seemed to be never ending.
To sum up the holiday it a great hotel with lots of facilities. The food was very nice but nothing to write home about. The staff are very helpful and a couple of dinar as tips go a long way.
- Travel date: Mon 16th of January 2012
"we arrived on the 28th of Dec looking forward to a well earned break full of great sea views ,good food and entertainment. We spent along time surfing the net and read all the reviews.We paid A premium price because of the time of year! upon arrival reception had no idea or record we were booked in. after being shoved aside and told to wait we were eventually shown to a room. The room was spotless ans had a fairly good view so no problem there (we thought).From then on all went down hill.the weather was awfull so you had no choice but to sit inside in your coat as the hotel was so cold. The bar staff in the main bar just ignored us and when they did decide to serve us they were blatantly rude.
The first evening the restaurant was ok as there weren't to many guests then the Algerians arrived and kept arriving within 24 hrs you couldn't sit anywhere, you dare not leave anything on a seat ,if you got one, as it would be gone. we ended up going to our room early every night as that was the only place you could sit.
The food went down hill rapidly, cold by the time you managed to find a table although we were given a regular table to sit at when you got to the restaurant surprise it had been given to you guessed it algerians. They were rude, pushy and disgusting. they would pick food up with their hands taste it and then put it back on the buffet. Not suprisingly I spent over half my week in bed with food poisoning.
The Rep what rep we seek her here we seek her there!!We did complain to the manager and he said we could eat in the second restaurant on New Years Eve. Alas I was ill so didnt eat anyway. I insisted that my husband at least try and enjoy the evening so off he went for welcome coctails at 7pm he returned at 10 only having been served a starter he did well, in the main restaurant some english guests went hungry. Entertainment. During the day you could play boules on the beach in the morning and archery in the afternoon that was it so if you were brave enough to brave the cold you had something to do for all of two hours. evening entertainment started at ten if not later for the adults the children had a mini disco at nineish for half an hour the same five songs every night. As there was nowhere to sit or stand that was a no
goer so off we went to our room. If we were lucky the noise died down at about two am. Yes you guessed the Algerians. screaming and shouting , fighting and general dis regard for anyone. They did a great job of totally destroying the christmas tree and continually breaking the lifts, not much fun when your on the fifth floor.
The good points the beach bar staff were great we used to escape with our coats and hats to get away from the A'S .They were polite friendly and new your names and drinks within a single visit. Shame the rest of the bar staff weren't as well trained.
The chamber maid, great freindly and bent over to help me when I was unwell, Still no sign of rep!!
The day before we left peace at last, but everything closed except main hotel. We find rep at last at the back of a very long queue ask for a complaint forms only to be spoken to like a naughty child. I didn't have food poisoning because I wasn't admitted to hospital. why had we left it so long to complain? Sorry didn't enter her vocabulary just excuses.
Would we go back again although many older people on their long winter breaks said normally its a great place to stop. yes none of them had been before over the xmas period and wouln't again that says it all. No i wouldn't go back.. 4th Jan just arrived home husband in bathroom being ill so still the holiday from hell goes on!!"
- Travel date: Wed 4th of January 2012
so far, not so good
"after surfing the net for days, and comparing hotels and their facilities and entertainment, and rooms on offer etc etc, i decided the marharba royal salem had everything i was looking for, large complex of 3 hotels sharing facilities, lots of entertainment and animation team to keep me amused,,,,, i have respiratory problems and needed somewhere where i wouldnt have to be walking miles for outside entertainment and shops etc, when reading about rooms available, i thought great, i have a choice, i always opt for ground floor single room with a terrace overlooking the main pool, so if i dont feel too good, which is quite often, i can at least sit on my terrace and still be occupied by what is going on around me.... when i arrived, was told there are no ground floor rooms with terraces......not even ground floor rooms, so why offer something that isnt available, ok, yes there are 3 hotels here.... but 2 are closed down for refurbishment. so the guests who booked into the other 2 hotels have been up graded to the royal salem. even so, there are 264 rooms here, and the at present there are under 100 people here. there is no animation team, and there is no entertainment. you have a choice. sit in the bar, from where i am sat, there are 7 guests, or in the lounge, which is an extension of the bar and there are 16 people sat, everone talks in hushed tones, a couple of lads burst out laughing a few minutes ago and the bar staff just glared at them, no they are not drunk, they are having coffee,,,, i chose to come here for a month to get away from the british weather for christmas and new year and to be entertained. i am a single person and i always travel on my own, i am not a miserable old biddy always moaning, i am a very sociable person who enjoys a good laugh and joins in to the best of my ability as far as my health allows.i am here for 28 nights, ive only been here a few days and bitterly regret my decision for coming, i spent yesterday trying to hunt down my holiday rep, to no avail, my room is beautiful with a veiw of a fountain and the the sea, not a soul in sight from my balcony, which is very isolating, i have no option but to sit in the bar or the lounge if i want company, but there are only so many cups of coffee one wants to sit and drink..... it feels very much like sitting in the drs waiting room waiting for your appointment to happen....ive strolled around the grounds a few times, the gardens are well kept, it was bit like being on a desrted island, nobody in the pools, tennis courts or playing crazy golf, no children in the play areas, the snack bar was deserted, not even a member of staff in sight, the only people i have seen were 2 gentleman sat doing a crossword by one of the empty hotels, and 3 workmen painting window frames, all the shops are closed, except one, where i purchased some postcards, the lady said i was the only customer they had served in 4 days...... im not one to watch tv whilst on holiday, but, its the best entertainment to be had here,,, even if the only english speaking channels is cnn and the world news, and a film i watched at 3am this morning with sub titles...yesterday, i asked at reception to direct me to shops,,, i was told a five minute walk..... 35 mins later i arrived at the said shops,,,,,,,, it was a small supermarket, which i had a stroll around and bought some very nice fruit. so far, the buying of the fruit has been the highlight of my holiday,,,, today i am going on an adventure and get a taxi to anywhere that has people, ....... but first,,,,,,,,,,, i am on the hunt for the rep, and i am not leaving this place until i have found him........ i will keep you posted. i am not naming the tour operator i have come here with until i have spoken with my rep."
- Travel date: Tue 13th of December 2011
"We are going back to the same hotel for the 2nd time in 3 years. I have read the reviews about English papers being 3 days old, If you want to read an English paper stay in England, as for the food being boring it was far from it there was a fantastic selection at ever meal time, ok there wasn't a full English breakfast probably because we were not in England. The staff unlike ourselves spoke several languages and made you feel most welcome. I find it difficult to understand why people moan about not getting English things when your not in England why go abroad if you just want English things stay at home. I only got annoyed twice both times caused by English people 1 young child swearing constantly in the pool and the other a 60+year old mother dictating a letter of complaint to her 40 year old son "
- Travel date: Wed 6th of July 2011
"what a fab place, very good value. Food lovely, rooms very nice. would deffo go again. special thanks to dj tiesto."
- Travel date: Fri 1st of July 2011
8th june 11
"My family and i have just returned from 2wks at The Royal Salem Hotel. We had a pleasant stay,but unfortunately wont be going back.We had children with us,2 of which were small 1 and 2yrs there was nothing at all for them to do.The childrens entertainment consisted of 4 dances a night which was classed as a childrens disco,what a joke.The men that did the entertainment were ok and friendly.The 2 older children went to the kids club,but came out after about 45mins as they sed there was nothing to do.The beach bar was still under construction,which meant diggers going back and too while sunbathing on the beach,and drilling sawing,and hammering going on constantly.The rooms were ok,and cleaned daily,except i slept for 2 nights in a room that the patio doors wouldnt close due to being broke in and the lock being damaged,this happend to a few people throughout our stay.The food was really poor,i lived on chips and buns n butter,except the odd time they did grilled meat.The bar staff were really good but if you dont tip you do wait a while to get served.Port el Kantaoui really deserve a visit,like another world.There is not alot in the immediate area around the hotel,but taxis are reasonable.Our stay was ok but would not go back in the future."
- Travel date: Tue 28th of June 2011
"Had a fab week at this hotel, the hotel was very clean, the staff was fab the entertainers was brilliant! thanx to alex dj tiesco and omar 4 making it brill wk, def go back again this year if we can. miss it already! lol"
- Travel date: Wed 8th of June 2011
"I Have been to this hotel 2 times now and i will be going back in october 2011 again. The Animation Team is just amazing, Alex and Omar are the best. The staff are very friendly and the maid does an excellent job with the bedding. Beach is also very nice and the pools are amazing. If you give some money to a lifeguard then he will reserve sunbeds for you everyday.
I personally think that this is the best hotel in Tunisia.
There is also a kids club there so you can drop the kids off and they take very good care of them and sometimes will take them to mini golf which is in the complex.
Hotel is very safe and secure, we could leave the children there whilst popping out to the shops which were just round the corner but our children and 12 and 14 so i wouldnt recommend leaving young ones.
Shops are just a few minutes walk from hotel which is excellent.
The Food and drink was lovely and the waitors were very kind.
There is a TV in the room and lots of storage space.
I would recommend this hotel to everyone; Families, couples etc.
Cant wait to go back there in October and see Alex and the rest of the animation Team :)"
- Travel date: Tue 7th of June 2011