This grand beachside hotel makes an impression with its big pool and gourmet restaurants.
The pool is the first thing that’ll strike you about this hotel – it’s big and framed by glossy palms. Then there’s the dining scene – the restaurant line-up includes a great trattoria and an Asian place.
Walk through the manicured gardens and you’ll come to the white-sand beach. You’ve got shops just a few minutes’ walk away, too, and it’s a 10-minute cab ride to the marina at Port el Kantaoui.
Based on 1247 reviews
- Official Rating
Holidays in premium hotels
- 90% customer scores
- Platinum Villas available
- Platinum Cruises available
- 20kg luggage allowance
- 4T and 5T hotels
Food & Drink
|Dining options||Breakfast||Lunch||Evening meal||Drinks||Snacks, Icecream|
Buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner. Selected local-brand alcohol, soft drinks, tea and coffee. Snacks at set times.
Facilities ► View all
From our pool you're not too far from the beach, in fact you can even walk through the gardens to get to it. We have sunbeds with parasols on the terrace and there are plenty of towels available.
With cooking stations offering freshly prepared dishes, and assorted desserts are laid out for lunch and dinner. Themed evenings are held twice a week.
Daytime entertainment programme
Children aged 4 to 12 can come together to make new friends and take part in the hotel's entertainment. Available 6 days a week throughout the summer months.
TripAdvisor Reviews Show more reviews »
Excellent hotel! Food, service, staff - definitely 5 stars!
Stayed at the hotel for 10 days from mid-August. The food, the service, the hotel - all well deserved of the 5 stars! On arrival at the hotel, we were greeted with a cool glass of fruit juice (much welcomed after the Tunisian airport and it's queues!). Rooms were ready when we arrived at about 11am. Rooms are cool and clean with comfy beds, air con, separate toilet to shower, safety deposit box (which was free) and a fridge stocked with bottles of water and pop - which the hotel were happy to replenish with new free bottles if you asked at reception. At our welcome meeting we met Craig, the Thomson rep who was very knowledgable and welcoming! Definitely go to the welcome meeting as he has tips and treats to go and see and his advice was spot on. He also introduced us to some of the hotel managers. You see them a lot around the hotel as they are continually making sure everything is up to spec and checking that customers are ok and valued. They can be seen eating in the restaurants (which was a good sign). The restaurants were brilliant. The choice of food was huge at every meal, so there is enough to satisfy every taste. The chefs are all friendly and the head chef can be seen checking the food throughout the meal times so you know you're getting the best. We were never disappointed with the food! (We spoke to people from other hotels on trips whose experience of their food wasn't the same with many being disappointed or lacking choice - no such issue at the imperial marhaba!) We sat by the beach everyday. There was always plenty of beds so no need to rush out at 5am to secure the spot (which some people did around the pool - despite the plentiful number of beds. You're on holiday... Relax!) on the beach, there are a few lucky-lucky men but they can only walk along the shore, not up between the beds so they were not pestering guests. The port is a bit of a walk up the beach, but you can get a taxi for 5 dinars which is about Â£2. We walked and if you do, there is a cool breeze on the shore which is more pleasant in the heat. Don't underestimate the sun though, there may be a breeze, but as my partner found out, the sun is powerful! Overall, excellent hotel! We read a lot on trip adviser that you should tip for better service, but the service was excellent all round anyway, so your experience won't be worse if you don't tip. We did, but the conversion of Â£1 = 2.6 dinars means even if you just tip a few dinars, it's still very cheap! I am a 22 year old woman and was with my 22 year old partner and we felt safe and valued at all times. We visited Sousse medina (the market) and they do put the prices up because you're British and because they can see the all inclusive wrist band - but we haggled a lot). Tourism is very valued in the country as the pound is so strong, so we take a lot of money, so we always felt safe and welcome. Would definitely recommend Tunisia as a destination for a lovely holiday, but would say that if you want a fantastic hotel, brilliant service, a huge range of entertainment from the entertainment team, welcoming staff, excellent variety of food - the riu imperial marhaba is the choice and really will make the holiday fantastic! Well deserving of the 5 stars!!More
I would give this hotel a good 4 stars, but not really 5 stars. Nice welcome with a cool drink as you enter the lobby. Although I had booked two rooms together, one for me and my husband and the other for my two teenage daughters, the hotel did not think we were one family and had not booked us rooms together. We had to wait while they sorted something out, which they did quite quickly. However we were given the rooms that faced the very noisy hotel opposite. No sea view even though I had requested it. The rooms were clean. Quite modern. Bathrooms need an update. I suppose they were tiled in tunisian style but in a 5 star hotel you would expect them to be much better. Shower was in the middle of the wall. The bath was very small and if you pulled the shower curtain across it would just stick to you, which was not very hygenic seeing as it probably stuck to everyone who occupied that room. The air conditioning was fab. Had 3 settings which you can control yourself. In 40 degree heat in August it was essential. Unfortunately no wifi in the room. The tv had only two english speaking channels which were both news channels. So with no wifi and no english tv there wasnt much entertainment in your room. The food was absolutely brilliant. So much choice, all piping hot and being freshly cooked right in front of you. Wasnt keen on the fact that you had to walk to the beach restaurant for lunch. It was open air and so hot. Very cramped and needed to search for a table. Staff were all very polite and helpful. We did tip the waiters on a nightly basis. A couple of pounds really doesnt break the bank and you definitely get looked after. We did get up around 7.30am to get sunloungers. At that time you couldnt sit around the poolside but to be honest it was so noisy we didnt want to. I suppose it is like any other hotel regarding people reserving beds. We witnessed a few altercations over stolen beds when they had been reserved for a while with noone sitting on them. It was quite entertaining watching people get so irrate over a very uncomfortable plastic sunbed. The sunbeds were definitely not 5 star. They were cheap plastic beds that really were not very comfortable. As previously stated in other reviews the pool was definitely too small for the amount of people in August. I think the main problem was that it was full of kids on inflatables. If you want to swim just forget it. We found it hard to find somewhere to stand where we werent bombed or splashed with kids jumping in constantly. Even though there is a kids pool they preferred the adult pool but made it impossible for you to enjoy a nice dip. There absolutely no evening entertainment to speak about. It was very hot in the evening and after dinner you would find a nice table outside where you may get a cool breeze. There would be a very bad singer or a band. However it all stopped at 9.30 or 10pm. So after this time unless you wanted to pile inside and be entertained by the kids entertainers there was absolutely nothing to do. You couldnt even go to bed and watch a movie as no tv channels and no wifi. Overall the holiday was ok. To be honest I was expecting a little better. The best thing was the food, the worst thing was the pool. The beach was ok but the sea was full of jelly fish so we didnt go there much. Like I said earlier we were in a room opposite another hotel. From our balcony we could see that they had an enormous pool. Their entertainment sounded so good. So as we were going to bed at 10pm we were listening to everyone in the other hotel having a whale of a time. I think this hotel may be better not in school holidays when everything may be a little quieter around the pool. But the hotel needs to address the lack of entertainment and lack of wifi in the rooms. Would I go there again? Not sure really.More
debbie0433, rainham, essex
We had a lovely family break in this beautiful hotel. The staff were so friendly and couldn't do enough to help. Everywhere was spotless. The food was plentiful with lots of choices and the crepes in the afternoon were delicious and freshly cooked. We went on a couple of trips, one being a camel ride. It was so much fun and we were very well looked after. Would definately return to this hotel again if we came back to tunisia.More
Great sunshine break
Great experience in a well run hotel which puts service first. Room quality very good. Got exactly what was described by Thomson. Very good value for money. Would recommend the trips out, very well priced for once by Thomson.More
We visited the Imperial Marhaba once again (this was our fourth visit) with some friends. We arrived late evening and the check in was prompt and efficient and we were shown to the restaurant for some food kindly provided. I did request a room in the new extension but this was not granted nor offered. We were all given rooms on the first floor facing the sea but with a wonderful view of the concrete roof below - not my idea of a sea view at all. The last time we came the spa was just being finished and the new extension had not been started. Although we cannot fault the cleanliness, food etc. sadly the animation team were not half as good as the ones we had seen on previous visits.. The evening entertainment was poor and when it was on outside finished at 11pm!! This left us either sitting out all evening with not even music to entertain us but when it was on, slightly annoyed that the entertainment finished just as we were enjoying ourselves. On our very first visit to this hotel entertainment was in the main lobby bar and was exceptional - I had never had such a good time on holiday. The next time we went we were extremely disappointed to find the entertainment had been downgraded to low key - big mistake. There were the holiday makers in all of their finery sitting outside with nothing to do. We did find that the new extension blocked the sun after 3pm so if you were unlucky enough to be sitting nearby, were then left in the shade. Nevertheless we had a great time, food was as always excellent and staff polite, friendly and helpful. Weather was just perfect with one tiny shower late one afternoon which then promptly dried up. Visited the Port again - thoroughly enjoyed bartering in the shops!! I did not like the self service at the pool bar and missed the lovely waiter service from previous years especially Ridayh who is now assistant bar Manager and lovely Latifa who can't do enough for you.More
suzypaul, Harlow, United Kingdom
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Online savings - Refers to an online discount of 10% on August and 9% on September & October on holidays and applies to the basic adult cost before supplements. Available on package holidays booked online departing between 1st May 2014 and 31st October 2014 Online discount only applies to package holidays booked on firstchoice.co.uk and does not apply to flight only, accommodation only and tailor made flight+hotel bookings. Online discount is not combinable with free Child Places.
Save up to £400 per couple on September & October holidays – Saving offer applies to new bookings only on selected Thomson package holidays booked on thomson.co.uk. Offer applies to holidays departing between 01 September & 31 October 2014 and is subject to limited availability. Savings is against brochure price. Excludes flight only, accommodation only, cruise, Thomson Ski and any other bookings. Additional supplements may apply. Saving is based on a minimum of 2 adults travelling. Thomson reserves the right to withdraw or change this offer at any time. We reserve the right to change or withdraw the offers at any time.
Free child places - Free kids offer applies to new bookings only, on selected summer 2014 holidays, subject to limited availability. Only 1 free kids place is available in each selected hotel room or selected apartment type or villa with 2 full paying adults. Other children must pay the full brochure price. Available on First Choice holidays only. Free child places may not be combinable with other discounts.