With a sandy beach at the bottom of the gardens and shops and bars within walking distance, this place comes up trumps when it comes to location. Plus the centre of Sousse is just a ten-minute taxi ride away.
The hotel itself is low-set and whitewashed, and comes tucked in gardens dotted with eucalyptus and palm trees. Inside – especially in the reception - things look grander and have a traditional Tunisian twist.
The bedrooms have been refurbished, with a modern flavour. Beds dressed in bold-print bedspreads share space with tiled floors topped with rugs, and chunky modern furniture. Plus they all come kitted out with satellite TVs.
Outside, although there are tennis courts and minigolf, most of the action centres around the two swimming pools. They’re shared with the sister hotel and, as a result, they’re big enough to cater for quite a crowd. The first is a long rectangular set-up framed by sunbeds and parasols, while the second is a more elaborate affair. It’s got three waterslides, a little bridge across the middle and there’s a pool bar close by, too.
Lastly, there’s the matter of the dining scene. Everything is served buffet-style here, so you can pick and choose from Tunisian dishes and more well-known meals. And as a little something extra, the staff put on a candle-lit Tunisian buffet once a week.
Based on 505 reviews
- Official Rating
Unbeatable value holidays
- Wide range of destinations
- Opt-in extras like transfers
- Fantastic value for money
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
2 outdoor pools
Make a splash in either of the pools. The first is rectangular and encircled with sunbeds and parasols. While the second is a saltwater pool and is more ostentatious, with 3 waterslides, and a little bridge across the middle. The children have their own end of the pool.
For breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dinner is also a buffet, but is presented to you at your table.
Tunisian candle-lit buffet
Held once a week, sample the local delicacies and Tunisian cuisine, amongst many of the well-known dishes.
Rooms ► View all
Double room sleeps up to 3. Air-conditioning is from mid-June to mid-September and satellite TV shows BBC Prime and Super Movies. Cots are available on request and fridge hire has an extra charge.
2-bedroom apartment sleeps up to 6 with twin beds in the bedrooms and 2 extra beds in the lounge. Air-conditioning is available between mid June to mid September. You'll also have a satellite TV with BBC Prime and the Super Movie channel. These apartments are located in the Royal Salem Beach building next door.
TripAdvisor Reviews Show more reviews »
Never ever again! Worst holiday ever!!!!
I have just returned home from a week in this hell hole and by the second day I was begging to come home. I had booked the holiday for me and my partner as part of his birthday surprise. We were extremely disappointed with the entire holiday from start to finish. Nothing was as advertised in the thomson brochure. Everything directly related to thomson during the holiday was late and delayed for one reason or another making thomson by far the most unreliable travel agent going! Being seated with another couple during meal times that we did not even know was far from acceptable. The food was very repetitive. The entertainment was not existent and when it was it was deemed extremely inappropriate. Asking young women to pose on a chair provocatively at a family resort is very vulgar and disgusting. However when bringing this to the attention of thomson they seemed to think it was acceptable. We had ants in our room which we complained about numerous times. I even informed the staff that I have a chest complaint and can not be around strong "ant killer". Regardless of this and the hotel being half empty we were not offered a new room and were given ant spray to deal with it ourselves. Some of the staff were extremely pushy and more or less demanded tips before doing their job. DO NOT BOOK AN EXCURSION WITH THOMSON. we were over charged and spent the best part of the day on the coach. We did "market fever". It was nothing like described. Extremely disappointing and a five star meal was what could only be compared to as iceland food. If you want to go on holiday to rest and get some sleep as well as relax this is not the right place. I found it more stressful than being at home. Although the holiday was supposed to be cheap and cheerful it turned out to be no value for money and a very depressing experience! Every poor review on trip advisor is accurate and I can not reiterate the fact of not staying here enough! More
Apart from the weather that included a 20 degree high and a bone chillingly cold day at the zoo this hotel was excellent room was cleaned daily and the staff can't do enough for you we tipped occasionally which we had to get used to but you can't spend money over thier we took 700 ish with us and came back with more than half weather this was haggling (I think not as the market stores will try and squeeze every dinar from you) or more likely the low cost of everything out their I would return to this hotel and Tunisia again just hope the Sahara trip is running then as it wasn't while we were their More
Great Family Holiday! 2nd visit to Tunisia, would return again without a doubt!
We have just returned from a 2 week stay at the Marhaba Salem and felt after spending the majority of time on Trip Advisor reading the latest reviews after booking the holiday to write my own. This is our second visit to Sousse, first in 2010 and both visits were 3 star hotels with Thomsons. The hotel itself I felt was modern in the main areas, although things like bathrooms etc slightly dated decor but clean. Our bedroom again, clean and basic and only downside was the fact we were on the 3rd floor the opposite side of the lift with a toddler, it didnt bother us though as our daughter was happy to walk and if it was an issue I'm sure the hotel would have been happy to change rooms. The rep Fiti was great, very helpful and well worth the half hour for welcome meetings, having been before he did our first trip aswell and its great just to go over essentials for a great visit and book any excursions. Having read a few new reviews below, we have to disagree with the random smell the dining hall, cant say myself or my husband noticed this at all. The food was good, if your looking for british dishes your not going to get that here. Could be quite repetitive if your a little fussy, but there was always freshly cooked meals, and breakfast i felt was a little boring, cereals, their own version of beans, and bacon (not sure if thats because locals dont really eat pork!?) but we survived and there were fresh made pancakes, fruit yoghurts etc. The hotel was VERY quiet, the first week was English midterm so was a little busier, and entertainment wasnt as great as could have been, although the usual kids disco which my daughter loved and the girls tried their best as they could. The second week you were lucky if 10 people were bathing at the pool, and for this i think the entertainment suffered. We werent overly bothered by it though, although the music could be quite loud at times due to the placement of our room, as it didnt disrupt my daughters sleeping we didnt mind really. We tipped our waiter daily (2 dinars which is about 90p) as without even asking we had drinks waiting for us on arrival and they were polite, great with our daughter and very attentive. I didnt feel we lacked service if we didnt tip the likes of barmen who came round with drinks, but each to their own. It is a cultural thing and for us it wasnt an issue tipping a matter of pence for good service. The beach was clean and the pools too, but they were ice cold and also salt water, but think that was depending on the fact it was winter. Not sure why someone below is complaining about it being falsely advertised as a complex, the beach was a 2/3 minute was from the main reception, passing the main outdoor pool and the other pool and indoor pool could be accessed easily again only a 2/3 minute walk. This was the same layout of the hotel we stayed in before so quite common. I feel i should clarify that again in below reviews, by the looks of the pictures on the website, they are mainly of the sister hotel the Royal Salem which you share access with, but i didnt feel i was mislead or decieved as this seems to be a common thing, and was the same with the previous hotel we stayed in here that shared a complex with sister hotels. We were there during the visit below with the toilet incident and didnt see this at all... The hotel is a short distance from both the Sousse Medina, and Port El Kantaoui Marina, easily accessed by taxis (fix the price before entering and pay no more than 5dinars either way), horse and cart (we were around 15 dinars each trip) and a little Noddy train (3.5 dinars an adult return, and 2.5 a child) or walking is about half an hour. We tried the market in Sousse on our last visit, and felt quite intimidated by shop keepers, and their eagerness for you to enter their shop, it was constant the second you left the taxi and after a while quite annoying, and thought we would try again this visit with our daughter. It wasnt for us and after a short stay returned to the hotel in a taxi, it didnt put us off though its just not for everyone. Port El Kantaoui was much more relaxed and a simple no thank you was fine, and the majority of little shops outwith the Medina were great and no hassle at all. The Slim Centre has fixed price shops so you can browse like shopping centres here without hassle. Our daughter is blonde with blue eyes, and a lot of locals asked if they could kiss her, it wasnt really a problem for us but i can see why some people would find this unusual if not accustomed to their culture. She also got a lot of freebies visiting shops! I think the main point is to remember you are visiting Africa, their culture and way of life is completely different, you wont find anything like Spain or Turkey if thats what your looking for, and the nightlife is very basic. Again i think its a cultural thing. They are not long out a revolution where they kicked out their president so you also need to bear that in mind. Were already looking into another visit, perhaps to Hammamet next time, but wouldnt hesitate to visit this hotel, or Sousse again.More
MrsW1961, Aberdeen, United Kingdom
My family and I have just returned from an amazing holiday in this beautiful resort! The staff were friendly and helpful, and despite what other reviews say did not hassle us for any tips at all! Upon arrival porters helped us with our bags to our room, which was clean but average. Because we traveled in the winter we expected there to be little entertainment and activities for the kids but were wrong! Joe and the girls all worked very hard to keep our girls entertained, and Joe in particular was very good at keeping our two year old son happy! The bar staff were funny and friendly - and the waiters were amazing at collecting our glasses as soon as they were empty and offering refills! I would thoroughly recommend this holiday to anyone who wants to go to a friendly, clean, and lively place!More
Louise P, Swindon, United Kingdom
We would not recommend anyone to stay here.
My partner and I have just returned from a week staying at this hotel and within 24 hours could not wait to come home. We booked this hotel as a last minute deal as the price seemed very reasonable for a week all inclusive based on the brochure description. However, when we arrived we noticed that the hotel which according to the Thomson website had been renovated looked run down, shabby and in need of a general update. We were shown to our room which looked nothing like the images on the Thomson website and again was in desperate need of an uplift. There was a strange smell in the room and we were visited by a cockroach. Was this an ominous sign of things to come? The walls were paper thin and we could hear everyone else's conversations and toilet habits. We soon gave up on trying to sleep before midnight as the entertainment was so loud and we felt as though we were in the same room. Upon entering the restaurant we noticed an odd smell, this smell remained for the whole week. The food itself was repetitive, bland and unappetising apart from the Tunisian night which was a thankful respite from the mundane norm. Despite this the two waiters who served us during the week were always friendly, welcoming and smiling and always had drinks available for us. They were the two redeeming features of our experience. We were allocated seats at a table with another couple that we didn't know for the week and stayed there for all three meals each day despite the restaurant being nearly empty most days. This we found to be a bit odd as we were travelling as a couple and found it slightly uncomfortable. The main bar is situated next to reception. We spent most evenings here as there was nothing else to do contributing to the whole repetitiveness of the holiday. The first night seemed ok so we gave a few tips to the waiters and this proved to be the best way to get good service. Drinks were brought over when they hadn't been ordered which was initially ok however they were not always wanted and it seemed as though they were just trying to get more tips. On the matter of the bar area, we were seated one evening in the lobby area above the bar which is also the main thorough fair between the restaurant, the reception and the main hotel. A guest had a toilet accident which resulted in there being two large lumps of s*** on the floor. Another guest reported this to a member of staff and what followed was half an hour of farcical behaviour from the staff including laughing, pointing and unbelievably some staff stepping over noticing the mess and ignoring it. One of the entertainment staff sprayed the mess with air freshener and at the same asked if we would like to take part in a game of man vs woman (whatever that is) to which partner responded, 'No thank you, I'd rather you cleaned the 's*** up!' His response was , 'Yes, yes someone is doing it!' A while later the bell boy arrived with a dustpan and brush, picked up the two large pieces and walked away leaving splodges and a large visible skid mark. We thought somebody would return to clean up the remaining faecal matter however this did not happen. A period of another 30 minutes elapsed and staff, guests, children, the entertainment team and various other people walked over the area in to the entertainment area, the bar, the restaurant which we found appalling so I took upon myself to report it to a member of staff in reception who said that he would send someone immediately. This did not happen. We stayed in the bar until quite late (we had moved seats at this point!) and it was still there. We returned the following morning and the area had been cleaned however not very well as there were still splodges. We assume this is their response to a blatant health and safety issue. God knows what other potential concerning things we ingested during our time here. I think most people would agree that this is disgusting and appalling behaviour by a large hotel anywhere in the world regardless of their star rating!!! If management, which appears to be a non entity in this hotel, wish to respond to this post then may I suggest responding to your paying guests concerns when they are raised in the first place. The evening entertainment which is not something that we would normally get involved in became something that we could not avoid. The location of the entertainment area to our room meant that we could not not escape the noise even if we wanted to. In keeping with everything else we have mentioned it was extremely repetitive and mundane. The staff were trying to do their best with limited resources. Can I suggest investing in a new CD as this may go someway towards making things ever so slightly more bearable! Overall, we were disappointed with the huge difference between what was sold to us and what we got. There should be something in the brochure to explain that only the main restaurant and bar areas are available at this time of year. We also found the men in leather jackets who were mooching about the hotel all day with seemingly no reason to be there again a bit odd. The beach was nice apart from the men who work there trying to sell trips, cigarettes, camels etc etc all day. A no response once should mean no. We would not return to this hotel or recommend it to anyone else regardless of its seemingly good value. It is a generally poor place to stay and the incident in the bar clearly shows a lack of respect for their hotel and their paying guests. More
ljmcs, Coventry, United Kingdom
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