“Third time coming and it seems to decline in standards each time... :S”
Summary: Use Monarch airlines over Easyjet, don't be ripped off in Egyptian airports, private transfers might not always mean it's a quick transfer to the hotel, report any room problems IMMEDIATELY, don't feel forced to tip anyone, ignore the generally rude foreigners who stay in the hotel with you, be clear with the Egyptians as to what you need, don't use their water, take plenty of suncream and aftersun, I recommend the archery and tennis.
It's such a shame that I have had to write such a bad review for a hotel we have been going to for the past 3 years, however it is fair to say that the quality of this hotel has declined each year we have attended it.
Within my family there are 6 of us, my 2 parents are in their early 50s, and my 3 brothers and I range from 16 years of age to 22 years of age. We went ALL-INCLUSIVE. We travelled on Monarch airlines from Manchester Airport on Sun 19th of August and returned late on Sun 26th. For starters, I would definitely recommend Monarch Airlines over Easy Jet, it makes the 6 hours on the plane a much more pleasant and less stressful experience.
When we arrived into the airport, and paid for 'private transfer' for 6 of us, the coach filled up with several other people and took us right round the blocks to take other couples to their hotels first despite ours being closest. The coach was cool, but Egyptian drivers are definitely NOT the safest. :S
Check-in was friendly and prompt, we had our suitcases taken to our rooms for us.
The next day, we went for breakfast at 7.30am to find that most of the sun-loungers had towels and bags on them so that they were 'reserved.' When we tried to do the same the following day, they asked us if we were English (to which we answered yes) and they shook their heads at us and pointing at the rules (picture provided) and told us we weren't allowed. I felt that being English meant we were treated very differently, pestered about trips, excursions, spoke to differently etc....not by ALL of the staff but by most.
In my A-level French chatting style, I convinced an Egyptian man I was French and he treated me like a princess. I later told him I was English, and he found it quite amusing and took it light-heartedly but didn't treat me the same. The Russians, Albanians and Eastern-Europeans (not meaning to stereotype but it was true) were keen to point, stare, and make comments about you whilst they walked around with bikini thongs in front of children. This spoiled our holiday hugely, and upset me and my mum as we walked around the hotel grounds. There was no need for it, and Egyptians were round every hour to ask them if they wanted drinks whilst we'd be asked perhaps once or twice a day.
Breakfast is always the same, a huge variety and a nice meal, dinner was the same. For those who don't want something like pasta, or chicken, there was the choice of burgers, pizzas, greek salad etc outside in the snack bar. Tea was always interesting...one night I had a 'chicken stew' that contained fish...and as I have an allergy to fish I was not best pleased and was poorly that evening. A tip for people: Don't overeat. Bad stomachs are common on your first visit, drink bottled water, drink hot drinks and fizzy pop, keep away from seafoods and other things that look a bit iffy, check the fruits and don't eat anything sat in the sun (although they're quite good for keeping foods covered up.)
The swimming pools are always clean, they are filled with chlorine every night and are always refreshing after sunbathing. I warn you now, it gets HOT from 12 noon to around 4 o'clock, be very aware of how long you sit out for and keep yourselves covered in suncream. I got sunstroke in the first year, and it was awful! :/
We had a couple of little annoyances throughout our trip:
1) Stood at the reception desk patiently waiting to call to organise our return taxi to the airport and two people ran up to the desk behind us and barged in rudely wanting something or nothing. They were served first.
2) A family of 6 waiting for a table, we understood we'd have a couple of minutes to wait for tables to be reset. A big family of 10 came behind us who knew the staff well, they were let in and served first.
3) Reps will chat you up (particularly if you're blonde) and try and sell you 90 pound spa visits, which they claim to be cheap. I ended up getting into a dispute with one man who would not leave us alone, and he said that he was offering us a great deal despite a spa treatment being so much cheaper over in the UK. They have an answer for EVERYTHING.
Also, do not be scammed by the men with camels down at the beach, you could end up paying 200 pounds to ride or take a picture of their camel and they are incredibly forceful. They do not tell you this till afterwards. If this happens, inform staff at the beach drinks stall IMMEDIATELY. Don't let them get away with it.
4) The cleaners are lovely, and they get paid hardly anything. Despite their little English knowledge, they will do anything and everything for you. So I was disgusted to see a member of senior staff shouting at a cleaner for when he was tipped further up the corridor asking for his money, which he put in his own pocket. (A picture is provided of some of the beautiful flower art they did in our room)
5) Cockroaches, lizards, moths, spiders....there are plenty of them. Try not to let them in your room, look around before you open the door! (Pictures provided)
6) Evening entertainment is RUBBISH. We went to see a belly-dancing show one night and it was basically a woman prancing around seductively wearing very little. Families left that show promptly, and I don't blame them...they were told it was suitable for them to watch! The same woman sang every night, and where our rooms were we could hear her until 11pm. There is a quiz or bingo and sometimes karaoke once a week but it holds very few people and big families always get there first.
7) Just be aware that the safety standards in Egypt are not the same as the UK- e.g you can take drinks through the airport, electrics in the bathroom?!, slippy tiles by the pool which kids run on and are not told off so they just carry on, people diving dangerously from walls with a fair height despite not being allowed, people playing watersports in the pool in the kids section, some foreign people even left their babies to swim and float by themselves in the edge of a 5ft 5 pool...not good. They won't tell anyone off for anything, kids drink in the pool and leave their cups in the poolside....just little things like that. We watched a child nearly kicked in the face by a man who ran and slipped before he reached the pool edge. It was shocking, because the Egyptians laughed and the child burst into tears. Mum and I were upset by this.
We didn't leave the hotel grounds- as it was dangerous in Cairo and Hurghada in Egypt at the time which we went. If you fancy a walk, head towards the jetty on the beach. It's breezy, and very pretty. The sea is lovely, just make sure you have footwear on when walking in seawater as the coral is very sharp! The hotel is beautiful itself, as is the nature! Little birds are everywhere, and are very tame! The fish in the water in the sea are amazing to watch!
The rooms are private, spacious and comfortable. The bathroom is the same. The shower temperatures can be a bit funny, so be aware you might get a freezing cold blast during your shower! There is a safe, extra covers for the beds, plenty of storage space and 2 big mirrors for getting ready on an evening. A hairdryer is in the room, and towels are changed frequently.
Just be wary of this hotel, it has it's ups and downs. I think Egypt is generally the same anywhere...their standards are not the same as the UK's.
Rooms generally contain a double bed/two single beds and two sofa beds that are just as comfortable...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC