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“OK HOTEL/ NEEDS AN UPDATE”
Review of Arena Inn

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Arena Inn
Ranked #14 of 18 Hotels in El Gouna
Certificate of Excellence
PRESTON
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“OK HOTEL/ NEEDS AN UPDATE”
Reviewed 7 June 2010

Third visit to El Gouna, only booked this hotel as we could not get into the preferred hotel. This hotel appears be the used by a number of Diving Clubs and probably makes a goods base for this type of holiday. Breakfast poor compared to other hotels in El Gouna no other facilities,outside bar like beach club. Probably only deserves its 2 star rating. Plenty of excellent restaurants at the Marina and Downtown El Gouna.
Excellent Snorkelling trip organised from hotel, seeing turtles, dolphins and lots of colourful fish.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank HORNBEAM1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Uppsala
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 May 2010

El Gouna is a good place to stay rather than Hurghada if you prefer a nice and quiet and beautiful place of operation for your trips and vacation. The restaurants are okay, if a bit on the expensive side compared to Hurghada's alternatives, and so are the shops and all the other facilities around as well. The key rule is don't buy any goods other than foods in restaurants and stuff in the minimarts at the first price or until you know the real value. A seller in El Gouna will try to fool you into buying hibiscus tea for 300 LE if he can, even though 500 grams sell for 3€ at the airport, or in Hurghada. They will know you have money just by being in El Gouna, and haggling won't work with them as well either.

There are many ways of traveling to various destinations from El Gouna; the easiest way to Hurghada is to take the bus, which is 5 LE, but it might be hot and crowded. Taxi is around 100 LE FROM El Gouna, but TO it can be as cheap as 50. Discuss the price with the driver before you go.

We stayed in the 'apartment' part of the hotel, which is across the street from the main building with the larger pool and the restaurant. All in all these apartments was pretty spacy and clean, with a good AC, some cooking equipment, a fairly large fridge, a nice big balcony, and a good bathroom with european standard. The bathroom also had a blow-dryer which is really nice. The hotel can be descibed as practically insect free. Didn't see even one cockroach at our entire week in El Gouna. Practically no mosquitos either, but there are some flies. There is a spray called "Off" at the minimarts that deals with those effectivly.

As for entertainment at the hotel I can't really say anything since we didn't partake in any of those or were particularly interested in them either. One thing we had a hard time not noticing was that after breakfast around 11 every day, there was some kind of water aerobics which was pretty disturbing - it consisted of a dozen tourists making silly gymnastics in the water accompanied to techno-music from 2002. Luckily, there is a smaller pool in the apartment building if you want to catch some sun and not listen to crappy music before you go on a trip.

The breakfast is nothing special at all, and it wasn't really worth the 10€ they charged for it per person and every day. The coffee is what you can expect from arabic standard, which is bascially non-drinkable for us scandinavians, you're better off with instant coffee - really. The majority of the stuff att the breakfast buffet is not really healthy either, the toast taste like sponge-cake, and while there is a variety of pastries, cookies, and stuff like that, there isn't really any good real bread. The cheese isn't that good either, and the selection of fresh fruit and vegetables is dismal. The Juice bar consists of very sugary lemonade. The outside of the restaurant is reserved for smokers, which is a bother if you want to eat and have a view of the saltwater lagoon without breathing in other peoples smoke. If you really don't want to stock your own fridge in the hotel the breakfast at the hotel might be an alternative, but I wouldn't really recommend it to anyone.

Wireless Internet is quite expensive at the hotel. 45 egyptian pound for and hour, 90 for a day, 270 for a week, and 400 for a .month. We bought a weeks worth of it, and since we couldn't pay online with our credit card we asked for it in the reception. There we recieved the serial and pin code needed to activate the connection - on a handwritten note. This connection had oviously been used several times before, since it showed up in the login screen as a month's worth. I suspect this is a way for the the staff at the hotel is using to make money - where they sell the same pin and serial to several customers over time. Since they apparently doesn't earn very much working there this is fine by me, but don't do the same thing if you really need your connection at all times since this apparently leads to your connection can't be activated by several computers at the same time. There is a small shop inside El Gouna where you can buy it over the counter rather than the hotel.

The hotel staff is very accommodative and nice, especially our reception guy was very talkative and service-minded. Tip them a bit extra and they will be thankful and make sure you have and even more excellent stay. I have absolutely nothing to complain about here. One thing that bothered me though was that the AC in the reception wasn't working for a whole week, and the management didn't really seem interested in keeping their personnel in a comfortable working environment.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Chuji
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hull
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 May 2010

We just returned from a 2 week break at arena inn. we had a very nice holiday very relxaing and all in all would say the areni inn and el gouna are both fab! We went on a trip to Dolphin island booked through Emad at Arena Inn. This was the best 25 pound i have ever spent. Had a truelly great day saw approx 30 dolphins and swam with them ( i didn't cause was scared but everyone else did) We had two snorkelling stops lunch on the boat and the guy's runnuing the trip were excellent they entertained and took care of us all day. We were B & B and were glad we chose this option as it was not expensive to eat out and we had some lovely food. Chinese Thai greek and a lovely fillet steak with mushrooms and onion rings!! We never had a bad meal and thorougly enjoyed thje freedom to choose when and where we ate. You must go JOBO'S the guy's there are fantastic and the really make you feel welcome. The food is excellant too! I would recommend The Sandbar for steak and The Grill is also bery good. The Chinese was very nice to. We meet some great people (Jules & Keith) we're the tops and we really enjoyed the time we spent with them a lovely lady and a true hero of a husband. We enjoyed our time at Arena Inn and in Elgouna you can't really find anything to moan about its what you make it!

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank VictoriaPlumHull
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
manchester
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 May 2010

Perfectly situated close to local shops and restaurants. Around 45 minutes to Hurghada Town Centre. We were on a bed/breakfast basis. The room was small but clean. The cleaner came every day to clean your room. The breakfast was the same everyday. We lived on toast n jam. There was flies over the cheese/meat/salad bar. The egg bay is situated outdoors. As we were stranded there due to the volcanic ash cloud, we were given 10 quid each for dinner and the same for tea. The food was vile, and we ate out it was that bad. The jelly stunk of the drains. Mash spud with banana was for lunch one day. My god. The entertainment was minimal. A bloke did Aqua aerobics at 11am each day and did the same routine and played the same songs on his dodgy speakers. We found 85% German and only 15% English in the hotel. The staff were more for the Germans. There is not much more I can say other than I will never go back. The Egyptians want tips for everything. They will no sooner look at you but rip you off. Beware.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mercedes002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 April 2010

First I would like to say a HUGE thankyou to LYNN SQUIRES our Thomas Cook rep in El Gouna, as we were caught up in the volcano disruption (and our party were delayed for 5 more days) and Lynn couldn't have done more to be helpful and informative.Thanks Lynn.We got home safe this morning!!
Right, the Arena Inn is a basic,clean and friendly hotel if you are polite and friendly to the staff. I have read a few reviews that say they are miserable, not true if you offer a smile, then thats what you will get back, there are a lot of German/Scandanavian visitors who are rude and abrupt, but the Egyptians tend to favour us Brits (so be nice back!!) A good location, and even quicker to downtown if you cut past the poolbar and out round the Arena Inn massage spa rather than going out the front door and all the way round.We had my dad in our party and it cut a bit of walking for him and his recent hip replacement agony!! TBH though,its less than 5-8 mins even if you go round the "long" way.My partner and I had a fantastic massage,but had brief moment of embarrasment when its done with you in the nude! However,the ladies (yes for the men too) were extremely professional and didn't batter and eyelid, but as we wasn't warned, it came as a surprise.You are also in seperate rooms. It didn't bother us, but it might for some people.It fairly expensive and you get asked outright at the end for a tip for the masseuse ladies,but well worth the money. We also did the dolphin house trip through Emad's company and it was fantastic, we saw dolphins and a turtle. I didn't go in the water as it was a very windy day which made a strong current and I'm not a strong swimmer,but didn't feel I missed out at all. Food was superb and free coke or water all day.Emad works at the hotel and pops round selling trips, if theres a trip you fancy but he doens't offer it ASK, as he can sort out pretty much everything, but do barter with him, he loves a good banter, and will eventually drop the price a bit. (Check the trips that your tour guide offers and ask Emad first, as he does them a lot cheaper) My partner and son did a quad bike trip and loved every minute,my son is 14 but was allowed to ride the Quad, they doubled up as its a bit cheaper to hire the one quad. Go across the pully boat and walk round to find the quad man, very helpful, but didn't tell them to bring scarfs and sunglasses because of sand, so they had to buy them, SO TAKE YOUR OWN!! They said it was the best day ever, and really enjoyed themselves. The quads are semi-auto. and adult size,no kids quads that we saw.
Mustafer the animation guy is superb and really tries to get everyone involved in the sports side around the hotel. The girls in our group loved the aqua-aerobics,great fun,and same routine everyday,so easy to pick up. My son joined the water polo and volleyball, but can only be played if 4 or more join in,and I thought it was a shame a few times that the young guys around wouldn't join in as Mustafer tries so hard to keep people interested and is open to a challenge to a few games of pool,but beware of his Egyptian rules!! (hes a hustler..LOL) He also arranges trips on the "sparkly" bus down to the Marina on various eveings. Ask him about this as its a free bus there and back.
Lots of places to eat around in El Gouna,(Boxers, JoBos,and Nathans were fab). But do check out the Chinese,fantasic food and really nice people, we went there twice,would have been more,but we had to keep our son happy with the pizzas from JoBos too!! Drinks are quite expensive around the town and even more in the hotel, we started buying coke and fresh orange cartons from the supermarket (2 LE) but in the hotel they are 14LE. We still got rum or vodka from the bar,but topped up with our own mixers.Nobody ever told us that we couldn't do this,but its so expensive for soft drinks at the bar and we simply couldn't keep up with high cost so we tried to be discreet! The food is as varied as possible for the size of the hotel, but did get repetitive after nearly 3 weeks of eating the same breakfast, however it was always fresh and tasty.I don't know what some people expected,and perhaps its not quite as hygenic around the egg station as what you would get in higher star hotels as its outside and there are a few flies around,,but it most certainly wasn't dirty as I wouldnt have eaten eggs from there and not one of us had upset bellys,so if you want top class then book a 5*
Rooms are adequete size, briliant hairdrier, noisy but good air-con, average storage space. Lots of mosquitos,and we recommend a spray from bestways supermarket called "OFF", its about £2 and did its job, not a great smell,but the mozzy bites really swell and are painful, so take your choice! Don't bother taking anything from the UK,as its not strong enough.Did get a bit chilly a couple of evenings,so take a cardi or two,lightweight ones will do. The go-karts are great fun, but REALLY expensive 150 LE for 15 mins, which I thought was steep,and now I know why it was empty most of the time.You have to get a tuk tuk down there. Also be aware that there are 2 companys that run these,one is TOK TOK and the other is TUK TUK,the ones with cartoons painted on the backs are 8LE wherever you go (up to 3 people),but the plain ones are 5LE per person (also up to 3 people but dearer) Still fun though :)
Do take time to read the hotel guide in your room and also the magazine,as I didnt bother until nearly the end of our holiday,but found lots of info I had missed! Oh,there is internet in the hotel,but its cheaper downtown in the cafe as you have to buy hourly/daily/weekly. Check out Mangos ladies, fantastic handbags,and will always do a deal,nice watches for the men too. The shop is right opposite the pharmacy in town..please mention we have recommended him.Thanks
Have fun,and email us if you want to know anything! Have been to El Gouna 3 times now,so I will try to help if I can.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank holidayhogs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 21 April 2010

We stayed at the Arena Inn on a Bed and Breakfast basis via our package deal. Whether you are out and about every day or want to have a by the pool/ sun lounge holiday, Arena Inn is a lovely hotel offering quiet and friendly value for money accommodation. It is centrally positioned in downtown and walking distance to all the town’s restaurants and amenities.

Staff here are very polite and welcoming and every morning for breakfast, we were greeted with a smile by Hany Sammy the captain of the restaurant. Mohammed will cook your eggs the way you prefer them and there is a selection of sausage and mash, cereals, and juices, all prepared the English way. If you’re leaving early for a tour let reception know and they’ll prepare you a breakfast box however I was not impressed with it. The volcanic ash this year meant we were upgraded to full board and everyday there was something different on the menu, though the variety on selection for lunch is not as varied as breakfast and dinner. Check your travel package for full board/ all inclusive prices because it may be cheaper to eat out. We don't drink wine but when eating a 2 course meal in the Downtown restaurants we paid about 60-120LE per person per meal (Egyptian Pounds). If you’re not all inclusive, it's definitely cheaper to eat out in El Gouna than eat at the hotel restaurant. Local dining was very impressive. We loved Athena (as recommended by other tripadvisors) Dunes, White Elephant (Thai), and Ceviche.
Rooms here do what they say on the box. Rooms are cleaned everyday to a good standard. We tipped generously because we were happy with our cleaner. Even if they say they are an environmental hotel and asked us not request our towels to be changed everyday, they were changed on a daily basis. There is a safety deposit box, TV – multi lingual, phone, air con, French doors (some rooms have a balcony) and beds are comfortable. Internet here is pricey and is available on the internet station in the foyer but no wireless in rooms or anywhere in the hotel. You can get the internet downtown for 10LE per 15 mins or 8LE for 1hour at the El Gouna Library which is a 5min walk from the Arena Inn. Dunes, a restaurant down town has wireless if you’ve brought your laptop and I think it’s free too. By the pool, the hotel provides you with a beach towel you can take on trips and out to the beach and if the beach chairs run out, ask the pool ushers to get you a portable fold out one which I had to do once. They’re more comfortable too! Mustafa, the animation/ entertainment staff runs daily Aqua aerobics classes as well as volley ball games and other activities for those who are having a day by the pool. Mustafa is more like a pool concierge and if there’s anything you need to make you happy, he can sort it for you  He even organised a belly dancing class for us! The hotel offers a laundry service but you can get that done locally for 4LE per piece.
Massages at the hotel are available and the Arena Inn spa salesman will come to you pool side to let you know about all the deals available. When I was not impressed with the prices he was willing to adjust them for me but I found the prices the same as London’s local prices and he was really shocked when my answer was no thank you. My friend accepted but was disappointed when a man walked in half way through her massage! I found the beauty treatments at “Thai Scissors” across the road from the Arena Inn more fairly priced and the lady there was able to recommend some Thai masseuse massages at half the price.

Tours available cater to different tastes. Your package holiday rep is on hand to help you book trips through reputable companies however the Arena has a resident rep for "Strong Waves" who sells similar deals at similar prices. The main differences lie in the inclusion of lunch and the time and number of snorkel opportunities. Tours in El Gouna are rough around the edges - “Limousine” is actually a mini cab and the advertised and pictured “4x4 Desert Adventure” was carried out in a Minibus. And that was just Blue Skies for which Thomas Cook is an agent. (Make sure you ask why it is that Thomas Cook have to transfer their sales into US dollars even they advertise in UK pounds) The customers I spoke to were really happy with the tours they received with the Arena Inn rep Imhad. On the 2 occasions I strayed from my holiday rep to book tours with local sales people around El Gouna, I felt completely mislead as to what I was actually provided with. Both times I complained and was offered a full refund so I won’t mention their names on here. I found the companies showed genuine concern for my complaints but sadly, I think it’s a buyers beware market when it comes to local sales people whether it’s gold, silver or tours. A snorkel and dolphin spotting tour is A MUST as is a Bedouin dinner in the dessert (with camel ride, star gazing by telescope and entertainment). Luxor 1 day tour is enough to see the most important attractions there though it’s a bit pricier. We organised out own Cairo trip via Egypt air and an old contact organised driver and tour guide for 200LE pp. Again – 1 day is enough to cover the basics. Shop around for prices and be informed!
When I stayed, I noticed that the 2 managers of the hotel were around a lot and it felt like a tight ship! I think it was great value for 3 stars.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank esepollito
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South England
1 review
Reviewed 12 April 2010

My husband and I have just got back from a 2 week holiday in El Gouna staying at the Arena Inn and we loved it! The staff were all men and were full of smiles and willing to help you have a quality stay. We stayed on a bed and breakfast basis as recommended by previous reviewers on trip advisor and that was totally the right thing to do. It was lovely to go out each evening into the town and take our pick of restaurants - from the more expensive - The Oriental Grill (435 egyptian pounds) tfor exquisite grilled meat/fish/veg with free beautifully freshly baked egyptian bread and dips o the satisfactory and more pleasing to the pocket Tamr Henna (between 120 and 160 egyptian pounds for kofta or grilled chicken, pizza etc
The only thing I found hard was the inability to browse the shops - I love window shopping! We did feel the pressure to buy but saying this we made a lovely friend who worked in a perfume shop who took us to his home town of Hurghada and gave us the opportunity to eat at a fabulous fish restaurant at 1/5 of the price we would have paid here in Dorset and we were also taken care of by the spice man near to the perfume shop who took care of our insides with his magical tea mixtures!
Do not do any trips with the tour operators. The local Dolphin Man will come to the pool side and take care of all your excursion needs. My favourite trip was the snorkelling one as it was the most relaxing but I also loved the Safari package where you do short trips on a quad bike, a sand buggy and even a camel for 5 mins with a bedouin child leading the way! Very good value for money. As my husband had not been to Luxor or Cairo we also arranged a private trip (just us, a driver and a guide) to both these places. Cost wise good value compared to England but they probably made a fortune out of us. As we got to know some of the locals we found out that many shop workers have university diplomas and degrees in tourism and Egyptology so it is worth trying to make private arrangements with them. The only thing to make sure if you do though is that any driver/guide is insured.
Unless you want to stay within your hotel and have a more than comfortable room book this hotel straight away, get some flights and have a great holiday!

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank alibluehazel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Arena Inn

Property: Arena Inn
Address: Kafr El Gouna | El Gouna, El Gouna, Hurghada, Egypt
Phone Number:
Region: Egypt > Red Sea and Sinai > Hurghada > El Gouna
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#7 Spa Hotel in El Gouna
#7 Top resorts Hotel in El Gouna
#13 On the Beach Hotel in El Gouna
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Arena Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 144
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Arena Inn Hotel is a convivial mid-sized El Gouna hotel offering all the amenities expected of a Red Sea holiday resort. Built along the saltwater lagoon that separates the island of Kafr El Gouna from the Downtown mainland area, the hotel offers a peaceful waterfront setting a few steps from all the facilities and services of the fully integrated resort town of El Gouna. Cafés, restaurants, supermarkets, shopping galleries, and evening entertainment venues with live music and shows are all within walking distance. The hotel's infinity pool overlooks a swimming lagoon bordered by a small sandy beach. Arena Inn guests also have access to the hotel's sea beach on nearby Zeytouna Island, reached by shuttle boat or bus, where some of the best snorkeling in El Gouna can be found. Arena Inn's main restaurant, Laguna, is built to resemble a wooden ship's interior. It boasts splendid views over the turquoise lagoon from its panoramic wooden deck. The Arena Inn counts 144 hotel rooms in three main buildings facing the lagoon on one side and the golf course on the other. This Red Sea hotel is family friendly, offering entertainment opportunities, a kids playground, as well as connecting rooms for added convenience. It also welcomes couples and groups of friends. The Arena Inn is particularly appreciated for its very nice atmosphere, and repeat guests praise the staff's friendliness. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Arena Hotel El Gouna
Arena Resort El Gouna

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