my boyfriend and I went to the steigenberger aqua magic for two weeks from 29/07-12/07. After not going abroad together for almost four years, we booked this 5* hotel with adults only areas thinking it was going to be the luxury relaxing break that we both deserved.
The airport in general:
first off, we arrived at the airport to be told we had to pay £19 per person to get through the airport (like a visa). We were not notified of this at any point since booking the holiday in January this year. There are also people dotted around the airport shaking money and asking for pound coins - don't be fooled, they don't work at the airport and you don't have to give them anything. we waited over an hour for our bags and then were given dodgy directions to the transfer coaches. after eventually finding the coach we needed with little help from any of the reps, our bags were taken by a plain clothed man who did not work for the airport! he then shook his change at us again, asking for money for loading our bags on the bus (we didn't pay!). we had heard that the resort was a five minute drive from the airport. this would have been the case if the driver knew where he was going! he drove around the streets, stopping to ask every person he saw where the hotel was. we eventually made it to the hotel...
we arrived at the hotel to have our bags taken and be whisked through the lobby to the buffet to get some dinner before it closed as our flight was a late one. I'm not sure what would have happened if we were any later but the food was not prepared for us as latecomers, it was just what was left from the course of the evening. we were fairly impressed though, when going abroad you don't expect them to have what you eat at home and there was something for everyone (usually just a plate of chips for my fussy self!). We headed to reception to check in and were told we had been upgraded to a family room. We went down to the room we were assigned to and after walking a fair while, again with little direction, we found the room. we couldn't fault it as it was clean and well presented, however it didn't have a balcony. I got our travel documents out and they specified we had paid for a room with a view of the pool and a balcony... the view we had in the family room was of some building works over the street facing out of the hotel. We went to reception and were immediately offered the room we paid for with a pool view. The room was perfect for us and again well presented. The mini bar was restocked every day with water, juice and fizzy drinks.
Would definitely advise going to the welcome meeting - it was roughly half an hour long but well worth taking the time out of your day to go and get to know your reps and they have some good advice about going out of the resort. Also some of the trips have discounts applicable in the meeting if you book that day! (I would say to book the trips for the second week or later in the week if you're only there for one week because it is so hot out on the boats that I got burnt wearing factor 50 suncream and having been there 9 days already!)
Generally, the hotel is what it is. it's not new as advertised, it's more of a refurbished hotel. it's not sparkling clean, I think the beds were changed a couple of times in our stay and I'm not sure the floor was mopped. there was an accumulation of dust and dirt and hair in the corridor that looked as if it had been swept but not collected. the pools were okay although we heard bad things about people washing their clothes/children that had soiled themselves in them but we didn't see this first hand. The a la carte restaurants are SUPERB the staff cannot do enough for you and it's like a completely different world to the buffet, often didn't believe we were in the same hotel. The beach is about a 5-10 minute walk away but you can get a lift on a golf cart. would recommend going early as beds get taken quickly and it's boiling! we stayed for a couple of hours and had to leave due to the heat. didn't eat there but heard the food is brill! we usually ate lunch in the Italian a la carte which is next to the slides. It's open for breakfast and lunch as a semi buffet - loads nicer and less busy than the main restaurant. they do pizza at lunch time as well! and you don't have to book for these times - only the evening meals have to be booked there.
our favourite spot was the adult relax pool on top of building 6. nice and quiet, everyone that was up there when we went was friendly and we ended up making loads of friends up there. The best thing about it is Adam - he is an absolute god send and an asset to that hotel!! some days you felt really rubbish about everything (my boyfriend ended up ill a few days in and most people were having bad experiences as well so it's hard to avoid bad conversation sometimes) but Adam always puts a smile on your face!! He makes the best cocktails (anything you want!) and has a collection of different sayings from all around the UK! He is particularly fond of Yorkshire and started telling new people that he was from Yorkshire. He's hilarious!! Definitely brightened up our time - we found ourselves in there every day without fail, even after spending all day on a boat we would run straight there to catch him before he closed and to relax on the sun loungers in the pool. Okey dokey, I like my eggs yolky!
unfortunately, I have some advice that makes the hotel sound less appealing. Although it is advertised as a 5*, I would say some aspects are but some definitely are not. The service in the lobby bar is useless and when you do get served they either get the order wrong (we ordered two beers and a wine and got two wines and a cup of tea!) or lace everything with more alcohol than the human body can handle.
The rooms all have a safe and our valuables were put in here every day, watches passports money etc and it was always locked even when we were in the room. Unfortunately for us, as you don't expect in a "5*" resort, we didn't put our clothes in the safe as well (they wouldn't fit even if we wanted to!) and my boyfriends England shirt and a basketball jersey (totalling over £100 for the two) were taken from our room whilst we were there. Coincidence that they didn't take any of my primark clothes? don't think so! anything with a label they will take so please for your own sake do not leave ANYTHING valuable unlocked. The hotel staff then made us feel like it was our fault - that we had left the clothes on the balcony to dry and they had blown off or someone had jumped onto our balcony to take them or we had left our door open. None were true - even though we complained about the lack of balcony in the first room, we only used it once! there is a washing line next to the shower so all our clothes were put on there to dry. We weren't offered an apology until we made clear that we weren't having any of it and asked for the general manager who compensated us in the best way he could but didn't offer money towards new clothes or really an explanation as to why our clothes were allowed to be taken with no punishment involved - they know who had access to our room day in day out but still treated it like it was our fault. This happened towards the end of the holiday luckily as it didn't ruin the whole time for us.
Overall it wasn't a bad hotel it just required drastic improvement in some places to make it the 5* that it has the potential to be and although we won't be going back to Egypt or back to this hotel, I don't think people should be put off from what other people have or claimed to have experienced - the holiday is what you make of it and we made it the best we could despite the set backs we personally experienced.
Adam made the whole time worth our while and it was definitely worth the money we paid to spend two weeks laughing and joking upstairs with him.
ps. the hotel room has black out curtains hidden behind the mesh ones! don't give up hope because they are there and i heard lots of people complaining about the light coming in because they didn't realise they were there!
ADAM WE LOVE YOU YORKSHIRE MAN BEST FRIEND IN OUR WHOLE LIVES!!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Steigenberger Aqua Magic is the Red Sea's best luxury family resort addition with comfortable rooms ideal for families guaranteeing privacy for both, parents and children, a generous pool landscape and its own certified aqua park suitable for children and adults. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Steigenberger Al Dau Club Hotel Hurghada
- Steigenberger Al Dau Hotel
- Steigenberger Al Dau Resort