I love Egypt, having been to Sharm, Nuweiba and Hurghada before. Previously I've stayed at the Titanic Aqua Park hotel 5 minutes up the road and thought it was great. So having paid the extra, and seen the size increase with the Palace (and adjoined Beach Spa) I was expecting great things......
But firsts first, I must mention the Airport fiasco. PLEASE PLEASE READ THIS PART IF YOU ARE PLANNING A TRIP TO HURGHADA! VERY IMPORTANT IN RELATION TO YOUR VISA!
There is mixed information on the web as to whether you need a visa from Hurghada. Well you do need one. Our airline (Monarh) told us on the flight that the visa was £15 each.The airport will take Sterling, Dollar, Euro, in fact I wonder if they'll take monopoly money as they are just trying to get ANYTHING. When you enter the arrivals lounge you are bombarded with men with placards with your name on. PLEASE DO NOT GO WITH THEM. These guys have arranged a deal with your transfer company, where they will take you to a desk and tell you the visa is £23 each and make you feel forced to pay it. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PAY THIS AMOUNT TO THEY.
Immediately on entrance to the arrivals lounge, take a sharp left and head to the desk labelled BANK. This is the place where you can get your official visa with out being ripped off. You can then make your way through passport control, then another checkpoint to show your visa. After that you can get your cases and find your official transfer rep (who are very nice and helpful!)
This was a most stressful start to our holiday (with 4 young kids) and we really didn't appreciate being hounded and bullied into paying over the odds.
The hotel is large, lovely and clean but could do with a sprucing up now. The rooms are large (we stayed in a 2 bedroomed family room) and are cleaned daily. We had a fun and relaxing 2 weeks in blistering heat.
My few disappointments were around the food (not a patch on the Titanic Aqua Park - very bizarre breakfasts ie mashed pumpkin, mung beans etc), not much choice, but a good effort with the BBQ each night and lovely outdoor made bread every night. There isn't much space at food points so there are many over lapping queues, and you can't get to the soup because of the pasta queue etc! I love going to all inclusive hotels and think that I'm very open minded with food options at far off destinations, but this one just wasn't as good. Don't get me wrong, I had a lovely selection each night and really enjoyed lots of it, it just wasn't as good as I've had before.
Also, the a la carte restaurants were rather 'wheel em in and out again' and we felt so rushed and not special at all. The Tapanyaki was great though, excellent Chef.
Secondly the staff were not most friendly or happy. Again I will try to be non-judgemental and maybe think this could be because it was Ramadan (not much fun being starving in the heat, especially working in the restaurant!) or even the political situation in Egypt. So facts are, there weren't many friendly staff and we didn't feel very welcomed.
On one day me and 2 friends had the Cleopatra experience in the spa. The spa is nicely set up with a lovely pool in the middle. The disappointment in the spa was again feeling like the next on the conveyabelt. I can't believe what a rushed and unrelaxing massage we all had. We were in and out within an hour. My girls both had their hair braided in the salon too, and that wasn't very good either!
The sea was lovely (when it eventually came close enough) but to actually swim in it you need to walk 1km down the jetty first to get to it. It can get choppy in the breeze (not so good for snorkelling), but the breeze is definitely welcomed in 40oC!
The kids enjoyed the slides and wave pool, although it was rather crowed round there. The alternative is the many pools by the rooms, which can get very noisy from the entertainment!
Expect the norm for Egypt, with lots of sales people trying to get you to go on trips, scuba diving, spa treatments, tattoos etc. Also many Good Price guys in the shops. But they're harmless really (as long as you know how to handle them).
On the whole it was a nice holiday, but I probably won't go back (I'm always open to trying new places anyway)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Location and surroundings: 17 km from the centre of Hurghada, 10 km from airport, Cairo 450 km, Luxor 290 km. Category: 5 Stars (NN) Type of catering: Luxury, Royal all inclusive. Hotel Details: total land is 102.000 m²o, 3 floors, 116 standard rooms, 114 superior, 90 family rooms, 47 bungalows, 48 connected standard rooms & 174 swim up rooms + 4 handicapped. 8000 m swimming pool, 1 heated pool, 2 children pools, 1 Jacuzzi, private beach 365 meter, internet cafe & wireless, private parking, private jetty marine 500 meter. Guest Room Information: All rooms are comfortably furnished and have balcony or terrace, mini bar, LCD TV (satellite channels, music), shower amenities, hair dryer, bathroom, shower cabin, extra bed, baby cot, split air-conditioning system (cold/ warm), safe box, daily room cleaning, towels, bed sheet change. Standard Rooms: Surface area of 48m², decorated in soft natural tones. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Titanic Palace Hotel Hurghada