We stayed at the Stella in mid September for the second consecutive year. From a service point of view this resort definitely does deserve its five stars. The staff were outstanding in every way possible and went out of their way to help in all areas of the hotel. We did experience a change of management half way through our two-week holiday, so please bear this in mind when reading this review.
We were greeted by warm welcome from the immaculately dressed reception team, and then shown to the restaurant that had been kept open for our late arrival. There was an ample amount of food for us to eat and we were greeted by smiling waiters. We then sat on the terrace and were served drinks by the attentive waiters in the bar area, which was lovely and relaxing following a long journey. This high level of service from the waiters working around the bar and terrace continued throughout our holiday.
The room was a very good size and you will definitely have plenty of storage space as a couple, with a wardrobe each and plenty of drawers. The room boy kept the room immaculate throughout our stay and we could not fault the service that he provided. The finish on the bathrooms is not particularly polished, but we have found this seems to be par for the course in Egypt and how long do you spend in there anyway?!! The only real fault we could pick with the room was that the towels in the bathroom were worn and thread bare, which is not really what you expect in a five star hotel, but they were clean and replenished every day. The hotel may also benefit from taking down all the net curtains in the bedrooms and washing them, as they were slightly grubby and it does not look very nice when the sun shines on them. However, we do appreciate that this may be hard to keep on top of in such a windy, sandy resort. We found the room peaceful and there was never any noise at night. Most of the entertainment finishes at 11 pm. The beach and foam partiers were kept well away from the hotel, so unless you are someone that likes to be in bed by 9 pm, you should not be disturbed at all. Even if you had a room around the main pool where all the activities take place, where they are using microphones and load music, this still does not start until 10.30am, so it really should not disturb you unless you want to lie in until very late which would be a dreadful waste in such a beautiful climate.
Where the food was concerned, there was a marked improvement to the quality in comparison with when we stayed last year and there did seem to be a lot more variation. All of the food was well cooked, although it does become a little repetitive over two weeks, but that will be the same of any all inclusive. The only complaint that we did have in the main restaurant was that during the first week, we did notice that a lot of the restaurant staff who were handling food were not wearing gloves. However, this issue was resolved as with immediate effect with the change of management.
The snack bar down on the beach is nice at lunch times, but you will be very lucky to get a table between 12.30 & 2pm. They serve pizza, fries, kebabs, baguettes and burgers all of which were quiet nice. If you want a larger selection of food lunch time and you can go and eat in the main restaurant. They do open the snack bar as seafood restaurant in the evenings, but we cannot comment on this, as we never ate in there at night.
The Shisha pipes are good fun and all of the guys that make them up for you are really friendly and helpful. They are always happy to bring them to your table on the terrace up by the main bar. Or if you really want to relax, you go can go down to the `shisha hut` to enjoy one down there where you can lay on the cushioned floor. Whichever option you choose, you will be made very welcome.
The general standard of hygiene in the hotel overall had dropped slightly form the previous year, but again from the moment the new manager took over, there was a marked improvement in these standards. We did both experience bacterial stomach infections. There is however a possibility that this may not have necessarily been down to the hygiene standards of the hotel. A lot of guests were not washing their hands after they had used the toilet. Surprising enough the young Italian women were the worst offenders. This disgusting practice was witnessed every evening and can hardly be blamed on the hotel. Although strangely enough they seemed to always find time to re apply their lipstick. A charming pursuit when one cannot even be bothered to wash ones hands after doing a number two. However much we complain about the Russians they do seem to have mastered the basic art of washing their hands after going to the toilet.
Having travelled extensively through third world countries for over thirteen years we would suggest that if you do get diarrhoea that is accompanied by any stomach cramps, go to a chemist and get the local medication. Avoid taking Imodium as it may cause your diarrhoea to take the other exit, which is from previous experiences, is highly unpleasant.
The pools were all very nice and there is a quiet pool where you can go if you want peace and tranquillity. The main pool hosts music and activities. There are normally plenty of free sun beds around both the pools but if you wanted a sun bed on the beach you did have to get up early to ensure that you secure a bed with an umbrella. The beach itself was pleasant and clean, although some of the sun beds could have done with a good wash. However they were by no means filthy and a good wash with hot soapy water would have done the trick, as most of it is caused by a build-up of sun cream. The gardens are absolutely charming; they are perfectly kept and look beautiful.
Due to the change of management, there was a change in Animation team after the first few days. The first Animation team did not really seem to do a lot, apart from wander round aimlessly, looking a mess. However, a much smarter, proactive group replaced them and they seemed to have a good mixture of nationalities in the team. The Animation team worked very hard at trying to get everybody up getting evolved in activates which seemed to work during the day. However, we felt that due to no fault at all of the Animation team, the hotel’s guests were just not interested in playing the games and competitions that the Animation team were trying to organise during the evening. We personally felt that this was purely down to the clientele of the hotel. The Stella now has a good Animation team, but due to the clientele it attracts, we felt that they would be better off utilising the team to get people up dancing; or hiring a D.J. or Singer. On the one evening that this was done, it was very successful. In a five star hotel, it would seem that many guests purely want to dance, listen to music & relax rather than play games and competitions. That style of entertainment would be better suited in a `club` style hotel and again, we would like to stress this was not a fault of the actual Animation team.
There is a charge on all the al la Carte restaurants and you do also have to book them in advance, but only by a few hours. There never seemed to be any complaints about availability. The Italian and Indian sit down are around £18 a head for a three course meal but you did still get all your drinks on the all inclusive. The décor in the building where the al Carte restaurants are situated is quiet spectacular and if you do not want to eat in there, it is definitely worth a look.
There is also an Italian buffet that you can book into for around five Euros a head. This brings us to the only real complaint that we had about the hotel. Last year, we found the Italian buffet fantastic and great value with a really nice ambience. This year however, on both occasions that we ate in there we were disappointed. We booked in for the 8pm sitting and on both occasions they ran out of some of the starter courses. Instead of replacing them, they replaced the beautiful canapés and h’orderves that the earlier sittings were treated to with plain salads. Also, on both occasions they ran out more or less completely out of deserts, leaving just empty plates in the display cabinet. On the second occasion we were asked to wait ten minutes for our table to be ready (which was not a problem). We arrived just a few minutes after 8pm so we were not early. On this particular evening because all the deserts had run out again, we asked for some more, only to be told (all be it very politely) that they had run out. It is appreciated that some of our European & Russian counterparts will gorge themselves to near puking point, but if the management have accepted the later 8pm bookings, they should provide food for the later bookings. Although judging by the ever-expanding size and gluttony of some of the guests, the only way for the hotel to do this successfully may be to put it under armed guard!! Due to the fact it happened on both occasions that we ate in the Italian buffet, we would not recommended it unless you can get the earlier sitting around 7pm.
All in all, the entire hotel is good value for money and there is not really a great deal to complain about. We had a nice holiday and staff made us very welcome and we would like to thank all the staff for making our stay so memorable and enjoyable. With regard to new management, we felt that there was a definite improvement in general standards across the entire hotel. We are confident that the new management will endeavour to improve and maintain high standards in the future.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Stella Di Mare Makadi Beach Resort & Spa is located in the prominent Makadi Bay area, on Egypt's beautiful Red Sea Riviera. Makadi is a peaceful bay with many opportunities for snorkeling and scuba diving. The semi-tropical climate makes this both a summer and winter resort. With its warm, healthy climate and the beauties of the coral reefs, this is a place to delight sun seekers and water sports enthusiasts alike. Makadi Bay is a convenient 25km south of Hurghada International Airport. The location makes it easy to access the town of Hurghada, and there are many other notable places of interest nearby, such as the island of Giftun, which is a Marine National Park, where desert and marine life are protected by law. In fact, much of the Red Sea area has a protected status. The Stella Makadi Resort & Spa is situated on a white sandy beach, and has a spectacular house reef very close by, which guests may use for snorkeling. In addition to the natural beauty of its setting, the resort has the advantage of many facilities and services to ensure a holiday that offers a wide choice of activities. There is a Spa and Health club, a shopping mall and a discotheque, to name just a few Stella Makadi Resort & Spa guests are assured of dedicated service, with all their needs taken care of in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Stella Makadi Hotel Makadi Bay