Just got back from a family holiday in Stella Gardens......what an amazing holiday we had!
The hotel is lovely, we stayed in the Stella Gardens Hotel but you can also use the Stella Beach Hotel which is also in the same grounds. The rooms themselves were quite big and spacious, and were very clean. Housekeeping came everyday and did an amazing job, especially with making us something out of the towels everyday...very clever! The food was good, there are 2 buffet restaurants (one in each hotel) and then 4 A La Carte restaurants, all of which served lovely food. The only down side was that the A La Carte restaurants have two sittings, 6:30pm and 8:30pm, and you cannot book in advance so you need to be at the restaurant around half hour earlier to try and get a table which is a bit of a nuisance. We only got turned away from one restaurant as they were unable to fit a table of 5 in for us, but they did therefore let us have a priority booking for the follwing day by way of compensation, which was very good. The Lebanese and Italian restuarants were my favourites as the food there was so lovely, the Indian was nice too but nothing like Indian food that I am used to. We found the Stella Gardens buffet restaurant much nicer than the Beach restaurant, in terms of the food options and design of the restaurant. The service was much quicker too in comparison which makes a huge difference when all guests are coming in to eat at a similar time, you need the staff to turn the tables over quickly so that you can get a clean table. Not all restaurants have the air con switched on, which is absurd as it's so hot in Egypt, so be prepared if you are eating inside that not every restaurant will be cool (noteably the Italian, we were sweating in there!)
We used four out of the nine swimming pools, which were all very clean. The wave pool was good fun, and the other large pools had swim-up bars which was lovely as you could swim up for a drink in the pool or even chips and a pitta sandwich in one of the pools! The slides were good fun too for adults and children alike :-)
All local spirits taste the same....and these are disgusting! You can get branded spirirts at an additional cost if you choose, and they do have some beers in cans that you can buy (namely Stella. None of the drinks are very cold, even the soft drinks from the optic machines are only a little bit cool, which is a pain as we are not supposed to have their ice as it upsets our stomachs!
I was disappointed with the ice cream on offer throughout my holiday - you can only have an ice creakm between 3-5pm, and you are given the tiniest scoop you have ever seen! I found myself going back and somedays and had three ice creams because they were so small!
The evening entertainment was good fun....although no bingo :-( The animation team put on a different show each night which was generally quite good, and if you miss one of the shows you can catch it a few days later across at the other hotel so the variety is quite good.
The beach was nice, very windy down there but they do have wind breakers with the sun loungers which makes a huge difference. You have to walk along the jetty to get into the sea for a swim in order to protect the corals, and the sea is lovely and clear although quite chilly!
We booked a snorkelling trip through our rep at the hotel, and it was absolutely AMAZING - we saw lots of exotic fish including sting rays just swimming around the beautiful coral reefs...just like Finding Nemo (altough we didn't spot Nemo, just Dory!). There are people working on the beach who come up to you (even if you are by the pool) frequently to try and sell you a variety of trips and water activities, but we booked this particular trip through Thomas Cook. At times these sales people can be quite annoying - they are always very friendly but they don't like to take no for an answer! We did book a Quad trip and a Camel ride through these people (you need to haggle with them to get a cheap price, which is quite fun!), and both of these were really good fun. The camel ride along the beach was amazing, such a good experience alhough very uncomfortable!!
Unfortunately we did all pick up a bug on holiday, which apparently is a known problem for tourists in Egypt. You are advised NOT to take immodium, instead you can buy tablets there which contain an antibiotic to help get rid of the bug. The on-site clinic wanted €28 for one course of these, which is outrageous! We went to our Thomas Cook rep and he got some for us for €5...much better! They worked immediately, although made me feel a bit nauseous, But definitely worth taking.
There's a good selection of shops in the resort so you really don'y need to leave the complex the whole holiday, unless for an excursion. You have to haggle for EVERYTHING, but it's all good fun and they love the banter with the English and you can usually get what you want for a very good price :-)
**Please note - it's definitely worth taking Euros as the locals often prefer this to Egyptian Pounds, and if you pay in Euro's somethings are much cheaper. You can convert currency at reception (and there's also a cash machine), but the rate isn't very good so my advice is to take a mixture of Euros and Egyptian Pounds with you**
All the Egyptians were lovely and very friendly, and they do expect tips but we were more than happy to oblige as they realy were very welcoming and made the holiday such an amazing time. I would definitely recommend this resort to anyone - families with children or couples - there's something for everyone. Just be prepared for the Russians - they are very rude and don't have a clue what a queue (or smile) is!
Absoloutely incredible holiday, I want to go straight back! This is definitely worth every penny and you will have a fantastic time :-)
See you again soon Stella Makadi :-)
- 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