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Reviewed 17 September 2012

I have just returned from a fantastic weeks holiday at the Makadi Saraya Resort.

I often find reviews hard to judge, especially those travellers that "slag" off hotels for bad experiences with food, cleanliness, staff etc as most people don't realise that other countries do not have the same living standards as the UK, indeed reading some of the reviews for this hotel I'm not too sure if they even stayed at the same hotel.

From the moment we arrived (late evening) and we was shown to our room (9203) the staff were courteous and polite and the Sunflower restaurant was kept open so that we could have something to eat.

Our room was amazing, very spacious with bedroom, dining room, lounge area, kitchen and 2 balconies. All the furniture was clean, the shower, toilet, tv, air conditioning all worked!

The hotel overall was excellent, the staff were really friendly, Hassan, Mohammed epsecially, always a hello as you passed, the Amination team were superb especially Max, Sam and Sam DJ,

The swimming pools were always clean, and the poolside bar served excellent food from 12.00pm - 4.00pm, and the drinks service was second to none, you were always kept with a drink in hand!

The restaurants, were what you would expect, the 2 buffet restaurants served a wide selection of food (each night having a different theme) to cater for any taste (even the fussy ones) and the A-la-Carte restaurants served great food.

We did have a problem at the Chinese restaurant, with some very poor service and food, but this was quickly rectified by one of the resort managers (followed by many many apologies) - can't ask for more really?

The beach was about a 5 minute walk to "Saraya's" own section of beach. Again, clean and tidy, snorkling was amazing and the service at the Beach Bar was brilliant.

There was quite a few British at this hotel and we made many friends which added to our holiday experience.

Overall, a fantastic holiday experience, an amazing hotel, lovely staff, and yes I would have no hesitation going back to the same hotel.

Those that have had bad experiences at this hotel must have far, far higher expectations that myself but I couldn't really fault anything!

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank CSG_72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reinwand, General Manager at Jaz Makadi Saraya Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 18 September 2012

Dear Guests,
Thank you for choosing the Iberotel Makadi Saraya Resort to spend your holiday.

My team and I would also like to thank you for your critical and valued feedback. You have provided us with great motivation in our strive to continuously improve the service we offer.

This recognition directly influences our commitment to further improvements in 2012.

Once again, thank you for your visit to our hotel, and for your feedback.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2012

We booked this holiday in March through First Choice (we are a 29 and 30 year old couple) when the reviews were mostly positive and we were slightly concerned by the negative reviews that popped up just prior to our departure. However, I can safely say that either any areas where service was lacking have been immensly improved or that the people who wrote the negative reviews went on a different holiday and had different expectations. This holiday would suit couples and families alike, as there are lots for children to do without it being in your face if you want to relax.

On arrival we were given a drink, welcome pack and wristbands and the luggage was taken to our rooms. Our room was really spacious with practically 2 double beds together and a lounge area, kitchen and balcony overlooking the pool (The bathrooms also have hairdryers in them. Also rooms have a mini bar though this is not included in all inclusive and the pools were kept clean).

We then had dinner in the Sunflower restaurant and the choice was surprisingly good. We had read a lot of reviews of people saying that they had stomach upsets but I don't really feel it is fair to attribute this to the hotel as all water is bottled and we had no problem with ice in our drinks etc as I think the hotel use bottled water. We took probiotic tablets prior to and during the holiday and took hand sanitiser (as the money notes are meant to be quite dirty) so as long as you take all precautions, you should be fine (as we were). Stomach upsets can be caused by the heat so to lay the blame at the door of the hotel doesn't seem fair as each body is different.

We found out at the welcome meeting that First Choice now allows you to dine at all al la carte restaurants free of charge from a set menu (whether or not this was due to previous food complaints I am not sure) and you can also pick from the whole menu for €10 (excluding drinks) but I personally didn't feel the need for this as the set menu is great. If anything, there is too much food! I strongly recommend the Sofra restaurant (Egyptian style food) as this was amazing. Even the buffet style restaurants have a good selection (with a different theme each evening). I really do not understand how people failed to find food to eat for them or their children as the selection is really varied and there is a childrens sections with chips and basic food too. I can only assume that people go expecting boring British or home food and if you do, then why go abroad?! That said, you can still get basic food staples such as potatoes etc even if you are fussy!

The staff make you feel as if nothing is too much trouble, you rarely have to go to the bar to get your own drink as the staff are always coming round to collect empty glasses and offer you another drink, even when you've only had a sip out of the one you've just got! So any complaints about not being able to get a drink were totally unfounded! If anything, the measures used in drinks are not regulated like in the UK so you get a good glug of whatever spirit you opt for! The cocktails were also really nice! At the beach, the waiters often rememer what you like and will bring drinks to your sun lounger when you're running low. You can also get small pizzas and other foods bought to your sunlounger at the beach or at the poolside restaurants and the food is just the right amount for a light lunch.

The animation team were great, they introduce themselves to you on the first day and remember you. I think the colour of the wristbands denote which nationality you are and the Egyptian shop owners like trying to expand their English and often shout things such as "how now brown cow" and "tally ho!"! Another one they love is "lovely Jubbly"! Quite endearing! The shop owners will try to lure you in but if you politely say no they tend to listen. The waterpark shop has set costs if you don't feel comfortable haggling, but to be honest, after a few times we found haggling quite fun! We generally asked a price and went 70% lower and took it from there. On a couple of occasions we did get it down to 70% and other times you still come away feeling like you have got a good deal as they will give you a good price, especially if you say you'll walk away at their offer!

The waterpark is included in the cost and the buses run every 15 minutes from the hotel. The park breaks for a while at 12.30ish to allow the staff to pray and most people get lunch at this point which is also part of your all inclusive (hot dogs, burgers, drinks etc). The rides are really good and there's a children's splash pool too.

One thing we found was that you didn't need to bring your own towels on the holiday as you get a towel card for each person so you get a towel from poolside or the beach hut and you get a fresh one each day. The beach is sandy (as we'd read it wasn't!) and is a little stony as you enter the water due to reefs nearby but you are still able to walk in the sea and the sea is so warm!

We did 2 trips whilst we were there. The first was a trip to a Bedouin camp which included a jeep safari, camel ride, lunch, camp trip and stargazing which was really good. The second was a day trip snorkelling round reefs which included lunch and this was amazing! We saw sea turtles and we will definitely try scuba diving next time we go, the reefs are fascinating!

You don't have to tip the staff if you don't want to and you get still get excellent service regardless, though when you do you can tell they really appreciate it! The staff work so hard and some evenings, dinner staff would often ask to the beach the following morning as they were working the beach bar for the morning! They work long hours but always have a smile on their face and they deserve credit for their enthusiasm. Try to tip in Egyptian pounds if possible (as I think they have a problem changing money over their) but we also used dollars and English pounds which was fine. You only really need to take Egyptian pounds as you can pay the visa with this (which you get at the airport on arrival) and all shops take this. The duty free is priced in Dollars at the airport but the staff will give the price in a different currency if you ask.

We were asked on a number of occasions if we had any requests or if we were having a nice time. I get the impression that they are really affected from previous reviews and are doing their utmost to make sure you have the best holiday. We felt really valued and this is a great feeling (as we have stayed in many other hotels and locations and, whilst happy with the hotels, we hadn't felt so appreciated before). Like I said before, I cannot even believe that this was the same hotel that has received other negative reviews!

Overall, I strongly recommend the Makadi Saraya. We were treated fantastically and we will definitely be returning. Also, September is a lovely time of year to go as you still have the heat but there is a light breeze which makes it feel just right and not too stifled. Our toor rep was helpful and we came back with really happy memories.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank LivingDaydream
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reinwand, General Manager at Jaz Makadi Saraya Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 18 September 2012

Dear Guests,
Thank you for choosing the Iberotel Makadi Saraya Resort to spend your holiday.

My team and I would also like to thank you for your critical and valued feedback. You have provided us with great motivation in our strive to continuously improve the service we offer.

This recognition directly influences our commitment to further improvements in 2012.

Once again, thank you for your visit to our hotel, and for your feedback.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 September 2012

Flying with Thomsons the flight was 5 ½ hours, Thomsons do not offer any inflight entertainment. It did not affect my family and I but families with younger children where not happy. I would advise that customers pack small games/books into there hand luggage to avoid bored children.
Also the food selection was very poor. Flying out to Hurghada was ok but the return flight was awful the only food that was available was soup. All tobacco and most of the cigarettes where sold out also.

Hurghada Airport is a military airport and Thomson/First Choice reps are not allowed to enter the airport. However they do employ a company called Travelco who direct you to outside the building where your rep will tell you which coach you need to get to your resort. Visas cost £13 and are compulsory (we where told by First Choice that we did not have to purchase them if we where not intending on leaving the resort!!)

Iberotel Makadi Saraya Resort
We arrived at the hotel approximately 9pm and what a welcome, a member of the management team and a guest relations rep greeted us at the lobby with a very warm smile and welcome. We where served a cold drink and then offered seats in the bar (just off the lobby) to be issued with wrist bands, room keys and a few basics about the hotel. We where shown to our rooms (luggage was sent ahead) we then went to the Sunflower restaurant that is kept open late for new arrivals. The meal was enjoyable and we where pleasantly surprised how friendly, polite and helpful all the staff where it instantly put us at ease.

The food in the Sunflower and Al Nakhil buffet restaurants hold themed nights (Italian, bbq, Egyptian, international, red sea, Arabic and gala). There is a wide range of food available (if you want “English” food stay in the uk), we tried several new dishes and there was always something to eat even for the picky eaters (meat/rice/potatoes/veg was available nightly).
They also have a separate kids buffet which caters more for the children (pizza, burgers, homemade chicken strips, chips etc).
The waiters and chefs where always clean, tidy and happy to help/serve you, the head chef was always around ensuring that the food was being replenished, tables where cleaned and reset, that staff where assisting guests in a friendly manner.
During the day the cabaret pool bar served snacks (burgers, hotdogs, fries, toasted sandwiches, chicken scallops) 12 til 4pm which where delicious, service was excellent and the waiters again where great you could not fault any of the restaurants.
We ate at the Le Grill restaurant and Makai Tukai (Chinese restaurant) the staff where equally as good as the staff at the buffet restaurants. We particularly enjoyed the Chinese food.

Throughout our stay guest relations asked regularly if we where happy and if not what was causing us any problems. They constantly strived to ensure that every thing was perfect. We filled in questionnaires, spoke face to face and even had the odd telephone call ensuring us that if we where not happy with something to let them know so they could rectify it.

Tipping- We did not at all feel at any time that we had to tip the waiters for a better service as some people have said in their reviews it is a load of rubbish. The staff where there to make your stay the best it could possibly be, we found that all they wanted was a smile or hello response to their friendly manner.

International guests where not a problem at all, quite friendly actually. Yes British guests where in the minority but the German, muslim and polish guests where all very nice. The Russians guests do not have any manners however but we did not let that bother us.

Entertainment - The Animation team are amazing especially Sam, Max and DJ Sam. The whole team work tirelessly to offer a full day of entertainment. It is not to everyone’s taste but if you do not want to join in then don’t, leave it to those who do.
The evening entertainment was ok mainly aimed at younger children. My 2 teenagers did not have a problem with this as we enjoy each others company, it is what you make it at the end of the day. Around 9.15pm there is a show of some sort until 10pm when the usual holiday dances are performed (these where great fun to watch and be a part of).

The water park was fantastic, the shuttle bus goes to and from the park all day (4mins to get there). The photographs in the brochure do not do it credit it was a fab day out, we went there several times. The food and drink there is unlimited as part of the all inclusive package. The life guards where very good at their job and again friendly and happy.

Upset Stomach
My daughter and I did have an upset stomach (but we suffer with this every holiday we have taken from Spain to the Caribbean). I cannot hold the hotel responsible for this at all, we took every precaution, I put it down to the heat.
However the pharmacy was very expensive and you had to go several times each time being offered something a little stronger. Fortunately for us a british family who visit the hotel every year gave us some tablets called Antinal which worked within 24 hours. Nothing I had with me from the uk worked at all (anti diarrhoea tablets or Imodium). The family told us that the pharmacy had stopped selling antinal because they where losing money selling antinal to guests as further visits where not necessary. We mentioned this to another british family who where suffering with their stomach and they went to the pharmacy and specified that they wanted antinal (nifuroxazide).

The rooms where very spacious, comfortable and clean, infact the whole resort was clean, presentable and there was a relaxed atmosphere.
The beach was a 4-5 minute stroll not a 15 minute hike as someone wrongly said. Food and drinks are available within the all inclusive package.
We will definitely be visiting the Saraya again very soon.
I think that all the staff at the Saraya work very hard and do an exceptional job at making your holiday an excellent one.
The guest relations team ask everyone through out the holiday if there are any problems we want to bring to their attention. So I find it unbelievable that people are whingeing on here. You should have told them while you where there what you did not like so they could do something about it.

Please feel free to email me if you want further details/advice

Room Tip: We asked for a quiet room (room 6104) it was perfect
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank jojo64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reinwand, General Manager at Jaz Makadi Saraya Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 18 September 2012

Dear Guests,
Thank you for choosing the Iberotel Makadi Saraya Resort to spend your holiday.

My team and I would also like to thank you for your critical and valued feedback. You have provided us with great motivation in our strive to continuously improve the service we offer.

This recognition directly influences our commitment to further improvements in 2012.

Once again, thank you for your visit to our hotel, and for your feedback.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2012

Have just returned from this hotel, and have just got to say what a great holiday it was , very relaxing and ,stayed in a junior suite room 6212

Pros:-

1 Food was great its a european style buffet plenty of salad and cakes and fruit and various meat dishes which i thourghly enjoyed it , if your a chips burger and bacon person then maybe you need to change your thinking, or have your next holiday in Benidorm, or stay away from this hotel because the food is really good the breakfast omlette was excellent and the chef in charge made what ever omlette you liked and then made it in to shapes for the kids .
The a'la carte retaurants were top notch the sofra being really good the sea bass and mixed grill were enough to make you burst the guy serving me even supplied me with heineken so he made my good books and a nice tip the other two makai tai and the grill were just as good if your on first choice they are free to use every night please use them they are usually empty and get some nice food served to your table t

2 Poolside was good , waiter service so good my glass of beer never got below a quarter empty before another one was given to me (thank you mohammed) and both the poolside bars were excellent

3 Staff what can i say very friendly helpfull and theres loads of them no complaints there

4 Room service was good, every day we got a different animal on the bed my daughter (6) loved coming back to see what they had made One day she was dissapointed that there was no animal to find that they had made a monkey on the mirror out of towels

5 Customer service they were always asking for feedback and whilst sitting by the pool area members of the management team would walk round and ask for your comments you did feel that they really listened(more of that in the cons)

6 Animation team they work hard my daughter went to the Sunny kids club and she made a money box and a necklace and the kids mini disco was great im still humming the songs., Again while your watching the kids have fun your fed drinks me and my better half had gin and tonics more like gin and a splash of tonic!!!!

7 Try the 4 island tour was good snorkeling in the red sea was this was amazing
8 Beach bar great and part of the all inclusive

Cons :-

1 Makadi bay is a bit new i know we was all inclusive but we both like to go to some different restaurants outside the hotel and there are non to try

2 The shop keepers on site were a pain, this hotel is trying to be a 5 star please can the traders stop acting like they are in a bazzar we were always accosted by them when going to mini disco.
The traders were never rude or offensive just annoying think they should realise that as europeans we would probably buy more if we could just look and see what was on offer also they were way over priced after a trip to Hurgharda we realised the perfumes were an extortionate price in the hotel (See Pros One of the things the management team dealt with was the traders and after complaining they resolved to do something about being pushy)

3 The WiFi its on a daily / minute basis and has to be paid for
I would like either unlimited for days purchased or buy minutes for an unlimited period not a major factor and it didnt detract from the holiday


On the whole a great Holiday no real issues food excellent, service beyond reproach no tummy upsets kids club excellent animation team really good thanks (shady)got a great tan came home relaxed

if you would like more information contact me on chris_uk10@hotmail.com

Not sure where some of these poor comments come from below they must have been in a different hotel from me, you will not be dissapointed , yes there is a lot of Russian/Polish/German folk as well as Egyptians French Swedish but it was no issue as far as i was concerned

Oh lastly thanks to Dan Jo and Owen (my daughters next Husband) along with Omar Uma and Jules for making the holiday so enjoyable

Regards Chris

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
14  Thank chris b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reinwand, General Manager at Jaz Makadi Saraya Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 19 September 2012

Dear Guests,

Thank you for choosing the Iberotel Makadi Saraya Resort to spend your holiday.

My team and I would also like to thank you for your critical and valued feedback. You have provided us with great motivation in our strive to continuously improve the service we offer.

This recognition directly influences our commitment to further improvements in 2012.

Once again, thank you for your visit to our hotel, and for your feedback.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 September 2012

We have just returned from in our view a nightmare of a holiday, and not one any of us would like to repeat, staying at the Saraya.
We were transfered to this hotel has our original booking to a new complex Tropical Splash Resort would not be ready in time, they bulled it up saying that we had been upgraded to a 5* complex.... Not in a million years was that a 5* star, I would say more like a 3* and that is being kind. For the whole holiday and that includes a four month old, we were ill with sickness and the other, the whole experience was a nightmare for us all, we went away for a holiday and came back worst.
The staff worked hard, but there were a few that were rude and tried to rip you off trying to charge you for things you did not need to pay for being all inclusive. We got endless members of staff asking us to exchange thier money into english, and there hand out waiting for a tip.
The rooms that our party stayed in were both below parr, and not at all looked like what was shown on the First Choice website. The air con in our room especially blew hot air instead of cool, so it was both 100 degree's both inside and out, asked on several occasions for it fixed with no joy.
We went to Sharm last year where the water park was on resort, this hotel thier water park is a five minute? bus ride away, be warned though the transport is less than perfect, in fact it is a little old rickity bus that they cram has many people onto it, to the point where you cannot breath... not the best experience. But to be fair the park itself is ok when you get there. It's just a shame it's not on resort at the hotel, would make it alot better.
The English are definatly the minority at this hotel, has we were told it is not designed for the english it is more for the germans and russians travellers, and you could see this where the food was concened, i am all for trying new foods from different countrys, but when you have a four year old, and other members of your group that a bit more selective in what they eat, it would be good to have to have a better range to cater for ALL who stay there.
We feel very dissapointed about the outcome of this holiday, for us it was the worst one all round from getting into the country, the hotel, and getting back out of the country back home again.
I just want to point out that this was our personal view of our holiday, we has a family had a terrible time and will never be going back to this hotel, three days on we are all still suffering from whatever we picked up over there, so the holiday to make us feel better and recharge our batteries, has on our return made us feel even worst that before we left, which i am sure you would agree is not the best outcome from any holiday.
Oh, and just to let you know that you need to buy a visa to get into this country, we were not informed of this by first choice and it was a dreadful shock when we had to pay £90 for visa's for our party when we arrived, not a good start....

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank ReaBrit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reinwand, General Manager at Jaz Makadi Saraya Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 4 September 2012

Dear Guest,

Thank you for choosing the Iberotel Makadi Saraya Resort to spend your holiday.

My team and I would also like to thank you for your critical and valued feedback. We are extremely committed to delivering the perfect holiday experience for each and every guest.

I do apologize that we didn't accomplish this for you and we welcome any suggestions for improving and developing our service.

Please contact me by e-mail klaus.reinwand@iberotelmakadisarayaresort.com in order to discuss your impressions in more detail.

Once again, I apologize for any inconvenience caused to you and I look forward to welcome you back to our hotel in the near future.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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