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“An unbiased review..... Excellent.”

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Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas
Ranked #16 of 30 Hotels in Makadi Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“An unbiased review..... Excellent.”
Reviewed 12 June 2011

After reading a number of such vastly differing reviews on here, I thought I would write a review of my own for the first time to offer an unbiased and fair evaluation of this hotel. Hopefully a few people find this useful.

I’ve just returned from a week at the Fort Arabesque with the Mrs and it was excellent, I can’t fault the hotel in any area and would seriously consider going back. If you are looking for a relaxing week in the sun at a very nice hotel, I don’t think you have to look any further than this place.

I contacted the hotel prior to arrival to say it was the girlfriend’s birthday and ask if we could be put in a nice room. We arrived and they had my email there, they said it isn’t a problem to upgrade but they wouldn’t budge on making us pay for it! I said to just leave it, but I think they put us in an executive room anyway as the one we got was really good. Big bathroom, two double beds and a nice balcony.

The rooms are cleaned every day and the cleaners are very friendly, if you want a bit of a lie in put the ‘don’t disturb’ sign on the door as they can get to the room pretty early (9am is early for me). The rooms are always left very clean, the air conditioning is always on so they are very comfortable to return to and you always get a very interesting towel design on the bed.

I’m not a fussy eater but I also like to eat well, the food at the hotel is really good. We’ve done an all inclusive in Egypt before and there is no comparison with this place. The selection at breakfast, lunch and dinner is very good, I missed breakfast everyday due to my lie-ins but the little bar by the beach has snacks on till 12pm so I could have a pastry and a drink. For lunch and dinner you can choose from pizza, soup, fish, freshly made pasta, rice, beef, lamb etc.

There isn’t an a la carte restaurant but the hotel puts on different menu’s you can get involved with three times a week. We joined in for the lobster night and the BBQ, both were really good, the lobster night especially (only about £17 each). You can also walk down the beach for about twenty minutes into a little town centre and go to a restaurant called The Grill, we went twice.

The beach is very clean and its quite lively, water aerobics, different water sports and obviously snorkelling so you won’t be stuck for stuff to do. The pools are also nice, one with a swim up bar and all that so if you get sick of the beach the pools are good too.


I honestly couldn’t complain about a thing here. The only thing I would mention is that there aren’t that many young couples or families here, it is predominantly older couples in their 40’s, 50’s and beyond! The hotel gets a lot of repeat visits from these couple in their 60’s and beyond and they absolutely love the place, some people we spoke to were on their 5th and 6th visits! That is why a lot of reviews on here call it paradise, it isn’t paradise but it’s very good!

As for the reviews on here saying they wouldn’t go back or they gave it one star as a plug socket was broken etc etc, I honestly think they were staying at a different place. Take no notice of these reviews.

If you are after a relaxing holiday, guaranteed sunshine, good food and lots of different things to do, go to this hotel as it is excellent.
Tips:
1) Don’t buy the snorkelling kit, you can hire it for 9 Euros for three days.
2) Go on the Blue Lagoon boat trip, takes you out for around two hours and its very good.
3) There is a gym at the hotel which is pretty good actually, good free weights section and a couple of benches. But you have to pay 20 euros for the week. It works out as a good thing really as it means it isn’t over-crowded and full of kids messing about.
4) The girlfriend had a spa treatment and loved it, the spa is relatively new and is really impressive. If you want a couples massage thing or whatever I would imagine it is very good.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
26 Thank Dougal1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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york
Level Contributor
19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 June 2011

We stayed at the fort from 17th May-31st May, from arrival to departure all the staff at the hotel were very attentive and helpful nothing was too much trouble, it probably helped that hotel was only half full so staff werent overstretched. The room was spacious & kept spotless by our cleaner, we were on the ground floor and had good views over the bay from our veranda. The food was varied and of a very reasonable quality, we used to have breakfast & lunch in the main buffet & our evening meal in the saga block as it was quieter & more pleasant this was some of the best food we have had in Egypt at all inclusive hotels. On the last evening we treated ourselves to the lobster meal at the a la carte at the beach bar I would highly recommend this excellent value for money & an excellent meal. Service in the bars was very good and the drinks fine the only slight niggle was the fridge in the bar at the saga block was not working right so the beer was warm (warm stella is not nice). The entertainment as previous reviewers have noted is poor, the animation team are only interested in the Italian guests & they tended to ignore the Brits & Germans. Singer in the saga bar left a lot to be desired but at least he tried to entertain everybody & there was a good atmosphere in here. We went on 2 trips with the Idive people on the beach, excellent value snorkelling trip was £25 cheaper per person than Thos Cook & included 2 snorkelling stops, lunch & soft drinks on board & a stop on a beach, as a bonus we even came across some dolphins great value at £30. We also booked a 3 hour afternoon trip for £15 each this was on a glass bottom boat & included a couple of fishing stops, as well as snorkelling as there was only the 4 of us on board had the boat to ourselves. The hotel has a beauty salon you will see Sami on the beach selling pedicures, haircuts etc this & the hotels spa & massage parlour are very good having used both I would highly recommend them. If you want a camel ride go & see Romuo at the sunrise next door (next to the Idive centre). The Thos Cook rep did not seem interested in anyone after the welcome meeting, whilst reps from all the other tour firms would wander round the beach etc to make sure their guests were ok we never saw her & when we passed her several times in the hotel she would just blank you. Got more feedeback from Thomson rep. All in all an excellent holiday, yes hotel is looking a bit tired but staff make up for this, would I go back ,yes would I recommend it,yes

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank sjl99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ashford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2011

We went to Fort Arabesque from 13 May to 27th May. I could not fault this hotel. The best bit is the beach, lovely and sandy, gently shelving and house reef to snorkel It is the best beach in Makadi Bay, it has plenty of sunbeds never need to be up early! You can walk into the sea and snorkel just literally a couple of feet out and there are plenty of fish to see, you will not be disappointed with the beach or snorkelling at the Fort Arabesque.
Just forgot the other best bit was there were no Russians at this hotel (apparently they will not have them here!). There was an even mix of English, German and Italian and I thought this worked well and everyone is very friendly. The Hotel has a lovely atmosphere to it and many people return here year after year.
In Makadi Bay you can walk through from one hotel beach to another, but beware some people think they can come through to the Forts beach and make it their home! Anyone is allowed to snorkel and swim at the beach but they are not allowed to camp out and lay their towels on the sunbeds or place all their bags and paraphranalia on the beach. The security guys at the beach are great and do inform visitors of the rules. Another rule is no feeding of the fish or walking on coral, it still amazes me that people still defy the rules,so please report people to security that do this as we want to preserve it for years to come.
Food was great plenty to eat. I ate everything and anything and did not suffer from any tummy troubles at all. The fresh carved meats/fish are the best, as is the egg man at breakfast. Soups are really tasty and the fruit juices in the morning are delicious.
We ate mostly at the new block/Saga as it seemed a bit quieter and more personal and we also preferred the entertainment in that block too, people up dancing and singing it was great. We met many lovely friendly people and we had a great laugh together..
The gardens are really well cared for and lovely to walk around.

We sometimes walked around the bay in the evenings, you can walk right round the bay for about 1 hour, we managed to make it to the Azure I think its called, quite a trek.
We hired out bikes (free to hire near the towel station by the main beach bar) they were a bit rattley but great fun to ride round Makadi Bay.
We also went out on the canoes/Kayaks (free to hire by the Windbreaker beach bar) also went out on the Catamaran (free to go on by the Windbreaker beach bar)
Our room was huge, one king size bed and one queen size. Sofa, table and chairs and coffee table. The mini bar/fridge is stocked daily with soft drinks/water/fruit juices, just put your order each day on the order form (all free with all inclusive) We were on the ground floor with terrace balcony and only a few yards to the pool and the beach. The rooms and around the hotel and gardens were spotless, couldnt fault the cleanliness.
The bars and beach bars all have fridges/freezers and you can help youself to soft drink/juices/beers . lots are branded, cans of pepsi, diet pepsi,sprite etc. Ice lollies help yourself, apple ones with ice cream centre and choc ices on stick type yummy on a hot day.
The staff were brilliant and couldn’t do enough for you. Every day we had an assortment of towel sculptures, everything from a scorpion to a crocodile!! The staff never hung about for tips and you never felt obliged to tip either, so no pressure! We found the service from everyone the best we have known and tipped at the end of our stay. There is also a post box at the reception to leave tips in an envelope anonymously, and this is shared out between al the staff too.

Weather was getting very hot as we left, you will not need a cardi !! Guaranteed sun every day what more could you ask for.
We took a trip booked with Thomson to Luxor one day trip to Valley of the Kings, Karnak etc, great trip but be advised it is hotter there than Makadi Bay.

Makadi bay is fairly quiet at the moment and some of the hotels are under occupied, we heard that a couple had partly closed, there is also not much to do in the evenings outside of the hotels, not many shops, don’t think there are any bars or restaurants, we didn’t see any maybe an odd restaurant? Etc, quiet and relaxing, so this is an ideal time to go, as no large crowds of people.

In my opinion the pictures on the websites of Fort Arabesque do not do the hotel justice it is sooooo much better when you are there.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank Jurran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Eastleigh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2011

We stayed at the Fort from 10th to 20th May. I cannot see why so many negative reviews.
ROOMS: the standard rooms are enormous, two queens, table and two chairs, sofa and coffee table + balcony table and chairs.
FOOD: We found the food to be of a very good standard. We've had a worse and better but there was penty to chose from. My son is VERY fussy and he found plenty to chose from and didn't starve! Don't forget they have got to cater for different nationalities. REMEMBER this is a Muslim country so you will not find any pork products.
BARS and DRINKS: We found these to be fine-big measures of sprits, not branded but good.
HOTEL GROUNDS: Kept spotless and although large, easy to find your way around.
STAFF: Great staff. Treat them with respect and they will look after you. They are not looking for tips all the time. Just reward them at the end of your stay if you wish.
BEACH: the best bit of beach in Makadi Bay. They must have 2/3rds of it!
ENTERTAINMENT: Not that good. This what lets the hotel down. The entertainment team is Italian and they were only interested in the Italian guests.For example, we went to the evening show and they were doing a prize raffle. All the winners were Italian as none of the other guests, including the German, Dutch, French and English were offered the chanct to participate. There must have been a few complaints because over the last few days of the holiday they were interacting with guests from other nationalities. The Leader of the team seemed to have dissappeared and a new guy took over.
All in all it weas a most enjoyable holiday and we plan to go back next May and take my other two sons and their young families to celebrate our 40th wedding anniverary.
If you have any questions please ask.
FINAL NOTE: VISAS: We paid only £10 each (depends on the exchange rate). When you enter the arrivals buiding you will see blue shirted guys holing up name placards. They give the impression they are working for the Tour operators. They are not. They will guide you other desks and it will cost you more. Representatives from the tour operators are not allowed in the building as it is a military airport. When you enter look to your left and you will see what looks like bank kiosks. Go there and save yourself some money. we saved a fiver each!
I will try and add some photos later.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
14 Thank brian4951
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Yorkshire
Level Contributor
149 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 May 2011

Just arrived home yesterday after a wonderful month, just perfect. We arrived on the 26th April until the 24th May 2011. This was to celebrate my husbands 70th Birthday, wow, what a day he had, lots of surprises, thanks to Pam our Saga Rep and of course the Hotel. A big thank you to all.
We requested a ground floor room as my husband uses a wheelchair.
Our room was great, near pool, lounge, bar and restaurant so only needed chair for beach, beach restaurant and shops. It really made a world of difference to both of us.
Waiters in restaurant and pool bar were just super, couldn't do enough for us, the young man who looked after our room was so good, kept the room so clean and fresh, left lots of towel sculptures, the one for my husbands birthday was awesome.
The food was excellent, hot, cooked well and tasty. Soups were always hot and delicious, loved the Sea Bass, Beef and Chicken. Our special Gala Dinner was wonderful, great food and great company, again, thanks Pam.
There a whole month and fit and well all the time, no upset tummy, I ate well, drank a little, mainly juice and the odd brandy with coffee or hot chocolate, of course water and stayed in the shade most of the time. I admit I have been ill when in Egypt before, but I am truly happy to say that this time all was perfect. Looking forward now to our visit with our son, daughter in law and 2 grandsons on the 26th July 2011, praying that I will be ok then too.
Most people used the hand cleaner on entering the restaurant, used tongs provided for bread and cakes, did see some not using tongs but most did. Everything was kept fresh and clean, everyone provided first class service.
Now I would like to say a Special Thank You to Pam, our rep for Saga, Mohamed and George in the Restaurant, chefs and Head Waiters. Maged our barman in Saga Lounge, Wallide in Sunset Bar and Head Barman too, sorry no name.
It was good to meet everyone, Head Chef and of course the Manager, everyone was kind and friendly. This was our first time with Saga, but 3rd time in all, as I said, now looking forward to our 4th visit in July and maybe even later in the year.
If anyone would like any info, please contant me, only too pleased to help.
Thanks again, see you all soon, a special Thank You to Stephanie.
Met some great people, hi to Sandra and Howard, Christine, Bobby and Chris, Alan and Sue and Mick and Joan, David, Steve, thanks too to David and Steve for all your help at the Airport on our return.

Room Tip: All rooms look great
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank yorkshirerose1942
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 May 2011

Stayed at 'The Fort' last year ( reviewed on here) and was so looking forward to returning for a few weeks R&R.

Hotel was a bit quieter, but not too much, and everything was pretty much to the same standards as last year, except for the food.

I don't know if they have a new chef or what, but the food seemed constantly over salty, warm - not hot, very samey and no imagination used. The salads were bland with little or no variety. I did wonder if it was just me, but many, many fellow repeat guests were saying the same thing.....so we can't all be wrong!

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank dmoak66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
notts
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 May 2011

We booked with Thomas cook for a week at Easter at the Fort Arabesque, we flew from manchester which, this time, was quite stressfull , in my opinion its quite a confusing place for the unaquainted! and on top of that I realised at the check in desk that we only had 15kg of baggage allowance (when did that change?), anyway the flight was the usual cramped affair and no entertainment because of a policy change?! come on Thomas Cook, its a 5 hour plus flight. The Fort Arabesque is a good hotel, its clear that it has been around for a few years and is a bit jaded in places lets just say. We were allocate a room and the bell boys duly transported our luggage to it...room 154 , please avoid it ! it was very old, dirty, plaster coming off the walls, bathroom was smelly and rickety in every way, I wouldnt even give this room 2 stars, so...back to reception and without quibble we were allocated room 2209 in the newer block, perfect! this was an excellent room to a standard you would expect. Im not sure but it looks like all of the rooms to the left of reception are in the old block. The staff at the hotel are freindly and welcoming, the food is good and a good variety, although in my opinion, not as good variety as we have had before in egypt. They have certainly 'cracked ' the all inclusive drinks thing- you are not required to queue at the bar , they have canned cold drinks in fridges in the bar areas for you to take as you wish, these are branded soft drinks and local beer which is very good. The hotel pools are good and we never had to search around for sun loungers either by the pool or beach. The beach is great, plenty of space etc, the snorkelling is the best I have ever seen, you need to wade out about 20 feet from the shore then the coral reef drops off about a 6 foot drop, the fish are amazing- don’t miss this. The holiday was good in general , in so far as tour operators go, I would probably stick to Thomsons as opposed to Thomas COOK who seem to want to do everything on the absolute cheap, I wont be travelling with them again. By the way, the entertainment was surprisingly ok for Egypt!!

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NottsDigger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas

Property: Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas
Address: Safaga Road | Abu Makhadeg Bay, Makadi Bay, Hurghada, Egypt
Region: Egypt > Red Sea and Sinai > Hurghada > Makadi Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#8 Spa Hotel in Makadi Bay
#10 Family Hotel in Makadi Bay
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Makadi Bay
#11 Romantic Hotel in Makadi Bay
#15 Luxury Hotel in Makadi Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas 4*
Number of rooms: 458
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa, & Villas promises tranquilityand opulence with its 444 luxurious rooms, suites, privateapartments and 14 newly built villas.Four dining venues, five swimming pools, including a children's pool(three of which are heated), a state-of-the-art gym, world class Thai managed Spa and sports facilities as well as I-Dive, a five-starIDC PADI dive center, guarantee a fun and unforgettable hotel experience.Inspired by the Sardinian roots of its architects, FortArabesque Resort & Spa combines distinctive Italianand Arabic accents in its architecture, from its imposingmedieval fort structure to its interior touches and décor,where the different shades of Egyptian cave stones fromAswan blend with the antique fine wood furnishings oforiental designs.We would like to introduce our new concept as well, which is unique in Egypt.Nestled within the Fort Arabesque resort, The Villas offer its guests luxurious accommodation, space and privacy in addition to a more personal and dedicated service. Each of the 14 Villas (8 units with 1 bedroom + 1 bathroom, 6 units with 2 bedrooms + 2 bathrooms) is tastefully decorated to reflect the mix of Arabic accents and Mediterranean influences of the Fort Arabesque Resort. All units have private garden and terrace with private access to a secluded swimming pool exclusive to The Villas. To ensure a fast and efficient service, the check-in is done through a private reception. The residents also have access to the Pavilion which is a private lounge where the villa guests can enjoy a semi-served upgraded breakfast in the morning. For lunch and dinner time the Pavilion functions as an A’la Carte Restaurant, giving the opportunity to enjoy a fine dining experience. The extra benefits of the Villa Guests include free Wi-Fi, free Gym usage and various discounts in the different outlets of the hotel.Guests at The Villas are free to use all the facilities and enjoy the same ‘all inclusive’ benefits at the resort with quick access to the main restaurant and the beach as well. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Fort Arabesque
Fort Arabesque Makadi Bay
Fort Arabesque Hurghada

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