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“Excellent would go back”

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Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas
Ranked #14 of 30 Hotels in Makadi Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 4 December 2012 via mobile

We stayed in a 2 bed villa room would recommend to anyone was worth the extra money. The pavillion food amazing up graded breakfast omelettes fried, boiled scrambled eggs, fresh fruit juices etc. rooms very spacious and clean. Beach excellent, weather fantastic especially for late November. Only downfall mosquitoes were out in force. But all rooms had raid diffusers. Mini fridge in living area and bedroom replenished daily

  • Stayed: November 2012
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1  Thank Krazie7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 4 December 2012

We travelled to Fort Arabesque in the middle of November for one week. It was our third visit. On the previous 2 visits we would have rated this hotel as 5 stars.

On arrival we were quickly shown to our room in the main part of the hotel. This was on the 4th floor with a balcony and a great view. The room was a good size but in need of updating particularly in the bathroom. The shower was in poor condition although fully working.

We always ate in the main hotel restaurant. This opened at 6-30 and quickly filled up. We decided that the best time to eat was around 8. More tables were available then. However on a few occasions there was a problem getting the staff to set the table up for you. We had to ask repeatedly for a knife and fork etc. Very quickly staff would start setting vacant tables up for the following mornings breakfast even though the dinner was officially available until 9-30. This could make the meal feel somewhat rushed.

At the food serving areas there was a good choice and it was well cooked but again this kept going wrong as the serving dishes kept emptying and then a queue would form waiting for certain things. You could find yourself with some chicken but having to wait 5 minutes for some vegetables and another 5 for some potatoes, end result a cold meal. It is possible that this added to the problems with illness that some guests were suffering us included. This was the first time on any foreign holiday we had been ill and my partner fell ill twice.

There is an Italian entertainment team present in the hotel. I think it is fair to say that nothing they do translates into anything most British guests would consider to be entertainment. I actually joined in the beach volleyball. After a slow start interest started to grow and we got to 5 on each side, at which point the entertainment man shouted finish and took the ball back to the office? There is a large theatre and on some nights professional acts visit. The Chinese circus was very good, but again the team are always available to spoil it. One night was described as variety night which consisted of the man from the dive centre giving an on stage advert in Italian for 15 minutes. There was a girl who sang live all night in the lobby bar who was very good. Additionally every night in what is locally known as the saga block a singer sang live. On one night he was joined by another lady who was very good. Why not let the singers sing in the theatre and let those who wanted to dance without the entertainment team spoiling it?

Some reviews have said that the hotel has cut back by getting rid of some of the gardeners and not fumigating the insects. While we were there many gardeners were working hard and the hotel looked beautiful. Also fumigation took place on some evenings.

The beach is the main attraction with Fort arabesque. That was cleaned and swept every evening. Within 15 minutes of going into the sea on the first day I had the opportunity to join a turtle for a swim.

Sorry this review is not 5 stars again but its important to be fair. One star down for the food and illness problems and one down for the useless entertainment team and tatty room. Easy problems to solve, so come on Mr Manager sort out the problems and get the hotel back to 5 stars.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank dhp124
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 November 2012

Hello,
I was staying with a friend for a week. The beach was probably the best in the bay. The food was very various. Inspite of me not eating salads and creams I got a diarrhoe.It was very unpleasant. The aegyptian medication helped,but I had problems even a weak after. Nonetheless the stay was very nice, my friend got every day a new origami,the stuff understood german very good. The entertaining programm was mostly in Italian,but they also told it in german or english. The room was clean,every day new sheets and towels. I appreciated peace in the night without loud programms and neighbours.

Room Tip: I think it´s just OK to book a normal room.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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1  Thank Ariel2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 November 2012

Second time to this hotel and will be back next year. If you love snorkelling and the beach this is the hotel for you. This year we even saw turtles, The Moray eel was huge and was in same patch of coral most days. From hotel you can walk all around the bay and see the other hotels which is why I know it is the best location. Food is good and can always find something you like. Always a pasta station and pizza. This hotel only seems to have english german and italian, no russians.

Room Tip: The new wing which sage use is probably the best, having said that All are good.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with friends
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4  Thank neighboursKent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 November 2012

We have recently returned from a holiday at Fort Arabesque. This is the first time we have visited this hotel/resort and we were extremely pleased with all aspect of our stay. The beach is excellent and access to the coral reefs is the easiest we have encountered in Egypt. Even the most inexperienced snorkeller would not encounter problems: coral starts quite close to the shore, with much deeper areas beyond. The variety of marine life was absolutely superb. The hotel was excellent. Our room was in the older area and perhaps slightly 'tired', but was huge and had all the amenities we could have required. The food was very good (this has not always been in the case, in otherwise good hotels in which we have stayed in Egypt). Evening 'entertainment' is always very limited (or non existent) in Egypt. Fort Arabesque Red Rock Bar, however, had a resident female singer, who was very good, had a wide and varied repertoire of songs, and was fluent in a number of languages. The 'idive' centre was excellent and the staff professional. We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday and will have no hesitation in recommending it and to returning again.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank D E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 November 2012

Departure Date 12th October
Tour Operator: Thomson

Sorry for the full review but I hope it will be useful for those who haven't been to Fort Arabesque or this area of Egypt before.

Firstly Thomson flights, don't expect any luxuries. These are basic flights, no movies, music or meals. You can purchase drinks and food from the Bistro menu onboard. I must compliment the cabin crew for their friendly and professional approach, you are looked after well.

On arrival be prepared to be hurd like cattle through the airport as you'll need to buy a visa on arrival in the terminal. You can pay Sterling or Euros, cost is around £26 for two visas. If flying Thomson you're meet at the terminal by staff and ushered to the desk to pay. Then collect your luggage, get the visa checked...again and then it's off to the coach for your 25 minute transfer. Talking of coach the driver wanted £1 a bag to put it in the hold of the coach......this is where the tipping starts, it's the culture in Egypt and not reading about it in any previous reviews we were really surprised about how forward they are about asking for money.

Check in was quick and simple with a welcome soft drink. Reception will keep your passports until you collect them again. We were shown to our room and noted that we had been upgraded to a newer superior room at no extra charge however the view wasn't what we had booked. Thomson say that every room in this hotel has a sea view but they do not, some rooms have side sea views and the only way to see the sea is to sit up one end of the balcony (which isn't comfortable) We went back down to reception nicely and calmly to ask if we could have a room with a sea view (just as we had booked)but they didn't have any available that night, we had to move the following day. We moved the following day to a standard room with a sea view. The rooms are a little tired but are more than adequate as a base. Be aware there are no tea and coffee making facilities in the room unless you hire a kettle from reception. (Or bring your own travel kettle and mugs etc) There is a mini bar in all rooms however its soft drinks only, 2 cokes, 2 waters, 2 cartons of juice. Air con worked well if not a bit noisy but you can't have it all!

OK onto the restaurants. Choice of two, first on in main lobby area, second in the new block (also known as the Saga building) by the way it's called the Saga building as Saga Holidays have a lounge inside for their guests.

Both restaurants are find a vacant table (some will be laid, some wont) sit down and the waiters will come over and get your drinks. Then you can go up and choose from salads, soups, mains inc. a pasta chef and desserts. Breakfast you can go to the egg station and order fried, omelette etc. You certainly won't go hungry but be prepared to try local Egyptian dishes. They also do have an air of 'Canteen' about them. Service in the two restaurants is also different. The main block caters for all gusts and is more relaxed and not as attentive. The new block Resturant caters for the more senior guests. Service is more attentive and professional in this Resturant.

If you like your coffee in the morning then be aware you have a choice of instant packet or 'American' coffee from an earn.

The beach is great but Unfortunately the sun bed towel reservation starts at 6am....yes 6am. There are around 3 rows of sun beds along the beach and as long as you're not fussy where you go then we always found a space, if you want the first two rows then be prepared to get up at 6! There is lots of shade as all sun beds have a hard standing umbrella, you can hang your snorkel kit or wet swim kit on a piece of rope that hangs from the umbrella. Bring a couple of pegs in your suitcase, they would be really handy!

Locals say Fort Arabesque has the best beach in the area and you can instantly see why. As per other reviews, gentle slope, no waves, crystal water and reefs steps away from the beach with lots of fish. You can hire mask and snorkels from the iDive centre at the end of the beach for around £2 a day. Its good kit and friendly staff. One thing to note the beach does have small flys which come and go throughout the day so take some inspect repellent with you. We saw a couple of Italian guests with fly swats!

This is a more mature hotel for couples or people who like it quiet. Not a lot for kids here. It does have a play area and small kids club but that's all I spotted.

We didn't go to any shows so can't comment. We would grab a drink at the bar after our meal and head back and chill out on the balcony. Drinks from the bar are triple measures if you have local spirt and beer is Egyptian larger.

We did go to Makadi Bay Water Park which was a great day out. It's also one of the best I've seen for kids. There is a huge good choice of flumes some are rubber ring based single and double and the fast tubes you pick up a matt. You don't have to hire the tubes just pick them up at the bottom of the ride and put them back when you've finished with them. Basic food and soft drinks are included in the entrance price or take your own along. One word of advice here is to wear sea/surf or jelly shoes. The ground gets really hot as there isn't alot of shade when walking. Sun beds again have shade. There are no lockers so don't take valuables with you just leave your bags at your chosen sun bed. We also did the Dessert safari and star excursion which is a great afternoon out. Be prepared for fast, bumpy dessert driving but with some great views. (Not for the faint hearted).

Back to the hotel......Smoking is common in all communicable areas of the hotel including reception, the main lobby Resturant, all bars and even the staff whilst they are working.

The gardeners start early in the morning, we were woken up at 7.15 with a mower outside our room!

Overall Fort Arabesque offers everything you need for a week away especially if you like snorkelling and guaranteed sunshine but don't expect 4 star service. Attention to detail is lacking here. Tipping is expected even the cleaners were standing waiting outside our room whilst we finished packing and checking out (waiting for a tip). Thomson Reps Issra and Mohamed did an excellent job.

Overall a nice break and a good first visit to Egypt but we wouldn't return.

Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
6  Thank wiskeyboo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 November 2012

If you like a good beach,then Fort Arabesque is the only place to stay in Makadi bay. While you are there please check out the diving centre "idive". I learnt to dive there at the age of 62 and last week complete 52 dives.The diving is fantastic, from learners to the most experienced. They also have equipment for non divers to hire,such as wet suits, snorkels,fins and masks. I think its 3 euro per day for a wet suit. They are fully covered by Dan Europe insurance. They are great people,so go and say hello.

Room Tip: Go for a high floor, for a great sea view. There are some new villas,if money is not a problem
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  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank terence i
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

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:
#7 Spa Hotel in Makadi Bay
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Makadi Bay
#9 Family Hotel in Makadi Bay
#11 Romantic Hotel in Makadi Bay
#13 Luxury Hotel in Makadi Bay
Price Range: £59 - £120 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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