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“Thanks for a great week”

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Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas
Ranked #14 of 30 Hotels in Makadi Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Leeds, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Thanks for a great week”
Reviewed 13 November 2013

My daughter and I spent a fabulous week here at the end of October in the Fort Arabesque.

The weather was faultless wall to wall sunshine and not a cloud in the sky 30+ degrees every day it was great just what we needed.

Hotel was only 30% full so plenty of room on the gorgeous beach and round the pool area although the swim up bar is being refurbished so was closed.

A special thanks to the fab animation team Tito, Bavy, Samy, Bibo & Haisam who worked really hard to try to encourage the small number of guests to join in. The evening entertainment was good especially the show the animation team put on and the acrobats were great - then international dance show was terrible and needs to be replaced by the animation team doing there dance routines.

The beach, sea, coral & snorkelling was a good as in the Maldives - amazing !!!

We went on the Dolphin trip with the Idive centre and it was great actually saw dolphins & some beautiful fish.

Rooms were large & clean - and the room boys were excellent at making shapes out of the towels which my daughter loved.

Would I go back - yes definitely - had a fab week didn't want to come home.

Room Tip: Ask for a high floor for the best views - the west wing is the newest block
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Rachel T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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shropshire
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 November 2013

We were here as a family of five for two weeks at the end of october and loved every minute of or stay.
The thomson flights were on time and smooth and having travelled all over the world were really impressed at the speed in which we got through the airport and to our hotel, but it is very quiet at the moment.
We had emailed the hotel asking for high floor rooms in the west wing and indeed we were given these on arrival ( thankyou raymond ) The rooms are massive with two double beds, sofa and desk with chairs, Large shower room with loads of hot water and the most powerful shower i have ever had. Fresh towels every day and cleaned to a good standard aswell.
We ate in both the west and east wing restaurants food really good in both (typically egyptian AI )with so much choice, but we did prefer the west wing where the staff were brilliant, chefs and waiters a like , Beach bar snacks were nice and the kids loved the ice creams and slushies.
The hotel was really well spread out with beautiful grounds and because it was so quiet it sometimes felt as we had the place to ourselves which we loved as we are not the most sociable of families.
The animation team were really good not pushy but there if you wanted to join in with anything. The shows were not bad either, and sabry the singer in the sunset bar was so bad he was brilliant, We thought it was nice to chill there and see the saga guests having a dance.( who were all nice even though we had three teenagers with us.)Bob the waiter was especially good here. I must say the staff deserve a special mention as although egypt has troubles at the moment they were all very freindly and kind, Infact i have never left as much money in tips as at this place as there were so many fantastic people working here.
The beach is superb as is the snorkelling definately the best in the bay, but here lies my only gripe with this place and that is the people from other hotels coming to feed the fish and walk all over the corals, It seems now they have destroyed the reefs infront of there own hotels they think it is okay to do it in front of the fort. The beach boys and the saga guests ( the man with the pony tail especially) do there very best to try and stop this but it seems to me they are fighting a losing battle. It was heartbreaking to see and i would hate to be there if the hotels were busy. (rant over)
All in all we had one of the best holidays ever and loved everything about the fort, The only thing that would stop us returning here is the thought of seeing uneducated people blatently destroying the reef and feedind the fish shame on you !

Room Tip: West wing was the best
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank JayBrothersLimited14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 12 November 2013 via mobile

So hot lovely beach and pools ,lots to do for all ages ,amazing staff ,fantastic intertainment,it was bad intertainment at first because of the sea club but when the new team came it changed straight away.

Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Olivia A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newport, Wales, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 November 2013

Fort Arabesque

My husband and I stayed at Fort Arabesque all inclusive for 11 nights from September 23rd 2013 for our honeymoon.
It was our first time to Egypt and due to the trouble there during this year we were apprehensive but comforted by reading reviews on here to say the resort and surrounding areas were not affected. I would like to echo other reviewers in saying that there was no sign whatsoever of the trouble that has been televised.

ARRIVAL -
Our experience at Hurghada airport wasn't all too pleasant. Before leaving the airport there was a chaotic scram for a visa fee to be paid. They seem to accept a few forms of currency so luckily we weren't caught out but having been told from the booking agents in the UK that there is no sort of visa charge we were a little confused. Then after exiting the building there were a number of men trying to take our cases from us to our coach transfer to get a tip from us. They were not uniformed so not sure if they worked for any company. Thankfully we were given the heads up by a couple who had prior experience of this.
The transfer was about half an hour. Driving down the road into the resort we passed an area of rubbish and rubble which wasn't a great first impression but soon forgotten once in the resort, which is extremely well kept.

ACCOMMODATION -
At the time of booking a request was noted for a high floor with a sea view. An email was also sent by my husband repeating the request as it was a special occasion. However the first room we were shown to was ground floor at the edge of the complex with a very partial sea view if we stood at the end of the lawn. Although we appreciate not all requests can be met we were so disappointed with what seemed like one of the worst rooms being given to us. So we went to reception and were told quite frankly there were no other rooms available unless we paid to upgrade to a superior room. We found this hard to believe considering the low occupancy so after staying one night in that room, speaking to our rep, and a few phone calls from the UK to the reception, the next day we were given a 3rd floor room in the other wing which was not being used at the time. It was apparently also a superior room so we were a baffled as to why we couldn't stay in the same wing but be moved up a couple of floors.
But we were happy and could finally unpack and begin our holiday.
We also received a basket of fruit and a bottle of wine which was a nice and unexpected touch.
The room was cleaned daily by two friendly men who every day left a work of art on the bed using towels, pillows and our belongings, which gave us a chuckle. The fridge was stocked with water and juice cartons. There was a TV and hair dryer.
It was a comfortable stay.

FOOD & DRINK -
During our stay, breakfast, lunch and dinner were served in the main buffet restaurant and snacks were served a couple of times a day in the beach bar. Food was plentiful and there was a nice variety. Perhaps it could become a bit repetitive to some but we were satisfied and full up every day.
Drinks wise, I found it a bit limited. But I haven't stayed all inclusive before so maybe I had misconceptions of what would be on offer.
The staff in all food and drink areas were friendly and efficient, from the barmen, waiters, chefs and cleaner (the smiliest chap who greeted us every night going into the restaurant.) And every Thursday the chefs and waiters put on a pleasing cultural experience for the SAGA guests, which we enjoyed too :)
A special mention to Mohammed 'Tony' in the main restaurant who was our favourite; very attentive.

ENTERTAINMENT & ANIMATION TEAM -
There was entertainment every night in the sunset bar which was the same each night and seemed to be thoroughly enjoyed by the older, long term guests who were overall prioritively catered for throughout our stay. The younger generation are definitely a minority in this resort so if you are looking for a lively atmosphere or a bit of nightlife, I wouldn't recommend Fort Arabesque.
The nightly shows in the arena were very enjoyable though, there was traditional Arabic variety shows, African acrobats, and more.
Thank goodness for the animation team who absolutely put their all into interacting with and pleasing every guest. Without them it would have been quite dull. They are all great, intelligent guys who deserve all of the credit they get on here.
To Memo, Sammy, Tito, Mido and Haitham thank you for the laughs and all the best to you from 'Rambo' and wife.

BEACH, I-DIVE CENTRE & FACILITIES -
The beach was lovely, spacious and tidy. The sea was great, clean and a tepid temperature. I'm a bit fearful of the sea but the corals and fish were irresistible and snorkelling is a must! We spent hours most days observing the beautiful under water world.
We canoed one day with Memo but my fear of the sea got the better of me. But good to have them there to use as you like if confident to do so.
We went on the dolphin house trip with the i-dive centre. What an amazing experience! A full day at sea, watching wild dolphins, swimming with them, snorkelling at a number of reefs and relaxing on board taking in the sights. I opted out of swimming with the dolphins at the initial stop as I am not a strong swimmer and the sea was really rough. But once we had anchored up in calmer water the two groups of dolphins followed us and we were again offered to get in and swim with them. I felt the groups were too far for me to get to but Ali came back to the boat for me and dragged me out to catch up with them. What a breathtaking and quite emotional moment to be swimming with wild dolphins in the Red Sea. We bought the DVD of the day made by Ahmed and are so glad we have that to remember and share the experience.
A huge thank you to Ali, Ahmed Bond and all of the crew.
We didn't go to the spa but heard off other guests that the massages and treatments were great.
There was only one shop open whilst we were there. We bought our snorkelling gear in there and were ripped off and later bought snacks there but were more wise to the pricing and bartering. More shops were due to open.

MAKADI BAY -
I would say Fort Arabesque is located in the middle point of the bay. We walked along both to the left and right, along the beaches through the resorts which was interesting to see. Although be wary if you head to the right as you are very likely to be hassled by shop-keepers straight away.
The beaches are good and the weather is great, snorkelling is superb and its obviously a hotspot for diving.

HURGHADA CITY -
We booked a trip into Hurghada with our First Choice rep, Mina, who was extremely pleasant. It went on a Sunday afternoon into the late evening and started in Nefertiti Oil Factory which was good until the hard sell began. We then stopped at the Sheraton Hotel and a viewpoint before being dropped off in the main street. What a terrifying experience. As soon as we started looking around the shops we were overwhelmed by shopkeepers, beggars, locals. Some owners warned us of street children who stole from tourists. Some strangers claimed they were staff at Fort Arabesque and knew us as our all inclusive bands were a giveaway. Some locals were aggressive and we felt so targeted. I was clutching onto my bag the entire time. It was dark too which added to the intimidation. There was a worrying commotion in the street between locals and security and police. In the end we sought refuge in a Burger King, which ended up being the only thing we bought. When we got back on the bus we were informed that a few members of the group had been pick pocketed and mugged. How unfortunate. The rest of the trip was cancelled and we headed back to the resort. Despite the best efforts of the guide, it was an awful trip which I wouldn't recommend to anyone.

OVERALL -
It was our first but I wouldn't say our last visit to Egypt. It's a shame the damaging effects of the troubles to tourism out there. We would love to experience it better when things are settled and hope for the Egyptians sake that tourism is thriving again in the future.
As for the downsides such as the haggling and hassle, it was a spoiler. It's not enjoyable having to barter for absolutely anything and everything.

As a honeymoon, I wouldn't say Fort Arabesque was the most romantic destination but as a holiday it was great.
All of the staff were pleasant enough and are coping well, it can't be easy at the moment.
Again, the animation team are fantastic!
It's the ideal place to relax and unwind but also has enough to do to fill your time as little or as much as you please.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank ArronFrench
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Billericay, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 November 2013

We had a one week break at the hotel on an all inclusive basis in March 2013. We booked direct with the hotel over the internet and they arranged a private transfer from Hurghada airport to the hotel.
The hotel and our room were well appointed, and the buffet style restaurants (2) were clean and the food was more than adequate.
The beach and sunbeds / shades were lovely as were the two swimming pools.
For a value for money relaxing break, I highly recommend this hotel / resort

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Keith H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wirral
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 November 2013

Im not really one for all inclusive's but being a diver and after reading the reviews i thought i'd give this hotel a try and i must say i really enjoyed my stay !
The hotel and grounds are lovely and having walked around the bay it definately has the best beach ! Even if you dont dive the snorkeling is fantastic ! beautiful fish every colour imaginable, their is a house reef just off the beach.
I did a number of dives with the dive centre on the beach and the they were very professional and very friendly, my partner who does'nt dive did the "Discover scuba" about 45 euro and loved it, try it !!! and regarding the earlier review regarding the dive centre not being well advertised...i have to agree with the management it is very well advertised ! the dive team even have their own table as you go into the dining area with a big sign on it saying "Diving" hard to miss really.
The room was huge, two king size beds, lovely bathroom with a huge shower...room for two ;-)
The room was cleaned everyday and the mini fridge re stocked with juices, water and coca cola.
The food in the restaurant was really good and varied everyday, omelette bar for breakfast, my only complaint is it would be nice to have real fresh orange juice in the morning's at breakfast even if it meant putting a few pound extra on the price of my stay.
Memo and the rest of the animation team were fantastic, very friendly bunch of guys and always tried to include everyone but their was'nt any pressure.
After reading the last few reviews i think i have to mention that my silver & diamond ring went missing in the first few days of our stay, stuipidly i left it on the side in the room instead of putting it in the safe ! i did'nt mention anything to reception until we were checking out as i thought i may of come across it as we were packing, i searched everywhere in the room to no avail, im not saying it was stolen but it dissapeared so make up your own mind, so make sure you dont leave anything valuable out and if you leave valuables in your cases make sure they are locked.
Apart from the dissapearing ring my partner and i had a lovely stay at the Fort !
The staff are very friendly and always greet you with a smile and a hello.
I have rated the room service as terrible because of the dissapearing ring but apart from that the room was cleaned very well.

Room Tip: We stayed in 1109 which was on the ground floor, still had decent enough views of the sea and mounta...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank SeanB67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
wilts
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 October 2013

We are a couple in our 50s, and this was our first trip to Egypt, Fort Arabesque had been recommended by a holidaymaker we met in Mexico back in May, the reviews for the hotel were good, and it has a house reef, perfect,
We travelled Oct 18th for 1week with Thomsons (no Frills) flight from Gatwick - Hurghada 4hrs 38mins outward, 5hrs 10mins return,
Transfer 40mins
The hotel is spread out over a large area, in blocks with attractive gardens and walkways, inside the areas are spacious, with bars, restaurants, shops, & spa, (the pharmacy was due to open soon),

The rooms are large and cleaned daily, with good sized bathrooms, we upgraded to a seaview room and it was well worth it, initially we had a fly infestation, which was soon rectified by the cleaners rapid spray, the fridge is stocked daily with water and soft drinks, there is a fixed safe, hairdryer and toiletries.
(the cleaners do arrive early 8am)

There are lifts although ours was broken and out of use on our first day, not ideal for the less mobile

Food was good and varied, although the beach grill bar did get abit boring, chips chips and more chips, perhaps something to go with the salad would have been fine, and perhaps a smile from the lads plating up the food, yes I know its a grill!!!

The staff friendly

There were a number of pools, we didn't use them, but heard that they were very cold, one pool was closed due to maintenance work.

At the towel station its possible to book a sunbed, and they will deliver a cool box with iced drinks and fruit, along with an iced flannel,

The beach is set in a bay, with little waves, access into the sea is easy, once in, there are several sections of coral, and from here its easy to see an amazing array or fish, every time you enter you spot something different, the colours of the coral fabulous, snorkelling is a must even for the weakest of swimmers, the water stays quite shallow for about 20metres out, the clarity of the water is unbelievable, snorkelling gear can be bought quite cheaply in the bay.
the sun shades are huge and well spread out, the sand is coarse and I would advise wearing sea shoes into the sea and also on the beach.
music would start up about 10am from the hotel primalife next door, but all good fun.

There are activities if you want them, I joined several dance classes in the late afternoon.

Weather was 30plus with a slight breeze, so good sun protection is needed but ironically we never saw anyone that burnt, being late in the year sun does start to disappear at 4pm and most days dark by 5pm.

On our first day we used the hotel bikes and cycled right around the bay, at the back of the bay we saw shops restaurants and a pharmacy, it was fun, day 2 was different the security on the beach path of the Sunrise hotel were having none of it, and we were stopped,!!! it seemed a shame why have bikes at the Fort if you cant use them in the bay?

We did 2 trips during our stay the first to Hurghada with our own Driver, we did the Marina Mosque, fish market and Sheraton Street,
The 2nd to Paradise beach with Blue waves, it was sold as Mahmaya and 3 islands, we got 1 island, and 2 snorkelling drops out at sea, be sure to wear flippers and a life jacket, have to admit we saw more in the bay at the hotel than we did on our 7hour boat trip.

Mossies Yes!
Ladies pashmina for the evenings.
Dress code was relaxed during our stay
Tipping not that necessary until the end of your holiday.
Spa Excellent I had 3 treatment plus the use of the spa for £100
the 2 lads who gave us free massage on the beach, I cant speak highly enough of this pair, so polite and professional, and what great treatments, we shall miss them, well done!!

Now just one sad negative, we had a late check out of 6pm, I got up early and packed our cases, leaving them unfinished on the bed, when we returned from breakfast the room had been cleaned and the cases put on the floor, we then went to the beach until 4pm, the cleaners were back again at 5pm, which I thought was strange, why couldn't they wait until we vacated at 6pm?
Returning home I found my camera and mini binoculars missing from my packed case, I know for a fact that I packed them, I hope that they fell out and perhaps went under the bed, but I cant help thinking the obvious.!! so if you book into room 402 keep all valuables safe until you depart.

Despite my negative comment I wouldn't hesitate to return to this holiday, if like us you need desperately to recharge those batteries in some lovely hot sunshine surround by mountains in a lovely relaxed bay then think no further, and book today.!!!

Room Tip: Pay extra and book a sea view room, or villa if you are feeling flush!!
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank WiltsSonia
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:
#7 Spa Hotel in Makadi Bay
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Makadi Bay
#10 Family Hotel in Makadi Bay
#11 Romantic Hotel in Makadi Bay
#13 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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