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“A Mixed Bag”

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Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas
Ranked #16 of 30 Hotels in Makadi Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Fleet, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“A Mixed Bag”
Reviewed 28 May 2014

We stayed here in May 2014, and found it to be a mixed bag.
Firstly, it provides good value for money, and enjoys an excellent location. The grounds and beach are first class, and, as many on here say, the coral reef in front of the hotel is a great place to snorkel.
We booked a villa, and were upgraded to a double one on arrival. The advertised private check-in did not occur, and the guy on reception was unsmiling,curt and unwelcoming and didn't mention anything about an upgrade. However, the villa was spacious and well appointed and nicely air conditioned - which was important as it was around 36C outside every day. The mini bar was welcome too, although it was stocked with only water and soft drinks. Would putting a couple of beers in there really wreck the all-inclusive hotel budget?
The villa was really in need of a deep clean, there was a lot of grime in the place, and despite mentioning it, it remained (if the management want to verify, check out the stairway in villa 14). The area must be a very dusty one, the furniture outside our villa was covered in yellow sand-dust which marks your clothing if you sit on it. It was not cleaned during our weeks stay. Our private villa pool was cleaned daily and is a great feature for this type of accommodation.
The hotel food is perfectly acceptable for a buffet-type operation, with reasonable variety and consistent quality. The service was variable, however - from extremely friendly and attentive to entirely disinterested silence. The West Wing restaurant was far better in this respect, perhaps the Saga-effect? The Pavillion breakfast for villa-dwellers was very good, and the service here excellent.
Although the resort was about half empty, the bar service in the main bar in the East Wing (Red Rock bar) was very poor. Several times we waited about 20 minutes for a waiter to approach us for pre-dinner drinks, and on a number of occasions I went inside to get my own drinks and some for other guests sitting near us, who found that very amusing! On explaining this to the barman, he argued that he HAD been serving outside!
The al a carte restaurants made a nice change from the buffet, but had very limited dish choices. the Lebanese grill was about the pick of them - it was very good.
All in all, we had a nice week there and found it quite good value for money, but it was a curious mix of standards. Still, the beach and snorkelling made up for the deficiencies!

Room Tip: Pay a little extra fro a villa, it is worth it for the extras.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Hantstraveller051
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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UK
Level Contributor
29 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2014

Just returned from a week at the Fort Arabesque resort in Makadi beach Egypt. We were lucky enough to be staying in a two bed Villa. This was very spacious and well designed. Very quiet too. It could have been cleaned a bit better; ie the stairs were very dusty and the rug in the lounge didnt look as though it had been cleaned for a long time. But everyday it was serviced and clean towels, minibar(s) replenished and very inventive towel sculptures on the bed The swim up pool is lovely. Large enough for a good swim and very private too. Our pool was shared with three other villas, but as we were at the end (No 14) we had it to ourselves most times. Water up to 30 degrees!. The extras provided to Villa guests are good: the Pavilion for breakfast is excellent. There is a lovely serene atmosphere here and the waiters are well trained, polite and attentive. Food superb. We ate dinner here on the last night, lovely. We also had a free Lebanese meal in the Grill Restaurant.
Generally: the approach to the hotel looks like you are entering a prison! a bit scary, but once inside the general areas are spacious and not busy when we were there. The grounds and swimming pools are really lovely. Buffet food is a bit samey. But always something nice to eat. They also have stations where a chef is preparing something different ie pasta or filled rolls for lunch. You have to ask sometimes to get the fruit replenished. Some of the waiters have a smile and a joke for you, but most of them dont speak to you or look away and speak to someone else while they are serving you. I think they need re-training. We also had to wait a long time at the Red Rocks bar to be served in the evening, even though there were hardly any customers. The Lebanese meal in the Beach Grill Bar was very good, the setting here is lovely, right on the beach. We also ate here for the seafood night. The chairs are plastic on the terrace, but that is because they are near to the beach. It was a bit dark to see the food, but it tasted lovely! We went to the West wing for lunch a few times, a bit of a calmer atmosphere here. Entertainment is OK, but nothing to write home about. Not busy, so lots of unoccupied seating. Did a mildly active aqua fit class one day and there are other activities going on if you like. Clean fresh beach towels and lots of beds too. Not much need to pay for the cool box etc as everything is nearby. We went on the 2 hour snorkeling trip with Nazeh Mohamed ( nazehmohamed22@yahoo.com). This was excellent. He went out of his way to help us to enjoy the trip, asked us where we would prefer to swim and even made us hot Egyptian tea afterwards- lovely. Much recommended trip. We saw rays, beautiful corals and lots of lovely colourful fish. He brought us back close to the shore to show is another reef.
Lots of shops, pharmacy, Dr. Beauty room - I had a facial (painful threading experience!) but I didn't use the Spa or the gym. They walk along the beach every day trying to sell you treatments, trips etc. There are cycles to use free of charge.
In all this was a lovely all inclusive break and we managed to get it at a very reasonable rate: make sure you shop around the internet for a good deal, some sites were twice as expensive for the normal rooms!
I think we will go back as its more or less guaranteed sunshine.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Sal06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
Level Contributor
113 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 May 2014

I have just returned from my third trip to Fort Arabesque and am already planning the 4th !!! While the bed's in the room may be a bit on the hard side and spme the sunloungers could do with a referb. the hotel itself has a very commanding position on the bay, it has the greenest and best gardens and the food never fails to please, while the beach has the best off beach snorkeling I have ever found..

The staff are a credit to the hotel and are both friendly and helpful.

I would not hesitate to recommend the hotel and when we next go we shall be taking more members of the family with us. I feel that at least one of the reviews below was rather 'out of order' and over the top. The hotel is not the Ritz and does not pretend to be, it is a very good hotel in a hot country with a lot going for it.

The hotel does not stand still and each time we go we see another improvement or additional facility provided.

Long may it continue to operate.

Room Tip: Ignore some of the reviews and try it for yourself !! If you want a quiet part of the hotel, opt fo...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Peter R L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FORTARAB, General Manager at Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas, responded to this review, 26 May 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your recent third stay at Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas. Your loyalty means a lot to us all.

We greatly appreciate your time and effort to post your wonderful review.

Thank you for your compliments about our location and beautiful landscape, which a lot of our guests also enjoy. The garden reef very close to the beach is indeed a heaven for snorkeling and boasts a wide variety of colorful fish.

As for our team, they are truly one of our biggest assets. We are extremely proud of them.

We noted your remark about the hard bed and sunbeds in need of refurbishment. It is through your valuable feedback that we can better improve our service.

Last but not least, thank you for recommending our resort to others and we all look forward to welcome you and the family for your upcoming fourth stay with us.


With our best regards,

Antoine Goubran
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 May 2014

This is the 2nd time my friend and I attending this hotel/resort and that's pretty positive feedback in itself. The rooms are clean if a little basic, food is good and has a wide selection, the sea and beach are kept clean and friendly to young children, adults and the elderly alike.

The hotel itself is about 30 minute bus ride from the airport which is ideal as it's very hot climate and you just want to get to the beach!

The staff are always willing to help you and go the extra mile, for example we had a late return flight and they arranged for us to have a room at 6pm to shower before departure which would normally be chargeable if we kept our own room but as we took whatever was available, it was free of charge.

The hotel includes a small arcade of shops, a beauty salon and a spa. Excellent if you're looking for relaxation enhancements during your stay. I can recommend the food reflexology massage!

Like anywhere in Egypt there are always requests for tips (particularly the bus from the airport, taxis, etc) but the staff in the hotel never make you feel like they're expecting anything which is great as you then offer tips to those who you feel really deserve them.

Almost all the staff speak very good English which is great and they are always willing to help you learn some Arabic.

Room Tip: Sea/beach facing rooms have the best views
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Hannah22_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FORTARAB, General Manager at Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas, responded to this review, 26 May 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your recent stay with us again at Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas. Your loyalty means the world to us.

We are happy to know that you liked our food selection, location, room cleanliness, sea and beach. As you mentioned, the spa does have a lot to offer and is worth a visit.

As for our team members, they strive to provide their best possible service, with a smile. We are proud of them.

Your remark about tipping did not go unnoticed and as you pointed out, we do have a strict policy against tipping. On the other hand, there is a box placed at reception, where guests are free to leave tips.

We greatly appreciate comments made by our guests and are glad you enjoyed your stay.

Once again thank you and we look forward to welcome you back at our resort in the near future.


Sincerely,

Antoine Goubran
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 19 May 2014 via mobile

It's not for young people, so boring.
Staff is very nice but the hotel is old and not cheerful.
Beach is very good but so quite, all the rooms are near from the sea.
Rooms are okay and clean.
Hotel territory is not well lit at night.
Food's quality is average and there's no varieties, there's no enough snacks.
All inclusive hard drinks don't include fresh juices nor non-Egyptian alcoholic drinks.

Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Yoo T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FORTARAB, General Manager at Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas, responded to this review, 22 May 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for posting your review and for choosing to stay at Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas.

We are sorry to learn that overall the hotel did not live up to your expectations,

Your remarks about landscape lights, food variety, quality and snacks was forwarded to the concerned department.

On a more positive note, we are happy to know that you liked our room, beach and team.

Looking forward to welcome you back at our resort in the near future.


Sincerely,

Antoine Goubran
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
66 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 May 2014

Hotel not luxurious but very nice, rooms spacious - bit tired but clean, the beds are very comfortable and the air conditioning is excellent. Staff very friendly and helpful without being pushy or annoying - entertainment pretty poor, in fact some of it was so bad it was good! To be fair the Animation Team did work very hard and if you're a family with young children they couldn't have tried harder - there were singers in the bars - the female singer in the East wing bar was outstanding and could sing anything but there were two male singers in the West wing, one of them was only on one night and was very good - the other one was not a very good singer but was very entertaining, especially for all the older single ladies!
The food was varied and of good quality, we found the restaurant in the west wing was better for us as it was less crowded and in the east wing there were far too many noisy out of control children - but the food choice was equally good in both of them. The pools were lovely, the swim up bar very handy, and there were always plenty of sunbeds and sunshades available. The real star of this resort though is the beach and the fabulous house reef. The sea is very shallow for a long way out with lots of coral easily accessible without swimming or snorkelling, which means you are able to see the wonderful colours of the coral and the huge variety of fish without getting your hair wet! If, like us, you enjoy snorkelling you will love it here - out in the deeper waters we saw a blue spotted stingray, a huge moray eel, lion fish, parrot fish, angel fish and big shoals of an enormous array of big and small fish - absolutely wonderful! Lovely place for a relaxing and enjoyable holiday without breaking the bank - we will definitely be coming back!

Room Tip: Rooms in the west wing are quieter and mainly have older people in (Saga) we stayed in the East wing...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank RJB1947
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FORTARAB, General Manager at Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas, responded to this review, 21 May 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for the great review and for choosing to stay at Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas.

We are happy to know that you enjoyed our food variety and quality, clean and spacious room and service provided by our team.

As you clearly pointed out, the beach and fabulous house reef are indeed a star ingredient for a wonderful holiday.

Your remarks about poor entertainment and the male singer were brought to the attention of the concerned department for action. It is through your valuable feedback that we can better serve you.

We greatly appreciate comments made by our guests and are glad you had a relaxing and enjoyable holiday.

It is a pleasure to know you will be coming back to our resort and we look forward to welcome you again in the near future.


Sincerely,

Antoine Goubran
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 May 2014

Arrived at the hotel to find the private vills we had booked was not available so they had upgraded us to a double suite the size of 3 rooms, which was plainly too big for one couple

Staff were extremely helpful and moved us to a villa the day after , an upgrade one again !!!

All I can say about this hotel is positive with respect to comfort beach food etc, location is a bit in the boonies but in 20 mins you can be in Hurghada Marina ......

Spa is great , prices are reasonable and its very clean

Thoroughly recommend this hotel to anyone thinking of a holiday in Red Sea area and its safe

Room Tip: Definitely book the villa if you can afford the extra , its another world
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank paul c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FORTARAB, General Manager at Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas, responded to this review, 17 May 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your recent stay with us at Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas and for the wonderful review.

We highly appreciate your time and effort to convey your comments and are glad you had a great holiday.

Your positive compliments about food, beach and spa are highly appreciated and we have shared them with our team who always strive to provide our guests with a memorable experience.

Last but not least, thank you for your valuable recommendation and it would be a great pleasure to welcome you back at our resort in the future.


With our best regards,

Antoine Goubran
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 Romantic Hotel in Makadi Bay
#11 On the Beach 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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