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“Nice hotel as a whole just unlucky with our room & illness”

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Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas
Ranked #14 of 30 Hotels in Makadi Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Lincs, England
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Nice hotel as a whole just unlucky with our room & illness”
Reviewed 4 July 2010

I read many, many hotel reviews on here before deciding which to book so feel I'd better post one myself now we're back.
As many have said this is a nice hotel, 3 star rather than 4 though we feel. The hotel itself & the grounds/beach were kept spotless & the food was good for all inclusive. Unfortunately we had a room with 2 very uncomfortable single beds which creaked loudly each time you turned over. We complained that the air con was very noisy & not very cold & it seemed a little quieter on our return but no cooler. It gradually got noisier again as the week went on. We probably should have complained more & asked to be moved so that is probably our fault but couldn't be bothered with the hassle of packing everything up & unpacking when only staying for a week. Other people said their beds were comfy & had really good air con so I guess we were just unlucky.
The beach & snorkelling are excellent though my husband found it a little tame after staying at Carols (now Serenity I think) in 2007 where there is horrendous surf to wade through before you can see anything then it is just a deep drop off but he reckons he saw many different & larger fish. I however felt very safe snorkelling here on my own. it was all very calm & you didn't have to go out of your depth to snorkel or to see many different types of fish.
The major downside was that we were both ill again, my husband still is 3 days after getting home. We do not know where we picked it up from as after last time we were sanitiasing everyhting we touched, continually washing hands, not eating salads or drinking their water/ice etc yet we still had the egyptian tummy & constant nausea. My husband aslo had terrible aches all over his back & legs along with the stomach cramps. We only heard of a few others with dodgy stomachs. We took 3 different lots of tablets for the first couple of days then I returned & got antinal for the last 2 days as that is what I read on here works. It kept the worst of the symtoms at bay for me but as I said my husband is still worse now we are home & have run out of tablets. We do not think it was the food as it was good & kept hot etc, we think just don't "get on " with Egypt so will not be returning. (We also drank lots of water & didn't have the air con on ice cold (chance would have been nice!) as other people have mentioned can cause stomach upsets).
If anyone has any questions please ask.
Mog

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank Mogsy12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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England
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2010

When we arrived, the approach to the hotel resembled a building site and the armed guard at the entrance didn't instil us with confidence. However, once inside we were pleasantly surprised. The lobby is cool and spacious but our first impression of our room (130) was a bit dissapointing. The room did show signs of ageing and was almost as tired looking as we were. After a short time though we became used to the room and found it very spacious and the air-con was excellent. We were seconds from the pool, restaurant and beach and it was fairly quiet at night. There were a few TV channels in english and a mini bar which was stocked up everyday with water and soft drinks.
There clearly aren't enough shaded area's around the pool and the beach beds were quickly reserved also. We moaned to ourselves about people 'towel reserving' the majority of beds on the beach before 7am only to find ourselves hypercritically doing the same after day three! Lying on the beach with no bed, no shade when it is 40 degrees plus is no holiday!
The sea was fantastic and snorkeling is a must, hotel snorkels are over priced for half decent face kits, about £26 so buy before you go.
We found the food very nice with a good variety for all. It did get a bit repetitive towards the end of our 7 day stay but no more so than anywhere else I imagine.
We read previous reports advising to take tablets for upset stomachs and I am glad we did as sure enough on day 5 I needed my Imodium plus but can't figure out what caused it.
We found the staff pleasant and the waiters were helpful. They and back room staff clearly work very long hours and on some days look shattered so give them a tip every now and again to cheer them up. No I do not work in the tourist/restaurant trade but appreciate people who work hard. Some of the ground/garden staff worked in teams and I can't help but think they were youths doing some type of court order community service so we kept half an eye on our bags when they were around cleaning the beach. We could be completely wrong though and we never heard of any problems.

Use the watersports centre and go on the supervised Catamaran, its included in the price and great fun, if you can stay on it for long enough before falling off!

This was the first holiday that we have never ventured away from the complex but we thoroughly enjoyed it. For us 7days was enough morethan that boredom and curiosity would have kicked in but having read the views we were put off by the excursions anyway.
As others have said the hotel does mainly cater for italians which we didn't mind. For us the holiday was more of an Italian holiday in Eygpt but we like Italians and their sense of recreation.
In essence we found the complex to be ideal for 7 days of relaxation but formed the opinion that if you want to see the real Eygpt go elsewhere.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank AlNic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Blackpool
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2010

Our 2 week stay was ok but on reflection it was a bit disappointing. The food was alright if very repetitive and planned with the largely Italian clientelle in mind, there always being a supply of pizza and pasta on hand. As all-inclusive hotels go we felt short changed, no cocktails included, cheap bland ice creams for the kids which you had to walk all the way to the beach bar for and you always had difficulty in getting hold of a member of staff to replenish your drinks - the waiters would not leave a bottle of wine on your table (unless you're Italian). The reception staff and other staff were pretty unhelpful and you really have to get your bearings and find out about facilities by trial and error or by asking other guests - as per usual the travel company rep is only really interested if yoy want to book a trip. The entertainment is geat if you speak fluent Italian and if your kids are able to stay up till midnight.

Don't bother to go to Hurghada it's a tip - half built and the shops are full of kak.

The water sports are readily available and the boat trips are fantastic and very good value though you'd be better off going on a short morning or evening trip as the full day snorkelling trip takes you to "Paradise Island" which is code for very hot place with no shade that you get dumped on for an hour, if you have kids in tow this leaves you with no choice but to visit the extortionate cafe just to cool down. The Red Sea is absolutely stunning. Just walk ten yards in to the sea and there are dozens of different fish to see.

I would go to Makadi Bay again but without the kids in tow just to go diving and probably not Fort Arabesque

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank BlackpoolMatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 June 2010

We had read lots of reports on this hotel and location before we booked but as always you never quite know what its like until you get there. We can honestly say both the hotel and the location exceeded our expectations. The standard of food and cleanliness throughout was excellent. The rooms were spacious and the service second to none. I don't know if the hotel was full but it certainly never seemed so. We are not normally all day beach people, preferring to go off exploring etc but this time we were quite happy to laze on the massive beach every day, snorkelling to our heart's content. You can even just walk out into the sea and you feel like you are in your own aquarium. The hotel is Italian owned and Brits are in the minority and as such most of the entertainment is in Italian but this did not spoil things for us one bit as there were plenty of nice bars within the hotel complex with a resident singer so you could just sit , have a drink and take in the atmosphere. We would definately go again but maybe a little earlier in the year as it was getting very hot (42 degrees when we left). Overall a great holiday!

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank jeanne_roberts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St Helens, Merseyside
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 June 2010

The food is exellent, rooms ok, not much entertainment but the sea is amazing - dont forget your underwater camera!!! I would recommend this hotel : )

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank stonegirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hastings, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
98 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 June 2010

Just back (Wednesday) from a great week at the Fort Arabesque.
Bedroom: our room was a superior room (465) in the new wing. It was large (bigger than our flat), very clean and had a lovely seaview of Makadi Bay. Brilliant litlle dressing room for luggage and clothes. The bathroom had a good shower and separate bath. The downside was there was no hair conditioner and shampoo and shower gel were dissapointing and came in tiny bottles. Having to write down what you needed for the mini bar everyday was a bit of a pain.
Beach: lovely beach with loads of loungers. It never felt overcrowded like it looked like in other hotels further down the beach. The sorkelling was amazing but I do agree with an earlier comment that the Hotel and Egyptian tourist bureau should make more of an effort to protect their best asset in the Red Sea ie corals and sealife. I have seen stupid people standing on the corals and trying to touch the fishes etc... Reps from every country should remind people how fragile this eco system is.
Food: Nobody is going to starve as there is enough choice of dishes and the quality is quite good. Of course it does not compare with the variety and quantity of food you get in places like Mexico. It is Italian owned and Italians do not do breakfast so brekkie is a low key affair. Our only complain is that there should be more Egyptian/Middle Eastern dishes on offer.
Trips: We did not do any with Thomas Cook as we were there only for a week. Snorkelling trips seem to be very expensive making the trips to Luxor and Cairo good value in comparison. We just did a two hour boat/snorkelling trip with the I Dive club at the hotel, 15 euros per person. It was nice to get out the hotel beach but did not see any better or more fishes than by the hotel. No life jacket in the boat which seemed a bit strange.
Animation: we did not partake in any of the activities but the Italian team seem very nice and trying their best.
Staff: all were very polite, smiling and helpful.
All in all a very relaxing week with of course great weather and would go back again.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank LondonConstance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
kent uk
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 June 2010

Okay, did enjoy the holiday, went with family and loved it from that point of view, but I have stayed in much smaller hotels along the beach and the service was much better, especially the old Makardi Marine which is sadly no longer open to UK tourists as the travel agents withdrew it off the market.
Good points: Room, large and there were two huge beds and as there was four of us in the room this was good, we never felt overcrowded. Best mattress I have slept on for years.
Lots of pools to choose from, pool bar good for picture taking etc whilst having your drink in your cozzie! all pools, bars and toilets very clean.

Entertainment, Those brought in from the outside on the whole, apart from the ahem Russian show, excellent, top notch.
Animation team - Excellent, great fun, esp whilst parading on the beach with the guys wearing false boobs and wigs, friendly but as they were Italian one felt a there was a certain biased towards the Italian guests, of which there are a lot! The team did a great evening warm up act which had me crying with laughing as it was half italian half english, Concentration... Not a lot! very very funny, but then two evenings they did a long drawn out comedy sketch purely in italian which bored the pants off us english, team not really to blame as the majority of the guests were Italian, lovely people. Perhaps would have been better with a token english speaking person though.
Food, good, lots to choose from, my niece is a vegeterian yet she on the whole she found lots of variety to eat from.
Brekky very disappointing, tea and coffee satchets on the table? only hot milk available? very second/third rate I thought.
Saga eatery was the best, only for space and coolness as the rest of them are to hot! however, and a big however, this was my umpteenth time to Egypt and I normally have a tummy bug for a day, this time round I had one for five days and two others in our party were also ill. Take Buscupan with you, and buy Antinal at the hotel pharmacy, has always worked in the past for me but not this time!! ?
Bar singer, okay.All entertainment finishes at eleven though? far to soon!

Negatives:
Despite what others have said I cannot agree that this was the best beach, certainly less crowded with beds I agree, but.... there were not enough beds to go round, and if it was after 11 in the morning one really had to hunt for one with no beach attendant in sight! The sand was oily at tide level and every day when i came out of the sea my feet were covered in a light film of oil. snorkelling and depth of water great for chidren and non swimmers... but no life guard on duty despite a look out box? beaches further around towards the night club/souk end have them so why not the Fort?
DONT do the stars jeep in the desert trip, I was bitterly disappointed in this as I had done one two years previousley and it was a breathtaking event, this was a trip out to a Bedouin Camp (dont take sweets for the children please, buy some crayon books and pencils or something in the UK and take them, the little girls loved to see the nice head bands on the tourists heads also) Camel ride was good. Then the down side... back past the dumps? etc to the outside of Hurgahda, Food presentable but NOT cooked or washed in bottled water so beware! how do I know this? because someone asked for a plate of salad with bottled water washed and tenmins later was one brought out, which to me indicates the rest was not done so! and the star gazing? laughable, the tour guide kept saying it was the cloud coming over obscuring the view, It was light pollution from the town and smoke from the bbq for gawds sake.
more negatives, sorry!
dishes, plates etc in the restrurant were chipped! paper table cloths on the tables, greying towels in the rooms which were tiny! I am a big lady but these were tiny!
yes we got towel sculpures, twice in ten days? the fridge was stocked every day, but we had to ask for toilet rolls some days, the shampoos etc were not replenished AT ALL, we had to ask for the sheets to be changed and the room was not swept out as the moth that died in the bathroom on our second night was still there on our ninth?
Staff were friendly and polite. Beach sellers of massages were okay if you were firm and said an emphatic no... my sister and her daugher did have a massage which they found really lovely.

Would I go again? probably not, unless I was going with Saga as their guests seemed to have the best of everything, after all thats what they paid for.
The Fort is a five star rated hotel but in comparison with other places I would give it a 3 to 4 stars.

You will enjoy it, first timers will love it, old hands like me would prefer somewhere classier.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank northtosouth
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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