We chose Fort Arabesque as we wanted to try the Red Sea but didn't fancy Sharm. We prefer quieter resorts without the mass tourism element that Sharm appears to have. We were also influenced by the favourable reviews on here. So...our thoughts;
Flight - a word of advice. If you are booking with Thomson, check what aircraft you are on. Ours was far too small for a 5.5 hour journey with no movie screens in seats (just on small screen at the front of the aircraft showing one movie) and the least amount of leg room I have ever encountered.
Hurghada Airport - A breeze arriving, a nightmare getting home. I think this was partially to do with the start of Ramadan (airport closed for half hour when we arrived at sunset), but want helped by 3 powercuts and broken computer systems. But we were going home so soon forgotten.
Arrival at hotel - Looks a dump when the bus first pulls up but we expected this after reading the reviews. Once into the main foyer, it becomes clear that this is a lovely, clean, bright hotel. Check in was easy and we managed to get a meal despite us arriving after restaurant closing time. Hotel is split into two blocks....the original (which we were in) and the newer block. You can use either block for pools, dining etc.
Room - Number 1118 on the ground floor. We requested a quiet room and no complaints there. Room was large, clean and appeared to have been updated relatively recently. 2 Queen size beds, a seating area and small patio area. We had considered upgrading but glad we didnt as this was perfectly adequate.
Pool Area - One main pool split into 3. Main section houses the pool bar and this was a bit loud for us. Second section was a narrower strip (with no sunbathing area) and this led to the 3rd section where we spent most of our time. Lovely pool with only 5 umbrellas with plenty of space. You will need to get down about 7.30am to get sunbeds by the pool. There are very few sunbeds/umbrellas for the size of hotel. This is good in that you never feel overcrowded...but bad if you are not an early riser. Luckily most european guests prefer the beach anyway. The hotel I beleive was only half full I heard from our rep so may become more of a problem if full.
There are two further pools - one is tucked away and virtually unused and one at the new block, but neither has much shade so not ideal for us in 40 degrees.
You do not need to take any beach towels. They are free and accessible from 7am to 7pm for use at the pool or beach.
Beach - absolutely stunning (the best in the Bay) and perfect for snorkelling and scuba diving.
Eating - this is one area for improvement. Don't get me wrong, the food is good quality, a good variety and tasty. You will not go short of food. Our problem was is got monotonous by the second week. There are two restaurants (one in main buidling and one in new buidling) but both serve the same food. It is buffet style and although the menu changes the theme is very much the same e.g. rice, meat/stew, grilled fish, pasta. This hotel is crying out for maybe two extra all inclusive 'theme' restaurants to break up the 'canteen style' dining.
Entertainment/activities - we didnt go expecting or wanting much entertainment and it's just as well. The 'Animacion' team is a 3rd party Italian outfit and the entertainment is geared around Italian guests. We 'attempted' two evening shows but they were attrocious - even our kids (who are easily pleased) wanted to leave. Other than that there were a couple of bars with singers who were so bad it was funny, so that passed a couple of hours. I do think that as more british guests appear to be booking this hotel that they may want to review the entertainment policy.
For daytime activities. Well... I went for the scuba diving and you couldnt fault the hotel dive centre i-dive. We went on both beach and boat dives and they were fantastic. Always felt safe and the aquatic life was fantastic. Other than that you certainly wont be hassled by the Animacion team.
In summary - we had a great holiday and I would recommend this hotel for anyone who wants to chill out for two weeks and doesnt need constant entertainment. Would we go again? No...but only beacuse we try and go somewhere different every year. Other than the couple of improvements I have mentioned we couldnt fault the Fort.
- 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