Well we travelled to this hotel on 20.02.09. and booked 1 week before the holiday and got an amazing deal!! We stayed for one week and after already visiting sharm-el-sheik 2 years ago i thought i would give Hurghada a go! After booking the holiday and THEN reading the mixed reviews at that time, i was thinking.......oh no, what have i done!!!!
I need not have worried one little bit!!! This is an un-known little gem in my eyes!! From the moment you step off the coach you are treated to the egyption hospitality! They take your case off the coach, the porter takes you into reception and you sort out your room key card etc, within 1 minute of walking in you have a drink in one hand and a small plate of food in the other!!! (free as we went all inclusive which i would advise because drink prices are very high i.e. glass of wine £3, small glass of beer £2!!) By the time we had drank our drink and had eaten the snacks it was time for the porter to show us our room. Our cases were already inside our room!!!
Accomodation: Blocks of 12 apartments, all with either a pool or like ours.....a sea view!!! I call it a small apartment as the bathroom is a big family bathroom, infact the bathroom is larger than most travel lodge or premiere inn whole hotel rooms!! Very very clean, large bath, walk-in shower, sink, mirror, toilet and bee day etc etc. very large sleeping / living room with plenty of drawer space both next to the beds and on the drawers which the satelite TV is housed on. 34 TV channels, 4 of them english speaking channels, throughout different times of the day. Also in there is a small fridge, full size built in wardrobe and at the back of the wardrobe a very secure safety deposit box. An overhead fan in the room with 8 speed settings and the thing you need most......Aircon!!! Very quiet airconditioning and all very easy to use! At the far end of the room there are full size patio doors leading to the large sized balcony or terrace!! Now when i booked this i asked for a sea view......we couldn't believe what we got!! we couldn't have been more on the beach unless we had a tent and were camping on it!!! we were on the third floor, on the corner so we had a duel aspect view of the sea, pools and beach!! take a look at these photo's and video's.
We were literally 20 metre's away from the beach!!! Our room was cleaned every day, fresh towel's twice a day and 2 bottles of water free every day!! All for just £20E (£1.40) every 2 days or so to the polite man looking after your block!! It would cost more then that for the water alone as its not meant to be free anyway so well worth it!!
Beach: Warning you will need beach shoes for when walking from the sandy beach into where the sea meets as its covered in very sharp dead coral!! dont take any beach shoe's with you, go to the onsite shop as you can buy some for 50 Egyption pounds ( £7 ) and will last you for at least another couple of holidays! after walking out around 150 metres your still only ankle deep, then its starts dropping off sharply and deeply in a short space. BE WARNED we walked out this way, the ground gets uneven, the missis cut the top of here knee off, sliced it off on the razor sharp live coral!! had to walk her back 200 metres to the shore. She had a 50 pence piece sized of skin cut but hanging on, pouring with blood!! Nightmare, i thought we would be all day in a dirty hospital?????? No! The on-site Doctor was amazing! The cleanliness of his surgery is comparable with what you would expect in the UK. Very professional, very calming and he cleaned it up, gave local anesthetic and 6 stitches later and a bandage to protect and done!!! Only small niggle is we had to pay £180 for this!!!!!! I dont know if this is high or what, the insurance company are giving the whole amount back to us though so i guess its not that high. cheque is in the post and we went back for him to change the bandage for the next 2 days and was not charged anything for this. So take a little emergency cash, they do also exept Euro's and Egyptian £'s etc
You can avoid hurting yourself on the coral by simply walking to the left of the hotels beach, as far left as your allowed to go before you get to the sign for next door hotels beach, there is a small ramp you can walk down. there the sea level goes from ankle deep to 9ft plus in a more shorter and more uniform way. I went this way several times after the event and had no problems so dont let our one off accident put you off snorkelling because it is out of this world, your literally swimming in a warm, clear and inviting tropical fish tank!!
You do get pestered for the first day or so by people from the hotel trying to sell trips or beauty treatments etc this is a little annoying but if you simply say you have come away for a quick holiday and have not thought about any trips so i will come and find you if i decide to go on one, thats what we said and they were fine, no pushy sales here so just be firm and straight and there gone!! Now there is 1 restaurant on the beach, and near the ramp to the sea for snorkelling there is a little bar where you can get refreshed. Mustafa works here and he will keep you topped up without you even having to get up to the bar or interrupt your sunbathing. just give him a £20E (£1.40) every couple of days and you will have a glass that is never empty of your favourite drink, alcoholic or not! whilst on the beach your only allowed to have plastic cups which is understandable as glass and the beach should never be allowed, but we would have 2 drinks each so its easier for Mustafa to keep you topped up. Just let him know if you dont want anymore. The rest of the day all drinks are served by the glass in the other bars and restaurants.
We didnt really go to see any of the entertainment so i cant comment but i know they have a disco that starts at 1130pm for anyone who wants to party till late!! We just preferred to chill out in the bar and relax. We went to hurghada town centre on one night and hurghada marina on another night. They are both situated 200 metres apart and you can get a taxi from the hotel to hurghada centre for £200E (£25) and this cost is a return. When he drops you off you can stipulate how many hours before he picks you up. Now it is about a 35 minute drive from the hotel and i could imagine that it could be quite a scary place for some timid people who could feel hassled by the shop owners. 2 or 3 of them stand outside each shop and try to entice you in. As before just be firm and say NO! and walk on and they leave you alone. you will either think is quite funny or you will really hate it!! i loved it as its only banter and there is virtually no crime in egypt. Tourists are the backbone their economy. Everything is so cheap. ask them the price and what ever fist price they give you, half and thats your starting point to haggle from. if you do not like bartering, you will probably get ripped off so dont be afraid!!
On the second to last night we found the Hurghada Marina.........WOW!!!! Multi-million pound yauchts, great views and the nightlife hub of that part of egypt. Very upmarket and lots of trendy bars, nightclubs and retaraunts.You must go to this marina. My advise is to go to the main hurghada strip for shopping including if you just need a little bit of UK junk food (some people just cant help themselves) then here is where you will find McDonalds, Pizza Hut, and even A KFC!!! and all a fraction of the price of the uk. We ate in Pizza HUT and had a pizza and starter each with drinks £15. McDonalds was about £4 but the big macs and 1/4 pounders were twice the size!!! Then if the hussle and bussle is too much for you, its a 3 min walk to the marina where you will not get hassled!!
The food in the hotel was always hot and there was always plenty to go around and of course you can eat as much as you want. The food is very repetitive though and that is the only little niggle about the food.. The waiters are very polite and will get you any drink you require as well as pulling out seats for the females in your group. Plenty or gorgeous cakes and desserts too!!
There are various trips that you can go on for reasonable prices but we decided not to do anything as we had done most of them before at sharm-el-sheikh. I do also think that maybe teenagers might become a little bored staying here unless they like to sunbathe / snorkell etc. They have onsite quad biking that i think they would love tho, tuition, head scarf and packed lunch all for around £20 each is not bad for a whole day, i would have done this as everyone who had done it had loved it, but i did the whole look after the missis thing! Oh well, she's ok now!
If you want to buy some snacks i.e. crisps etc, take them with you!! onsite shop = £4 for a tube of pringles (no joke) £22 for suntan creme and those are english pound prices!!!!!
Do not drink or even brush your teeth with the water from the tap, use youe bottled water for this, avoid ice in your drinks. I had very bad sickness and you-know-what the last time i went to sharm-el-sheikh last time i was in egypt.! its not a fun time!!
This time i was VERY aware, i took a little bottle of hand sanitiser, from boots its about £2 and in a clear gel, 2 small pea sized amounts and rub all over hands and it evaporates in seconds. Happy to report no sickiness this time around!!!
All in all a very good holiday and excellent hotel. I thought i would write a review when i got back as i have never done one before and was sick of reading the bad reviews this hotel was getting, it just doesn't deserve some of the things people were saying. Its not a 5* hotel, its not 5* prices tho, we got a late deal for 2 all inclusive for under £800!!! impossible to get better value for money and a 100% guarantee for sunshine and sea!!!!
I am well travelled and have paid a lot more money for something a lot more worse then this hotel. Id say it a 3* to 4* but that depends on the hotels YOU have stayed in the past.
I have recommended this hotel to family and friends and would go back for another cheap and sunny getaway so get booking and enjoy!!
Hope this has been a little helpfull!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Harmony Makadi Bay Hotel & Resort is located in the prominent Makadi Bay area, only 25KM southern of the very popular Egyptian holiday destination "Hurghada", on Egypt's beautiful Red Sea Riviera. Makadi is a peaceful bay with many opportunities for snorkeling and scuba diving. The semi-tropical climate makes this both a summer and winter resort. The Harmony Makadi Bay Hotel & Resort is situated directly on over 600 meters private and white sandy beach, and has a spectacular house reef very close by, which guests may use for snorkeling. Among the 552 outsized (52sq m), comfortable & luxurious rooms, year-round sunshine, panoramic views of sea (subject to hotel availability against charge 10$ per room per night) and blue skies, Spa, tennis fields, all makes the Harmony Makadi Bay Hotel & Resort the place for unique moments to remember. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Harmony Makadi Bay Hotel Makadi Bay
- Harmony Makadi Bay Hotel And Resort
- Domina Makadi Bay Resort
- Domina Makadi Bay Hotel & Resort