I spent 2 weeks at the Makadi Palace hotel in Hurghada in August 2011, with my wife and two 11 year old children. We travelled with Red Sea Holidays and paid around £1200 per adult and £400 per child for an all inclusive deal including flights, all meals and local drinks.
The hotel is beautifully designed with North African architecture set among gardens. It looks stunning at night time.
The hotel says it is 5 star. Well, perhaps it is but not in a very smart or luxurious way. But it perfectly adequate. We had a room for 4 people which looked as though it was a pretty standard room. The room was divided into two halves, each around 4m by 4m and separated by an archway. In the first part of the room was a large (2m) double bed and in the second part of the room the sofa had been converted into a single bed. We had to ask for a second single bed and one was quickly delivered. There was a small balcony with two chairs. The TV was exclusively German channels (most of the guests here are German). The bathroom was clean and perfectly adequate.
There are four pools in the hotel, three of which are enormous. No water slides. There are around 650 sunbeds around the pools with another 200 or so on the beach. This isn’t enough for a hotel catering for around 1000 people (guests at atleast one other hotel in the complex share the facilities). As a result the sunbeds get reserved pretty early on – waking early on the first day I noticed that around 15% of the sunbeds were reserved at 5.30 in the morning. There wasn’t a single one to be had after 7 am!
The hotel has its own reef just offshore. It can be uncomfortable to walk out to (and you definitely need reef shoes) but it is worth it: some of the best snorkling I have seen anywhere in the world with lovely corals and a myriad of different fish. This is the strongest point in favour of this hotel.
The hotel is part of a complex of several hotels. Guests can eat at some other restaurants in the complex which adds to the choice available. For many of the restaurants you need to book in advance. Several say that you can book for dinner 1 day in advance. This is misleading. You can in fact book 2 weeks in advance if you want to. And as some of the restaurants are popular you need to expect to book perhaps 5 days in advance.
Food is variable. Dreadful fruit juice at breakfast and a poor selection of fruit and vegetables at all meals. The main restaurant, the Dome, is a pretty gloomy affair. You can’t book and it gets busy at 7 pm. Usual fare – fried meats, some pasta, salad, fruit – none of it particularly wonderful, but adequate. The Melange is the other restaurant you don’t have to book at – similar food, with a popular stir fry bar and (oddly) a doner kebab grill! Again get there at 7 pm or wait until it thins out later. Very nice ambiance. There is a decent Thai restaurant, you can get a nice steak and chips at the (popular) Botanical, and there is an OK Lebanese in one of the other hotels. Other restaurants (not tried) include Oriental, Indian, Chinese and Italian.
Wine is OK, beer is pleasant (very light) and local spirits seem fine. You are not supposed to take drinks back to your room but (if you have kids who go to bed early and you don’t want to leave them on their own) you can easily smuggle out something from one of the bars! Or if that worries you the shopkeepers will get you a bottle of spirits - at a price (so take duty free).
For nightlife, there are nightly concerts of a sort at the Joker bar and a regular singer at the Rendezvous bar. Probably not what you want in your 20s though! There is a shuttle bus to the bright lights of Hurghada 30 minutes away if you need to get out. I imagine it is ghastly.
Small tips are appreciated by generally very friendly serving staff so it is useful to have some small (10, 20 EL) notes handy. Lots of people seem to tip with UK coins so you do get asked if you can change these into UK notes (came back with around £30 in coins!) There is an ATM in the complex. The lobby has (slow) wi-fi which worked most of the time and there is an internet café somewhere. Mobile phone reception was fine. There are a few shops – mainly tat and beach kit, but also a pharmacy.
All in all, a pretty nice place - for the price. The high spot is the reef and the pools are great too. The low spots are the lack of sunbeds (and the need to get up early to get one), and the slightly variable food.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Makadi Palace Hotel is set in lush gardens famed for their beauty, and offers the perfect space to relax unwind and enjoy a well-earned break. Tranquil surroundings, attentive staff, an extensive choice of à la carte dining – both on-site and at the Makadi Mall – as well a stunning beach and a wide choice of sports facilities at the Makadi Sports Centre ensures guests will be reluctant to stray far from their holiday home away from home. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Makadi Palace Hotel Makadi Bay
- Makadi Palace Bay
- Makadi Palace Egypt