We booked this resort with two main priorities : good snorkelling, and good weather; anything over and above that would be a bonus. We also were fairly confident that, with the Hilton brand name, the hotel itself and its facilities were going to be of a fairly high standard.
The snorkelling was better or as good as we have had anywhere (we have snorkelled in the Caribbean, the Maldives and Thailand). The water was incredibly clear (especially before the banana boat started operating in early afternoon, although even this was far enough out not to make much difference) and there were excellent reefs all along the beach just a few yards from the shore. All of it was easily accessible, although some would choose to have some form of water-shoes to walk the first bit as it was a little stony. The marine life was very varied and we saw quite a few fish we have never seen before including giant morays, puffers and box fish – all in the shallow parts of the reef (be patient – some only like to pop their heads out for brief periods!)
The weather was fantastic; not a cloud in the sky all week. It was hot (35-40) but it was a dry heat, so much easier to cope with. (Pretty well no mosquitoes either - huge bonus!)
Our ‘standard’ room was fine if a bit small, but we chose to upgrade to a sea-view room as we preferred having a balcony. The room was extremely clean, the bathroom good (a bit more water pressure for the shower would have been nice), the bed very comfortable and the daily room-clean was excellent (towels in pretty shapes on the bed, little flowers etc).
All the staff were astonishingly friendly and helpful, always smiling, saying hello and asking how things were. On the rare occasion we required something, it was handled quickly, efficiently and, without exception, in a polite and gracious manner. Without doubt it was the best service I have ever experienced in a hotel. What made this even more gratifying was that, as the majority of hotel guests were on an all-inclusive basis, most people were ‘cash-less’, thus the staff were fully aware that they were not going to be tipped for each and every little thing they did. They were all genuinely nice and a big, big thanks to one and all of them.
Our only gripes:
The food was bland. The main (buffet-style) restaurant did serve a reasonably wide variety (fish, meat, pasta, vegetarian, salads, desserts etc) but, whilst it was all perfectly well cooked, somehow it all seemed to lack any spark. Nothing seemed to have any ‘kick’ to it or leave you thinking how tasty it was. Obviously it is ‘catering-to-the-masses’ but it should be possible for a Hilton operation to make things a little bit more exciting.
There were also two other restaurants on-site that served a set menu for the all-inclusive patrons – Marhaba, serving Egyptian food, and Nelsons, a sort of Tex-Mex operation. Once again, in both restaurants, the staff were fantastic but the food lacked imagination. There were 3 choices for each course and these were the same every night. Varying the menu a few times should not have been an insurmountable task, especially as most guests were there for only a week, and there was a very limited availability. It appears that there was a maximum of 75 total spaces spread over the 2 sittings at the 2 venues. The reservation system also got more chaotic as the week progressed, with fairly unruly queues building up earlier and earlier at the only booking station.
And why was the only fish that was ever served in any of the 3 restaurants sea-bass?
Wine was only available to all-inclusive guests in the restaurants. It was local Egyptian wine and not very expensive – why not allow guests to drink wine in any of the bars without having to pay for it? We did raise this with Chris, the manager, at the ‘meet-and-greet’ in one of the bars on the second night. Chris was extremely pleasant but was unable to explain why. He did, however, very kindly have a bottle (nicer and more expensive) delivered to our room the following morning; many thanks for that, Chris – it was a very nice gesture.
One final gripe, although this is a problem worldwide. Every day we had to play the ‘search-for-a-sunbed-without-a-towel-on-it’ game! A glance out of the balcony soon after 8.00am would reveal a sea of towels and a smattering of bodies (both by the pool and on the beach). There must be a way to ‘police’ the staggering selfishness of the extremely ignorant people who feel it is their divine right to ‘claim’ a space for themselves which they will not be using until considerably later. 3 or 4 dedicated staff members could easily monitor the situation and ensure this abuse is curtailed and unnecessary arguments are, thus, avoided.
All in all a thoroughly enjoyable holiday and, once again, a big thanks to each and every one of the staff. We would have no problem recommending the resort for an extremely relaxing and pleasant holiday, as long as you are aware this a (mainly) all-inclusive resort with the occasional drawback that this entails.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience world-class service at Taba Hotel & Nelson Village This property is 4 minutes walk from the beach. Taba Hotel & Nelson Village features panoramic Gulf of Aqaba views and a private beach area with sun loungers. The bright, spacious rooms have cable TV and plush beds. All rooms at Taba Hotel & Nelson Village are fitted with air conditioning and have a minibar. Some rooms have a balcony with views of the garden and the Red Sea. Guests can organise diving trips at the on-site diving center or relax with a massage therapy. For younger guests, Taba Hotel & Nelson Village offers a Kids’ club. Italian cuisine can be enjoyed at the Taba Hotel & Nelson Village's Casa Taba. Oriental specialties are served at Marhaba. Guests can unwind with a drink on the terrace at the Nelson Pub. Taba Hotel & Nelson Village is 20 minutes’ drive from Eilat Airport. Underwater Observatory Marine Park is just a 3-minute drive away. Free private parking is available at the hotel. We speak your language! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hilton Taba Resort & Nelson Village Hotel Taba
- Hilton Taba Resort And Nelson Village
- Hilton International Taba
- Hilton Taba Hotel Nelson Village