My wife and I stayed at the Marriott Taba heights the first week on March this year. All in all it was a fantastic holiday. We read lots of reviews before we went and although the majority of them were good we had a little apprehension because of the bad ones. I therefore would like to weigh in on the side of positives reviews.
The hotel was very nice and definitely 5 star. A lot of reviews have stated that the hotel isn’t 5 star and seem to compare them with other hotels in other parts of the world. 5 star is just an assessment based on the facilities and service provided and are not in any way related to ambiance, charm or other subjective criteria.
The rooms were clean and spacious, the pool was really big and had loads of sun loungers, the beach was really close if you wanted that vibe instead of the pool. The lobby and general surroundings were well kept and the restaurants and bars were ok, if a little soulless (we were there in March for a quite week, and we got it, so were happy to be the only people in the bar for a swift drink of an evening).
The food was absolutely fine and we found that being half board was more than sufficient for our needs. We were able to have a late breakfast and got everything one would expect from a hotel buffet breakfast in the Middle East or South East Asia; chicken sausage, beef bacon omelettes and loads of fruits, breads and yogurts etc. On the few occasions that we had lunch in the grotto bar, it was lovely and reasonably priced at about £10-20 for two snacks and coke/beer. However when we ate in the afternoon we were stuffed and generally not hungry for dinner so we usually skipped lunch (must have been the heat). The buffet dinner was likewise totally sufficient for what we needed after a day lazing around the pool. I think a lot of the more negative reviewers have been disappointed because they are expecting 5 star ‘fine-dining’ which this obviously could never be for the price being paid. My wife is vegetarian who doesn’t eat meat or fish but she got something every night and was generally pleased with it. There are a few other options in the evening, the onsite Italian, the grotto (Egyptian type fare) or go uptown to the Marriott owned Mexican restaurant. These are not included in you half/full board package but you can get a credit note from the main reception as you are not eating in the buffet. We ate in the Mexican restaurant and it was just as you would expect from any Mexican restaurant in London and from memory was inexpensive after we used our credit note. In the round we felt no need to go to any of the other restaurants and on the night we went Uptown to the Mexican looked at the 2 or three other places to eat up there and it reminded us how easy it was every night to roll down to the buffet and have a no stress dinner in the main restaurant (we didn’t venture uptown again after that).
Before going our main concern was the well reported cases of food poisoning (the pharaoh’s revenge) that seems to be present in all reviews for the red sea hotels generally. We did not see any signs that this was the case in the Marriott and this may have been for a number of reasons; we were there when it was a bit cooler (although still roasting by European standards – 25-30 every day), less people around dipping there finger into the food etc.
In terms of nightlife there really isn’t any. The hotel bar does have a group of 3 singers who were really good but seemed to play to an audience of about 6 people most nights. Alcohol was generally London priced £3.50-4.00 for beer etc and I found that because the hotel did a happy hour about 3 or 4 times during the afternoon and early evening you could get a 2 for 1 beer or cocktail when you wanted and for me who wasn’t really drinking that much it was relatively cheap. I imagine if you were going for a major session every night you would be disappointed with the lack of atmosphere and find it adds up.
The only real negative I would say (and to be honest it gave us something to laugh about) was the spa. Not that I’m saying the spa was not nice as we never ventured into it but on the first day at out welcome meeting we were told that our booking included a half price treatment. The wife was keen for a bit of spa time and after the meeting when we went to the chap with the clipboard pandemonium ensured (it went something like this; my wife said ‘how about Wednesday’ the guy said ‘not possible you must come today to get the 50% discount’ my wife was like ‘OK’ the guy said ‘not room today’ wife said ‘OK i’ll come Wednesday for full price anyway’ the guy was like ‘no you can’t come Wednesday you come full price today’. My wife said ‘OK 6pm’ he said ‘no you must come at 8pm’ and wife looked at his appointment book and said ‘you have no bookings why not 6pm’ he said ‘you come 8pm anyway’. At this point my wife said ‘forget about it I don’t need the stress’ he then said ‘OK see you at 8pm’ and my wife then tried to explain in the pigeon English of a person who is clearly struggling to get the point across that she no longer wanted to make an appointment at which point he said something (I imagine unintentionally) mildly condescending and I though best to spare the chap the wrath of an small angry Irish woman and shuffled my wife out the door. The upside of all this was that the next day when the guy came around the pool trying to flog spa treatments the dirty look from wife meant he steered clear and did so every day for the rest of the week. The few times that we had to do something commercial (except for food and drink) there was the constant hard sell so we just avoided being in those situations.
The final point I’d like to make was that the manager (who was a Dutch chap called Jan, I think) was very much present and would walk around the pool in the afternoon and speak to the guests, so I guess if you had any problems you could have had them sorted out pretty quick. He also came to say good bye to us and it was comforting to know that he cared enough to do those small things without being overbearing. It was a nice touch.
All in all a nice holiday for a very reasonable price. My wife and I came home totally refreshed from our trip and feeling positively relived that we had none of the financial or jetlag hangover from other much more ‘exclusive’ holidays that we have had. We would definitely go back.
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- Also Known As:
- Taba Heights Marriott Beach Hotel Taba
- Marriott Taba Heights
- Taba Marriott
- Marriott Beach Resort Taba