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Jaz Dar El Madina
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Reviewed 2 June 2012

We travelled to Egypt with our 2 and a half year old and my wifes parents. My inlaws had chosen this hotel after the hotel was recomended to them by a couple they had met on a previous holiday in Cape Verde. (Turned out the said couple Pam and Steve were on this flight as well!!)
As this was our daughters first holiday we were not sure how it would go and how she would react.
The flight is quite boring 5hr no entertainment and you have to buy all drinks and food, luckily our daughter slept for half the flght. When we arrived at Marsa Alam Airport we were the only plane there so the transfer from plane to the coach taking us to the Sol y Mar Madina was very quick, the only issue was getting your visa. (Check out Craig and Nat Evans review for advice)
On arrival at the hotel we were met with a lovely glass of melon juice which was very refreshing, check in was quick and we were shown to our room which was superb, with out requesting it my Inlaws had a room change so that they were located just two doors away which was handy.
When we went up for dinner we did not realise that there was a smoking and a non smoking area so unfortunately, on the first night, we sat in the smoking area, everybody sat in this area seem to smoke continuosly during the meal so if you are a non smoker make sure you sit in the right area of the resturant. There is always a good selection and variety of food on offer every day at the main resturant, with sections of bread, salads, hot foods including pasta/omletes/crepes all cooked in front of you while you wait. The puddings come in a variety of shapes and colours and look out for the chocolate Chef when he comes round with a big bowl of chocolates....
The swimming pool is well looked after and is always kept spotless, there are plenty of sun beds and shades, the childrens pool also has a shade over it which is great. The beach is only a 5 min stroll from the hotel, the beach surrounds a bay which contains a large coral reef which is protected but you can snorkel all around the reef edges, I have read other reviews and people say they didnt see any fish, they must have been swimming around with their eyes closed, we all saw hundreds of fish from small damsels and pipefish up to large puffers and nepolean wrasse even turtles and squid. There is a hotel beach bar by the beach were you can get drinks and snacks until sunset. There is a path that runs around the bay which is safe to walk round at night which is great .
Overall you could not ask for a better beach holiday location, the hotel is so clean and the staff so friendly, there are only a few British staying at the resort so if you want to get away from every thing it is ideal, there is no night life so dont go there looking for that, except if you have a small child then you should check out mini disco! A special thanks must go to Atito our waiter who looked after us very very well and made our daughter feel at home and Ahmed our room boy who kept our room imaculate at all times, and kept our daughter amused daily with his selection of towel animals.
Would definitely go back.

Room Tip: Try and get a room that looks out on to the pool, good view and quiet.
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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9  Thank SarahSamHawkins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 May 2012 via mobile

We have just returned from a week long stay at the Madina and can hand on heart say it exceeded all our expectations.

Arrived into Marsa Alam following a 5hr flight from Gatwick with Thomson, a long flight made all the longer without any inflight entertainment. Having spoken with the flight crew on the return, this is due to Thomson not making enough money on the sale of headsets to cover the cost of the licence required for showing films now the majority of people use iPads etc.

On arrival into Marsa Alam it becomes slightly confusing, you step off the bus into the visa area and are asked to queue in hotel rows to get your visa, if you do this you will be charged £13 on the coach when leaving. To save a few pounds, use the bank, which is immediately to your left and it costs ten pounds, which you pay there and then. When they come around to collect visa money on the bus, just inform them you have paid at the bank.

Airport was very quick and cases were on the carousel as soon as we got through passport control and we were away within 15 minutes to the hotel, a transfer of 10 minutes or so.

Arrived at the hotel to a refreshing drink and an ice cold towel, which was greatly appreciated.

Check in was swift and we were shown to our rooms, which was immaculate. The hotel is divided into two areas, the Pool area and Souk area. Our room was in the Souk area and if I'm honest, was probably the only negative given the fact shop keepers continually try and get you in their shops, especially given the fact that we were two of only a very few English in resort. I have no issue with this outside of a hotel, but don't expect it in my hotel each time I go back to my room from the pool or out to Dinner.

The room was kept immaculate by our room boy Ramadan and he couldn't do enough for us.

AI runs from 0900hrs to 0000hrs, and again the bar service is excellent. Staff genuinely remember your drinks the whole stay and also mix up some different ones to try throughout your stay. Word of advice. When you check in you are told that water is not included in the AI and an offer is available for 14 bottles of water for €14. You get one bottle free in your room already. DON'T take up the offer, refill your one free bottle from the water fountains at the bars and the restaurant which ARE included in the AI.

Food is good, with some very good things to be had. It can get a bit repetitive, but that's a typical AI.

Pool area is very clean and pool, although not massive was good and there are plenty of beds to go round, without the need to put your towel down.

Don't be put off by the distance to the beach, I've stayed in hotels "on the beach" which have been further away.

Animation team are geared heavily towards the Italian and German guests and some of them, are a little dismissive of the British guests.

Overall though, had a great holiday and loved the very laid back atmosphere with excellent customer service.

Don't go here expecting nightlife because there isn't any, it is a truly relaxation resort with only a handful of English in the hotel. If being surrounded by Brits is your thing book the Lamaya over the road, if you want great service book here at The Madina. We'll definitely return.

  • Stayed: June 2011
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8  Thank CraigandNatEvans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2012

Just returned from 2 weeks at this hotel, and what a hotel......it's fairly small, but very friendly and Mr Mohammed and his staff work their backsides off to ensure you have an enjoyable break.

I've never stayed in a hotel so clean, from someone seemingly posted on permanent window cleaning duty at the main reception, to the main restaurant being continually swept and a damp cloth being run over the floor on an endless basis.....I had two minor gripes in my time there, one being the lack of choice at the salad bar, and the other being the Internet access.

I filled in a comment form regarding these issues, and within hours I had a note left on the bed, asking me to see Mr Mohammed at reception, where I explained my thoughts on the salads, and what I felt could be done to improve it. Sure enough, at the next evenings dinner, all my suggestions had been implemented - to great success judging by the number of people who then used it.

Internet access at €6.50 for 90 minutes ( which must be used within 72 hours ) was a bit of a joke, especially as it was so slow, and very intermittent.....I suggested charging €25 per week unlimited, as they'd probably have more take up, but Mr M explained that his hands were tied as it was a service provided by a company in Cairo, but would pass on comments........in all, the staff there really went out of their way to make sure everything was to your satisfaction, almost to the point of you wanting to scream at them 'leave me alone, if I have a problem, I'll find you'!

Entertainment is very limited, with a tuneless crooner most nights, murdering a few songs....but most people ignored him and just drank and chatted, indeed some of the people said they'd rather just have some background music playing. The animation team try their best.....trying being the operative word!

Now what let the place down was the beach....very gritty, like walking on cat litter, and full of building stones, wear beach shoes at all times, I sliced my foot open moving my sunbed one morning. The bay is very shallow so you have to wade out about 100 yards before you get to any real depth of water, and I found the snorkelling very poor, though I may have just been unlucky, as others said they saw turtles and alsorts of fish,including the dugong.....there were several huge 'swarms' of jellyfish too, but they're harmless, so don't be put off by them!

Room Tip: Bottled water is not part of your all inclusive, and the hotel will try to sell you 14 bottles of water for €14 - which we fell for..........don't buy it, you get a complimentary 2l and 2x 500ml bottles of water in your room, just top them up at the water cooler in the restaurant or the gym - that's what everyone else does!
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank dmoak66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2012

Just got back from a weeks stay at the wl madina. Could not fault anything in this hotel. Staff friendly, rooms immaculate, food fantastic! Perfect holiday if you just want to relax. Marsa alam is a very quiet location so don't go expecting nightlife, marsa Alam seems very undiscovered by tourists at the moment (always a good thing) nothing like sharm. A good tip is to take euro's not Egyptian pound as everything is price in euro, you lose out on their exchange rate with Egyptian pound.

Also would highly recommend planet spa. They will approach you in the hotel for a massage. Me An my partner visited them twice (make sure you barter a bit on price).

Emperor divers are the cheapest in the area but be careful they have some hidden costs. Met a family who went to coraya divers and they had very bad things to say.

This hotel is a gem!!

  • Stayed: May 2012
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5  Thank LauraCunningham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 April 2012

Very good food service.
all in does not include water in the room. only local alcohol in all in.
Very friendly staff.
Food : a lot of variation
A lot of Italians and Germans, and no russians (+++).

  • Stayed: April 2012
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3  Thank brusselei
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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