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“Great Hotel”
Review of Jaz Lamaya Resort

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Jaz Lamaya Resort
Ranked #6 of 68 Hotels in Marsa Alam
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 February 2010

My wife and I visited the Lamaya from the 3rd-10th February.

We were both nervous having read about the bed bugs problems. These appear to have been resolved as we did not come across anyone with any problems. We did see some bed heads being carted away, so if there is any remaining problem it is obviously being addressed.

The hotel was excellent. It was very clean and the staff friendly and cheerful.

The food was varied, and good whilst not outstanding; we managed to find something every day without thinking about using the two a la carte restaurants. Each evening there was a choice of a vegetable, fish, chicken or beef main course as well as a pasta station and a barbeque station. If we had been there for longer than a week we may have become a little bored but for a week it was fine.

There was also a fitness centre containing a gym, jacuzzi and various massage services (very good). There was a water park a 5 minute walk away, that is free to guests. In addition there were two pool tables which need to be pre-booked at reception. There did not seem too much in the way of organised day time and evening activities; this may be because it was the quiet season but suited us just fine. Anyone visiting Marsa should be aware that there is a coral reef, a few hotels and the desert, so there is no entertainment or places to eat/drink outside the hotel complexes.

The beach was made up of ground coral, as is common in Marsa, rather than soft sand but it seemed popular. There were also volleyball and petanque pitches here.

The hotel is only a short ten minute transfer from the airport, though you will not be disturbed by flights as Marsa is a very quiet airport, we only saw two flights all week.

The prime purpose of our visit was to dive. The on site dive centre Coraya divers was very professsional, although reception staff could be a little unfriendly and disorganised; the guides were excellent. They have two house reefs (north and south) that you can dive unaccompanied if you have 25+ dives. Marine life was abundant with all the usual Red Sea suspects, Lion fish, Clown fish, Masked Puffer, Blue spotted wrays etc. We even saw 5 dolphins at the end of the dive. In addition the dive centre run afternoon and morning speedboat and truck dives, with an additional option of day boat trips from Port Ghalib just ten minutes drive away. If you do dive, we strongly recommend settling up your bill the day before you leave as we found it very laborious and time consuming! This way you don't lose any time the day of your departure. If you return in the future to dive here you are eligible for a 10% discount which sounds like a bargain!

For those just wishing to snorkel, there is a dedicated pier to allow entry onto the reef. This was extremely popular.

We have stayed previously in Marsa at the Calimera Habiba 30km south of this hotel and much prefer the Lamaya. We will be back.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Monkeys_Mum_and_Dad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 February 2010

We go on half a dozen holidays a year and have been to Egypt 20 times in the last 20 years but this was out first trip to Marsa Alam.

We were a bit worried about our trip before going after reading several reviews on this site but were pleasantly surprised on arrival. The flight out was awful as we were 2 of the passengers who went without a meal even though it stated that we were entitled to a meal on our ticket!

However, on arriival at the hotel we were met with a welcome drink and a refreshing towel and shown to our comfortable room, very peaceful, situated in the gardens.

We found the food good, the wines and beer were fine but the gin was poor quality and the staff did not understand the word "small" gin so in the end we made our own gin and tonics. Not the greatest quality gin but this is Egypt after all!

We loved the beach and swimming pools and walking around the bay every morning after breakfast. We also loved to look at the fish, especially when the water was calm. The animation team were friendly but not pushy and I did the stretching class and water gym class every morning. We also played boules on the beach. The shows that the animation team put on in the evening were dire (more suited to the Russians and Germans). We tried the disco one night but it was mainly aimed at the 3 animation teams in the local hotels showing off which scared offf most of the tourists (including us!).

The hotel staff were very friendly and helpful and we enjoyed chatting to them and teasing them about football etc. Egypt won the African cup while we were out there and we had a lot of banter about the world cup etc...

This hotel is very good value for money to enjoy a week in the winter sun to escape the English weather but we feel a week is long enough and we would not visit in the summer or in school holidays.

The hotel manager invited us to a cocktail party on our last night to ask about our comments. We told him that we had had a lovely holiday - we mentioned that the lighting in the room was poor (not strong enough to read when the sun had set) and that the pressure in the shower was poor. Apart from that, a wonderful relaxing break to take us away from the miserable English winter.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank MinxiMC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 February 2010

We flew out from Manchester on 8th January following a 24 hour delay due to the snow. We were lucky that having checked on line we didn't travel to the airport that day. As we were going for 2 weeks the delay was not too bad. We got away on the Friday. We flew with Thomsons and experienced no problems. The food was ok on the plane and the crew were very pleasant.
We arrived in Marsa Alam airport five and a half hours later, and, as we were the only flight in, obtained our cases fairly quickly. Following advice from contributors to this site we obtained our visas from the bank at the airport. This was an easy process and slightly cheaper than from the reps. We then boarded the bus for the 10 minute journey to the hotel, where we were met by the friendly staff, a cold drink and a hot flannel, before cmpleting an easy check in procedure and then being shown to our room. We were pleased with the room. We hadn't requested anything special as we don't spend any significant time in the room. It was spacious, clean, had air conditioning, plenty of space to store your belongings, a safe, a mini bar ( items were charged for) tea/coffee making facilities and bottles of water, which were provided each day free of charge. We also received a free bottle of red wine and fruit in our room on arrival.
The main restaurant, where you could eat breakfast, lunch and an evening meal was of a good standard. For breakfast you could choose from cereals, sausage, eggs, toast, croissants, meat, cheese, bread and fruit. For lunch there was a selection of salads, pasta, burgers, vegetables, chips etc and for your evening meal, a choice of salads, soups, pasta, beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, vegetables and a barbeque outside the retaurant. The waiters were very friendly and some of them really went the extra mile.
There were 4 pools, 2 large freeform pools, 1 heated, a family pool heated, and a children's pool. The beach was found just past the family pool. There were plenty of beds at the pools and on the beach and towels were provided. The beds on the beach were also protected by windbreaks. There was a jetty to the side of the beach for swimmers, snorkellers and divers to access the sea because of the coral. The entertainment team worked hard all day organising games and again in the evening providing a different themed show from 9.30 to 10.30. They were very friendly and even though we were vey lazy and did not participate in any of the activities they made time to talk to us each day. I would go as far as to say that all the staff at this hotel, without exception, were the friendliest we have ever experienced in our many years of travelling. The managers introduced themselves at the welcome meeting and were seen walking around the hotel each day and were always available to speak to if you had any issues, not that we did.
Every night when we rturned to our room, Mohammed, our room boy, had decorated the bed with towel art.
Stacey, the Thomsons rep was very good, and having talked to her about the available trips we booked the following: Wadi El Gimal- a camel or cart ride into the desert, where we learnt about some Bedouin traditions, tried the coffee, camel cheese and bread and other traditional food. The best part of this trip was seeing the night sky, so amazingly clear. We went on a snorkelling trip to Abu Dabab, sadly we did not see the Dugong, but saw lots of other sea life including turtles. We went on the boat trip to Hamata, another snorkelling trip, where you snorkel in the vicinity of 3 islands. We saw lots of sea life snorkellin and whilst on the boat a dolphin, a turtle and a manta ray passing by. The crew were excellent and provide a guide for the snorkelling. We went on an overnight trip to Luxor, where we visited Karnak museum, Valley of the Kings. Luxor museum and stayed in a hotel on the banks of the Nile overnight. We were supposed to do a hot air balloon trip but this was cancelled due to it being too windy. This wa sdisappointing but did not spoil our trip as there was so much else to see. Our guide was excellent.
If you are thinking of booking this hotel please do not let the adverse comments put you off, we had a brilliant holiday, helped all the more by the wonderful staff at the hotel, the guides on our trips and some lovely people we were fortunate to meet on holiday and spend some time with.
The only negative thoughts I have come home with is how rude some of the Russian guests at the hotel were to the staff, who just shrugged their shoulders, smiled and got on with their jobs.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank jacduc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 February 2010

Just back from a fortnight at the Lamaya Resort booked through oTravel and Thomsons.

TRANSPORT:

We were delayed on the way out by snow at Gatwick which meant that we did not arrive until after midnight - still the hotel had setout some sandwiches and a welcome bottle of red wine. Thomsons were efficient in dishing out a £5.00 voucher per head for nibbles as we waited.

Thomsons airline fleet is frankly well past its prime and I find it surprising that the TUI Directors have failed to understand one of the main reasons behind the failure of Airtours plc - that is to say an increasing unreliable and ageing aircraft fleet. The seat pitch is frankly less than even O'Leary would shoehorn you into for a 60 minute flight - let alone a 330 minute flight to Egypt. Needess to say the onboard food and entertainment were dire only relieved by the innovative approach to the safety film - which involves young kids and teddy bears giving the usual safety pitch.

MARSA ALAM AIRPORT:

Nice, newish and clean - no great delays. The first thing to understand is that Thomsons operates an very strange exchange rate policy - it will encourage you to buy a visa from their desk in sterling for a whopping premium over the USD15 base price - just ignore the profit centre and saunter over the bank [left hand side as you enter arrivals] and pay 50% less and bypass the Thomson queue...!

Once through immigration [having bought your visa at the bank you wil be first out] you'll find a luggage carousel - now luggage carts are charged at EUR2 and the Credit Card slot may or may not work - so if your luggage is not easily wheeled digout a two euro coin saved over from your last wine run to france [you'll need a second for the return leg of course].

The transfer coaches were clean and comfortable and the luggage sanely packed. Transfer took about 20 minutes.

HOTEL - Food;

Great Food with variety but standard Western European - so don't expect any traditional Egyptian specialities. Breakfast is yohurts, omelettes, waffles, cereals etc. I suggest eating lunch in the Morgana Beach Bar - the pizzas and spaghetti are just right for midday. Evening meals include a BBQ located outside on the terrace with great Kofti and lamb whist we were there. Needless to say at all meals there is ample fruit, cakes and other interesting nibbles. The pool Bar offers small rolls until 1200 and cakes thereafter.

HOTEL - Drinks:

Beer and Wine are as good as a London Pub but with the exception of the Vodka and Gin in the G&T the spirits are some strange liquid no doubt mass produced at the local ICI plant - horribly chemical in taste and undistinguishable one from another.

HOTEL - Entertainment;

I am of an age to remember entertainment at Butlins in the 1960s - enjoy...! The Animation team work hard and unobtrusively with Aqua-gym, water polo, petanque etc but most of the time it is great just to chillout. Snorkelling is fantastic but the sea was a bit rough when we were there - Egypt was getting some storms.

TV is a Dubai based English language film channel - I think we saw the best part of The World's 100 worst films whilst we were there and BBC World Middle East, aka wall to wall repetition of the same news. Take a laptop and some DVDs or films on a memory stick.

HOTEL - Tours etc;

Ok; let me remind you that Thomsons think you are a cash cow - we found out that some trips organised by other parts of TUI are just not available via Thomsons - and costings for identical trips are 50% more expensive when booked via Thomsons - just check the TUI notice boards for confirmation. The reason behind this is that Marsa Alam runs in Euros and you are getting a double-whammy when booking trips in Sterling - the effective Thomson Rate is One Pound equals 90 Euro cents [about 20% less than the true rate of exchange].

The Super-safari [Camels and Quad Bikes] has been dropped from the Thomson offering and has been replaced by a camel and donkey cart alternative whilst other parts of TUI offer it for less than the donkey cart replacement. Apparently, Thomsons dropped it due to ho-hum 'Health and Safety Reasons'...!

What is worse is that Iberotel will not facilitate car rental - the usual spiel of how dangerous driving abroad can be is trotted out - but we met a French family who had happily toured with an eight month old baby in a hire car to and from Abu Simbal - you are left with the distinct impression that the hotel which is owned by TUI is safeguarding the very high excursion prices by actively discouraging independent travel, The Abu Simbal trip is over £175.00 per person.

HOTEL - Staff;

Great bunch - happy to help and the famous towel art is something else indeed.

LOCATION;

Fantastic - the walk round the bay to the Coraya is well worth it, the beach is clean, swept and pleasant. The EUR10 trip to El Quseir is worth it and gives you an idea of normal urban Egypt - there traders are pussycats compared to say the Soukkes in Tunisia...!

OVERALL:

This is a great hotel to stay in but I have the distinct feeling a better deal could be obtained by booking it direct. Flights to Marsa Alam are available for about £200 return or split with Sharm - there are several daily flights from Marsa Alam to Sharm and you can fly bucket to Sharm with more legroom than Thomson Cattle Airways. We'd definitely stay again but not via Thomsons.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank fujimar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 February 2010

We have recently returned from the most wonderful holiday in a truly beautiful place.We arrived at the Lamanya Hotel in Marsa Salam in Egypt to be greeted by a very friendly, courteous and most professional staff. A welcoming drink was awaiting us and we were shown to our beautiful bedroom. The hotel was superb in every way. Food was excellent and catered for everyone's taste. Every where was spotlessly clean and the staff couldn't do enough for you. We never had a problem in getting a sunbed either on the beach or round the pools. Due to not being well ( not related in any way to the hotel) I had to visit Dr Peter on a daily basis. He was most charming and attentive and made me feel that I was in safe hands. One certainly would not get daily treatment like that in England. The Hotel Managers came and spoke to us on a regular basis and were only too happy to sort out any problem that you may have had. We did not have any problems. I cannot speak too highly of this hotel and staff and hope to return to this truly magical place. The only thing I did not like was the six hour flight.

Sandra & Tim - West Midlands

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank stcWestMidlans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2010

Once again a lovely holiday. Would not hesitate to recommend. In fact since our first time at the Lamaya several family and friends have been and were not disappointed. New since last visit is the water park which was enjoyed by all, its only a few mins walk from the hotel and is free except for any drinks / food which is billed direct to your room.Had a day trip on a boat for just our group ( 8 ) booked with the man around poolside ( sorry cannot remember his name ) excellent value for money we had a wonderful day.We are sorry to hear some people had been ill etc but they were very unfortunate, none of our party or anyone we were friendly with had any problems on any visit.We hope that it will not put anyone off booking. We are looking forward to our next visit.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank Whissey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 January 2010

We have just returned from this hotel and had a fantastic time. We plan to return as soon as we can afford to and hopefully for two weeks next time.

The hotel was beautiful, the staff were lovely and were really friendly towards all of us. Food was amazing, no dicky tummies and we tried everything!
There were no bed bugs in our room- we did take a maglite to search with but found nothing!

There was plenty to do and yet it was incredibly relaxing. The grounds were lovely and very well kept, staff seemed really proud of their hotel.
The bay itself was lovely and we saw a huge range of fish from the beach and the jetty. We even saw a ray jumping out of the water.

Some of the reviews on trip advisor made us feel a little wary, but I think more peeple are inclined to write a review if they have something to complain about than if they have had a good time.

Don't forget to take anything with you as the shops outside the hotel are expensive.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled with family
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3  Thank ks36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Jaz Lamaya Resort

Address: P.O. Box 5, Gorayfat Bay, Marsa Alam, Egypt (Formerly Iberotel Lamaya Resort)
Region: Egypt > Red Sea and Sinai > Marsa Alam
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Marsa Alam
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Marsa Alam
#6 Romantic Hotel in Marsa Alam
#6 Luxury Hotel in Marsa Alam
#11 Family Hotel in Marsa Alam
Price Range: £71 - £297 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Jaz Lamaya Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 389
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Iberotel Lamaya Hotel Marsa Alam
Iberotel Lamaya Marsa Alam

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