We stayed at the Arabella Azur in May 2012. This hotel was recommended by a Dutch friend. After research we knew that there would be very few English people staying at the hotel (in fact, we were the only ones, me, my partner and my parents) but this didn't concern me.
Our first impression was that the hotel is a little dated (as mentioned in other reviews) but it is still a nice hotel. The hotel staff are all extremely nice and will do anything to help (especially if you give them the odd tip which is the norm in Egypt). The rooms are scattered across a large area and it is quite easy to lose your direction. We booked two sea view rooms at extra cost but we were given pool view rooms, we immediately mentioned this to reception but no other suitable rooms were available until the next day, we spent the first night in the original rooms but moved the next day. The best sea view rooms (in our opinion) are located at the rear of the dive centre.
The rooms are very clean. Towels are changed daily and floors are mopped and swept every day too. Our room cleaner made some really nice things with our towels, some of which we hadn't seen before. We did wake up one morning to find a cockroach in the room, the cleaner was very appologetic and gave us a tin of spray. We mentioned the bug to reception who immediately sent someone round to fumigate the room. This was the only unwanted visitor we had. At the time that we were there the hotel imported lots of new sand to spread on the beach outside our room, we think that the bug may have been brought in with the sand. Thank you to the hotel for dealing with this.....an excellent service as we hate cockroaches.
The food at the hotel is one of the best we have had at an Egyptian all inclusive hotel (it is by no means gormet cuisine but is tasty and as in other reviews, can be a little repetative) and the all inclusive runs until 2am. Try the pizza's at the small pool, they are really nice but make sure you ask for extra toppings as the chef can hold back if you don't say anything.
The anmation team do try really hard but we felt that it could have been better (no offence guys). Entertainment is available outside the grill restaraunt but it is not advertised when anything is on. Some singers were very entertaining with the song choice and getting the audience involved, others were trying to be professional singers but we just couldn't help feeling it was more like a comedy show.
We booked a snorkelling trip and the glass bottom boat with Adam who introduces himself to you whilst you are sunbathing. Adam is very pleasant but he charged us far too much for our trip. The boat (SHARK 1) looks like a heap of junk, there are no cushions on the seat, no carpets on the floor and the steel hull is rusting away. The day was good but at 325 L.E. each was a rip off! the boat has 4 locations tops, 3 for snorkelling and 1 for a visit to Paradise island. We found a similar trip with all soft drinks and lunch included for only 150 L.E at an agents office in Sherraton Street which included pick from the hotel and return too. Take a look at the boat near the large pool before you book, my advice would be to avoid at all costs (unless of course Adam (or any of the other reps) will match the 150 L.E price at the agent, they will try to say that you will not be insured with the other agent but this is not true). We did see dolphins whilst we were out which did make the trip OK. I have had much better trips which cost a lot less. The only advantage is the the boat left from the hotel.
There is an island in the lagoon but there were very few fish here. The best reef by far is the one located at the beach bar near the volley ball court. I would say it's one of the best reefs in all the hotels we have visited in Egypt (6 in total).
We would like to thank Mohamed who was laying our towels out for us at the pool (he was moved to the beach area near the end of our holiday but continued to look after us) and also thanks to another Mohamed (really nice guy with a few puzzles for you to solve) who was the barman in the beer keller but was moved to the Italian restaurant in the second week of our holiday. This was parents first visit to Egypt and also the first time they have been to an all inclusive hotel and they will definately do it again but maybe not to this hotel. All staff speak multiple languages so even though we were the only English people there, there was no problem communicating. I wouldn't let this review put you off this hotel as it is really nice, but there are better hotels in Hurghada.
ADVICE:- Book your boat trips outside of the hotel.