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“Xmas Hol.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas

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Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Safaga Road | Abu Makhadeg Bay, Makadi Bay, Egypt   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #10 of 20 Hotels in Makadi Bay
London, United Kingdom
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Xmas Hol.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

Had a great Christmas at Fort Arabesque with friends, Nieces and Nephews and my husband. excellent fortnight. Italian based entertainment, but was able to get involved. could always find something to eat. The location and rooms and service great. 14/12 to 28/12.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,371 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (222)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
London, England, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

This review is based on staying in a villa rather than in the main hotel. My partner and I love peace and quiet and I obviously enjoy the chance to be looked after and lazy. All the boxes were ticked. The villa was very well appointed with the piece-de-resistance being the pretty, private patio from which you could slip effortlessly into a beautifully warm private pool. The villas are in a row with each villa sharing a pool with about 4 others but we always seemed to have it to ourselves.
Part of the peaceful environment was because the villas are only open to people over 16 so our grandchildren stayed in the main hotel. They were fine with this but the standard here was certainly lower and their aircon never worked o the room was very stuffy.
The food was pretty good overall; they tried hard to cater for all tastes. The villa breakfasts were served in a different restaurant and all freshly cooked to order.
We were there over Christmas and all the staff were really keen to see that we enjoyed ourselves to the full. Slightly disconcerting to be looking out over the palm-fringed Red Sea listening to 'Jingle Bells' ...
We're not huge fans of hotel entertainment but did spend some happy evenings listening to Roberto sing and play his saxophone. Sounds a bit dull but was actually quite fun, particularly as we were on an all-inclusive holiday so were keen patrons of the bar!
The highlight of staying at Fort Arabesque has to be the snorkelling. It's so easy - just wade in for a few yards and the coral reefs are there, teeming with fish of every size and colour. It's really worth treating yourself to an underwater camera to bring the experience home.
All in all we loved it and are planning to return.

Room Tip: Go for a villa.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
188 reviews 188 reviews
47 hotel reviews
Reviews in 79 cities Reviews in 79 cities
149 helpful votes 149 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

We booked three of the villas for a special family Christmas break (21-28 Dec) and we all agreed that they were outstandingly beautiful, peaceful and spacious. The only issue that we encountered was that because the hotel had an english health and safety visit in the last few months, we were informed on arrival, that the villas were not to be used for children under 16 due to the danger of the swim up pools. We had one child aged 13 who is a great swimmer but the hotel would not allow him to stay there due to these contractural reasons. the big issue for us was that there was absolutely no correspondence from either Thomson about this or from the hotel (who I emailed the week before we arrived to check all was OK)

Subsequently we had to have one standard room and two villas which separated our party up for the week and while we had a refund for the villa upgrade, it spoilt or tainted a family trip together that we ere really looking forward to. NOTE - We checked the Thomson website while still there (and upon return) and villas can still be booked with children in the party. If you are planning to go to the villas and have children under 16 - contact either Thomson, your tour operator and or the hotel directly to confirm the arrangements so you are not as disappointed as we were!

Apart from this hiccup, the hotel is brilliant, set in great manicured gardens, has a fantastic beach and the best snorkelling in the bay. The Fort really is a great holiday spot, the staff were really friendly and didn't expect a tip (albeit the service was fast if you did) and were pleased if you tried to speak to them in basic Arabic. The entertainment was OK, not brilliant, but our party enjoyed Roberto who was a whizz on the sax and quite funny. There is separate local entertainment at the Saga wing and down at the arena but we never made it that far after dinner and a few drinks!

The food was again OK, and you need to be early into lunch or dinner as it doesn't seem to be replaced in any hurry, most of the food was warm and never actually hot. I found it weird that in the bar you we served a small beer in a large pilsner glass and in the restaurant served a large bottle of beer in a wine glass - neither would allow you to take one from another? We had two fridges in the villas and if you ask for a cold can of beer or two you can stock up back at base. We had an a la carte meal in the pavilion and while you pay extra for this (at about £15 per main each) for either a whole lobster or fillet steak is great value and served in a well presented and nice restaurant. The fine wines are extra but we opted for a few bottles of the house Egyptian red wine which we found out afterwards came at no extra charge. If you want a special meal you may want to consider this.

We also went to the Makadi water park (see our separate review) and had a great time, and highly recommend this for families for a full fun day in the area.

Our group took a trip into Hurghada via the hotel minibus (10Euro each) and had a nightmare time, were left in the middle of a street and one was even pick pocketed by a small girl, our advice Is forget this and get your souvenirs at the airport when you leave, the same items are here in a much more relaxed environment. Egypt however feels really safe, the people really friendly and polite and just like anywhere else, you just need to keep your wits about you to make sure the odd person doesn't spoil it for the many......

My wife and I used the onsite spa and had a massage each on Christmas day lasting about an hour, what a great way to unwind and relax and to take your stresses away, it cost us about £30 each including a discount, so was good value for us.

Finally, the hotel management were really supportive and helpful as was Mohammed the Thomson rep and gave us all the upgrades of the villa in the standard room. Free wifi, gym, breakfast in the pavilion etc.

Would we go back.........the answer is definitely yes and definitely back to one of the villas, there are two more banks of new villas being built over the next 12 months so we look forward to seeing this cracking hotel develop and grow some more.

Well done the to Fort and thanks for some good memories here at Christmas.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012

We paid £875 each for a 14 day all inclusive package holiday with Thomas Cook in early November. The flight was the usual cramped seats, not enough leg room, a miserable 15Kg baggage allowance, and hardly any in flight information. The ladies toilets at Hurgarda airport were disgusting. On arrival you had to pay £13 for a visa at passport control.
The weather was perfect. 27 - 30C degrees every day, with a light wind, but breezy on just a couple of days.
The hotel grounds were spacious and the gardens very pretty. All the other hotels in Makadi Bay had a lot less room. This is the best site in the bay, with a beautiful 500 metre sandy beach, albeit covered in sun loungers and beach umbrellas. There were a good number of showers and toilets available just behind the beach.
The reception area was nothing remarkable, and you could change sterling notes at a god rate (we got E£9.50 to the £ with no commission), but they rarely had small denomination notes suitable for tipping.
The bedroom on the second floor was spacious, but tatty, with not enough wardrobe space. There was just a standard size double bed, and a single bed. The air conditioning was very effective, but a little noisy. The balcony was the biggest we have ever had, and there were very nice garden and sea views.
The bathroom was small, but had a bidet and an excellent shower, which produced immediate hot water. However, the toilet was not sanitised on a regular basis, nor were the drinking glasses.There was stagnant water on the floor behind the toilet and bidet.
There were several areas in the dining room. Indoors, outdoors and a covered area, where the windows were wide open and birds flew in to pick up food off the floor. Smoking was permitted in all but the inside location. The meals were standard all inclusive fare, all buffet service, and the dishes kept warm in large metal serving containers. The food was generally warm, but not hot. There needed to be a wider choice of dishes. The waiters were pleasant but service could be slow. Make sure to get in reasonably early, because the restaurant starts to get closed down well before the advertised times.
The bar was pleasant with several areas in which to enjoy a drink. The service was friendly, but usually slow. This was the first all inclusive we have experienced, which did not serve free cocktails. The gin and tonic was good, and so was the Stella larger. The Egyptian red wine was just about drinkable. Bottled water was freely available at all bars and restaurants.
It certainly helped if you tipped little and often, but there was no pressure to do so.
The pool area was quiet and pleasant, but not very well patronised. The towel centre opened at 6 a.m. and there were plenty of early risers reserving the most favoured sun loungers. By 7.30 at least 75% on the beach had gone. You were meant to hand back your towels, but a lot of guests either kept them or exchanged them for fresh that evening.
About 10.00 a.m. the exercise class started on the back of the beach opposite the animation centre, accompanied by incredibly loud music, which you could still hear 150 metres away. It continued until 12.30, went quiet at lunch time, and recommenced at 2.00 p.m., stopping at sun set. We have no objection to music for exercise classes, but the volume should be 5 - 10% of what we experienced. A lot of people complained, but nothing was done to mitigate the situation.
There seemed to be a stomach bug going round, and we both suffered from the "runs". We noticed staff swabbing down certain areas.
We did not go to the so called evening entertainment, but several people we met said it was dire
Now for the good news. The hotel does not take Russians, and the snorkelling was top class. It was particularly good for the less experienced as you could wade in from the beach and start swimming. There are banks and islands of coral, with a good variety of interesting fish. Start your snorkelling from the right hand side of the beach, looking seaward. The beach attendants were quite vigilant in preventing intruders from other hotels using the facilities, and stopping people from feeding the fish.
In conclusion, if the management could rectify the problems outlined, it would be well worth visiting.

Room Tip: If you want a good view, ask for a room on the 2nd floor, or higher.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

Firstly Trip Advisor need an extra rating between average and very good.

My wife and I stayed at the arabesque for two weeks from 19th Nov to 3rd.This is a good hotel with some excellent points and some not so good ones.
It is always easier to write about the negatives, I will list the few I found, if you can live with them then you will have a great time.

The hotel is in a great position and is well laid out, there quite a few steps and ramps as it built on a hillside.
No problem for us but might be difficult for anyone with major mobility problems.
There is the main section of the hotel and a West wing which apparently is newer and is used by Saga holidays amongst others.
We had a room on the ground floor of the main building, it had two double beds, settee and a small dining table and chairs. The bathroom was large enough with a decent shower.
You get a fridge stocked daily with water and soft drinks. I kept some beer from the bar in there without any issues.
A big minus was no tea/coffee facilities in the room which we think is a must have and not a major expense to provide.

Check in was swift and easy and anytime I needed to use reception I found the staff friendly and helpful.

The grounds were well tended and gardeners were always working hard with a smile.

The main pool was heated when we were there so it was not very refreshing to dip into in the heat of the day, good for a tea time swim though.
Three other small pools including the west wing one had a few sun loungers around but there were pools with no sun beds at all.

The beach is the undoubted crowning glory of this hotel with its own very long section. There are parasols and sun beds the full length in rows four deep but without feeling cramped for room.
If you want to be front row water’s edge then you need to be up at first light.
This is the worst hotel I have stayed at for the towel reservation game, no nationality escapes criticism and if you can’t beat them join them, however, the Germans are still the world champs.
There are always plenty on the other rows and even if you had a bed on row four then you were only a dozen paces from the sea.

The coral and sea life off the beach is fantastic and a real magnet not only for the hotel guests but for the red armada of Russians from the next hotel.
There was a constant stream of them trudging along snorkel and flippers in hand to visit this section of water.

The bars are fine with good service for the most part. Ninety per cent of the staff are friendly and good at their jobs. It is also amazing what a couple of Pounds or Euros will get you in the way of service, although I tipped after getting decent service not to bribe someone into it, the tip just improved it a little.
The lobby bar is comfortable with a non smoking section next to room where a camp saxophonist plays each evening.
The west wing has the Saga louts bar where there is dancing to the tunes of a world weary 65yr old local who manages to murder most of the tracks he sings over. We watched him a few times but had to leave when he tried to do a Shakira tribute.
The arena is a large tiered theatre where the visiting dance troupes strut their stuff. We watched the usual belly dancer and tanouri dancer as well as Russian and Chinese acts. Contrary to other reviews the Italian entertainment staff does translate into English and German.

Now for my major gripes, the restaurant staff are hopeless. Every table I sat at always had something missing or a dirty table cloth. Trying to get a glass or missing spoon etc was hard work. Plates were not cleared and if you are having a three course dinner at a small table then the pile of plates just grows and grows. Drinks are hard to get at evening dinner and never replenished without having to ask.
The newer wing is slightly better but not by much. This was at a time when the hotel was way below full capacity so lord only knows how they cope when full.

The food at breakfast was fine with plenty of choice but there the positives end.
I only ate at the buffet lunch once and either didn’t bother or just had a snack at the beach bar.
The food in the evening ranged from average to poor. I often struggled to cobble a good meal together. The soups were ok but the rest, whilst looking fine was pretty tasteless.
This is my 20th all inclusive in over a dozen countries so I think I am qualified to judge.
Some people raved about the food and said it was one of the reasons they were repeat guests. Who is to say who is right, well I am and it’s average.
Having said the above neither of us had any Pharaoh’s revenge.

When we visited the vast majority of guests were middle to old aged and so it was pretty quiet.
There were, thankfully, no school aged kids and just a handful of toddlers.
It is not the sort of place for football shirts and tacky ¾ length Lonsdale trousers or sleeveless vests.
I only saw one football shirt but as it was Derby County it didn’t qualify as football.
We met a nice couple who after being asked to join us for a drink one evening became the world hide and seek champions but I bet I won the race home from the airport.
If you know 4 posh ladies one of whom is named after a herb and who went together from 27.11 to 3.12 then you should have gone with them. By not being there then rest assured that your character was assassinated, especially you Sally and Rebecca.

Overall our opinion is 3.5 stars and with better food and restaurant staff could be 4 stars but never will be 5 stars.
The food would prevent me from returning or recommending.

Room Tip: I e-mailed for a room in the West wing but it fell on deaf ears.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hants, UK
17 reviews 17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

We had a brilliant week here, we have been to about 15 hotels in Egypt and must say overall I think this was the best.
The food choice was perhaps not the best, but we never went hungry and everything else was excellent. The rooms are large and very clean the shower better than my one at home.
The beach is large with very nice coral (better I think as there are very few Russians here to stomp on it and feed the fish!!) The sunshades are big and there is loads of room between the beds.
We went on a boat trip with the dive people onsite and we swam with dolphins, it was wonderful.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burton on Trent
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012 via mobile

We stayed in a 2 bed villa room would recommend to anyone was worth the extra money. The pavillion food amazing up graded breakfast omelettes fried, boiled scrambled eggs, fresh fruit juices etc. rooms very spacious and clean. Beach excellent, weather fantastic especially for late November. Only downfall mosquitoes were out in force. But all rooms had raid diffusers. Mini fridge in living area and bedroom replenished daily

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas

Address: Safaga Road | Abu Makhadeg Bay, Makadi Bay, Egypt
Location: Egypt > Red Sea and Sinai > Makadi Bay
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Best Value Hotel in Makadi Bay
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Makadi Bay
#5 Spa Hotel in Makadi Bay
#7 Family Hotel in Makadi Bay
#9 Luxury Hotel in Makadi Bay
#11 Romantic Hotel in Makadi Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas 4*
Number of rooms: 458
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa, & Villas promises tranquilityand opulence with its 444 luxurious rooms, suites, privateapartments and 14 newly built villas.Four dining venues, five swimming pools, including a children's pool(three of which are heated), a state-of-the-art gym, world class Thai managed Spa and sports facilities as well as I-Dive, a five-starIDC PADI dive center, guarantee a fun and unforgettable hotel experience.Inspired by the Sardinian roots of its architects, FortArabesque Resort & Spa combines distinctive Italianand Arabic accents in its architecture, from its imposingmedieval fort structure to its interior touches and décor,where the different shades of Egyptian cave stones fromAswan blend with the antique fine wood furnishings oforiental designs.We would like to introduce our new concept as well, which is unique in Egypt.Nestled within the Fort Arabesque resort, The Villas offer its guests luxurious accommodation, space and privacy in addition to a more personal and dedicated service. Each of the 14 Villas (8 units with 1 bedroom + 1 bathroom, 6 units with 2 bedrooms + 2 bathrooms) is tastefully decorated to reflect the mix of Arabic accents and Mediterranean influences of the Fort Arabesque Resort. All units have private garden and terrace with private access to a secluded swimming pool exclusive to The Villas. To ensure a fast and efficient service, the check-in is done through a private reception. The residents also have access to the Pavilion which is a private lounge where the villa guests can enjoy a semi-served upgraded breakfast in the morning. For lunch and dinner time the Pavilion functions as an A’la Carte Restaurant, giving the opportunity to enjoy a fine dining experience. The extra benefits of the Villa Guests include free Wi-Fi, free Gym usage and various discounts in the different outlets of the hotel.Guests at The Villas are free to use all the facilities and enjoy the same ‘all inclusive’ benefits at the resort with quick access to the main restaurant and the beach as well. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Fort Arabesque
Fort Arabesque Makadi Bay
Fort Arabesque Hurghada

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