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“Superb location not matched by food and service.” 3 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
preston,lancs
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Superb location not matched by food and service.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2010

This hotel is set in a wonderful location on the Red Sea with a large private beach and attractive gardens. That is the good news but the whole experience leaves a lot to be desired.

The food is way below average for a so called 4 star hotel; repetitive, bland, greasy and lacking in flavour. Steer well clear of anything labelled beef or veal and if you like your bacon and sausage for breakfast you are not just in the wrong hotel you are in the wrong country. The restaurant service was dreadful. Hardly a meal went by without having to ask, sometimes 3 or 4 times, for the table to be set correctly. The waiters were like headless chickens, dashing around without a clue as to what they should be doing. Fawlty Towers without the laughs.

And don't even think of taking your unfinished wine with you to the bar lounge for your after meal coffee. Your exit from the dining area will be blocked and your wine will be confiscated. Why? You tell me! I don't speak Arabic.

All of this relates to the main block where we and most residents were located. There is another building, more modern and sometimes called the Saga block which we dined at towards the end of our stay. I recommend it. It's like a different world, excellent food and superb service in a relaxing environment. Definitely 4 star.

This was our first visit to Egypt and it will be our last. This hotel employs about 500 staff and guess what? Not one of them is female. No different to any other hotel in the country I was told. Fair enough, if that's how they want to do things it's no business of mine, but if I'd known this beforehand I'd never have stayed there.

  • Stayed November 2010, 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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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
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English first
Maidstone, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2010

Stayed at Fort Arabesque for one week with my sister and my mum. We found the hotel very clean, all staff were extremely helpful and attentive! The food was excellant and the choice was amazing. My sister stayed at a 5* hotel in El Gouna last year and she said that the food here was better. We can reccomend the Sunset Catamaran cruise and also snorkelling with the Diving Centre not forgetting the Thai massage treatments. The beach was also very clean but BEWARE if you want a sunlounger you need to get up at 7am to collect your towel to reserve one although there are signs for no reservations!! The snorkelling on the beach is a must as you can see all the different coloured fish even when you are only waist deep.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 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.
Yorkshire
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2010

We used Saga for our holiday organisation and they were great. Pam, the Saga Representative, is really professional and took good care of us throughout. The Saga Lounge is a little haven of piece and tranquility much envied by other guests.

The hotel is really impressive with good reception areas and really helpful staff. The room we were given was spacious with two double beds, a sofa, table, TV, mini bar and drink making facilities. The shower room was also spacious. The shower could have done with a bit of re-grouting but it wasn't enough to put you off. Oh, and this is one of those places where you have to put your loo paper in the bin provided.

We were on a all inclusive holiday so the mini bar was free, as was local beer, wine and spririts at all of the hotel's many bars and restaurants. The wine was basic but certainly drinkable. It was nice to see that guests didn't get to intoxicated, even though the bars were open from 10 until midnight. Another nice touch was that guests could help themselves to soft drinks, water, and beer from the fridges as they please. Ice creams were available on a similary basis.

The food (Buffet style) was really good. The quality was excellent, as was the range of dishes on offer. The waiting staff worked hard to ensure that tables were quickly cleared and reset for guests. Wine, beer, and soft drinks were available with the meals.

There was entertainment in the evenings in different parts of the hotel. There were singers in the two cafe bars and various caberet type acts starting at 9pm in the arena. The quality of the arena acts varied. The Whirling Dervish was my favourite. He was part of the Fakir Night.

The beach was well run and kept strickly for guests. Beach towels were provided via a leave an issued hotel card and return at the end of the day basis. There were plenty of sun beds to go around. The highlight was definately the fish to be viewed whilst snorkelling out over the coral reefs that sit about 5ft off the beach. You can even spot fish just standing at the edge. The pools were excellent and very lightly used.

If I were to find fault it would be that the resort is for tourists only. There is no local village and no local culture to observe. There are miles of hotels along the bay and that's all you can visit by foot from the hotel. It would have been nice to walk down to a local fishing village or something similar to watch the local world go by.

Other attractions are the trips around Egypt and the local islands and attractions.

Some sand flies and mosquitos but not at a level to put you off your holiday.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eastleigh, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2010

This was our second visit to Fort Arabesque, chosen again mainly for the temperature in October and the amazing fish around the coral.
The hotel is, on second sight, starting to look tired and in need of refurbishment but it is still good value for money. If anything we thought the quality of the food had improved, but otherwise it was much the same with a reasonable selection of dishes. The one thing we would critisise is the lack of cutlery and crockery especially at breakfast time. There are no desert spoons (only soup) and too few cereal/soup bowls, also tea and coffee at breakfastime have to be made at the table using hotwater jugs and there is a shortage of these too. The waiters at breakfast are a bit slap dash because of this as they are always trying to collect dishes or hot water jugs. The upshot of this is that you often find you have a recently washed up dish that is too hot to put cereals in. This also happens at lunchtimes and dinner where plates for salad or jelly are so hot as to spoil whatever you put on the plate !
The second thing that we critisised was that smoking was permitted in the dining rooms and many Italians and Brits do smoke without any thought for other diners.
The bar staff are quite good on the whole, but like everywhere else in Egypt a little “baksheesh” does help and in some cases was expected.
Our rooms were in the same area as we had last year, and we had in fact asked for the same ones. These were kept spotlessly so we had no complaints about the room or the facilities in it.
The evening entertainment that we saw was on the poor side compared to what we have seen in other hotels. Also nothing starts till 10.00pm; a bit late for a lot of people
The beach is kept neat and tidy, and the beach beds with matresses and daily towels are comfortable. The only drawback is that unless you are an early riser, all the beds willl be taken before 7.00am. We took it in turns to get down at 6.00am to ensure that we were not beaten by the Germans ! The fish around the inshore coral are very photogenic, but do wear shoes in the sea as there are many sea-urchins about.
When the time comes to leave, be prepared for the chaos of Hurgada airport; one of the worst we have experience around the world. Baksheesh is expected everywhere, even at the check-in desk ! Also the air-side shopping is like visiting a souk, all the shops seem to sell the same thing. If using the duty-free shop beware. All the prices are now quoted in Euros but if you want to pay in Sterling or Egyptian Pounds then the currency conversion is like to be very inacurate. Also the prices are on the high side, eg., a litre bottle of Gordons Gin at 18€ is much cheaper on the plane.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2010

Wonderful location,shame you have to get up early to. be able to get a sun-bed on the beach,loud music played on the beach which rather spoilt the peace.!
The food was average,but, the waiters were pleasant and helpful as were all the hotel staff.
The bedrooms are large and comfortable not luxurious but adequate, room boy needed tipping to clean properly.
Entertainment geared to Italian guests.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
KENT
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2010

Having just returned from the Fort I thought I wold add my thoughts to the reviews,
The check in is chaotic, they keep your passport overnight,not good if your not used to it.
The room was very clean as were all public areas.
The food was horrible, most dishes at the buffet once empty stayed that way for ages,we didn't bother with Breakfast after the first day as the eggs and omlettes were just a greasy mess, Twice at other meals I asked for items to be replenished on the salad bar, only to give up after waiting longer than Five minutes, the waiters ignore you if you want a glass of wine and you have perfected avoiding eye contact.
The mice seem to enjoy the place as they seem to pop up almost everywhere.
To get a sunbed on the beach don't stay in bed after 6.30, my husband was convinced most people put the towels out the nigh before.
Having said all that the snorkeling was amazing,the beach front is amazing, the best in the resort, don't do the boat trip the beach they stop at is like a british beach on a hot bank holiday monday, Lyn the thomas cok rep is brilliant,nothing too much trouble.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Berkshire
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2010

Having been to this hotel on many occassions .We will not be returning. The dining areas are a complete shambles. if you are french or italian and tip heavily you get what you are entitled to , these are not tips there bribes. The waiters are run off there feet and no where to sit to enjoy your food until late either lunch or evening the standards have dropped drastically with regard to swimwear and beach shorts being worn in the evening.Sorry to see rats and mice running around all this very off putting for anotherwise first class hotel of previous years we will not be returning and we are not the only ones walking with our feet

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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
Amenities:
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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