We were the only Brits there, most of the guests being Italian, French or Polish. The location is perfect - picture perfect beach, big pool (only part of it heated) and nice and green. The rooms are large and clean, but don't expect five-star quality. Unlike larger resorts e.g. sharm, the rooms are all within 3 minutes walk from the beach/pool.
The food: there is a large buffet restaurant with outdoor and indoor seating. The food was very repetitive but edible, and no-one in our family got ill. Every day there is a pasta station offering the same 2 sauces, a buffet with a rice dish, very chewy meat and overcooked chicken, and sometimes a lasagne (with added food colouring to look like the italian flag(!)). The salads are great, and there is a soft drinks vending machine that you can help yourself to. Lunch and supper were basically the same (except thursday evening is egyptian food night, but don't expect anything authentic or particularly tasty). Breakfast is bread and sweet cakes, and eggs cooked as you want. This got very tedious.
The one thing that drove us crazy, though, was the noise. The animation teams (there seemed to be one for each nationality) were constantly playing loud pop music by the pool and by the beach. It was so loud that the two different tracks could be heard at the same time, and even in the room with the door closed! If you want a peaceful trip, look elsewhere.
We didn't snorkel off the beach but we did wade out a long way. The sea is very shallow until the drop off, which can only really be reached at high tide, unless you are extremely thin or don't care about destroying the coral (i.e. don't). I dive but I didn't use the on-site centre because if you're not italian it would not be much fun. Instead a short and nice walk left along the beach will take you to marsa shagra, an 'eco-diving resort' which has a large and very organised diving centre, and where i would stay if i came back to marsa alam, which i would definitely want to. The house reef is great there and they offer excursions by boat or bus. I don't know anything about the food, but the emphasis is on diving and accommodation is very clean and comfortable, but basic if you're on a tight budget.
In conclusion, if you like loud music and are not fussy about food, blue reef may be for you (especially if you are italian, as the resort is clearly set-up almost exclusively for italians, with all the signs is the language etc.). If you want a quiet break with some beautiful diving or snorkelling, go next door.
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- Also Known As:
- Blue Reef Red Sea Hotel Marsa Alam
- Blue Reef Hotel
- Blue Reef Marsa Alam