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“Amazing holiday destination” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sol Y Mar Dar El Madina

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Sol Y Mar Dar El Madina
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Om El Gorayfat Bay, Km 67 Qusier | Madinat Coraya, Marsa Alam, Egypt   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 63 Hotels in Marsa Alam
Warrington, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Amazing holiday destination”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

We went here from 27th Nov - 4th Dec and loved every minute. Our expectations were low given we have not been to Egypt before and were a bit concerned over the media reports however we shouldn't have been worried.
Key points:
- hotel probably cleanest we have ever been to
- staff could not do enough to help you they were excellent - every single one!
- temperature in Dec really good 27deg plus - really comfortable
- water is provided in all inclusive
- shower is not great but seriously - you are in middle of desert so u have to take this into account. it's not europe!
- food is excellent and lots of choice
- try the egyptian beans for breakfast
- go snorkelling!! (thanks to our thomson rep being more interested in selling trips we did not realise that there is an excellent snorkelling experience on the beach of the hotel until the 3rd day when we wandered down the pier!)

Thanks to everyone who made our holiday a good one. For Egypt virgins, just try it, and stay at this hotel it's great!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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761 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (52)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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  • Italian first
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English first
Upminster, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

We have just got back from a week in a very sunny Marsa Alam. Never been to Egypt before but we'll definitely be returning!!! we went with three other families, all the husbands dive so they joined the dive school & had an amazing time, the mum's enjoyed the pool, beach & cocktails whilst the kids loved the snorkelling & water park. Something for everyone here.
Staff at the hotel couldn't do enough for you & Hany the Thomson rep was a gem. The food was of a very high standard & varied throughout our week. The choice was endless & the children were catered for too. Not many Brits at this resort so really felt like we were away from it all. We caught a taxi into Port Ghalib one nite which was well worth it, great handbags!!! We also went on a trip to Abu Dabab (organised by the dive school) & saw turtles swimming in an amazing reef. Loved our week, 5 out of 5 on every level.

Room Tip: Small hotel with only 140 rooms on 3 floors, some face the pool so if u fancy that then ask when boo...
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  • Stayed October 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey, UK
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

We're just back form a week at Sol Y Mar and had a really fabulous time. The hotel yes is fairly small so that means less options at mealtimes but what is there is presented beautifully and is fresh and tasty made with what seemed to be very good quality ingredients. They try hard to accommodate your needs and have a varied option on every night. Breakfast got a little boring as it never changed from day to day and I would say that just having one chef only doing all the egg products wasn't enough as by the time you got back to your table the rest of the family had finished theirs or were back in the queue for their crepe/omelette or whatever. Crepes are going to go so would make sense if they cooked batches constantly not one at a time.
There was plenty of choice of sunbeds and outside tables for meals, something a guest from one of the bigger hotels we met said was an issue at theirs where the restaurant closed for half an hour at 8 to restock!

Most of the staff, not all were terribly friendly and would go out of the way to make you feel special, they learnt childrens names and what you liked to drink so they could get it for you. A couple of the staff made you feel like you were a complete nuisance which was a shame. The pool area, bedrooms, public areas etc were exceptionally clean and comfortable. My only gripes about the room was that the air con was v noisy and the shower was extremely disappointing!
We didn't engage much with the animation team but what we did see of them i was very impressed by and our children (girls aged 7 & 4) loved all the team, especially the mini disco!
The beach area was exceptional! Gorgeous bay with v warm shallow clear water and beautiful fish to look at even if not snorkelling. Our girls mastered this on day one due to the lovely water and loved every minute. The beach facilities were also excellent, good beach bar and i loved having a massage in the outdoor 'tent' with the sound and smell of the beach breezing through the muslin curtains, bliss.
Our rep Hany was brilliant, great sense of humour, always a smile and went out of his way to do something for us which was beyond his duty. Sadly he was moving off to another resort after we left but we were lucky enough to meet Sarah who just joined as we left and was on our desert safari trip for familiarisation training and she was a joy to spend the day with, even in her 'civvies' was fantastic with our girls and will no doubt be an asset to the resort.
We took two trips - one on the seascape submarine which we all really enjoyed and were lucky enough to see sea cows as well as hundreds of other stunning fish. Good value and well executed.
And we went on the desert safari trip. In hindsight it was very good if a little 'set up' and throughly enjoyed the whole experience, quad biking, camel riding, seeing the 'raw' desert and the moon rising etc. Lots of things to see and do, good food and bedouin entertainment. It was very pricey though (over £300 for family of 4) but a good experience to try though i wouldn't do it again, its a one off trip.
All in all loved Marsa Alam and this hotel, will definitely go back in another october, 33 degrees, sunshine everyday and 31 degree sea temperature, its a perfect half term destination.

Room Tip: lots of people recommend getting a pool view but frankly you could see that all day! We were on the...
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  • Stayed October 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.
Cardiff, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2012

Just had a week at Dar El Madina at Marsa Alam. Went to do some snorkelling in the Red Sea, something I've always wanted to do. We were advised by our tour rep (Hany, of First Choice) to start around 6am - excellent advice, the water was clearest and the fish most numerous at that time of day. After that, just took it easy by the hotel pool or on the beach. Incidentally, Hany is about the best tour rep we've ever had.

The hotel staff were briliant. All were polite, friendly - you really felt cared for. Everywhere was immaculate, food and drinks were plentiful and in great variety. Egyptians are such charming people, perhaps we in Britain should think about sending some of our tourism/hospitality people out there for a few lessons!

My only gripe was the sound level of the music around the pool, which I think was organised by the animation team. Fine while the activities (water polo, aqua excercise etc) are going on, but either silence or the music at a much lower volume would have been nice the rest of the time. We went to the beach, about 250 metres away, for peace and quiet.

We were the only Brits at this hotel. That suited us - felt more 'abroad' than if surrounded by fellow countrymen.

Overall, a great holiday. Lovely people, beautiful fish, warm sunshine and delicious food.

Room Tip: Our room looked over the souk area, where the mini disco was held each evening. It was brilliant en...
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  • Stayed October 2012, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hilchenbach, Germany
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2012

We so enjoyed our 12 day vacation at Sol Y Mar Dar El Madina.
The staff knows who you are after just a couple of passes thru the lobby or pool are, so there's no need to wear some bracelet (although they do give them out upon check-in).

We came to dive, and even though there are at least 3 hotels closer to the dive center, our choice was Sol Y Mar based on reviews. Plus the hotel is located about 10 minutes from the airport, we avoided the shuttle service & took a private taxi (€30,00 round-trip) arriving before the lunch buffet closed. Sure it was a walk back and forth to the dive center for lunch, but we soon learned & booked an all day dive, with lunch served on board.

Everyone on the staff was super friendly, from our favorite waiter Ahmed, the cooks or the grill master, housekeeping & the gardeners (especially the day before the review survey was handed out from management). We know that the staff is living in housing outside of the hotel, so this hotel must be treating it's employees well, that they are coming to work happy.

We were not being interested in being entertain (games, aerobics or skits), when we told the animation team they left us in peace....but did check to make sure we were enjoying ourselves.

The food does repeat itself after the first week, but if you have a favorite dish the staff will do their best of have it on the buffet. And there is more then enough diversity on the buffet to make interesting combinations.

For the price what we paid, we feel we got superior service. When planning another dive vacation we will be sure to book a room back at Sol Y Mar.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
London, England, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2012

We just got back from Sol Y Mar and had an amazing time! The flight was pretty long and boring (especially with a child) as there is no on board entertainment with Thomson :( However, when we first starting flying over Tunisia and Egypt, it was beautiful!! Sand as far as you could see. When we landed at Marsa Alam airport (very small airport), we were the only planeful there. The que for passport control was pretty long and slow (just one person sorting through the passports). Outside we were greeted by our rep, Hany. There was a short (10 minute) drive to our hotel. We were greeted with a nice glass of melon juice and were shown to our rooms which were extremely clean, cool and comfortable. The majority of the people are German and Italian (by far!). I think there were only one other English family there whilst we were there but it probably made the holiday better as we were even more away from everything. The food there was nice, a wide variety and they had a child's corner. Drinks were very good (be aware of hibiscus juice, very nice juice but later found out it is one of the main causes for upset tummys!) The beach couldn't have been better! The first time I tried out a snorkel (in shallow water) I was amazed at how many different fish were all around us. Beautiful colours and they certainly didn't shy away. We went on an amazing excursion which was hands down one of the best days I've ever experienced. We went on a 4x4 into the desert to a Bedouin village, we had a camel ride and then a quad bike (about 40 mins) over the rugged, sandy dunes of the desert. (Camel ride and quad biking were not compulsary on this excursion). We then climbed a mountain to watch the sunset and in the dark we watched Bedouin dancing and had food/drinks under the amazing starry skies. They even lit up a part of the mountain with tea lights. PERFECT DAY and needs to be done!
The staff at the hotel were very friendly and wanted to please everyone. The room cleaner was very hard working and left clean towels in all sorts of shapes; flowers, elephants, snails, hearts. I have only just got back and have already recommended this hotel to a few people. It was amazing!!

  • Stayed August 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plymouth, United Kingdom
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2012

Returned a week ago with my family from El Madina and would go back today if we could. We read all the reviews on here and we're delighted to say it lived up to our expectations. No flight delays quick transfers,Brilliant Thomson Rep, Hany
It's a small but very friendly hotel,never stayed anywhere where our rooms have been kept so clean, fresh towels and bedding everyday, and a different towel animal or flower everyday,Thank you Ahmed.
Nothing was too much trouble for the staff, the air Con didn't work properly in one of our rooms but once brought to the receptions attention it was fixed within the hour.
The Hotel has more German and Italian guests which can be a little off putting if your not willing to try and mix, most of them were fine but of course you'll always get the odd few that are just plain rude, always a good look on their faces when they realise you understand what they are saying!!
The food was lovely something for everyone, even our fussy 13 year old couldn't moan about it!!
Had a kids food corner and for those watching the waist line a diet corner for breakfast.
It was our daughters birthday whilst there and after a little word with Emed the Restaurant Manager a table was reserved with decorations and a cake was brought out, a lovely touch Thank you.

The Bar Manager Waleed is Brilliant, see's you walking to the bar and by the time you get there your drinks are ready and waiting for you, the all inclusive bar finished at midnight but there was no problem having a couple lined up. The Cocktails and Mocktails were fab. The Beach bar had a slightly better selection of food for lunch than the pool bar,with sandwich of the day, pizza's,pasta and salad.
The pool area was very clean and well maintained, lovely big soft beach towels provided by a card system so no need to take your own(more room for clothes in the suitcase ladies)

The Animation team were very friendly and spoke brilliant English, tried like hell to get everyone to join in at somepoint, they do a 10pm funny show which is all mime, maybe a little bit much for the younger kids but we enjoyed it.
We went to Marsa Alam mainly for the diving and snorkeling, well all i can say is WOW absolutely fantastic, on day 1 we went for a snorkel and saw a turtle within seconds, could it get any better? oh yes it could, After doing the routine check dive with Coraya divers just 3 mins walk from hotel we did a few days diving on the House reef(visability better in morning)and saw some amazing sea life, stingrays,puffer fish,clown fish,crocodile fish, moray eels, Spanish dancers, all sorts, we then went further afield to Abu Dabab to hopefully see the Dugong and larger Turtles, we came across 4 large turtles amazing, guitar fish, a huge dark spotted sting ray but sadly no Dugong.
Our first week there we were just 4 of the 8 English guests there, so a big thank you to John and Christine, Clive and Sue who were great company and helped to make our holiday so special.
All the staff where very taken with the English and seemed to wonder why so few of us go there, maybe because it's very quiet and up coming resort/hotel without lots of or no bars/nightclubs and restaurants, a resort/hotel for those of us that are sun worshipers,divers, those that want to relax and do nothing. Hopefully a few more English will go (just to keep the flag flying of course) But for those that want more nightlife you'd be best of sticking to Sharm or Hurghada.

  • Stayed July 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sol Y Mar Dar El Madina

Address: Om El Gorayfat Bay, Km 67 Qusier | Madinat Coraya, Marsa Alam, Egypt
Location: Egypt > Red Sea and Sinai > Marsa Alam
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Marsa Alam
#3 Luxury Hotel in Marsa Alam
#3 Family Hotel in Marsa Alam
#3 Romantic Hotel in Marsa Alam
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sol Y Mar Dar El Madina 4*
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Also Known As:
Sol y Mar Dar El Madina Hotel Marsa Alam

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