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“Excellent holiday at Sol y mar dar el madina” 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 64 hotels in Marsa Alam
England
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Excellent holiday at Sol y mar dar el madina”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2013

We have just returned from an 8 day stay at this truly amazing hotel which we booked because of good reviews we read on TA. Our flights with Thomson were on time and comfortable. We were fortunate in that our outbound flight only had 47 people(due to seasonal flight schedule changes) therefore we had as much space as we needed. However this was also irritating as we had paid extra to be seated together only 2 weeks prior to our flight. Also the seats allocated by Thomson were across the aisle which is useless if you both want to watch a movie on your iPad. It is worth checking on line which seats you have been allocated so that you can switch to other seats if available. The return flight was very good in what appeared to be a new and very comfortable 737. On arrival we obtained our visas from the bank which is just on the left as you enter the airport terminal. We also changed some sterling into Egyptian pounds and the exchange rate was good. The transfer to the hotel was very quick and comfortable as was check in at Sol y mar. The first choice rep Ahmed is such a lovely man. He was so helpful and even came in on his day off to make sure all was ok.
The reception staff were very welcoming and provided a cold drink on arrival. Throughout our stay the reception staff were amazing and sorted out any problems we had(I must add of our own making like losing keys to case etc). We had requested a top floor pool view room and this was granted. We had room 701 which is very close to the bar reception and dining areas. Lovely bright spacious room which was kept spotlessly clean by Mohammed who surprised us every day with some of the most creative towel art we have ever seen. Bathroom is spacious and no need for a bidet as the toilet has a tap on the side for hygiene washing. Walk in shower with very hot water if you want. There is a retractable drying line in the shower (aluminium disc on wall under towel rail). Hairdryer with 2 speed settings but mine didn't have a nozzle I could have asked but I usually take my own travel dryer which is great for styling. Balcony with table and chairs and a 3 bar wooden drying rack, due to the breeze found most things on floor next morning. Mini fridge at extra charge. 1 litre bottle of water delivered every day as part of all inclusive and if you want more water this is provided just ask. Flat screen tv with a few english channel bbc world news and a film channel. Room safe included at no extra charge. Very efficient and easynto operate air conditioning. Fresh beddingand towels every day The room also had a kettle with tea and coffee provided. Decaffeinated coffee wasn't available at this hotel but we had brought some with us. They provide a wide variety of fruit teas and Lipton's tea which was very good. There were expresso type coffee machines in the beach, pool and dining rooms so cappuccino and lattes are available on the all inclusive option.
The food at this hotel is delicious and the buffet area is contained and well laid out. There is a grill (evenings only) outside near to the pool bar so it is worth checking this out on the way in so you know whats available. This made a refreshing change from other larger resorts where you can wander around endless food stations only to end up with a plate of mediocre cold food. We found the choice available at Sol y mar was fine for us but if there was something you couldn't find then the chef would rustle this up for you. The waiters were very efficient and very friendly. The staff bend over backwards to accommodate your needs here.
The beach bar provide freshly cooked pizzas,sandwich of the day,salad and McDonald's type chips. We take little vinegar sachets for the chips because vinegar isn't available. Little tubs of ice cream also available all day. There are toilet facilities behind the beach bar which were clean The sand on the beach is typical for Egypt and quite gritty with some imported soft sand here and there. There are plenty of beds and shade. Access to the sea from the beach is restricted to the middle of the beach to protect the reef. We snorkelled from the jetty most mornings at 7 and access to the sea is very good. The reef on the far side from the jetty is better in the mornings because the position of the sun provides more clarity and nearer the jetty in the afternoons as the sun moves around. There is a 1600 metre footpath that stretches around the bay which is lit at night. We thoroughly enjoyed an evening stroll after dinner enhanced by the lovely fragrant flowers on route.
The hotel pool is very clean and so refreshing. Plenty of beds and shade here too so no need to reserve beds early in the morning. The pool bar offer similar food to the beach bar but no chips???
Service is excellent and Bahnessi(sorry for any mis-spelling) always ensured we had plenty of drinks. The animation team were delightful and not too pushy. We read a lot so didn't participate in many activities. We had a go at the darts and this was fun and a good way to get to know some of the other guests. We found the pool area more relaxing than we expected and this may be partly due to young families having free access to the water park near by. We don't usually bother with evening entertainment but did watch the belly dancing and whirling dervish act which was ok. I think the animation team provide all the other evening entertainment which I think the kids might like.
The drinks provided on the all inclusive are local spirits although premium drinks are available at extra cost. The wines and beers fine and the cocktails delicious. If you really prefer premium drinks you could buy a few bottles on the plane. Soft drinks sprite diet coke etc all available.
We think that this hotel is very special because it is smaller and therefore able to provide a more personal service. The customer care is excellent and we have booked to return for a 2 weeks stay late September.

  • Stayed May 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 (45)
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English first
Barnsley, United Kingdom
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2013

Just spent 15 days at this hotel and can say to anyone wanting a relaxing holiday with perfect weather and first class hotel treatment dont miss this one.Hotel is spotless,loveley rooms ,towels changed every day and beach/pool towels supplied and changed as often as you like.The food is superb with multiple choices avaliable,Service in restaurant and all bars is first class,waiters and staff simply cannot do enough to please you..We are a middle age couple who enjoyed every minute of our holiday.The all inclusive package extends down to the beach bar where snacks,pitza and all drinks can be obtained.The beach is only a few minutes away as are snorkeling facilities.The animation team work hard to make each day a pleasant experience.No complaints at all,will definitely go again.

Room Tip: Overlooking the pool have the best view.
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  • Stayed April 2013, 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 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2013

We (a couple) spent 12 days at the Dar El Madina. Some days we spent in the hotel, around the pool, some away diving. I was our first All Inclusive holiday since 10 years, we usually choose smaller places, backpacking style.

We appreciated that this hotel was small and it was easy to find each other in the restaurant or around the pool. We were lucky to get a room with pool view on the 3rd floor. Our room was cleaned thoroughly every day and we were given 3 litres of bottled water each morning. Unfortunately there is no window in the bathroom, but it it spacious and modern. The balcony is big enough and quite protected from the wind. We liked our room.

The meals in the main restaurant are good. The choice is allright, there is a big selection and variety in desserts :-) We never had upset stomachs. The bars at the beach and the pool offer a small choice of snacks. Basically pizza and every day a different snack like Shawarma or burger. Some chefs prepare a very tasty pizza, others less so. We preferred to eat at the restaurant during the regular breakfast, lunch and dinner time. The waiters at the restaurant are very friendly and treated us like royals. Sometimes it was even too much of kindness.

The animation team is nice & helpful. They are not too annoying and accept a no. Lying at the beach or around the pool means, that every once in a while someone will come over and offer you a massage, snorkelling or something else. After a couple of days they knew us and didn't bother us anymore.

The swimming pool is clean and refreshing. The tiles around the pool are extremely slippery though, so make sure you're wearing slippers or you walk very slowly.

There are small shops and a pharmacy in the hotel complex. If you need something from a shop you should rather walk out of the hotel and pay a visit to the supermarket and pharmacy which is only a couple of minutes away. Ask the animation or reception for the direction.

The hotel sells codes for internet access. It is much cheaper if you buy an Egyptian SIM card and use 3G. You can get one in the supermarket.

All in all we enjoyed our stay very much and would definitely consider going back to Dar El Madina.

Room Tip: Pool view and 3rd floor (brighter & sunnier)
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  • Stayed April 2013, 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
    • 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.
Braintree, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2013

Just returned from Sol Y Mar Dar El Madina. An excellent hotel, first class service from all staff, good choice of food in the main restaurant always hot and fresh. No stomach problems. Hotel exceptionally clean, pool area lovely, little beach cafe lovely. Animation team work extremely hard. Have already started looking at next years prices, will definitely be returning.

Room Tip: Pool rooms have best view.
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  • Stayed April 2013, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woking, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2013 via mobile

Just spent a lovely relaxing week at this hotel. Hotel was spotless, and service was great, with the management team particularly helpful with specific requests. Beach facilities were nice and beach bar handy, although they could do with expanding their lunch menu.... The house reef offered great snorkelling and is well worth a dive with coraya divers based on the beach - they also do good value snorkelling trips too. The animation team is not really our thing, but they dont really hassle you if you say no. Did get a bit bored of the dinner food selection after a week, but it was all good stuff - highly recommend going for dinner at the onsite Egyptian restaurant for a change, was delicious!

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Bury Lancs
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

SLIGHTLY OVERHYPED



We booked at the Madina on the strength of the ‘fabulous’ Trip Advisor reviews. Although we enjoyed our stay there, I would like this review to be a little more ‘factual’ in it’s approach.

The hotel is indeed spotless, as were the other Egyptian hotels we have visited. The staff are very friendly, in common with other hotels in Egypt.
The food is good quality and well cooked, none of our party had an upset stomach whilst we were there. However, as this is a comparatively small hotel, the evening buffet is not as extensive as some of the larger hotels.
It is as well to remember that this is not a 5 star establishment.

The location ,although not on the beach ,is good ,with a pleasant 4 min walk down to the private beach and beach bar. There are plenty of sunbeds , straw umbrellas and windbreaks. The water is very clear , and the exotic fish are easy to see, without having to snorkel.

It was disappointing to find the request for men to wear long trousers, in the dining room, in the evening, was ignored by the majority of men . However, some people may prefer this ‘informal’ approach, I don’t think the hotel could do anything about it.

Rooms overlooking the pool are probably the best bet, we were unlucky, as our rooms overlooked the next hotel. This wasn’t a problem, except for having to ‘negotiate’ the small selection of hotel shops and shopkeepers, each time we went for meals, or to the pool.

To sum up, this is a good hotel, clean and comfortable with a relaxed atmosphere. Some of the previous reviews are a little ‘overhyped’, this could lead to visitors experiencing a slight disappointment, which would be unfair to the hotel. Overall we had a lovely holiday with perfect weather

Room Tip: Go for a room overlooking the Pool
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

We travelled with Thomson for a week in early April and would echo the other positive reviews for this hotel. The hotel is situated a mere ten minutes from the airport but there were never any issues with noise as the flight path was nowhere near the resort itself, and the scale of incoming flights to what is clearly a resort in it's infancy are very low.

The transfer was simple and efficient with our hotel being the first drop off. We were met by the General Manager for the hotel and had already been checked in prior to our arrival and had been given our obligatory wristbands literally within minutes and were shown to our rooms less than ten minutes after getting off the coach.

The room was nice and spacious and extremely clean as was the bathroom. The only issue we had was on the first night when the shower head which had more water coming out of the side than the shower jets but it was changed without fuss within 30 mins. The room cleaner was very polite and friendly and went out if his way to check everything was ok with the room and a few Egyptian pounds ensured a different towel design each day.

The general feel of the hotel is relaxed and very friendly with the staff buzzing around trying to do anything they can to make you feel comfortable. I think all the staff wore a smile with the exception of a few but none were rude or dismissive at any point. One larger than life waiter would bring chocolates round in the evening which really were delicious, he'd worked me out by the end of the week and brought me my own plate out to stop me asking him!

The layout of the hotel is a little strange, the main part of the hotel is built around the one pool the hotel has with the main restaurant and bar area there too. Adjacent to that is an area called the Medina which is a large circular open area which also has the 2 a la carte restaurants along with a few shops and a shisha bar and rooms overlooking it. The only issue was it was so quiet, the shisha bar was not part of the all-inclusive and it charged for the drinks which seemed a shame as the setting was ideal if it could attract more of the hotel guests there. The a la carte restaurants were also very quiet the week that we were there.

The main restaurant was though excellent, maybe that is another reason the a la carte restaurants were quiet as there was really no need to venture to try them for an additional 10 Euros. There was a different theme each evening as well as an open air bbq area that also served fresh food each evening. The standard of hygiene was very good, simply put, if you suffer any stomach trouble here then it's from the sun, air con too high or over indulging in the cocktail menu because it is certainly not the food. One evening they had liver as part of the bbq, which even as I write it sounds like one to avoid but I went up twice as it was that nice!

The whole resort is made up of half a dozen hotels that are built around a bay. The coral is beautiful with a jetty to allow access to the deeper parts of the bay where you can see some of the fish without having to get into the water though the option to snorkel is very easy too.

Each hotel has its own entertainment theatre and it's difficult to describe just how awful it really is and yet we went back for more! My suggestion would be to go to the Lamaya theatre which directly opposite and actually closer to walk to, it was probably a better standard but it is still pantomime in the sun.

In summary, if you want a relaxing week with guaranteed sunshine, good food and a friendly atmosphere then I would highly recommend this hotel. We would definitely return.

  • Stayed April 2013, 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
    • 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.
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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:
#2 Family Hotel in Marsa Alam
#3 Luxury Hotel in Marsa Alam
#3 On the Beach 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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