Just back from a week at the Resta Grand for my third North African holiday. The Arab world seems to universally suffer the same flaws, regardless of which nation you choose. The disparity of wealth is apparent and the culture is not ideal for female holidaymakers without an open mind. The propensity of the people to moneygrab or tout for money is a very off-putting aspect of holidaying here and I would part with my money more readily if they refrained from this approach. The hotel was advertised as having free internet in the lobby, but this was virtually like a very slow dial up connection, yet part with 30 Egyptian pounds for 30 minutes and 'Hey Presto' normal service is resumed. On a trip to a small town called El Quseir in the 'Real Egypt' we were treated to a 2 hour onslaught of badgering from local shop owners, who with a smoother more patient approach would have had no trouble in parting me from a decent portion of my spending money. Foolishly they managed to lie sufficiently and harass me enough to curtail my shopping earlier than I had wanted. Even the refuge of a mint tea in a cafe was to the local owner, a selling mission, albeit unsuccessful.
The hotel has immaculate grounds, a clean beach and some lovely hard working staff. The rooms are large and comfortable with large firm beds. It lacks the polish of a true 5 star but as a genuine 4 star All-inclusive experience it was hard to beat. The dining times and quality were generous. The variety of international and local food was balanced and delicious but not always piping hot. 'The Space' Restaurant has the ambiance of a sophisticated canteen and to get good service a couple of small tips are recommended. Let's face it, these people work long hours for meagre rewards so consider it as a way of redressing the global balance rather than an inconvenience. My tipping pot for the entire week was only about £7 but was appreciated and delivered devoted service from the better staff.
The swimming pools were large and well maintained, the pool bar was very welcome and service patchy but adequate. The daytime entertainment team did a great job although my partner and I didn't get involved, but what we saw was excellent. The evening entertainment was poor overall but the belly dancer and regular female singer were pretty good.
Snorkelling off the jetty was a fantastic experience. I have never seen so many colourful fish.
There is much more I could describe but I would fail to convey how much I enjoyed the space and relaxed comfort of this hotel which is located where the lettered Eastern Desert falls into the Red Sea. The under-occupancy of the place and the relatively cool temperatures (24c) made this a worthwhile holiday and would happily repeat it. I would not fancy it in the heat of summer swarming with obnoxious Russians, Germans and persistent flies.
We paid £417 each for this All Inclusive holiday which was great value overall. If you can do better at another hotel you will have done well!