We stayed at the Oriental Bay for two weeks in October and had the most wonderful time possible - even a thunderstorm to help us remember home!
It is difficult to add to what others have said about this hotel, although you must remember that it is often just the extremes that grab attention.
So I will try and list the positives first : the staff and management were brilliant (Ahmed and Ayman on the beach in particular), the beach/towel staff, waiters in the restaurant and the General Manager, Mr Walid.
Food was generally above average when compared to other hotels that we have stayed at in Egypt - whilst not a large hotel, the variety was good and very well cooked. I think that management have listened - food on the beach at lunchtime was not just "pizza and chips" (although available!), most days they also had a barbeque, serving small burgers or kofti as well - really nice!
We were also fortunate to try the Lebanese a la carte restaurant - really really good food - if you get the opportunity, go for it!
Yes the bars are stretched sometimes in the evening, and the beer is bottled so not as cold as you would like, but I never saw major queues. So what if it takes 5 minutes to get a drink - you are on holiday after all!
The rooms are large and perhaps a little dated or sparsely furnished, but very well cleaned. Just a pointer, we were in Block 1 and it did get a little bit of noise from the evening entertainment, but not enough to keep you awake. Blocks further away should be quieter.
There are a few shops on site selling most of what you are likely to need or want to buy as gifts. Perhaps a little expensive but that is to be expected. Just to mention that the Duty Free at Marsa Alam was very well stocked and a much wider range of goods than we have seen before at Egyptian airports. Also Costa Coffee and Pizza Hut?
The best aspect of the hotel by far is the beach! Compared to some Red Sea resorts, this beach was at least sandy as opposed to coral and no long jetty to get into the sea - just a gentle walk over sand. The house reef is amazing - everything you want to see is there and almost better than on a boat trip. Please just do not stand on the coral, otherwise it won't be there for future visitors! Oh and take a waterproof camera! Oh and the music is not too intrusive!
A few negatives - evening entertainment started quite late, sometimes not until 10 o'clock. If you are not one for staying up late, then you will miss it as we did! Also, bear in mind that there is no local town to go to the local bars or nightlife - what is in the hotel is what you get!
From a disabled person's point of view, the hotel can be a bit challenging as there are a number of steps to negotiate, although you can get around and to the pools fairly easily. None of the accommodation has a lift so ask for ground floor if necessary. The restaurant is on the first floor but has a lift. The beach is a fair bit of a walk away (across a patrolled road) and whilst there is a shuttle bus, this only goes half way so you still have to negotiate the hill down to the beach. The hotel should invest in a couple of golf buggies as this would make life easier.
Overall, we thought the hotel was excellent value and we would love to go back!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Aurora Bay Marsa Alam is famous for its private Bay and wide sandy beach, where you can enjoy diving and snorkeling activities in one of the best sites in the area.Rooms are the widest in Marsa Alam, rooms sizes 65-110 m2.You can reserve a Superior room with one bedroom, private bathroom, living room, kitchenette and balcony/terrace or you can choose a family room with two bedrooms, two private bathrooms, living room and terrace/balcony. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Oriental Bay Hotel Marsa Alam