Sorry for the lateness of this review but my immediate hospitalisation on my return to the UK got this put on the back burner. Having had our booking at our usual Three Corners hotel in Egypt cancelled at the last minute two days before arrival!! because the hotel decided to close for a month due to low occupancy as a result of the political unrest in Egypt in September. We struggled to find a suitable replacement in two days to replace “our” twice yearly paradise but are so glad we found the Fayrouz Plaza Beach Resort as we spent an amazing three weeks here in September 2013. I would have to rate it 99% and that is only because it was only the very tiniest things that weren’t perfect.
A pretty isolated hotel but an oasis in the desert that is ideal for couples or families who want quiet holiday. Only 10 minutes from the Marsa Alam airport by car or 5 minutes to Port Ghalib but be aware if you fly into Hurghada as we did it with Easyjet can be as much as a 4 hour horrendous transfer that’s if they even remember your transfer, it was over an hour after clearing immigration before we left the airport...we were the only couple on the flight going to Marsa Alam and somehow they totally forgot about us.
This hotel has been nominated among the best all inclusive hotels in Egypt each year for the last five years and I can well see why everybody enjoys this truly magnificent hotel and there are so many regular returning guests from all different nationalities. Our impression of the hotel as we walked through the door late into the evening to be met by a line of staff waiting to meet our every need and the deputy manager apologising because of the transfer foul up even though it was nothing to do with the hotel or him with cool lemon scented face flannels and cocktails on hand was amazing along with the fact the first thing we saw from the marble hotel reception was the most amazing panoramic view of the gardens leading to the beach.... immediate relaxation and de-stress came over us as every member of staff said “Welcome Home” even though we were first time guests to this particular Three Corners Hotel.
Maybe due to the cancellation of our Three Corners Taba booking at the last minute or the very low occupancy due to the unrest in the country with many tour operators cancelling and refusing to fly to Egypt we were upgraded without request to one of the honeymoon suite villas within metres of the beach but this is a 10 minute walk back to the main hotel alongside fragrant beds of flowers and bushes but well worth it. Every room has a kettle and several types of Twinings tea, coffee and sugar on the side, shower gels shampoo etc in the bathroom and bottled water is delivered daily which you can refill from the chilled water filters in the restaurant and around the hotel area. Daily we had fresh fluffy robes, beautiful towels, flowers, bowls of fruit and on the night of our arrival even champagne! And every evening they came and turned down our bed and covered the floor in fresh flower petals and placed on each bedside table chocolates. All the things you usually pay out for air con, hairdryer, room safe, sunbeds are all included no hidden charges! But the mini bar in the room is chargeable and outside of the All Inclusive.
The hotel was itself was immaculate and spotless; the pool areas were excellent and kept immaculately clean by the very hard working pool boys with no shortage of towels or beds and immediate on hand help to raise an umbrella if required. The design of the hotel complex is clearly sensitive to its natural surroundings. Desert tolerant plants and beautiful fragrant trees and hedges feature in the immaculate and constantly tended stylish gardens, whilst the growing citrus trees planted by returning guests will take a prominent role in the future. Regrettably you cannot swim after sunset but that is just a personal minor niggle. Wi-Fi is free in the reception area, you'll get all five bars but it can be as slow as a snail crossing the desert if there are a lot of people on the reception terrace in the evening so choose your timing when less people around!
Led by the General Manager Mr Haggag, well liked and highly respected by all his staff is always in view and chatting to all levels of guests and checking everything constantly. The staff are where the hotel excels itself, they are so attentive and so very polite always a smiling and courteous and understanding of their guests needs within a day or two every dining room waiter knew our drinks orders at every meal. Nothing is too much trouble, if it does not there just ask. Every member of staff takes a pride in all they do and it really does show. Mr Haggag you can be truly so very proud of your staff.
Hotel catering can be difficult as it must accommodate all tastes but here they do it very well. An excellent very wide variety of hot and cold buffet food and weekly national themed dinners taste of Italy, around the world, wonders of the far east, French Romance, Oriental Night, European Buffet and many more...always with vegetarian and other special diet options available and I have to say most of the food was really very tasty. There is always a cook to order egg station at breakfast doing crepes, omelettes, and fried eggs. soft / hard boiled eggs and a cook to order pasta station for lunch and evening meals. A very large selection of international breads, pitta and many types of rolls in both brown and white and gluten free. If that is not enough or you want something special you can go to Chez Pascal or the Dolce Vita restaurant where there is even a better quality of dining and a-la-carte menu not part of the all inclusive meals and the special wines are chargeable but very reasonably priced. Depending on your booking you may even be entitled to a free night at each of the a la carte restraints within the cost of your all inclusive. The candlelit romantic dinners or seafood night in the beach restaurant with an amazing atmosphere were amongst the best experience of this hotel but be aware make sure you are very hungry when you arrive as they have no concept of small portions (see picture of fish dish and this was one of 5 courses!!). TIP Be aware full length trousers and shirt are required for evening meal even in the buffet you will only get away with three quarter length maybe one night and shorts definitely not at all for the evening though acceptable at breakfast and lunch.
The beach is very long and very clean, raked daily great job boys in that heat with a lot of sunbeds all with parasols and windbreaks and fresh towels provided at every visit. TIP Ask for a blue sunbed to lie in the sea. Twenty five minutes by foot or ten by Quad bike is Marsa Mubarak Bay head from hotel to the beach and turn right - south. Keep walking past the "Restricted Area" sign and keep going until you reach the bay with the 2 abandoned hotel buildings. There is an outcrop of large stone in the middle of the beach adjacent and about ten metres out you will find a large area of sea grass on which the Dugong grazes with her calf. The jetty is just under 400m long has 3 entrances. Easy access to the house reef with an inside lagoon area and outside reef but the last access is the best one with coral wall that goes down to 25m deep with an amazing array of fish. There is a restaurant on the beach providing lunch both hot and cold and daily barbecues and drinks all day
The Dive centre is also situated on the beach and part of the SSI EXTRA-DIVERS worldwide group run with German quality & precision. They are very professional and won’t cut corners which as an ex dive instructor I was very glad to see even if you are PADI qualified they insist on a "control" shore dive. This is a 15 minute minibus trip where they do a buoyancy/lead weight check then some minor safety checks such as mask clearance and regulator recovery before doing the dive. The Dive Guides/Masters are multi lingual and the support staff were local but very helpful helping on and off with BCD’s and removing cylinders from your BCD as you got out of the water. If you are diving the house reef they transport your lead, gear and air to the end of the house reef jetty. They also provide day trips by boat, as well as day- or half day trips by minibus; dive spots from Ras Ghalib to Marsa Alam featuring a outstanding variety of underwater adventures.We were impressed by the efforts being made by the dive centre and the hotel to preserve the reefs and marine life in the immediate vicinity, and so if you go to the hotel please observe the rules so your behaviour that will not have an impact on the reef so its there for other guests in the future.
The animation team did an excellent job in what was a really difficult time for the hotel with hardly any guests to join in the club dance or to have a game of volleyball or darts, etc. Having stayed in approximately 25 different 5* hotels over the years in Egypt I have to say the animation team were the best team in terms of talking to the guests and making everyone feel important. Often an animation teams only speak to guests of their own nationality, or those that regularly join in their activities - but this team were different. Everyone who stayed at the hotel was regularly spoken to by all of the individual team members. They knew whether to just chat to you or to encourage you to join in. It was hard for them to put on shows when the guest numbers are so low but the Egyptian and African dancers and the whirling dervish where excellent. It's hard and would be unfair to pick out an individual member, but Vika, Antonino and Tanya deserve a very big special mention for being so friendly, helpful and enthusiastic.
In the hotel there is a little shopping area selling almost anything you might need plus all the usual tourist bits and pieces and gifts to take home. They are never pushy to sell their goods a simple no thanks was happily accepted and also they are very clean shops, you can see they take good care of them but be prepared to haggle hard its half the fun. Every night we went up there have a nice chat improve our Arabic and them to improve their English and drink different teas and smoke many shisha pipes. We never had the feeling we were unwanted, they were always very friendly and glad to see we made the effort to mix with the locals for the sake of them being Egyptian as opposed to being a tourist resource.
Despite the medical horror of the end of my holiday I can't wait to return to The Three Corners Fayrouz Plaza, Marsa Alam. Thank you to Mr Haggag and all his staff for an amazing stay and all your private messages about my eye!! My only problem is now which of my favourite Three Corners Hotel do I return too next?
Despite what the foreign office and many tour operators are saying the Red Sea resorts are safe you can have an amazing holiday at much reduced prices and almost empty hotels and empty beaches with the staff almost outnumbering the guests and as a result the service is second to none. Don't let the media stop you having a great time yes be aware of what is happening around you if you go into towns etc but surely that is normal in any foreign country at any time let alone during political unrest.
NOTICE BE AWARE
If you become ill here in Marsa Alam as I did for the last ten days of my holiday with a very severe eye infection from coral grit and plankton behind my eye socket resulting in my immediate hospitalisation on my return to the UK you have to pay up front for treatment you can either pay the doctor direct or add it to your room bill and then claim off your insurance on your return. They will not deal direct with insurance. My medical bill became very, very large and if it wasn't for an "empty" credit card I would have had a real problem. They have a clinic on the resorts site manned by a visiting doctor at the request of the reception usually arrives within half an hour (ish)from Port Ghalib hospital but the starting cost just to see him costs a minimum 50 Euro with just very a basic prescription. If you know what medication you need it often better and cheaper go to the pharmacist in the parade but just understand that it will be more likely a generically named drug as opposed to a known UK brand name.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.