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“Great value for money...superb fun honeymoon at Le Festival”

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Hawaii Le Jardin Aqua Park Resort
Ranked #68 of 222 Hotels in Hurghada
Reviewed February 8, 2009

Would recommend this hotel to anyone.Our honeymoon was made more enjoyable due to the animation team's entertainment programme.We took part in fun games most nights in the club.The beach was very good(the sea was cold!!),the large heated pool was never crowded,the gardens were lovely,the low-paid staff(some earning 20p. per hour!!)were cheerful and helpful.The hotel was never more than 50-per-cent full so there were plenty of sunbeds to choose from .The weather was just right always in the 20s.
There was always a good choice of food and drink,though this is not always good quality.
The rooms and hotel were always clean.It didn't matter that the bathroom was finished by Stevie Wonder!!
We spoke to guests of most European nationalities, the Brits made up around 10% of the 500ish holidaymakers.
We set-out to do scuba-diving and swam with dolphins!!incredible experience.
Also did sand-buggying in the desert...great fun.
Well worth doing.
Great value honeymoon experience at £430 for 10 nights.
On the downside there should be a shuttle-bus as the hotel complex is on it's own,6 miles from El Gouna(relaxing ,nice place)...£10 return by taxi, and 10 miles from Hurghada.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank cockneyrobin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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623 - 629 of 1,098 reviews

Reviewed February 6, 2009

First time in Egypt. The hotel was in a isolated place miles from anywhere but the hotel had everything that you required. Went for a week which was long enough loved the all inclusive as didn't spend any money except for tips. Lovely pools, gardens, the food plenty to choose from breakfasts were my favourites lovely bread!! Went to Mamma Italian Restaurant the staff and food were lovely. Found the egyptians very friendly. Bedrooms were roomy, beds comfortable, bathroom was decorated in a hurry not great but adequate everything you needed. Bedding and towels were changed everyday. Plenty of activities to do during the day. A most relaxing holiday.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank titchWiltshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2009

This was our first time in egypt, we had the best holiday ever.
The hotel was amazing the grounds were at such a large scale nobody was ontop each other.
The hotel was nipping clean and the food was delicious you had something different to choose from everyday.
We bonded alot with the animation team as they were a great friendly bunch.
The entertainment was good to and they cater for all ages we really did have a fab time and we would recommend this hotel to anyone.
FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MARATHEFTIS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2009

Returned back from Festival in September. Booked last minute on the website which showed no pictures other than a garden. Great suprise when we got there. Hotel very large, in the middle of El ghouna andHurghada which isnt a bad thing. Staff great, food fab and great trips to take advantage of. Very hot and lots of seating on the beach and by the pool. The beach is in the resort which you dont have to pay for beds etc. 3 pools, the one on the beach was sea water so you can easily float to the bar. Great getaway, El ghouna manmade town which looks like something from a Western movie. Had great time chillin and so didnt want to come back for at least another week. Things were cheap and get hassled when shopping but no more than Tunisia, Greece, Turkey or Spain. All in all a cheap trip which shows Egypt at its best.

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled with friends
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Thank ShaniStaffs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2009

Festival Le Jardin is only 2 years old - outside Hurghada (which we liked) @ 15mins taxi ride (£10 return taxi trip). Booked via Lastiminute & the hotel was great value. Only downside was the usual egyptian beach "salesmen" but they tended to leave us alone after the first couple of days. The Christmas Eve gala was great, especially the food - the one time it lived up to it's 5 star rating. Generally the food was okay (don't expect 5 star european food in 5 star egyptian hotels). The grounds are lovely, 3 large swimming pools & own beachfront. We found the staff very friendly & helpful. Everywhere was well maintained & very clean. There's kite surfing & windsurfing available on site. Diving team too. For a one week sunshine break I would definitely recommend the hotel, 2 weeks you might get a bit bored unless you went out on some trips etc

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank alisonsher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2009

We stayed in Festival Le Jardin for 14 nights and we had just such a great time.
The hotel is in the middle of nowhere, but you can find everything inside and in case you wanna go to make shopping, take a taxi-they can drop you whereever you want.
The front desk and guest relations are very friendly and helpful. The rooms are well furnished, very well cleaned, bathrooms are not finished properly but in the end you do not spend there all the day.
The service in the restaurant was nice, we did nto need to tip them to serve us.
The variety of food was ok. Maybe a little bit less oriental food. We liked the snack served under the terrace.
3 swimming pools, one is heated, very clean. Very big beach, enough space for everybody.
We hope to be back soon.

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled solo
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Thank Angelina11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2009

Festival Le Jardin
Hurghada
Trip Advisor

Overview

We have never had a good experience with Thomas Cook and this holiday was no different. We travelled to Egypt for Christmas and the New Year for the warm water, outstanding coral and beautiful marine life, to snorkel amongst all day. Unfortunately none of this was possible, which we will point out in this review.


Festival Le Jardin

On arrival at the hotel our bags were whisked away to the reception and then to our room by the bell boys. You do not have to tip them but we did. We were greeted pleasantly and swiftly checked in to our room which was on the same floor as the reception (first floor). Beware they are constantly cleaning and mopping and within the first half an hour of arriving I had already almost fell three times! So use the steps and hold on, not the slopes and/ or take the lifts!


Room

Our room had a double bed, wardrobe, dressing table, TV, table and chairs and bedside cabinets. There is a fridge which is replenished with one bottle of water per person per day, and a safe which you can use free of charge.

The bath towels are changed every day although they are nowhere near as big as bath towels. When you check in reception will provide you with one beach towel card per person. You must use this in exchange for a new beach towel every day, which can be collected from either the pool area or on the beach. It does cost 50 LE per card if you lose it, so keep it safe!

The bathrooms have not been finished well but they are functional and do work albeit the first day the water was yellow to begin with.
I did read a comment on here about the water trickling out of the showerhead. When I first used the shower I too experienced this and thought oh great! However my partner showed me that if you turn the shower head it makes the water come out properly, or turn it the way I had it and it only trickles out. Be warned the fixing of the showerhead if lose to say the least. It is easily removed but no so easy to re-fix!

Shower gel and hand wash is provided in the bathrooms as is a shower cap and two glasses for water. In one of the drawers in the room there is also a shoeshine and a sewing kit. Hanging in the wardrobe you will find a laundry bag, which we found to be an extremely good and reasonable service.
The room has air con and heating. We know the latter works because we had to use it a few days and nights in a row where the weather was so bad!
I noted comments on other reviews made about the lack of English TV. There is in fact four English channels explained in a little book on the dressing tables. Three of these are channels 7, 8 and 9. However please note that the adverts of these channels are not all in English and thus when you first put it on you may think it’s not an English channel. Just wait till the programme starts. Our balcony, as did the majority looked out over the splash pool. Please note that there will be a far few rooms who do not have this luxury and may find themselves staring out to the sister hotel rooms, the building site on the other side, or the road at the front.

Facilities and activities

The following facilities and/ or activities are all inclusive some of which are run by the animation team:
· Volleyball
· Table tennis
· Darts
· Stretching
· Latin dancing
· Three pools, one of which is heated and has slides for children, and two of which have swim up bars
· Children’s park area with slides
· Free sunlounger, umbrellas and (on the beach) wind breakers. Please note that you are not allowed to go topless in the pool area or on the beach.
· Fitness room open 09:00 until 19:00. (Massages, sauna, Jacuzzi and Turkish bath are all extra)

There is two English pool tables upstairs near the piano bar that doesn’t have a piano! However this costs extra to use as does the Internet café next to it.

We were also surprised to find that the non-motorised pedaloes also cost extra and vary enormously in price depending on who you speak to so barter a lot if you want to do this!

There is regular evening entertainment including a kids show and disco in which you can get local drinks up until midnight on your all inclusive bracelet.

Eating and drinking

Your all inclusive bracelet entitles you to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in the lobby bar only. Snacks are then available in either the Le Jardin or the sister hotel Rivera pool bars between 12:00 and 17:00. The Rivera’s food is better in that it offers chips and burgers. Whereas Le Jardin mainly offers cakes, pancakes, rolls and hotdogs.

You are entitled to one al la carte meal per week and can chose from the Italian in either the Rivera or Le Jardin, the Asian restaurant or the Fish one on the beach. There were two or three others but these were closed. Please note this is a free meal from the set menu only. We chose the Italian which was the best food that we ate all week.

The food in the lobby restaurant is not very good. However we did manage to live on runny scrambled eggs on toast or omelette for breakfast, rolls for lunch and pasta for an evening meal.

Much to my disappointment you have to pay for ice cream although on some evenings jelly can be consumed if you get there early enough!

We took plenty of Imodium with us and would recommend that you avoid their meat and ice cubes to prevent getting Egyptian belly, which none of us thankfully suffered from.

In addition to the bar in the beat disco there is a lobby bar which also serves cakes and coffee from midnight till 13:00.

Please note that the hotel requests you not to wear swimming costumes in the Lobby, reception or restaurants. You are also not allowed to wear slippers, sleeveless shirts or shorts during dinner.

Snorkelling

Festival Le Jardin does have a coral reef parallel with the coastline as indicated in previous reviews. However the coral is dead and brown with few colourful fish. The only exotic sea life that we saw was a couple of tiny black and yellow fish. Not only this but, be warned the sea was absolutely freezing cold!

For those who don’t know (and we certainly didn’t) the sea in Egypt apparently starts to cool in November and is freezing (worse than England) from December through to January, before starting to warm up in February/ March.

On the complex of the hotel you can hire out either a winter or summer wet suit for the equivalent of £7 or £5.50 per day. However due to the poor state of the coral and lack of marine life you may find this a waste.

Windsurfing and Kite Surfing

The ‘Fly Surf’ centre is located between the two complex of Festival Le Jardin and it’s sister hotel Rivera. The centre does have adequate equipment and as previously indicated there is a designated walkway for those snorkelling/ swimming with windsurfers/ kite surfers using either side of it.

Unfortunately when we went the wind was the wrong direction and the current far too strong for me with a black flag on the majority of days. This we did not have an opportunity to do either of these. These activities are not included and neither do they give you an hour free. The cost of windsurfing is approximately £40 for three hours.

Diving

Next door to the Fly Surf centre is the diving centre, which offers snorkelling and diving trips as well as PADI courses. We did not do any of these (which other than one free introductory lesson in the pool, all cost extra) during our stay. However we did do a boat trip through one of the sales reps on resort.

Excursions

Mahmaya

Instead of booking to go on a snorkelling trip to the Giftun Island with Thomas Cook, we hired a private boat for our party of ten to go to three islands around Mahmaya. Half of our party had previously done the excursion through Thomas Cook and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. However we chose to hire a private yacht that cost £5 less per person. We wished that we had done it with Thomas Cook which costs approximately $80. Instead of going to the three islands promised including the Giftun, we were taken to ‘Paradise’ which nowhere near compares to its beauty and tranquillity. Its coral was also dead, however the water was slightly warmer and we did see a Parrotfish and a handful of other exotic marine life. We were then supposed to go on to the Giftun Island however the yacht broke down and with such bad stormy weather, cloud cover and choppy waters we called it a day.

Luxor and Cairo

Thomas Cook have an excellent range of excursions including a hot air balloon trip over Luxor and one or two day trips to Cairo. Although we did not do any of these during our stay because the majority of our party previously had, we highly recommend taking advantage of these trips through Thomas Cook during the cooler (and thus more bearable) winter months of December and January. At the time of writing this Thomas Cook were selling them (adult prices) as follows:
$265 Cairo by flight
$220 Cairo 2 days
$95 Luxor 1 day
$179 Luxor 2 days
$120 Hot air ballon flight over Luxor (only available with the 2 day Luxor excursion)

Sand Buggies

What an excellent adventure! This was by far the highlight of our holiday! We booked this excursion with Thomas Cook at a cost of approximately £40 per person. However we did feel that we had done it directly with Speed Devils because it was the company themselves who picked us up, looked after us and dropped us back to our hotel afterwards. So it would probably be cheaper and just the same to book directly with them. We were picked up from our hotel promptly at 09:30 and driven to the nearby centre where we were shown how to use our buggies. There are family buggies seating four persons, doubles and singles. Please note that although Speed Devils provide you with goggles, headscarf’s are extra but well worth the £4 cost. Driving over the Sahara desert and through the canyon was an exhilaratingly breathtaking experience.

We stopped at a Bedouin camp, were offered a cup of their sweet tea and a smoke of a Shisha pipe. We then watched a lady making bread and sampled it afterwards. The snack bar at the hotel also has Shisha pipes that one can smoke at a supplement.

At the Bedouin camp there is also an opportunity to purchase beautifully handcrafted gifts including an intricately sewn sequin clad scarf or an elaborate bracelet for a couple of pound. We only stopped for a short time of approximately 30 minutes, which our party preferred, before heading up the canyon to see the remains of the coral where the Red Sea used to be millions of years ago. From there we looked down at the Bedouin camp we had just visited and out across the sea.

The only disappointment during this excursion was the fact that we didn’t see any camels. This had not been advertised, but it was an added extra that I was personally hoping for.

Quad Biking
Thomas Cook no longer to the Badwaya Adventure of quad biking across the desert due to fatalities and the high risk nature of the sport. If this is something that you want to do you will need to book it through the sales reps on resort who do still sell it. However beware that travel insurance tends to exclude cover for quad biking and sand buggies, from which medical and repatriation bills can be extremely costly should something happen. Take it from someone who used to organise air ambulances to repatriate those injured from quad bikes back to the UK.

Once back at the sand buggy and quad bike centres you may have the opportunity to purchase a DVD of your adventure. We purchased one that we found to be quite costly at £25, however it is a unique memento for us.

Although we did the morning trip, there are sunset trips available that may provide extremely spectacular views.

Go-Karting
Although this is not an excursion offered by Thomas Cook we did note the go-kart track in nearby El Gouna during our transfer to the hotel. The track looked to be a reasonable size and you can order a taxi using the service from reception.

Checking out

On our last day our transfer was due to collect us from reception at 14:45. One must vacate Festival Le Jardin by 12:00, handing their room key and beach card towels in. It costs £20 to keep the room on and thus was not worth it for us. In any case we found our luggage to be quite safe under the watchful eye of the Bell Captain, and there is a security guard at the entrance at all times anyway.

In relation to settling your bill you are advised to do this at least six hours prior to departure. Although none of us experienced any problems you may be shocked to learn the cost of a phone call back home is £1.50 per minute from your room!

Transfer to the airport

We were quite surprised at the Egyptian style mini bus used to transport us back to the airport with our luggage on the roof. However, other than the uncomfortable seats that had lost their springs and a bit of metal sticking out of one of them the coach did work and the driver was certainly much more speedy than that of the snail we had on our way to the hotel at the beginning of our stay!
Thomas Cook took us to the airport early and we were glad because of the size of the queues to scan you and your luggage, then check in, then scan you again!

Hurghada airport

Beware they have staff in the toilets who try to block you from going in without giving them a tip. Then you will find that they have removed the toilet roll paper from the toilet and won’t let you have any unless you pay them, then they try to shove toilet roll paper in your hands to dry them in exchange for money. I even had someone trying to push my toilet door open and banging on it for money! At this point I swore that I would never go back to Egypt! Also note that neither the airport nor the hotel mini markets sell tobacco!
Cigarettes, alcohol and perfume yes but no tobacco! In addition to this the price of food is extortionate costing the equivalent of £15 for two cups of tea, two soft drinks, one roll and one croissant!

Return flight

We were extremely disappointed to also find that Thomas Cook had sold out of tobacco on the flight over to collect us and so we missed out on this altogether. Therefore we recommend that if this is something you want to get, you get it either at the UK airport or on the flight on the way out. Your allowance from Egypt is 250 grams per person.
Thomas Cook accept Egyptian pounds, Euros and Sterling so you can buy snacks using any left over money you have. Unlike Egypt who don’t tend to accept their own currency instead preferring Euros, dollars or Sterling! The in-flight entertainment on return was much better than our outward flight. We saw ‘Get Smart’ and ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’ as well as Mrs Bucket. However the TV’s are few and far between. quite a distance away and get blocked by those standing or waling up and down the aisles. You can purchase headphones for a small fee but we always reuse ours which the majority of airlines accept. The pitch of the seats are an absolute nightmare as with all charter airlines, with the majority of people’s knees touching the seats in front of them! Not only this but if you put your seat back the person behind you gets squashed even more, or you get it if the person in front of you puts their seat back.
You can pre-book seats to Egypt for £12 per leg. It is then extra to pre-book one of only a handful of seats with extra leg room.
We landed 15 minutes ahead of schedule which was good however (first time for me) we had to wait an hour for our luggage to be put on the carousel. Eventually when it did come out a lot of peoples suitcases were open and/ or broken with belongings including a camera and purse hanging out! None of ours thankfully were like this, however we did have locks and straps round them so we highly recommend this to all. We purchased personalised luggage straps quite cheaply prior to departing the UK.

Final thoughts

We felt cheated because the sole purpose of our trip had been to experience warm waters and snorkel amongst an abundance of amazing exotic marine life. Thus we have written this review to warn those considering the hotel of what it has to offer so that you can make an informed decision on what and/ or where to spend your money.
We may go back to Egypt again in the winter to visit the tombs, or in the spring to snorkel but we definitely will not go back to this hotel.

  • Stayed: December 2008
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6  Thank SnorkellingHeaven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hawaii Le Jardin Aqua Park Resort

Address: km 11 Ahiaa Rd, Hurghada 84517, Egypt (Formerly Festival Le Jardin)
Location: Egypt > Red Sea and Sinai > Hurghada
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#35 Top resorts Hotel in Hurghada
#44 Spa Hotel in Hurghada
#56 On the Beach Hotel in Hurghada
#62 Luxury Hotel in Hurghada
Price Range: $29 - $99 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hawaii Le Jardin Aqua Park Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 542
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This property is 2 minutes walk from the beach. Hawaii Le Jardin Aqua Park Resort situated 11 km north of Hurghada, features 3 swimming pools and a private beach. Hawaii Le Jardin Aqua Park Resort also offers an entertaining Kids Club. This property offers 2 à-la-carte restaurants and offers free WiFi.Aqua Park is opened and free of charge for all guests. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sunrise Le Jardin Hotel Hurghada
Festival Le Jardin Hurghada
Festival Le Jardin Hotel Hurghada

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