Although I have given this holiday 5/5 I would like to specify that don't mean this is a 5 star hotel. I've given it such a high rating for value for money and for the 5 top things that we like on holiday. Really good pools (heated), great facilities for kids without being over commercialised, good, plentiful food and drink, evening entertainment and great weather at a time of year when its hard to find anything without spending a fortune or having loads of jabs. The hotel staff where generally v helpful too and the setting and architecture of the hotel is lovely, very spaced out so you aren't on top of everyone else. All in all fantastic!
There are some things they could improve on if I was being picky, like the way the plates and coffee cups ran out at breakfast and mid morning or that it was tricky to get money changed but they are really tiny things in the scale of things.
The pool entertainment was fantastic I really enjoyed the Zumba and aqua aerobics - if we could have got up earlier I would have done the yoga too. The kids loved the warm river parts of the pool that they could stand up in. The waterslide bit was also fantastic but I wished that the waterslides closer to the hotel had had a warm pool, it was freezing - it would have been less of a trek but again just being picky really a lot of Egyptian hotels don't have as many warm pools as this one did. The pool was graduated too which made it ideal for the kids and it was a really nice temperature and really big. It was really great that there where facilities for my 5 (small slides) and massive 4 storey slides for my 7 year old but also if you had a baby there were 2 warm dip pools with shaded canopies that would have been great. The big slides were in actual fact quite scary for me or anyone with a fear of heights but my 7 year old loved them. It was very breezy by the beach though so quite cold whilst we were there which put me off - if it had been hotter or more sheltered would have been great though. If you were an adrenaline loving 7 yr old plus though this probably wouldn't bother you as much! The pool they emerged into was fairly warm but you couldn't stay in the lifeguard was v strict on making sure you got straight out so you didn't get in the way of people coming down - some adults came down at a helluva rate, looked like they were going to fly out! The swirly slide was good though it was hard work getting the big rubber rings up the four flights of steps, still good to keep you fit!
There were a very cosmopolitan feel to the hotel lots of Germans, some French and Italian, not that many Brits. There was never a fight for a sunbed because a. there were loads and b. if you couldn't find one the pool staff were always amazingly helpful and would get you one. There were also lots of nice shady bits, ping pong tables by the pool areas and lots of cafe areas near the hotel if you wanted to sit in the shade and have a drink.
Also the kids loved the ice lollies which were like mini choc ices on sticks, a fab idea and available from about 11am.
The food was a bit mixed I would say - sometimes the fish and chips in the basket was lovely other times it was slightly undercooked. The chicken dishes had quite a bit of skin and bone in them so I just learnt to go for the fish more often or beef which were really good generally.
Breakfast had lots of choice but you had to queue for omelettes and things and my main criticism was that they kept moving the bread rolls around/the butter/the sauces/ lemon wedges etc so if it could take you ages to find the stuff you liked. But its not like anyone would ever starve there were always loads of croissants and nice bread rolls or pre-cooked scrambled egg with vegetabes in and cereals etc.
The kids mini disco would have been good when the kids were younger - great location - semi inside and near the bar so adults could go and get the yummy mojitos! The bar man is amazing I have never seen anyone make 20 cocktails before in less than a minute!! London bar staff take note :) A few small tips go a long way we found. The staff we encountered are very honest, one found my husbands rucksack with an iphone in and the kids toys and returned it the next day. I can't remember his name but the very tall bar guy even stayed up after his shift to get it put in a safe so we'd get it back.
I caved in and had a chocolate massage towards the end of the holiday and despite reviews to the contrary it was very good. Different to over here and slightly inimidating at first because of the language barrier but the actual massage itself was better than some of the half hearted ones I've had hotel spas in the UK. My only criticism would be that the shower to wash off the chocolate concoction was really small, just a foot shower and whilst I was having the wrap I could hear it dripping which was a bit annoying. But the lady who did the massage was very good. (Georgia I think she said her name was, she was half Greek) and would definitely recommend it - the chocolate/oils made my skin very moisturised and amazingly soft for several days.
All in all a lovely relaxing holiday - we were there a week during half term which was just right really - the only thing which spoilt it was the bad tummy I picked up on the last day which affected me on the flight on the way back. The airport is dire and food is awful by the way - its v hot with a few flies so be prepared! Also they do a think on the way there where they try and charge you about £50 per family for extra visa stamps. I think you can round this by getting them before you go for a lot cheaper - I'm not convinced we really needed them - the flight attendents said we didn't but its all quite intimidating and everyone else did.
Also the room cleaner gets a mention as his towel sculptures where works of art that the kids really loved and he was really friendly and nice. The room was immaculate, bathroom spacious and clean, kids beds nice and comfy and in a separate area.
All in all I would definitely return
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Iberotel Aquamarine Resort is made for those who want to spoil themselves with the prefect, relaxed, All inclusive luxurious five-star Egypt holiday. Located on the southern tip of Hurghada with its own unspoiled private beach, this impressive complex features seven restaurants. It boasts over 1,001 comfortable rooms equipped with all the latest facilities, services and amenities as well as the “Mercato” shopping complex and a conference centre for up to 1500 people. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Iberotel Aquamarine Hotel Hurghada