We just returned last night having spent two weeks at the hotel. I have to say we were extremely nervous about going after reading some of the reviews and the recent trouble in Egypt but our concerns were unfounded although a few small issues did ruin the holiday slightly. We arrived at the hotel by private taxi as from previous holidays we wanted to avoid fifty hotel drops before us but this was not the case and the coach actually arrived ten minutes after us so this proved to be a waste of money.
Check in was a bit chaotic and we weren't sure what was happening with our bags and how we got to our room but we were told to join the group staying in rooms in block 3000. We were the last to be directed to our room which was at the very end of the resort and was not happy to discover that despite having paid a significant amount of money for a swim up room that we had been assigned a room on the first floor. My daughter was asleep in the pram and so I refused to even cart the pram upstairs and look at the room as it was not the swim up room we had booked. We then had to do the long walk the whole way back to reception carrying all our hand luggage and pushing a pram. When we explained to the staff that there was a problem with the room, it was not swim up he advised that we had been upgraded to a suite at x amount of square feet and was one of the best rooms in the hotel and when I said but it doesn't have a pool outside he looked at me like I was crazy and said there were 18 pools to choose from. At this point I felt ridiculous and agreed to have a look at the room. We then did the long walk again, lugged the pram up, got in the room which was very impressive to then hear the door open and be greeted by a staff member bringing another family to the room which had also been assigned to them! We had to wait for the guy to call reception and were told that it was a mistake and the room was not ours so we had to again walk back to reception and wait a further 20-30 mins before finally being allocated a swim up room.
We were more than happy with the swim up room. It was perfect for our three year old as it's only 80cms and when it got too hot she could sit inside the room in the cool. We found that we had the pool to ourselves most days as the other rooms appeared to sunbathe around the main pools. After a week the hotel called our room asking if we wanted to upgrade to a suite which we didn't as the pool was the reason we'd booked. I think they must double book the rooms and rely on people accepting the upgrade as we noticed a few families moved out within a few days and must've upgraded. The only downside to the swim up room was despite the pool being surrounded by small shrubs and a small sign saying private pool, we constantly faced people not from the swim up rooms using it. A lot just got in for a quick dip but some took over the pool and brought the family along. My husband would politely say excuse me I don't mean to be rude but this is a private pool to which he faced a barrage of abuse. This happened on three occasions with one lady full on screaming at him it was her legal right to use it and it was typical of him being from England!! At this point we'd had enough and spoke to guest relations and the Thomson rep Mohammed who advised that should people who shouldn't be in it get in to call reception and they would remove them, however, the practicality and reality of this was not feasible, not helped by people saying the lifeguards at the main pool said they could it. It may sound petty but we paid a lot of money to have the private pool and it was not overly big to accommodate non swim up room guests.
We found the food to be good quality for the size of the hotel and sheer amount of guests they'd to cater for and always found something we fancied in the main buffet restaurant. There is absolutely no issue with cleanliness or hygiene with the food. The tables are constantly being cleaned and set and we were very fortunate to have lovely waiters that of their own back without tipping reserved us a table every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The a la carte restaurants were very good. We tried them all twice with the Asian being our favourite as on our last visit we paid £20 to have teppanyake which was worth every penny and an amazing experience.
The bars and ambience at night is lovely. Yes, the drinks during the day could be hit and miss as they are mostly from postmix machines, but the wine, cocktails and tea and coffee were really good.
I'm one of these crazy people that use the gym on holiday which had everything you need and the staff even gave me personal training sessions which you'd never get in England without paying for.
The hotel is immaculate and the staff work round the clock to ensure the high standards although I did notice that the Blue Marine end tended to have a lot of rubbish scattered but this is not the fault of the staff but the guests that clearly didn't know what a bin was!
We were lucky not to have any real tummy trouble, the odd day where one of us had a bit of an upset tummy but nothing which bedded us down or needed medication.
Check out was even more chaotic than check in and not as a result of the hotel but Thomson. We had gone to speak to the rep three days before departure to confirm details of our return taxi and were advised that we'd receive details on a card through our door the day before. All the card said was to meet in reception at 2.10pm. At 2.10pm the coaches had arrived for everyone but no sign of our taxi and when we asked the rep she literally said it wasn't her problem, nothing to do with her, it was up to us to have the details as she'd only coach details! I fail to see how booking through her company was not her problem and how she'd no details! Bottom line she wouldn't help, the coaches were leaving and we were left amid tens of people trying to sort it out. The taxi eventually arrived 15 mins late and the rep couldn't have cared less as we weren't on her coach list so weren't her problem.
All in all, lovely hotel with high standards and despite the number of people it never felt crowded or noisy and the staff couldn't be more helpful.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Jaz 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