I have just returned from an Easter school holiday "week in the sun" with my 5 1/2 year old son (his first trip abroad, my third visit to Egypt over the years) - booked through Thomas Cook. Firstly, to re-confirm much of what I'd read in other reviews prior to going:
1. Staff - overall couldn't have been more friendly, helpful or accomodating - imparting a little 'special' feeling to us both with regular greetings etc, as we relaxed and enjoyed our holiday. A small tip goes a long way to rewarding their attentiveness !
2. Room - we were allocated a ground floor room in the Beach complex (nothing was made clear in post on-line booking info from Thomas Cook as to which part of the resort we might be staying, so be preared to ask of your holiday company if necessary). Room location was very near to the beach; main pool and the "central area" of reception/main buffet/terrace & bar. This was overall very convenient and the room was clean & comfortable; wonderfully maintained by room service, e.g. we were asked on 1st day if we wanted extra daily water.
The only downside being that the post 9pm evening entertainment could be heard even above the air-con! It was not a huge problem to either of us and always finished by 11pm latest. But, if you think it could be for you or your family, ask to be in a block marginally further away from either of the stages / central areas. In my opinion, the distances to food and facilities are neglible and easy to walk, wherever you may stay in the resort.
3. Food - as one would expect from an all-incl geared resort, both choice & quantity was plentiful. It is true to say that the buffets (and other aspects such as entertainment) are geared a little towards Eastern European taste (I'd estimate 50% of resort guests were Russian; although the resort seemed only approx half occupied, which I found surprising).
However, in the buffet there was an abundance of choice in salads; bread and pasta stations; nightly grills, desserts & so on - so not difficult to find things to both of our tastes and one or two more 'exotic' things to try out. I did persuade my son out of the buffet & into the a la carte twice (be prepared to ask & make clear on the advertised booking system!) - the Italian was OK and Indian very good (with option of a mainstream kid's menu).
At busiest times, the buffet felt a little crowded with people around the food service areas - however the tables inside were plentiful or one could take food out to to the adjoining lobby/terrace areas for a bit more space, which we often did.
4. Facilities / Entertainment - primarliy we went to enjoy sun & the pools, and weren't at all disappointed ! The choice of pools, from the "quieter", through kids' pools and up to the main pools (with the swim up bars) was excellent, e.g. no problem in my son using the waterslides, always finding a convenient location of loungers etc. The beach area is spacious and well maintained and a nice aspect that I found was the amount of grassed areas throughout the resort - perhaps not common to too many hotels in Egypt ?
One day we tried out snorkelling from the resorts' jetty which, although the reef was not spectacular by any means, offered easy and safe access and enough to see for the non-demanding. Because I could find no info prior to travelling, I will add: the resort does NOT provide snorkelling equipment to guests (I played safe and bought and took our own) - however there are a shops on-site with a good range and probably cheaper than UK.
A slight downside - the constant attentions of the "trip reps" can become wearing, as they freely & regularly operate around all the "common" areas. They are clearly sanctioned by the resort as the majority of services they are selling, e.g.diving/boat trips; quad-bikes, spa, operate from on-site. The individuals were pleasant enough but persistent and willing to refute any argument - only on our last days did the "not interested, only here for a week" take effect !
Overall - very pleased with the resort; very suitable for both young child and adult and overall met all my expectations.
**TIP** - you may save some money and time by NOT booking the holiday company airport transfer and opting for a local taxi: £10 - £15 each way I was told by another family of four, as compared to £25pp (and 3 hotel stops, of which Stella the last) on TC coach.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Stella Di Mare Makadi Beach Resort & Spa is located in the prominent Makadi Bay area, on Egypt's beautiful Red Sea Riviera. Makadi is a peaceful bay with many opportunities for snorkeling and scuba diving. The semi-tropical climate makes this both a summer and winter resort. With its warm, healthy climate and the beauties of the coral reefs, this is a place to delight sun seekers and water sports enthusiasts alike. Makadi Bay is a convenient 25km south of Hurghada International Airport. The location makes it easy to access the town of Hurghada, and there are many other notable places of interest nearby, such as the island of Giftun, which is a Marine National Park, where desert and marine life are protected by law. In fact, much of the Red Sea area has a protected status. The Stella Makadi Resort & Spa is situated on a white sandy beach, and has a spectacular house reef very close by, which guests may use for snorkeling. In addition to the natural beauty of its setting, the resort has the advantage of many facilities and services to ensure a holiday that offers a wide choice of activities. There is a Spa and Health club, a shopping mall and a discotheque, to name just a few Stella Makadi Resort & Spa guests are assured of dedicated service, with all their needs taken care of in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Stella Makadi Hotel Makadi Bay