This is our second visit to the Makadi Spa Hotel, our first being July last year (read my review 'Makadi Spa - A Jewel in the Crown' and we have returned again from 13th-20th December this year.
On arrival, the hotel was as we expected....immaculate, welcoming and full if anticipation of what we expect the Makadi Spa to offer (albeit spa-less which we were aware of, but that did not stop us returning for a second time). As returning customers we asked our travel agent to get us our 'old' room and even told him the room number - and the hotel fully obliged and gave us the exact room that we requested....only to find that I had told them the wrong number! Ahmed, the Head Receptionist was extremely helpful and moved us to our more desirable room, and made the whole process effortless, courteous and professional.
Our suite was as we remembered, and cleaned and presented in an immaculate way each day - but it's no more than we expect when staying in a nice hotel. However, there are signs of wear and tear on the shower floor which I didn't like to see, but as they were cosmetic and didn't detract from the use of the shower that we didn't mention it - but maybe we should have. Other than that nicely presented.
For our first evening we dined at The World Restaurant, which was a work in progress when we went previously. It's an impressive size and as the name suggests there are various food choices from around the world. The chefs are on hand to help you to make your choice and appear proud of what they have produced. No complaints about what is created although i do find it all a bit 'spread out' and found I was trapsing around the restaurant to collect my food from various 'areas'. I'm sure it could all have been condensed into a smaller areas for convenience. On the whole, a nice dining experience with attentive staff. We next dined at The Shimmers Restaurant (it was called The View previously) for lunch the next day. Familiar staff on hand to serve our lunch! It was a pleasure to see Ibrahim again - always so happy and professional. The menu disappointedly appeared very similar to last year, if not the same. I ate my 'favourite' choice from the menu and it was nice. Nothing particularly wrong with it and served in a very nice manner by the ever happy and smiling Ibrahim. I can't honestly say that there was anything wrong with the food because there wasn't, but something has changed as it didn't have the 'wow' factor that it did previously - perhaps they've changed the chef(?) - I don't know - or maybe it's because I knew the menu inside out from having been there previously? Can't fault the service though and that goes a long way to reprieving the menu!
We ate at the Asian Restaurant three times during our stay - and I can't get enough of the excellent quality, presentation and service from this restaurant. This is what it's all about - and without this restaurant I think this hotel may not have a lot of its laurels left to rest on! This is their measure of what the other restaurants should be aiming for.
The Cove Restaurant opened whilst we were there and this was fabulous! In the same league as the Asian Restaurant with its quality of food and service. The Cove offers al fresco and indoor dining with waiter service with a great choice of freshly prepared food, BBQ food and hot and cold buffet. We sat outdoors and it was just lovely relaxing, quality dining experience. Brilliant!
The Fish Restaurant is nice, same menu, nice friendly professional service no complaints. The Steak Restaurant - there was no steak (!!) so we didn't try it - but those who were lucky enough to get steak, liked it and had a nice experience.
The Tapas Restaurant - cannot fault the service -but I think it maybe that I'm not partial to this food so don't want to misguide anyone. I liked my tapas but disliked my main and even felt a bit hungry after so I think a person with a large appetite may have to order loads, or pop to another restaurant to 'top up' afterwards!
All in all - the menu's need revamping in the Asian, Fish, Shimmers and Tapas restaurants as I can almost recite them from this trip and my previous trip. The staff are all excellent in the restaurants and we cannot find fault at all with their professional, happy service that they are providing.
A new addition seems to be a small repertoire of entertainment. The German ladies duo (organist and violinist) were very good and then there was the Singer/guitarist. The duo performed twice whilst we were there and played the same tunes, but as they singing christmas carols we went along with it and thoroughly enjoyed it. The singer/guitarist had a massive array of songs that he can sing and he is worth listening to time and time again! There is now an animation girl who will come along to you and try and coax you into doing something energetic. Animation teams are not for us - as that was the whole idea of choosing this hotel as we do not want to do anything energetic! She appears to be wasting her time unfortunately, as nobody else wanted to do yoga or exercise classes etc, either!
The lobby bar - oh, such a lovely spot going to waste. Previously we could use this bar as part of our AI package but changes have made it that you now have to pay to have the pleasure of sitting here. We were extremely disappointed with this change as it is the perfect venue to meet and chat for a pre-dinner drink and post dinner drink. The management need to decide if this is an AI hotel, or not! Bad management decision, which is confusing - why change it?! We were informed it was due to noise from inconsiderate guests previously, but if this is the case perhaps try a curfew and offer the lobby bar for pre-dinner drinks instead? Whatever the management decide they have caused a huge debate amongst the residents and the common conclusion is that it is a bad decision. Over to you Mr Hansen?!
We returned to Makadi Spa as we know that value for money is exactly what we will get. Some quality restaurants with excellent dining, some okish/good restaurants, excellent service throughout the resort and lovely clean accommodation. On the whole it is excellent value for money.
Just to say that our thanks go out to Ahmed (Head Receptionist), Ibrahim, Mohammad, Ashley Cole (you will know him when you see him), all the guys in the Animation bar and for the fabulous cocktails and flowers made from napkins...superb!
Would we go back?? Yes, we will be returning customers to Makadi Spa - as sometimes you find it's not always the fancy packaging that surprises you, but what is within that makes it special......and in Makadi Spa you definitely get that!.......
Carolyn and Adel Adham xx
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- An oasis of peace, relaxation and tranquility. The Makadi Spa*is the Red Sea’s largest custom-built Wellness resort. Recently opened, it focuses firmly on all aspects of wellness, with its accommodation,and dining tailored specifically to the needs of the most discerning of its adult-only clientele. *The Spa is as yet not in operation, awaiting construction completion within the next months to come. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Makadi Hotel Makadi Bay