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“Best location in Makadi Bay”

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Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas
Ranked #13 of 30 Hotels in Makadi Bay
Certificate of Excellence
kent
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Best location in Makadi Bay”
Reviewed November 11, 2012

Second time to this hotel and will be back next year. If you love snorkelling and the beach this is the hotel for you. This year we even saw turtles, The Moray eel was huge and was in same patch of coral most days. From hotel you can walk all around the bay and see the other hotels which is why I know it is the best location. Food is good and can always find something you like. Always a pasta station and pizza. This hotel only seems to have english german and italian, no russians.

Room Tip: The new wing which sage use is probably the best, having said that All are good.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank neighboursKent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed November 10, 2012

We have recently returned from a holiday at Fort Arabesque. This is the first time we have visited this hotel/resort and we were extremely pleased with all aspect of our stay. The beach is excellent and access to the coral reefs is the easiest we have encountered in Egypt. Even the most inexperienced snorkeller would not encounter problems: coral starts quite close to the shore, with much deeper areas beyond. The variety of marine life was absolutely superb. The hotel was excellent. Our room was in the older area and perhaps slightly 'tired', but was huge and had all the amenities we could have required. The food was very good (this has not always been in the case, in otherwise good hotels in which we have stayed in Egypt). Evening 'entertainment' is always very limited (or non existent) in Egypt. Fort Arabesque Red Rock Bar, however, had a resident female singer, who was very good, had a wide and varied repertoire of songs, and was fluent in a number of languages. The 'idive' centre was excellent and the staff professional. We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday and will have no hesitation in recommending it and to returning again.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank D E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
peterborough, UK
Level 6 Contributor
133 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed November 9, 2012

Departure Date 12th October
Tour Operator: Thomson

Sorry for the full review but I hope it will be useful for those who haven't been to Fort Arabesque or this area of Egypt before.

Firstly Thomson flights, don't expect any luxuries. These are basic flights, no movies, music or meals. You can purchase drinks and food from the Bistro menu onboard. I must compliment the cabin crew for their friendly and professional approach, you are looked after well.

On arrival be prepared to be hurd like cattle through the airport as you'll need to buy a visa on arrival in the terminal. You can pay Sterling or Euros, cost is around £26 for two visas. If flying Thomson you're meet at the terminal by staff and ushered to the desk to pay. Then collect your luggage, get the visa checked...again and then it's off to the coach for your 25 minute transfer. Talking of coach the driver wanted £1 a bag to put it in the hold of the coach......this is where the tipping starts, it's the culture in Egypt and not reading about it in any previous reviews we were really surprised about how forward they are about asking for money.

Check in was quick and simple with a welcome soft drink. Reception will keep your passports until you collect them again. We were shown to our room and noted that we had been upgraded to a newer superior room at no extra charge however the view wasn't what we had booked. Thomson say that every room in this hotel has a sea view but they do not, some rooms have side sea views and the only way to see the sea is to sit up one end of the balcony (which isn't comfortable) We went back down to reception nicely and calmly to ask if we could have a room with a sea view (just as we had booked)but they didn't have any available that night, we had to move the following day. We moved the following day to a standard room with a sea view. The rooms are a little tired but are more than adequate as a base. Be aware there are no tea and coffee making facilities in the room unless you hire a kettle from reception. (Or bring your own travel kettle and mugs etc) There is a mini bar in all rooms however its soft drinks only, 2 cokes, 2 waters, 2 cartons of juice. Air con worked well if not a bit noisy but you can't have it all!

OK onto the restaurants. Choice of two, first on in main lobby area, second in the new block (also known as the Saga building) by the way it's called the Saga building as Saga Holidays have a lounge inside for their guests.

Both restaurants are find a vacant table (some will be laid, some wont) sit down and the waiters will come over and get your drinks. Then you can go up and choose from salads, soups, mains inc. a pasta chef and desserts. Breakfast you can go to the egg station and order fried, omelette etc. You certainly won't go hungry but be prepared to try local Egyptian dishes. They also do have an air of 'Canteen' about them. Service in the two restaurants is also different. The main block caters for all gusts and is more relaxed and not as attentive. The new block Resturant caters for the more senior guests. Service is more attentive and professional in this Resturant.

If you like your coffee in the morning then be aware you have a choice of instant packet or 'American' coffee from an earn.

The beach is great but Unfortunately the sun bed towel reservation starts at 6am....yes 6am. There are around 3 rows of sun beds along the beach and as long as you're not fussy where you go then we always found a space, if you want the first two rows then be prepared to get up at 6! There is lots of shade as all sun beds have a hard standing umbrella, you can hang your snorkel kit or wet swim kit on a piece of rope that hangs from the umbrella. Bring a couple of pegs in your suitcase, they would be really handy!

Locals say Fort Arabesque has the best beach in the area and you can instantly see why. As per other reviews, gentle slope, no waves, crystal water and reefs steps away from the beach with lots of fish. You can hire mask and snorkels from the iDive centre at the end of the beach for around £2 a day. Its good kit and friendly staff. One thing to note the beach does have small flys which come and go throughout the day so take some inspect repellent with you. We saw a couple of Italian guests with fly swats!

This is a more mature hotel for couples or people who like it quiet. Not a lot for kids here. It does have a play area and small kids club but that's all I spotted.

We didn't go to any shows so can't comment. We would grab a drink at the bar after our meal and head back and chill out on the balcony. Drinks from the bar are triple measures if you have local spirt and beer is Egyptian larger.

We did go to Makadi Bay Water Park which was a great day out. It's also one of the best I've seen for kids. There is a huge good choice of flumes some are rubber ring based single and double and the fast tubes you pick up a matt. You don't have to hire the tubes just pick them up at the bottom of the ride and put them back when you've finished with them. Basic food and soft drinks are included in the entrance price or take your own along. One word of advice here is to wear sea/surf or jelly shoes. The ground gets really hot as there isn't alot of shade when walking. Sun beds again have shade. There are no lockers so don't take valuables with you just leave your bags at your chosen sun bed. We also did the Dessert safari and star excursion which is a great afternoon out. Be prepared for fast, bumpy dessert driving but with some great views. (Not for the faint hearted).

Back to the hotel......Smoking is common in all communicable areas of the hotel including reception, the main lobby Resturant, all bars and even the staff whilst they are working.

The gardeners start early in the morning, we were woken up at 7.15 with a mower outside our room!

Overall Fort Arabesque offers everything you need for a week away especially if you like snorkelling and guaranteed sunshine but don't expect 4 star service. Attention to detail is lacking here. Tipping is expected even the cleaners were standing waiting outside our room whilst we finished packing and checking out (waiting for a tip). Thomson Reps Issra and Mohamed did an excellent job.

Overall a nice break and a good first visit to Egypt but we wouldn't return.

Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
6 Thank wiskeyboo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maidstone, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed November 7, 2012

If you like a good beach,then Fort Arabesque is the only place to stay in Makadi bay. While you are there please check out the diving centre "idive". I learnt to dive there at the age of 62 and last week complete 52 dives.The diving is fantastic, from learners to the most experienced. They also have equipment for non divers to hire,such as wet suits, snorkels,fins and masks. I think its 3 euro per day for a wet suit. They are fully covered by Dan Europe insurance. They are great people,so go and say hello.

Room Tip: Go for a high floor, for a great sea view. There are some new villas,if money is not a problem
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank terence i
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burnley, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed November 7, 2012

Stayed 9/10/12 to 6/11/12 with Saga. Rooms are large and well appointed, though in need of a little decoration. Position of hotel and it's beach is fantastic, the best on Makadi Bay from what we saw of adjoining hotels and their beaches. Food is excellent. Plenty of choice and good quality, though the salads were a bit boring. However, all the ingredients were there for you to make your own fresh salad. Only partook of the evening entertainment once, and got bitten by mosquitoes. This was a bit of an issue in the public areas, even in the Saga lounge. A regular spraying regime would eliminate this problem. This hotel is all-inclusive and offers great value, especially for Saga guests with free laundry service and mini-bar.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Brenda P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed November 6, 2012

We've been visiting Fort Arabesque for two years now and stay twice a year for a month each time. We go with Saga but would like it known that there is no such thing as a "Saga Block". The "block" is where Saga guests happen to be. There are many other nationalities of all ages in this block. Also the restaurant in this block IS NOT a Saga restaurant but used by anyone. Cannot fault the staff and somehow they seem to remember us from visit to visit - amazing as they must meet hundreds of people. Any problems are sorted very quickly by the hotel staff. There are quite a few people who do not seem to know about the area(s) they visit for their holidays. Are they aware that topless sunbathing in Egypt is illegal and they can be put into prison? Also it is illegal to feed the fish and, again, they can be put in prison for doing so. Since our first visit a lot of the coral has disappeared due to people trampling all over it in their fins and shoes. You do not need fins or wet suits in the shallows.

Room Tip: Most of the rooms are good. Just ask for a change if you are not happy.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kittikatr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 6, 2012

Stayed at Fort Arabesque on 11 October 2012. We have been to Egypt a few times but this was our first visit to Hurghada. Hotel was very good, our room was excellent with lovely sea view and our room attendant was good. Hotel is located on its own sandy beach which was lovely. We walked for a good half hour along the beach through a couple of other hotels and can honestly say that Fort Arabesque had the biggest and best part of the beach. The snorkelling was fantastic, never thought my husband would be so keen to get in the sea and check out all the beautiful coloured fish within 20ft of the shore. Food was on a buffet style which can get a bit repetitive but there is lots of choice and the homemade breads were yummy. Weather was brilliant for time of year - around 32 degrees every day. Lovely relaxed atmosphere at the end of the beach day where everyone sat at the beach bar having an end of day drink -après beach is what I called it. Hotel is in the middle of nowhere so don't expect much entertainment at night but we were quite happy to have a couple of drinks and chat on he terrace. Would definitely go back to this hotel at this time of year. Lots of Italians and Germans at hotel, very few Brits but everyone was very relaxed and just enjoying the lovely location and sunshine.

Room Tip: Rooms 230 to 250 are good location
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ozzy13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas

Property: Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas
Address: Safaga Road | Abu Makhadeg Bay, Makadi Bay, Hurghada, Egypt
Location: Egypt > Red Sea and Sinai > Hurghada > Makadi Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Makadi Bay
#7 Spa Hotel in Makadi Bay
#10 Family Hotel in Makadi Bay
#11 Romantic Hotel in Makadi Bay
#12 Luxury Hotel in Makadi Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas 4*
Number of rooms: 458
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa, & Villas promises tranquilityand opulence with its 444 luxurious rooms, suites, privateapartments and 14 newly built villas.Four dining venues, five swimming pools, including a children's pool(three of which are heated), a state-of-the-art gym, world class Thai managed Spa and sports facilities as well as I-Dive, a five-starIDC PADI dive center, guarantee a fun and unforgettable hotel experience.Inspired by the Sardinian roots of its architects, FortArabesque Resort & Spa combines distinctive Italianand Arabic accents in its architecture, from its imposingmedieval fort structure to its interior touches and décor,where the different shades of Egyptian cave stones fromAswan blend with the antique fine wood furnishings oforiental designs.We would like to introduce our new concept as well, which is unique in Egypt.Nestled within the Fort Arabesque resort, The Villas offer its guests luxurious accommodation, space and privacy in addition to a more personal and dedicated service. Each of the 14 Villas (8 units with 1 bedroom + 1 bathroom, 6 units with 2 bedrooms + 2 bathrooms) is tastefully decorated to reflect the mix of Arabic accents and Mediterranean influences of the Fort Arabesque Resort. All units have private garden and terrace with private access to a secluded swimming pool exclusive to The Villas. To ensure a fast and efficient service, the check-in is done through a private reception. The residents also have access to the Pavilion which is a private lounge where the villa guests can enjoy a semi-served upgraded breakfast in the morning. For lunch and dinner time the Pavilion functions as an A’la Carte Restaurant, giving the opportunity to enjoy a fine dining experience. The extra benefits of the Villa Guests include free Wi-Fi, free Gym usage and various discounts in the different outlets of the hotel.Guests at The Villas are free to use all the facilities and enjoy the same ‘all inclusive’ benefits at the resort with quick access to the main restaurant and the beach as well. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Fort Arabesque
Fort Arabesque Makadi Bay
Fort Arabesque Hurghada

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