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“Good Hotel in a Great location!”

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Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas
Ranked #14 of 29 Hotels in Makadi Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Fordingbridge, Hmpshire, UK
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Good Hotel in a Great location!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 2, 2009

I went to fort arabesque with my family; my mum, my dad, my younger sister of 8, and me (15) for 7 nights from August 21st - August 28th. We went to fort arabesque through First Choice and Thomson. Our flight from Gatwick to Hurghada went soundly on a fairly small Thomson plane. We took of at around 3:00 pm and landed in Hurghada at around 9:00 (they're 1 hour ahead)! When we got into the airport it took no time at all for us to go from the plane to the coach!

When we arrived at Fort Arabesque we were stunned by the lush gardens in and around the hotel; situated in a very hot, dry, and sandy desert. Our room was pretty good. 2 large beds, a mini-bar, air conditioning, etc. We were actually on the bottom floor but were'nt too bothered as we only slept in the room! However, for the last 3 nights at the hotel we decided to upgrade to the family suite; which was fantastic. It had 2 seperate bedrooms; a seperate lounge; 2 large, seperate bathrooms (en-suite); a large, sepaerate living room; a wardrobe room; plus a tea and coffe bar area! Superb!

The whole of Makady bay is made up of hotel complexes meaning all of the beaches are regularly full of poeple; but NOT too crowded! The sea was absolutely brilliant. During the hotest part of the day (11:00 - 3:00) the sea was just as warm as the heated pools in the hotel! And dotted around in the sea were small bits of reefs that were teeming with fish and coral. All you needed was a snorkel and mask! In fact, my dad and i took a walk around the whole of Makady Bay and thought that our stretch of beach was the best in the whole bay!

The food at the hotel was also very good; but not great!? There were 3 seperated restaurant areas, but they all served the same thing. Also, although there was a large variety of food each night, there were alot of dishes that were constantly repeated and that got rather dull. Also the bars were'nt great either. The lobby bar was good, and so was the beach bar. But, disappointingly, the windbreaker bar and the especially the swim up bar were fairly poor. The swimup bar was only open for a couple of hours ecah day, and at irregular times. Also there is nothing to it. All there is behind the bar is a mini fridge and freezer and that is it. No alchohol, no decorations, and no happy bar staff!

As most of the hotel contained Italians my sister never went to the kids club as almost all of the kids that went were italian. But this was'nt too much of a problem as my sister was perfectly happy with the sea and pools. The evening entertainment was pretty good i thought. It was done in a below grounf arena. The only problem with this is that it gets very hot along the bottom 2 rows meaning my dad and mum normally sat at the top near the bar; but the entertainment staff were fun and put on some godd performances.

What we thought was also very good at the hotel was the range of tours. Although we didnt do any there were plenty of different tours for you to go on There was a days trip out on a beautiful yacht, a days out on dune buggies, a days trip to luxor, and, of course, a days trip to the pyramids. The only problem with the days trip to the pyramids is that it is either a 8 hour eachw ay trip on coach, or an expensive 2 hour plane journey. All for only a couple of hours around the pyramids.. So if you want to visit them this would be the recommended hotel for it. But the rest of the trips look fantastic.

For those looking to go diving here you need to chose wisely. Your first dive has to be a beach check dive at a depth of only 12 meters. But if you plan to any more than 2 dives you must do either the half or full day dives aboard the large boat. That is because on all of the other, shorter boat dives, you dont see any more than you would if you went snorkelling on the beach around the hotel! My dad and i never did the full or half day dives as my dad felt rather ill at times. But we were told by the instructors that the full day GIFTON ISLAND dive is the one to do. You travel for 30 minutes North aboard the TIGER boat to Gifton island and then do a full days diving here. All this only cost around £10 extra than a normal boat dive!

Also, if anybody is planning to play alot of tennis here i would'nt recomend this hotel. It has one, very poor court, that is encased in 4, 30 foot walls; making it extremely hot inside and making it impossible to play. The court itself is in a very poor state as well.

A FINAL NOTE OF WARNING!!!!! Out of the my family of 4, 3 of us came down with a painful illness. My mum, siter, and dad all had bad stomach cramps for atleast a couple of days on the holiday each. My siter came down with frist on probably the 3rd night of the holiday, She was in a bit of pain and we had to go back to the room fairly early as a result. My mum was the next to have it. She , unfourtunately, was bed ridden for aalmost 2 days and fro one night. Finally my dad came down with the illness on the last couple of days of the holiday and has felt weak ever since. He still has the illness a week on after the holiday. When we told First Choice about the illness they did say that alot of their custimers had told them that they had got the same illness on holiday in Eqypt (not just Hurghada and Makady bay)! They think that it could be one of a couple of things. They say that it could be the filthy currency they are receving from eqypt. Or they say that it could be the door handles in the hotel. Although the cleanliness of the hotel is very good alot of the saff and other guests will obviously touch the same handles as you will, transfering bacteria from the toilet or their rokm, etc to you.

But anyway, apart from the unfortunate illnesses we got, we still thoroughly enjoyed the area we were staying in, and the hotel! The only main issue is the fact the the hotel relies alot on its beach location and so are neglecting alot of eatures in its hotel (the swimup bar especially)!

But STRONGLY RECOMENDED to anybody wanting to experiance Egypt!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Chatters_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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surrey,england
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 31, 2009

What can i say we arrived after a 2 hour delay from gatwick.To a very congested hurgada airport,but after getting our visas and out to the coach park and smooth and quick transfer to the hotel it was nice to enter an airconditioned lobby and a very quick check in. The bell boys carried our cases to the room, the room was very confortable with a view to the sea. Overall we found the food in resturant very good,with lots of variety,we used the resturant in the new block,we found the waiters very helpful especially (ATEF) thanks for great service. We used to go to the beach every day and snorkel in the clear waters looking at all the colourful fish.(TIP) go to the dive centre were you can hire a underwater camera for the day,and the make a dvd of your pictures.FANTASTIC!It was really great to go to the bars and help yourself from the fridges.The children were in there element.Overall we could not fault the hotel in any way and we are looking forward to going back next year.As for the other coments about the entertainment crew we found them to be very helpful and always asked if we wanted to join in.If you are looking for a realaxing holiday in egypt look no further and book to go to the fort arabesque,you wont be sorry!!!!!!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank airliner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
essex
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 31, 2009

Where to begin? The flight---Flew with Thomas Cook-Gatwick.On time-no problems with check in,flight as any other,were told on the plane that visas would be required.
Hurghada airport---Were expecting chaos after reading other reports, but had no problems at all.Cases came out promptly-ours was the only flight at that time! Directed to visa office by men holding Thomas Cook clip boards and obtained them in less than 5 minutes,then directed to coaches and off we went.
Fort Arabessque check in----So polite and efficient-and very friendly. Hotel lobby-very clean,spacious and airy. No problems.
Room-Huge! very clean-all you need,air conditioning,mini bar-filled daily-all free,2 huge double beds,t.v,settee,loads of storage,great spacious bathroom,and a fantastic view from balcony. Cleaner came everyday in morning and again in the evening to check everything was alright with the room and to take our mini bar order. He did an excellent job and made amazing towel sculptures!!
Pools-most people went to the beach,so the pools were often empty, cleaned morning,lunchtime and pm too! Lovely to have to yourselves and several to choose from.
Beach-huge frontage,loads of beds and shades available-beach great for kids,as doesn't suddenly get too deep.Absolutely perfect sea. Walk out up to your knees and you will start to see beautiful fish (sea shoes a must),put your snorkels on,stick your head under and wow! so many colours in the fish and corals-brilliant.
Food-We found loads to choose from-never cold,and continually topped up by the chefs.no complaints from us. Waiters great -all very polite,helpful and love to joke with the children-ours looked forward to seeing them.
Entertainment-Our children enjoyed the mini disco/club dance each night and we watched quite alot of the entertainment. we have seen better-but the kids enjoyed it! The team did translate into english,french,german etc-but as the audience was mainly italian started with this language-which is obvious really. Some english people seemed not to like the fact there were so many "foreigners"there-forgetting they are "foreign"too!! And perhaps should just stay in England if they only want to be with englsh people!!
Anyway,apart from that -the hotel and holiday were brilliant and memorable for the right reasons.
The egyptian people-wasn't sure what to expect after reading some reports-but some of the most welcoming and warm people I have ever met abroad-they all love children,love to talk and have a joke with you-and once they know you are english love to quote 'lovely jubbly,cheap as chips,asda price and how now brown cow 'at you when they try to entice you to buy things.Hurghada shopping-an interesting experience!
The weather-very hot-but a lovely breeze blowing all the time-to cool you-plenty of sunshades to sit under-be sensible,use sunscreen regularly,wear a hat,drink lots of water-and enjoy.
We have visited many countries and although we have had fantastic holidays haven't re-visted any of them yet-but there is something about this place that makes me want to return-sooner rather than later!! Fantasic place,weather,people,value,beach etc,etc.....

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank sarahlovesholidays66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheshire
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 30, 2009

Our family spent an enjoyable but very hot week at the Fort Arabesque Hotel in Makadi Bay, Egypt mid August 2009. Fort Arabesque was overall a reasonable standard holiday hotel. Staff were helpful and friendly, the room was of a very good size, comfortable and was very well cleaned and tidied every day (the air conditioning fan was somewhat noisy and kept my wife awake). The grounds were well maintained but we didn’t use the pools very much because the sea was much better! Excellent snorkelling straight off the hotel beech with reefs surrounded by a multitude of multi coloured fish. A short walk to the left of the hotel, past the grounds of the adjoining hotel and you could swim from the public beech and snorkel around the fantastic reefs visited by the diving trips (unfortunately I am unable to dive). Also kayaks were available for free hire from the watersport centre at the right hand side of the beech.
The main let down was the food that was bit like canteen food, lacked any variation and often not hot. If you like Pizza and Pasta, then this is the best option, although this was also a bit samey.
One thing the Thomson holiday brochure didn’t tell you is that Fort Arabesque is Italian owned and the vast majority of guests were Italian. There were not many Brits about. The Italians love to pose around with their beautiful bodies, tans, tight fitting designer swim wear, designer sun glasses, designer hand bags etc., etc. The entertainment (animation) is almost entirely aimed at the Italian majority. There is English translation but this is difficult to comprehend. The cabaret nights run by the animation team were bizarre with displays of the weirdest sense of humour I have ever seen (Simon Cowell et al would have their buzzers going after a micro second). One night the entertainment was the Chinese circus that was excellent.
We knew it would be hot but to be honest, for a Brit from the North West of England, where the summer has been virtually non existent, we found the heat to be stifling both during the day and in the evening! We guzzled countless bottles of water and soft drinks during the day. Cans of soft drinks, beer and boxes of fruit juice were freely available from fridges in the beech bar. I found it hard to get the free beer and wine down in the evening because it was so hot!
With regards to trips, we enjoyed the Thomson trips to Luxor (fantastic sites, mega hot though) and Galeteria boat/ snorkelling trip (the best day of the holiday with fantastic snorkelling). I also enjoyed the 1/2 day "speed Devils" dessert buggy driving. The Thomson trips were somewhat expensive but were very well organised.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank GardeningPB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North west
Level Contributor
21 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 29, 2009

What a relief to arrive at the hotel after the Hurghada airport experience! Having been told on the plane that we did not require a visa, we queued with hundreds of passengers only to be told when got to the front that visas were required - back to the other queue! Not the prettiest journey from the airport - mainly desert and rubbish BUT then like a little oasis the hotel appeared.
We can honestly say that this was one of the best hotels we had ever been to. Check in was quick and our rooms were extremely spacious and clean. If you want a throughly relaxing week or two then this is for you. The food was appetising and varied and the weekly outside barbecue was a lovely event. Everybody worked so hard - the gardeners seem to be busy day and night keeping the grounds immaculate and the staff couldn't have been more welcoming.
The best part of the holiday, however, had to be the beach. We hadn't snorkelled before and it was just the most amazing experience. After a bit of practise we were swimming in the warm, crystal waters looking at the most wonderful fish, the baby Nemos were a big hit. A bit of advice - bring your own snorkelling gear or hire it from the dive centre as the ones you buy from the hotel shop are poor quality. Just great!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Mayorz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Yorkshire England
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 25, 2009

Arrived at Fort Arabesque on the 4th August 09, a quick check in and then to our rooms, we were with our son Paul, daughter in law Alison and grandsons Jordan 12 and Connor 6. Our room was really large, given to us because my husband uses a wheelchair, a wonderful room, large terrace and patio, perfect. The family room was large too with terrace and lawned area. Both rooms kept clean and fresh, our bed sometimes turned down in the evening, Paul nearly always had towel sculptures, the boys loved them.
The food, service, waiters and bar staff just great, Emad the pool bar person was really fantastic, the singer in the Sunset Bar was very good too.
The grounds, pools and beach perfect, the snorkelling awesome, even better than the Maldives and there great. Lots of different fish to see and the coral very colourful.
We did the trip Rock and Shop, everyone loved the Hard Rock Cafe, a good night out.
The boys had a camel ride and then Jordan and I had one the next day, we had fun.
It was a memorable holiday, thanks to the family, the staff, everyone was so kind. Jordan and Connor met some really nice children, Jamie and Sophie, everyone got on so well.
Paul and Alison really enjoyed it, so much so they have booked again for next year, only been home a week, guess we may just do the same.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank HazelV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
essex
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 23, 2009

well having read - and asked questions before we went , its only right that i post a review
we stayed from 7th- 21st august 2009
and everything we could ask for in a holiday we got
The hotel was as said in other reviews was not the grand marble entrance ect but does that make a holiday?
from the time we arrived which was 10.30pm local time - we were given the upmost hospitality from all the staff . at that time of night, even though the resturant was officially closed it was kept open for us and those that arrived with us and very welcome it was too
we were in the new block 3rd floor and looked out over the gardens and could see the sea - fabulous view
food was always of a good standard always had fish, normally chicken and carvery meat along side pasta dishes including "spagetti man" who was the fantastic with his wok skills LOL
loads of salads and fresh bread and the sweets/ cakes were to die for..
Daughter did get one morning of tummy i got a touch nothing that kept me in the room though , son and Hubby were both fine - so but it didnt spoil the holiday
we used the pool at the far end of the complex (aka saga block) and at some points it felt like our own private pool and bar and waiting staff - as most people prefered the beach - which was definatly the best in the bay
the entertainment was mainly aimed at the many Italians at the hotel but for us we met up with another family who had two daughter s one of whom was only a year older then our daughter and they inturn made friend s from all over europe (thank god for facebook and msn which daughter has already been on since coming home )
the entertaiment was run by the sea club and GIGI who ive been told to mention and to thank him for making us all welcome
again the only bad thing was the timing of the flights such a shame they have to be so late ! and the plane was cramped !
i could write so much more and it s all gonna be praise there really isnt a bad thing i can say

if u are thinking of going -- think no more just book and enjoy

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank treextree
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 Spa Hotel in Makadi Bay
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Makadi Bay
#10 Family Hotel in Makadi Bay
#11 Romantic Hotel in Makadi Bay
#13 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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