Thoroughly enjoyed our recent stay at the Hilton and impressed by the standard of care. I travelled with my young son who now wants to cancel all our other booked holidays this year and return to Taba instead! Just a case of me finding the money...
We stayed in Nelson's Village which was worth the upgrade for the convienience of the main beach alone. The room was clean, the beds comfortable and we had plenty of storage space (for the far too many clothes we took!). The only annoyance was the unwanted mini-bar that kept humming all night...unplug it! There's a kettle there with the usual sachets of nescafe, tea bags and sugar but no milk (we took some powdered milk from home). The telly has an english news channel and cartoon network, you can request an iron & board from reception and there's the safe as well.
The main Palm Court restaurant was always welcoming and had a large range of foods to choose from. However make sure you don't sit waiting for coffee, drinks or cutlery for long, as these requests do sometimes need a gentle reminder. All staff we encountered there were very pleasant and always pleased to see you. We ate there at breakfast and dinner and were always satisfied with the food.
Nelson's Village restaurant was our choice at lunchtimes where you could have simple food such as fries, pizza or select your own ingredients for a pasta dish, al fresco. I know it's not some peoples idea of Egyptian cuisine but I went to Taba for the sun, snorkelling and location, not the food. The staff here were very prompt and friendly.
We met various brits over the week, all of whom were really friendly and a great bunch of guys. It was nice to chat about our experiences and activities and even meet up for lunch/evening entertainment on occasions. We stayed during the infamous "health warning" week and whilst I don't wish to discredit other people's experiences, we had no tummy problems of significance at all.
From day one we drank lots of water, took frequent refuge in the shade and ate mostly hot food in moderation, we avoided cold meats, cheeses and almost all salads. Perhaps this was a little over cautious as plenty of guests had plates piled high with the stuff, all of which I would definately be making the most of, if in the UK. However I didn't feel it worth the risk whilst there, shame. I would only have a couple of drinks in the evening and we had the air con off over night (cooled the room down for a couple of hours before bed). But we had ice all week, used the pool lots, used the shower daily and had local spirits and cocktails, all without problems.
I did speak with probably 7 or 8 ill guests whose symptoms ranged from mild to acute. Some had been very, very careful with diet, ice, no alcohol etc. much more so than us, yet they were still ill? One or two other guests seemed unaware of the inefectiveness of Immodium etc. in certain circumstances and tried to brave it out. It has been said endless times on here that Antinol 'can' work very quickly so be prepared to try some at the first sign or visit the doctor soon. Alternatively, sit in your room for three days! Also bear in mind that your fellow guests may not be aware of this medicine...not everyone reads T/A.
One plate of food I didn't touch was the one left in the room for our late arrival. Although much appreciated, sweaty cheese, meat and salad was not something I was going to risk eating in the first 5 minutes! I should add that the hotel provide this as a free late arrival gesture, it's not an entitlement. You will be hungry when you arrive so unless the restaurant's open, maybe take some packet soup (+ water) or other easily made snacks. It's only to get you through till breakfast.
The grounds were very tidy and colourful, always being tended to. The beach was well looked after and quite safe, there were always loungers available, not sure they would be in high season though. There is a very sandy beach at Nelson's, the one in front of the hotel is quite small. You can walk into the sea without shoes but will look a little like a clumsy ballerina.
The snorkelling was fun with some good spots along the beach, there's a local reef map at the dive centre worth taking a look at. Best places seemed to be in line with the Movenpick fence and also the dive centre. We tried a 1st scuba dive there (in tandem with an instructor) which was well worth it at £40 (6m deep) plus various trips were available. Again, the staff here were friendly and professional. One word of caution when snorkelling at dusk is that the Lion fish come out to hunt...beware!
The shopping centre was like a ghost town which made me feel like I'd be pressured to buy if I looked. This couldn't be further from the truth though, as the shopkeepers were very friendly and didn't mind if you walked away, so go and take a look inside! The hotel was a little expensive for gifts, cigs and bottled water but there is a good tax free shop right at the far end of the shopping centre, or you can go to the tax free shop just inside the border (without going into Israel) but take your passport. A bottle of water here was about 65p, in the hotel it was at least £1.65.
The hotel was only about 60% capacity and only once did we encounter someone pushing in, you can either get worked up about it or ignore it! Most guests were Israeli, then Russians/E. Europeans followed by a small number of Brits. The welcome cocktail party hosted by the manager and key staff was very pleasant and also proved to be a handy way to make friendships with fellow brits.
Overall, I was very pleased with the hotel and impressed by the attitude of the staff, often thinking how much the UK service industry could learn from their genuine dedication to service. We made some good friends and loved the guaranteed great weather. We took a couple of trips out but really didn't need to, plenty of fun and relaxation on site. It was a bit of a shame others were ill and I would have liked to be a bit braver with food etc. but it worked for us.
As for kids, it's obviously not Disneyland but if yours are anything like my 11 yr old, they are perfectly happy just playing in sand. The pool & beach games, snorkelling, playgrounds and even ping pong! kept him more than happy. The Dolphin Reef between Taba and Eillat was great, very relaxing and only about $18 for 2 people I think (taxi was $5 each way). However departure tax at Israel was extortionate at $52 for 2 people followed by Egyptian 'you've been to Israel' tax at LE75 each.
I wouldn't hesitate in recomending Taba Hilton and look forward to our soonest return.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience world-class service at Taba Hotel & Nelson Village This property is 4 minutes walk from the beach. Taba Hotel & Nelson Village features panoramic Gulf of Aqaba views and a private beach area with sun loungers. The bright, spacious rooms have cable TV and plush beds. All rooms at Taba Hotel & Nelson Village are fitted with air conditioning and have a minibar. Some rooms have a balcony with views of the garden and the Red Sea. Guests can organise diving trips at the on-site diving center or relax with a massage therapy. For younger guests, Taba Hotel & Nelson Village offers a Kids’ club. Italian cuisine can be enjoyed at the Taba Hotel & Nelson Village's Casa Taba. Oriental specialties are served at Marhaba. Guests can unwind with a drink on the terrace at the Nelson Pub. Taba Hotel & Nelson Village is 20 minutes’ drive from Eilat Airport. Underwater Observatory Marine Park is just a 3-minute drive away. Free private parking is available at the hotel. We speak your language! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hilton Taba Resort And Nelson Village
- Hilton Taba Resort & Nelson Village Hotel Taba
- Hilton International Taba
- Hilton Taba Hotel Nelson Village