My husband and I have just returned from Taba Heights. I thought it would be useful if we provided an overview of the resort’s four 5* hotels. We stayed at the Marriott on an ‘All Inclusive’ tariff – the Marriott has only just started to offer an AI option to British guests. Although the weather could have been better, we had a fantastic time.
Taba Heights is a beautiful resort – much quieter than Sharm or Hurghada (our friends who accompanied us have been there and they all thought Taba Heights was much more relaxing). With the Sinai Mountain Range as a backdrop, the consensus was that Taba Heights was also far more beautiful – the mountains do block out the sun in the late afternoon however – I suspect you will lose about 30mins of sun as a result. If you’re looking for a relaxing break though, put Taba on your short-list. If you’re looking for night clubs and parties – look elsewhere.
Having looked around all the 5* hotels in Taba Heights, I can honestly say that the Marriott is in our ‘TOP 2’ – the Sofitel would be the closest contender. In the Marriott’s favour, it has a superb swimming pool which a multitude of islands and swim channels, one of which passes through a cave. The Marriott’s pool, lined with blue mosaic tiles is also the prettiest in my view – it is also the only pool with a waterslide – perfect if you have kids. NB – the slide falls into the section of the pool that is not heated so if you’re travelling to Taba Heights in winter, bear this is in mind. There is also a pool bar!
The pools at the other hotels are all very nice. The Hyatt has several smaller pools plus a large lap pool – the Hyatt’s poolside areas are sheltered by beautiful gardens and consequently are much more intimate in feel – like the Marriott. By comparison the pools at the Sofitel and Intercontinental are more open plan – less private and more susceptible to the wind which can whip across the Red Sea. The Intercontinental and Marriott both have salt water lagoons – the Hyatt’s is especially nice.
Our poolside room at the Marriott was lovely – a huge Queen Size bed – super comfy. Quality furnishings, satellite television, safe, minibar, tea and coffee making facilities and fluffy bath robes. If you like a bath though the bath tubs are very short here – the shower is above the bath tub. Junior Suites have separate shower cubicles.
By comparison, Sofitel standard rooms are similar in size and quality to the Marriott’s – the main difference being a flat screen TV. The balconies at the Hyatt are HUGE and most rooms have walk in showers too. The Intercontinental rooms are nice but the balconies are enclosed with heavy railings – our friends staying there found this quite oppressive – almost prison like!
Quality furniture on the Marriott's balconies add to the feeling of quality – the hotel used to have plastic chairs – now upgraded. My only real frustration about the room would be the wired internet access – which arrives at a whopping £84 for the week. Guests can use one of the hotel’s Business Centre PCs though for £4 per half hour. Failing that, the Sofitel (next door) has free Wi-Fi in the lobby.
Trust me when I say the food at the Marriott is good – yes it’s a buffet but there is always something nice on offer. After two weeks it might get a little repetitive but for a week it really is fine. The only grumble here is that there is no tea and coffee served after the evening meal (unlike the Sofitel and Intercontinental). The ‘All Inclusive drinks’ end at 10pm (11pm at the Sofitel and Intercontinental) – weigh this up when choosing which hotel to stay at.
The breakfast juices at the Marriott were not ‘juices’ as you would expect - more Sunny Delight! Real fruit juices at breakfast would be a nice touch. Hygiene throughout is excellent though – nobody we met had any form of ‘Egypt Belly’ – the restaurant at the Marriott really is spotless.
We ate at each of the other 5* hotels on the ‘Dine Around’ scheme which means you can pre-book your buffet dinner at any of the other hotels – drinks are chargeable even if you are on an ‘All Inclusive’ deal at your own hotel however. On merit, the food is probably best at the Sofitel – followed by the Marriott. The main restaurant at the Sofitel is also very nice. The Intercontinental restaurant is tiny – much smaller than the Marriott’s – it must be difficult to get a table at the Intercontinental during peak season.
Our only ‘real’ issue with the Marriott is that the Riviera Bar is a smoking bar – there isn’t even a no-smoking section. OK, this is the Middle East where smoking is still rife. However, given that 80% of the clientele hail from Europe, you would expect the hotel to have at least one bar that is smoke free – perhaps this is the case in peak season when the Grotto Bar would be open in the evenings. My husband is asthmatic so this was a real issue for us – it seemed the minority was spoiling the air quality for the majority though – incredibly selfish. The lovely main bar at the Sofitel is smoke free though… if this is important to you, consider staying there.
If spas are your thing, rest assured, the spa at the Marriott is very nice (small Jacuzzi, small steam room, small sauna). The Marriott has arguably the best of the gyms in Taba Heights – we inspected them all. The spa itself can only accommodate 8-12 people though so booking in advance is a must. By comparison the spa at the Intercontinental is much larger with a nice indoor pool, two Jacuzzis, plus a much larger sauna and steam room. The spa at the Marriott is FREE to use though – whereas guests have to pay 15USD to use the spa at the Intercontinental (even though you are staying there). The spa at the Sofitel is much larger than the Marriott’s – recently refurbished – with a lovely Hamman. The spa at the Hyatt is frankly a disappointment.
If snorkelling is your thing – the Marriott is the only hotel with easy swimming from the beach – better than at the Intercontinental. Both the Sofitel and the Hyatt have jetties. The reef and the marine life which it supports certainly improves as you walk South towards the Hyatt – the Hyatt has by far the best snorkelling on its doorstep. Be careful of the reef when you are there - please don’t copy the Russians who simply walk across it without a care in the world! The reef here is stunning and needs to be protected.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Bayview Taba Heights Resort ideal for families as well as couples, with a variety of water activities, heated pool and spas and dining options. Lush gardens and waterfalls cascading down onto swimming pools are the background to this majestic resort. Enjoy a variety of cuisines and distinctly unique restaurants. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Taba Heights Marriott Beach Hotel Taba
- Marriott Taba Heights
- Taba Marriott
- Marriott Beach Resort Taba