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Reviewed July 31, 2010

This is a lovely hotel, with amazing staff, good food, and it's so clean it sparkles!! Marsa Alam is an ideal place to go for a beach / pool holiday. The snorklling is amazing, the water park fantastic and the locals are very friendly.
My only negative point is that because it is a majority Italian hotel we found that the kids club was unavaiable to the english children. The girl who ran the club avoided the english, I think it was because her english was poor.
The entertainment was so bad it was funny!! They were very friendly and worked hard. If you have children, make sure they are not in the pool when the water polo is on!! Get's a bit over the top!
We spoke with the manager as all the entertainment was all in Italian and things improved, but he did say that a new entertainment company were starting in November.
Getting a drink in the evening was frustrating as there was only one bar open and it is not in the entertainment area, but his cocktails were worth the wait!!
On the whole this is a superb hotel and we had a fab holiday!!
Tip: You will need to haggle in every shop you go in, that will include the chemist! And tipping goes a long way!
**Just a word of warning, on the beach a man does henna tattoo's, please get a skin test first. My son had a bad reaction, with huge painful blisters!!! Please beware.**

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with family
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2  Thank Het C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 1, 2010

My partner and I chose the Dar El Madina for a week of all inclusive summer sun based on the fact it was a relatively small hotel, and had some very good reviews on TripAdvisor.

We weren't disappointed - as soon as we arrived at the hotel (just a 5 minute drive from the airport - bliss!) and were shown to our room we relaxed straight away. The rooms are very nice, bathroom was spoteless, safe in the room, flat screen TV, mini bar and an ok sized balcony. The bed was two twins pushed together so a little uncomfortable if you found yourself on the gap during the night, but this is really a minor thing and we both slept very well all week. Despite the close proximity of the hotel to the airport you don't hear any noise - we only saw one plane fly over all week. The hotel was very clean and the daily towel creations on the bed were a nice touch.

There are plenty of sunbeds around the pool, and also lots of shade. The pool is really nice and quiet until about 10:30 when it tends to get pretty busy, and then it quietens down again between about 1 and 3. The busiest time is from 3 until 6. The animation team carry out activities in the pool during the day, which is fine but the water polo does tend to take over the whole pool, so if you're not taking part you're best to stay out!

The staff are absolutely fantastic. They really cannot do enough for you, and you feel they are being genuinely nice and helpful rather than doing it for tips. We did tip when we felt we had a particularly good service, but you didn't get the feeling that this was a necessity to get a really good service. The service was pretty much faultless, and they'll have a good joke with you which just adds to the great atmosphere in the hotel.

The all inclusive buffet was good - not amazing as they are catering for the masses at the end of the day, but I was pleasantly surprised. There was a good selection at lunch and dinner, always plenty of pasta (this is a very Italian resort), potatoes, always a chicken, fish and beef dish on offer and the desserts are just to die for. You can also get a good selection of pizza/sandwiches from the pool bar. No complaints about the food at all.

The local beer and spirits were perfectly good, but very expensive if you aren't on all inclusive. Even the local Egyptian wine isn't bad!

The hotel is just a 2 minute walk to the beach, and there's a beach bar that you can get drinks and snacks from (same menu as the pool bar - included in the all inclusive package). There are loads of sunbeds on the beach but it's still always very peaceful. There are sections of sea roped off to protect the coral, so if you sit in certain places you can't get in the sea. There is some good snorkelling off the end of the jetty, especially first thing in the morning. You can pick up a snorkel in the hotel for about 10 Euros.

The water park next door is definitely worth a visit and is free to get in. It's a good laugh and some of the slides are really quite scary!

There is NOTHING to do outside of the complex, so if you're looking for somewhere with lots to see and do outside of the hotel then this isn't for you, however if you want a completely relaxing break then it definitely is!

Now for the only downside - the animation team. I feel really awful saying this as they do work very hard, but they were so amateurish it was funny (for all the wrong reasons). They come out at 10 in the morning and dance/shout to their theme tune which is when the 'fun' begins (they repeat this 3 times a day), and the activities are the same every day (gymnastics in the morning, polo in the afternoon). They are however fantastic with the kids so I'd imagine this is a godsend for parents!

All in all the hotel was fantastic, we're defininitely considering going back next year as it's perfect for a relaxing week of guaranteed sun in great surroundings.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank MLing80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2010

We stayed here for 2 weeks at the start of june2010, all I can say is that everything was as i have read in all the reviews,top notch hotel , staff and location.However I do think that the shopkeepers in the in-house souk would be well advised to not harrass people as soon as they glance at their shops, I think if people were allowed to just have a nice uninterupted browse they would buy more goods. This was a very popular opinion with the guests during our stay, I know its the Egyptian way, but in that heat all you want to do is have a nice quiet unbothered look with a view to buying.
Did the snorkelling in the bay , but I feel that once you've been to the Maldives, nothing can compare. The colours of the corals just weren't as vivid, there were cloudy water days.Its just not as good, I dont scuba so I can't comment on that aspect.
However would I go back? Yes.The hotel and those around it were miles from anywhere, and therefore very peaceful and laidback.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank carolineduffy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2010

we went her whilst i was pregnant an the hotel had only been open for four months, we were upgraded to vip free of charge as we where the first thomson guests to stay here our experience here was amazing and we are returning july 2010 with are new daughter, the staff here are fab an cant do enough for you the hotel was spotless the food was amazing and lots of variety we couldnt fault this holiday at all

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank littleladysmummy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2010

We had the best holiday in this beautiful friendly luxurious hotel. The food was second to none with fantastic choice and service, We have already booked for next feb again but will be staying for two weeks next time.

Stayed: February 2010, traveled with family
1  Thank lancashireclaire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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