My partner and I stayed at this hotel for two weeks from the 30th of Jan to the 13th of February, and we can honestly say that it's the best holiday which either of us has ever had. I have been to Egypt (and many of other countries) many of times before, this was my 7th visit and even though it wasn't the most expensive or the highest star rating, to me, it was definitely the best hotel with some amazing and friendly staff.
First off I will say that for the first 5 days there were only two couples from England (including us) which were at our hotel- the majority of the guests were Italian, German, Polish, etc, so if you want mainly English guests this is not the hotel for you! We never had a problem. Everyone, including other guests and staff were more than happy to speak in English (which the Egyptian staff actually prefer and find easier).
All the staff are amazingly friendly and always happy, even the cleaners, happily brushing down the paths always said "hello" or "good morning", which really does make a difference. The rooms are lovely, very big with plenty of storage space. Also the shower was pretty powerful and goes nice and hot, something that you don't always get! We were in room 2123 and our cleaner always made sure that our room was spotless with fresh towels and pretty much every day left us a lovely little towel animal on our bed. The TV had 4 English channels, BBC News, Fox Movies, 2 movies and Dubai One. Oh I also loved that the safe in our room was electronic so you can reset the safe and enter your own code to use. This was very simple and much better than many other hotel safes I have encountered.
There are loads of shops which are located underneath the restaurant, just in case you forget any of your holiday essentials and also do souvenirs to take home with you. Also Sampo the sandman as we called him has a stall selling his hand made sand designs, which are perfect to take home as presents, and he even puts names in them for you- superstar! You also have the health club, providing massages, beauty treatments and haircuts and the health club also has a gym, free to use on all inclusive. This was a bit disappointing - the only thing all holiday. All of the gym equipment was very old and to me, didn’t seem overly great to use. I had a more chance of injuring myself than doing any good. A lot of people don't use the gym on holiday though, so this was not a big issue.
The bar was located within the reception, we didn’t have a problem with this as we liked to get up early so we were not out drinking during the night, but I believe that they did a lot of the nightly entertainment and the mini disco in the bar/reception area, so it could get rather loud if you just wanted a quiet drink, there is also a theatre just out the front of the reception, but again we didn’t pay that a visit. I must say usually the entertainment teams at hotels are very annoying and constantly on your case, the team at this hotel were very pleasant and after a couple of days didn’t hassle you at all, also Mido who was part of the entertainment team was excellent and a nice guy to be around. He managed to persuade me to play darts and volleyball, unheard of for me, but I did rather enjoy myself! Unfortunately the entertainment at this hotel is done through a large company and is constantly changing so I cannot comment on what the current team is like but a big well done to Mido - You were awesome!!
The food in the main restaurant was pretty good, breakfast tends to be the same each morning you have the usual selection of cooked food on the hot buffet, a selection of different pastries and also a cold section of fruit, cereals and cheeses. They also have a fresh cooked-to-order omelette stand where they will also cook you fried eggs and pancakes. We only ate lunch in the restaurant once or twice but the lunch time buffet was much the same as what it is in the evening. There is a desert counter in the middle of the room, which has fruit and sweet cakes, always had a lovely choice, lots of chocolate! There is also a cold/starter section at lunch and Dinner, where they have different salads made up every day also two soups and a bread selection, also in this section there is a carver with some type of meat or fish. They then also have the grills, one outside, which I THINK is only during the evening and usually does some sort of meat on the BBQ and also the grill inside where the kitchen doors are. This varies each night & lunch time, one night we had Taco's - amazing!!! The hot buffet, lunch & dinner always had the following dishes: rice, beef, vegetables, potatoes, fish, pasta and a few vegetarian options. There were also 3 or so dishes which changed every day. The dishes varied each day in different styles and sauces each day. We always found lots that we liked and never once had any issues which a dodgy stomach. The restaurant preformed very well and also had a large selection of drinks and the staffs were great- thank you for your service!
The majority of our lunches we ate at the beach bar and all I can say about the beach bar are that the staffs there are lovely! The manager- Mahmoud- was great and could never do enough for us, also Mohamed and Hassam - who done the bar and waiting - were great for the whole two weeks, they were so lovely each day we saw them and always worked so hard!! Mohamed- we hope you enjoyed your holiday, you deserved it! Each lunch time the beach bar done a "sandwich of the day" so things like burgers, kofta, hot dogs, with chips and also pastas and fresh salads to go with it. They also did freshly cooked pizza to order, which were to die for! Mohamed would just ask as you came to sit down "pizza?" And they were lovely every time.
One evening we went for a seafood meal with the beach bar team. We paid £45 or 50€ for both of us and couldn’t believe what we got for that. We turned up expecting it to be full of people.... it was just us, with a lovely candle lit table. We had a large bottle of water and a drink each included, neither of us is a big drinker so this was perfect! Five minutes after we sat down they bought us sliced baguette with cheese and prawns as an appetiser. We then had a huge pile of fresh calamari each... I have never seen so much on one plate! It was delicious! We thought then we would have our main - No! Another plate full of a seafood risotto, with a selection of crab and squid within it, it really was amazing. After that they bought out our mains. A mini BBQ type box and popped it on the table. Upon it was: Lobster, 2 Crabs, Barracuda, 2 HUGE prawns and more calamari. There was so much on there I thought it must be to share - then they bought another one! It was all beautiful, especially the barracuda! They also made us each a huge Tiramisu for dessert, without the alcohol, but again it was still amazing. For the money it really was a brilliant meal and worth every penny! Thank you to the beach bar team- Mahmoud, Mohamed and Hassam you definitely made our holiday with that meal! Excellent!!
The swimming pool was very large and lagoon style but only the children’s pool was heated during the winter so we were never around the pool area. It was very nice, clean and tidy with two bars, one a swim up, a towel hut and plenty of sun beds available.
The beach was gorgeous, all sand with loads of sun beds, umbrellas & windbreaks available. Also had a towel hut the guys were lovely, always took us to a bed and tucked our towels in. They were greatly the whole holiday- both Mohamed's and Ahmed, thank you for time, they were always more than happy to top and chat and always made an effort with the guests.
The snorkelling here is something else. Not a day went by when we didn't see a turtle in the bay, and we were even lucky enough to have a visit from the Dugong 4 days in a row! We managed to get a snorkel in with him as well! Apparently he hadn't been around for two years before that encounter! The house reef is surprising brilliant. A lot of coral at many resorts is destroyed but this is in very good condition and the beach boys are very good and keeping watch on people climbing or getting to close to any of it, thus it is still very beautiful with a fab variety of fish around. What was good also about the beach was that instead of a jetty or rocks it was just gentle sloping sand into the sea, which was great even if you just wanted to swim. There is also another reef at the hotel opposite the Abu Dabbab, which again you can walk in but is deep enough that you can swim over the top, which you were unable to do with the house reef.
We booked our holiday through Thomson and went to our welcome meeting with Hany, the resort rep. He is from Marsa Alam so is very knowledgeable about it and was also very friendly. We didn't book any trips through Thomson though. We wanted to do the Dolphin house trip which was £69 each with Thomson; he also stated that the onsite dive team take you to the wrong place and that with Thomson you get more of a guarantee. We did not take this advice and booked with Sammi and the Diving Ocean team, who wander up the beach or they have their office on the hill side. Thank god we did. We saw a pod of 23 wild dolphins and we were so close that we could touch them and for only £55 each! Brilliant! The exact same trip which Thomson were offering, only cheaper and with a better company! The diving Ocean team were great and made us feel so welcome!! A couple did go with Thomson on the Monday but saw nothing! We were very lucky! The snorkelling on the dolphin trip was also great and it is defiantly worth the money and the day trip for what you see, although dolphins are not guaranteed!
We also did the quad biking trip with Ali, who also again is on the beach every day. We left at 2.30pm and returned around 5.30 pm. It was only my partner and I on our biking trip which was great and our guide took us too many different places in the dessert including seeing the traditional Bedouin people. The quadding was good, with some good fast patches and twisty bumpy roads. We paid £50 for both of us to have a bike each, which was pretty good.
Thank you to all the staff here, as you made our holiday amazing, right up to the last moment we left. I would recommend this hotel to anyone, as it is so laid back and has everything which you need... All I can say is... We are going to be back! Ben & Leah
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Blessed with its unique geographical location and topography, the Resort direct area is on a very long sandy beach with easy access to the sea at the most beautiful beach all over Marsa Alam area named "Abu Dabbab." The resort is considered a natural park, as it is home for its rare aquatic animals including Sea Cow and big turtles. In addition, sheltered bays and incredible fringing reef render the resort to be a true paradise for divers, as there is very nice snorkeling to the house reef, rich in beautiful corals. Or simply relax by the large, tiered, freshwater pool while watching your children joining in fun with the animation team. Water Slides - feel the emotion and speed of our 07 water slides (3 for adults & 4 for kids), enjoy a fresh ride along the pool; kids will have great moments in their playground while their parents enjoy the swimming pools area. Water slides opening hours from 10.00 till 12.00 and from 15.00 till 17.00. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sol y Mar Abu Dabbab Hotel Marsa Alam