We stayed at the Coraya Beach Hotel, Marsa Alam from 4-18th September 2013. We booked through Thomson on their Couples option which meant that the hotel we booked to stay at would be free of children. Flew from Gatwick. On our way back, we found out Thomson are stopping their flights to Marsa Alam from Manchester. Don’t know if this is still the case but that was what other guests told us.
On the evening of our arrival we had a quick introduction meeting followed by dinner, the hotel had kept the food area open as we would be arriving around 10pm local time. Great idea and the first time we’d experienced this during our many visits to Egypt in the past. Our main welcome meeting took place the morning after our arrival. We were introduced to everyone from the hotel Manager down to the housekeeping supervisor. Again, a first. All became clear very soon. It transpired that the hotel is usually very popular with German tourists. Due to travel advice provided by the German, French and Italian governments, flights from those countries to Egypt had all but stopped. Certainly TUI were not flying to Egypt from Germany. This meant that in a hotel which could house over 700 guests, there were less than 200 guests, the majority of whom were British.
First things first, Marsa Alam is over 400 miles from Cairo. This meant that events in the capital did not affect the far South of the country. We saw security checkpoints but there were few outward signs of any additional security measures in the immediate area of where we stayed. The resort is all inclusive so we had everything on site or within a short walk. The hotel is beautiful. We booked for and received a sea view room which had a balcony outside. The room was very large and comfortable with air conditioning. The air con was used at night and was a bit noisy, ear plugs do work so these are recommended. The room guys really make sure the rooms are clean and their towel art is amazing. We’ve got some great photos of their efforts.
The hotel sits on one side of Coraya Bay. The bay itself is great for diving and snorkelling. We are both divers so we booked and used Coraya Divers who are on the south side of the bay a 10 minute walk from the hotel. Great dive school which we reviewed on another entry. Incidentally Thomson missed a trick there, because during our welcome meeting they introduced a member of staff from Emperor Divers who they said were Thomson’s partners in the area or the red sea. First we heard of it as it was not mentioned in any of the brochures we had. Emperor were not on the Coraya site but we were quite happy with the Coraya Divers who were within walking distance as we said. The beach is fine white sand and exceptionally clean. The whole resort was pristine to be honest so everything is maintained to a very high standard.
Aside from the diving, we made use of several different facilities in the hotel. The pools are all good sized and warm. Water polo took place in the pool nearest the spa each afternoon. The gym is reasonably well equipped for use during a holiday. The spa itself was great. Due to the lack of guests, the spa was offering great deals on massage packages. Each session lasted an hour and the selection on offer was quite varied. We booked a four massage package between us which had been heavily discounted. The staff were all superb and the massages we booked (anti stress x2, Indian Head and Sports) were well worth their value. Highly recommended.
The entertainment team we felt had to work twice as hard as normal due to the reduced number of guests. Every night there was a different event taking place. The team (Shady, ZuZu, Jamaica, Jerry) were superb, the travel agency resort staff (Samy and Helen) were always around and on hand. Between them they made sure that everyone was looked after.
The food was of a great standard. All buffet service with a barbecue option each night. Some people were saying the food service was not 5 star but to be fair to the hotel, they were catering to a significantly reduced number of guests so they staggered the replenishing of dishes which I’m sure reduced waste. There was something for everyone and the dishes were all great. For once I didn’t put on any weight this holiday....how, I have no idea.
All in all this was a superb holiday. The hotel offers some great facilities, several bars and restaurants, good pools, great health spa, 10 minute transfer from the airport, great reef for diving/snorkelling and a 10 minute walk from a great dive school. Would we go back? Yes we will. We’d recommend this hotel to anyone.
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- Also Known As:
- Iberotel Coraya Beach Hotel Marsa Alam
- Hotel Iberotel Coraya Beach
- Iberotel Coraya Beach Resort