This was our fourth time to Marsa Alam - 3rd time at this hotel - and it only gets better!
Firstly the journey - the plane was better than last year but there is still no entertainment on the plane so suggest you bring your own for the 5 and a half hour flight- the food on offer is not great either - again - we had a cooked breakfast at Gatwick and bought our own food for the journey. We also paid for extra leg room which was worth every penny as we are both quite tall.
Once at Marsa Alam airport - do not be tempted to go straight through to customs - stop off at the bank on the left hand side to buy your visa - $15 - which is cheaper than what Thompson charge on the coach.
The journey to the hotel is less than 10 minutes from the airport which is a bonus and we were greeted with a hot towel, welcome drink and a few nibbles and in plenty of time for dinner.
We had a wonderful room overlooking the pool and sea and had a bowl of fruit and bottle of wine along with a "Welcome back" letter from the management. They used to plant a tree for all guests that have stayed here for 5 times but have had to discontinue that as so many guests return.
Things better than last November:-
No kids - this has been an adults only hotel since May this year
Better singer - Khalil (from Southend!)
Rails have been installed in the heated pool (with a bar) as well as the pool by the sea which makes it easier to get out rather than clambering over the rocks to get out - the top pool looks pretty but was not practical before....especially if you were carrying a drink back to your sunbed.
Magazine racks at the sea and pool where you could exchange magazines. There is also a library at the Spa
I would recommend going All Inclusive as this also includes getting your laundry done for free and also gives access to the supply of 3 different Magnum ice creams (my favourite!) from the pool bar or the beach bar.
The food was lovely with plenty of choice and we especially loved the BBQ on the terrace in the evenings - the fish was outstanding - especially the baraccuda and tuna. There were different themed evenings and can honestly we found enough variety to not be bored for 2 weeks. There was red, white and rose wine. The red was ok, the white was ok if drunk with soda water but the rose wine was very acceptable for Egypt. The gin was ok as long as you asked for a "small" measure as they tend to get a bit carried away with the quantity and the mixers were all schwepps which was good. By the second week we were using our own Tanquerry gin that we had bought at the airport to add to the tonic which did taste better.
The snorkelling around the bay by the coral reefs was amazing - the best fish are seen early in the morning between 6.am and 9.am. It is a good idea to walk around the bay to the Lamaya Hotel where they have a jetty that you can walk along - we saw flying fish there most mornings and an octopus as well as turtles. Also recommend getting up early to watch the stunning sunrise.
Would recommend having a massage at the Spa - I bargained for a special deal of 3 massages every 4 days and can honestly say they were some of the best massages I have ever had. There is also a steam room, jaccuzzi and hot tub which is nice to relax in at the end of the day.
The entertainment team were great - especially Shady who works so hard. We were never bored - apart from swimming, snorkelling and walking around the bay we played boccia ( petanque), table tennis and did Aqua Gym. There was also volleyball, Arabic lessons, cooking lessons, towel art displays to name a few other activities - the entertainment team are not pushy at all and always having a laugh and a joke with the guests.
There is waiter service by the 3 pools as well as the beach. They also come along with scented cool face towels and snacks throughout the day - service always with a smile. A special mention must be made to Mahsob and Shiko at the pool bar and Hamby and young Mohammed at the Beach bar and Night and Day bar. Another special thank you to Amanda who did a wonderful job as guest relations officer and chatted to us every day.
There are a few shops by the hotel but I found the shops at the other side of the bay much chaeper - bought 2 pashminas for a third of the price that our hotel were charging.
We received a free internet card which enabled us to access our e mails twice a day but could not download any newspapers ( which was probably a good thing!) We did get a single newsheet at breakfast every morning so we could check up on the football results and cricket results (not so good!!) The tv in our room was ok but BBC disappeared every Friday, not that we spent much time in the room.
Al the staff work very hard to keep the hotel looking immaculate all the time and the gardens are stunning. They only get £15 a month so really appreciate a tip at the end of the holiday. It is best to give then notes ( dollars or egyptian) as coins are no good to them. There are tip boxes around the hotel for the gardeners, maintenance men, reception staff etc but we also gave money direct to our favourite waiters and our room boy who did amazing towel art every day as well as delivering fresh beach towels to our room every night. There is a machine just outside the hotel reception where you can change notes to local currency.
All in all a wonderful relaxing holiday - the only criticism was that the big middle pool was not heated enough. We actually walked around the bay and used the Lamaya and Sol de Mar pools to do our serious swimming as they were warmer.
The hotel was fairly full as other European countries lifted their travel ban to Egypt in early November. The British were in the minority here ( which we prefer) - the rest were German, French, Italian, French, Dutch, Swiss and from Belgian.
Trips to Luxor and Aswan were also reinstated at the beginning of November and trips to Cairo on 24th November - spread the word - Egypt is safe!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on the fascinating shores of Coraya Bay, just 4 km away from Marsa Alam International Airport and 219 km from Hurghada, lies the five star Steigenberger Coraya Beach, the first resort of the German Steigenberger Hotels and Resorts in Marsa Alam. A holiday for two at the five stars adults only Steigenberger Coraya Beach is a real paradise for all your senses! With its original Nubian style and 800 meters long sandy beach, the resort enjoys a unique blend of both southern Egypt and the Red Sea notes and flavors. To add an extra notch, the 364 rooms are built in groups of bungalows, with a spectacular sea, pool and garden view, prepared to host you with their elegant furniture and comfortable facilities. Steigenberger Coraya Beach has dining covered for even the most discerning palates with its "Pharaoh Club" dining concept to pour you a sonata of love, in addition to “Dar El Hawa” coffee shop that gives you a fun experience with our Arabian water pipes (shisha). Fun never sleeps, with an endless assortment of recreational activities including the exhilarating water slides at the leading attraction of the entire region “Aqua Coraya,” taking you to a whole new world of excitement and fun. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Iberotel Coraya Beach Hotel Marsa Alam
- Hotel Iberotel Coraya Beach
- Iberotel Coraya Beach Resort