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Reviewed April 12, 2007

Well firstly it was a fab holiday. Upon arrival in Marsa Alam airport you must fill in a form for your stay in Egypt this is followed by an $18 dollar visa payment, but don't worry this is made on the transfer from the airport to the hotel on the bus (easy).

After a 45 transfer on a nice air con coach, no stops along the way, you reach the Calimera. The booking in prosess in so easy and you are met with a large cocktail i and a smile. Your luggage will be taken from you at the coach and will later arrive at your room. As the previous post reads the site is just like bed rock (flintstones) this is by no way a bad thing the place is absolutly fantastic to look at and live within. The rooms are also spot on. They are very very clean, no bugs or creapy crawlys. The rooms have air con at TV shoer balcony etc, very nice indeed. The rooms are clened daily, the guy who cleaned our room was fab and left us a sculpture very day on the bed from the tolws left in the room. And also on my birthday landed on the thrird day we were there, a knowck at the door and the clener to our room asks for " his friend" so a go to the door to be presented with a large Pharo's head style orniment and a large smile and a happy birthday. The guy had seen my birthday cards on the dresser within the room and gone and bought me a gift, this i found a real nice touch by the cleaner or the hotel whoever funded the gift, neadless to say the cleaner did not fall short on the tips.

Money, well it is an all inclusive resort but there are x3 restraunts Leb, Ital, and fish all very cheap and the Italian is very very good. We dined and the Italian and had a starter and x2 main course and x4 soft drinks for £6 or £7, this is because you get a 40% discount and i think in the other two you get a 25% discount,dont miss out on trying the Italian, WOW good food.
The hotel food was also very good with a large choice off food and salad and soup and a nice pasta bar. Now then the deserts OH the deserts, i found myself in cake heaven and never had a pice of cake further than a foot away from me at any time and no im not 30 stone, well not before i was introduced to the desert stand. Drinks were also good. A constand supply of tea and soft drinks allways on tap from a choice of 5 bars around the complex and one on the beach, but it depends who was behind the bars as to how long you waited to be served, some were not in a rush at all and at times only one peron serving, this i thing is the only negative thing i can say about the whole dining experience. Alcoohol is served on tap also. The alcohol is local produce and is ok. Tyr the cocktail on the beach nice even the non alcohol are very tasty.

The entertainment was ok and mostly in German well in German. We arrived for the Easter period and the hotel was 100% full but that was not a problem at all as the complex is so big you hardly notice and sunbeds are always free on the beach and next to the pool, so no getting up at 4am to pop your towel on the sun bed. Oh and by the way dont take a beach towel at all as you are provided with cards that you produce at the bech and pool in order to recive as many clean large beach towles as you wish evrey day then you just hand them in at the end of the day to be cleaned, nore room in your case for the duty free. Like i say the entertainment was good for the kids but as we have no children we did not really take part in any parts of the entertainment programme.

Trips are provided by both Thomas Cook and the hotel, try the Dolphin house to see and swim with teh dolphins, we did not but were told that otheres had been and it was super. There are also trips to see the Bedowin either by camel or 4 x 4, due to lets say a very dodgy belly we cancelled our trip to the bedowin as there i could not be sure to be within a cm well mm of a toilet. We both had stomach problemns that lasted a day or two, there were others to cany put my finger on why, but there is a docor on site and for $15 he can provide you with the correct tablets, i think also there is a chemist in Marsa Alam.

The sun was good and the wind cooled you off. It was very windy on the beach, i think it was the time of year well so the guy on the beach said. It can be cool on a night so take a thin jumper etc...

SO try the egyptian night on the Tuesday night it is fab and loads on food and dancing. Try also the snorkeling at Habab beach near by. You can get daily mini bus services from the hotel run by the hotel and its free, and a ten minute journy. Also try the camel ride on the beach for $10 dollars. Money wise i would take egyptian pound or Euro. Thomas cook seem to advise dollar and ther trips are in dollars but i think they have there own agenda for this.

I could go on how fab the place is but i need to get to the travel agent and book to go back at the end of the year. If you are going soon lucky you and i can asure you you will enjoy it iis 5 STAR.

April 2007 ( Easter)

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank MRMARSAALAM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2007

We have just arrived back from Hotel Calimera Habiba 4th April. First impressions very quirky. Check in very smooth and quick you are given a map and the bell boys take your cases to the room. Finding the room in the dark is quite hard even though lots of lights they are not bright. The rooms are wonderfull, spotlessly clean, no insects only down side a lot of wasted space. The wardrobe fine (take some hangers) only 3 tiny draws.
The drinks not very good the men seemed to get the beer down but the spirits were not nice. The only mixers were powdered orange which got weaker as the day went on because they filled the machine up with water, red tea,tonic and soda. You could get sprit and orange fanta but egyptian not like ours. The staff did try their best to make cocktails but they only consisted of brandy whiskey,gin,vodka,orange juice lemon juice, sprite and sugar or the red tea we tried every thing but nothing was nice. My friend did get a little merry one night on the vodka and coke but she was not well at all the next day and she could,nt remember a thing which has never happened to her before so no more spirits after that.
Plenty of choice in food but it could have done with being hot. l stuck to the pasta every day as it was made in front of you and it was hot.
The staff really tried their best but with such a limited ammount of english it was very hard to make yourself understood. Dont be in a hurry to be served it was very quite when we were there and sometimes only 2 people at the bar you could ask for a drink and the waiter would turn away and stat to wash the glasses or fill up the machine or answer the phone then go and serve the other person and then come back to you. We all got a bit annoyed with the attitude by the end of the holiday. Entertainment forget it as we left everything was geared up for the italians who have been going to marsa alam for a while. One shop on the sight if you could call it that sold very little but there were some readly to open but dont expect retail theropy.
The pathways very uneven not suitable at all for a wheelchair, push chair a lot of steps also uneven. Would not recommend to elderly people or anyone with walking difficutlies you cant see at night.
We went to Luxor for 2 days which was out of this world with a hotair balloon ride,boatride up the Nile, all the sights fantastic book through you rep. Long bus journey (take pillow from your room) but well worth it. Also the Quad bikes in the desert. But apart from that been there done it got the tee shirt. Adverised as 4+ not to my standards will not use this group of hotels again.

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled with friends
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4  Thank Tylerfaye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2007

We were booked for Calimera Habiba before it actually opened and relied on an artists impression of what it would look like which also included pics of sister hotel Kahramana .We arrived on 21/3/07and were very impressed when we actually seen it . It reminded us of Bedrock the way the rooms are built and set out.....so quaint /pretty and inside is so spacious huge bathroom, huge living area, plenty wardrobe space........the problem we found was drawer space ....there is none ...well... not for putting anything bigger than phone charger/sunglasses etc. 3 tiny drawers..... I feel in a room that size there could be more.There is a fridge which is stocked every day with water and the cleaners are excellent. The bar and restaurant staff are lovely but lacking in a basic knowledge of what they are there for sometimes ,and if you are going to this hotel be patient as asking and waiting for your drinks to arrive is a very long winded affair ......some of the lads have no idea at all of what you"re saying but nod and smile throughout then wander off to do every other chore imaginable ie.clear tables wash glasses etc.then eventually when the drinks arrive .....they taste like nothing youve ever had before!!!!! Every spirit tastes the same and is HORRIBLE so all the cocktails(and I use this term loosely)are awful but our party had such a laugh trying to see if anything we ordered tasted either ok or passable and if we reordered the same drink twice would it ever taste like the 1st one....it NEVER did. The one exception re. staff was Amr at the beach bar I think he actually knows what hes doing and you must go to the disco (hes barman there also)to watch him doing his Arabic dancing.....tell him he was mentioned on the Internet...he"ll be ecstatic !!! We found the food ok but became bored as it is basically the same each night, soup...rice...a type of meat stew...fishy things etc all lovely but repetetive.
Animation Team work hard but are very amateur and everything is German 1st English 2nd however our second week a new Italian team arrived solely for the Italian guests (of which theres 100s)and they seemed more lively.The Italians are the majority in this hotel during the summer apparently.
We did two trips Luxor 2day inc hot air balloon.£179.00 Thomas Cook...........you must do this.The journey (although 3am start wasnt wonderful) was brilliant, our guide was excellent,the programme was so well put together and professionally carried out ,everyone on our coach thoroughly enjoyed the whole trip.The balloon trip was awesome .We were all totally templed out at the finish!! How can Thomas Cook get a whole programme of events like this so right and yet a thing like enough seat pitch on a 6hr flight (all the other tour ops are offering more leg room on long haul)so wrong......we are all very tall people andspent the flight there and back in agony.
Our other trip was the Quad biking in the desert which is sold by two sales people on the beach , Habiba Safary , I think company was called..............what a fabulous experience. We were away 3hrs racing all over the dunes/rocks...........saw wild camels..........Bedouin village...........sunset go down etc The lads who sell it and take you out are totally mad !!! Great afternoon.
To sum up......this hotel is gorgeous ,but lacking in a lot of things , the staff could be better trained,the food could be a bit more adventurous,the drinks could be drinkable!! We dont think it should be as highly rated as it is.............the above mentioned things drop it down a star as far as we were concerned but we enjoyed ourselves.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank NewcastleMazza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2007

My partner and I have just returned from a one week holiday at thew Calimera Habiba. We arrived on 7th March 2007 and stayed until 14th March 2007. Initially it was more my partner than myself who fancied going to Egypt. I was a bit worried due to not knowing much about it and the trouble that surrounds it. Nevertheless we did careful research and found the Calimera Habiba when we checked reviews and saw they were all positive we decided to get it booked and by god am I glad we did. When we arrived at the hotel we were thrilled!

Arrival: We were greeted by all staff with music playing and given a welcome cocktail (non - alcoholic) given our wristbands and we checked in. Suitcases are brought to you by bell boys.

Rooms: Huge, spotlessly clean, nice and bright and a massive balcony. (However, we did notice our balcony door didn't close properly. We reported this and within five minutes two workers came and fixed it, excellent response!)

Cleanliness: Rooms cleaned daily, bedding changed daily, water in mini fridge daily and a lovely towel sculpture every day on bed e.g one day we had a beautiful swan with loads of fresh flowers.

Food: Firstly the restaurant setting is lovely soft music plays, low lighting, candles. The food, we thought it was fantastic! Lots to choose from, fish, meat, pasta station (where you can pick your own pasta and get it made freshly in front of you), amazing fresh selection of bread (so fresh you can tell it is baked fresh daily), deserts were to die for every cake you can imagine! Very sweet though!

Drink: We found the drink to be the only down side soft drinks are fine but the alcohol was not really all that good. The beer was watery and the wine wasn't very nice. Spirits are better to go with. However, the one very annoying thing was that they are served in plastic cups. Not too bad in day and we understood that by the pool in day it was safety. However, at night we wanted glasses. Don't despair though if you request for it in a glass they will give you one as they did for us.

Grounds: Large complex filled with absolutely beautiful flowers, shrubs, greenery, tropical plants - constantly maintained by staff on an hourly basis.

Pools: There are three (one still in process of being built but almost finished). The relax pool is heated, active pool isn't and everyone says its freeezing...it isn't one you get in....it's lovely so refreshing!!! Try it don't be scared it really isn't as bad as they say.
Pools cleaned all the time!!!

Weather: Lovely, however be careful pack your factor thirty! There is a breeze which is very deceiving making you think it is cooler than it is...we burnt! After two days recovering in the shade though we have came back with an amazing tan. For those of you who don't like windy places don't be put off I hate the wind but this is a warm wind which really keeps you refreshed in the baking sun! It's not gale force chilly wind. Without it you would die in the heat.

Beach: Absolutely beautiful, sea clear and warm.

Activities: Entertainment team are german and speak english second. There are a lot of german guests but we didn't mind it added to us being able to relax without hassle. There is an activity programme and low-key nightly entertainment.

Essentials to pack: High factor, insect repellant (I got bit three times and had nothing for it), a good book, you can take euros, dollars or egyptian pound. I would advise taking euros we took egyptian pound and found it not to be very popular also Marsa Alam airport DOES NOT accept the egyptian pound, a jumper for the night time it does get chilly after 9pm.

Overall we were after a relaxing week in the sunshine and we got a beautiful one week break in an amazing place with gorgeous surroundings and weather. We would certainly go back! However, there is nothing outside the hotel just miles of desert so be prepared to stay in the hotel. If you want relaxation in paradise you will have the time of your life. We are very very fussy when it comes to holidays so believe me if we say this hotel is good it really is please take our word for it and get it booked you will certainly not be dissappointed!!!

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
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23  Thank SunseekerCheshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2007

If you are wanting to holiday somewhere clean, relaxing and friendly then this is the place to go.

Previous comments from other visitors to this resort say a lot but I thought I would add my bit for those who are still thinking about going - GO NOW!

Personally I can vouch for the Lebanese restaurant, it was excellent food, brilliant service, the manager is an absolute gem, and even though the charge is on top of all inclusive it's peanuts for what you get. Great value for money. it was sad to see on the evening when we went there was only one more table of guests.

Visa's - we got stamped on arrival and paid on the bus, we paid $18 each and had the right money which is a lot easier. Going through the airport was so easy and then we had a 45 minute trip on a clean air conditioned coach straight to our resort. On arrival we were met with a drink, given our wrist bands and then a map to our room, if you have no map skills be warned, arrving in the dark and trying to find your room is a bit tricky but once you find your feet it's fine. your cases will be taken to the room for you. The complex does look a bit like bedrock but it's well maintained. There is a new swimming pool being built but we didn't know it until the third day! there was no sound at all and you really had to go and look to see it.

thomas Cook Rep - Paul - what a cracking young man, very polite and very helpful and was always there, though we didn't really need him. Watch out for his five minutes of fame on I think a sky travel channel sometime soon.

Rooms - very clean and reached far beyone expectations. No creepy crawlies and had water in fridge each day.

Staff - loads of them and can't praise them enough but particularly Ashraf (hotel recreation guy always in the red t-shirt). He went out of his way to help us and we had great conversations putting the world to rights. Although speaking their language isnt necessary I did enjoy practising with one or two and they did respect that (or they were too polite to say anything)- give it a go!

Tipping - no need to go over board and they don;t expect anything but they do such a good servcie they deserve it.

Food - forget going on a diet beforehand, the desserts are to die for and you can't help trying a bit of everything. Being a fussy eater I was suprised how much I managed to eat, there was always a great choice.

Entertainment - German team. There is a probable equal mix of germans and english guests but they speak german first then english. this doesn;t cause any problems at all. there isn't a vast amount of stuff to do but enough if you want to be kept a little occupied. You can please yourself. People generally had a good chat, drink and a laugh at night round the bar near reception.

the resort was just over 50% full but you wouldn't think so as its so quiet, the complex is spread out but nothing that would be a problem, you dont have to walk miles to get to either part. From what i was told when it has been near full it still didnt seem that way.

Massage staff - fixed prices now and there is no getting harrassed whilst you're on the sunbeds. Men be warned though, if you are shy then this is not for you! But everyone who had a massage thought it was great.

Gym facilities are good and free.

It is still chilly at night so need a light jacket or jumper. Nobody goes overboard getting dressed up but they do ask for no shorts in the restaurant in the evening. just casual/smart casual clothes will do.

For those who get bitten by the mozzies - be warned they are out there, take some cream but if you need to you can see the doctor at the clinic, cost me £15 for two lots of cream but they are super stuff!

checking out (although i really didn't want to) again bags were picked up from the room. Again very painless process. Marsa alam airport was actually well catered for such a small airport, just remember you can use up any egyptian pounds there.

currency was mostly euros or epyptian pound.

Be sure to book the bedouin night on the Tuesday for 15 euros per person. What a night, great food and entertainment and thanks again to Ashraf for making it so special. Was a good night to end on.

Get yourself down to the travel agent now before this place gets too busy, you won't regret it!

thanks to all the other guys and girls we met out there (ten of us made a little pow wow) you were great company and such a laugh. x

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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13  Thank pebbles07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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