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Reviewed April 22, 2007

Stayed at the calimera habiba 11th - 18th April 07 with hubby and teenage daughter. We had booked a beachfront bungalow which faced the sea and set in beautifull gardens and surroundings.
The rooms were cleaned daily and towels replaced also.
However the food was dissapointing and as a previous review it was lukewarm even if you arrived as the restaurant opened. My daughter and I tended to eat from the pasta bar as the chef prepared the pasta infront of you and it was hot! but be prepered for the italian guests who are not willing to queue up and wait there turn. Hubby tried kebab meat and grilled chicken etc and still has deli belly one week later!
Bar service also dissapointing, alot of the staff cant be bothered to serve you especially if you only want an expresso coffee we were told that machine was broke at the relax pool bar and to go to the beach bar were suprise suprise machine was also broke.
Did not have any problems with mosquitoes and snorkelling was excellent from the jetty of the hotel next door, but food and drink service dissapointing.

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled with family
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3  Thank BigmamaEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2007

We recently returned from Egypt having booked to stay at the Calimera Habiba in Marsa Alam. We had visited Egypt 4 times and had always stayed in the same hotel also a 4*+ and also on an all-inclusive basis. Whilst it is not always fair to compare directly, some comparison is inevitable.

First impressions of the Calimera Habiba and Marsa Alam were positive and much as expected - much quieter than Hurghada and with a slightly rustic feel. It was dark and as other guests have commented, it was not easy to find your way around. We had booked superior rooms, which were clean, but otherwise hardly fitted the description of superior. The beds were not made up and when the sheets were put on, they were clean, but not exactly white. The mini bar contained 2 bottles of water and the printed note explained that anything else would be charged. This set the tone!

We went to eat in the main buffet restaurant and found the choice of food extremely limted, it was unappetising and cold. Service was reluctant at best and the wine that was served as watered down (as indeed had been the "welcome" drink). We decided not to make any snap judgements, but to sleep on it and see how we felt the next morning.

Unfortunately, due to the large numbers of mosquitoes, we did not sleep much. However, in its favour, the next morning we could see just how beautiful the location is. Sadly, our experience at breakfast replicated that of the night before, starting with the fruit juice which was sugary and certainly not fresh. Choice of food again was very limited - 2 weeks here would have done wonders for a weight loss regime. The alternative would be to eat each night in the a la carte restaurants - for which, of course, we would be charged.

We contacted the Thomas Cook rep and were told that we were the first guests ever to complain. We tried to transfer to the sister hotel next door which looked a great deal better although only on half-board basis. Unfortunately it was full - the Calimera Habiba significantly was only about 30% occupied. We decided rather than spend 2 weeks being miserable, we would try to go back to our regular hotel in Hurghada, where we were treated like royalty, and enjoyed a truly all-inclusive holiday with first class food, a choice of restaurants (included in the price) and international drinks that were not watered down.

We are pleased to see that we are not the only people to be disappointed by this hotel. It gives the impression of doing the bare minimum, is certainly not a 4* and should not describe itself as all-inclusive.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank gjr300sl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2007

My Girlfriend and I have just returned from a week (April 4 to April 11, 2007) at the Calimera Habiba in Marsa Alam. The whole holiday was exactly what we were looking for – total relaxation. We booked with Thomas Cook and paid the extra for a suite. We got the welcome letter with room number on the coach at the airport, so after a 40 minute transfer, the check – in took less that a few minutes. Luggage was delivered about 15 minutes later.

When we got into our suite, we were amazed at the sheer size of it! It was on the top floor (only 2 floors per block) with 2 bedrooms, living room, bathroom with shower (no bath), 3 separate remote comtrolled Air Conditioning units, 2 TV’s & a fridge with 2 bottles of water left in the room every day (However, if you need more water, you have to pay 10 egyptian pounds (2 Euros) for a 1.5L bottle at any bar of the restaurant). The room was cleaned daily to a high standard. The Balcony was about 30 ft long with loungers and chairs with table and footstools. Be aware if booking the ‘Royal Suites’ because they are a long walk uphill from the restaurant, but you have a great view from up there!
Any repairs requested were done within the hour.
We had a few long walks around the grounds – the resort is huge – and found 4 pools, 4 bars and loads of activities going on throughout the day and evening. Everything was well maintained.
All the staff were very friendly and helpful. I used the nearest bar (Eden Bar) daily. The staff there (Tamer, Abd El Hamid, and Ibrahim) were young lads with a great personality and were always very friendly (They helped me with my Arabic speaking too). They even came to see us off on the last day.
The rest of the staff were great too. The restaurant was dimly lit, but the food quality was excellent!! Although they may misunderstand the meaning of ‘vegetarian’ because most of the cooked dishes contain meat or fish. There is always 2 choices of soup, a good variety of cooked dishes and salads, bread, and cakes. Something for everyone. Food buffets are available all day at various locations in addition to the restaurant. Some bars have Burgers, while others have salads, bread rolls and cakes. Tea and coffee is ‘on tap’ everywhere.
The beach is very well kept but no watersports available.
On the whole this hotel is great for everything if you like a relaxing holiday with plenty of food & drink, but not good if you have walking difficulties.
For Shopping, there are very few shops open, one Very Good T-shirt shop run by a very nice guy called Abdullah, and a quite expensive souvenir shop, hairdesser, car hire.
Oh well, all good things come to an end (great things much faster). But we will certainly consider going back there. Hope all who read this finds it useful.

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