16 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
3 visits in 10 months - Amazing Hotel!
"Our first visit was with Thomas Cook - Oct 08. and the second visit was 10 weeks later, again with Thomas Cook - Jan 09. Our third will be August 2009. What a fantastic find! We have never been so spoilt on a holiday and have recommended this resort to everyone. We even met people who were on their 13th visit!!
There are a lot of comments about the resort not catering for English guests but this may be because there are so few English people there. If you make the effort to speak to the staff you realise everyone is treated the same, you just need to let the staff know you are there. The reviews below are spot on, so I'll just add a few helpful tips.
On arrival at Marsa Alam airport there is a short queue for your visa stamp, then its straight through the security check to collect your baggage and off to meet your Travel Rep outside. You pay for your visa when your board your coach to the resort. This was the only money we exchanged prior to the flight - WE FOUND YOU GET A BETTER RATE IF YOU EXCHANGE YOUR MONEY FROM THE HOTEL BANK!!
Once we arrived at the resort, we were quickly signed in from this point on, we didn't have to lift a finger. The staff are very friendly and will do EVERYTHING for you. On our second visit, we were invited to a cocktail reception with the hotel manager. There is no harassment from staff for tips either. If you wish to leave tips, you can put your money in the tip boxes at Reception.
Towels are provided in your room and are replaced daily. This is the same for on the beach. Just hand in your card, chose a sun lounger and a member of staff will bring you the mattresses- we didn't bother taking any towels on our second visit.
You will need to take Crocs / Jelly shoes as the coral is very sharp in the shallow water, and you must take a snorkel set with you!! The fish are amazing!
There is always some you will like at meal times, salads, meats, pasta dishes etc but if you do not want to try their dishes, they serve fantastic burgers and fries in the sunshine grill! TRY THE DESSERTS!! I had no idea what I was eating half the time and I cannot wait to try it again! You can buy mini bar packs of water and fruit juices, which work out cheaper than buying individually. All meals and drinks are signed for and charged to your room - you can either pay at the end of your stay or, as we did, pay every few days to keep a check on how much you are spending!
The locals can be intimidating on excursions, and as mentioned below, we were caught out by the "Police" taking our picture. We said we had no money and they had some of our water instead. If you leave your belongings on the coach, locals are less likely to harass you because they can see you have nothing.
Finally LADIES: Be prepared to do absolutely nothing on this holiday!! The majority of staff at the hotel are men, and as in their culture, they will direct questions to the men. This is not to be seen as being rude. It is just the way they are. It was great not having to make any decisions for the whole time we were there!
We can not wait to go back!!
- Travel date: Wed 8th of July 2009
" booked a holiday for my wife and step son on the 13 April 2009 to Flamenco Beach Resort, Marsa Alam, for 1 week half board.
The Hotel was advertised as 4****.
The flight was good and they received good service on board.
The transfer was uneventful.
On arrival at the hotel my wife and son were towards the head of the queue of roughly 15 customers.
What happened next : the three tourists ahead of them were given keys to rooms almost immedialtley with exchange for passports . When it was my wifes turn for keys,they were sectioned off from queue and receptionist told them to wait.
All other tourists had received keys and my wife then asked '' Is there a problem with passports'' ?
Receptionist replied there were no problems and gave them keys to room 402.
On entering wife and son noticed high levels of noise.On looking out of the window she noticed that the room was overlooking the kitchen yard. The manager on reception said that noise from generator will stop later and he can not change room ( maybe tomorrow).
After dinner we then found all the following problems:
- shower blocked
- fridge disgusting (see photos)
- floor uncleaned(see photos)
- all surfices were uncleaned(see photos)
- curtains were disgusting(see photos)
- dead insects on the bedding
After 5 attempts of trying to change the room and showing serious concern that this was a 4 **** Hotel, I believed - they had placed us in wrong Hotel.
At 3.20 am (after 4 hours of Hell) I suggested that we sleep in the reception area.
Then we got another room.
My second major serious concern - Food.
Breakfast - vegetables were from previous nights dinner(dry muck),fruit drink was from unknown source (undrinkable).All other food was of a very poor standard.
Dinner - fruit every evening was rotten (black bananas, tangerines and guava-? with Worms!. Main courses was very poor standard(fish?-was fried fat, old hard peas...Everything was tasteless!)
This holiday from Thomas Cook was not as advertised 4 **** Hotel!
My wife has intensive travel around the world and this hotel made her dream of the comforts of a Travellodge room and meal in Macdonalds.
- Travel date: Wed 29th of April 2009
Fab, Fab, Fab
"Top marks for this hotel / resort.
We travelled to Marsa Alam in Sept â08, we had our original holiday (10 days in Namma Bay) cancelled due to XL airlines going bust.
This was the closest they could get us (7 nights in MA) we had a very low thoughts about the place, being in the middle of nowhere, Resort hotel stuck in one place.
When we arrived we were greeted with drinks and our check in took all of about 3 minutes (takes longer in UK hotels !) our bags were deposited in our room and not a sniff of a beg for a tip from the porter.
The week then continued to amaze us, from the glorious well maintained walk ways (swept 4 times a day !) to extensive breakfast / lunch and dinners, everyoneâs palette was catered for with a wide and well known selection of goodies and a few new ones I had never seen.
The Beach was a stones throw from our room, and so well kept that at 4pm every day a group of employed locals in uniform would walk the length of the beach clearing all the rubbish / water bottles / cigarette butts away â I have NEVER seen this done before.
We had towel origami left for us each day, itâs the little touches, and such helpful staff we could not sing their praises enough. Tip â Take your Crocs or some safe/sturdy water friendly shoes if you want to wade into the Lagoon to snorkel or swim â you wonât get far without footwear!!!!
The restaurant staff deserve a special mention as they really made our holiday â I was stirring my coffee one morning with a dessert spoon as it was all I could find, I felt something on my hand and a waiter gently removed it and replaced it with a tea spoon â no hassle, no drama, just quietly and politely!
We were slightly apprehensive of the evening entertainment, weâve been to places where itâs bingo or nothing! But we got to the Ali Baba Tent to find a lighting rig and stage arrangement. One night there was a magician, next a traditional dancer, next a David Blane type act (bed of nails / glass walking etc) Acrobats, not a sniff of bingo ! Really impressive !
The Bedrooms are basic and twin rooms are twin single beds (rather than the usual advertised âtwinâ but you get a double bed instead), it was so well cleaned that to be honest all you need is somewhere to hang your clothes and sleep and wash !
If booking ask to go on the 2nd or 3rd floor as the ground floor can be where you get the people traffic, and very noisy, also the patio doors are not particularly secure, so if you are worried about things like this then best to book a higher room.
The one and only down part to the entire stay was the bar manager and his waiter at the Ali Baba. Being two girls travelling on our own, we are used to getting a bit of unwanted attention, but these guys took it too far. They asked us to leave the Resort and go to the local cafÃ© with them, âbut donât tell anyoneâ they said, oh âand we know your room numberâ. Very worrying ! They didnât leave us alone all night, and we had to leave with some other guests â so please be careful if you are ladies. We did inform the hotel manager via our suggestions form and feedback forms â so hopefully something will be done about this type of behaviour. All the other staff were professional, friendly, fun and lovely to be around.
We took a day trip to Luxor â very well priced, Â£55. Itâs a very long day, up at 5am back at 10.30pm ! But my god it is worth it, so donât be put off (take your pillow on the bus with you â itâs a godsend when you just want to rest your head!!). Our rep also told us to take some toilet roll with us on the trip as you sometimes have to pay for a sheet at a time in public areas while out visiting. Very good bit of advice!!!
Great hotel, exceptional value money, clean, beautiful beach, and would definitely consider going back for a lazy week, and that I feel is the biggest compliment you can give a hotel !
- Travel date: Thu 9th of October 2008
loved this hotel really enjoyed it but e...
"loved this hotel really enjoyed it but egypt is a very hot country the accomodation was great and the food a little bit on the quiet side but very relaxing the sea is lovely and many of the staff are its a shame that service is alot slower if you dont tip every time but it did not spoil the holiday i would go again in april as it is around 45 to 50 f but no humidity which makes it very comfortable i do hope you all enjoy "
- Travel date: Sat 13th of September 2008
We booked a last minute holiday to the F...
"We booked a last minute holiday to the Flamenco Beach hotel after reading reviews on trip advisor. We had previously visited the Sheraton Soma Bay last March (5*), and loved it. This hotel is definately a mid range 4*. I travelled with my husband and three years old daughter and experienced no problems (health or otherwise) at all.
We booked full board after reading that the hotel was in a remote area and didn't want the hassle of having to pay a huge bill on checkout for food.
My general impressions were good overall, however there were a few issues.
The hotel is located in a peaceful area, and directly on it's own beach. It also has it's own diving centre, which is very well managed and run. We were impressed with the cleanliness of the hotel in both the bedrooms and resort area in general. The resort is ideal for divers, families with young children and couples. There is nothing to do here if you are looking for a lively nightlife. There was a big Italian presence here, and all the entertainments staff were of Italian origin. This was not a problem for us (my husband is Italian himself), and in fact, it may have been why the food was better than expected, although it got pretty repetitive. All meals were served in the main restaurant on the lower ground floor, leading directly out to the gardens and pool. It was buffet food, and every breakfast you could choose from a selection of omeletes, cereals, mini crepe pancakes, toast and Egyptian food, mini danish etc. Lunch and dinner were pretty much the same, although every evening, there was a barbecue on the terrace outside serving a selection of meat, fish dishes and chicken. THe food was of a good standard overall. There is also a beach restaurant serving pizzas, and the fine dining restaurant, which is located on the ground floor, opposite the main reception, and has panoramic views of the resort. If you decide to eat here, you get a discount of 30% (I think) if you are half / full board). The menu is small at lunch, and even worse at dinner (set menu of one starter and one main - We did not eat dinner here as I am a veggie and the main was always a meat dish). We did, however, eat lunch here and the food was fine. There are two ice cream stations, one by the beach and one next to the the fine dining restaurant, serving lovely ice cream.
Staff in the restaurant are badly managed and seemed to spend a lot of time chatting to themselves or running about in a flap. If you want a drink, order early as it may take 10 minutes to arrive. For the first three days, we were told that we were entitled to a 'free' bottle of water with our at lunch and dinner, but on day 4, we were told that it was not included and had to pay for it. It was very annoying. We also found out that it depended who your tour operator was. With my husband being Italian, they thought we must have been with an Italian tour company and the Italians were getting the 'free' water. There was always a shortage of cereal bowls at breakfast and often guests were having cereals from coffee cups.
Pool area was badly maintained. The water was clean but there were chipped tiles around all of the pools, including the baby pool. Some of the the overflow water drains around the pool were also damaged / broken so you could easily step through one and hurt yourself if you are not watching. You are given 'pool' cards at checkin and use them to get a beach/pool towel. However, If you lose your card, you can't get a towel ...and if you try to get new towel (ie if your towel gets wet or dirty), the staff are really huffy about it.
There was a kids play area on the beach with a couple of baby swings and older kids swings, a slide and a playhouse. Beware: the slide is cracked at the bottom, and the play house has nails coming out of it inside the house, something we luckily discovered before my daughter hurt herself. The advertised 'kids club' was non existent. There was an Italian entertainment girl who I sometimes saw with playing with a couple of kids in the pool, but nothing else. She also had very limited English. There was a mini disco advertised but I have no idea where it was supposed to be (possibly ali baba). It also started at 9.15, which was quite late for my three year old.
There is an 'ali baba' 'club' area located on the outskirts of the resort, which provides music and dancing for those who want it. In our experience, this outdoor club was not well used at all.. apart from this, there is no other organised entertainment. This was not a problem for us as we have a young daughter, but may be for others.
Rooms- perfectly adequate and a good size. However, please note that if you are allocated a room on the ground floor, as we were, the patio doors are not secure at all and can easily be opened from the outside without a key. They This was a bit of a shock to find that you can not effectively 'lock' your doors, so I would reccommend that you make sure that you use the safe in your rooms (key from reception). We never felt that security was an issue but you never know.
- Travel date: Fri 12th of September 2008
"This is the csecond time that we have been to this hotel, that says a lot for it.
The staff werev ery attentive to our needs, both within the hotel and on the beach, nothing was too much trouble.
The hotel was extreemly clean and well decorated.
The variety and presentation of the meals was excellent.
The beach was not large but the sunbeds had ample room around them.
The snorkling was impressive with a large variety of fish and coral,easily accessed form the jetty."
- Travel date: Mon 7th of April 2008
First Time to Egypt
"I have remained neutral about overall holiday as am not really sure so I will tell you my experiences and you can judge for yourself,feel free to email question and have got 300 photos to choose from.
Great looking resort directly on beach,never too far to walk for anything,a long jetty carries you over the brilliant house reef,we saw fish even better than the Maldives.
Sun rises at 0550 and there was no cloud at all during our 14 night stay.Temperature ranged between 42 - 48C but was easy to stand as humidity was only 20% so no sweating at all.Sun goes down at just after 1700hrs,some earlier months you may need a wooly but we did'nt.
Plenty of space on beach,we had a paracol/two sunbeds with mattresses & towels everyday. The gardens are amazing,I could'nt believe how much colour there was.
Inside resort was immaculate,very clean indeed. Food was varied and good but got a bit boring by second week,overall quality good,meat sometimes undercooked so need to ask. Also cooked and ate outside which was lovely and romantic as you could gaze at the moon/stars. Swimming pools are also very good and clean with an excellent poolbar.
We went halfboard and felt water was a little expensive at Â£1.20 per 2litre bottle,have yet to work out what All Inclusive would have cost but we spent approx Â£200 during the holiday with about Â£70 on water alone.
They are very health & safety conscious which was superb especially for those with children. Money is easy as each Egyption pound is approx 10p therefore making LE100 + Â£10.
Visiting El Quesair was an experience,you have to be firm with the locals though.
To finish it was nice that there were NO mosquitos which to be honest was incredible so if you always get attacked don't worry here cos there are none.
Email:- [email protected]"
- Travel date: Tue 1st of April 2008
"Lovely grounds, very good staff. Food ok. Animation team - very very poor. Pools great. Overall average hotel for a winter break, would not stay for two weeks"
- Travel date: Fri 7th of March 2008
If you're after a totally relaxing holid...
"If you're after a totally relaxing holiday then this is a good choice. The hotel was very clean, and modern, we had a room overlooking the swimming pools and sea. There are 2 main swimming pools, one heated and one not although you would think the one that was heated wasn't! The weather in february was hot but by around half 3 it got a bit cool and the evenings were definitely jumper weather.
The hotel entertainment staff tried their very best to pleased everyone and did a good job of it, there are plenty of activities to choose from such as yoga in the morning sun, volleyball, aqua-aerobics, table tennis, and others. There are no bars or anyhthing near the hotel so unless you go on a day trip you will stay in the resort.
The food is average, lots of selection but its all typical egyptian stuff apart from the a la carte restaurant which you can eat in if you pay a little extra.
All in all a very good holiday, they do diving lessons too but i didn't try them so not sure of prices etc."
- Travel date: Wed 5th of March 2008
Thoroughly enjoyable holiday
"My partner and I had a lovely week at this hotel in September 2007.
The staff are very obliging, hardworking, and polite, the hotel is clean and reasonably modern.
The grounds of the hotel are vast, there are so many areas to lounge around but getting a sun lounger can be a challenge!! 'Reserve' a lounger with your towel is my recommendation as early in the morning as poss!!!
The beach isn't suitable for swimming, the water is very shallow until the end of the pier and it can be pretty choppy as far out as that! The water is crystal clear and there is a marked path through the water where you can snorkel.
The food wasn't bad, (we were half board). The evening meals being better than breakfast in my opinion. There are SO many Egyptian dishes to try, I have never seen so many different pastries! The Italian in the hotel was very good, service excellent, and very good steak.
As far as entertainment goes, we didn't experience a lot of evening entertainment. It was so warm in the evenings we were happy to just wander around and relax. There are some good (but quiet) bars within the complex. The alcohol (especially brand names, smirnoff etc which they have to import) are very expensive. Beer though because it is brewed locally is very cheap and apparently perfectly drinkable according to my other half!
We went into the town of El Quseir one evening, the holiday reps will warn you about the locals, they will heckle you and try and get you in their shops. You just have to be firm with them and if you're just looking, tell them so.
We arranged our holiday through Thomas Cook and we did the day trip by boat to three islands to snorkel. This was a great experience and gave plenty of opportunity to see so many different fish.
We also scuba dived with the diving school that is on site. Having never done this before I was nervous but the instructer we had was very good."
- Travel date: Tue 22nd of January 2008
"We spent from 19 Dec 07 to 3 Jan 08 at this hotel ,the group being parents, son and girlfriend (25) and daughter (23). Nothing was too much trouble for all the staff. This is from the housekeeping to the general manager and special praise goes to Themis the food and beverage manager.The hotel was clean and food very good. The gala dinner and events for Xmas were superb and really brought back the real meaning of Xmas with a candlelit beach and the true nativity story recreated with live animals. New Year was spectacular with a superb huge tent and entertainment until the early hours. We have stayed at 5* plus hotels in the caribbean especially the Sandals chain and I would rate this as one of our best holidays and equally comparable. See this area before it gets too commercial which will happen if Hurghada is anything to go by. Animation team were active all day and night and the shows were such fun and you make your own fun out of life. Weather windy for few days but still hot and a lovely temperature. would really recommend this hotel and the local area if you want to see real Egypt not the commercial sanitised areas others have become."
- Travel date: Sun 13th of January 2008
"I read the previous review with surprise. Five of us - three adults, two small kids - stayed at the Flamenco Beach from 4-18 January. We had a fabulous time, not least because the resort is beautiful, and because of the hard-working, ever-smiling staff.
El Quseir may not suit everyone. It's a small, sleepy town - that's its charm. It is probably way too low key for clubbers, five-star service freaks or culture vultures. There's a fort, and a fab beach restaurant in town (hi to Salah and the guys at Marianna's). Otherwise, the shops are poorly stocked, with the exception of Yasmine Perfumes (eeh-oop to Ash).
But if you want to unwind in beautiful, spotlessly clean and chilled-out surroundings, the Flamenco Beach is the perfect choice. There is plenty to do - from camel rides or hiring bikes to explore El Quseir and the surrounding desert to stretching classes, water polo and even darts. When the wind dies down, there's great diving and snorkelling on the hotel's in-house reef. The nightly folklore show is very under-rated (if only the music afterwards was as cool - take CDs. Bribe the DJ!)
Above all, the staff work tirelessly to make your stay at Flamenco Beach a pleasure - especially for kids, who are fussed over and spoilt rotten. Special salaams go out to Ahmed, Hamada and Mohammed - Recreation's Three Muskateers - who work morning, noon and night to keep all guests of all ages happy and entertained.
In a nutshell, if you need a cheap and cheerful break to recharge your batteries, it doesn't get much better than the Flamenco Beach & Resort.
- Travel date: Wed 24th of January 2007