25 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog

best in makadi bay

Reviewed Wed 31st of October 2012

"just got back from a wonderful week at this hotel, and as stated by others they have the best and biggest site in the bay and by far the most room between sun beds (some hotels they are so close you can't walk between them). our trip was all inclusive with Thompson and we,re already making plans for return trip next year.
first impressions of the food when we arrived was a bit disappointing but because it was quite late when we got to eat (about 2100 by the time we'd checked in and went to eat) i think it was more a case of what was left. certainly the following day there was a lot more choice and was of a very high standard. Tip on evening meals the Italian's and Germans while be waiting for the restaurant to open at 1900. don't bother trying to beat them take the 5min stroll up to the new wing and eat there in my opinion its the better restaurant anyway. and i didn't hear of one case of upset tum all week (except for me but i had that before i left uk)
drink i.e beer is all in bottles and not bad soft drinks also in bottles and cans and in many places you can just go help yourself straight from the fridge's ICE LOLLIES TOO but don't tell the kids lol
the beach is man made but not bad and the snorkeling is first class with big clumps of reef only a few meters out in waist deep water
the room was huge with two king sized beds and spotlessly clean

would i go there again YES

ps for all you hay fever sufferers don't forget your pill's etc because the grounds are huge and very green with flowers everywhere :)"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 31st of January 2008

Not a bad hotel at all!

Reviewed Sat 1st of December 2012

"There's not much more that can be said other than our stay was excellent.

Pretty much every aspect of the hotel was well above average, the grounds were incredibly well kept and the pools were very clean and quiet! The staff were very helpful and couldn't do enough for you. The food however, was as most Egypt hotels are, was repetative, but it was good quality and seemed well cooked. The beach bar was handy and did some half decent english type food at lunch times, for an extra cost.

The room we were allocated was on the first floor looking out to the beach. An incredible view, not noisy and kept very clean indeed.

The beach? Well fantastic would be the best word to describe it! There were plenty of sun beds, but like most places you had to get there early to get a good location. The snorkelling was brilliant, plenty of marine life to see... to be honest I had to be dragged out of the water by my better half! Water was very clear and there were plenty of places to swim normally, quite shallow in places too, ideal for young ones.

Whilst we were there we booked a single trip with the tour provider, Thompsons. It was a snorkelling trip to an island in the red sea. Don't get me wrong it was ok, not as much to see as i would have liked and the sun was so intense i didn't dare leave the shade. We were catered for on the island and we took advantage and had a plate full. However, the next day I was suffering. I had incredible stomach cramps and constant trips to the toilet. That lasted for the rest of the holiday and spoiled it for me. The food poisoning or whatever i was lucky enough to get remained with me and ended up having to visit the emergency doctor on my return to the UK! But don't let that put you off.

Our week at the Fort Arabesque was brilliant. We're a young couple and the week was ideal for a quiet getaway with plenty of sun. We were unlucky getting poorly but I would definately recommend this hotel for anyone wanting to visit Egypt. We'll probably return after exploring what else Egypt has to offer. (Much much better than Sharm el Sheikh!) P.S avoid the snorkelling trip, or at least take a packed lunch!"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 28th of January 2008

A disappointment to be honest

Reviewed Mon 3rd of December 2012

"Stayed 11/1 - 18/1/08, booked with Thomsons, flew with First Choice. Flight on time from LGW. 4 1/2 hour flight

Flight crew left alot to be desired. Outbound one stewardess very rude to passengers, at best disorganised, at worst downright dangerous - the crew member in charge even said out loud the access code into the flight deck in front of passengers queuing for the toilet next to it!

Hurghada airport disorganised. Luggage took long time to arrive & ours was last off The tour rep had to be tracked down as he had not waited in or even near the terminal for us. full coach load just to this hotel. 30 min transfer to hotel.

Check-in chaotic. At hotel entrance was told one check in card per room but at desk was told by the desk clerk that must be one card per person. Reception staff surly.

Hotel reception area undergoing cosmetic refurb - very strong smell of varnish which was used on floor tiles lasted duration of 7 day stay - not pleasant as this is where the bar it located. However this was masked at night by the very smoky atmosphere.

High percentage of Italian, German and Russian guests. Majority of UK guests appear to be with Saga on long stay.

Bar staff very efficient and attentive, a please and Thank you is gratefully received as some behaviour from certain nationalities is downright ignorant and rude.

Hotel is clean but some areas are in need of attention. Our rooms were 350 & 351. Located on third floor opposite the "Quiet beach". Bathroom sinks cracked, tiles in shower missing and broken, shower doors that had a mind of their own. One shower tray leaked water that ran out into the main bedroom area on each use. Bedrooms are very large. One king size bed and one double in each of our rooms (one was reserved for a single person).

Food in the restaurant was Ok. Dishes were not kept hot, which was disappointing as some dishes would have been good. Vegetarian selection poor, even many of the salad dishes contained meat or seafood. Only main meals were "labelled". Appeared to be some "recycling" of some meals from lunch to dinner. No dodgy stomachs though.

Breakfast is 7-10, Lunch 12.30 -14.30, Evening meal starts at 19.00 - 22.00, with snacks available in between. Alot of people being turned away at 19.15 as restaurant full & asked to return later in the evening. We ate at 21.30 on evening of arrival and food selection was dire - little choice left and wasnt being replenished. Service a little slow at beginning of week but gets better when they get to know you.

The beach is very clean, active areas & a quiet zone. Massive amount of sun loungers on beach. Witnessed little regard by some for the coral reefs just off shore but a surprising amount of marine life seen snorkelling only a stones throw from the beach.

Gardens are well maintained and large open areas as the hotel site is very spread out as the hotel is split into 2 "wings" - the "old" (where we were) & the "new" (where saga guests stay).

Weather was very windy for whole week, blue sky in day but chilly in evenings.

Flight back was better service, crew friendly but condition on plane left alot to be desired. My tray table was broken & dirty, 2 of our 3 seats were badly torn, an arm rest broken and quite dangerous as sharp metal edge protruding. Legroom was non existant on return flight - my 6 foot husband had to sit sideways as gap to seat in front too small to sit facing forward!

To sum it up - it was a week away for £320 each all inclusive. Please it wasnt our main holiday but to be fair a holiday is what you make of it and my observations didnt spoil our holiday.

Would I return to this hotel? Sorry but No.
Why? as I have stayed in far better hotels in Egypt (Hilton Nuweiba, Hilton Sharks Bay, Kahramana & Coraya in Marsa Alam)"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Wed 23rd of January 2008

Relaxng hoiday

Reviewed Mon 17th of December 2012

"Have just returned from a week at this resort. Read several reviews before we went and have to agree with most of them.
Resort - beautiful gardens with colourful flowers and greenery. The rooms were spacious with large twin beds, a tv, hairdryer, air con, mini bar and cleaned twice daily, with fresh towels each day.
The staff were helpful and friendly - only slight problem was the service provided in the restaurant, not really sure if they know what service means.... but it didnt spoil the holiday. No problem at the bars though.
Food - a good selection provided, pasta, bread, meats, veg and salads each day, wide range for breakfast. For the 3t rating it was given, it was MUCH better than a 5* hotel I went to in Sharm the previous year ( LTI Grand Azure)
Entertainment - was reasonable, there was things happening most of the day and evening. But they didnt seem to translate into English much, mainly Itailian.
Diving Centre - fairly good, well run by an Itailian company The Crab, they did speak English.
Overall - had a lovely week, weather 28/29c most days, will definately go back and would recommend to others....Enjoy
Remember this is a 3* hotel not 5*"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sat 17th of November 2007

Snorkelling enthusiast i recommend this one

Reviewed Mon 3rd of December 2012

"Staff very friendly -if you are, don't be a grump they like a joke, the hotel is splendid and trust me the most spacious one around that area, it has one of the largest beaches compared to the surrounding hotels which are cramped with small beaches. If you love snorkelling we definitely recommend this hotel with its reefs, this is our 2nd trip to Egypt we love it, we've been to Makadi Bay Reef Resort, Marsa Alam also recommended (but you are surronded by nothing not another hotel in sight would not recommend this one for more than 7days) however Fort Arabesque is surrounded and isn't to far from Hurgarda so a 2week stay would be fine. This is also the perfect location if wanting to do the trip to Luxor (a good once off, very hot trip but recommended but wear comfi shoes) as you are the last pickup and first drop off on this journey, we recommend the 4x4 Quad biking -its wicked definitely worth it, this is my 2nd deep sea snorkelling trip - which in my opinion we wouldn't recommend very touristy and not much better than what you see at the hotel. Now the food is definitely worth the 98% rating it is honestly fab. Don't forget to take some stomach run tablets (in the two trips to Egypt i've had no problems - but then i have a hardy stomach coming from South Africa) we have found that majority if not all Brits suffer with the stomach run but don't let this put you off just go prepared with tablets. Have fun you'll enjoy this hotel. ps water in August alot hotter than May although it wasn't too bad there are spells of hot and cold water mixed but we really enjoyed it. JJ"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 25th of June 2007

I cannot stress how good this hotel is....

Reviewed Thu 21st of June 2007

"I cannot stress how good this hotel is. Myself and my son (who was aged 8 at the time) visited this hotel on an excursion to Hurghada (we were based in Luxor) we stayed for 2 days on an all inclusive basis - we enjoyed it so much that we went back again the week after for another 2 days. The staff were very accommodating and not once was I pestered (being a single mother).

The reception staff were definitely the best receptionists I have ever met - we go on lots of holidays to lots of different locations, but this is definitely up there with the best of them.

The hotel is very spacious - with beautiful pools - my son really enjoyed swimming in all of them, (and so did I). The beach was gorgeous and swimming in the ocean was even better - we were feeding the fish - although we shouldn't have really.

The coral is very near to the shore as well. When we were there, I remember a man saying to my son and myself that he was swimming with Manta Rays.

Even the Italians made us feel very welcome (it was mainly Italians in the hotel and the animation team were Italian - but we didn't mind at all). There is an amphitheatre for entertainment in the evening - I think there was a nightclub but I’m not too sure about that. The live pianist was excellent. He sang us a few songs.

The room that we had was huge - we had two double beds in our room - the bathroom was lovely as well. We had a beautiful terrace (which was absolutely huge) which led out to the pools and beach. There is a children’s play area as well - which the children seemed to enjoy.

We really enjoyed the restaurant as well. The shops are good value as well in the hotel, I didn't think they were that expensive - but everybody is different.

I am thinking of going again in May/June next year - we went in May last time and the weather was gorgeous.

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 21st of June 2007

OK so this review is a few months late....

Reviewed Fri 13th of April 2007

"OK so this review is a few months late.

This hotel is fab, having been to Egypt a few times before I would say that the Fort Arabesque is one of the best hotels I’ve stayed in Egypt.

The pools are great and there’s so many. The rooms are very big and very nicely done

The ground are all green and well kept, they must have about 100 gardeners lol

The food is good to, not that much variety but there still something for everyone e.g. always a pasta bar and always a choice of meat of fish. The deserts are to die for. I went I size 8 and came back a 12, lol ,they have a big bowl of chocolate to poor over you're cakes.

Drinks are fab they, are all bottled and not out of the pump like nearly all of the A/I hotels I have stayed in, there are cans of coke Fanta ect and bottled water, the beer is Stella, not our Stella but it’s nice and that’s in bottles too, so you can take them you’re room if you just want to chill.

Oh you get a mini bar in the room that’s filled daily with coke pepi water.

You have to sign for all your drinks in the hotel (stock check purposes) it’s not that bad, just like signing when you pay on a credit card.

Right now the location....... well the hotel its self is a bit out the way but you can walk to Makadi bay along the beach which is nice and take about 15-20 mins. And there are a few shops there, personally I would recommend going to Hurghada for souvenirs ect, if you good at haggling its very cheap. There is a gym in Makadi bay.

The hotel runs a shuttle bus to Hurghada which takes about 20 mins and cost about £1 each, it’s well worth it.

Oh don’t buy anything from the hotel shop, such a rip off, just go Hurghada, there is a super market there witch if you’re like us and can’t do without home favourites, crisp, chocolate ect, its brill, some things are even cheaper than England.

There aren’t that many English people at this hotel, not that that’s a bad thing! But the entertainment is German or Russian or something like that, was still funny trying to watch it though.

They do play live music though which is nice when your having a bevy at night and they do requests... so at the end of the night you can cry along to a home favourite. lol

Well that’s about it... it is a lovely hotel under classed if you ask me. I would rate it at least a 4star, even better if you get a cheap deal we paid 800 for the 2 of us for 2 weeks in December, so that was fab, but yes a very nice hotel.

Oh, its 8 hours away from the pyramids by coach, so if you going 4 that purpose should stay closer to Cairo or Luxor

Have a fab hol.x"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Fri 13th of April 2007


Reviewed Sat 3rd of November 2012

"OK so this review is a few months late opppps lol

This hotel is fab, having been to egypt a few times before i would say that the Fort Arabesque is one of the best hotels ive stayed in egypt.

The pools are great and theres so many

The rooms are very big and very nicely done

The ground are all green and well kept, thay must have about 100 gardeners lol

The food is good to, not that much varity but there still sometin 4 everyone eg. all ways a pasta bar and always a chose of meat of fish. RRRRR the deserts are to die 4 i went i size 8 and cum back a 12 lol thay have a big bowl of choclot to poor over ur cakes MMMMMMM

ONE MORE THING ABOUT THE FOOD, i dont eat meat so i thourght i would struggel, but i ask them for a tin of tuna as i didint eat meat and evey day thay made me tuna, so i was very pleases with that .xxx

The drinks are fab they are all botteld and not out of the pump like nearly all of the A/I hotels i have stayed in, there are cans of coke fanta ect and botteld water, the beer is steller, not r steller but its nice and thats in bottels 2 so you can take them ur room if you just wanner chill.

Oh you get a mini bar in the room thats filled daliy with coke pepis water.

You have to sign for all ur drinks in the hotel ( 4 there stock chek purpoes) its not that bad, just like signin wen you pay on a creidit card.

Rite now the location....... well the hotel its self is a bit out the way but you can walk to makiki bay along the beach witch is nice and take about 15-20 mins an there are a few shops there, peronaly i would recommend going to hurgarder 4 sovernears ect if you good at hagglin its very cheap. there is a gym in makiki bay.

The hotel runs a shuttel bus to hugarder witch take a bot 20 mins and cost about £1 each its well worth it, oh dont buy anythin from the hotel shop sutch a ripp off, just go hugarder, there is a supper market there witch if your like us and cant do with out home favertis, crisp, choclot ect its brill sum things are even cheper than england.

There arnt that many english ppl at this hotel, not that thats a bad thing!!! but the entertaiment is is german or russin or sumtin lik that, was still funny tryin to watch it tho...... thay do play live musiv tho witch is nice wen ur avin a bevie at nite an they do request... so at the end of the nit you can cry along to a home favorit lol

well thats a bot it... it is a lovely hotel under clased is u ask me i would rate it at least a 4star, even better if you get a cheap deal we paid 800 for the 2 of us 4 2 weks in december so that was fab, but ye very nice hotel.

Oh its 8 hours away from the piramids by coach so if you goin 4 that purpos sud stay closer to ciro or luxall

have a fab hol.xxxxxx"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Thu 12th of April 2007

Well ... what can we say about this wond...

Reviewed Sun 3rd of December 2006

"Well ... what can we say about this wonderful hotel. Nothing discouraging, that’s for sure. We have just spent a wonderful week in 1 of the best hotels that we have been in.

The staff go out of their way to help if you have a problem no matter how small it is. The room cleaning was second to none, he came into our room 3 times a day just to make sure all was ok and even turned the sheet back ready for bedtime.

The food was very well presented and cooked, and even if east/south European orientated (not much British food) there was something that suited all tastes. My wife would like to say that, if you are on a diet then try and stay away from the desserts..... They are FAB. The drinking places are well run and the beers were of a quality brands, and we couldn’t get over that the soft drinks came out of cans and not cheap drinks off the pumps.

The hotel is not for people that like the glitz and glamour of marble and bright lights. It is a reminder of what a “fort " is made of, solid stone Egyptian style. Rooms are large (well we had a large room) and even if in need of refurbishment, were clean and spacious.

The grounds are a site for sore eyes, very green considering that you are in a dessert land. It is nice and peaceful to look out over the trees, green grass and shrubbery and flowers in the morning. The private beach a short walk through the many grassy paths from the hotel, and is kept clean. (Who cleans the beach at night??? lol)

The sea and coral are a must do thing to do while at this hotel (the crab diving school are very good at helping you get sorted out in snorkelling or diving activities). Even the wife ventured out into the deep for her first ever time out of her depths to see the wonders of the sea life.

Well there is nothing more that I can say now, except that we cannot wait to go back there next year. You can keep your Costa’s, Fort Arabesque is the place to be, and if you cannot get in there you are missing a wonderful holiday.

If the staff ever get to read this, we must say they made us have a great great holiday, and we’ll be back for more as soon as we can. Many Thanks."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sun 3rd of December 2006

SAGA beware

Reviewed Thu 20th of December 2012

"We returned from a SAGA holiday at the fort arabesque hotel in may. The hotel had just been reorganised following the completion of a new wing, hence this report relates to the hotel following these changes.
The hotel stands on an idelic beach with excellent facilities for water sports and snorkiling. The hotel grounds are spacious and very well maintained by a mountain of local staff. The accomodation is of a good 4 star standard for this part of the world.
So whats the problem?

Besides the few SAGA guests the hotel is 95% Italian. They as you know tent to have large famileys and are increditably noisy The new dining room has a solid concrete floor and celing with glass and cement rendered walls. The noise at meal times is indiscribable.
All the animation is in Italian and is set at no 5 from 09:30 till12:30 and 16:00 till 19:30
Unless you are prepared to take on Italian children, the pool is impossible for use except from 13:00 to 1500 sieasta time

The restaurant has a good food rating by SAGA. Sadley the food during our stay was a total disaster, cold and of a very poor standard. I have fed back this information to SAGA
as i know similar reports from fellow guests staying at the same time period will be compiled.

In summery equating the good with the bad i don't think this hotel is at all suitable for the British SAGA age group, there being so many excellent hotels now in the Red sea area offering equally good facilities without the drawback encountered at the Arabesque"

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Tue 11th of July 2006

An Oasis in the desert.

Reviewed Mon 17th of December 2012

"We had a memorable stay at Fort Arabesque last November.The Hotel is about 4 years old and as it was the first to be built at Makadi Bay it got the best location by far.
The Hotel is on its own private beach which is swept every morning and was always clean.There were plenty of sunbeds available throuhout and there were windbreaks which were needed to keep out of a cool north east wind that blew most days we were there.
There was a large coral reef offshore and within the lagoon there were several areas of live coral where you could snokel.You did not have to be a swimmer to enjoy the pretty coloured fish that were everywhere.
You only had to wade in to the sea up to your waist and stand by some coral and the fish would swarm around you-they were very tame.
At that time of the year the days are short you needed to get out early to catch the best of the day as by 4.30 pm it starts to cool down as the sun dips.
The weather while we were there was continuos sunshine during the day-according to the staff it last rained there in January 2005.
The most striking feature of the hotel is the grounds-they were amazing.The gardeners tended them every day watering and mowing the lawns,trimming and shaping the shrubs and privit hedges and the flowers were something else.The gardens were full of birds-mostly Palm Doves and Wagtails but I also saw Ravens and Kestrels in the grounds.
We were on all inclusive -the food was good with plenty of choice-no problems with upset stomachs etc.
The drinks on AI were a bit limited and the local wine was just about acceptable.
The rooms were large,well equiped and comfortable and well looked after by the room boy-the staff in general were all very nice and friendly.
We booked with SAGA and were impressed by their service.We had a welcome cocktail party the first night and a farewell gala dinner on the last night.
The SAGA rep was excellent -if you had a problem she got it sorted.If you are too young to go with SAGA then Thompsons go there as well. SAGA guests had there own exclusive bar and dining room.This helped everyone to get to know one another.
Most of the guests in the hotel were Italian as was the animation team.The entertainment was run by them but you could go if you wanted to.
Excursions were run by a local tour company who provided a guide.We went on two a [long] day trip to Luxor and a boat trip to snorkel around the coral reefs off Hurghada.
Before we went we had some reservations about security especially after the bombs at Sharm.We found the security to be very tight-after leaving the Airport we passed through an armed checkpoint to get on to the main road and two more to get in to the hotel."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Mon 13th of March 2006

Seventh time in Egypt. This was the firs...

Reviewed Sun 12th of March 2006

"Seventh time in Egypt. This was the first with my partner other holidays have been diving holidays with friends. I can only agree with the previous review. Having stayed in a variety of hotels in Egypt including the 5 star Sheraton at Soma Bay & the Marriot at Hurghada overall this is the best hotel I have stayed at.

Having suffered food poisoning on 2 previous holidays due to poor food hygiene I can recommend the standard of food preparation at Fort Arabesque. This is the first hotel in Egypt where I have felt confident enough to eat the salads.

The staff are very friendly & make you feel very welcome. Service particularly in the restaurant was excellant which is not the case in many Egyptian hotels. We were half board & found all the drinks & eating at lunch time very inexpensive compared with other hotels I have stayed at in Egypt. For example a 1/2 Ltr of the good local beer Sakara was 11 egyptian pounds equivalent to £1 & the very quoffable Obelisk wine which was the dearest obtainable on the menu came in at only £8.50.

The grounds of the hotel are well laid out with palm trees & manicured lawns & the gently shelving beach has plenty of sun loungers. Although being February & experiencing some days with cold winds, beds with wind breaks were at a premuim because of the lay your towel on a bed at the crack of dawn saddos. One downside to the beach is, that unless you like ear shattering Euro trash pop Italian style do not park yourself on the beach in front of the Animation Centre, we wondered why this part of the beach was deserted & soon found out!

If you are a diver or want to try diving, don't believe the Thomson rep when he says that the on site diving centre The Crab is 'rubbish' and don't allow him to persuade you to arrange diving with Emporer Divers. He & Thompsons get a kick back from Emporer Divers, which is a mini bus ride away in Hurghada & more expensive & much less convenient than the on site diving centre! The Crab centre is Italian, but all of the very helpfull dive guides & instructors speak some english, & the manager's mother is English whch helps. I did 3 dives with them which were very good & on the first dive on the excellant house reef saw a turtle, shoals of small Barracuda, Stone & Lion fish!

So if you want a laid back, chilled holiday in great surroundings, in a hotel with a very friendly atmosphere, which won't cost you the earth if your not on an all inclusive basis. Fort Arabesque could be the right hotel for you. If you want to be surrounded by overweight, tatooed, white trainer wearing Brits & Germans(And thats only the women!) giving Egypt a try because they are getting bored with the Costa Del Sol, I would book one of the more 'entertainment' based hotels nearby."

Holiday details

  • Travel date: Sun 12th of March 2006

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