Hawaii Riviera Aqua Park Resort
11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
GREAT AND FUNNY VACATIONS!!!
"There was my first so funny and sporty vacations! Thanks to Festival Riviera sport animation team! Thanks to Kristina and Eva and Joe! Hotel is good, beach- fantastic! I'ill come back next year"
- Travel date: Tue 11th of June 2013
90 % russians !!
"my partner and 10 yr old son have just got back from this resort.staff amazingly friendly ! and spoke very good english,especially good with children.
as we arrived on a night flight we were unaware of where the hotel was situated as it was dark.
we were happy as it was only fifteen minutes transfer from hurghada airport,which after a 5 hour flight and a tired child this was a god send.
first impression,hotel was lovely,and the grounds were stunning.
many choices of swimming pools,and a man made beach,but a few steps in to the sea which is not ideal for a young child,so we stayed around the pool.
the entertainment was poor,unless u understood russian ! we were told that there were 90 % of russian guests and english,french,german,and polish making up the other 10 %,and that is no joke.however we got to listen to jingle bells at lunch time around the pool !!!! that was the highlight of the holiday.
the russians are rude,push in the queue,walk around as if they are gods gift,and if i ever see a pair of speedos again some one please shoot me !!.
the food well lets not go there,i mean i didnt expect a fry up,fish n chips etc,but something half edible.the choice of breakfast was fine,the lunch and eve meal well lets just say we lived on cold chips,bread rolls and rice all week.the handful of brits in the hotel all complained to the rep,as we feel brits shouldnt b sent to a hotel that only seems to cater for russians.there was police on hotel door,the area was very third world looking,.no shops to walk to.But the weather was very very hotwe couldnt wait to get home."
- Travel date: Fri 9th of October 2009
"after a very long and boring flight we was transferred to hotel,once there we were checked into our room,clean spacious bathroom could do with some tlc. hotel was full of germans russians french etc not many english at all about 20 in whole of hotel.Food was very bland and boring in fact terrible, as for shopping around the hotel shops be prepared to be hasseled by shop staff everytime you try an browse, total nightmare!!! Sunbathing, no chance if you are not up by 5.30 to claim a bed,both at pool an beach. some staff very good, others iggnorant,Weather very hot make sure you take plenty of high factor. as for all inclusive you had to pay for ice cream an pizza.i would never ever go to this hotel again, A must trip whilst there is the dessert buggy through dessert mega good, a must do, very intresting guide who took us was outstanding.one last thing if you need toilet at airport in hurgarda be prepared to pay a pound, also if they help with cases again it costs a pound,Totally glad to be home even though its raining."
- Travel date: Sat 5th of September 2009
english not catered for
"after being together for 21 years and finally getting married we went on our honeymoon with the kids to the festial riviera. wow when we got of the plane i couldnt believe the heat.goin to the hotel it is lot of tipping and desert.
we finally reached the hotel , it was stunning, inside the same. we had a balcony, pool view, rooms were big and clean. the bathrooms were ok.
then it was time to go for our evening meal, let me just say us english are not catered for. the breakfast was ok. there were not many english when we were there.
the kids were bored, there was a kids club which they did go to sometimes, but i never left them. the girl who was looking after them didnt speak to one child while i was there and i was there for a while.
the beach is not a beach, ok if you want to snorkle , no sandy beach just very slippery rocks.
we had a very bad experience with a taxi connected with the hotel, [lets just say we didnt think we would ever be home again].the manager of the hotel was very good and understanding.
the hotel staff very nice and helpful but remember they want tips all the time.
not turned me of turkey but i couldnt eat that food again,i always felt sick when id eaten.
oh and that juice u get when u arrive and its around the bar dont touch, its mixed with there tap water, no wonder your never of the toilet.
dont touch the ice cubes,,, there salad,,,and the fish. [thats what we were told] by the local doctor..
i always remember the heat,, wow. happy holidays."
- Travel date: Thu 3rd of September 2009
Disappointed - Great country - Hotel - NOT great
"after a long flight was transfered via coach to resort speedily and by thomas cook;
On arrival at reception waited 25 miutes to be checked in while the receptionist had a heated arguement on the phone and ignored us . Several people were waiting to speak to him and and although they were not our nationality it was apparent thet were not happy ! Great start !
Once we had our room keys we were taken to our room which was large and clean and overlooked the open bar and pool area ; although the bathrooms do leave alot to be desired ! who thought it would be a good idea to paint sinks and surrounding counter tops bottle green ! all needed a good scrub ; dirt in all grout areas.
We had left 100 egyptian pounds on our dressing table one morning after sleeping late and rushing for breakfast ; on our return the room had been serviced and the money gone ;
I do feel maybe this was our fault and the guy cleaning the room thought we had left a tip for him , we did get extra loo roll !! so please -learn from our mistake.
The "all inclusive" aspect of the holiday ;
Queuing for up to 25 minutes to enter the restaurant; then queing another 10 miutes to get any food ; if you could get to the food there were no plates . no cups ; no coffee etc.
The russians and germans are always at the front of queue and race for window seats at every sitting ; I am not kidding a russian guy nearly knocked me off my feet racing for a window seat . they then proceed with military precision to get starter main and dessert in one foul swoop .
Drinks served in very small plastic cups ; if any cups at all. I did witness at the pool bar near the beach a waiter mixing orange juice powder with water from a hose straight from the tap and then mix it with his hands ! If you are going please stay clear of the orange in the chilled dispenser.
The food was ok for the first two days then became monotinous . But ok for all inclusive ,although hygiene is a problem with so many hands in the food at each sitting .Breakfast by far the best meal .
Pasta and omelette bars are good too.
The manager of restaurant was great and did his best to keep the flow of guests moving swiftly.
Bar staff unhelpful and abrupt. No smile - nothing - just throw drinks on counter - half filled plastic cups that are just swilled under a tap . This attitude is repeated at all the bars and was probably the worst service i have ever had at any holiday resort .
Nightly shows are ok ; have to get to ampitheater early or no seats left - would recommend the chinese show - was great .
Disco everynight at pool - very loud music which can be heard well into the night in your room ;
We learnt after the first night to lock patio doors and turn air conditioning up to full to try and drown the thumping bass.
Needless to say after russian / germans / czecs got all the window seats in restaurant they also monopolised the beach lounge area ; it didnt matter what time you got there they had already claimed their stake. We got up at 6 one morning to try and get a beach lounger and they were all claimed with towels - it was crazy.
Beach lovely - water warm and clear - lots of marine life .would advise shoes for water ; There are bits of broken coral in the sand which is very sharp and cuts your feet. You can buy these in hotel shop near reception for Â£4.00.
Snorkel along reef and swim out to island that is visible when the tide is out is great.
There are a few shops in the hotel selling egyptian wares and a pharmacy across the road .
(The mosquitos come out at dusk - cant see them but they are there !! dine on your legs every night so come prepared with repellent and after sting cream)
I did enjoy my week there , the weather was great ,room ok , hotel fine , but the service was not good.
I have stayed in Hurghada several times before but at the Hilton Plaza ( same price ) but unfortunatly fully booked this year .
The service received there was second to none and has probably influenced my opinion of the problems at the festival greatly.
Our experiences were shared by most people we met ,several families / couples were so unhappy they just wanted to go home ;
Would i recommend this hotel - NO definatley not - i would recommend the Red sea as a destination but this hotel needs some maintenance and the staff need some serious customer service training ."
- Travel date: Tue 1st of September 2009
"We chose the Riviera from reviews about great staff, and that it's only a year old, and we weren't disappointed. From the warm, personal welcome we received from Salah, Front Office Manager, through everyone we came across. They really do make the effort to look after you here. Just some other names worthy of special mention are Mohammad in the restaurant for dinner, always helpful and obliging, thanks for looking after us so well. Mustafa the pool attendant who gave us the 'moment of the week' with his handling of a couple of cheeky Russian teenagers to cheers from all around (take a bow my man!) and Khalid and his team at the windsurf hire, (go out in the morning for the best wind), they'll give free 'taster sessions' which the kids liked. Thanks for the memories.
Anyone criticising the food, really must be very picky indeed. We had four fussy teenagers (two boys two girls) who found plenty to keep them happy, not least the pancake bar and the ommelette bar at breakfast. And believe me, our eldest lad is really fussy what he eats. Just remember, they're catering for many cultures, with differing tastes, and I was impressed with the quality and choice and enjoyed trying some new dishes....so of course there'll be some dishes that don't appeal to everyone, but plenty that do.
Yes, the workmanship, for a new hotel in the bathrooms could be better, but that's about the down side and that's being picky. Overall, clean, well kept, and well managed. If there's anything you want changed....simply ask. One evening the boys couldn't access their safe, reported at reception on the way to dinner and fixed within in ten minutes. Gardens and grounds are beautiful and we never used the Le Jardin's facilities (except the bank), which are available, ours were more than enough. I stayed at the Intercontinenal Hurghada a few years ago, but prefer here with the family because of the staff.
Took a taxi for six to El Dahar one evening, the staff will point you towards the newer cleaner part of town with McDonald's & KFC, but we wanted more authentic Egypt....and got it. El Dahar is bustling with locals, hardly saw any tourists, and when you venture further into the heart, with dirt streets, well, magical, although the girls were a tad surprised to see 'how the other half live' in the real world. Bit of an education for them. Even managed to see a wedding with firecrackers, drums and all. If you don't like to barter, this area isn't for you as you will be approached all the time, but you will get cracking bargains even though they know you're a tourist. Felt a very safe atmosphere.
Went snorkelling with Blue Wave (rep visits the hotel grounds), as the Thos Cook snorkelling was only Sunday which we couldn't do. Excellent day out and the crew/hosts made it for us. Great fun, plenty of laughing, good food... recommend. One of the nicest boats of the dozens that frequent the reefs daily.
The Russians are very evident, but they didn't bother us, and the hotel team will always help you if you can't find a sun lounger or have any issues at all.
Working in the hospitality business, it was great to see a fired-up team at all levels, who take real pride in their hotel. Would we go back? It's the only family holiday where everyone agreed we would, so there's a first!"
- Travel date: Mon 31st of August 2009
"I was my eighth stay in Egypt.I love Egypt! This was really the most terrible 4 star hotel in my life!See picture. Plus disobliging staff. Totally undercapacity for restaurant, sunbeds by pools. I dontÂ´ reccommend it!"
- Travel date: Tue 25th of August 2009
Terrific value for money, excellent service, spacious comfortable rooms & hotel in a wonderful hot sunny climate!
"I took this last minute holiday - I was looking for a relaxing holiday on my own in the sun.
The Festival Hotel & Resort is only 30 minutes from Hurgharda airport so once landing I was there with Thomas Cook before I knew it. The first thing I learnt from the rep was an Egyptian 20 pound note is worth Â£2.50p in English money and went from there.
My first impression of the hotel was good - lovely large entrance hall (air conditioned - heaven) reception staff with good English and service with a smile. A few shops were around and it created a nice atmosphere. Also ATM in foyer which gives Egyptian money. I was taken to a room (they all have enormous double beds) the room was overlooking the open bar area which didn't suit me so they, with no problem at all, took me to the top 5th floor, the room had identical furnishings and facilities, was quiet and really great. I remembered to take mosquito repellents and use them.
My cleaner Hamed at the Festival excellent cleaned at my convenience. After cleaning no-one would bother me for the rest of the day. Side-view of the beautiful Red Sea and the sun in the afternoon on my patio. My room had a plasma satellite TV with great films and CNN news daily. Mini fridge in room with 2 bottles of water per person in and they will replace these every day. You can take the bottles throughout the resort during the day or night and top up with cool water (or squash if you ask them) at any of the numerous bars. Free safe in my room.
The restaurant was good - food repetitive after 1 week and somewhat bland to my taste, cakes are not sweet as I know them but still lovely and a very large selection of everything at every meal. Waiters very attentive and helpful but not pushy - I always looked forward to my meals and didn't eat at all in-between them. There were snack bars dotted around so I could have eaten anytime if I had wanted to.
There was an Internet Cafe by the restaurant I just bought a "scratch card" at the bar in the foyer downstairs for 15 or 30 minutes and asked them at the same time to open the Internet Cafe door for me as it was sometimes locked for security.
Pools - great - I could use the facilities of the Hotel Jardin the sister hotel which was so close next door that the outer areas and pools run into one down to the sea, I found this nice for an evening wander with lots of things going on. You don't have to leave the complex if you don't want to (it is in the middle of no-where, but good bus service outside or taxis available) - I noticed that there were lots for children to do with the animation team. I mostly used the adult pool at the Festival - lovely early morning and late afternoon - no-one in it! I always found a bed around that pool but if no beds available always ask the pool staff and they will sort it for you. Towels are available daily they give you a towel ticket on your arrival to collect a clean towel every day from the pool staff but don't worry if you forget take it back the next morning and they are ok about it. You really don't need to take towels with you. They enforced the rule whilst I was there of removing towels people had tried early in the morning to reserve beds with and then gone off somewhere for that morning and were not using which worked a treat!
I went on a glass bottom boat/snorkeling trip (but skipped the snorkeling and just swam) which took me through Hurgharda just for the morning and felt quite safe and had a great day out. I could book any trips I wanted to Cairo or Luxor through Natalie the great Thomas Cook rep at good prices or from anyone in the foyer - I remembered the trip to Cairo by coach is 5 hours and 3 hours to Luxor each way but could fly to Cairo from there - was tempted but have been twice before. Natalie will give you good solid advice about anything you need to know.
I was told to barter with the shops even at the hotel as you always get a better price and this was true. George at the local corner shop in the foyer of the Festival (speaks 7 languages) also told me anything you want to know and it was worth taking time to talk with him.
The Red Sea which the Hotel Festival has a beach directly on has a long shallow walk once in it, but when you get to the deep part it is a good experience. The weather very hot August (which I liked) 36 degrees and above most days with a beautiful breeze which was warm all the time - but I stayed out of the mid-day sun .
Not many English people there during my stay - I had no problem at all with that and watching all the different cultures was interesting. A friendly smile goes a long way to letting the staff know everything is ok.
One of the highlights my stay was the Ocean Spa Centre based in the Hotel Jardin - they came round the pool or beach area and told me about the massages and gave me a free sample. I bought a course of 5 massages (haggle with them) equivalent to about 7 hours of massage over the 10 day period at a great price - I could have had just one if that was all I wanted. I spoke with Boutros at the reception of the Ocean Spa once I got there and I would advise anyone to ask for Mohamed for the massages - best ever, these were carried out away from the beach (not far) in a proper spa centre - not in the tent as I first imagined.
I have returned with good memories of the hotel (I had a good deal initially regarding cost) and a great tan.
I would recommend the hotel overall to my friends and will go back there."
- Travel date: Sun 16th of August 2009
Good but not that great!
"This holiday was booked at the last mintue and though we read the reviews and they looked ok (the ones that were in English) we really didnt know what to expect. Overall it wasnt all bad. I'll start with the rooms shall I? This looked exactly as it did on the website, the bedrooms were spacious and clean, and all room had a balcony which was really nice..The bathrooms however were somthing else... In our room the shower actually broke off the wall, the toilet or drains (not sure which one) stank quite badly though the cleaner did his best to ensure that this was kept clean at all times. Our beds were changed daily as well as our towels so we kinda got over the bad smell in the bathroom and we got all the designs with the towels such as love hearts and peacocks they were cute to look at when you walked in.
Now onto the food!!! This was really, really horrible.. after three days me and my partner were doing tag team back and forward to the toilet and we were not the only ones we spoke to wnother couple who were going through the same thing as we were!!! It was bland with no seasoning and tasted like it has come out of a packet though this was popular with the other holiday makers which mostly consisted of Russion, French or German and the odd English (I'll move onto that in a minute). We didnt like the food one bit and regularly ate out as much as we could in a local town called Sinbad where we could get Mcdonalds, KFC or Pizza Hut....Not what we wanted but just couldnt do the hotel food anymore...
There were about 4 or 5 pool areas and they were all lovley and really busy with loads of families so we spent most of our time by the adult pool which was really nice until you had kids bombing in it or purposely jumping in which wound up my partner and others around the pool... This was usually done by Russion kids who's parents refused to see the large sign saying no under 15's in the pool, this caused some heated arguments mostly with the English and Russians going head to head. Other than that small issue it was really nice and perfect to cool off in on those hot sweltering days..There was also a large beach area which had sunbed lounges and shades and it was perfect if you wanted a quiet day just reading and relaxing.. But to get a good spot you have to get up early and put your towel out as the Russions and German always got the good spots at time it was getting silly, they must have been out there from 6:30am!
The staff were really pleasant and always did their best to ensure you were comfortable and had drinks or whatever you needed. They were friendly always smiling and always helpful.
The one thing that did bother us was the All Inclusive part of things such as they stopped serving drinks at midnight, after this you had to pay which I thought was a bit weird.. also things like fresh melon you had a pay for, if you wanted a pizza from the snack bar you also had to pay for this which I thought did not make any sense at all. I have gone All Inclusive before and I have never experienced anything like that...
The location was in the middle of nowhere, it was surrounded by desert but if you wanted to go to town there were plenty of cabs willing to take you there for a fee. I wouldnt reccomend getting in one of these on your own or even with two women, we went as a foursome two men and two women this at least ensure's your safety over a cab driver.
Overalll this holiday wasnt too bad, we met some great people had some great laughs and soaked up some sun rays. The staff were nice and helpful the resort itself was nice and well kept... Would I go to this hotel again? Probably not, would I go to Egypt again definitely without a doubt!"
- Travel date: Wed 22nd of July 2009
Great Hotel. Would recommend.
"Stayed at this hotel for 2 weeks in May. Having not many reviews on this hotel we did not know what to expect.
We had no problems with the check in. Our bags was then taken to our room which was very big and very clean. We had great view of the pools. Rooms were cleaned daily with fresh towels and water replaced in the fridge.
The food buffet was good and always a huge choice of food to select from including the pasta station that would cook fresh for you. During the day there was a choice of chips, hot dogs, burgers, rice and meat dishes available from the snack bars. We went to the Italian restuarant twice during our stay and both meals were great and a great service.
Pool area always clean and was plenty of sunbeds to choose from. Towels were available to use so you dont have to take your own. Daily activities to join in with if you wanted to. The hotel seems to be in the middle of nowhere but its not necessary to leave the hotel if you didnt want to. We did get a taxi from the reception to both Hurghada Town and into El Gouna and booked boat trips from sales people walking around the pool. Other excursions we booked through the rep including a day trip to Luxor and Sand Buggies in the desert."
- Travel date: Mon 1st of June 2009
Good value, pleasant staff endeavouring to make this a really good hotel
"We are a family of four who stayed for 2 weeks commencing 3lst March 2009. This is a nice hotel offering very good service from all staff. The managers are around the hotel at all times and are very approachable should you have a problem there is also a guest relation desk who are always on hand. We had a small problem with the rooms when we arrived and spoke to MARINA on Guest relations who sorted it immediately. We stayed fully inclusive and found there was always something we liked to eat, drinks were plentiful and you did not have to wait to be served. There are other nationalities in the hotel ones we did not get along with were the russians who lacked any manners both to their fellow guest and the staff in the hotel. The rooms were large and pleasant and cleaned daily we were asked daily by our cleaner if everything was satisfactory. The hotel is in the middle of no-where however guests are allowed to use the facilities of the sister hotel next door (Fesitival le Jardin) also there is a frequent bus to both El Gouna and Hurghurda Both 15 mins away) We tried both the Italian and Oriental restaurants you are allowed one free vist for each week you stay in a choice of about five restaurants. The restaurants we chose were really good both in atmosphere and food it was a really nice experience. We also tried the hotel spa which we could also recommend. There were many trips with Thos. Cooke rep Natalie Goodwin we did not do any as we have been to Egypt many times but Natalie was one of the best reps we have had, not pushy always available. The pools were well kept with lifeguards and each day you were given a towel. Overall it was very good value for money it is rated 4* however you must remember this is Egypt which is reflected always in the price you pay. We would have liked a few more shops nearer to the hotel but the area is still under development also snorkelling was not an option from the beach. All the staff and managers are working very hard to make this a really good hotel, if you do stay make the effort to talk to the managers/guest relations MARINA (very good) they are keen to get your views and improve anything they can"
- Travel date: Wed 29th of April 2009